Property Management Company

7 Point Flood Preparedness Guide for Businesses

When a hurricane or a flood threatens your business, you have more to worry about than your personal safety. The safety of your employees, goods, and your very business also becomes paramount. Flood preparedness is something most small business owners don’t take the time to think about, but it is crucial if you want your business to survive the next natural disaster.

 

Property Management CompanyDisaster plans are also useful in man-made crises. Dealing with a water main break in your business is quite similar to handling a flood. Preparing for one helps you prepare for the other.

If you haven’t considered this important subject, we’d like to share with you seven areas to consider that can help you prepare your business for floods and water damage.

Create a Plan

The first thing you need is to create a plan that will ensure the safety of your employees, your building, your cash-on-hand, and any important documentation for your business (e.g. insurance paperwork). These must all be present in order to keep your business running after a disaster. Additionally, you need a method of communicating with your customers to let them know the state of your business and when you will reopen. This plan must be available to managers at your location and practiced regularly. That way, your business will be prepared when the time comes.

Employees

Helping your employees prepare is very similar to the standard procedures any individual would do in an emergency. Your employees should have the gear necessary at work to hear any evacuation instructions and know the escape routes if they are called to do so. If they are ordered to shelter in place, they will need enough food, water, and other essential gear to ride out the situation. Special plans should be made for any employees that must evacuate due to medical conditions regardless of the situation, e.g. diabetics. Consider giving some employees CPR or first aid training. Employees should also have a way to check in with each other so that you can confirm everyone made it through the disaster.

Building

Depending on the property manager, there may not be much you can do to protect your structure. But if you are able to make improvements, here are some things you can do to protect your building during a flood.

  • Ensure that your roof-top structures, signs, and any portable vehicles or trailers are braced and secured.
  • Make sure all safety gear works, including fire extinguishers and generators. Flooding can cause electricity to do strange things. Know where the shutoffs for your utilities are. It’s a good idea to shut off any gas lines as soon as you know there is a warning.
  • If you do have employees shelter in place, have them check for vulnerable areas so they can either deal with it or document it for a later insurance claim.
  • If you are computer-dependent, move as much gear as you can to the top floor. At the very least, move your UPS systems. Server rooms have their own disaster recovery needs. If you have one, consult with an IT disaster specialist to create a plan.
  • Move any vulnerable inventory to the highest point in your building. If you don’t have multiple floors, consider having sandbags on hand to block the most vulnerable entrances.
  • Have procedures for after the flooding for salvage and repairs. Keep a list of contractors in your emergency planning kit to call once the flood has passed. If you don’t own your building, keep the contact information for the property manager.

Cash

While cash may be the last thing on your mind during a disaster, it’s actually quite important. You’ll need to be to pay flood repair specialists for your building as soon as possible after a disaster. You also need to have enough cash to cover payroll expenses, and potentially pay for food, water, or medical supplies for any employees stuck due to the disaster. Don’t let your employees fend for themselves! If necessary, empower one of the employees that stayed in place to make purchasing decisions on your behalf.

Paperwork

Every business has vital paperwork. Insurance policies, business licenses, articles of incorporation, and other fundamental business documents should be kept in a safe place, but should also be accessible after an emergency. You’ll need that information to start filing claims and hiring contractors. Without that paperwork, there’s no way to prove your status. Also, you should examine your insurance paperwork at least once a year to make sure that it still covers what you need. Remember, not all business insurance automatically covers floods!

Communication

As part of your disaster plan, you need to have a method of communicating with other people with an interest in your business. Your clients, customers, contractors, and suppliers must be kept in the loop about the status of your business. It’s good professionalism and it shows that you are on top of the situation. Give them an honest status about what is going on and what you are doing to get your business back in order. They will appreciate the heads-up.

Practice

Finally, you must practice your flood preparation plan. It does no good to leave it gathering dust in a drawer until the time comes. Your business must be ready. Practice it at least twice a year and review it once a year. This will help you find holes in your preparation. Information that might have been correct a year ago may now be out of date. Keep your plan updated!
If you cover these seven domains, your business will be up and running as soon as possible after a major disaster. Don’t neglect to plan!

Real Estate Asset Management

The Ins and Outs of Real Estate Asset Management: What You Need to Know

Many of us are familiar with real estate property management i.e. the management of the daily activities of a property’s operation. But, when the conversation turns to real estate asset management, things can get a little murky.

Although there are many facets to this industry, to put it simply – the goal of  real estate asset management is to maximize property value so that it can be sold, rented, and/or leased for a profit. Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of this complex, but intriguing, industry? Keep reading for a concise, but comprehensive, breakdown:

 

Investing in Real Estate

Corporations, private companies, individuals, and even governments buy real estate for investment purposes, usually for one of two reasons:

  • To renovate and resell
  • To renovate and lease or rent

 

Sounds fairly simple right? But, this is where things become a little more complex. You see, there are challenges in this industry that aren’t in the capital markets. For instance, unlike most other commodities, property can get damaged, it deteriorates over time, and the buying and selling process can get quite involved.

In order to circumvent these issues, the asset management of investment properties promotes improvements that will increase the property’s value and minimize risks. But, that’s not all – real estate asset management also concerns itself with effectively navigating the sometimes hard to understand tax and legal rules that govern the investment property industry in the US – thus effectively helping real estate investors avoid many of the potential pitfalls that can befall them.

investments
Real Estate Asset Management Goals and Objectives

Just like other types of investments, diversification is key when it comes to building a strong real estate investment portfolio. To this end, a large portion of an asset manager’s responsibilities tends to revolve around three main things:

  • Revenue forecasting
  • Data analysis
  • Market research

Furthermore, they help their clients create well-structured and attractive rental agreements and leases that will:

  • Limit liability exposure
  • Minimize vacancy rates
  • Provide their tenants with much of the flexibility they desire

This responsibility may seem strange when considering the other aspects of this industry, but  you must remember that resources have to be strategically apportioned and managed. The failure to do so will impact the portfolio’s value negatively..

portfolio

The Bottom Line  

In short, the goal of real estate asset management is to help clients increase property value and, as a consequence, their returns. Good managers, like the ones at RAM Real Estate Management in Southern Nevada know how to reduce expenditures whenever possible. In this way, we are able to help our clients find the highest and most consistent revenue sources while simultaneously mitigating risk, liability, and other factors.

Property Management Company

Landlord vs Property Management Company: Which Will You Decide?

When you become a rental property owner, one of the first things you have to decide is whether you want to take on the responsibilities of a landlord or hire a property management firm to do the hard work for you.

To gain a better understanding of these two choices, our comprehensive guide details the pros and cons of each:

 

Landlord

A landlord is essentially a property’s gatekeeper, with responsibilities to both the rental business and the tenants. Some of them include:

  • Finding new tenants
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Collecting rent
  • Setting rental rates
  • Repair and maintenance

Although, the aforementioned tasks can be challenging, being a landlord has its advantages:

  • Income: You get a monthly check to pay the property’s mortgage and – dependent on current rental rates – make a sizable profit as well.  
  • Tax deductions: You can deduct the costs of replacing water pipes, replacing damaged furniture, professional services, and more.

landlord vs property manager

Cons include:

  • Vacancies: If your property is vacant, it can’t generate an income, making it essentially worthless. It’s up to you to create and implement advertising and marketing campaigns to attract applicants, screen them, and much, much more.  
  • Legal issues: You must remain current on the Nevada’s land and property legislations and laws to know where you stand when it comes to evictions and other legal issues.

property managment

Property Management Firm

Every savvy entrepreneur knows that it’s better to work smarter, not harder. And sometimes it’s just good business to have a professional do something that you don’t want to do. For instance, some of the responsibilities that you can expect your property management company to take over include:  

  • Finding new tenants
  • Advertising/marketing
  • Delegating repair and maintenance duties
  • Collecting rent
  • Setting rental rates

 

Some of the benefits that come with going this route include:  

  • Higher-quality tenants: They use rigorous screening processes to cull the reliable tenants from the bad.
  • Shorter vacancy cycle: Experienced companies, like RAM Real Estate Asset Management, have effective strategies to attract new tenants as well as a time test tenant retention policy to keep existing ones happy.
  • Fewer legal issues: The property managers at RAM are always up-to-date on the latest laws in the real estate industry. This knowledge ensures that your property – and how it’s ran – is legally compliant, shielding you from frivolous lawsuits.
  • Less responsibility: You won’t have to handle as many tasks as before, giving you more time and freedom to invest in other things.  

There aren’t many disadvantages to hiring a property management company, but one of the biggest is cost – you will either be charged a flat annual fee or anywhere from 8 to 10% of the monthly rent.

At the end of the day, the decision to become a landlord or hire a property management company is up to you. No matter what you decide, you must take the necessary steps and adopt effective strategies that bring about your long term success.

Real Estate Asset Manager

Responsibilities of A Real Estate Asset Manager and How It Can Help You

Most of us are familiar with the role that property managers play i.e.  they manage the financial aspects of owning a property:

  • Collecting rent
  • Taking care of taxes
  • Ensuring insurance, payroll, and maintenance bills

Real estate asset management, on the other hand, is a little different.  In short, asset managers maximize the performance and value of a company’s real estate investment portfolio, whether it consists of offices, retail, and/or multi-family units.  

 

How Does This Benefit Me?

Real estate returns have a lower risk than other asset classes like stocks and bonds i.e. when managed properly, they can net you higher returns. Asset managers not only help you maintain the day-to-day duties of your portfolio they also increase your ability to influence performance.

An effective asset manager – like the ones at RAM Real Estate Asset Management – will have a more hands-on approach when it comes to helping you increase your property’s value. They will help you work out even the tiniest details i.e. replacing leaky roofs, improving the exterior, or populating buildings with higher quality tenants.

effective asset manager

What’s the Catch?

Like with many other things in life, real estate investments come with some risk. For instance, transaction costs are significant when compared to other investment classes. In this way, it is more efficient to purchase larger real estate assets, as this spreads the cost over a larger base.

Following this tactic requires ongoing maintenance on two levels:

  • Property Management: To deal with the day-to-day operations
  • Strategic Management: To help you find long-term investment positions

Handling this type of investment on your own can be tough and time-consuming. So, if you want to build a strong portfolio that will provide you with a decent ROI, consider employing the services of the experts at RAM Real Estate Asset Management – not only will they give you everything you need to stay on top of market trends, they will also help you measure risk to increase your chances of acquiring an investment property that turns a profit.

 

The Bottom Line

When it comes to real estate investing, having an intelligent, savvy, and experienced professional on your team that helps you effectively manage your property is a valuable asset. At RAM Real Estate Asset Management, we have over 125 combined years in the real estate  business and we pride ourselves on professionalism, helping our clients find high-quality properties and – most of all – making sure that their investments generate money. Contact us today to learn how we can help boost your portfolio with lucrative real estate investments.

property management

4 Benefits of Professional Property Management

When we first start investing in properties, we tend to have the best of intentions. But due to a high level of self-awareness or nasty run-ins with tenants, we learn quickly that handling the day to day operations can be a very frustrating and time consuming experience. 

If you don’t have the desire, knowledge, or time to do all the things that are required of a landlord in Nevada, consider employing the services of a professional property management company to take over the day-to-day operations. 

Property Management Companies Explained

A property management company handles everything from applications to evictions. Other services include but are not limited to:

  • Delivering official notices to tenants
  • Collecting rent
  • Making maintenance and repair-related appointments
  • Vacant apartment marketing

Benefits of Professional Property Management

The biggest advantage of professional property manager is the money and time they can help you save. These experts remove much of the hassle of investing by helping you in four key areas:

Screening

Rental properties only make money when they are occupied by tenants who not only pay their rent on time but care about the property i.e. avoid damaging the unit more than the normal wear and tear. A thorough and comprehensive screening process will help you sift the good from the bad, significantly increasing your chances of getting the tenants you want in your units. Cutting the corners here is a surefire way to lessen the monthly revenue potential of your property.

Vacancies

Empty rental properties are a waste of money. If someone isn’t there to pay the rent, the responsibility of paying the mortgage falls on you. Understandably, handling the turnover process, doing the marketing, as well as the other tasks associated with vacancies can take a lot of time but, property managers with expertise and experience can help shorten the vacancy time and get the unit ready for new tenants.

leaseagreements

Lease Agreements and Other Legal Issues

Coming up with and implementing good lease agreements takes a lot of effort and time. Furthermore, they tend to play a major factor in possibly the most frightening aspect of being landlord – the legal issues that inevitably arise. A property manager will make sure that your property and everything associated with it is up to snuff.

The Bottom Line

If you own several properties or have little to no experience in property management, you should consider employing the services of a reputable firm like RAM Real Estate Asset Management. They will ensure that you fully enjoy the benefits of real estate investing without having to put in all the hard work.