Saturday, June 30, 2007

Making Friends with Trademark Properties

One of my favorite shows in "The Real Estate Pros" formerly known as "Flip This House and The Real Deal" on the TLC channel. Richard Davis and his protoge, Ginger, do business the same way that Paul and I do business (in most aspects).

We don't "flip" houses the way these guys do. But the hunt & kill method of finding nasty old run down houses and fixing them up is the same. Our Investors just end up keeping the houses and renting them out to Tenants. And where I business differs just a little bit is that we manage the rental properties after we fix them up.

If you're interested in flipping houses and such, these guys at Trademark Properties are definitely pros to watch on TV. Here is Springfield, the pros are Dizmang Properties.

Richard and Ginger are just down-to-earth people that are doing what we do. I've even made them my MySpace friends!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Livin' in a VAN (an organized one) Down By The River

Do you ever wonder how you got things done with out the help of a trusty office colleague? That’s how I feel about Amanda. Amanda started working for us almost 5 months ago and she is awesome. No one in her position has ever picked up as much as she has so quickly. And I wonder what I ever did without her.

Amanda reminds me a lot of myself. She takes a lot of pride and ownership in the work she does. She cares about the Tenants, the Maintenance Staff, and the company as a whole. And she cares about our Owners. Amanda truly is an awesome asset to Dizmang Properties and personally I’m really happy to have her here and can see her taking on a lot more responsibility and really rising up to the challenge in the future.

She, like myself and the other employees, would love to make more money. None of us want to live in a van down by the river (Matt Foley/Chris Farley of SNL 1993-1997). She also knows that our Owners/Investors want to make more money too. None of us are going to make more money if we don’t run a tight, organized, efficient ship. Amanda is making it a mission of hers to organize our maintenance staff, tools and our maintenance van.

And she did it.

She took hold of our rentals maintenance van (a.k.a. “The Red Dragon”) and cleaned it out after 4 years of piling up dirt, grime & lost tools. Wow! I’ve never had an employee do that all in the name of efficiency! She did great and I admire her for the hard work she did to make sure that we all run more organized so that we can fix up our rental properties maintenance issues quicker and be on to the next project. We’ll all certainly make more money that way and worse case, if we are living in a van down by the river, it will be organized.

Amanda – you’re awesome. Thanks for all you do around here!

Monday, June 25, 2007

RealEstate/PropertyManager Crunch

I couldn’t help it, my wheels starting turning when I read an article on Michael Arrington (TechCrunch Blogger) in this month’s Wired Magazine. Did you see the article?

In this article, Arrington said that he has a goal to create 15-20 different spin-offs of his highly successful TechCrunch Blog such as MusicCrunch, SoftwareCrunch, TelComCrunch, etc. The verdict is still out on whether or not he is going to hire “journalists working from the outside” or “players working from the inside”. This is where my wheels started spinning. Dizmang could be a the RealEstate/Property Management Crunch blogger. Because, I would consider our (417) Dwellings! Blog as a “player working from the inside” as we document the crazy-ness of our day-in-day-out managing of rental properties and tenants. Paul Dizmang has been teaching the Web 2.0 seminar for REALTORS, and he’s always been known as an expert in this field, not a journalist, but a real estate power broker with a lot of knowledge that comes with over 20 years experience. Hmmm…the wheels are turning.

On a side note, I admire Arrington and I loved the article. He admits to being “prone to excess and uncontrolled outbursts…” but also insists that he is “just as passionate and emotional” about what he does. And that is what makes him so successful. Nice work, Captain Crunch. Considering that my current MySpace headline reads “Prone to Meltdowns” and I felt like I was reading an article that accurately portrayed my own feelings towards my work…Arrington and I may have been separated at birth.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Maxin' Out My Hard Drives

I feel like I have maxed out my credit cards and I am desperately looking for another credit card to transfer the balance to so that I have some “room” on my virtual credit card. OK, this credit card situation that I’m talking about it is all hypothetical. That’s how I feel about my external hard drives. They’re maxed out!

I am still in the process of transferring everything from my PC laptop to my Apple Macbook Pro. There are many ways to transfer the information, but what I have found works best for me in the transfer is the use of an external hard drive. The easiest way that I can do this is to plug in my Western Digital 60 gig Passport external hard drive (see picture below) to the PC, transfer the files to the drive, unplug the drive from the PC and then plug the drive into my Macbook Pro and dumping the much needed files there.

This works great except for when your hard drive is maxed out and full. I’ve had to transfer files that I still need to other external hard drives, key drives, thumb drives and SD cards just to relieve some space on the my WD Passport drive!

Crazy, I know…but I don’t think there is any difference between maxin’ out your credit cards, transferring the balance to another credit card and maxin’ out your hard drive and transferring the bigger files to another drive to save space and give you some breathing room. Ok, maybe there is…it’s called a way too high interest rate!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

12 Hours of Daylight Time?!

Today summer officially rolled in at 1:06pm making this the summer solstice and the longest day of the year (and the hottest one so far). I heard a news story today that said we would have a total of 12 hours of daylight today. 12 hours?! What will I ever do with all of that time?!
Hmmm….let’s see….there is always processing all of those lease renewals, or maybe I could prepare my 110 mortgage payments and have them processed a few days earlier than normal. Or I could go thru all of the seminar feedback forms and start preparations for the next seminar. I could also go thru all of the expired leases and get new ones sent out to the Tenants. There is also that stack of magazines to read, articles, Springfield Business Journals, and the last chapter of that book that I’ve slowly been reading that I still need to get thru and review. I could finish those final walk thrus on the vacant rental properties that need to be done….gosh I’ve got a lot to do.

I think I am just going to go home and sit in the hammock this early evening, drink lemonade and watch my kids play on the swing set. Yeah, now that’s more like it. The one thing that I do know is that all those other things will still be there tomorrow. Tomorrow, the day that there is only 11 hours and 58 minutes of daylight left. :)