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Denver Property Management - Dealing with Craigslist Scams

Scott Lukes - Thursday, March 15, 2018

The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily.

There are several items to look out for:
-- Look for the misspelling of words and more formal language that isn’t commonly used in such online advertising. The emails will be overly polite and poorly written or express excessive eagerness to rent the property without having proper steps including property inspection, background and credit checks.

-- They use photos stolen from other property advertisements and many times copy the legitimate ad with same description and photos.

-- The scammers tend to use yahoo, ymail, rocketmail, fastermail, live, hotmail and gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses.

- What they all have in common is that sooner or later they send request to transfer funds via Western Union, Money gram or some other wire service. Never, under any circumstances wire money at the request of the prospective “landlord” and never provide a bank account number, bank routing number or other financial or personal information.

-- When there are two identical ads the monthly rental fee will be much different. For instance a legitimate ad for a 4 bedroom house would be, say $1,350 per month. The scam ad will list the same property, same pictures and assume the homeowner’s identity but list it for $850. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. They will have a sob story or say they are not available to show the property but the renter can go and check it out if they wish.

A renter should ALWAYS do business face-to-face with the landlord or property management company. It’s important to have access inside the property and to sign documents and contracts in person and in an office or professional setting.

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Tips for Handling Tenant Complaints: Denver Property Management

Scott Lukes - Saturday, March 10, 2018

5 Steps for Successfully Handling Tenant Complaints

There are endless things that tenants can complain about. Regardless of what the complaint is about, you should not change the manner in which you, as the landlord, respond to the complaint. Being understanding, calm and professional will have a huge effect on and your ability to successfully resolve the issue. While you may have to adjust your response slightly depending on the type of complaint, there are certain steps you should always take.

Step 1: Listen to the Complaint
One way to come to a successful resolution is to actually listen to what your tenant is telling you. Being respectful and understanding of the tenant's issue may help to keep the tenant calm and will help you be more receptive to their problem. However, if you do not ask questions as to the exact location of the leak and the strength of the water flow, you will fail to realize that this is not the leak you are already aware of, it is actually a burst pipe that needs to be fixed immediately. So, you should always listen carefully to the tenant’s exact complaint and ask follow up questions so you know exactly what is going on.

Step 2: Be Available
If a tenant feels as though you are never available, they will be easily frustrated. This isn't to say that a tenant should be able to reach  you 24 hours a day, every day of the week. You should have normal business hours when a tenant can contact you, for example from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. on weekdays. During these hours, you should readily respond to tenant phone calls or emails. You should make it known that tenants should not contact you outside of these hours unless it is an emergency. Be sure to have an emergency plan in place at your property so your tenants know what is considered a real emergency and what can wait until normal business hours.

Step 3: Address Complaints in a Timely Manner
Another important factor is how quickly you respond to a tenant’s issue. Depending on the severity of their complaint, you do not necessarily have to drop everything to remedy it, but you do need to fix the issue within a reasonable amount of time. A leak or broken front door lock need to be fixed immediately, while things like a broken kitchen cabinet handle or cracked tile can wait a couple of days.


Step 4: Show Genuine Concern
Dismissing a tenant’s concern is a quick way to create hostility. Regardless of how you feel about how valid their complaint is, you must always make them feel that their complaint is important and that you will do everything in your power to fix it as soon as possible. You want the tenant to feel that you are on their side, rather than being their evil landlord nemesis.

Step 5: Be Professional
You must always conduct yourself in a professional manner. This is your business and you cannot allow emotions to cloud your judgment. If a tenant is screaming, never scream back. Do not curse. Do not put yourself in legal jeopardy by threatening or resorting to tactics like ignoring maintenance requests or fiddling with a tenant’s utilities. It is your responsibility to keep your cool at all times.

Denver apartment rents falling

Scott Lukes - Monday, March 05, 2018

According to the Post:  Metro Denver absorbed 11,821 new apartments last year, up from 11,056 in 2016. That represents the most in records going back to 1981, although the 1970s had years with more robust construction.  For the second quarter in a row, both the average and median rent for an apartment in metro Denver fell, while vacancy rates shot up 6.4 percent from 5.4 percent in the third quarter and 5 percent in the second. The average rent dropped to $1,396 at the end of December versus $1,420 at the end of September, while the median rent fell to $1,353 from $1,370.

More Info: 


Denver housing shortage at a peak? What does this mean for Denver rentals?

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Denver housing shortage at a peak?  What does this mean for Denver rentals?

According to Denver Post: 

The deficit of homes and apartments in the region is expected to peak this year at about 32,000 units, and that will put upward pressure on home prices for years to come even as supply rises to levels not seen since the early 2000s, warned Phyllis Resnick, lead economist for the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University. That deficit, which has been building since about 2014, represents the difference between demand from households and the supply of available housing.

Sharing a bedroom with a renter... a new Denver property management trend?

Scott Lukes - Friday, February 23, 2018

New research says demographic shifts and the sharing economy will lead to more homeowners with spare bedrooms being matched with long-term renters.

According to Rental Journal: 

 “Home sharing will gradually take a sizeable dent out of housing demand,” write Mikaela Sharp and John Burns, of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. They say 44 million empty bedrooms await."

Will this be a long-term trend in Denver?  Perhaps, as the gap between salary growth and rental housing cost continues to rise...



Managing millennial expectations in Denver Rental Housing

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Managing millennial expectations in Denver Rental Housing

According to Rental Housing Journal:

High turnover in the maintenance ranks is a problem in multifamily housing, especially among millennial maintenance personnel. They like easy-to-use technology applications on their smart phones and not old paper-based maintenance processes. That is why the company, Facilgo, did the study to research these questions.

  • How do millennials' expectations for faster maintenance affect property management maintenance organizations?
  • Are millennial maintenance personnel leaving multifamily due to the lack of technology solutions available in their day-to-day jobs?  What can be done to retain them?
  • What strategies are companies using to make their maintenance processes more efficient?
  • How will these new strategies help retain millennial maintenance personnel and satisfy millennial residents?
  • What will happen if companies don't do anything to cater to millennials' needs?

For more info: 


average rent for an apartment in Denver $1567 which is a 0.64% increase from last year

Scott Lukes - Thursday, February 08, 2018

According to Rent Jungle:  As of December 2017, average rent for an apartment in Denver, CO is $1567 which is a 0.64% increase from last year when the average rent was $1557 , and a 0.06% increase from last month when the average rent was $1566. One bedroom apartments in Denver rent for $1377 a month on average (a 1.23% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1769 (a 0.68% increase from last year).  

Echo Summit, a leading property manager in Denver rentals, sees this trend, though it is more localized in certain areas of the city.

For more information:

Rents to go down in Denver?

Scott Lukes - Friday, January 26, 2018

Per the Denver Post:

Thousands of new apartments continued to pour onto the market in metro Denver last year, pushing down rents and pushing up vacancy rates to their highest level in seven years, according to the Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent report for the fourth quarter.

Metro Denver absorbed 11,821 new apartments last year, up from 11,056 in 2016. That represents the most in records going back to 1981, although the 1970s had years with more robust construction.

For more info: 

Colorado Lease Essentials - Part 1

Scott Lukes - Thursday, January 25, 2018
Over the past few months, I have reviewed many, many home-grown and ‘Realtor-provided’ tenant leases for individual investors and homeowners who are trying to go it alone in the property management route. I have been shocked by what I have seen.

My philosophy is that manageing your own property is always the #1 option… no matter what a PM company says, nobody will give it the care and attention that you will.

Tenant leases are different. This is where you can loose your shirt, your home, and sometimes both. I have spent over $20,000 in legal, financial and other fees over the years on creating the ‘perfect’ lease. Even with a perfect lease, it is easy for a career rental abuser to make the ‘apparently perfect’ application package. You will love them. You will empathize with them. You will want to have a drink with them. Then they will squat in your property for 6 months without paying rent, knowing there is nothing you can do.

Please, please, if you DO do your own tenant leasing, make sure you:
  • Do not give more than 5 days grace period before posting a Pay or Quit noitice. This will be their first test for you.
  • ENFORCE late fees. Behavior is learned, not inherited.
  • Mandate they carry renters insurance. I make them add myself or Echo Summit as an additional insured under the Liability section.
  • Include a PAYMENT OF FUTURE RENT provision that allows you to accept partial rent payments in the middle of the evicton process (otherwise, you have to re-start the eviction clock every time you collect a penny)
  • Here are some good free forms that I am happy to share with you
  • Many other elements to consider, but at least make sure of these.

Denver Post: Home price gains and rent increases could flatten

Scott Lukes - Thursday, January 25, 2018

Per an article recently published by the Denver Post:

“Our expectation is that 2018 may indeed be the year that home prices in metro Denver increase at about the same 5 percentish rate as the nation,” said Patty Silverstein, chief economist with Development Research Partners in Littleton.

Denver property manager Echo Summit Property Management, like many other professional property managers, have been seeing increased pressure on pricing corresponding to a general increase in Days on Market across the board. 

For more information, visit: 


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