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Managing Mold

Summer is almost here and the temperature is rising! With that, the humidity is getting higher, and that means increased mold growth. Mold growth in Hawaii homes is virtually impossible to avoid but there are ways to deal with existing mold and reduce the chances of it becoming problematic in your home.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of mold allergies. Symptoms include:

  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Headaches
  • Shortness or breath

Showing these symptoms does not necessarily mean a mold allergy; it could indicate an allergy to something else or just a cold. However, if you are concerned about a possible mold allergy, it’s best to check with your doctor. Keep in mind that children, the elderly, and the imminocompromised are most susceptible to mold allergies.  

Preventing Mold Growth:

  • Keep humidity below 60% so as not to encourage more mold growth
  • Use a dehumidifier; some air conditioners have a dehumidifier setting
  • Property ventilation of appliances that produce moisture, such as dryers
  • Donʻt leave food out
  • Keep things dry, especially in dark spots, as absense of light helps mold growth
  • Address plumbing leaks

Removing Mold:

  • Surface mold can be removed yourself with detergent and water. Be sure to dry completely.
  • Mold on absorbent and porous surfaces may require those items to be removed.
  • Mold inside things like pipes or drywall should be handled by a professional.

From the EPA, here is a comprehensive resource on what you need to know about mold and here are tips from the Hawaii Department of Health. We have a network of vetted vendors that we can recommend for your mold remediation needs. Call us at (808) 593-9826 to discuss vendor, or for any questions about your property management or real estate sales needs.

https://health.hawaii.gov/irhb/files/2013/06/How-to-Remove-Mold-Revised-10-2004.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

The post Managing Mold appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Property Management Technology

Technology is becoming the way of the world now; there’s probably not much these days that’s not done electronically. Our Appfolio program is one of the best programs out there for Property Managers and owners. I can’t say enough good things about this program. Below are three ways in which Appfolio uses technology to change Property Management.

Online Portals

One tech feature that is extremely important is the use of online portals. These portals enable owners and tenants to go online and access information about their accounts. This is especially important if you happen to be out of state or out of the country. It provides full transparency so you can see exactly what is going on with your property. You can see all financial transactions, including the documentation attached to those transactions. You can access property management agreements, leases, inspection reports, and anything you need. There is no need to wait until the end of a statement period to see what you earned and spent. All your information is available in real time!  

Electronic Payments

More and more businesses are moving away from paper and it seems that tenants now need and want the ability to pay their rent online. Tenants can put in their bank account information and sign up for auto debits to pay their rent each month. This eliminates the need to rely on mail for a rent check to be collected. I’ve noticed that over 80 % of our tenants at Caron B Realty use electronic methods of payment. It’s good for owners too! It means you get paid faster and don’t have to wait to receive a check!

Application Process

The application process is so streamlined with technology. In the old days, people would fill out applications by hand and turn in a check for the application fee. This means the process would take a few days to complete. Today, applicants can fill out an application within minutes! This saves property managers so much time because it allows for us to screen credit report and run a background check immediately. There’s no delay for data entry and the whole process is far easier and more efficient and its also lower your vacancy time too!

These are just are prime examples of our Appfolio Property Management System; there’s so much more this program can do. If you haven’t been taking advantage of this system or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

The post Property Management Technology appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Spring Cleaning – Property Management Style

This may be odd to say, but I love Spring Cleaning! Out with the old and in with the FRESH!

While many people are purging the inside of their homes, it’s also a good time to think about updates and repairs of your home. Not only does it constantly keep your home in good condition, it really helps to protect your investment and could save you a significant amount of money down the road by just investing in simple routine maintenance.

Below are some Spring Cleaning tips for your home to keep it in tip- top shape!

Exterior:

  • Managing and clearing drainage systems
  • Examining the roof for leaks and shingles problems
  • Cleaning up landscaping. Add some fresh spring flowers!
  • Inspecting the siding and lanais
  • Power washing siding and driveways
  • Scheduling new projects, such as the addition of a fence
  • Painting the home, the fence, and deck railing as needed

Inside property walls:

  • Ensuring the HVAC system is functional and clean
  • Checking caulking and/or grout for holes or cracks
  • Checking for moisture and/or mold problems

If you have any questions or need recommendations of professionals to help with these tasks, you can call our office at (808) 593-9826. We have a network of vetted vendors whom we trust to provide you with high quality service.

The post Spring Cleaning – Property Management Style appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Harbor Square Rental Success Story

One of our property managers, Rebecca Cromwell, recently helped a client who was in desperate need quality property management services. The client had previously tried to rent or sell her unit at the Downtown condo, Harbor Square, without success since November 2018. Rebecca came across the listing and realized that the client and her listing were not being marketed or managed properly. Rebecca reached out to the client and presented a proposal on how she could improve the listing and have it rented quickly. Rebecca addressed the issues that had not received proper attention by the previous property manager and the unit was rented within 7 days.

What Rebecca did differently is what sets Caron B Realty apart. It is our goal as a company to provide the highest level of service to every single one of our clients. One of the biggest problems that Rebecca noticed was that the unit was not getting sufficient exposure to potential buyers or renters. The information provided regarding its availability was inconsistent and its reach was limited. The unit had only been actively on the market for 15 day, despite being available for over 3 months. Additionally, the unit had an unappealing description, without mention of the building name, and was only advertised on the MLS. Rebecca created a compelling description with complete and accurate details that she posted on MLS, which syndicates to Zillow and its related companies; social media; Craigslist; and a military housing website to reach as many people as possible.

Before any showings of the property were to take place, Rebecca ensured that the property should present well. She first addressed and necessary repairs in the unit and then had it professionally cleaned. She went early to every showing to make sure that the property showed at its best.

Another feature of the excellent service Caron B Realty provides is timely follow up. We understand that if a potential renter is looking at one property, they are probably looking at many so it is important to show them our rentals as soon as possible. When calls about the unit came Rebecca answered them immediately; if she was at an appointment, she called back within minutes. She received 5 inquiries about the unit, including the new tenant, plus 2 more on the day it was rented.

To learn about our property management services, contact our office at (808) 593-9826.

The post Harbor Square Rental Success Story appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Additional Property Management Questions

Property Management requires a large commitment of time and effort. We’ve previously written about why you should hire a property manager but we wanted to touch upon some additional questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding whether you want to manage your investment yourself, or hire a company to do it for you. The following questions are designed to help you determine if you should consider hiring a property manager.

  1. How far do you live from your property?

If you are close, you may be able to make the regular visits required for maintenance, inspections, collections, etc. Otherwise, the further you live the higher your travel time and expenses will be. The larger the distance, the more temptation there is to not keep a close eye on things, and that can be a recipe for disaster. You should plan making monthly scheduled visits, and there is always the potential for a middle of the night emergency call that requires your immediate attention. Does this work for you?

  1. Are you willing to be on call 24/7/365?

It’s important to answer this question honestly, because when an emergency happens at your property you can’t ignore it. Your special event, important meeting, vacation, or personal crisis doesn’t relieve you of your obligation to your tenant. These emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do, you have to be willing to handle them immediately. Can you handle being called at 2 in the morning to handle an emergency?

  1. How do you deal with stress?

This is a tough one. We all like to think of ourselves as level-headed and even-keeled, but at the end of the day it takes a special kind of person to deal with the ups and downs of property management. Behind the seemingly simple task of collecting rent every month lie several unpredictable problems that can push people to their limits. Ask yourself how you would react in managing the following situations:

  • Fights with other tenants/neighbors or domestic disputes
  • Conduct of illegal business/ Loud Parties
  • Additional unauthorized occupants/pets
  • Trashing the property
  • HOA Violations
  • Non-Rent Payment

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  • Are you currently overwhelmed with your property?

Managing rental properties can become quickly overwhelming, even for experienced investors. There is always something going on that requires attention and it takes very little time for things to get out of hand. Hiring a property manager can provide an opportunity to regain control and restore stability to both your properties and even life in general. Another thing to consider is how many rental properties you have. As your portfolio grows so do the management challenges and it becomes easier for things to fall through the cracks.

  1. How much experience do you have with maintenance and repairs?

If you can’t do it yourself, do you know who to call? Finding reliable handymen and contractors can take a while, and in the meantime, you may unknowingly hire people that are unethical, uninsured, do poor quality work, over charge. Maintenance and repairs are a critical component of property management and if you question your ability to ensure the work is done well and in a timely manner, you might want to consider hiring a property management company.

  1. How quickly are you able to get your unit rented?

Advertising, answering calls, and showing the unit can take a considerable amount of time, but are critical when trying to rent your property. If you question whether you have the skills or the time to make this happen, or if you have historically had an unacceptably high vacancy rate, you may want to consider hiring a property management company.

  1. Are you capable of handling the accounting and record keeping for your property?

From owner statements to tax deductions, this area needs special attention and becomes an increasingly larger burden for. Some owners may opt to hire an accountant to help with the bookkeeping. If you feel like this might be a weak point you might want to consider hiring a property management company. Also, from a financial standpoint, your decision to hire or not hire a management company should hinge on whether it is a good fit with your lifestyle and makes sense financially.

  1. Are you willing to confront tenants about late payments and possibly eviction?

Many new owners dislike feeling like the bad guy and try to be understanding by making exceptions. The problem is that this only invites additional abuses and excuses by tenants. Late payments must be dealt with immediately, and while sometimes a friendly reminder is all that’s needed, other times, it can be a very confrontational process ending in eviction. Running a successful rental business means setting aside your heart and enforcing the rules even it means dealing tough circumstances.

It is our commitment at Caron B Realty to provide our clients and tenants with the highest level of service. We have a wide network of vetted vendors and offer preferred pricing for home maintenance and repair work. We have the skills and resources to market your property to an extensive audience and we achieve significantly reduced vacancy periods. We offer full service accounting and record keeping, with easy access to documents online. We pride ourselves on being available to handle any situation at any time, day or night.

To learn about our property management services, contact our office at (808) 593-9826.

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The post Additional Property Management Questions appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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It’s Tax Time: Do You Have the Right Property Manager to Take Care of Your Investment?

Accounting–it can be tedious and rarely fun, but you need to make sure you stay on top of your accounting when it comes to your rental property. Not only does it make easier when tax time comes, but just having peace of mind knowing that your records are accurate and organized can be refreshing! In addition to hiring a Property Manager for the standard day to day tasks, did you know that Property Managers can also handle rental income, reserve funds, security deposits, and write checks on your behalf? Below are a few questions/tips to follow when hiring a property manager to protect your investment.

Payment to Owner

Tenant rent is normally paid on a monthly basis, due on the 1st and late after 5th of each month.

  • What day of the month do they mail checks to owners?
    • Some owners prefer monthly checks mailed but having an option to direct deposit monthly proceeds could save you time, allow your money to be available sooner and save you the hassle of running out to the bank.
  • Do they make payments for owners (mortgage, insurance, property taxes, maintenance vendors, etc.)?
    • Most property management companies ask for a reserve fund to pay monthly invoices in a timely manner.

Taxes

  • Will the management company provide you with an IRS-1099 and a summary profit and loss statement for tax purposes?
  • Here in Hawaii we also have General Excise taxes, will your property management company handle and file in a timely matter on your behalf?

Accounting / Reporting

  • Do they keep detailed records and documentation?
    • The goal is to provide a clear audit trail for all funds for each property. Look for a company that keeps and is happy to provide you with copies of all invoices. This will also help with taxes and legal situations that could arise.
  • How often do they send out reports? When are they sent out?
    • Monthly is standard; choose a company that can provide reports! There’s no reason to deal with a company that doesn’t provide income/expense statements each month.
  • Will you be able to view reports online?
    • Companies that provide online reporting and direct deposit create convenience and increase transparency that saves you time.

Security deposits

Security deposits are an important tool for motivating tenant care and recouping losses due to tenant damage, but if they aren’t handled correctly you could lose your right to keep any portion of the deposit or worse, end up owing your tenant several times the deposit amount.

  • How much is collected?
    • The total amount of all deposits may not be in excess of one month’s rent. This includes the security deposit and any deposits for keys, pets, or anything else. The tenant may not use the deposit as payment for the last month’s rent unless the landlord agrees with the tenant in writing to such a use, and the tenant gives 45 days’ notice of vacating the premises. In any event, the landlord retains the right to have the tenant pay for damages caused by the tenant.
  • How quickly do they send out refunds?
    • Here in Hawaii, property management companies should send the tenant a report with the refund and/or itemized deductions of the security deposit remaining within 14 days after the termination of the rental agreement.
  • Do they prevent the co-mingling of funds among the properties they manage?
    • Given the fiscal responsibility that a property management company has, it is a good idea to raise these questions during the interview process and make sure you understand their approach.

To inquire about our property management services, please call (808) 593-9826

The post It’s Tax Time: Do You Have the Right Property Manager to Take Care of Your Investment? appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Managing Mold

Summer is almost here and the temperature is rising! With that, the humidity is getting higher, and that means increased mold growth. Mold growth in Hawaii homes is virtually impossible to avoid but there are ways to deal with existing mold and reduce the chances of it becoming problematic in your home.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of mold allergies. Symptoms include:

  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Headaches
  • Shortness or breath

Showing these symptoms does not necessarily mean a mold allergy; it could indicate an allergy to something else or just a cold. However, if you are concerned about a possible mold allergy, it’s best to check with your doctor. Keep in mind that children, the elderly, and the imminocompromised are most susceptible to mold allergies.  

Preventing Mold Growth:

  • Keep humidity below 60% so as not to encourage more mold growth
  • Use a dehumidifier; some air conditioners have a dehumidifier setting
  • Property ventilation of appliances that produce moisture, such as dryers
  • Donʻt leave food out
  • Keep things dry, especially in dark spots, as absense of light helps mold growth
  • Address plumbing leaks

Removing Mold:

  • Surface mold can be removed yourself with detergent and water. Be sure to dry completely.
  • Mold on absorbent and porous surfaces may require those items to be removed.
  • Mold inside things like pipes or drywall should be handled by a professional.

From the EPA, here is a comprehensive resource on what you need to know about mold and here are tips from the Hawaii Department of Health. We have a network of vetted vendors that we can recommend for your mold remediation needs. Call us at (808) 593-9826 to discuss vendor, or for any questions about your property management or real estate sales needs.

https://health.hawaii.gov/irhb/files/2013/06/How-to-Remove-Mold-Revised-10-2004.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

The post Managing Mold appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Property Management Technology

Technology is becoming the way of the world now; there’s probably not much these days that’s not done electronically. Our Appfolio program is one of the best programs out there for Property Managers and owners. I can’t say enough good things about this program. Below are three ways in which Appfolio uses technology to change Property Management.

Online Portals

One tech feature that is extremely important is the use of online portals. These portals enable owners and tenants to go online and access information about their accounts. This is especially important if you happen to be out of state or out of the country. It provides full transparency so you can see exactly what is going on with your property. You can see all financial transactions, including the documentation attached to those transactions. You can access property management agreements, leases, inspection reports, and anything you need. There is no need to wait until the end of a statement period to see what you earned and spent. All your information is available in real time!  

Electronic Payments

More and more businesses are moving away from paper and it seems that tenants now need and want the ability to pay their rent online. Tenants can put in their bank account information and sign up for auto debits to pay their rent each month. This eliminates the need to rely on mail for a rent check to be collected. I’ve noticed that over 80 % of our tenants at Caron B Realty use electronic methods of payment. It’s good for owners too! It means you get paid faster and don’t have to wait to receive a check!

Application Process

The application process is so streamlined with technology. In the old days, people would fill out applications by hand and turn in a check for the application fee. This means the process would take a few days to complete. Today, applicants can fill out an application within minutes! This saves property managers so much time because it allows for us to screen credit report and run a background check immediately. There’s no delay for data entry and the whole process is far easier and more efficient and its also lower your vacancy time too!

These are just are prime examples of our Appfolio Property Management System; there’s so much more this program can do. If you haven’t been taking advantage of this system or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

The post Property Management Technology appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Spring Cleaning – Property Management Style

This may be odd to say, but I love Spring Cleaning! Out with the old and in with the FRESH!

While many people are purging the inside of their homes, it’s also a good time to think about updates and repairs of your home. Not only does it constantly keep your home in good condition, it really helps to protect your investment and could save you a significant amount of money down the road by just investing in simple routine maintenance.

Below are some Spring Cleaning tips for your home to keep it in tip- top shape!

Exterior:

  • Managing and clearing drainage systems
  • Examining the roof for leaks and shingles problems
  • Cleaning up landscaping. Add some fresh spring flowers!
  • Inspecting the siding and lanais
  • Power washing siding and driveways
  • Scheduling new projects, such as the addition of a fence
  • Painting the home, the fence, and deck railing as needed

Inside property walls:

  • Ensuring the HVAC system is functional and clean
  • Checking caulking and/or grout for holes or cracks
  • Checking for moisture and/or mold problems

If you have any questions or need recommendations of professionals to help with these tasks, you can call our office at (808) 593-9826. We have a network of vetted vendors whom we trust to provide you with high quality service.

The post Spring Cleaning – Property Management Style appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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Harbor Square Rental Success Story

One of our property managers, Rebecca Cromwell, recently helped a client who was in desperate need quality property management services. The client had previously tried to rent or sell her unit at the Downtown condo, Harbor Square, without success since November 2018. Rebecca came across the listing and realized that the client and her listing were not being marketed or managed properly. Rebecca reached out to the client and presented a proposal on how she could improve the listing and have it rented quickly. Rebecca addressed the issues that had not received proper attention by the previous property manager and the unit was rented within 7 days.

What Rebecca did differently is what sets Caron B Realty apart. It is our goal as a company to provide the highest level of service to every single one of our clients. One of the biggest problems that Rebecca noticed was that the unit was not getting sufficient exposure to potential buyers or renters. The information provided regarding its availability was inconsistent and its reach was limited. The unit had only been actively on the market for 15 day, despite being available for over 3 months. Additionally, the unit had an unappealing description, without mention of the building name, and was only advertised on the MLS. Rebecca created a compelling description with complete and accurate details that she posted on MLS, which syndicates to Zillow and its related companies; social media; Craigslist; and a military housing website to reach as many people as possible.

Before any showings of the property were to take place, Rebecca ensured that the property should present well. She first addressed and necessary repairs in the unit and then had it professionally cleaned. She went early to every showing to make sure that the property showed at its best.

Another feature of the excellent service Caron B Realty provides is timely follow up. We understand that if a potential renter is looking at one property, they are probably looking at many so it is important to show them our rentals as soon as possible. When calls about the unit came Rebecca answered them immediately; if she was at an appointment, she called back within minutes. She received 5 inquiries about the unit, including the new tenant, plus 2 more on the day it was rented.

To learn about our property management services, contact our office at (808) 593-9826.

The post Harbor Square Rental Success Story appeared first on Caron B Realty International - Luxury Homes in Hawaii.

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