When you own a small bed and breakfast or small vacation rental property, trying to compete with the likes of Agoda or Booking.com seems like an impossible task. That said, you can build a solid brand name in this industry with a very small online marketing budget. Seems impossible right?
Read on if you would like to discover how you can build your vacation rental brand with less than $1,000 or you can read about low budget marketing strategies here.
Corporate budgets when it comes to online marketing go into the millions making it virtually impossible to invest in areas such as search engine optimization or Google Ads. However, rather than plan your marketing around a large budget and fast results, there are ways to contend in what is a very saturated industry when it comes to online marketing.
All you need is a solid and progressive strategy. Your target as a vacation rental owner, property management business or bed and breakfast owner is to continuously discover ways to maximize your occupancy rate.
We will start with the obvious, which is the fact that you should list your bed and breakfast or vacation rental property on multiple websites to gain more visibility. However, this is not the definitive answer to becoming competitive.
Therefore, we will help you further by introducing a strategy that will help you build your brand and gain regular bookings to increase repeat guests as well as gain recommendations through word of mouth in order to increase your occupancy rate.
Use Websites That Allow Free Listings
It may seem like the obvious route, and it is, but the only way to start to gain visibility is to sign up to as many online websites that will allow you to list your property free of charge. All you need to do is simply sign up and start to add your hotel and room types or vacation rental properties.
Airbnb is arguably the most popular website. The problem is, there are quite a few vacation rental owners that will stop here and only list their property on the one site. Yet, there are plenty of other websites that offer free or cheap listings. See the top 10 vacation rental websites here.
You may also be thinking that managing multiple websites is an administrative nightmare. We will come to how you solve this issue in a later section.
Listing your property on as many websites as possible will increase its visibility across the world wide web. There are millions of people worldwide using these sites as well their apps because the website marketing teams have multi-million-dollar budgets in order to build awareness and bring in as much traffic as possible.
When someone searches for a property in your area, your vacation rental or bed and breakfast will appear in the search results. Now in your mind compare having your listing on just one of these websites or on ten websites.
It should be quite clear to you that your listing has a much better chance of gaining bookings when it is listed across multiple sites.
Why Using Free Websites Can Be Difficult to Be Price Competitive?
Even using free websites, you are going to be competing against the thousands of other properties that are listed on these websites. This is an issue and will always be an issue as more people discover these sites.
Another problem is that because these websites allow people to list their properties for free, as soon as you do get a booking, the website takes around 20% of the booking as a service fee. You can read about Airbnb host fees here to get a better idea of what you can expect to pay per booking. Furthermore, you should be aware that these websites also charge their guests a booking fee.
Firstly, to stand out above the crowd you will need reviews. Make sure that you undercut other properties that offer similar facilities in the same location when you first list your property. Also, explain why your price is lower “You have no feedback and need good people to give good reviews so don’t miss out on this bargain”.
As long as the photos and descriptions are 100 percent honest and reflect what the guest can expect, then soon enough your online marketing strategy will be taking its first steps into building a reputable brand.
Keeping Your Guests Happy Using Online Real Time Chat Apps
Make sure that for each website that you use, you install their app. All of them come with a real-time chat function facility. You can install this on your phone and have notifications pop up.
This helps you in two ways:
- You can quickly answer inquiries to gain bookings
- Your current guests can contact you easily if they have questions
Online marketing is not just visibility, it is also about communications. That is why you see so many websites with real-time chat facilities available so potential customers can contact the support/sales teams instantly. Read about 10 live chat advantages here.
Building Your Own Website and Brand
It may take some time to build up feedback across the several websites you have listed your property. However, during this time, while offering your guests an experience of a lifetime, you should also be introducing them to your website.
Why do you need a website?
Earlier we mentioned the 20 percent fees and the booking fees charged by the vacation rental websites. On the other hand, if the guests feel that they enjoyed their experience so much at your property, then they may book again in the future. On your website, the prices will be around 20 percent cheaper to book and does not charge a booking fee.
Now you may see this is an opportunity to make profit, but repeat guests expect discounts. Plus, by offering a lower rate per night on your website, you will be giving them an incentive to book again. Furthermore, if the guests truly enjoyed their experience, staying at your property, then they will recommend your website to their friends and family. Now you are building your brand!
Aren’t Vacation Rental Websites Expensive?
Building a custom vacation rental website can be very costly. Plus, custom sites tend to have quite a few bugs which can potentially lose you sales – especially if the booking system if the calendar is not working.
A Vacation Website Should Have:
- a booking system
- a real-time chat facility
- an automated calendar
- a place to list your properties
- payment gateways with multiple options
- a branded site
- mobile responsive pages
- Fast page loads speeds
Sounds expensive right?
Well, there are website builders out there that have all these functions built in, and they cost next to nothing to operate.
The company offers a series of themes that are all vacation rental websites with every feature mentioned above built in. Shopify is the website builder for the e-comm industry and Lodgify is the vacation rental website builder or the travel industry.
The point of using a website builder like Lodgify is that you have 24/7 support, a mobile responsive theme, and all the vacation rental software tools you need to manage your business all built into the website. Themes are updated regularly to keep up with modern tech such as new screen sizes and devices that come onto the market and more.
As a result, you pay very little for a website that does everything you need and as opposed to paying for a web development company which will charge a maintenance fee, you will already have all this built into the website builder.
Managing Multiple Calendars Online
Now you have your own website, and your properties listed on several websites, you have one problem. How do you manage multiple calendars?
Well, this is where the Lodgify website builder software comes into action. There is a channel manager tool that connects to calendars on other websites. When a booking comes in on one website, it sends out a broadcast to the Lodgify site telling it to block off the dates on the calendar. Next, the Lodgify channel manager will then broadcast this to all the other websites.
This avoids double bookings, which results in cancellations. In turn, cancellations will be frowned upon by the websites your property or properties are listed on.
It is also the perfect time hack because you do not have to log on manually to every website and block off the calendars each time you get a booking thanks to the channel manager.
Playing the Long Game with Your Travel Industry Online Marketing Strategy
As you probably already know, unless you are prepared to spend millions on marketing or to raise investment to make your accommodation business idea work, there is little chance of succeeding within this competitive industry. On the other hand, you can be patient and build your brand slowly and methodically.
Start by gaining visibility by listing your property on the most popular websites for vacation rentals. Use a good pricing strategy to gain your first bookings to encourage reviews. Lastly, have a branded website prepared so you can give your guests the option to return at up to 23 percent less than they paid using the website they originally found your property.
Stay Cool: Things to Know When Adding an RV Air Conditioner
Your makeup is melting off your face.
What’s going on with your RV air conditioner?
How did it get so hot in Florida?
Just a few shorts weeks ago, you were laughing at your friends freezing in the North. Now twenty degrees decrease in temperatures sounds like a dream.
Before you get started on a project to add an air conditioner to your RV, there are some things that you need to know. Continue reading to get the information you need before you get into your RV upgrade project.
Things to Know Before Your RV Air Conditioner Upgrade
Whether you want to go off-grid for cost savings or you want to go off-grid so you can save the planet, RV living is an option more people are thinking about.
Let’s continue on to the A/C issue. If you’re somewhere hot, you do not want to be in an RV without it.
Adding Your Second AC
Adding a second AC in your unit is no walk in the park. There is plenty to think about when you get started and it is more than the cost of the extra unit.
Every RV has a different situation. You’ll have to make sure you’re balancing the extra weight properly. You’ll also need to keep the extra energy load in mind and keep an eye on your RV’s battery.
If you upgrade your RV to two air conditioners, you may need to upgrade from 30-amp to 50-amp hookup. 50-amp hookups can be hard to find if you’re somewhere in peak season.
Before adding your AC take all of these things into account and contact someone that has experience with your specific RV.
While you wait for their response, here are some great tips for staying cool.
Other Tips for Keeping Cool
If you get into the research even deeper and find that an extra AC isn’t won’t work for you – have hope. Here are some simple ways you can stay cool while you’re still in the sun.
Start With the Best Setup Possible
If you haven’t purchased your RV, start with the best set up possible. It’s much easier to buy an RV with a second AC than to try to install one. If you change anything major on your RV, you’re going to have a nightmare when you go to trade it in.
Look for RVs that have built-in blackout shades. You also want to get an RV with tinted windows.
While these RVs are going to be more expensive, it will save you all of the work of doing the upgrades yourself.
Black Out Window Shades
If you didn’t opt for window shades when you bought your RV, this is one of the first things you should do to keep the sun out. It’s going to get hot in the RV and you don’t want the sun to bake you.
Blackout window shades will keep the sun’s rays from coming through if you get high-quality shades.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on blackout window shades? Window foil is another good way to go.
It’s cheap and you can measure to see what size you need it to be so you can get the perfect fit. While window foil is cheap – it is annoying because you won’t be able to see out. If you’re in a beautiful camping spot, you don’t want to miss all of that beauty because of the hot sun.
Park in the Shade
This might sound like an easy tip, but parking in the shade makes a world of difference. If you can keep the direct sunlight off of your RV, you’ll notice an immense difference.
RVs aren’t always great for fighting off the heat so give them some help by finding a friendly tree to park by. Park so you’re going to get shade in the hottest part of the day to get the most benefit from your shady spot.
When you go to park in the shade, make sure you park far enough away from trees so you can still put your awning or other shades out. If you have slides on your RV, you also need to make sure that you can open it without hitting any trees or any hookups that you might have such as electric, water or sewer.
Enjoying Your RV Trip
When you’re RVing, you don’t want to be miserable. More people are opting out of camping and opting into glamping. If you’re a glamper, you don’t want to burn in the sun.
Figure out the best ways to hide from the heat and still have the experience that you want to have. There are plenty of great things to see but if you’re burning up even when you’re inside, you’re not likely to want to explore.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water when it gets hot so you can remain safe while you’re out exploring.
Continue Your Learning Journey
Learning about your RV air conditioner is great, but what else can you learn? There are plenty of great DIY projects that will make your life better.
We have articles that we crafted especially for you so you can take your DIY game to the next level. Read our building blog section for more great ideas.
From Top to Bottom: Understanding Roof Repair Costs
If every year you get feet of snow where you live, you know that you’re always living in fear of how much it can take before it buckles. If you’re thinking about roof repair costs for any reason, you’re going to start being stressed out before you even get a figure. However, if you know what to anticipate, you can understand the costs before you end up going bankrupt over them.
Here is everything you need to know about anticipating roofing costs.
What Type of Shingles Are You Using?
The cost of your roof is going to depend on a lot of elements but the most obvious cost is the type of shingles you choose to put on your roof. If you’ve already got expensive roofing, repairing your roof is going to cost that much more. If you’re considering upgrading to better material, that’s going to cost you as well.
If you have a standard asphalt roof, you’re going to pay a few hundred dollars to replace a small 10 x 10 section of your roof.
When you’re dealing with a metal roof, expect to pay even more. You’re often going to spend more than $1,500 just to fix a bit of your roof that’s approximately the same size. One of the big elements of roof replacements, in this case, is going to be in the cost of the fasteners that you need to keep all of the metal shingles down.
For high-end roofs that are made of stone or slate, the costs are going to climb even higher. Costs for this average around $2,000 for that same 10 x 10 space.
People who live in calmer climates who don’t get a lot of bad weather year-round can expect to pay less than most of the other types. It might cost $500 or less to replace those missing or damaged shingles.
If you have a chimney, expect that entire section to cost a lot more, as working around a chimney adds an additional challenge.
Replacing the Whole Roof
While there’s no prescribed cost for replacing a roof, there are some general rules to abide by. Every roof is going to be a little different and will cost different prices depending on size, seams, and what’s underneath the shingles. The structure could impact the cost if you need to make any major changes.
The cost that you’ll pay to replace your roof is going to also be impacted by whether or not you have a commercial or residential roof. Commercial roofing jobs always cost more than residential ones. A lot of this has to do with the way that commercial buildings are structured, the cost of transporting material up several stories, or even just working odd hours.
However, put aside at least $12,000 if you’re going to start thinking about replacing your roof. It’s going to cost you at least that much to get started on any job and ensure that you can get it completed. If you’re ready to pay at least that much up front, you can get a much bigger job started and going once you’ve built a relationship with the roofer.
Expect Labor Costs
Ask around to any business owner and they’ll tell you, again and again, the biggest expense on any type of project is labor. The cost of labor is a massive frustration to anyone who is trying to get any type of repair done and will cost you not only by the hour but per worker.
Most contractors charge you from $50 an hour to $75 and up. While this might seem like a lot, this can get you access to a professional who is going to stand by their work. Then, expect that it’ll take from 10 to 20 hours to get the work done on your roof.
Ask who they’ll be bringing to work on your roof. If they hire contracted day laborers, they might get good talent but they won’t be as reliable and as professional as permanent employees. When a professional brings their own team, you can rest assured that they’re only going to work with people who they get along with and respect.
Those staffers who populate the team for any roofing contractor are going to experienced, dedicated, and know how to work with the rest of the team. People who are working together for the first time on a day job aren’t going to be as dedicated as the people who work together daily.
Just Fixing a Leak
When you need to get a quick fix done on a leak, then you don’t need to worry about the high costs that come with replacing a large section of roofing. Leak patching won’t keep you from problems forever, but it’ll ensure that you don’t suffer any of the internal of structural damage you would otherwise.
Fixing a leak with a quick patch job can cost you less than $100. The materials used, however, are intended to only cover you for a short period of time. If you’re hoping to avoid any future issues form this leak and have a warranty to back the whole thing us, get a full replacement done.
Leaks could also be due to problems in your gutters, which sometimes have nothing at all to do with your roof. If you want to make sure you’re getting a fair play, check out this article for more about avoiding scams.
Roof Repair Costs Are Predictable
While it might end up costing you a lot, roof repair costs are often predictable and sometimes covered by your insurance company. Ask around to see if you’ve got insurance to cover your repairs.
If you’re hoping that your roof ends up leading to higher resale value, check out our guide to figure out just what that could mean for you.
Methods of Combatting Damp
Rain being a perennial problem of the British weather cycle more so than many other countries, damp is something that home owners and property developers in this country will have to consider more readily than many others.
As an informed developer, you already understand this well, and if you have found a problem, you know its true nature based on the many different types of damp that are out there.
But now you’ve found out what you’re dealing with, the next question to ask is how you will be fixing it. To answer that question, here are the five main different way of combatting damp and mould in your property:
A very specific and extremely useful piece of technology, dehumidifiers can take the moisture out of the air so as to limit the ability of mould spores to spread, and stop dampness settling on walls. There are two types of dehumidifier, and it is important to know the difference depending on the kind of property you are looking to protect.
- Refrigerant/Compressor Dehumidifiers: These work by drawing in moisture laden air and passing it through a filter, and over a set of cooled coils. This causes the air to condense on the coils and drip down into a water tank. This type of dehumidifier is widely regarded to work best in warmer temperatures, and so are more often used in residential and office properties when deployed in the UK.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers: This kind works by sucking in humid air and passing it across an absorbent material that wicks up the moisture. This material is then heated up, and the resultant liquid water falls into a water tank. This is a more energy intensive process, and is more commonly used in cooler environments, like garages and conservatories.
Advantage- Dehumidifiers definitely prevent the further spread of damp and mould. When the air reaches a moisture level of below 50% it becomes very difficult for the spores that allow mould to spread to survive in their dormant state for an airborne trip. For context, humidity is at 100% when the air reaches ‘dewing point’ and water will form on surfaces at the room’s current ambient temperature. Even if they do somehow make it, the fact that the dehumidifier is sucking in all the air means that chances air, the spores will land in its tank, rather than on your walls.
Disadvantage- Dehumidifiers are very much a damage management/prevention system, rather than a cure. They will not sufficiently dry the air of a room to the point where any mould that already exists is eliminated.
Also, dehumidifiers are an ongoing solution. If the moisture in the air is caused by ongoing condensation, you will just need to keep emptying the tank over and over again. Not only that, but you would also see the tank increasingly filled with mould, meaning the tank will need regular cleaning, and potentially also regular replacement. This is a stopgap solution, not a permanent solve.
The various bio-chemical processes that mould spores use to attach themselves to the wall have been studied, examined, and understood to the point that they can be combatted. Various paints are on the market with ‘Mould-resistant’ as part of the product description, and there are various additives and elixirs that can be added to regular paint to give it properties that repel mould’s ability to attach. These chemicals include, but are not limited to:
- Copper compounds
- Zinc sulphates
Advantage- These paints are usually a one and done solution. Unlike dehumidifiers these do not require regular maintenance and can simply be left on a surface with the knowledge that moisture in the room won’t result in a surface covered with the unsightly and unhealthy black spots and other discolouration.
Disadvantage- These paints combat a symptom of damp, rather than fighting the damp itself. The water will still very much be in the air, and could cause structural problems in other ways.
Also, anti-damp paint is not a universal solution. Many different strains of mould have developed resistances to some of the chemical systems used to fight off the sticky black mess. Such is the way with biological evolution. Your results will very much depend on your paint, as will many other things. Some anti mould paints can take up to a week to properly dry, while others are very lumpy at the outset and difficult to apply. Some contain chemicals which might be lethally toxic to mould, but are also marginally toxic to humans and will need specialist processes to apply to walls, and others still vary significantly in colour between when the apply and when they finally dry.
The simplest and easiest solution to the problem of damp, if you have a room where too much water is collecting in the air, install an extractor fan, a set of vents, or just leave a window open to combat the problem.
Advantage- A deeply simple solution to the problem. In the window case, it is very inexpensive indeed. Even in the case of extractor fans and ventilation set ups, the cost is singular and up front. Unlike anti-mould paint, this issue actively attacks the damp itself, rather than symptoms, and unlike dehumidifiers, it is a permanent solution.
Disadvantage- Regularly leaving a window open leaves the potential opportunity for a new route for moisture to come in. It also represents a serious loss of money in the form of heating, particularly in the winter. This is less of an issue with vents or extractor fans, but unless these are installed extensively, they may only mitigate the worse effects of condensation damp, rather than completely eliminate them.
A vent can only take in air from a single point of the room, and while any designer worth their salt will place this at the point where condensation is most likely to collect, that does not then mean it collects all of the moisture, or even potentially enough to stop mould spreading.
Furthermore, both extractor fans and vents may just result in mould developing inside the tunnelways where moist air is sent through. This will certainly remove the problems of structural damage caused by damp, but the health issues caused by mould exposure could well remain.
Depending upon the type of damp you are dealing with, some kind of structural repair to correct damage, re-arrange your building’s ‘breathing’ abilities, or just generally correct some construction aspect that wasn’t done to the kind of quality it should have been. This could be through a damp proof course, fixing structural damage that has allowed rainwater to enter the building, or any number of other construction level solutions.
Advantage- This is a permanent solution to an otherwise only mitigatable problem. By eliminating the entry way of the damp, or building in a way for the moisture to properly leave the building, both mould and damp are permanently gone.
Disadvantage- To do this process effectively can involve a great deal of consultation, investigation, and negotiation. Many banks and other mortgage providers expect levels of anti-damp working that may be unnecessary and even potentially damaging. They often ask contractors who have a vested interest in providing an over-extensive service to provide their opinions on the matter. You may instead need to bring in an independent investigator, although that could also be expensive.
However, when all this is considered against the backdrop of the potential property damage caused by unchecked damp, it can easily be seen how it is worth it.
Secure House, Happy Home: A Complete Guide on How to Burglar-Proof Your Home
Believe it or not, millions of burglaries occur each year. These crimes result in millions of dollars in stolen property, damage to property, and in many cases injury or death to home owners.
If you’ve been looking for ways for how to burglar-proof your home, we are here to help.
Protecting your home is easier than you might think. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or ultra expensive.
This article takes a look at several of the steps you can start taking immediately to keep intruders out so that you’ll be as safe as possible.
1. Secure Your Doors
Let’s start with the most obvious thing you can do to secure your home. The exterior doors in your home are the easiest access points. Thus this is your first line of defense.
When considering where to spend money on keeping out burglars, you should first invest in good doors. Get good heavy doors that are solid and can withstand a reasonable amount of outside force. Doors should be well sealed, have a strong strike plate, a reinforced deadbolt, a smart lock and a limited amount of glass.
You might be surprised just how much security strong doors can add to your home, and good ones are worth every penny you invest.
2. Lock Every Window
The next items on your list should be your windows. Regardless of what type of windows are installed in your home, the first thing you need to do is lock them. This might sound a tad obvious, but you’d likely be shocked by how many people overlook this simple security measure.
Obviously, not every window lock is the same quality. While some window locks are solid and secure, others are made of plastic and are flimsy. And yet plastic and flimsy is definitely better than nothing.
We recommend installing windows with reinforced glass, security film, break sensors and perhaps window bars, especially in areas of the house where there is easier outside access and limited light coverage.
3. Eliminate Hiding Places
Take a look at the landscaping around your home. Trees and shrubs might look great, but they can also provide cover for intruders intending to break in.
It’s a good idea to trim tree branches near windows and replace shrubs with smaller plants that will make it more difficult to hide.
If you have a shed, add a light source so that you can easily spot intruders creeping around in the back yard or at the side of the house. It’s also smart to place security signs and stickers at various locations on your property to discourage anyone from lurking.
4. Install a Security System
Now that you’ve made sure that all doors and windows in your home are locked, it’s time to consider investing in a security system.
Technology has come a long way, providing consumers with advancements in electronic home security systems with amazing features for keeping you safe around the clock.
There are plenty of options available to fit almost any budget. Most home improvement stores carry DIY systems that you can install yourself, or you can invest in a more advanced system that will require professional installation.
Many of the latest models feature smart home capabilities, so that you can keep an eye on your home from any location.
When it comes to home security systems, you can spend as much as you like. And yet you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your home the added level of security that will help you sleep more easily at night.
5. Install Security Cameras
The next level of home defense against potential intruders is to add security cameras to both the interior and exterior of your house.
Home spy cameras are the ideal way to fully monitor all activity inside and outside your home, any time of day.
Home security spy cameras offer a range of features. These features include night vision, motion detection, weatherproof casing and Wi-Fi capability.
Most modern cameras also feature apps for your mobile devices so that you can monitor your home in real time from anywhere. This is great for when you’re away for the night or out of the area and want to keep an eye on things or receive an alert.
Basic models are available at most home improvement stores and can be mounted to your house within a few minutes. Then simply download the app to your smartphone or other mobile device, and you’re in business.
Or you can have more elaborate cameras installed with a professionally monitored home security system. Here is a great place where you can learn more.
6. Use Good Exterior Lighting
Believe it or not, one of the least expensive things you can do to protect your home from the threat of burglary is to install good exterior lighting. The better you light up the landscape on your property, the less likely it will be that intruders will risk breaking in.
After all, burglars love the cover of night. They do not want to be seen. And effective lighting is typically more affordable than most other security features you can invest in.
We suggest buying motion-activated lights with a timer. And you can even save money on your monthly energy bill by installing solar-powered security lights.
7. Buy a Safe
The last security recommendation we are going to discuss is a safe. Investing in a safe provides a location in your home for storing valuables such as jewelry, cash, important documents like your will or banking information, as well as guns.
You can hide the safe in a closet, under the bed, or in a cabinet. And there are many different models on the market at a variety of prices.
Simple Steps for How to Burglar-Proof Your Home
Feeling safe and secure inside your home is important. Fortunately, it’s surprisingly easy to learn how to burglar-proof your home. The tips listed here will go a long way toward offering peace of mind to you and your family.
Click here to learn tips for increasing security at your properties to keep tenants happy.
Tips for Increasing Security at Your Properties to Keep Tenants Happy
Now that spring is here and the weather is starting to warm up, it’s important for landlords, not tenants, to think about security. The fact is, warmer weather often brings out more burglars, so people, possessions and properties themselves are more at risk.
To protect your investments and keep tenants as safe as possible – and thereby willing to remain in your rental for longer – you must take steps to increase security. There are plenty of tasks you can complete as the temperature increases to make a positive impact. Read on for some suggestions of things to do to improve security at your properties this spring and beyond.
Install and Maintain Security Systems, Intercoms and/or Cameras
One primary thing to do to make tenants feel safer is to install security systems, intercoms and/or cameras on site. Many landlords will only do this for large multi-family homes or expensive, high-end properties that earn high rents because this offsets the cost. However, these features can be added to any property if you feel the need is warranted. Alternatively, install tech for tenants who wish for the extra security but charge them an additional fee for access.
When it comes to cameras (which can be quite affordable these days), the best places for installation are at the front and rear entrances to homes. If you own an entire block of apartments, you could also add these security devices to stairwells, hallways and underground garages. Once these devices have been installed, make sure they get checked regularly for wear and tear. This is particularly vital for those located outside, which have to cope with many different weather conditions.
Ensure All Locks Are Working Securely
Next, ensure all locks on your property are working securely. Quality locks should be placed on all entry and exit doors and windows. This includes openings situated above ground level; burglars can often get to higher floors than you might expect.
Consider adding deadbolt locks. Double-cylinder products are particularly hard for criminals to break into and are recommended for doors close to windows. You may want to think about adding chain locks and security screens to doors, too.
For properties located on or close to the ground floor, it pays to add security bars or screens to windows as these are important deterrents for criminals. If you don’t like the look of these safety precautions, another option is window sensors. These are designed to sound an alarm any time locking mechanisms on windows are tampered with.
Have Secure Doors
Another strategy is to think about the types of doors you use at your property. That is, entry and exit doors should be made from solid and heavy-duty materials such as wood and steel. While hollow doors are cheaper, these aren’t as secure because they can be broken reasonably easily. It’s best to avoid using front or back doors with glass panels or which are entirely made of glass. Since glass can be broken, this can be more inviting to burglars and make the property more likely to be targeted.
You can further help tenants to feel secure by choosing front doors with peepholes. This way, those living in the home can peek out to see who is at their door without having to open it.
Arrange for Outdoor Areas to Be Cleaned up
Something not enough landlords do to increase security is keep outdoor areas well lit and well organized. Burglars and other people with nefarious intentions are less likely to try anything at a property if they will be visible from the street. Instead, they like to hide in shadows and behind things like tall trees, big shrubs and the like.
As such, install outdoor lighting and make sure you have gardeners trim overhanging trees or remove those too big for their location. Also cut back shrubs, especially those close to ground floor windows of the property. You need to declutter garden beds plus mow lawns regularly and use a weed control service so weeds don’t get crazy high.
This kind of overall landscaping property maintenance will not only give criminals fewer places to hide, but also have an added benefit: By keeping yards tidy, you’ll indicate to outsiders that the property is well cared for. It won’t look like tenants are away. In turn, burglars won’t be so likely to try to break in.
Top Resources to Develop Your Real Estate Knowledge
Any successful real estate investor will tell you that real estate education is invaluable.
A lot of this knowledge will naturally come from the real estate experience of buying, selling, and managing investment properties. But if you were to rely solely on that, you’d make some serious real estate mistakes that could slowly kick you out of the business.
Does that mean you have to invest thousands of dollars in getting real estate certifications?
Not necessarily. Rather than investing in formal education, why not just pick up a few real estate books and get practical knowledge of this industry. Knowledge is power. But as Follow Up Boss puts it, “Books are filled with ideas, but information is only power when applied.”
Your chances of succeeding in real estate business are higher if you learn from other successful investors. Fortunately, many successful real estate investors have taken the time to write their story. Here are the top 8 real estate books to read.
1. The Art of the Deal
Author: President Donald Trump
Written in 1987, the Art of the Deal is a top-rated real estate investment book that has passed the test of time. One thing we can all agree on is that Donald Trump is a real estate mogul. In this book, Trump uses real-life examples to show how deals are negotiated.
2. Real Estate Loopholes
Authors: Dianne Kennedy, Garrett Sutton, and Robert T. Kiyosaki
Written by renowned real estate moguls, the Real Estate Loopholes is all about strategies. The book analyzes various tax strategies to adopt and the consequences of growing a real estate portfolio.
3. Mastering Your Real Estate Career
Authors: Chuck & Angela Fazio
If you’re looking into starting a real estate business, this book should be on top of your list. The book begins by giving you an honest assessment of whether real estate is the best career for you, then teaches you how to build a roadmap to success.
4. Listing Boss
Author: Hoss Pratt
In this book, Hoss Pratt critiques the 12 essentials that will not only make you a savvy listing agent but a buyers’ agent as well.
5. The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing
Author: Ken McElroy
With over 30 years’ experience in real estate investing, Ken McElroy’s voice has made quite an impact in the real estate world. In this book, Ken outlines the steps you should take to achieve financial independence through real estate income.
6. Crushing it in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate
Author: Brian Murray
Brian Murray is a perfect example of how someone can start from scratch and build a multi-million dollar real estate company out of sheer determination. In this book, he teaches the strategies to grow your portfolio.
7. The Book on Rental Property Investing
Author: Brandon Turner
The Book on Rental Property Investing is a real gem for those looking into making real money out of real estate investing. This book is the ultimate beginner’s guide to buy and hold real estate investing.
8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Author: Robert B. Cialdini
To succeed in real estate business, you need to have impeccable communication and negotiation skills. If you’re lacking in this department, the Psychology of Persuasion can lay the foundation for you and steer you in the right direction.
While there is a ton of information out there regarding real estate investing, these books are a great place to start, and are recommended by pros. Hope you’ll find them worth reading. Feel free to comment and share.
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