Well I was posting on one of my favorite Real Estate forms www.sdcia.com getting some feedback on the San Diego rental market and some ideas about the best ways people were renting their apartments because all of a sudden I have quite a few vacancies to fill.

Until recently it has been pretty turnkey because most of my units had been filling by the time the previous tenant had left. I probably took my eye off the ball a little bit because I had been so focused on flipping properties that I have not paid attention to talking to fellow investors in the market I own units.

Apparently, I missed the memo that said for everyone to move out because all of a sudden I had 2 vacancies in December (they were on 12 month leases that I signed the December before. I remember thinking that it would suck if they moved out next December and here you have it, Merry Christmas Mr. Landlord)

As usual there was a lot of good feedbacks and comments and the thing that stuck out to me was that you needed to call people back immediately, especially in weak markets like we are heading into and with  today’s 24/7 world when everyone expects instant gratification (especially me!). I knew if I didn’t call them back to rent one of my competitors would.

One of the posts was by someone I respected who thought that if you called the tenants back at their whim you were setting a bad precedence and it got me thinking (can you spell the burning rubber?)

A lot of people (including myself more than I would like to admit) fly by the seat of their pants when managing properties and don’t have many mechanisms in place to run the operations efficiently.

One of the things we do that I feel is very helpful once we have found the resident in place is a resident welcome manual to spell out how the relationship is going to work. We did not make it up, but we purchased it from a company that creates property management operations manuals and forms and modified it to meet our needs (why reinvent the wheel? I’d rather make a better ball bearing to make it go faster.) Post a comment or send me an email if you would like their info.

So anyways I starting posting my response at click here and was pasting my table of contents of our resident manual and I had technical difficulties and it wouldn’t let me post so guess what! Yes, I am posting it here with a link to our TOC which will hopefully shed some light on a way to set the tone from the beginning.

Here is the Table Of Contents from my resident Welcome manual

GII resident WELCOME Manual

GII Welcomes You  4

GII Personnel 5

Tenant Communication  6

Telephone Calls during Office Hours  6

Voicemail 6

After Hours Calls  6

Emergency Calls  6

Maintenance Requests  6

Change of Information  6

Email 6

Website  6

General Office Information  7

Address Information  7

Communication  7

Office Hours  7

Emergencies  7

Protect Your Rental and Credit History  8

Rental/Lease Agreement 8

Moving Checklist 8

Utility/Cable Companies  8

Rental Payments  8

Fees/Charges  8

Maintenance Reimbursement 9

Care of the Property  9

Getting To Know Your Residence  9

Maintenance  9

Tenant Renovations/Alterations  9

Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities  10

Procedures for Requesting Maintenance  10

If There Is an Emergency  10

Non-Emergencies: 11

Preventative Cleaning Tips  11

Additional Cleaning Tips  12

Energy Saving Tips  13

Renters Insurance  14

Safety Tips  14

Vacation Checklist 15

Holiday Tips  15

Emergency/Disasters  16

Drug Free Housing  16

Frequently asked questions  17

When it is time to move  18

Giving Your Notice  18

Setting Up Your Move-out Appointment 18

Preparing the Property  19

Cleaning  19

Carpet Cleaning  19

Draperies/Window Coverings/Windows  19

Replacements  20

Pest Control 20

Landscape Clean Up  20

Trash  20

Painting  20

Your Security Deposit Refund  20

GII Additional Tenant Forms  21

Moving checklist/utility numbers  21

Emergency/disaster checklist 21

Tenant ACH request 21

Work order request 21

Add roommate request 21

Cable/satellite/TV request 21

Request to add pet 21

Partial notice to vacate  21

Notice to vacate  21

Conclusion  21

If anyone has any questions or suggestions please post your comments. Writing this blog helps me just as I hope it helps other people to.

Curtis Gabhart

For the most updated information & news on real estate & Gabhart Investments go to our Facebook & twitter pages

Please click here to like us on Facebook

& here to follow us on twitter