Archive for the ‘ Real Estate ’ Category

AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing Expands Years of Expertise into the Northwest: Seattle Office Now Open

Seattle Skyline

July 8, 2016: AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing’s newest locally owned and operated office, AvenueWest Seattle, LLP, officially opened its doors today. This partnership matches the years of experience that Angela and Tim Healy possess in property management and corporate housing with the local real estate knowledge and business development expertise of Rick Hoffman.

“When I initially met the Healy’s and could sense their integrity and passion for this business” Hoffman states, “I knew they were different from the countless other business owners that I have worked with previously. I was captivated when Angela was speaking about the different services they provide for their clients and how their systems work. We arranged another meeting and the rest is history – AvenueWest Seattle, LLP was born.”

With the Seattle real estate market at an all-time high and rental inventory at an all-time low, AvenueWest Seattle, LLP opens its doors at the perfect time. With their proven business model of working directly with private property owners and investors, AvenueWest Seattle isn’t having any issues finding exclusive properties to market for corporate housing like traditional providers. The new laws being passed in Seattle regarding short-term housing options have also created an influx of owners who still want to maximize their return on investment through furnished rentals and AvenueWest Seattle, LLP, can help them do this still.

Seattle 1

The city of Seattle is proposing regulations for short term rentals for stays less than 30 days to only be allowed 90 cumulative nights or fewer in a 12 month period. These regulations do not limit the amount of rentals for 30 days or longer; however, applicable taxes and a business license will now be required of any property owner wishing to rent their property(ies) as a short term rental, regardless if they are less than 30 day stays or not.

“We are finding that owners who have their property(ies) listed on AirBNB and other short term rental sites don’t wish to obtain a business license or pay the applicable taxes and don’t necessarily want to manage their rental properties any longer, but still want to maximize their ROI on their property investment(s).   We have already received a warm reception in Seattle with private owners wishing to utilize our services to achieve their ROI goals while reducing their time commitment in renting their property(ies). All property owners in our management program benefit from qualified renters who typically stay an average of 100 days in an AvenueWest property giving our owners peace of mind and stability,” states Angela.

Seattle 2

Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, has wanted to start an office in Seattle for years and the partnership between the Healy’s and Rick Hoffman couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

“Seattle is a booming city with a number of great corporate headquarters, unique industries, and a definite need for alternative housing solutions like temporary furnished housing. Companies and individuals relocating to Seattle for a variety of different reasons will have a strong preference for AvenueWest’s managed corporate rental properties over a transient hotel setting or other standard apartment rentals,” says Smith. “With Rick’s knowledge of the area, and the Healy’s knowledge of the industry, AvenueWest Seattle, LLP is now in league with the kinds of rental properties required by discerning executives and business travelers. Private landlords and investors also have the opportunity to earn greater rental income on their properties.”

About AvenueWest Seattle, LLP

 AvenueWest Seattle, LLP, a franchise of Denver-based AvenueWest Global Franchise, opened its doors on July 1, 2016 and is jointly owned by Angela and Tim Healy and Rick Hoffman who manages this office. AvenueWest Seattle, LLP fosters the connection between a private landlord of a rental property offered as a short-term, furnished rental with those in need of executive housing such as a traveling business executive, relocated family, traveling professor, athlete or actor, and even someone in need of temporary housing during a medical treatment. To offer your property for rent through AvenueWest Seattle, LLP, or to find a property during your temporary stay in the Seattle metropolitan area, contact Rick Hoffman or Angela and Tim Healy directly at 206.319.5459 or via email at: Seattle@avenuewest.com.

AvenueWest Northern Colorado Franchise Success Story

Northern Colorado Franchisee Experiences Positive Cash-Flow in Six Months; Meets High Demand for Furnished Housing in Ft. Collins and Surrounding Cities

As a long time residential real estate agent, Deb Salek knows all too well the hard work and long hours it takes to run a business. She worked every day, including weekends, helping her clients buy and sell homes. Her husband, Todd, too, knew the virtues of hard work. He spent 13 successful years in the sales industry.

Although at the surface Deb and Todd were successful, both say they felt they had more to give and were seeking new opportunities in their careers. They desired to own a business that could support their family, give them a stable lifestyle, and thrive long after they’ve retired.

“As a real estate agent, I only earned income when I worked,” says Deb. “When looking for a new business venture, I wanted something that would have longevity, and one that offered a repeatable and sustainable revenue stream.”

Committed to finding a new career path, Deb discovered the possibilities of becoming a franchisee of AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing (“AvenueWest”) after reading about AvenueWest’s CEO, Kimberly Smith, in a magazine, and later meeting her at a networking event.

“AvenueWest sounded too good to be true! It offered all the things I desired in a career, including the opportunity to own my own business, build something I could eventually pass on or sell, and allow me to work more traditional hours so I could spend more time at home with my children,” says Deb. “Plus, AvenueWest fit nicely into my repertoire, enabling me to still pull upon my years of real estate experience, yet explore a new avenue within my niche.”

On November 1, 2013, the Saleks officially opened an AvenueWest franchise in Northern Colorado (4025 Automation Way #F2, Fort Collins, CO 80525).

Getting Started

Deb says that she likes how she didn’t have to “recreate the wheel,” as AvenueWest provides a clear path to business ownership without all the hassles that come with a startup. She says she also likes that the brand has already built trust, recognition, and a track record of success in the corporate housing industry.

Even though AvenueWest offered a path to success, Deb and Todd say they knew it would take hard work and time to grow it into a thriving, sustainable business.

“Almost immediately upon opening our doors, AvenueWest began sending us housing requests, yet we had no inventory to fulfill those requests,” says Deb. “That’s when we knew we had to get resourceful if we were going to succeed.”

To meet the “pent up demand” for short-term, furnished housing in Northern Colorado, Deb and Todd leased several local apartments and furnished them. Little did the Saleks know that the apartment buildings would soon become their top source for new client leads!

Another source of client leads came from insurance companies. Deb says that corporate housing can help people who have been displaced from their homes.

For example, when lightning struck the home of a Berthoud, CO family, an insurance company approached AvenueWest in Ft. Collins, asking them to find a short-term, furnished rental for their client.

Because of the housing shortage plaguing Northern Colorado, Deb says she knew finding this family temporary living quarters wouldn’t be easy.

“We didn’t have any properties under management that met this family’s specific size and location needs,” says Deb. “Rather than turning the insurance company away, we got resourceful. We contacted a builder in Loveland about leasing one of his new apartment suites so we could furnish it and use it as a short-term rental for the Berthoud family. He agreed. We were able to help this family during a time of crisis and that felt great!”

Success At Last!

By the end of their first six months as AvenueWest franchisees, Deb and Todd say they have become cash flow positive and currently have more than 50 properties in inventory.

“We are very proud of how fast and confidently Deb and Todd have grown the AvenueWest brand in Northern Colorado. They have become one of our most successful franchisees in only one year. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this dynamic duo, and to proudly serve the corporate housing needs throughout Northern Colorado,” says Smith.

Looking Ahead

AvenueWest has become a full time career for both Deb and Todd (both left their day jobs), and they both agree that their earning potential far exceeds their previous career paths.

While 2014 was a fast-growth year for AvenueWest Northern Colorado, Deb says she knows she still has a lot of work to do. She says she would like to reach an exciting milestone of 100 properties in inventory within the next two years.

 “Northern Colorado is an in-demand region for both residents and businesses. We can only hope we are in a position to help all the clients that come our way in search of furnished, temporary housing,” says Deb.

About AvenueWest Northern Colorado

Since 1999 AvenueWest has been providing award winning service and exclusive furnished corporate housing properties.  The company is focused on hands-on customer service and high quality rentals to meet the housing needs of both the experienced business traveler and also the discerning traveler on a budget. Fort Collins is a rapidly growing city with an award winning quality of life.  AvenueWest Northern Colorado strives to connect clients with the short-term, furnished housing they need in Old Town, Southeast Fort Collins, North Fort Collins, Midtown, Water Valley, Centerra, Loveland, Windsor, and Greeley.

Corporate Housing Provider Expands to Fort Collins, CO

Denver & Fort Collins, CO– November 1st, 2013 – AvenueWest Global Franchise today announces the opening of its latest franchise location, AvenueWest Northern Colorado located in Fort Collins, CO at 1136 E. Stuart St., #4201. AvenueWest Northern Colorado connects private landlords with business travelers in need of full service corporate housing. Corporate housing is defined as fully furnished rental apartments, homes or condominiums offered for rent on a short-term basis, usually for one month or more.

AvenueWest Global Franchise has been tapping into the emerging trend of departing business executives who are finding both financial freedom and life balance through franchise ownership. Deb Salek, a former senior level analyst with Qwest Communications is now the owner of the AvenueWest Northern Colorado office.  Deb’s exit from corporate America is a developing national trend.  Her first step was to decide to leave her office job.  She built a successful residential real estate business as a broker associate with RE/MAX, which provided the flexibility she needed with her two young children.  Then Deb and her husband, Todd, chose to relocate to Fort Collins, CO a city they found as the best compliment to their quality of life vision. When looking to target the relocation market more specifically, Deb found AvenueWest Corporate Housing to be an exciting opportunity which taps into both her corporate and real estate experience as she looks to build a long term sustainable business. Deb says Fort Collins is the perfect place to set up a corporate housing shop.

“Fort Collins offers this amazing quality of life and energy that is fueling growth and causing a positive relocation trend for the city.  With a diverse blend of corporations, Colorado State University, state of the art hospitals, government entities and a burgeoning craft beer industry, Fort Collins economy continues to strengthen. Fort Collins is also in the midst of a hot housing market with property inventory at a premium so it may take people several months to find a new home, and short-term housing presents the best solution during that transition.

Salek continues: “The people that stay in our AvenueWest properties prefer to have the amenities of home and appreciate that it is a less transient environment than what they would find in a hotel.  The cost to stay in an AvenueWest property is also typically less expensive per night than staying in a hotel.”

Salek will officially open the AvenueWest Northern Colorado office on November 1, 2013. Salek adds: the interest in managed corporate housing from corporations, investors and real estate professionals alike is exceeding her expectations. While Fort Collins will be her home base, she is assessing nearby Loveland, Windsor and Greeley, all of which are in growth patterns as well.

“There seems to be demand from every corner: corporations, visiting professors, medical personnel, the oil and gas industry, tourists and so forth.  I see the real opportunity as being with the individual homeowners who want to offer their furnished homes as corporate rental properties. They will have the ability to work with us to capitalize on and profit from the growing need for temporary housing solutions in the area.  It’s exciting to be able to help owners develop their investment properties,” Salek says.

Kimberly Smith, the CEO of AvenueWest Global Franchise, says that opening an office in Fort Collins has been on her wish list since the day she started her managed corporate housing business in the LODO area of Denver some 14 years ago and a priority since launching AvenueWest Global Franchise in 2010.

“An executive who wants a furnished property with all the creature comforts of home and high-end furnishings will have a strong preference for AvenueWest’s corporate rental properties over a transient hotel setting or other generic apartment rentals,” says Smith.  “With Deb’s knowledge of the area and industry, AvenueWest Northern Colorado now offers the kinds of rental properties required by discerning executives. It also offers the opportunity for private landlords to earn greatly increased rental income on their properties.”

About AvenueWest Global Franchise

Established in 2010, AvenueWest Global Franchise grew from the desire to expand the business opportunity and corporate housing excellence achieved through the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing program that was founded in 1999.  Currently AvenueWest Global Franchise has offices in Boston MA, Colorado Springs CO, Dallas TX, Denver CO, Fort Collins CO, Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco CA, and has recently embarked on an aggressive expansion plan with expectations to open an office in Atlanta, GA before year’s end.

About AvenueWest Northern Colorado

AvenueWest Northern Colorado, a franchise of Denver-based AvenueWest Global Franchise, opens its doors on November 1, 2013 and is owned and managed by Deb Salek, a long-time real estate executive. AvenueWest Northern Colorado fosters the connection between a private landlord of a rental property offered as a short-term, furnished rental with those in need of executive housing such as a traveling business executive, relocated family, traveling professor, athlete or actor and even someone in need of temporary housing during a medical treatment. To offer your property for rent through AvenueWest Northern Colorado, or to find a property during your temporary stay in the area, contact Deb Salek at 970-797-3099 or via email at: DSalek@AvenueWest.com.

To learn more about AvenueWest Northern Colorado and AvenueWest Global Franchise, visit www.AvenueWest.com.

For franchise opportunities and information, visit: www.AvenueWestFranchise.com.

 

 

 

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AvenueWest 2013 – Top 50 Real Estate Investment Opinion Makers & Market Leaders.

Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine “Building Wealth Through Property Investment”  this month honored AvenueWest as one of the top leaders in the United States along with HomeVestors and Real Property Management.

12 Tips for Reducing Your Rental Management Liability

I spoke to CRB this month – take a look…

http://www.crb.com/resources/reb/mar-apr13/mar-apr13/index.html

16 Mar/Apr 2013 http://www.crb.com

12 Tips for Reducing Your Rental Management Liability

 Adding rental and property management services can boost your profitability. Be sure to protect those gains with these 12 risk-management ideas.

By G.M. Filisko

It can be a wise move to broaden your business base by expanding the services your brokerage offers, and handling rentals and property management is a natural segment into which to expand.

That’s especially true given market changes in the past few years. “For the past couple of years, we’ve seen more first-time landlords—people who couldn’t sell their home and wouldn’t have ordinarily been landlords,” explains T.J. Rubin, managing broker of Fulton Grace Realty in Chicago, a leasing, management, and brokerage company. “We’ve also seen a growth in single- unit condo investors. Maybe they’ve seen a foreclosure and bought it intending to rent it out. Finally, there’s been a trend of more luxury units being rented.”

Rubin’s experience is being repeated throughout the country, and all those rental markets present opportunities for brokers. However, rental management isn’t hazard-free. Without savvy planning and controls, you can expose your company to liability that could wipe out any added profitability you generate. Here are 12 great ideas to safeguard your company when you offer rental management.

1. Create a separate legal entity.

Operate your rental management business out of a company separate from your brokerage, advises lawyer Bruce Ailion, ABR®, CRS®, CRBsm, e-PRO®. Ailion is an associate broker
at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta in Marietta, Ga. However, through Success Real Estate Brokers, at which he’s the principal broker, Ailion manages about 110 rental units.

“It is easier to do the management though a separate company,” he says. “Our structure was done for accounting convenience. But it’s also a good strategy for minimizing liability.”

2. Don’t manage a property here and there.

“Don’t just rent out a property as a favor
to someone,” says Kimberly Smith, CEO
of CorporateHousingbyOwner.com and Avenue West Global Franchise, a Denver-area brokerage that manages furnished residential units and trains franchisees to do the same. “Make sure rentals and management are part
of your core business model. Unless you know who to connect with—like the most appropriate insurance vendors—you’ll fail.”

“You also need to know your local laws,” adds Smith. “They’ll dictate whether you need to collect use taxes on rentals; whether owners have to provide a written notice within a certain period of time to keep any of a tenant’s deposit, along with what charges can be deducted and not; whether you have to keep security deposits in escrow; and when and how in your marketing you must disclose you’re a broker. Don’t dabble in property management because there are penalties if you get those things wrong.”

3. Train your agents before they handle rentals.

“Careless agents not following procedures is the quickest way to get in trouble,” says Rubin. “We have a property management handbook to make sure everyone learns our processes and procedures. But agents also have to jump right in. So we have junior managers mirror senior managers. Then the junior managers get their own accounts while still having their mentor’s help. Finally, they become proficient and operate independently.”

4. Properly screen all potential landlord clients

“When we’re managing properties, if there’s a lawsuit for premises liability, we’ll be named as a defendant in addition to the owner,” explains Melania Mirzakhanian, a lawyer and director of operations at Tomea Inc., a full-service brokerage in San Diego with about a third of its business from property management. “So we do credit and criminal background checks on potential landlord clients. I also like to get a feel for their character. I really like one-on- one and face-to-face meetings, but a lot of our clients live out of state and have a second home here. In those cases, we do a lot on the phone and through Skype. If we find out owners aren’t honest with us about their financial situation— say they’ve filed for bankruptcy or their property’s in foreclosure and they haven’t told us—that’s a red flag.”

Another red flag? A too-involved owner. “I need a property and an owner I can represent,” says Smith. “A lot of times, owners are too hands on, saying things like, ‘I’m going to pop over every other week and check the backyard.’ A key benefit every tenant is entitled to is the quiet enjoyment of the property; that can be lost if an owner is too invested in it. I deal
with relocation clients, and one Fortune 500 company may be leasing 10 of my units. If one landlord messes things up, it could mess things up with all 10 units.”

One additional point on owners: Be sure they have the authority to do what they’re agreeing to do. “In one situation, it turned out there were several owners,” says Smith. “I was dealing with one owner who hadn’t properly disclosed the situation to the rest. It got messy fast.
Verify the potential client owns the property. If there’s more than one owner, understand that dynamic, and make sure the contract reflects their consent.”

5. Personally inspect properties before you accept the business.

“We inspect every property, and it’s mostly about the safety of the premises,” says Mirzakhanian. “If a hazardous situation needs to be repaired, my legal background kicks in. We tell the owner what needs to be fixed before we can rent out the property. We won’t let tenants move in with a landlord’s promise to fix that type of thing in a month or two. Pools are also a big issue. We need to be sure they’re maintained and don’t have hazards that can harm children.

6. Be sure to have solid contracts.

Absolutely have a management contract with clients. “Whatever we ask the landlord to do, we put that in the management contract so it’s clear,” says Mirzakhanian. “We also ask landlords to indemnify us for all the things we’ve listed in the contract that need to be repaired. I don’t think we should be liable for those problems.”

Always use written leases, and make sure they’re kosher in your state. “Some states don’t allow you to change their lease forms,” says Smith. “Also, be sure to put any discussions with tenants and owners in writing. One mistake I made was when a tenant asked to leave early and have new tenants take over. Over the phone, the owner agreed. But I didn’t get that in writing, and the owner changed his mind overnight. Get all changes to leases in writing.”

7. Get and require applicable insurance.

Be sure your company has professional and general liability insurance, and ask your clients to include your company on their policy. “In our contracts, we require owners to name us
as an additional insured on their homeowners or landlord’s business policy,” says Rubin. “If people get hurt at the property, they know only us as the landlord, and they’ll sue us.”

8. Communicate with clients and tenants the way they prefer.

“You can reduce liability by learning from your clients how they want to communicate,” says Ailion. “Some want in-person meetings, some want to be contacted by phone, others only

by e-mail or text. Some want regular updates, others want a quarterly call. Some are annoyed if a voice mail isn’t returned within two
hours while, for others, the next day is fine. Learning what the client’s communication preferences are and meeting those expectations reduces liability.”

Do the same with tenants. “A short time ago we had a tenant who was recently discharged from active duty in Afghanistan,” adds Ailion. “We were told by his mother that he had PTSD and anger management issues. He required special handling. While we had some tense moments, understanding how he needed to be responded to and making the extra effort to accommodate his lower ability to tolerate inconvenience and delay allowed us to keep him happy as a tenant and the property leased.”

9. Track business to identify your market’s high-risk clients.

“When you’re first trying to get business, you take any business you can,” says Rubin. “After
a while, you start to spot trickier situations that cost you more time and money and as a result possibly greater liability. We started to limit our service areas because we found that multi-unit buildings further outside our core market are tougher for us to manage. It’s harder to respond to maintenance requests, which increases
our liability.

“We’re also very cautious of managing buildings that haven’t been well run before the owner approaches us,” adds Rubin. “Maybe they don’t enforce rent requirements or late fees, and we might have to begin numerous eviction proceedings. We’ve inherited improperly screened tenants, and when we tried to evict, they argued over things previous managers said that we had no idea about. Or maybe buildings aren’t in great shape or there are code violations. It’s sometimes impossible for us to bring a property up to code and make sure the tenants are perfect. If we step into a situation like that, we could get sued because of some dangerous aspect of the property.”

How can Rubin tell the status of a building’s management? “We look at whether we have contact information for tenants and whether clients are aware of the building’s situation. They can’t hire us expecting a 180-degree turnaround in a few days. Also, there are costs to turning a building around. We’ve managed for owners who are cash strapped and been handcuffed. That reflects poorly on us.”

10. Identify a visible point person for owners and tenants.

“Having a strong customer service person as a point of contact for owners and tenants goes a long way to reducing liability,” says Ailion. “Both owners and tenants want to reach someone who can hear and begin a resolution to their problem.”

Also remember that problems don’t go away the longer they’re not addressed. “A small issue or problem grows over time,” adds Ailion.
“If a mistake has been made, acknowledging, addressing, and resolving it goes a lot further than ignoring it, avoiding it, denying it, or making excuses. How we make a bad decision right makes all the difference. Those I work with know they can make a decision that binds the company, and even if I wouldn’t have made the same decision, I’ll support theirs. Ultimately, a happy client is more important than a few dollars.”

11. Network with others in the field.

Whether it’s through NAR’s Institute
of Real Estate Management or another professional group, networking expands your knowledge base. “The most significant decision I made to reduce liability was joining the National Association of Residential Property Managers, attending
its meetings, and taking its training,” says Ailion. “It’s a group of seasoned professionals willing to train and share their knowledge and experience.”

12. Remember who pays your bills—and that it may not matter.

“It’s important to keep in mind that property management is an odd industry from the standpoint of the definition of a client,” says Rubin. “Technically, it’s the property owners who pay your bills. But you also need tenants to keep your business going. Essentially, you may need to learn to become an effective mediator between the two.”

G.M. Filisko is a lawyer and freelance writer who specializes in real estate, legal, business, and personal finance topics.

 

Is your vacation rental legal?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2013/02/28/vacation-rentals-airbnb-homeaway-regulation/1950797/

Is your vacation rental legal?

Fueled by the housing bust and embraced by cost-conscious, Web-savvy travelers, short-term vacation rentals have been booming from Manhattan to Maui. But so has controversy, as irate neighbors complain about the negative impact of transients and traditional lodgings say inconsistent local laws put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Now, a coalition of major players in the short-term (less than 30 consecutive days) rental market — Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway and TripAdvisor — have joined forces to influence cities’ attempts to regulate or ban the trend. Their new website, the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center, spotlights current legislation in 10 U.S. destinations. Though aimed primarily at policy makers and owners, it also lets would-be renters know the rules surrounding their stays.

http://www.stradvocacy.org/

 

Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine – do you subscribe?

PREI is America’s best selling investment, business and finance magazine for the real estate investor and they take their role seriously as the Emerging Voice for this Emerging Industry and their responsibility to report on all aspects of its development. PREI has assembled some of the best minds in the business as Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine’s Board of Advisers. These include respected leaders and experts in all areas of the industry who understand the keys to success for individual investors and for our industry. http://personalrealestateinvestormag.com/

Current Issue – Pg 66

“An Under-Appreciated Opportunity, Corporate Rentals”

“Most investor would love to have an extra $5,000 to $10,000 in their pocket at the end of the year,” says Kimberly Smith.  “The question to individual real estate investors is: Are you maximizing your income potential by adding some corporate housing units to your portfolio?  You, as a real estate person, can’t afford not to have corporate housing in your vocabulary.” …Take a look for the rest of the article

 

 

 

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