• About Frank

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  • Frank Rizzi manages Bos Commercial in West Covina and has been in real estate since 1988. Since then, he has made millions for his investors over the last decade.

    With his team of experts, he has built a solid reputation as a responsive expert with in-depth market perspective of a local firm coupled with the sophisticated capabilities of a national company.

    BOS Commercial has positioned itself to handle every aspect of your commercial property
    investment whether it be purchases, management, leasing, renovations, or sale of your property.

5 Steps to Get Your Full Security Deposit Back

Tenants often have to deal with disputes over security deposits, which can add headaches to the already stressful moving out process. Here are 5 ways to guarantee you’ll get your full security deposit refunded.

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  • Clean, Clean, Clean

Quite possibly the most important step in getting your deposit back is cleaning everything. An apartment can benefit greatly from a good scrub-down. Clean the windows, kitchen appliances (yes, even inside the oven and refrigerator), showers, tubs, toilets, and mirrors; vacuum the carpets, dust, remove nails and screws and putty over them, etcetera. All of these improvements are vital to keeping the place livable. Landlords can deduct from your security deposit if they have to hire a cleaning service to fix any filth tenants leave behind.

  • Fix What You Can (beyond wear and tear)

Landlords cannot deduct from your security deposit for normal wear and tear, such as slightly chipping paint, faded curtains, worn-out carpet, etc. Damaged or broken items- anything beyond wear and tear- is your responsibility. Rug stains from pets or spills, broken tiles, holes in the walls, broken windows, kids’ drawings on the walls, and any other damages must be fixed before moving out.

However, if you have resided in the building for about five years or more, landlords can deduct a little for wear and tear on carpeting, paint, and other such items. These items are time-based, so if you have been a long-term tenant, expect to see a little bit of your deposit put towards repainting or recarpeting.

  • Don’t Leave Anything Behind

Make sure you take everything with you- trash, appliances that belong to you, all of your belongings. You will be charged if your landlord has to remove items from the property.

  • Take Pictures

After you’ve cleaned and fixed everything, take pictures of the condition of the property. In case your landlord tries to make unfair deductions, you’ll have the pictures to prove the state of the place. If you have to go to a small claims court, these pictures could save your case and help you get the full deposit back.

  • Walkthrough

Schedule a walkthrough with your landlord. Have him or her point out any deductions they would make so you can fix the issues before you move out. Go through a rental walkthrough condition assessment form together so you can make sure you’re getting the full deposit amount you’re entitled to.

For more information, please visit Parting Ways- Quick Tip

As a full-service property management company, it’s our duty to act as a liaison between the customer and the property owner. We are experts at what we do, so contact us today, and let us show you how we can help you today. CALL 626-339-1000.

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Make Your Customers Love You

With so much emphasis placed on finding customers today, business owners often lose sight of keeping the ones they have. Here are a few surefire ways to stem those losses. These days, every customer counts. So why, then, do companies lose them? Between moving away, passing away, and switching to a competitor, the excuses are many for why customers may jump ship. But the number one reason customers bail is the feeling of indifference toward a product or service.

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To counter this ambivalence, it’s key to make sure your customers feel and perceive that they are wanted and then will want to stay where they’re appreciated. But to make customers love you, you’ll have to work even harder. Here are six ways to win the devotion that makes for loyal customers:

  • Never Assume:

You may think you know what customers want, but what if you’re wrong? One of the main reasons such a high percentage of new businesses fail is because those companies are trying to create demand where there isn’t any. Don’t make the same mistake they do. Survey everything you offer residents- amenities, services, etc. Build your value proposition around the wants, needs, and desires of your target customer. You will get a better understanding of your customer’s needs, plus you’ll be able to identify innovative ways to exceed their expectations.

  • Always Deliver:

To win customers back, you need to deliver on time, every time. If a problem arises, inform your customer right away. Explain how you’re going to deal with it. Then follow up again, and again, and again to ensure positive results. You might even create a system to ensure that each task gets completed correctly and is always delivered in a timely fashion.

  • Personalized Loyalty Programs:

In order to ensure you have a winning loyalty program, design and execute it in a systemized way. Plus, you need to show the value of it and continually demonstrate that value. Make your customers feel rewarded and happy. A customized customer loyalty program or resident rewards program with “real” benefits to the residents will help you retain residents much longer.

  • Say Thank You:

Sounds obvious, but consider this… When was the last time you received a thank you note from a company you do business with? Or any notice, other than when a payment is due? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.

  • Stay Connected

While the frequency may vary, every customer should receive an off line touch at least once per quarter, and an email or newsletter, even more often. For instance, once a week with an “opt-in” message may do the trick. Over time, you can develop a relationship with your customers, especially if your touches are information or education-oriented and are designed to add value to their experience with you, rather than just as a mechanism for pushing products or services.

  • Play Favorites

New customers are critical to growth, but you must ensure that current or long-standing customers get VIP treatment as well. Nothing is worse for loyal customers than to see products or services they bought at full price discounted to entice new customers. You can turn this around by offering exclusive benefits, programs, or specials geared specifically to your longest and most loyal customers. It’s important to make your customers feel they are being taken care of and that they matter to you, the landlord or manager.

These techniques are a good start to ensuring you keep your customers happy and satisfied. For more information, see 10 Ways to Make Good Tenants Stay. As a full-service property management company, we know countless insider tips and tricks to getting the best possible tenants AND keeping them for a long time. Contact us at our office or call us at 626-339-1000 for all of your property management needs.

More Renters Dreaming of Home Ownership

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According to the 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey, conducted by the National Association of Realtors, more renters are now hoping to own a home.

The survey also found that the number of people who say they prefer to rent has declined.

NAR President Gary Thomas points to the fact that in many parts of the country, it’s cheaper to own a home than to rent one.

The survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing opportunities, found 85% of Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision and more than two-thirds (68%) said now is a good time to buy a home. Since the last survey in 2013, 36% of renters are now thinking about purchasing a home, up from 25 percent, while those who say they prefer to rent dropped from 31 percent to 25 percent. Over half of renters say that eventually owning a home is one of their highest personal priorities.

Attitudes toward the housing market have also improved over the years. 49% identified an increase in activity within their local housing market in the past year, compared to the 2013 survey, where 44% perceived an increase in activity, and compared 2011 survey just a few years ago, where only 12% perceived an increase in activity.

For many Americans, the perceived obstacles to homeownership have remained unchanged over the years; low wages, student loan debt, and little savings for a down payment and closing costs continue to make it difficult for many to become homeowners. Respondents across the board – young and old, college graduates and non-graduates – consider student loan debt to be a large obstacle. 78% of respondents perceived student loan debt to be at least a medium obstacle to buying a home, and among millennials, 86% consider student debt to be at least a medium obstacle.

“Student loan debt is a concern for many consumers in today’s market, especially first-time buyers,” said Thomas. “Buyers with student loan debt may find it difficult to access mortgage credit, as well as save for a down payment. Pending mortgage finance regulations requiring higher down payments could also contribute to the already tight lending environment. Realtors are working with regulators to address this issue and are committed to making sure those who are willing and able to own a home have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

Overall, faith in the housing market has improved markedly, a vast majority of Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, and most believe they could sell their home for at least its initial purchase price.

Although many renters would like to buy a home, the facts show this is becoming harder and harder especially in Greater Los Angeles area in which we operate. Rents have continued to move up above 6% this year and the amount of first time home buyers that can qualify dropped from 27% to 18%. Many professional real estate investors have been looking to homes to invest their money due to increasing rents and the compression of CAP rates in more traditional real estate investment options like apartments and office buildings. We help many investors purchase rental homes, and although the cash on cash returns are between 3-5%, they seem satisfied.

For more information, CONTACT US or call us at 626-399-1000.

Screening Potential Tenants: How to Ensure You Have the Best Possible Residents

All landlords worry about the quality of the applicants interested in their properties. Beyond the basic credit report, eviction history, and criminal background checks that should be performed right off the bat, there are a few key steps property managers and owners can take to secure the best tenants for their homes or apartments.

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BASICS

Of course, start off with the criminal background check. Anyone with a conviction record probably isn’t someone you want renting or leasing your property. An online credit check can reveal some potential red flags- failure to make payments on time, excessive credit card debt, etcetera. Don’t forget to ask for copies of IDs when checking for credit- you may need these copies later. Additionally, an eviction history report might show some problems that you wouldn’t want to deal with on your property. By covering these three reports, you are well on your way towards picking the best tenants.

PRE-SCREENING QUESTIONS TO ASK

Sometimes, an applicant who looks good on paper can be the cause of your headaches later on. So, how do you avoid renting or leasing to those kinds of tenants? Landlords and property managers all have their own questions they like to ask applicants to weed out unfavorable ones. Don’t have a list? Here’s one to get you started.

  • Why are you moving?

This question immediately will tell you what kind of tenant this person is. If they have a list of conflicts with their former landlord, this might clue you in to problems you might have later on. Constantly breaking appliances, heated arguments over rent increases, and other possibly unreasonable complaints might be signs of a problem tenant. If they can go on and on about what they disliked about their former residence or landlord, they might easily be able to blame a host of issues on you in the future. Save yourself the hassle, and try to rent to people who generally have fewer complaints.

  • When do you plan to move in?

If someone is trying to back out of their old lease, they might do the same with their new lease. By asking them when they plan to move in, you can check to see if there were problems in their previous residence- impending eviction, unresolvable complaints, etcetera.

  • Will you consent to credit and background checks?

If they say no, they probably have something to hide.

  • Do you have any pets?

If your property strictly does not allow pets but the applicant begs for an exception, or if they lie about their ownership status, this is an easy way to know if an applicant might not be the best fit.

  • Do you have any landlord or employer references?

Applicants without references may not have gotten along with employers or landlords, and may not get along with you.

  • How many people will be living on the property?

One person’s name on a lease or rental for an applicant who intends to live with roommates might be a red flag. Their roommate might have credit or criminal problems, they might intend to sublet the apartment themselves, or have some other issues.

  • What is your monthly income?

This way, you can be sure they’ll be able to pay the rent on time and you can justify rent increases later on.

  • Will you be able to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent at the time of move-in?

Similar to the previous question, this can help you determine the applicant’s financial stability or instability.

  • May I see your bank statements for the past few months?

By viewing an applicant’s bank statements, you can verify their income. Additionally, you can check their legitimacy- if they consent to show you the statements, they probably aren’t hiding from you or from creditors.

  • Do you have any additional questions?

This gives you an opportunity to gauge the potential tenant’s interest in the property and what kinds of services they want from you.

For more information about potentially problematic tenants, take a look at 10 Traits of Terrible Tenants.

DISCRIMINATION

Just note, it can get you into serious legal trouble if you refuse to rent to an applicant and they can prove you discriminated against them. Be sure you are an equal-opportunity housing provider, and rent your homes or apartments without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, marital or familial status, sex, orientation, or physical disability.

For help with investigations or evictions, visit Investigating Problem Tenants or To Evict or Not to Evict: Exploring Your Options.

Two Birds, One Stone: Save Money on Commercial Air Conditioning Costs

Any landlord knows the struggle of keeping their properties cool during those hot summer months while trying to avoid astronomical price surges in electrical usage. Want one easy, effective solution? Try reflective roof coating.   

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Reflective roofing can help cut air conditioning costs during the summer by 30-40%.The three types of reflective roofing, a rubberized paint process, a single ply system, or a poly foam system, create a barrier between the weather and the roof. Not only does this protect your roof from leaks and water damage, the white roof system reflects hot sunlight. This “cool” roof reflects much more sunlight than it absorbs, as opposed to a “black” roof, or a normal, uncoated roof. Uncoated roofs absorb solar energy, and that heat transfers into the building, increasing the need for air conditioning. By installing a reflective coating, the interior of the building remains cooler, and tenants don’t have to crank the AC up so high, saving you money and headaches.

Over time, your investment pays off exponentially. Upkeep and maintenance is very simple- a quick recoating every ten years or so (at only a fraction of the price of initial installation) keeps the system running like new. You’ll save money on electric bills and won’t have to do constant repairs on a leaky roof.

Summer is the perfect opportunity to invest in reflective roofing. You can negotiate a much better price with your roofers who are usually slow during this period. Typically during these few months, their services aren’t in high demand, so you can get a great deal.

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Smooth Moves That Save Landlords Money

Move out time can blow up, draining precious time and money.  That’s usually because the current tenants tend to put everything off until the last minute.

Do you compound the problem by doing the same thing?

Smooth moves require a plan of action, and that starts when the tenant first moves in.

Keeping up with repairs and noting damage throughout the term of the lease can speed up turnaround time, and make it easier to find a new tenant.

Other cost-saving steps include:

Doing a pre-walk thru with the tenant about a month before the move. Note any items that would be deducted from the security deposit if not fixed. Also note wear and tear items, and set up contractors for the move out date.

Supply tenants with a cleaning checklist so they know what must be accomplished prior to move out. The more detailed the list, the better the results. Include phone numbers for trash hauling companies, donation centers, and preferred vendors. List trash collection times. Also, remind tenants of any applicable house rules, like how to take large items out of a unit.

Ask for the tenant’s forwarding address before they move out.

Set a walk-thru time in advance.

Leave a copy of the Move In/Out Checklist. Fill out the “Out” portion during the walk-thru, with the tenant present.

Take pictures or video of the condition of the property.

Have a list of items to check after every turnaround — checking batteries on the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking water pressure and looking for leaks, for example.

Inventory any damage and create an accounting for the security deposit.

Mortgage Rates Roiling From Taper Talk

According to Freddie Mac’s most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), average fixed mortgage rates jumping along with bond yields amid recent Fed remarks that it could begin tapering its bond purchases later this year.

“Following Fed chief Bernanke’s remarks on June 19th about the possible timing of reduced bond purchases, Treasury bond yields jumped over the week and mortgage rates followed. He indicated that the Fed may moderate the pace of its buying later this year and end the purchases around the middle of 2014,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

“Higher mortgage rates may dampen some housing market activity but the effect will be muted by the high level of buyer affordability, and home sales should remain strong, ” Nothaft adds. “For instance, existing home sales in May rose to its strongest pace since November 2009 and new home sales were the most seen since July 2008. In addition, the 12-month growth in the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city home price index for April of 12.1 percent was the largest since April 2006.”

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.93 percent last week to 4.46 percent this week; the highest it has been since the week of July 28, 2011. This represents the largest weekly increase for the 30-year fixed since the week ended April 17, 1987.

Despite the recent gains in mortgage rates, homebuyer affordability remains strong for the typical family in most parts of the country, which should help fuel the ongoing housing recovery.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.46 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending June 27, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 3.50 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.04 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.94 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.79 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.79 percent.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.66 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.57 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.74 percent.