Communication and Deferred Maintenance

I have a confession to make.  (No, this is not a lead in to a Foo Fighters song.)  Somewhere last week and this week I have failed miserably in the communication to an owner of seven properties we manage.  I thought I was being clear.  But based on what I’m hearing from one of our staff and the nature of the client’s questions, I know I’ve failed.

But here is the message:  You have to occasionally spend money on your rental properties. 

We want our investment owners to make as much money as possible on their income properties.  But after you’ve owned property for a number of years things need updating, bushes and trees need trimming, items that slowly fall in to disrepair need repairing.

This doesn’t have to happen all at once. But if you want the full value of your rental property on down the line in terms of maximum rents and resale value, it’s is a must.

I just need to start all over again with this owner  and be sure I have communicated completely this need.  But ultimately it’s the owner’s money and the owner’s decision.

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A Prayer for Baltimore

baltimoreI spent 15 years in Suburban Maryland which, of course, identifies more with Washington, DC than Baltimore.  But Baltimore was only 30 miles away and reminded me more of a “real” city.  Washington pushes paper and people around in one big shuffle.  Baltimore works for a living. Washington is a dark tinted Mercedes.  Baltimore is trusty Ford.

As a private investigator I got to all the streets of Baltimore.  It was the ’80s and early ’90s and the downtown renaissance had just come to early adulthood. The scars of the ’60s and early ’70s had begun to fade and the city was moving onwards and upwards.  But, in the shadows, the divide always seems to be there.

Nowhere was I able to finally show my wife and family this better than on a vacation trip for the 4th of July, 2008. We were celebrating with the fireworks over the Inner Harbor. It’s a truly stunning visual knowing that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner just a few thousand yards from where I was sitting on the edge of the water.  The crowds of families were delighted, peaceful and festive.

Then came afterwards…

The street urchins and wanna be gangsters descended and began to do what they pretty much do on many great Baltimore nights.  They started blocking streets and causing havoc, though there was little property damage.  My wife was freaking out and the children watched with bemusement when the police barricaded a street  from moving because these street thugs had blocked one of the main exits to the nearby highways.  They walked between our cars and even on top of some cars.  They were seemingly delighted they were causing so much mischief and worry to the suburbanites trying to head home.

Make no mistake, these idiots are not the vast majority of Baltimore. But something in this city has allowed them, excused them, to behave this way. Sadly, I see the same beginnings here in Kansas City on The Plaza.  Bored youths who think it’s fun to terrorize.

A great quote from the Baltimore police chief last night concerned a hooded kid being recognized by his mother.  Rather than the kid’s mother excusing him or remaining passive she went out, removed his hood and slapped him a couple times in the head before leading him home.  The chief said he wished more parents would take charge of their kids that way.  As do we all.

Say a prayer for Baltimore.  My guess is this isn’t over.  And that it has little to do with the protests. It’s just another reason to cause terror.  Hooliganism they used to call it in Great Britain.

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House For Sale in Olathe, Kansas

olathe real estate

This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in Olathe, Kansas is for sale and being offered at $185,000.  Follow this link to find out more!

House For Sale, Olathe, Kansas

Ad Astra Realty, Inc
2011 E Crossroads Lane
Olathe, KS  66062

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What Is Your Criteria For Investment Property

Good criteria is the most important aspect of real estate investing. At least that is what the last thirteen years of working with real estate investors helping to buy, sell and manage income property has taught me.  What is your criteria when it comes to investment property?

I have written about how important good criteria is for your rental properties before.   Here are just a few of the posts for you to go back and read.  Heck, the dates are from years ago but the philosophy has not changed at all.

What is Your Criteria For A Good Investment Property?
Real Estate Investment Property Criteria
Set Criteria For Your Real Estate Investments

Identifying the returns you would like to make in real estate investing is very, very important.  But so is knowing what property you are looking for to make that happen.  And what if your criteria and your return goals don’t match up? Well, then you can move on to another investment vehicle that will better suit you than real estate or you can counsel to find out what is actually realistic when considering income property as a vehicle to get you to that retirement worth having.


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Fully Understanding Investment Property

There are so many moving parts to fully understanding investment property that it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed.  But relax, just like algebra, it’s not all that difficult once you break it down in to little bite sized pieces.

The next series of blog posts will include the following subjects;


In the following posts we’ll discuss each of these in detail to help you understand how you should really think about investment property whether it’s in Kansas, Texas or California.  We’ll talk about realistic expectations versus guru-seminar fantasy.  At least from what I see here in Kansas City.  As a professional real estate broker and property manager with Ad Astra Realty I can tell you what really happens out on the street.

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Property Management in Kansas City

I have to tell you that property management in Kansas City is going to get better and better because of Ad Astra Realty, Inc and our inclusion to a professional group called NARPM.  That is National Association of Residential Property Managers.

My real estate license was granted to me in May of 2002. And I have been a member of NAR (National Association of Realtors) ever since.  But I don’t really get much sense of value from it.  Just sayin’.  So that is pretty much what I expected when I joined NARPM.  I was hoping for a little education about property management.  What I got was a group of professionals who, while competing with each other for every dollar, are also striving to make property management better through education and cooperation.

It is my belief as owner/broker of Ad Astra Realty, Inc, that our owners and tenants deserve the finest property management services that could possibly be available in Kansas City.  I know we are the best when it comes to working with investment property buyers and sellers looking for rental properties. And now I am more assured than ever that we are on track to be, hands down, the best property management firm in Kansas City.  We probably already are.  But with continued education, I know we are.

This may all sound a little self-promoting or overly excited.  But property management is the crimp in the hour glass when it comes to your rental properties and I’m determined to open that crimp.

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Automated Showing Solutions for Our Property Management

property managementAd Astra Realty, Inc is happy to announce we’ve come up with an automated solution that will allow for more scheduled appointments for your rental properties, few no shows, feedback and so much more.  We’re very excited to move to the next level of property management here in Kansas City. Want to know more?  Just give Chris a call at 913-568-1579 or take our website out for a spin.  Pretend you are a tenant and see what you think.

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