Get new listings emailed daily! Create Account Login
Www.facebook.com/pikusproperties/?pnref=lhc Icon

Property Manager

Pikus Real Estate Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Entertainment | 4 Posts
House to Rent | 4 Posts
Property Manager | 15 Posts
Tenants | 2 Posts
Uncategorized | 3 Posts
November
25

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management is growing in the city of North Canton, which is ranked the 41st best city in America to live in. What are some of the best reasons to want to rent a property in North Canton?

The city of North Canton has the traditional feel of small town America with a quaint-square at the center of town; a terrific school system that is state- and nationally-ranked year in and year out; excellent indoor and outdoor recreational facilities with a YMCA and multiple miles of walking trails maintained by Stark Parks; two city owned golf courses; nearby shopping;  Walsh University; and easy access to the highway.

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management owner Shirley Pikus has three rental properties coming on the market in three distinct areas of North Canton.

8485 Deacon Avenue NW - St. James Place – North Canton
St. James Development is an upscale housing development located off Mount Pleasant Street on the outskirts of North Canton. The property, located at 8584 Deacon N.W., is renting for $2,775 per month. The home has many prominent features a renter is looking for – a big, modern kitchen, four bedrooms including a first-floor master bedroom suite, with a three-car garage and wrap around front deck. The property is 2970 square feet. https://pikusrealestate.vflyer.com/home/flyer/home/327784009

2640 State Street NW – Uniontown – North Canton School District
Coming Soon!
Charming and unique Farmhouse is currently listed for sale with The Allen / Albaugh Team of Cutler Real Estate.  The owners will consider a lease should the property not sell. The house sits on six acres. This spectacular threebedroom, three bathroom house is updated and professionally decorated. The farmhouse features a barn with four stalls and pastures for horses.  For Sales information for this property contact the Allen/Albaugh Team!  https://allenalbaughteam.cutlerhomes.com/property/387777272/2640-state-street-nw-uniontown-oh-44685/

1330 7th Street NE – North Canton
Just leased in North Canton was a property at 1330 Seventh Street just off Marquardt Court. The property, which rented for $1,500 per month.  The home is a four bedroom, two and half bath home sitting on a beautiful corner lot. The property is located close to a Hoover Trail, with sidewalks on both sides of the street leading to the trail.

Pikus said the market remains strong for owners looking to rent their property. The North Canton market continues to grow for a variety of reasons. Location plays a role in the strong property management market but the economy dictates homeowners are relocating for work; downsizing; and using their current property to make money.

"North Canton is the ideal setting for renters," said Pikus. "A nationally ranked city, wellness and a top notch school district make this the ideal situation for renters."

 

 

October
2

A small town, with paved brick roads, street lights adorned with banners and the center of town anchored by the former Hoover Co. on one corner and the YMCA across the street on the other corner. Old style, turn of the 20th Century buildings line Main Street. A modern looking city hall and library sit across the street.

The former town of New Berlin rebranded North Canton in the early 1900's now has a population of 17,400 residents. The quaint town was recently named the 42nd best city in America, which was compiled by the Wall Street Journal/USA Today.

The city of North Canton was praised for their affordability. According to the ranking, goods and services cost about 14 percent less than the nationwide average and the city's 2.2 percent unemployment rate is nearly half the national rate of 4.1 percent. It went on to say, North Canton is among the safest in the country, with 69 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people compared to the U.S. crime rate of 383 incidents per 100,000.

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management owner Shirley Pikus manages several properties in the city. Pikus property management owns rental houses in Bob-O-Link Estates and the twin Hillcrest Apartment buildings.

One of the reasons the city of North Canton ranks so high is its accessibility to the highway, two public golf courses, hiking trails, education, retail, restaurants and excellent medical facilities in the city limits.

Access to interstate
Interstate 77 is a five minute drive for most residents within the city limits. Interstate 77 is easily accessible off of Everhard Road, Whipple Avenue, Portage Street and Shuffle Drive.  North Canton is located 15 minutes from Akron and 50 minutes from Cleveland, with access to the arts and minor and professional sports teams.

Recreation
The city of North Canton offers multiple recreational facilities for residents. Within the city limits are two 18-hole public golf courses – the Fairways at Arrowhead and The Sanctuary. The Fairways offers public swimming and banquet facilities.

Residents who enjoy walking, running or riding their bike have access to the Stark Park Trails that run through much of the city. Additionally, residents can walk, play tennis and have a picnic at Price Park or sit and relax by the man-made lake.

Education
North Canton City Schools consistently ranks in the Top 50 in the state of Ohio for providing an excellent education for students in grades kindergarten through 12 grade. The school system performs extremely well on state testing and offers a variety of programs including AP classes.

Walsh University, which started with one building in 1960, sits within the city limits. The university has grown to 2,200 students and offers bachelor and master's degrees. The university is located at Market and East Maple Street.

Retail and Restaurants

The city offers multiple family-owned retail and restaurants selection from Washington Square to Main Street. Within a five minute drive, residents can access retail stores at Belden Village Mall and The Strip. Each offers multiple restaurant opportunities as well.

Medical Facilities

Residents have access to multiple medical facilities within the city limits. Aultman and Mercy Medical offer Stat Care facilities for families. Akron Children's Hospital recently opened a facility on the campus of the Aultman North facility for internal medicine. Within a short drive, residents have access to Aultman and Mercy Medical hospitals. For residents who need to see an orthopedic doctor, Spectrum and Omni are within 10 minutes.

All the conveniences of modern, metro city with old town charm, the city of North Canton is ideal for raising a family. To learn more about available rental properties from Pikus Real Estate and Property Management in North Canton, please contact Shirley Pikus 

March
26

One tenant moves out and another tenant is about to move in.  Should the locks be changed? 

"Yes, you should always change the locks before a new tenant moves in, "said Shirley of Pikus Real Estate and Property Management.  "The only person holding a key should be the property manager.  The owner does not want the liability of holding a spare key. 

Pikus said when there is a turnover in tenants, every attempt is made to collect the keys upon move out, but, she said you never know if the tenant made a copy of the key and gave it to other people or not. 

The danger in not changing locks is that if a third party has a key, they have free access to the property.  If there is a theft or worse, the property manager (and owner if they maintain keys) run the risk being sued pending the law in that state. 

Managers need to keep close tabs on the keys to the units.  Tenants should be present whenever repairs are being performed.  In the case that the tenant is not available, it is best to get written permission to pass a key to the vendor performing services.  This key needs to be collected after the repair is complete. 

This is one of the many reasons that people doing work for Pikus Real Estate & Property Management need to be licensed, bonded and insured.  Each of our maintenance crew has more than 10 years experience.  This is an issue we never have to worry about. 

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management's objective in changing locks is keeping the tenants and theowners properties both safe and secure. 

For more information in having Pikus Real Estate and Property Management manage your property, call Pikus at 330-417-7525.

February
21

Fair Housing Laws Every Canton Landlord Needs to Know

Fair housing is not optional when you rent a property out to tenants. You're permitted to be highly selective about whom you accept as a tenant, but you cannot discriminate. As a landlord, you need to be familiar with all of the local, state, and federal fair housing laws. They often change, and sometimes they can get complex.

Federal Fair Housing Act

There are seven federally protected classes. You cannot deny an application or treat a tenant differently based on race, color, religion, handicap, sex, familial status, and national origin. Those are the federal classes. The state of Ohio has added two more categories to the state fair housing laws. You also cannot discriminate based on military status or ancestry.

You may think you would never discriminate, and you probably wouldn't intentionally discriminate. However, if you run an ad saying your property is "perfect for single professionals," you could be seen as discriminating against families. Be careful with your advertising, and don't ask questions during the screening process that may require someone to disclose their religion or race.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, also plays a role in fair housing. You cannot deny a tenant who needs a wheelchair or has to put hand rails in the shower for support. You also cannot deny a tenant who has a service animal or an emotional support animal, even if you don't allow pets in your property. The law does not see those animals as pets. They are accommodations that you need to make for a tenant with a disability. You cannot say no to a service animal and you cannot charge a pet deposit or pet rent when they move in.

Avoiding Fair Housing Trouble

Avoiding Fair Housing TroubleIt's a good idea to be selective when you're choosing tenants to live in your property. You want to rent to people who pay rent on time and follow the terms of your lease. Keep your standards high, just make sure you apply them to everyone. It's also a good idea to put them in writing. With written standards, there are no secrets about what you expect in terms of credit score, income, background, and rental history. You can provide these standards to potential tenants before they apply. Then, everyone knows that their applications are being judged the same.

If you need help understanding or keeping up with fair housing laws, contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to help you understand what's required.

February
7

Professional Canton Property Manager vs. Self-Managing

There are a couple of good reasons to manage your own investment property. If you understand the rental market and you're up to date on all the laws and requirements involved in renting out a property, you probably have the expertise to effectively manage your home. If you have a lot of free time and you're willing to dedicate that time to your tenants and your properties, self-management might work for you.

However, if you don't know all the landlord/tenant laws and you're not thrilled with phone calls from tenants over the weekend and late at night, you might want to consider hiring a professional property management company.

Professional management can even save you money and increase your ROI.

Experience and Expertise: Property Management Resources

Property managers spend every day working in the real estate industry, getting to know what the market rents are, how the market is trending, and what tenants are looking for in a rental home. When you work with a property manager, you're getting years of experience and a lot of problem solving skills. Late rent payments, vacant properties, and leaking sinks might seem like terrible headaches to you, but for property managers, it's all part of a day's work. You wouldn't give yourself a root canal and you probably wouldn't fix the brakes in your car by yourself. Let professionals do what they do best.

Property Management Saves you Time

Time is of the essence when you're renting out a property. A minor maintenance repair might seem like it can wait for a week or two, but it can't. Your tenants are paying rent, and they expect things to be fixed immediately. You'll need to take the time to prepare your home for the rental market, show your property when it's vacant, collect rent, handle maintenance and repairs, and answer tenant questions. Tenants will need someone to contact if there's an emergency, and if you aren't working with a property manager – that contact person is likely to be you. Protect your time with professional property management.

Property Management Saves you Money

Many property owners bristle at the idea of paying leasing fees and management fees, but smart investors know that professional management actually cuts your expenses and helps you earn more. For example, if you don't know the market well enough to properly price your property, you could lose money by charging too little. You can also lose money by charging too much because it will cause a longer vacancy. Property managers find you better tenants and protect you against the cost of eviction and property damage. You'll get better rates on maintenance due to your management company's relationship with vendors. With a good property manager, you'll earn more and spend less.

Property managers keep you out of trouble. We know the laws and the legal requirements of renting out property, and we also recognize tenants who are trying to get away with something. Individual landlords are far more likely to find themselves in court over fair housing claims or security deposit disputes than landlords who work with property managers.

If you'd like to hear more about why property management is a good idea for your investment property, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management.

January
24

Benefits of Technology

Almost everything can be done online today, and this type of digital technology impacts you as a rental property owner. When you're looking for professional property management, make sure you work with a company that embraces and invests in technology. It contributes to a faster, more efficient, and transparent way for us to do business with our owners, tenants, and vendors.

Technology and the Leasing Process

Property managers use technology to advertise and market your home. We take pictures and videos, and we write descriptions to put together a rental listing that reflects all the unique features of your property. Then, we post that on our website and dozens of other websites that tenants are using to find their next rental home. In addition to advertising online, property managers can use technology to help tenants schedule showings, complete and submit applications, and upload any supporting documents that are necessary.

Technology and the Screening Process

Most of the background checks property managers run can be done electronically. We can check criminal records and credit, search for prior evictions, and verify identifying information that prospective tenants submit with their application. It makes the tenant screening process a lot more efficient, and we can give applicants a decision in a matter of days. This saves you money on vacancy and ensures your tenant has been thoroughly screened with nationwide background checks.

Technology and Property Management

Property managers rely on technology with our ongoing, day-to-day management of investment properties as well. When tenants need to make a maintenance request, they can go online and submit the request in writing. This provides airtight documentation. We can track when the request was made, how we responded, and when the repair was actually completed. Tenants can use their online portals to pay rent and communicate with property managers.

As a landlord, you'll get your rent deposited quickly and electronically. There's no need to wait for a check in the mail. Owners can access online accounting statements and follow all of the income and expenses associated with rental properties. We can run reports and identify trends with our property management software.

Technology saves time and money, and everyone can benefit from it. If you have any questions about how to put technology to work for you, or you'd like to hear more about our online property management platform, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management.

January
10

Keep Vacancy Rates Low

Nothing will halt your cash flow and drain your ROI like a vacant rental property. It's important to keep rent coming in, and that means finding and keeping good tenants. Before you start working with a property manager, ask about their vacancy rate. A low vacancy rate helps you earn more on your rental property.

High Quality Properties Attract High Quality Tenants

The first tip to avoiding vacancies is to provide a high quality property. If your home is clean, well-maintained, and appealing, you won't have any trouble finding good tenants. Make an effort to prepare your property for the rental market before you show it. Make sure the curb appeal is on point, it's been professionally cleaned, and you have new paint, clean floors, and modern lighting. Make a few inexpensive upgrades and updates to keep the best tenants interested in your home. If your rental property stands out from the competition, you'll keep it rented.

Strategic Marketing and Advertising

When you market your rental home properly, you'll have a shorter vacancy period. The goal is to reach as many qualified tenants as possible, so take good photographs that will get their attention. Post your listing on all the popular rental sites, including Trulia, Zillow, and HotPads. Be responsive when prospective tenants call and ask to see the property. Make sure it's priced competitively for the market. If you price your home too high, good tenants won't be willing to pay that rent. And, you'll lose more money on your vacancy time than you'd lose if you lowered the price to reflect the market rents.

Excellent Tenant Screening

Screen for tenants who are interested in long term rentals. When you're checking landlord references and rental history, consider how long they have stayed in previous homes. If they move every year, there's a good chance they'll move after your lease ends, too. Be selective about who you approve.

Focus on Tenant Retention

Once you have a good tenant in place, keep that tenant there. The best and easiest way to reduce your vacancy rate is with excellent tenant retention. Good tenants will stay where they are if landlords are responsive to their needs. Fix maintenance issues right away, answer any questions that they have, and provide tips and advice about how to lower energy bills, what to do in the neighborhood for fun, and how to prepare for winter. At lease renewal time, be reasonable with rental increases. You don't want to chase away a good tenant by implementing a 10 percent rental increase.

Minimize Turnover Time

Minimize Turnover TimeFinally, minimize your turnover time. When your tenant does give notice to move out, you can immediately begin preparing for your next tenant. Get your painters, cleaners, and other maintenance personnel scheduled, and start thinking about marketing. Then, you won't have to lose a full month of rent.

If you have any questions about how we keep our vacancy rates so low, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to tell you more.

December
26

Positive Relationship with Maintenance Vendors

One of the benefits to landlords who work with professional property managers is that we have an extensive network of vendors and contractors who we can call when repairs need to be done at a rental property. As a property owner, you won't have to worry about finding a plumber in the middle of the night when your tenant calls to report the water heater is leaking. We have excellent relationships with some of the best vendors in the Canton area, and those relationships help us keep your property maintained while protecting your budget.

Screening Vendors as Thoroughly as Tenants

Screening vendors is important. Before sending someone out to complete a job for a tenant or an owner, it's important that we're sure the vendor will do high quality work and fix the problem completely. It's important to work with licensed and insured vendors who carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. If you hire any handyman off the street, you place a lot of liability on yourself. If that worker gets hurt at your property and doesn't have insurance, you may be at risk for covering any medical costs. So, get to know vendors and their work before you hire them.

Treat Vendors Professionally and Respectfully

It's important to pay a vendor's invoice right away. These plumbers, electricians, and other professionals are providing you with a valuable and necessary service. We don't want invoices to sit around and go unpaid. You need to have a maintenance budget in place so you're prepared for both routine and complex repairs. Don't micromanage your vendors, either. They know what they're doing, so trust them to get the job done and to let you know if any additional work is recommended.

Benefits of Vendor Relationships

Benefits of Vendor RelationshipsGood vendor relationships benefit everyone. The vendors are happy because they get consistent work from property managers. The owners are happy because their properties are being maintained and the condition of their asset is protected. The tenants are happy because their needs are being met and they don't have to wait around for things to get fixed. This contributes to tenant retention, and saves you money.

If you have any questions about how to find good vendors or how to manage routine, preventative, and emergency maintenance, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to tell you more.

December
12

Property Manager & Tenant Communication Why It's Important

There's nothing more frustrating than having a question remain unanswered or an issue unresolved. If you've had trouble getting the attention of your property manager, your tenants are probably dealing with the same lack of communication. When you work with a professional property management company, you should expect them to be accessible and responsive. If they're not answer voicemails and emails in a timely manner, you're not getting the service you deserve.

Open Communication for Owners and Tenants

In order for everyone to have a positive and successful rental experience, property managers need to be available. They need to answer their phones and check their messages. We believe in making communication a top priority in the way we deliver property management. The owners and tenants we work with understand how much we value communication and we practice responsiveness every day.

Communication as Customer Service

Communication is part of a company's customer service standards. If you're not hearing back from your property manager three, four, or five days after you leave a message, there's something wrong with their communication. Many of the questions and issues that owners and tenants have cannot wait that long for a response. If you're confused about your accounting statement or a tenant is trying to report maintenance, an immediate response is necessary. You don't want to settle for customer service that's any less than that. Even if we cannot answer a question right away, we are sure to let you know that we're working on it, and we'll never let a week pass before you hear from us in response.

We care about our owners. We want you to be successful and to make as much money as possible on your rental property. We care about our tenants, too. We want them to be happy with where they live and to stay with us longer.

How Technology Helps Communication

Property Manager & Tenant Communication Why It's ImportantOwners want to know what's going on with their property, and we use an online property management system called Buildium to keep everyone informed. Anytime something happens, whether it's a lease renewal, a maintenance request, or anything else pertaining to the property – the owner or the tenant is notified right away. Both owners and tenants can log onto their portals and see their account activity in real time. It's just another way to keep everyone on the same page, and it helps us to deliver efficient and proactive management services.

If you're not getting the communication you need from your Canton property manager, please contact us at Pikus Real Estate & Property Management. We'd be happy to show you how we're a little different.

November
28

Pikus Real Estate and Property Management welcomes experienced property manager Aaron Scheks to their management team. Scheks brings more than 14 years of real estate and property management to the firm.

Scheks discussed how he started in the business. "I really did not get into the business by design," said the 2004 Lake High School graduate. "My grandma had owed some rental properties. My dad owned a few while I was young. Growing up, I oftentimes helped my dad cleaning up the properties. I decided to get my real estate license in 2004 and give this a try. I started out working with Mike Lucius. That was a tremendous learning experience because Mike is a detailed-oriented real estate professional."\

From there, Aaron decided to start investing and managing properties. At one point, he has owned more than 50 properties but has recently sold a few. The last eight years, he has been buying properties, renovating and either renting or selling the properties.

Scheks and Shirley Pikus, owner of Pikus Real Estate and Property Management, met through their accountant/bookkeeper Brenton.

"Brenton asked me if I knew Aaron," said Pikus. "I said I do not."  Brenton said, "He knows a lot about investment properties, so I decided to give Aaron a call. I left a message and he called me back within five minutes. After several meetings and discussions, we determined we would be a good fit.

"Aaron brings a lot of experience to the team. He has a large network of people he has worked with throughout his career.  Because of his experience with his own properties, Aaron has a deep understanding of the maintenances side of the business.  PRPM has grown significantly since 2016 and knowledge of maintenance was my weakness.   Aaron has taken over the function of Maintenance Manager. "

Pikus said without adding a partner she could not continue to grow her business and provide the level of communication and service that her clients have come to expect from Pikus Real Estate.

The greatest benefit Scheks brings to the table is his experience. "There is not a big learning curve," said Scheks. "I have a background in property management. I don't need to build a network. I know the pitfalls to avoid."

Scheks is truly an outdoorsman. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, 4-wheeling and dirt bikes. Prior to starting his family, He has backpacked in Glacier National Park and snowboarded the West coast including Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Now he and Danae area busy family with three children – Johnny, Berkley and Finley.

"I wanted to be a part of this team because there is a lot of potential for growth," said Scheks. "No one does what Shirley does. There is a need for good property managers. Many owners are not getting the needed services from other options. "

Pikus said she is thrilled with Aaron and his understanding of the business. "He understands the philosophy of taking care of the customer's needs, which in turnallows us to take care of our families."

The partnership formed in late August and continues to grow and expand. Welcome Aaron and thank you for filling such a vital spot position in the company.  For more information, contact Shirley Pikus or Aaron Scheks at Pikus Real Estate and Property Management.