Drew’s Chocolate Truffles

delicious

I’m deviating from my normal posts about real estate and technology to bring you a recipe that was shared with me by another agent in my office.  Ashley, our office manager (and newest agent – congrats!) was raving about these truffles that she made this past weekend, and I finally broke down and made some last ngiht.

Needless to say, these are delicious – but beware – they are also very very rich.

What you need:
1 package of Oreo cookies (original regular stuff is fine, but feel free to choose other flavors if you want!)
1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 bag of chocolate chips – I used a chocolate and peanut butter chip mix for mine

Let’s do this!:
Place Oreo’s i...

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Skype vs. Verizon – Saved me $631.70!

skype

When I entered the real estate arena, I decided I needed to address my phone plans.  My cell phone plan with 1,000 minutes per month was just not going to cut all the additional phone calls I was making – some calls just can’t wait until after 7PM!  Please note that any rates that I provide in this post are based on my home in Amherst, NY.

The two options I considered were having a Verizon land line phone installed, or finding an online Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service to run over top of my preexisting broadband connection.  I ended up choosing Skype as my VOIP solution.

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Landlord Basics: Late Fees

pastdue

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management.  Click here to view the entire Landlord Basics archive.)

In a perfect world, every tenant pays their rent on time every month.  However, the last time I checked, we don’t live in a perfect world.  Assessing a late fee shows your tenants that you are serious about the rent being in on time, every month.  Please keep in mind that the laws regarding charging late fees vary from state to state and in some cases city to city, so you will want to check with your local board of Realtors or lawyer to see how the laws affect you.

If you intend to charge late fees, they need to be addressed to the tenant in the lease.  At the lease signing, be sure to explain to the tenants that a late fee will be assessed if their rent is late, and that the late fee and rent must BOTH be paid in full.

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Marketing Key Terms

Key to Success

Part Three of the marketing an apartment series focuses on using marketing key terms to help bring in leads for showings.  Part 1 covered how to list an apartment for rent on Craig’s List and is available here.  Part two was a video tutorial showing how to list the apartment on Craig’s List and is available here.

As I was writing this article, I realized that many of the terms I use when marketing an apartment can also be used when marketing a home, so I have expanded the list to include terms that buyers look for when searching for a new home as well.  This list is by no means the be all end all, and I will probably add more to it over time or create an additional list in another post, but these terms will give you a general guide to get started.

Keep in mind that different words will effect the length of time an apartment or home will sit on the market and the price it will rent or sell for.  This gets deeper into buyer psychology, which is not something I am an expert in.  I may however do some further research and write a separate post on that sometime in the future.  I have roughly grouped the terms based on the effects I THINK they would have, but as I said, I’m not an expert.

Return on i...

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Video: Marketing Apartments Using Craig’s List

As promised, I have produced a video on marketing apartments using Craig’s List.  I can’t embed the video into this page becaue of its dimensions, but you can view the video at http://andrew-schultz.com/video/marketing_apartments_using_craigslist.html.  If you have trouble viewing the video, please contact me.

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Landlord Basics: Marketing An Apartment On Craig’s List

forrent

(This post is part of our “Landlord Basics” series, which seeks to help the new landlord / investor understand some of the basics of tenant relations and property management.  You can view the rest of the series here.)

Marketing your properties can be one of the bigger challenges you face as a landlord / investor.  There are a lot of sites on the internet that offer the ability to post your apartment, either free or for a fee.  However, the one site that I see continued success in using is Craig’s List.  Their website is free to post apartment listings on (in most areas) and I see a pretty good response in the Buffalo area using their service.  They are located at http://www.craigslist.org.  Once you are on the site you can navigate to your state and then city using the navigation bar on the right side of the screen.

I’ve released a video showing how to add an actual apartment listing to their site.  I have also released a list of “marketing buzzwords” that you can use to spice up your ad.  But for now I want to discuss the meat of your ad.

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