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Tony's Newsletter - September 2009

Rental Market:
Last month I expressed displeasure and frustration with the rental market. Unfortunately, August didn’t get any better. With the number of notices we have received in the first week of September, it doesn’t look like September is going to be much better. The high turnover rate to include the unscheduled move-outs (Tenant skips) has just got us working over time. It’s got us worn out and a bit beat up. But it has made us come up with some new advertising approaches. Starting in mid August, we started running a radio ad on a radio station that has listeners in the age demographics of most of our tenants. The effectiveness of the radio spot has not yet been proven. Click on the play button below to hear this radio spot.

Additionally, since our records indicate that most of our leads are now coming from referrals and yard signs, we have started advertising on bus stop benches .

And lastly, since we still have vacancies near BSU, we have advertised in the BSU Football inserts from the local paper. With our first game being against the Oregon Ducks, this actually got us a lot of exposure. For those of you who have had extended vacancies, you have our deepest sympathy and believe me, we want nothing more than to get the units filled. The sooner we get our available units inventory down, the sooner we can enjoy a less stressful and hectic work day.

We still have a great number of tenants buying homes and the other big reason for vacating continues to be for financial reasons. On the rent-up end of things, we’re just finding it very hard to find good quality tenants with good credit and income. Most of the leases signed in August required higher security deposits and/or co-signers to get the tenants approved. I am just amazed at what I am seeing on these credit reports.

Sales Market:
Values continue to decline and just absolute GOOD DEALS continue to come on the market. Even with rents down, most of these deals just make great sense.

On top of our market problems, the timing of the new site just hasn’t helped a bit. We commissioned the new site in January and hoped to get it up and running in February or March time frame, which is a slow time for us. Well, it got finished in June, and with summer being so incredibly busy, its just been difficult to devote the time to debug it. The new owner statements are now working perfectly. But the listing side is still not working. Additionally, the double entry of our listings are just killing us in the time it takes. If I only knew, I would have saved the money and waited.

Well, I know, it’s tough to spend money when you have lower rental income, but if you have been holding off on some improvements, let us know. Our painting contractors, roofers, siding and window contractors are really coming down on their prices. So if you want to take advantage of the economy, you might ask us to get some bids and see if now is a good time to make those capital improvements.

Tony Drost
Property Management

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