Chicagoland Leasing and Management Blog

Blog Post Image

Leveraging Technology to Attract and Maintain Tenants

Advances in technology are happening every day, and it only seems to move faster and faster. So many people are using smartphones, online services, and other kinds of technology in their daily lives, it only makes sense that they look for tech related to housing too!

So, that means that as a landlord or property manager, you have an opportunity to use technology as an enticing component of your rentals to both attract and maintain tenants. Let's look at a few of the best ways to do it!  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Developing Relationships With Tenants

The relationship between tenant and landlord can take many forms. In some cases, they could be neighbors enjoying a friendship that spans decades - that just so happens to include an exchange of money for housing. In others, it could be a purely business arrangement, where transactions and property-related conversations are the entire scope of the interactions. Others will fall somewhere in between.

With so many different variations, we have to ask: is developing a relationship with tenants important? What kind of relationship should you strive for? How do you build it?

First, these relationships are undoubtedly important - if nothing else, because a strong working relationship means you can both communicate, you'll get paid on time, and the tenant feels that they can trust you to resolve issues that may arise. When it comes to the "type" of relationship, however, it's almost always going to be determined by the tenant (as long as you're doing your part), and whether or not the two of you "click" in a natural way.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

The Benefits of Tenant Education

Every renter is going to be different. Some are courteous and easy to work with, and others... are not. To make matters worse, it's hard to know what kind of tenant you're dealing with from the get go. Even if everything seems great on paper, even if your initial conversations go well - you never really know how they're going to act once they've moved in.

So, to help combat the most common renter problems (especially if they stem from lack of understanding), you can provide some "tenant education" to make sure everyone's on the same page.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Quick Tips for Boosting Curb Appeal

When a property you manage is on the market, you want to find a tenant in a hurry. Unless you've got a waiting list of potential renters, you're relying on advertising, listings, or the interest of passersby to get people to check out the property.

​From photos or foot traffic, the idea of "curb appeal" goes a long way. You want people to see your property at a glance, and have an immediately positive first impression. This is even more important when people come to visit. Strong curb appeal starts the property viewing off on the right foot.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Thinking From The Tenant’s Perspective

Communication is an integral part of the relationship between tenant and landlord - and it’s easy to understand why. Staying on the same page about the condition of the property, expectations from both parties, and so on can only happen if people are willing to communicate.

Tenants should feel comfortable reaching out to a landlord or property manager with a problem. Likewise, landlords should feel confident that their tenants will be receptive to any information they need to provide.

The problem, however, is that so many people have had bad experiences with a renting scenario (on both sides of the relationship), that the default approach is one of distrust and skepticism. When people approach communication with negative preconceptions, they prevent trust from forming, and are likely not fully listening to the other party.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Embrace Technology to Communicate with Tenants

The tenant/landlord relationship relies on mutual satisfaction. Renters want assurance that property will be taken care of, and that their concerns will be heard. In turn, landlords and property managers depend on their tenants to keep payments up to date, as well as notify them of damage, maintenance needs, and other issues.

Technology provides one of the best ways property owners can facilitate this type of communicative relationship. From dedicated property management apps and services to self-designed systems of services like Google Apps and Wufoo, cloud-based technology and online communication make it easy to track maintenance, payment, and well-documented communication.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Questions To Ask When Hiring Professional Property Manager

As a landlord, you likely find your hands full with plenty of work on any given day. Managing property is a full-time job, which is why many landlords decide to hire a professional property manager. If your property is of even moderate size, with even a handful of tenants, you’ll be best served by having someone with a job dedicated to handling the day-to-day operations.

Now, how you go about hiring your property manager will define how good of a job that person does. You’ll want the best employee possible, so you’ll want to ask the right questions during the interview process. In the spirit of being super helpful, we’ve sorted out some of the best questions you could ask a potential property manager and listed them below.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

What can I charge to a tenant’s deposit?

Security deposits. As a landlord, you know all about them. It’s the money put up by a tenant at the beginning of a rental agreement to ensure that any cleaning or damages can be taken care of, in the event that the property is left in a less-than-desirable state at the end of the term.

We generally think of a security deposit as insurance against the biggest risk landlords face in renting their property out: loss of income. This can come in the form of missing rental payments or, more commonly, damage to the unit itself. You’ll have to repair any serious damage as well as clean up the place to make it presentable to potential future tenants, a process that can cost serious money. The key here is deciding what, exactly, can be charged toward that security deposit when it comes time for the tenant to move out.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

What is normal wear and tear?

“Normal wear and tear” is a nebulous idea that can be defined in many different ways, but there are enough core principles that we feel that we can fairly nail down an understanding. It’s one of those facts of life that, like emergency repairs, goes along with the pleasures of being a landlord. As some folks might be eager to say, they’ll know it when they see it. This might be true, but we can be a little more accurate.

In the loosest sense, normal wear and tear can be described as the depreciation that happens through everyday use of a given building. The scuffs, scrapes, spills, dents, and other little things that add up over the course of a rental agreement are all generally accepted as normal. But we have to remember that one person’s normal is another’s extreme.  Read More...

Blog Post Image

Best Time Frame For Fixing Things

When you’re a landlord, one of the inevitable aspects of the job will be repair work. It’s just a fact of life that sometimes, things break. While a broken appliance or plumbing mishap might be an inconvenience to you, it’s important to remember that it’s a quality of life issue for the tenant. They’ve got nowhere else to go, and they’ll be looking to you for a quick solution.

There are a few reasons why it’s important to get things fixed in as short a time frame as possible. For starters, the law has a lot to say on the topic. Depending on where you are, a “reasonable” amount of time is set for fixes to be made by the landlord, as soon as they are informed of a problem. Secondly, an ongoing problem is going to spell bad news for your relationship with your tenant. If you want to retain them, you’ll want to sort out their issues as quickly as possible.  Read More...