The last quarter saw us welcome two additional members to our team. Please give a big welcome to Keicha Harper and Matthew Zawertany.
Keicha has joined our Resident Services department and will be assisting our current and prospective residents in their housing needs. Prior to joining Birch Management, Keicha has extensive experience in customer service and administrative duties. The bulk of Keichaâ€™s experience has been within the healthcare industry and she looks forward to applying those skills for the benefit of our residents and landlords.
Matthew has joined our team as an onsite maintenance supervisor at one of our residential communities. Prior to joining Birch Management, Matthew worked as an onsite maintenance technician for over 15 years in various apartment communities. Matthew has experience and certifications in plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and pool maintenance.
There have been numerous references to insurance in previous editions of the Birch Quarterly (archives), but nothing exhibits the necessity more than a real-life situation. About 1 month ago we received a call from the fire department regarding an active fire at a property we have under management.
The investment property suffered severe fire and smoke damage. Kudos to the fire department for limiting the water damage! And even bigger kudos to the fact that nobody suffered bodily harm!!
Our investigation, supported by the fire department, suggested that the resident was negligent in their actions and caused the fire. To their credit, the resident was completely honest in their account of the fire and admitted so.
Once we stabilized the property, the next step was figuring out who is going to pay for repairing the damage due to tenant neglect, and get it done. Should be a simple question, not so. Even though we require renterâ€™s prior to allowing a resident to move into a property, national statistics show 54% of those policies are cancelled within the first year. Our standard operating policy, when we receive a notice of cancellation from the carrier, dictates that we send the resident a notice of default.
In the event that the resident does not cure the default, the landlord is left with only 2 options, let it go and hope nothing happens, or file eviction on the tenant for breach of lease. Neither is a great option!
Well, in this case all went as planned. Not long after the resident moved in, we received a notice of cancellation, sent the resident a notice of default, and contrary to the statistics, the resident cured the default. Therefore, not only was the landlord covered, but the resident was, as well! Without insurance the resident would have suffered a TOTAL loss of all personal belongings in the property.
This circumstance not only exhibits the necessity for proper insurance and operational Best Practices, but is a great lead into an insurance partnership we have been working on for many months. Stay tuned for a roll out of insurance partnerships specifically designed for the small landlord, we anticipate a roll out in December 2017. Here is a brief summary of what will be coming:
- Traditional premises insurance: The program that has been designed specifically for our clients will result in a policy that includes all of the normal protections, but without the carve outs (such as vacancy exclusions) in most policies. Anticipated pricing for the policy will be approximately 50% of retail policies.
- Total Income Protection Program: This coverage will provide reimbursement for many items that traditional policies do not provide, such as loss of income from tenants who fail to uphold their portion of the lease, bedbugs and several other coverages.
Letâ€™s face it, nobody likes to change air filters! Even though changing air filters regularly is a condition in our lease and has obvious health benefits, residents are not great about doing it. They are either too busy to go to the store to get filters, claim they donâ€™t know to do it (they get multiple reminders), or just plain donâ€™t care. Of all the default letters we send out, dirty air filters are among the most common.
It is well documented from many sources that clean air filters provide significant benefit to both the resident and HVAC equipment. Residents benefit from lower utility bills, cleaner air, and reduced system failures. Landlords benefit from reduced stress on HVAC equipment, thus longer life-spans, and improved resident satisfaction as a result of reduced system failure.
We have partnered with a North Carolina company to help solve this problem! We will be rolling out a program whereby the resident will pay, as part of their lease, a small fee for air filters and have them delivered directly to their door on a regular schedule. The filters will come with encrypted codes that will allow us to determine if the resident has actually changed the filter. If they have they will be in compliance with their lease and receive the many benefits of clean air filters. If not, they will be in breach of the lease and responsible for any damages incurred as a result of not complying.
Combined with our preventative maintenance program, this program will benefit all.
Client Services Dedicated E-mail:To reach your dedicated Client Services Team via e-mail, just use the e-mail address email@example.com and our entire Client Services team will receive it and respond promptly.
Client Services Direct Dial Number: To reach your dedicated Client Services Team, simply dial 844-5CLIENT (525-4368) to be routed to our entire Client Services Team. If someone is available your call will be answered, if you get our client voicemail please leave a detailed message so we may return your call as soon as possible. Do keep in mind that our Client Services Team is always on the go evaluating the needs of your properties!
Owner Web Login: Our industry leading owner web login on our website is our clients' link to their information. Here is a sample of the information that is available by logging into your secure account on our website:
- Account Balance
- Open Payables
- Open Receivables (has my tenant paid)
- Service Issues
- Posted Invoices- retrieve and store copies of all invoices posted to your account
Operating Schedule: Our regular operating hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm and Fridays from 8:30am-
4:00pm. Our next scheduled office closing will be November 23-24, December 25-26, and January 1, 2018..
Our mission is to offer personalized and professional service to both our clients and customers by building strong relationships, utilizing the latest technology, implementing effective marketing strategies, following consistent systems all with honesty and integrity throughout every facet of our business.