ApartmentList Launches App for Roommate Search

roommates

ApartmentList has launched a new app to disrupt the roommate search space.

ApartmentList.com recently launched a new mobile app to make it easy to find a roommate. The app works like this:

  1. Set up a profile within seconds by connecting to Facebook
  2. The technology anonymously find matches, send messages, and figure out next steps
  3. Connect with potential roommates when you want

The service is currently available in SF, Boston, NY, Chicago and LA.

ApartmentList is one of the fastest growing rental search companies in the World and AIMs to offer a better search solution than Craigslist. The company did $10MM in revenue in 2012 and anticipates 18 – 20MM in revenue in 2013.

How to Remove Mold

Mold in the home or apartment can be a dangerous thing and needs to be removed as soon as it gets noticed. Below are some tips on how to remove mold in the home:

Step 1 – Identify the source that is causing the mold to grow. (#1 cause is humidity). Adding ventilation, specifically in the bathroom can help decrease the amount of condensation that occurs.

Step 2 – Kill the Mold – Some of the best, natural methods to eliminate mold is teatree oil. Add it into a bottle with water and spray liberally on the mold. 1 t spoon per cup of water.

Step 3 – Wear a respirator – Make sure you protect your lungs by purchasing a mask.

Step 4 – Scrub mold off – Once dry scrub mold off

Step 5 – Paint over with a latex primer

How to Pay Rent Online

One-third of Americans currently rent in the United State yet a small percentage of these renters have the ability to pay rent online. There are a variety of reasons to pay rent online including:

  • Paying rent online allows renters to save time by automatically paying rent each month
  • No more money spent on stamps and late fees
  • Convenience of paying via ACH or Credit Card
  • Can pay rent on the go with any smart mobile device

There are also a variety of benefits for landlords to accept rent payment online:

  • Save time by having money automatically deposited into bank account
  • Lower stress by knowing exactly when your next rent payment will be in the bank
  • Increase resident satisfaction by giving renters the ability to pay rent online

If you are looking to begin paying your rent online, follow these simple instructions

  1. Contact your landlord and have them set you up on a rent payment program. They can use a variety of services including, residentbuddy.com, paylease, and many others.
  2. Once landlord is set up, an email will be sent to you to set up your account
  3. Add your account number and routing number for ACH payments
  4. Add your credit card if you want to pay via credit card
  5. Set up one time or reoccurring payments
  6. Sit back and relax, no more worrying about late rental payments

How to Apply for Section 8

Depending on what state you live in, section 8 applications may vary. You first must meet avariety of eligibility requirements including:

  • Being a US Citizens or specific non-citizen who have eligible immigration status

    Housing

    Housing (Photo credit: james.thompson)

  • Income must not exceed 50% of median income for the county or metro area where you want to live
  • PHA (Public Housing Authority)  by law must provide 75% of its voucher to those whose incomes do not exceed 30% of area median income.

If you fit these initial criteria, you can contact a local HUD office and

State Information for Applying for HUD and Section 8

NAA Launches New Data Campaign

NAA has launched a different way to look at apartment data through their site weareapartments.org

The centerpiece of this campaign is a unique digital approach to information storytelling. Instead of a static infographic, the site navigates users through an interactive experience that highlights how communities grow stronger through apartment jobs, dollars and residents.

Some data points from the site:

  • 35 Million Apartment Residents
  • 1/3 of Americans rent their homes
  • 1/2 of all new households this decade will rent
  • 1/3 of renters live in apartments
  • 7 Million new households by 2020
  • It take 300,000 new apartments each year to meet demand but only 157,000 were built in 2012
  • There are 19.3 Million apartments
  • 27% (5 – 9 units) / 26% (10-19 units) / 20% (20-49 units) / 20% (50+ units)
  • 52.3 Billion is spent on groceries from apartment resident each year

Apartment Data

 

Primedia Changes Name to RentPath

Primedia, the owner of rental sites including ApartmentGuide, rent.com, Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com and New Home Guide has changed their corporate name from Primedia to RentPath.

rentpath

 

 

For over 35 years, Haas Publishing, Consumer Source, and PRIMEDIA have helped renters find a rental through various offline and online publications. The name change is “to reflect the new company we have become, and to further position ourselves as the leader in the industry, we are changing our corporate name to RentPath, Inc. ” says Jehane F. Gray, Procurement Director for RentPath.

 

2013 National Apartment Report

Marcus & Millichap released their annual National Apartment Report for 2013.  Nationally, the report says powerful economic and demographic trends continue to drive the sector into its fourth year of expansion. The U.S. vacancy rates should reach 4.3% resulting in 4 to 5 % effective rent growth. New construction of about 150,000 units will temporarily create a supply and demand imbalance in many markets such as Austin, Charlotte and Houston. Over the next 2 years, the oldest echo boomers who just turned 28 will create a significant number of households. Additional households will form with the arrival of 1.2 million and 1.6 million immigrants annually through 2017.

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10 Things to Rent Out Your Home Faster

While running a successful rental marketing company and renting out my numerous rental properties. I have picked up a few tricks along the way.

Below are 10 things you can do to rent out your home faster:

1) Pricing Matters
There are many ways to price your home competitively in the marketplace. Some tools to help you along the way are: Rentbits Rental Rates, Zillow, Trulia and others.

2) The Best Months to Post
The best times to gain a tenant are March, April, May, June, July and August. These are the main months when renters move due to seasons, schools, etc.

3) Throw some Make-up On
Have you ever toured a model home for sale? What do you notice? Are there magnets on the fridge? Are there clothes in the hamper? Are the walls scratched? The answer is no. Why? This is what sells homes. Touch up with paint and remove all clutter and you will see a big difference.

4) Replace Light bulbs and Fixtures
A rule of thumb is more light is better than less. Make sure all lights actually have light bulbs

5) Good from Far, Far from Good
We all know first impressions count and people DO judge a book by its cover. With that said, make sure your address numbers are hanging straight, you touch up the paint, you mow the lawn and pull the weeds.

6) My Granite, Stainless Steel Beauty
According to Steven D. Levitt, the author of “Freakonomics“, he suggests that homes that tend to not have many specific attributes worth describing, like “Beautiful”, “Charming”, “Great Location”, “Spacious”, “Attractive”, “Gorgeous”, “Fantastic” and “Lovely” correlate to a lower sales / rental price. “‘Spacious’ homes are often decrepit or impractical. ‘Great neighborhood’ signals a buyer that, well, this house isn’t very nice but others nearby may be.”

What are some of the words or adjectives that are used to help increase the value of ones home and decrease vacancy rates for rental properties? Here’s the breakdown: Granite, State-of-the-art, Stainless Steel Appliances, vaulted Ceilings, Maple, Gourmet, Corian, Wood Floors.

7) Toilet Paper (not the kind in the airport bathrooms)
The small things count. Women in particular like it when the toilet paper is rolled nicely and if it has a triangular shape towards the end like you see in hotels. Men are just glad it has a bathroom.

8) Smell Good
Fragrance is extremely important when a tenant is touring the home. View 10 tips on making your home smell better.

9) Photos are Worth, well You Know
Adding photos to your online and offline ads are very important. Studies have found that photos can increase lead generation by more than 400% as compared to not having photos at all. All of the suggestions within above need to be applied when taking photos. No clutter, clean, lots of light, etc.. Top rooms tenants are most interested in when viewing photos are front of property, kitchen, living, master, bathrooms and backyard if it has one.

10) Get a property manager
I personally use a property manager to manage all my properties. This makes it much more easier for me to concentrate on other things like acquiring new properties. A property manager has lots of contacts and past tenants that they can contact to help fill your vacancy faster. Total cost of a property manager is usually 1/2 of first months rent and then 10% of gross rent each month after that. For more information on property managers go to NARPM.

Single-Family Rents Flatten in Key Investor-Driven Markets

Trulia released a report showing that the nearly 4,000,000 single family homes that were added to the market since 2005 have caused single-family home rents to flatten nationwide.

Rent and Price Changes on Single Family Homes
# U.S. Metro Y-o-Y% change
in single-family
home rents
Y-o-Y % change
in single-family
home prices
1 Las Vegas, NV -1.9% 24.6%
2 Fort Lauderdale, FL -1.2% 10.7%
3 Chicago, IL -1.2% 3.6%
4 Orange County, CA -0.7% 13.7%
5 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV -0.7% 6.2%
6 Los Angeles, CA -0.4% 11.0%
7 San Diego, CA -0.1% 13.4%
8 New York, NY-NJ 0.2% 4.1%
9 Phoenix, AZ 0.3% 24.2%
10 Atlanta, GA 0.8% 12.6%
11 San Antonio, TX 2.1% 5.5%
12 Miami, FL 2.8% 12.1%
13 Houston, TX 3.5% 6.5%
14 Dallas, TX 3.6% 5.3%
15 West Palm Beach, FL 3.8% 14.1%
16 RiversideSan Bernardino, CA 3.8% 15.6%
17 Orlando, FL 3.9% 10.0%
18 TampaSt. Petersburg, FL 4.1% 7.2%