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Tony's Newsletter - October 2009

Rental Market:
First Rate Property Management finished September with a 5.26% vacancy rate. Overall, not too bad, but like I have been saying over and over, it’s the incentives that are really killing performance.

Historically, September has been the first month for things to slow down. Not this year. September was just as busy as July and August of this year. So far we have 24 notices to vacate in October. As long as we don’t see the barrage of skips (tenants vacating without notice), October should prove to be a much better month for us. A high turnover rate really sticks it to us; mostly in phone traffic. Literally, our agents are getting off a call only to answer another. I’m not too sure what to predict for this fall. I hope that the turnover rate continues to decrease and move in incentives can go away again.
To date, First Rate Property Management has evicted 7 tenants this year. Comparably, that’s outstanding. However, 2 of those were in September. I spoke with the Ada County Sheriff who assists in these and he reported that they are busier than they have ever been. In fact, he described it as an epidemic. I guess tenants have been seeing homeowners squatting in homes for months or even years, not making a mortgage payment and they thought they could do the same thing. Maybe they were hoping for a Tenant Bailout program.

Sales Market:
When we started seeing the correction in 2007, I remember thinking, “Man the market might completely correct itself and go right back to where it all started in 2004”. Well, as a whole, we have surpassed 2004 and have gone back even further in time. If there has ever been a time to buy, it definitely appears to be now. That’s not to say we won’t continue to see values drop, but if you purchase for the long-term, I am fairly confident it will prove out to be a good investment, even as we struggle through this poor rental market. Appreciation aside, the cash return alone should be 3-7 times greater than some of the CD rates you are seeing. Like I said last month, I think it is prudent to calculate some higher vacancy rates and lower rents when analyzing your next purchase.

About mid-October, we should be ready to move our new site to the position. Its been a tough process and very happy to have that behind us. Also, our community websites will be rolling out soon too. They aren’t quite what we were hoping for, so we’ll look to improve them once they are up and running.

Currently is live, and the following others will be up soon.


The following will be up soon:
We’ve got about 15 others that we plan on adding by the year end. So that will make about 20 different website all directly linked to our own site. That should improve our Search Engine Optimization as well and perhaps allow us to decrease some of our on-line advertising costs.

Have you ever done a search for a Boise, Meridian, or Eagle rental. You’ll find that if our own site isn’t listed first, the sites that we pay advertising for will be.

Tony Drost
Property Management

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