Attending open houses can be a great way to view properties and areas in which you are interested in leasing or buying. By attending an open house you get the obvious benefit of looking up, down, and around the place you might be living or working in. But no doubt you’ll be joined by other potential renters or buyers sizing up the place right alongside you. So how do you get the most out of a visit to an open house and brush off the pressure from all the competition?
First off, before you visit an open house make sure to set your priorities. What do you want in a space? A certain style of home or apartment, a certain size of office? Start to look for the specific things you need in the spaces you visit and train your eyes to search for those things automatically, just so you’re not overwhelmed.
Make sure to ask the agent who is showing the space questions about anything you might see. Don’t be shy about questions or concerns, it’s the agent’s job to make the place look good and be honest about the state of the space. A good impression can also help if you end up wanting to make an offer.
If you fancy taking photos so you can discuss the space later, be sure to ask permission before snapping any. Most of all, be respectful and courteous of the space—look, don’t touch! And don’t look at just one. Usually, if there’s one open house there are many more in the area. If you’re in the market, it’s always better to take a look at as many options as possible.
So you need to find a new apartment or office space to rent. Where do you look? Well, first off, it can’t hurt to check out the properties that Genet Property Group has available. If you want to look at all of the rental options available in an area, there are a few websites that offer the most extensive, searchable databases.
Zillow is perfect for searching in distinct neighborhoods. It allows you to draw borders on a map and search within only the specific areas you set yourself. Though it only shows residential spaces, it includes search options for renting, buying, selling, and price “Zestimates,” on apartments and homes. It can even show you prices of properties that have recently sold in the area. Feel free to filter by price, number of beds and baths, size, and factors such as if they allow pets.
Apartments.com closely resembles Zillow in its functionality. It’s all residential and it offers similar searching capabilities and filters. Apartments.com features Local Guides with information on certain areas that you might search within. It also has more specific filters if you’re searching for a space with a pool, air conditioning, or wheelchair accessibility, for instance.
LoopNet is your one stop shop for searching available commercial real estate—you know, the good stuff. Filter your search results by subset of commercial real estate property, including industrial, retail, shopping center, office, and many more. The website boasts over 5 million monthly visitors and 500,000 listings to choose from—go crazy!
Were you one of those people who always turned in assignments late while you were in school? Maybe just sometimes? If so, do you find those bad habits extending to other areas of your life… like rent payments? Tardiness can get the best of us at times, and every now and then it’s unavoidable. Say you have a medical emergency or a sudden lull in employment—in some cases it’s hard to get the bills paid on time, no matter how important it might be. What should you do when you know you might have trouble getting the rent in on time?
The first step is to plan for any eventual money problems ahead of time. It’s always best to keep a well stocked savings account, preferably one with 6-months of all your expenses saved away. But in many cases that’s a safety net not all of us can afford. If you’re worrying about paying the bills, try to keep a couple of months of the essentials like rent, electricity, phone, and water tucked away. That way if you reach a month where money is tight you can defer to the money saved away.
If you have trouble saving the money for rent, make sure to stow away the amount necessary in a separate bank account as soon as you get your paycheck. It can also be helpful to set reminders throughout the month so that you know to curb your spending if you’re having trouble keeping your account balance up.
If you find yourself without a safety net and can’t avoid a late rent payment, speak to your landlord or property manager. If you are normally reliable with payments, they will likely understand and have the ability to account for and allow this sort of thing. It’s best to be honest and upfront than to say nothing at all and there’s no reason to be ashamed of something that happens to the best of us.
Whether done by wind or snow or rain or heat, damage to the roof of your rental building can be disastrous. No one wants to live or work in a space filled with buckets set up to catch intruding rain drops. So how should you go about fixing a roofing problem? You probably wouldn’t believe the number of people who get injured or even die by climbing up onto their roofs to fix blown-off shingles or holes themselves. While some people would like to believe they can do it all themselves, fixing a roof is something that should be done with the utmost care and safety by someone who knows what they’re doing. Always leave it to the professionals.
If you think you might have damage to your roof after a big storm or gust of wind, contact your landlord or property manager immediately. The owner of your building should be the one to determine the proper response to any damage. If you can’t see the damage from inside the home or by looking from the ground, it’s best to avoid climbing to the roof yourself. If a problem has developed, the roof’s stability might be compromised—don’t make the damage worse or hurt yourself by falling straight through!
Your landlord or property manager will send a professional who can assess the damage and determine what can be done. Most of the time, if the damage is affecting conditions inside the building, a temporary solution can be found before a more permanent fix is performed by a professional. The quicker you report any potential damage, the quicker it can be fixed and fixed by an expert—just because you’re closeby and willing to try doesn’t mean your fix will be quick.
When you’re renting a space you give up a lot of the more creative freedoms that come with owning your own. Don’t bank on being able to make any drastic changes to rooms, appliances, or fixtures like the plumbing or heating—anything you want will have to go through your landlord and property management company. Even though your options for remodeling are limited, it’s possible to make changes that influence the look and feel of an apartment, office, or even a warehouse.
One of the rooms that lessees are most likely to want to change is also one of the most customizable: the kitchen. The benefit of leasing a space with a kitchen is that it is often possible to bring in your own appliances, like refrigerators or stoves. However, the real meat of the kitchen are the tools you use in it: silverware, serving plates and bowls, cookware, cups, and glasses. It’s through these items that your kitchen’s personality really shines. If you’re looking to make a kitchen more homey or like your own, showcase your china and silverware or shop for utensils with designs that fit your style. A fan of novelty mugs or shot glasses? Buy a rack that sits on the counter or hangs on the wall to show off your collection and make the kitchen pop with personality.
Feeling like a bigger change is needed? Ask your property manager or landlord if they would approve a different coat of paint. If the answer is no, improvise yourself! Hang decals, signs, or put up removeable wallpaper. The best rule to follow: if it’s removable and doesn’t risk any damage to the apartment, it’s probably safe. Even though it might seem like your options are limited, a little creativity can inject a good amount of personality into a rented space.
Creepy crawlers climbing walls and tiny rodents scurrying across the floor—every lessee’s favorite sight! Even if you keep your office or apartment spotlessly clean, it’s impossible to avoid bugs and pests. Little critters love to intrude on our spaces, and we can’t really blame them. Many of our office buildings and warehouses were built right overtop their natural homes! Other than swatting and setting humane traps, what are some steps you can take that will reduce the likelihood you’ll be greeted by a six or four-legged friend?
Keeping your space clean is the number one tip for keeping pests away. If there are no crumbs or leftovers to much on they’ll have no reason to stick around. If there’s no clutter or small crevices to burrow in they’ll have fewer places to stay.
Certain pest problems have unique solutions. Fruit flies can be warded off with some apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Regular flies, mosquitoes? Some say placing a penny in a bag/cup of water is a deterrent.
If you do have pest problems, it’s best to speak to your property management company about a professional solution. They will likely have a pest control company on-call for any problems requiring that special touch.
Got a clog that just won’t go down? Rusty red water pouring from the faucet? A sink that refuses to drain? Backed-up toilet? Hopefully you’ve never had all of these problems at once! Plumbing issue here or there are par for the course as a lessee. Lucky for you, your property management company is almost surely ready and happy to help with any issues that might come bubbling up from the pipes.
The problem with calling for plumbing help is that most lessees and property owners don’t know the best time to contact a professional. We all like to think we’re capable of fixing any problem ourselves (and it sure does save a lot of money if we can).
So, when is a plumbing issue too much for a mere mortal to handle? Incidents that suggest pipes have been compromised should be handled with care—problems like lower pressure or discolored water are warning signs that likely need professional attention. If your drinking water is affected it’s best to have it fixed ASAP rather than spend too much time on it yourself. If your health is at risk, your property management company will always be fast to act.
What does your ideal space look like? It’s probably a lavish home or office that’s secluded on its own land—think Apple’s new Hyperloop One campus or a movie star Malibu megaplex. Reality bites, however, and those who lease property often have to make do sharing building and land space with others.
Multi-lessee complexes make up the bulk of the property management business, as you likely know. When you’re renting one of these spots in an apartment building, a warehouse hub, an office complex, or a center for retail, you eventually learn to get used to your neighbors. But even then, privacy can often feel like a luxury. What are some ways you can maximize privacy in a crowded property situation?
If you’re in an office complex with other businesses, maintaining an active front desk can keep away unwanted visitors or confused folks in search of that office down the hallway. If possible, setting an elevator code that only employees know can secure office privacy. If you’re in an apartment with nosey or noisy neighbors, try to casually address the problems—it’s best to be friendly and acquainted with neighbors so that any privacy concerns can be minimized by a simple conversation. If a neighbor ever oversteps their bounds, speak to your property management company—they can act as a mediator of complaints and concerns.
If you’re looking to lease office space, either temporarily or for a more extended stay, a big question to consider is whether or not to rent a space that comes fully furnished. For a temporary space, most lessees tend to rent a space that is furnished, removing the need to find and buy all new desks, tables, chairs, and equipment that, in the end, won’t be used for very long anyway. And conversely, if you’re looking for a longer term lease, most tenants choose to furnish their own space or have the furnishing already available to move. But while the choice might seem obvious in either situation, it can sometimes save money in the long-term to do the opposite of what you might think.
For more temporary lessees, who usually need smaller space, buying a small amount of new or used furniture for cheap can greatly reduce the monthly price of rent for a space. While it might be easier to move in and begin working on pre-provided furnishing, it is often necessary to buy supplemental furniture and supplies that isn’t already provided. Why not purchase a set of furniture from the get-go, rather than pay monthly for furnishings that don’t fit your needs?
For longer term leases, which usually cover a larger space, it can be a huge hassle to move furniture into a building. Larger spaces often necessitate a good amount of furniture, and while a company moving spaces might already possess an adequate amount of desks and chairs and electronics, the process of moving them is quite costly and poses a risk of damage to the building. If an option for pre-provided furniture is available, it might be worth evaluating the cost and comparative risk. If the space is large enough, and the cost-per-month of a furnished plan is cheap and includes upgrades or maintenance, it may be the smarter option.
It is common to sublet an apartment or condo for a while if you’ve got a vacation abroad or an extended business trip in the near future. You don’t want to give up your lease, but you also don’t want to pour money into a space you won’t be living in for an extended amount of time. Why not put it to good use and let someone else stay while you’re away? Well, it’s probably more uncommon, but could the same apply to office or warehouse space?
Say you only need a warehouse part of the year, when a big shipment comes in. Your stock of product dwindles as time goes on and on, opening up more and more space that you’re paying for but no longer using. Wouldn’t it make sense to sublease that increasingly unused space?
If you’re going on a business trip for a month or two, and staying away from the office space you lease, wouldn’t it make sense to sublease it out to someone else who could put it to good use (and receive your mail)?
When you signed your lease, your property management company likely included a stipulation about whether subletting is possible and how it can be done. If you’re in a predicament where you don’t want to let go of your lease but you won’t be using your space for a while, read the fine print! Sometimes it’s permissible to manage a sublease yourself and find a subletter willing to take over temporarily. In other situations you’ll have to put in a request and discuss it with your property manager, who may have a pool of applicants looking for temporary space. But know that while it may seem like a chore, a properly organized sublease could save you from the sunken cost of rent while you’re away.