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Professional Publishing, Inc

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ON-SITE

Vol. 22 Issue 2

February 2013

Published 22 Years

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TO

PUGET SOUND APARTMENT OWNERS, PROPERTY MANAGERS & MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL

Published in association with: Washington Apartment Association, IREM & Washington Multifamily Housing Association

Thurston County Market Improves

Seattle - Apartment Insights 4th quarter results show the Thurston County market rebounding a bit after a period of decline, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights. The data are from his Seattle firm’s statistics and trends on 50+ unit properties in Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston counties. Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston 4Q12 VACANCY: 6.6% The market vacancy for conventional, stabilized 50+ unit properties in all three counties is 6.6%, down slightly from 6.74% last quarter. The vacancy rate was 7.02% a year ago. The vacancy rate for all properties, including those in lease-up is 7.68%. Pierce: 6.55% Pierce County's vacancy rate of 6.55% is an improvement over the 6.65% rate last quarter. A year ago it was 6.43%. Continued on page 11

6 Questions with Heather Blume The Landlord TImes recently caught up with multifamily housing veteran and blogger, Heather Blume. Here’s what Heather has to say about apartment management, teaching, her mentor, marijuana, eating lunch and relationship artistry... TLT: What is it about multifamily and rental housing that has kept you motivated and interested? HB: I love the fact that no matter the background or skill set that you bring to the table in this industry, it’s valuable. For example, I was an artist, a photographer, a playwright, a florist, a radio disc jockey, and had more than a few retail jobs in my Professional Publishing, Inc PO Box 30327 Portland, OR 97294-3327

past, but all of those skills translated in this professional world as a powerful set of abilities. Leasing was the first job I ever held where I felt like I was bring something worthwhile to the job, rather than just learning from it. Knowing that I found a place in this world where I “fit” perfectly…that was a powerful motivator for me, and still is today. TLT: What do you consider your greatest success in your career? HB: It’s cheesy, but the greatest success moments in my career are when I’m looking at a room of people, teaching something, and I can see the light bulb over one of their heads switch on. They get this look and you just know that some how you’ve been able to reframe an idea or a concept in a way that they just…get it.

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Every single one of those moments are my greatest successes, because I know it makes someone’s career better. TLT: Who was the most influential person in the early part of your career? What did you learn from them? HB: Hands down, Lisa Trosien has been my beacon in this industry. Besides being one of the most talented and smartest people I know, she’s my mentor, my guide, my friend, my cheerleader, and, when I need it, the person who sticks a pin in my ego to deflate it back down to a normal level. I took my very first class in this industry from her when I started on site, and after watching her for less than 20 minutes I knew exactly what Continued on page 9

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Expansion Moderates for Apartment Markets in January After a seven-quarter run, expansion moderated for apartment markets according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) January Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. For the first time since 2010, two of the four indexes – Market Tightness (45) and Sales Volume (49) – dipped below 50, though just barely. The two financing indexes show continued improvement for the 8th consecutive quarter, as the Equity Financing (56) and Debt Financing (57) Indexes remained above the breakeven level of 50. “The pace of improvement in the apartment industry is moderating, but the expansion remains solid,” said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC’s Vice President for Research and Chief Economist. “Lease-up demand is seasonally weak in January, which would fully explain the small drop Continued on page 3 Page 18 Washington Apartment Association

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in the Market Tightness Index. Beyond that, markets were quite tight three months ago, and remain tight today. New construction has picked up considerably since its 2009 low, but is still playing catch-up with the increase in demand for apartment residences.” Key findings include: Financing remains constrained to top markets. Only 12 percent reported construction financing as available for all types of apartments in all markets. Similarly, slightly more than a quarter (28 percent) thought acquisition financing was available for all properties in all markets. For both construction and acquisition financing, 43 percent of respondents indicated that capital was available for primary markets but constrained in secondary and tertiary markets. Market Tightness Index declined to 45 from 56. The change ends an 11-quarter run for the index at 50 or higher. Fifty-nine percent of respon-

dents said that markets were unchanged, reflecting stable demand conditions. One quarter of respondents saw markets as looser, up from 14 percent in October, while 16 percent viewed markets as tighter. The Sales Volume Index decreased slightly from 51 to 49. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said that markets were unchanged, reflecting stable demand conditions. One quarter of respondents saw markets as tighter, with nearly the same (26 percent) indicating looser markets. The Equity Financing Index remained unchanged at 56. This reflects the 14th quarter in a row with the index above 50. Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) viewed equity financing as unchanged, while 20 percent of respondents thought equity financing was more available and only 8 percent indicated equity financing was less available. Debt Financing Index declined from 65 to 57. Seven in ten (71 per-

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cent) reported conditions as unchanged, and only 6 percent believed that borrowing conditions for debt financing had worsened – the eighth consecutive quarter in the single digits. Full survey data are available at www. nmhc.org/goto/61043. About the survey: The January 2013 Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions was conducted January 7-14, with 87 CEOs and other senior executives of apartment-related firms nationwide responding. To view this release online, visit www. nmhc.org/goto/61044.

Based in Washington, D.C., NMHC is a national association representing the interests of the larger and most prominent apartment firms in the U.S. NMHC’s members are the principal officers of firms engaged in all aspects of the apartment industry, including owners, developers, managers and financiers. One-third of Americans rent their housing, and over 14 percent live in a rental apartment. For more information, contact NMHC at 202/974-2300, e-mail the Council at info@nmhc.org, or visit NMHC’s web site at www.nmhc.org.

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Snuggles or Sneezing? What’s more to love than a cuddly bundle of joy who greets you every day after work? On the other end of the spectrum, what is worse than finding out one month after settling into the perfect apartment that your allergies don’t agree with the previous tenant’s pet? Deciding how to designate individual properties as pet-friendly or with a no-pet policy is like choosing between never having chocolate again or having 10 bars every day for the rest of your life. Attempting to rent a unit in the middle of the winter is difficult enough already; when you have a no-pet policy, that singles out about 50% of your already narrow target market. Also, what apartment manager wants to deny rent to a

cold tenant and his dog during Christmas time? These questions race through a manager ’s head from the second that a potential tenant mentions anything about a pet. The goal of every property management company is to find the perfect balance between satisfying the tenant and protecting the property owner ’s investment. Delegating pet friendly properties is a very significant issue because right off the bat it can either turn a tenant away or reinforce their commitment. There are many lasting consequences that come with renting to tenants with pets. A pet deposit is always either too high or too low according to the tenant and manager respectively. Upon move-in it seems

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completely unreasonable to throw down that much money for an animal and upon move out, the manager often gets ripped off having to cover damage costs that outweigh the deposit. According to how many properties you have, allocate a certain percentage as pet friendly and a certain percentage as non-pet buildings, so that you have points of reference for your potential renters. There are many significant steps that owners and property managers should take when addressing pets within each property: • Review the pet policy among the staff members. Adjust the policy and maintain a balanced perception of your target market in relation to the potential renters that present themselves at given times of the year. • Specify what’s allowed to applicants before they move in. Things can get sticky if you are misleading as well as the other way around. Be strict in enforcing guidelines but clear and honest at the same time. • Thoroughly check that all licensing, identifications and vaccinations are completed and accounted for. This is the easier portion of the pet process, because when it

comes to these documents, either they’re present or they’re not. • Outline tenant responsibilities; make it clear in the lease and in person all of the responsibilities that a pet owner holds at your given property. Make sure the decision to permit pets or not complies with the Fair Housing Act. • Constantly edit and renew your pet policy while mandating fees. Corrections are very important as time goes by; however, ensuring that your corrections fulfill the law is just as significant! Solution: Associate your pet-friendly properties with companies similar to “Doghouse Properties,” which provides a portal connecting all the properties in a given area who accept pets. This will establish those buildings and help them thrive with almost no vacancy while preserving newer buildings or designated buildings for those with allergies who don’t prefer pets. This is a winwin solution where fewer animals go towards shelters and more people live in comfortable environments! Continued on page 5

On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE Snuggles ...continued from page 4 Ultimately, you will be able to successfully approach how to deal with pets at your property by reviewing, ensuring and reacting. Review your pet policy so that no questions go unanswered. Being confident and thorough attracts more residents and prevents confusion down the road when inevitable pet problems arise. Ensure that your tenant has done everything neces-

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sary to prepare their pets for living at that unit and that they are knowledgeable of all the requirements. React to problems and situations that present themselves so that you are constantly upgrading and perfecting your pet policy. In the end you will be able to provide people with the home of their dreams whether it’s raining cats and dogs or not.

By Lauren Ginder, Pacific Crest Property Management Contact info: Lauren can be reached at 206-812-9144 or via email at: ginderl@pacificcrestpm.com www.pacificcrestpm.com

Advertise in the Landlord Times - Onsite Circulated to over 17,000 Apartment owners, On-site, and Maintenance personnel monthly.

Serving the Portland/Vancouver Multifamily Housing Industry More than 21,000 Distributed Monthly www. TheLandlordTimes.com The statements and representations made in advertising and news articles contained in this publication are those of the advertiser and authors and as such do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Professional Publishing, Inc. The inclusion of advertising in this publications does not, in any way, comport an endorsement of or support for the products or services offered. Metro Apartment Manager is produced monthly and is published by Professional Publishing Inc. An Oregon Corporation.

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INSTITUTE OF REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT President • Barry Blanton VP Finance • Mark Grey

Past President • Faye Crow

VP Membership • Glen Bachman

VP Communications • Christy Mays

IREM® Looks Back on Positive 2012 Legislative Results The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®), strongly committed to legislative advocacy, helped to generate significant legislative results in 2012 of benefit to its members, other commercial real estate professionals and allied interest groups. Among the most notable of these victories, some achieved in collaboration with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) and other groups, are these: Lease Accounting IREM has strongly opposed proposed changes that would require businesses to recognize assets and liabilities arising from lease contracts, certain that they could lead to bloated balance sheets and a host of other potential problems. These changes differ from current regulations that allow leases to be considered operating expenses that do not appear on balance sheets. During a visit by 265 IREM® Members to Capitol Hill last April, the members took the accounting issue to their elected officials. Specifically, they requested that their legislators sign onto a bipartisan lease accounting “Dear Colleague”

letter, which encourages the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to complete a comprehensive and detailed economic impact study to better understand the major implications of the new lease accounting proposal. Following the meetings, 61 Congressional members signed onto the letter. In June of 2012, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) discussed a new proposal which is expected to be released in 2013 that potentially may be more reasonable. Carried Interest The carried interest issue has long been on IREM’s radar screen. In addition to participating in a coalition monitoring potential changes to carried interest policy, IREM® Members lobbied this issue on Capitol Hill in April. Members urged Congress to vote against any legislation that would change tax rates in ways that may discourage future commercial real estate investment, particularly in an already fragile market. IREM was successful in heightening legislators’ awareness of this issue and keeping carried interest rates unchanged throughout 2012.

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National Flood Insurance Extension IREM strongly supported the extension of this vital program, an extension which President Obama signed into law effective through 2017. This is a multifaceted victory for homeowners, businesses, banks and real estate professionals for it assures coverage, where necessary, to obtain a mortgage. Marketplace Equity Act IREM has been advocating for more equitable sales tax policies, such as the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179 and S. 1832). This legislation would simplify and streamline the tax collection process for online retailers. Many online retailers have an unfair advantage in that their tax collection is not required or regulated, while brick and mortar stores must charge and record a sales tax. This inequity encourages consumers to buy more products online, ignoring physical establishments. Last spring, IREM® Members lobbied Congress on this issue. As a consequence, they helped to secure at least five new co-sponsors to proposed legislation by the House of

Representatives supportive of IREM’s position. Additionally, they motivated many more members to take interest in the issue. Lead-based Paint in Commercial Building This issue has long been a concern to IREM and its membership. In 2012, IREM and the coalition it joined were successful in stalling any movement to finalize and implement new rules for lead-based paint dust in commercial buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has until December 31, 2016 (moved back from an original date of February, 2014 for paint on the exterior of a building) to finalize regulations to address lead-paint dust. IREM will continue to fight for fair and reasonable regulations for commercial and multifamily real estate management. www.irem.org.

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Connecting the Dots Between Drops and Watts to Save Money

or property managers and owners, keeping operating costs low is a high priority. You set out to reduce energy costs and often focus on things like replacing light bulbs and increasing insulation. These are great strategies, but you might be surprised to find out that saving water is also a great way to save energy – and money too.

Thanks to an innovative collaboration between the Regional Water Providers Consortium, Portland General Electric, Energy Trust of Oregon and Metro Multifamily NW, the month of March is being designated as Energy and Water Savings Month for multi-family property managers and owners – creating a perfect time to focus on saving drops and watts. The four groups are sponsoring a

variety of free seminars and webinars designed to help you reduce operating costs, improve tenant comfort and boost retention. “There are a variety of low-cost ways to save water, energy and money at multifamily properties,” said Lindsey Berman, Conservation Program Manager for the RWPC. “This is a great opportunity for property managers and owners to learn best practices and connect with community resources that make it easy to save drops, watts and dollars.” Highlights of the month’s events include: Kick-off Event. Enjoy free refreshments and learn about seminars and sponsor offerings. Wednesday, March 6, from 4 to 6 p.m., Tigard One-hour online webinars at 8 a.m. or 12 p.m. • High-efficiency Common Area Lighting. Thursday, March 7 • Ductless Heat Pumps. Tuesday, March 12 • Saving with Appliances. Wednesday, March 20 Luncheon seminars from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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• Energy and Water Savings. Tuesday, March 19, Tigard • Irrigation Trends and Technologies. Thursday, March 21, Tigard • Investment Strategies and Energy Benchmarking. Wednesday, March 27, Portland All seminars and webinars are free and qualify for Oregon Real Estate continuing education credit hours. For full event details and to register, visit: http://www.energyeducationcenter.com 4 Tips for Multifamily Water Savings In addition to March’s events, the Regional Water Providers Consortium recommends the following 4 tips for saving water at multifamily properties. Additional tips and how-to videos are available on the Consortium’s website at www.conserveh2o.org 1. Install high-efficiency* kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators to save up to 40 percent of the water used by faucets. 2. Install high efficiency* showerheads to save up to 40 percent of the water used by showers. Continued on page 13

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On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE 6 Questions

...continued from page 8

I wanted to do with my career. I remember approaching her after that class, introducing myself and asking her what steps I had to take to do the job she was doing. She inspired my path through this industry and through my career, and I can never repay her enough for it. I’m confident in saying that I would not be the person I am today had our life paths not crossed in such a significant way. TLT: What are the biggest legislative topics/concerns right now? HB: In my home area, Washington state, we just legalized pot. As you might imagine, this presents some interesting challenges in the world of apartment management. One of the biggest confusion points that people have is thinking that smoking pot is now a protected class under Fair Housing – it’s not. Just because it’s legal to smoke it, doesn’t make it protected. It’s like cigarettes, and as we all know, those have nothing to do with the Fair Housing laws. For tax credit properties, it can get even more complicated. The new laws in the state of Washington have caused a bit of confusion…and most of that’s rooted in the fact that the laws aren’t even set yet. TLT: If you were talking to a multifamily newbie, what advice would you give them as they begin their career?

HB: I’d tell them that the key to this industry and being successful in it boils down to relationship management. It’s not enough to just never burn your bridges. Anyone can avoid doing that if they’re smart. Strive to be someone who can take the common relationship where you say “hi” socially, but don’t really know anything in depth about the person besides that you want them to buy from you, and turn that in to a relationship where each person is giving as much as getting. You want to build relationships that are mutually beneficial, where respect and integrity are the cornerstones of the construction. A person that can achieve that is a relationship artist. Competency in relationship management is a must… Artistry in relationship management.

of advice is one that was told to me during my first week in this industry, and it has served me well. Finally, in the same vein as number 2, if you’re afraid to teach your subordinates to do new duties because you “won’t have anything to do,” then you’re failing not only them, but yourself as well. You’re a manager. You got your job by being competent enough to convince someone that you deserved the promotion, so why let yourself feel threatened by someone else’s success? Your job is to build your team, not keep them down. The best managers I know are the ones who are secure in their own abili-

ties, so they have no problem helping someone else grow. Heather Blume is the Imagination In Charge at Behind the Leasing Desk Training & Consulting Services in Seattle, Washington. She works with clients across the country on a variety of topics in the multifamily and customer service industries, and her blog at www.behindtheleasingdesk.com is read by hundreds of property management professionals each month. Always accessible, you can reach her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and, of course, via email at heather@behindtheleasingdesk.com

TLT: Generally speaking, what 2 or 3 pieces of advice would you give to a room full of property managers? HB: First,for the love of all things holy, please take your lunch, take it away from your desk, and eat something that has a lot of protein in it. Because when you don’t eat or eat something that messes with your blood sugar and you get cranky at 4PM, your staff mirrors your mood…only they show it to your residents. Eat your lunch. Secondly, most managers already have learned this (some of them the hard way), but you can’t cut someone’s throat to get their job. This piece

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left,” as well as “proceed with caution.” You probably think I am leading up to a discussion of bright, brilliant, breathtaking signage to attract prospective renters to your communities. Right? Wrong! Here is MY question:

Q: Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who came into your community was wearing a sign to clearly communicate their most important needs and preferences, as well as thoughts and feelings? - WANTED: 2 bedroom apartment with lots of closet space. I like to work out, ride my bike on sunny days and cozy up to a warm fireplace with a good book on a cold winter morning. WARNING: I am extremely allergic to cats, value my privacy and resent being asked basic, mundane qualifying questions for the sole purpose of filling out a guest card! HANDLE WITH CARE: My husband was just diagnosed with cancer and I need to rent an apartment near the hospital where he is having his surgery and ongoing treatments. AND, the list goes on . . . .

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A: I realize that it can be difficult

and uncomfortable to “qualify” prospective renters, as you may feel like you are being intrusive. – I commend you for respecting the privacy of your clients. However, you cannot determine what someone needs in a new home if you don’t take the time to get to know that person. Most people will naturally talk about themselves, their family, work, interests, etc., if given the opportunity to do so. They may even reveal the circumstances of their move. This will enable you to offer an apartment (or choice of apartments) to best meet their needs. You may also learn enough to sell them on (specific) benefits of your community, its location or the local area, that fulfill other requirements they have besides just housing. For those individuals who feel uncomfortable articulating their needs or just aren’t open to a lot of fact-finding questions, it’s best to seek their permission before proceeding. For example: “Is it okay if I ask you a few questions so I will have a better understanding of what you need?” AND THEN: “Is there something speContinued on page 11

Now is the time to map out your retrofit plans for the New Year and start saving time, energy and money! Check out Puget Sound Energy’s Direct Install Program that takes the worry out of managing the cost and installation – it’s FREE! For qualified customers, the program can retrofit your building’s units with energy and water saving showerheads, water heater pipe wrap, energy efficient lighting and other energy upgrades. To learn how you can get started: 1. Call a Program Representative at 1-866-997-9767 or e-mail at MultifamilyRetrofit@pse.com to schedule an appointment. 2. A free energy audit will be scheduled to qualify and establish pre-existing conditions. PSE will make recommendations on energy efficiency upgrades and see if your building qualifies for the Direct Install program. 3. The audit will also identify other ‘no cost’ and ‘low cost’ retrofit incentives your properties may qualify to receive through PSE’s Multifamily Retrofit Program. Schedule your appointment now to receive a PSE Direct Install Sample Kit

PSE is offering Direct Install Sample Kits that include ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL and LED light bulbs, a WaterSense® showerhead, and a section of pipewrap that will aid in your review process.

Incentives apply to existing multifamily properties with five or more attached units located in PSE service area and dependent on installed equipment efficiency and energy type. PSE’s programs are tariffed services, and are subject to change or termination without prior notice. Always refer to our website for the latest offerings.

PSE.COM/MULTIFAMILYRETROFIT 10

On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE Thurston ...continued from front page Fife at 5.38% has the lowest vacancy rate among the seven submarkets in Pierce. The Tacoma South submarket is the highest at 7.27%.

Kitsap: 7.34% The market softened again in Kitsap County with the vacancy rate climbing from 6.43% to 7.34% this quarter. Port Orchard holds the distinction of being the only submarket to improve from last quarter, and the one with the lowest vacancy rate, 6.32%. The weakest submarket is Bremerton, where the rate shot up to 8.47%.

Thurston: 6.21% It's encouraging to see Thurston County show improvement after three straight quarters of increasing vacancies. The rate dropped to 6.21% from 7.36% last quarter. The lowest vacancy rate at 5.95% can be found in Tumwater; the highest at 6.39% is in Lacey. Olympia improved the most with a drop of 200 basis points.

The overall rate for rental incentives for the three-county area is 3.42%, up from 3.18% in the previous quarter. The rate of rental incentives fell $3 per month in Pierce, but rose $13 per month in Kitsap and Thurston. Forty-six percent of the properties in the three-county area are offering incentives, up from 43% in the third quarter.

RENTAL INCENTIVES Pierce: $24 per Month (2.97%) Kitsap: $38 per Month (4.20%) Thurston: $41 per Month (4.77%)

RENTS: $852 Average rents for the overall market remain unchanged at $852. Rents have been flat since 2Q 2011.

Shoptalk ...continued from page 10 cific you are looking for? What is most important to you in your new home?” To state that you have the “perfect” apartment for someone you know nothing about is presumptuous at best, rude and uncaring at worst. MAKING the time to discover what your clients need, will not only help you close the front door on a rental, but the back door on a lease renewal. Renters will remain residents for the very same reasons they leased in the first place. – It’s your job to know what those reasons are, and regularly remind them!

Pierce: $841 per Month $0.99 per Square Foot Kitsap: $904 per Month $1.07 per Square Foot Thurston: $839 per Month $0.99 per Square Foot Rents fell $1 per month in Pierce, and rose $10 in Kitsap and $3 in Thurston. NEW CONSTRUCTION Two properties opened for leaseup in Pierce County totaling 372 units. One of these is the 140-unit Continued on page 18

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On-Site Northwest • February 2013

Contact Scott Paust at 206-786-0484 11


ON-SITE

How To Manage A Difficult Property Management Employee! © By Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach Having to manage a difficult employee is never fun and can be the most challenging part of your responsibilities as a property management professional. While never easy, this article will address a step-by-step way to consistently and confidently handle the most challenging employee situations. In addition, how you handle a difficult employee will send a strong and powerful message to those who still work for your property management company. Addressing the problem: When you first realize you are having a problem with one of the members of your property management team, bring this individual behind closed doors and discuss your specific concerns. The conversation should be brief and to the point, making certain your employee understands the concerns you have and the improvements you expect. Be specific with your comments and only address the business concerns you have, setting aside any personal issues. Of course, always look to support this member of your team in any way possible with the intention of a positive outcome.

Tip From The Coach: As this is the first meeting you are having with your employee to discuss your concerns, take notes during this meeting, record the date on your notes, and place them into this person’s employee file. This will serve as a reminder of the problems you expressed during this meeting and will document the first time you asked this employee to specifically improve their performance. This first meeting is also the perfect time to review together this person’s written job description as another way to clarify your expectations.

Tip From The Coach: After you present your written memo outlining your concerns, have your employee sign and date this document which validates the points discussed during this meeting. In your memo, be certain to include the words, “failure to improve your performance, may lead to termination.” This makes your intentions perfectly clear. Of course, always consult with your immediate supervisor, your human resource department and your legal counsel, prior to presenting your memo, so everyone is in the loop.

Continuing problems: If similar problems persist with this same employee, bring this individual again behind closed doors and present a written memo recapping your concerns. In this memo, list the day/date of your first meeting when you discussed your initial problems with this individual’s performance and list the specific areas of improvement, which must happen. Remember, when you are requesting improved performance, the improvements must be measurable and must have a time frame or date when these improvements will be measured and reviewed again.

Terminating this employee: If necessary, termination of this employee may be required. If so, make the termination, swiftly. This person’s attitude can be detrimental to the morale of your property management team and their attitude might be affecting those around them. A termination meeting should be done at the end of the day so this person’s departure will not disrupt others. Lastly, make certain this termination meeting is brief, state exactly why this person is being terminated and have all final paperwork ready for signature.

Tip From The Coach: Sadly, the termination of an employee is not a pleasant part of being in property management. On a positive note, take the time to analyze what went wrong and look for possible solutions. Ask yourself, “was this person the perfect fit for the position, did we give this person proper training, could I have done anything to change the course of this situation?” In asking these questions, sometimes very positive improvements can be made. Employee terminations and the investment to hire a new person, is expensive and should not be taken lightly. Want to ask some additional questions about how to handle a difficult employee? Send an E-mail to ernest@ powerhour.com and The Coach will Email you a free PowerHour invitation. Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, a business coach since 1995 [29,900 hours], a property management industry professional since 1988--the author of SmartMatch Alliances--and the founder of PowerHour...[ www.powerhour.com and www.powerhourseo.com and www.pirmg. Continued on page 13

35

12

On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE How ...continued from page 12 com ], has a passion for coaching his clients on executive leadership, hiring and motivating property management SuperStars, traditional and Internet SEO/SEM marketing, competitive sales strategies, and high leverage alliances for property management teams and their leaders. He provides private and group coaching for property management companies around North America, executive recruiting, investment banking, national utility bill auditing [ www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/utilitybillaudit.html ] national real estate and apartment building insurance [ www.powerhour.com/propertymanagement/insurance.html ], SEO/SEM web strategies, national WiFi solutions [ www.

powerhour.com/propertymanagement/ nationalwifi.html ], powerful tools for hiring property management SuperStars and building dynamic teams, employee policy manuals [ http://www.powerhour.com/ propertymanagement/employeepolicymanuals.html ] and social media strategic solutions [ http://www.powerhour.com/ propertymanagement/socialmedialeadership.html ]. Ernest worked for Motorola, Primedia and is certified in the Xerox sales methodologies. Recent interviews and articles have appeared more than 7000 times in business and trade publications and in a wide variety of leading magazines and newspapers, including Smart Money, Inc., Business 2.0, The New York Times, Fast

Company, The LA Times, Fortune, Business Week, Self Employed America and The Financial Times. Since 1995, Ernest has written 200+ articles for the property management industry and created 350+ property management forms, business and marketing checklists, sales letters and presentation tools. To subscribe to his free property management newsletter go to: www.powerhour.com. PowerHour® is based in Olympic-town…Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail ernest@pow erhour.com or visit their website: www. power hour.com.

Connecting ...continued from page 8 3. Replace older toilets with highefficiency* models to save up to 63 percent of the water used by toilets. 4. Check for and repair leaks. Even small leaks can waste hundreds to thousands of gallons of water a month. * Be sure to look for WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets, showerheads and toilets, which must meet rigorous performance criteria and are third-party tested and certified. Free water conservation devices will be offered to attendees at the March Energy and Water Savings Kick-off event and luncheon seminars.

Advertise in the Landlord Times Onsite Circulated to over 17,000 Apartment owners, On-site, and Maintenance personnel monthly.

Please Visit us at www.TheLandlordTimes.com

About the Regional Water Providers Consortium The Regional Water Providers Consortium (a group of 22 local water providers plus the regional government Metro) is committed to good stewardship of our region’s water through conservation, emergency preparedness planning and water supply coordination. The consortium provides resources and information to help individual and commercial customers save water, including the Water Conservation guide for MultiFamily Property Mangers, available for download on the Consortium website at: http://www.conserveh2o.org/ sites/default/files/resources/rwpc_ resources/Prop_Mngr_Brochure.pdf

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Your Supply Room 5 reasons to use rentegration 1. Access - Rentegration.com is a web based, multi-user software offering customers 24/7 access to forms generation, archives, property management database, basic accounting, vendor ordering and other services.

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TENANT INFORMATION

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Out

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WA-RTG-40 Washington

48-HOUR NOTICE OF ENTRY

TENANT(S): ___________ ______________________ ADDRESS:

___________ ______________________ Out CITY: ______________________ ________ DATE:________ ___________ ______________________

________ STATE:

Blinds/Drapes

Ice Trays

Rods

Shelves/Drawer

Pursuant to RCW 59.18.150, this is your WA-RTG-20 Washington 48 hour entering the dwelling notice that your

landlord or their agents unit and ______________________ premises located at (Address) will be CHECK-IN/CHE ______________________ CK-OUT CONDIT ION REPORT______________________ ___________

Floor

Disposal

________ UNIT: _________ __________ ZIP: _________

48-HOUR NOTICE OF ENTRY

Windows

Refrigerator

Rods Floor Carpet/Vinyl/Wood

Light Fixtures

on

TENANT(S): __________ ____________________ (Date) and Doors/Woodwork ADDRESS: . ____________________ ____________________ (Time) ________________ (Time) ____________________ CITY: Locks____________________ The entry ________UN will occur for the following __________ _____ STATE: ________purpose:IT: ______________ ___________ Rating CeilingsScale = (E)Excellent ZIP: _________________ ______________________ (VG) Very Good___________ ______________________ ___________ (G)Good ___________ (F)Fair (P)Poor Electric Outlets IN ______________________ _______________________ Out LIVING AREAS ______________________ In Out _ KITCHEN In Out

Dishwasher

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DESCRIPTION OF PET(S) Windows

Cabinets Tenant(s) Tenant(s) certify that the above pet(s) are the only pet(s) on the premises. Ceilings understands that the additional pet(s) are not permitted unless the landlord gives ten Sink ant(s) written permission. Tenant(s) agree to keep the above-listed pets in the premises Electrical Outlets subject to the following terms and conditions: Floor Garbage Cans

Windows 1) The pet(s) shall be on a leash or otherwise under tenant’s control when it is outside the Antenna/Cable tenant’s dwelling TV unit. Blinds/Drapes 2) Tenant(s) shall promptly pick up all pet waste from the premises promptly. Fireplace 3) Tenant(s) are responsible for the conduct of their pet(s) at all times. 4) Tenant(s) are liable for all damages caused by their pet(s). Cleanliness 5) Tenant(s) shall pay the additional security deposit listed above and/or their rental agreement as a condition to keeping the pet(s) listed above. 6) Tenant(s) shall notBEDROOM allow their pets to cause any sort of disturbance or injury to the 1 BEDROOM 2 other tenants, guests, landlord or any other persons lawfully on the premises. Walls 7) Tenant(s) shall immediately report to landlord any type of damage Walls or injury caused by their pet. Windows 8) This agreement is incorporated into and shall become part of Windows the rental agreement exe Blinds/Drapes -cuted between the parties. Failure by tenant to comply with any part of this agreement Blinds/Drapes shall constitute a material breach of the rental agreement.

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On-Site Northwest • February 2013

(G)Good (F)Fair (P)Poor

IN Out TENANT(S): ____________________________________________________ DATE:________ LIVING AREAS ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________ UNIT: _________ KITCHEN CITY: _________________________________________ STATE: __________ ZIP: _________ Walls

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WASHINGTON MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING ASSOCIATION President • Jay Olson Vice President • Joe Manca Past President • Cassandra Haavisto Treasurer • Mike Ashbrook 18300 Cascade Ave. S., Suite 130 Tukwila, WA 98188 (425) 656-9077 (425) 656 9087 (fax) admin@wmfha.org

Secretary • Gail Duke Vice President of Suppliers Council • Barry Savage Executive Director • Jim Wiard

T

Honoring On-Site Employees for Excellence

his month, WMFHA held their 3rd annual Emerald Awards celebration. The Emerald Awards gala is an industry event which allows our members to recognize the hard working and dedicated individuals who represent the multifamily industry so well. The best and brightest talent gathered to share a celebration of industry members who were nominated for award categories such as Community Manager of the Year, Maintenance Supervisor of the Year, Leasing Consultant of the Year, and many other categories. Presentations were also given for property categories such as New Development of the Year and Community of the Year. Industry supplier categories such as Industry Partner of the Year and Social Awareness were also presented. Nominations were open during the fall, followed by an extensive

judging process. Over 220 nominations were submitted. Finalists were determined in 26 categories, and subsequent evaluations included panel interviews. Our Emerald Awards Committee did an outstanding job of organizing this year’s program. Over 700 supportive colleagues, friends and family of our nominees attended the awards dinner, with special emcee Brad Goode from KOMO 4 Morning News announcing the recipients of the awards along with our Emerald Sponsors. Many winners were humbled by their selection and thanked their team members and industry mentors for their success. The support nominees received from their companies and fellow employees, exhibited through frequent episodes of joyous cheering, was extremely touching and gratifying.

www.TheLandlordTimes.com

A special presentation was made to Cheryl Bozarth, Executive Director for DAWN, the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network. WMFHA donated $10,150 to DAWN, proceeds from our recent Chili Cook-off charity event. The culmination of the evening was in the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of an individual’s exceptional and sustained efforts, contributions and outstanding achievements in multifamily housing. This year’s award was bestowed upon John Goodman. Mr. Goodman founded Pinnacle, one of the nation’s largest third party fee management companies, and is currently the Chairman of Goodman Real Estate, a leading investor, owner and developer of real estate throughout the country. As with many of our events, we could not offer a truly quality and professional event without the support and sponsorship of our industry partners. Look forward to additional events coming soon designed to enhance information exchange, cre-

ate networking opportunities and provide education and skill building for our membership. These include quarterly membership meetings, an upcoming Maintenance Summit hands-on education and trade show event for site maintenance personnel, and a leadership and leasing Education Conference and Exposition for management personnel. Check out our website at www. wmfha.org for photos of the evening or see us on Facebook. For a complete listing of the Emerald Award recipients in all categories, please see the acknowledgements shown on this page. All nominees are truly winners as for them, it is an honor just to be nominated by their peers for these prestigious awards. We all look forward to next year’s nominations, finalists and award recipients. Thank you to all who played a role in making this evening so special.

A Moment To Shine At The Third Annual Emerald Awards

Over 700 people gathered on February 6, 2013 as the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association held the third annual Emerald Awards. After a lengthy, thorough nomination and judging process of over 220 nominees, the Emerald Award recipients were announced at an elegant black tie gala. Please join us in acknowledging the accomplishments of the 2013 Emerald Award recipients.  Rookie of the Year - Office Rebecca Chambers-Weidner Apt. Homes Rookie of the Year - Maintenance Taylor Cross-BRE Properties, Inc. Leasing Consultant of the Year 1-300 Units Mica Abenojar-Riverstone Residential Leasing Consultant of the Year 301+ Units Michelle Scearce-Greystar Curb Appeal 1-150 Units Chateau Woods-Pinnacle Curb Appeal 151+ Units Beaumont Apts-Alliance Residential Assistant Manager of the Year 1-300 Units Presented by Apartments.com

Carolina Hernandez-Pinnacle Assistant Manager of the Year 301+ Units Presented by Apartments.com

LeAnna Bell-Weidner Apt. Homes Social Awareness - Individual Cindy Lien-Kessner, CAM-ConAm Mgmt. Social Awareness - Team Seattle Apartment Finders

Portfolio Manager of the Year

Maintenance Supervisor of the Year 301+ Units

Tali Reiner-Indigo Real Estate Services

Gary Bender-Archstone

Presented by Apartment Guide

Presented by Griffith Industries

Maintenance Tech of the Year 1-300 Units

Community Manager of the Year 1-150 Units

Kevin Aguilar-Riverstone Residential

Amy Hobbs-ConAm Management

Maintenance Tech of the Year 301+ Units

Community Manager of the Year 151-300 Units

Michael Gough-Weidner Apt. Homes

Amy Laramore-Riverstone Residential

Industry Partner of the Year Buy-Rite Carpet Wholesaler

Community Manager of the Year 301+ Units

Presented by Criterion Brock

Presented by Criterion Brock

Presented by Buy-Rite Carpet

Presented by Buy-Rite Carpet

Presented by Buy-Rite Carpet

Ruchelle Erwin-UDR

New Development of the Year 1-150 Units

Community of the Year 1-150 Units

Presented by HD Supply

Andrew’s Glen-FPI Management New Development of the Year 151+ Units

Presented by For Rent Media Solutions

Avia Apartments-Riverstone Residential Community of the Year 151+ Units

Presented by HD Supply

Coppins Well-Holland Partner Group

Presented by For Rent Media Solutions

Archstone Northcreek-Archstone

Maintenance Supervisor of the Year 1-150 Units

Community of the Year - Affordable

Presented by Griffith Industries

Domingo Martinez-Weidner Apt. Homes Maintenance Supervisor of the Year 151-300 Units

Presented by For Rent Media Solutions

Woodlake Apts-Madrona Ridge Residential

Presented by Griffith Industries

Jamie Hannity-Madrona Ridge Residential

Lifetime Achievement Award John Goodman

Goodman Real Estate Services

EMERALD SPONSORS

14

SAPPHIRE SPONSORS

On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE

Tired of Sending Hard Earned Money Down the Toilet?

T

Attend the March 20 Event at Ferguson Plumbing and learn about the New “Premium” WaterSense toilets, and Saving Water Partnership rebates.

his event is open to Property Mangers and Owners, Plumbers, Contractors, and Small Commercial Business Owners and coincides with the recognition of “Fix a Leak Week” and International Plumbing Day. If your properties’ existing toilets were installed before 1994, you should consider replacing them with the new 1.06 gallons per flush WaterSense labeled “Premium” highefficient toilets. Here are several great reasons for making the change: • Customers who replace their old water-guzzling toilets with a Premium WaterSense toilet may be eligible for a $200 rebate per toilet. • Some customers who make the switch can save up to $150 per year on their water bills for each toilet.

• Replacing older toilets removes the threat of being a victim of a leaky toilet. Some leaks are silent and can waste customers up to $200 per year for each toilet. • The new Premium toilets save 20 percent more water compared to the current WaterSense models – meaning more dollars in your pocket. • Premium toilets are performance proven – with the flushing capacity three times of a normal toilet!

• FREE LUNCH! • An opportunity to meet with and talk to distributors about the new generation of WaterSense toilets and see them on display. • Educational videos and information by professionals in the plumbing business.

Get started today! Visit www.savingwater.org or call Billie Fisher at 206-615-1282.

Join us for this special event where there is such a thing as a free lunch! Drop by on March 20, 2013 at Ferguson Plumbing, 4100 West Marginal Way SW anytime from 10 AM to 2 PM. A variety of 1.06 gallon per flush WaterSense–labeled toilets will be on display by distributors. There are many reasons to attend, including:

www.TheLandlordTimes.com

We’ve Moved!

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1- 8 8 8- M A C- G RAY On-Site Northwest • February 2013

www.cleanandgreenvision.com 15


WASHINGTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION President • Rob Trickler

Past President • Judith Violette

1st Vice President • Darlene Pennock

Treasurer • Gina deWeber

Secretary • Donna Lee Smitt

1500 Water St. SW, #5, Olympia, WA 98501 • (360) 951-1426 • www.waapt.org

Dryer Vent & Chimney Cleanings: When? Why? Why is it important to clean your chimneys and dryer vents and how often should this be done? Chimneys: The smoke of any wood-burning firplace is vented through the passage-way of a chimney called a flue. This is true opf brick chimneys or the newwer metal pipe chimneys. This smoke combined wit a chemical reaction caused by the burning

leaves a residue on the inside of this passage called creosote. This creosotc is flammable and dangerous it becomes. This is why a chimney needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. How often is determined by usage; but in a rental situation where you, the owner of the property, are ultimately responsible for the maintenance and safety of the property, it is best to be prudent. In fact some insurance

companies in order to insure a property, require annual inspections and cleanings. So it is always better to be safe than sorry. Also, any trained and qualified chimney sweep (especially if they are certified) can and should do a safety inspection to ensure that all is safe and up to code with the chimney and fireplace (or other heating device) in the home and recommend solutions for things that are not. Dryer Vents: When clothes are being dried, the excess lint is exhausted through the vent of the dryer. This lint will build up if it is not cleaned out and can cause you, the property owner or manager two serious problems: 1) A clogged dryer vent will severely lessen the efficiency of the dryer causing it to take much longer than necessary to dry the clothes. This wastes electricity and money. 2) Also this built up lint is flammable and as such is a fire hazzard to your property. Again, this is a situation of being safe rather than sorry.

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When is the best time to clean our chimneys and dyer vents: Because your tenants are less likely to use their heating devises during the Spring and Summer, these are the best times to clean these chimneys. Also by doing this, you will be sure that the chimneys are clean and safe when they are needed during the heating season (Fall and Winter). Dryer vents are not as seasonal, usually being used all your long. But very often you can get a discount for getting the chimneys and dryer vents at your properties cleaned at the same time and it is always more cost effective to clean these (both chimneys and dryer vents) in bulk rather than a few at a time. So keep your properties cost effective and safe for your tenants. Get your chimneys and dryer vents cleaned and inspected regularly by a trained and qualified Chimney Professional. Article submitted by Portland Chimney & Masonry, Inc.

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On-Site Northwest • February 2013


ON-SITE

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Ends Year on a PositiveON-SITE-NW Note SEA

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes showed continued improvement in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The index increased 10 points to a level of 28, the fifth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. “We continue to see increased optimism from builders and developers in the 55+ housing segment,” said Bob Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “Those customers who had been on the sidelines waiting for more stability in their local markets are starting to make their move toward either purchasing a home or renting an apartment that is designed to more specifically suit their lifestyle.” There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales

for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. Although all components of the 55+ single-family HMI remain below 50, they have improved significantly from a year ago: present sales climbed 10 points to 27, expected sales for the next six months increased 12 points to 38 and traffic of prospective buyers rose nine points to 24. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI still remains the weakest segment of the 55+ housing marketing, but did post an increase of six points to 19. All 55+ multifamily HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose five points to 17, expected sales for the next six months climbed eight points to 25 and traffic of prospective buyers rose six points to 21. Meanwhile, the 55+ multifamily rental indices, which had already recovered substantially in 2011, remained relatively stable in the fourth quarter, although there was a slight pullback due to uncertainty about the low-income housing tax credit—the financial driver behind a significant portion of apartments

built for this segment of the market. Present production dropped three points to 31, expected future production dipped one point to 34, current demand for existing units dropped four points to 38 and expected future demand fell five points to 39. Feb, Apr,market, Jun, “Like the overall housing the 55+ segment of the market is undergoing a slow but steady recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist

VALLEY, METRO, ARIZONA serious obstacles to a continued and APT

Salsbury Indu

David Crowe. “That said, there are

stronger recovery. While problems with tight credit conditions for buyers and obtaining accurate appraisals are still lingering, new problems like spot shortages and rising costs for labor, materials and lots are Aug, Oct, Dec beginning to emerge.” www.nahb.org

1010 East 62nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90001-1598 Phone: 1-800-624-5269 • Fax: 1-800-624-5299

1/8 Page 4 7/8” x 3 5/8”

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www.pacificcrestpm.com On-Site Northwest • February 2013

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ON-SITE Thurston ...continued from page 11 Bella on Canyon, featured in the photo. It is located in Puyallup and was developed by Woodworth Capital. There are only 553 units under construction and 368 units planned in the three-county area. OBSERVATIONS Overall the three-county area showed little improvement over the last quarter. While Thurston and Kitsap showed positive gains in rents, this was offset by a slight rent drop in Pierce, which has more than twice the number of units than Kitsap

and Thurston. The biggest improvement for the three-county area was a slight drop in the vacancy rate to 6.60%. Unfortunately, rental incentives increased a little to 3.42%. The best news was in Thurston County. The vacancy rate dropped 115 basis points to 6.21% after three consecutive quarters of increasing vacancy rates. Tom Cain of Apartment Insights is a member of the nonprofit Central Puget Sound Real Estate Research Committee in charge of providing apartment rent

and vacancy data. Tom has been a member of the Committee for over 25 years, and has been researching apartment market trends in the Seattle area since 1978. His company surveys the five counties in Central and South Puget Sound. This article highlights survey results that subscribers can access from an online database of all 50u+ properties. Apartment Insights also provides customized rent reports and market reports. www.apartmentinsightswa.com 206632-2220

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On-Site Northwest • February 2013

The Landlord Times - On-Site - February 2013  

The Landlord Times On-Site edition is the monthly journal for property managers, apartment owners, independent rental owners and other real...