Property Management on the Rise

When you hire a property management company to serve as the liaison between yourself and your tenants, you want to be sure you’re getting the best possible property management services for the money. The services a property management company provides can range from ala carte to an all-in-one inclusive package. Along with that comes an array of fees for each. There is no set in stone fee structure we can provide you. But we can educate you on what common fees to expect and what each is commonly for. In the end it will be up to you to compare company fee structures and choose the best one that fits within your budget. Below are some of the most common fees and what service they provide.

Commission

This is an ongoing monthly fee charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for the responsibilities of overseeing the management of their property. This fee can vary from as little as 3% to over 15% of the monthly gross rent. In place of a percentage some managers may charge a flat monthly amount which again can vary from $50 to over $200 per month. All property management companies generally charge this fee.

Lease-Up or Setup Fee

This fee is charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for their initial time invested and resources used in setting up an owners account; showing property and/or other activities resulting in tenant placement. I guess you could look at it as a “finders fee” for placing a tenant in your property. Once a tenant has been placed and first rent income comes in, the property manager will deduct this fee from the rent proceeds. Some property managers have been known to require this fee upfront prior to tenant procurement. Usually this fee is non-refundable once the property manager has started the process of tenant procurement or any legwork has been initiated with the property. This fee can vary from none to as much as the first months rent, and usually is a one-time fee per tenant.

Lease Renewal Fee

This fee is charged to the owner when a property manager renews a current tenants lease and covers the costs of initiating paperwork or communication involved in implementing the new lease document. A property manager may also justify this fee if they perform a year end inspection of property. This fee can vary from none to $200 or higher, and may be charged every time a lease renewal is implemented.

Advertising Costs

Depending upon the property management company’s contract, either they will pay the advertising costs or the owner or they could split the costs. If the manager is willing to cover this cost, most likely they will charge the lease-up or setup fee as outline above. If the management company covers this cost make sure to find out what type advertising or marketing of your property is included. If it’s placing your listing on their own web site and other free online classified sites you may not be getting your monies worth. They are many good rental or tenant resource online web sites that bring in qualified tenants for a reasonable fee and you will want to consider these. And don’t forget about print media, yard signs, listing on the MLS or even an open house. Nothing is worst than having your property vacant, bringing in no money only because you or your property manager skimped on advertising.

Maintenance Mark-up Charges

This is one of those costs you may never really of known about or had it disclosed to you. A “Mark-up” is a charge over and beyond the final bill on maintenance and/or repair work done to your property initiated by your property management company when using their vendors or in-house maintenance staff. This should be disclosed in your Manager/Owner contract which usually will state the markup as a percentage above the final invoice from vendor. For example, your manager had to call a plumber to replace the dishwasher in your rental property. Total charges for completing the job: $400. If your property manager contract states you will incur a 10% markup on all maintenance work the actual cost to you will be $440. Just one of those things to be aware of as these all eat into your profits.

Early Cancellation Fee

The dreaded “3 months and no tenant”. Your property manager insist he or she’s doing everything they can to find you a tenant. But here it is 3 months and still no tenant; what do you do. Well, look at your Manager/Owner contract and that might be your deciding factor. I am not a fan of this fee, and believe it to be an unnecessary fee and for you manager out there this could be the deal breaker. I’ll tell you why; if a property manager is doing their due diligence and keeping the owners in the loop as far as decision making, market conditions and communication lines open an owner will not be second guessing his property managers abilities. The odds of this scenario happening is unlikely but you must be prepared for it. A cancellation fee can range from none to over $500. To be fair, some managers legitimately deserve this fee especially if they have pocketed advertising costs, incurred lots of legwork and time invested in your property.

“You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me” Fees – These are ones I have personally had the pleasure of running into.

Your property is vacant, but we still will charge our monthly commission or a small flat fee.
“A For-Rent Yard Sign Fee”. I believe this was $25/mo.
“Preventive Maintenance Fee”. This was to cover the “just in case” and changing out A/C filters. If “just in case” never happens they still pocket the money. I believe this was $20/mo and I still was charged for filters.
In Summary

Read your Manager/Owner contract, understand what you are signing, ask lots of questions and know what the fees will buy you in services. A good real estate lawyer can help in negotiating the terms in a contract that suit both parties. These contracts are not set in stone. If your property manager will not negotiate, there are other property management companies that are eager to earn your business.

Karen McDaniel

Principal

Property Management Profile LLC dba pmvnetwork.com

PMVnetwork offers the most up-to-date listing of full-service property management companies and property service pros nationwide. We have become a wealth of information and resource for the first-time landlord as well as the seasoned investors.

Real Estate Law – Abuse of Mold Lawsuits Inevitably Ends Up Hurting the Weakest of Our Population

Many lawyers that specialize in mold lawsuits in real estate claim that they are helping the people who live in these properties from disease and sure death. That’s rather silly if you think about it because humankind has always lived around the mold. Humans used to live in caves and I’m sure there was mold there, don’t you agree? Mold has been around for a lot longer than Human Beings, and we have learned to live and evolve all along side of it.

One very unfortunate thing that happens to people that own rental properties is that one of their tenants will claim that there is mold on the property and file a complaint with either a government agency and/or through a private lawyer. The lawyer has a team of friends who will come and inspect it and they will file a case with the court. Even if it’s a small bit of mold, that can easily and quickly be cleaned up, it can cost the landlord hundreds of thousands of dollars, not only in legal fees but also in ripping out the walls and replacing them.

Then the lawyers works very hard to call the landlord a slumlord and destroy his personal credibility and character in the local media. It is a disgusting thing that goes on, but in the end, the people who are hurt worse are the poor people because there are fewer landlords willing to risk their neck and buy properties to rent out. They simply exit the business knowing that it is not worth the risk and go away.

Fewer landlords and rental properties means the price goes up and that means the additional cost causes the standard of living of poor people to go down. I hope they’re happy now. Please consider this.

How To Succeed At Online Product Creation The Easy Way

Product creation could be a frightening subject for a lot of Internet marketers to face. Some folks who get in the game with the intention of making a full time income are completely ignorant as to how an online business operates. One of the most profitable ways to create online cash is by creating a product that others are happy to pay for.

Product creation is legitimate method of generating money through internet marketing but many entrepreneurs get it wrong. They start by imitating their Internet marketing gurus by creating information products on Internet marketing in hopes of getting rich the way their heroes did. The problem is that they usually don’t know what they are doing and enter a highly competitive niche with very little marketing experience or connections.

Here are a few tips for effective product creation that may help you get on the right track:
Start by finding a profitable niche with low to moderate competition. If you conduct some rudimentary market research and keyword research, you’ll find many opportunities in areas that will surprise you. Amazon and eBay are two great places to brainstorm for product ideas.

Developing Your Product does not have to be a difficult project. You can find experts in the right field for your niche and pay them to write the material while an artist designs the packaging and website or blog. You can outsource the entire product creation part of the project after you conduct the research and testing to ensure profitability.

Sales and marketing strategies should be created while developing the product and learning about the market. Some experienced marketers use pay per click to drive traffic to their offer page; some folks outsource the entire marketing campaign to affiliates through ClickBank or other affiliate programs.

Product creation does not need to be hard, particularly when the merchandise is electronic. E-books, videos, audio and multi-media products sell very well. They are distributed immediately to customers electronically. Once you have a good feel for a niche market, try to service your customers with associated products and upgrades. If you want to earn money online through product creation, you must understand supply and demand. The majority of new online marketers fail miserably because they go after highly competitive markets or forget to research their chosen niche properly. You have to create your products according to the needs, wants and desires of the prospective customers.

Information Product Creation: Never Compete on Price Because There Is Only One You

Information product creation requires extensive preparation, no matter which niche you work within and you want to make sure that your information product has a successful launch. That probably sounds scary and intimidating but here’s the thing: this is a one time effort and it will pay off in a foundation that is strong enough to get your ideal clients to invest in your high-end programs and services without the perils of a traditional funnel. This article will teach you a few of the things that you need to remember if you’d like to invest in yourself and start on the information product creation path using your unique talents and abilities. Remember that you never have to worry about anyone ripping off your ideas because if you understand how to properly position yourself around your story.

Understand Both Strengths and Weaknesses: It is good to have an impartial view of your own strengths and weaknesses when lay the foundation of selling yourself within the information product creation process. It helps you figure out where you are, what you lack and how to move forward so that you get as much growth as possible. It is more than important, it is urgent if you want to create fast success for yourself to have personal positive reinforcement and deep belief to provide yourself the support you need so that you can get over your own limitations to ensure that your information product is as valuable as it can be.

You also need to know exactly who your competition is so you can study them and use their methods to help you improve your own standings. Down recreate the wheel, but understand the wheel and position yourself going uphill from the competition. Check out which kinds of opportunities you’ve already got and try to figure out how best to use them while taking care to remember your strengths and weaknesses. This is a great way to figure out where you stand against your competition which helps you figure out how best to grow.

Launch on Time: No matter what, even if you haven’t officially announced your “launch date” you should launch the site when you’ve said you would. This will force you to stick to your goal and actually work on it. Thinking that “I’ll launch it when I think it’s ready to launch” will only hinder your efforts. You’ve got a responsibility that you need to live up to with your launch, and you can’t move back on that one. If you get close to your launch date and you are getting hung up on your self limiting beliefs in your information product creation, don’t worry this about getting it out there and not perfection. As long as it is usable you should launch it. Launching on time is the professional thing to do and it is more important than creating a “wow” effect in your site visitors. You can always update/upgrade your website when you have to, so there shouldn’t be any issue with that.

Analyze Your Own Concept: If you want to make your information product creation successful you need to understand how good your concept is: is it really going to work for your chosen audience or would something else be better? You already know about your competition; how does your concept measure up? If you haven’t come up with your own idea and are trying to work with someone else’s concept, do some more work on your own before your launch. People want original ideas because they’ve seen too many other me-too websites already.

Test Your Concept Before You Commit To The Information Product Creation Process: One of the biggest failures people have with information product creation is not testing an idea before putting a lot of effort into producing an information product. PPC to a small 5 page site with a landing page is a great way to test an offer before you even produce it. If people will sign up to get it, you can be sure that you can create an information product that will target eliminating the pain of your target market. The small amount of money will be invaluable in using crowd sourcing to direct the final outline of the information product creation process.

You’ll have lots of hurdles to clear after the launch of your information product and the only way to truly take care of them is to follow the advice in this article to work smarter. Plenty of people work hard, but it is the ones who work smarter who make real money online with the information product creation business model.

Plan To Succeed With Information Product Creation: Why You Need To Split Your Process Up

One of the keys to succeeding in information product creation is to break the process up into discrete steps. This frequently isn’t an instinctive reaction for the typical information marketer. Especially on the internet where small sized learning products are the norm.

However, it is extremely important to your ultimate success. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you don’t do this you probably won’t succeed… even when you are starting out let alone as you move forward.

Your product creation system should do this for you if only to help you to understand the overall task.

But why?

In this article, I’m going to ignore chunking and focus on the practical aspects. That’s not to say that chunking isn’t important. It is. It’s important to understanding and to learning the process. But while you can use the same chunks as you move forward, long term your focus needs to be on the operation of the system not the understanding of it. Unless of course you are constantly training new people!

So why is chunking important to long term use of the product creation process? (Yes, I know systems design uses a different term for this process but I’m not teaching you systems design. So I’m going to use the word learning content designers use.)

The first reason that having individual discrete tasks is important is one of schedule estimation. Frequently it is very difficult to estimate how long the total task of creating a product will take. After all, the size and type of the products matters as does the number of products in your product funnel. And those are just the most obvious elements. However, estimating a discrete task is often much easier. The total can then be estimated as the total of the discrete tasks.

Secondly, scheduling a large task can be problematic. However, by segmenting the task into a number of discrete tasks, you gain a much greater flexibility in scheduling. Not only that but as your business begins to add people you are able to schedule multiple people to the product creation.

Finally, segmenting a large task into smaller discrete tasks allows you to have much better control over the product creation. This affects two different areas — status and quality.

By segmenting your process into discrete tasks you are able to schedule and record the progress at much more detailed level. As a result you are more in control of the status of the product creation. You know what everyone is doing. When they should complete it. And how much it should cost. You also know exactly what has been done.

You also improve your overall quality. Instead of waiting until everything is done you can check quality as you go. This allows you to immediate react to low quality products without absorbing their costs. This means that you have less rework and your rework costs less. And if the product is not going to meet its quality requirement you will know about it in time to stop the development, change the requirement or fix the product.

A Guide on Successful Product Creation and Internet Marketing

Product creation in Internet marketing is getting stiffer and stiffer nowadays owing to tough competition between Internet-based businesses. Putting up a new product requires plenty of brainpower and finances along with an ability to take risk. With that, even if you have the product well-set already, you have to position it strategically in the Internet landscape for others to notice. You should get the interest of Web users and turn them to actual customers. Aside from the usual physical products, many different products that thrive well on Internet marketing include E-books, membership sites, and video lectures.

The long and difficult process of product creation begins with ideas. They are easy to get – compared to the effort that comes with analyzing the market for that idea. Before the idea turns to a product, businesses often spend money, even amounting to millions of dollars, to ensure the success of the new product that emerges from an idea. Businesses undertake many types of market research and surveys before releasing their products to the public. Now, you may think that because your business is small, you can’t afford research or you don’t have to do research; you can and you should. The Internet allows you to disseminate materials needed for your market study to many people at once without your having to spend a cent.

It is a common maxim in business: Look at your destination first before mapping out your journey. So what are the goals you intend to accomplish with your product creation ventures? The everyday travails of your business may make you forget the end in sight. On the other hand, prepare to entertain new developments that come to your mind in your product creation. Your conception of a product may have started this way, but a few tweaks here and there along with some market research results and it ends up another way. Take it as the result of a creative process, not as a failure to reach your goal. After all, your product creation activities are intertwined with a long-term goal that you should strive to sustain at your utmost: profit generation. So if your less profitable initial idea evolves to a more profitable product, be thankful!

With your product made up already, start doing some aggressive Internet marketing. A product purchase typically comes after more than five times a customer is exposed to an informative call-to-buy message. Thus it is important to get the contact details, like the e-mail address, of potential customers who are on the brink of a sale. Use the results of your market research to determine the demographics to which you should concentrate your marketing efforts.

With consistent product creation, you can make an inventory of your products that you can market in due time. Just keep making products – the moment you succeed in making and marketing a product, customers are surely wanting more from you, so give it to them. Keep them on your side through constant product creation.

Considerable Factors Involved in Product Creation & Marketing

The niche you have chosen should allow creation of more than one product or service. With the technological advancements in the hosting industry, from automated control panels and scripts that simplify creation of accounts, to complete turnkey solutions; there is no need to worry about spending time on the real products sold to the customer. The main ones are keyword selection, sales copy principles, graphics, affiliate programs, product creation, online payment processing, auto responders, and search engine optimization.

Once you’ve earned money from this type of information product business, you can invest in the creation of your own products if you want, or start offering more informational products that allow you to sell your knowledge. But the creation and production costs of a similar big ticket in sequence product, although higher, are still pretty low. A key by-product of this process will be the creation of 3-D, Computer Assisted Design art.

The Association for Financial Professionals permits the following activities for repatriating funds: Research and Development activities, advertising and marketing programs, hiring and training new recruits, acquiring patent and other rights to intangible property, improving transportation, funding capital investments with the purpose of job creation and job retention & funding product responsibility or environmental claims.

It prohibits certain activities like: Tax payments, Payment of executive recompense, Payment of dividends, Redemption of stocks, Debt investments and Portfolio investments. Therefore, before repatriating the money, you must consider whether it is worth or not.

Checklist on what artist and product development necessitate includes: Exceptional vocals, musicianship and/or songwriting skills, Continued education and enhancement of musical skills, Quality equipment, Performance ability, Image creation and maintenance, Plan of action, goal setting, excellent promotion materials including photographs, press releases and artwork, Business management skills, Marketing, Publicity and Promotion knowledge, Online and Offline Professional management, Basic knowledge of recording, producing, engineering, and mastering, Basic knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, and sales online, brick and mortar and air-play, Good choices in members, staff and advisors, Physical and mental preparedness, Basic knowledge of finances, accounting Law and legal issues etc.

The goals for doing so are for the product owner to: Communicate the whole, Determine and communicate when releases are needed, Determine what functionality is sufficient for each release & focus on business value derived from the releases. The delivery team on the other hand will see the whole, learn about the steps to realize the vision, learn the business priorities, provide technical input to the roadmap and provide estimates for the projected features. The salesperson must lead the prospect through the various decision criteria needed in order to secure a sale. Whether your idea is the development of a product, launch of a service business, or even the creation of an event or program for a non-profit, creativity is the root of all entrepreneurial efforts starting with the vision itself.

People quickly learn to spend their time on marketing and product creation, rather than repetitive tasks. Apart from empowering companies and individuals, there should be a particular focus on identifying labor intensive businesses that have the potential to make a significant and positive impact on employment creation as well as those businesses that have a product or service offering for export markets with the final objective of booming local economies.

Effective Marketing Strategies in Product Creation

Marketing includes matters such as pricing and packaging of the product and creation of demand by advertising and sales campaigns. There are other options, of course, like product creation, resale rights marketing, joint ventures and the likes, but they are merely secondary to the above.

If you take the freelance route, it is important to ensure that all rights to profit from the final product, or any materials produced in its making, remain yours. Bookkeeping, physical product creation or delivery of goods can be done better with specialized help. Determining the purpose of the product is vital in niche product creation.

Implementation of Methodology – The choice of implementation of Six Sigma methodology depends on whether development is required on existing processes (DMAIC) or on new process/product design creation (DMADV). Determining what you really want to sell, something that you can be relaxed selling is the first step at the creation of a niche product. With the technological advancements in the hosting industry, from automated control panels and scripts that simplify creation of accounts; to complete turnkey solutions, there is no excessive need to worry about spending time on the actual product sold to the customer.

For instance, you should be prepared to either perform yourself or to subcontract the completion of the following tasks:- Product idea research (are there any existing products or patents already existing for this idea)- Product specification document training (what it will do, how it will look, how will it be powered, and how the user will interface with it)- Marketing study (what it will be named, who would buy this, how much would they pay, how will we get customers to purchase the product)- Schematic or electronic circuit design process- Creation of a bill of material or BOM and an approved vendor’s list or AVL for each component in the design, preferably with multiple sources identified, with a BOM and AVL for each assembly level in the product- Printed circuit board layout design process (single sided board, double sided board, or multilayer board; size of the PCB; board material)- Mechanical packaging design with user interfaces (displays, buttons, switches, key. This removes all product creation costs from your budget as a marketer.

No other database of affiliate programs offers such a possibility for profit on either the affiliate side or the product creation site. Your chosen niche should allow for the creation of more than one product or service.

There are several marketing strategies that are necessary in the creation of a successful e-commerce web site – Email marketing (broadcasting) of prospects/customers – Effective use of auto responders (generate automatic email messages) – Online Newsletter – Online Form / Survey to capture your prospect’s email address – Electronic Product Delivery (if you sold a digital product) – Advertisement (Ad) Tracking – Back End Sales – Affiliate program etc.

A Simple Product Creation and Product Launching Formula

If you tried to think of people involved in product creation, who would come to mind? You may think of Edison, Franklin, or maybe Henry Ford. Would you ever think of yourself as someone who can create a quality product? Product creation is actually relatively easy and product launching is not that tough either! If you follow a few easy to understand steps, you could be starting the product creation and product launching process sooner than you think.

The first step in creating your information product is to know and understand your market. This can be very time-consuming, especially if you are unsure of what to do or where to look to know your market. Studying your niche market and understanding the buzz words and buying patterns can ease the process dramatically. Personally, I would recommend networking with someone who has had success in the niche market you are considering and learn from their results. If they are into product creation and not very business savvy expect some hesitation. If they only sell products and have nothing to do with product launching or product creation you may your first affiliate (sales person)! Something else you can use to find hot trends is with the Google Trends tool.

The second step is the product creation process. Take your niche market and brainstorm ideas and topics relating to it. There are a lot of product launching contests going on recently relating to a newly created internet marketing tool. There are so many aspects to the mentioned niche that literally, and unfortunately, anything can be considered an Internet Marketing tool. The reason that anyone can basically create an Internet Marketing tool is because of something called Private Label Rights products.

What I use private label rights products for, and highly recommend them in this specific manner, is to cure writer’s block especially when it is lingering. Many people base their entire product creation and product launching on a private label rights product. This is where you can start to shine and build a strong brand for yourself. If you set goals for yourself, short-term goals to be exact, you can see your product creation come into being much faster and there is a good chance with less revision needed. If you keep hitting time restraint road blocks; however there is nothing wrong with a slow and steady approach, you can consider outsourcing portions of your project. Outsourcing can be an extremely huge benefit or just as great of a disaster.

You can find someone to outsource work to at a freelance site such as Guru.com or eLance.com. When reviewing proposals it is almost mandatory you perform a background check on them as you are in essence hiring them. Doing a background check on freelancers is as easy as asking for samples of their work and reviewing feedback on the freelance site from previous customers. Depending on the size and requirements of your project this can add up to a decent sized investment, so caution is very important. One tip I always recommend to people looking to hire an individual is to ask them what they can provide you that no one else can. This simple question gives them a chance to “toot their own horn” and acknowledge where they feel most competent as far as their skill set.

The final portion of the product creation and product launching formula is the launch. This can literally make or break the effort, time, and maybe (if you invested) money you put in to your project. There are numerous aspects to product launching and although their relevance is debated in terms to their effect, experts agree all must be followed. The person in your field who you asked for product advice from can help you substantially if you have kept in touch. If not, the first thing you need to do is to create a visually appealing website with flawless design work.

I also mentioned outsourcing before, this is one aspect of product launching I have little strength in and I always outsource this portion. The website does not have to be large however the content (ad copy in Internet Marketing) must be stellar and as perfect as possible. This is where advertising knowledge or experience is beneficial. When the site is set up you now put a lead capture form on your website.

I put two lead capture pages on all products I create on the internet and is one of the best methods of getting a solid start when you are in the product launching stage. When you gain information from a prospect or someone looking to get paid for referring sales you are able to provide them updates or specials. Many people abuse their prospect or affiliate lists by in turn emailing them with a new product daily and I find the recommendations to be totally unrelated to their original need, problem, or interest.

Another stage in the product launching stage is creating a free report or demo version of your product to entice the product to sign up to your email list. Using proper follow up with this can help generate numerous sales for you. One thing you need to ensure is that your free product completely relates to your main product that you are looking to sell.

You are now ready to advertise your product launching to customers as well as the opportunity to sell for affiliates. This is the single aspect that many product creations and launches fail on. It is actually not entirely difficult. One thing you can do is write articles (and a good amount of them) on topics relating to your product. I am a huge advocate of giving a solution in forums. When you join a forum you are normally offered the opportunity to create a signature. In your signature, you should enter the link to your opt-in or lead capture page. When you respond to posts, you are advertising your opportunity.

It is not impossible to create a product and it does not have to take a long time. You need to setup a plan and stick to it. If you get stuck, look at similar and successful products to your own and try and see how they did it. When you sit down and brainstorm you will be surprised with what you can imagine.