choosing a property manager

January 22, 2015

Pull the trigger and ride the bullet.

If you are going to fire a gun, there is an old saying:  Pull the trigger and you ride the bullet. In other words, you take full responsibility for what happens not just at the time when the bullet blasts out of the muzzle of the gun, but for the entire flight of that bullet–where it goes, what it impacts, and beyond. In real estate investing, responsible investors practice this principle.  They know full well that they, NOT someone else, is responsible for everything that occurs on/in/around their units.  In addition, they are responsible for making sure that they have the financial resources available to fix things that go wrong, replace parts that wear out, and the shear guts to make the tough decisions. Also in real estate practice, responsible agents practice this principle.  It has become quite fashionable for agents to provide counsel to Buyers and Investors on the […]
February 3, 2015

How to Maximize your Rental Revenue from real estate

Each landlord we work with has a unique problem—filling their rental vacancy.  On the surface, It may seem like a unique problem to only this industry.  But when you apply business topology, the problem becomes quite common. In fact, there are at least 3 other industries who have almost the exact same problem. Unsold inventory. Billboards, hotels, and airlines all HATE unsold inventory because the moment when time passes, it is utterly worthless. As soon as the date changes on a hotel room with vacancies, that hotel cannot make up the lost profit.  Same with the radio station with unsold advertising slots for radio commercials. Same for airliners that taxi and take off with seats missing rear ends sitting in them. Same for landlords. Which is why we are a strong proponent of aggressive and early marketing of properties with vacancies coming up soon.  Think about the math here…. If you rent a […]
February 6, 2015

How to Hire a Property Manager Correctly…

Below is an unaltered, unedited email from Ken Anderson, a Client of Polaris Property Management.  Enjoy.} On Feb 4, 2015 7:08 PM, “Daniel Baldini” <dbaldini@polarisbrokers.com> wrote: Hey Ken, I need a favor from you, please. You have a unique situation as a landlord whereby you switched from an owner to landlord with a management guy, fired him, and hired us. I’d like to have your first-hand observations of the differences between the guy you used to use and your experience with Polaris. Would you be willing to type out your thoughts (even if simple, run of the spout stuff without editing) so we can help others understand why they should consider hiring us in the future? It would mean a lot to have it in your words, in your ideas… Dan Baldini, MBA (Ken’s response….) Sure. Here you go.. To whom it may concern, In the fall of 2013 I […]
March 4, 2015

Polaris Property Management wins Best In Class from FC Tucker

FC Tucker Agents: Thank you for entrusting Polaris Property Management with your Client’s rental properties. We are honored and humbled to once again receive the “Best In Class” award for property management. Here’s to continuing the delivery of premiere property management services in 2015!   Dan Baldini is the Founder of Polaris Real Estate & Polaris Property Management, LLC and is also an Adjunct Professor in the College of Business Finance Department at Butler University in Indianapolis where he teaches Real Estate Investing. Dan focuses his practice on the residential real estate markets including Indianapolis, Carmel, Zionsville, Fishers and other surrounding areas. Dan continually seeks out new resources for Team training and education in order to keep all the Team members skills on the leading edge of real estate best practices. He is an active real estate investor himself, owning and managing a portfolio of investment properties in the Indianapolis markets. A resident […]
April 9, 2015

Good Property Management is more than managing homes….

Some days, we feel like ping pong balls getting batted back and forth over a net that keeps rising higher and higher.  We bounce between tenants, landlords, real estate agents, government officials, lenders, inspectors, appraisers, and contractors.  It can make your head spin if you lose focus on the Goal. “What is the Goal?”, you ask? Simple but complex.  Yes, it’s a paradox wrapped in an enigma. The Goal is this:  Assist our Clients move towards their objectives. Sometimes that Goal is to increase wealth by generating capital appreciation of an asset.  Sometimes it is to generate cash flow for living expenses.  Sometimes it is to simply liquidate a property and harvest the equity. Thank you, Mr. McKnight, for inviting our team to assist you in reaching your Goal.  It was truly our pleasure to serve you.     Dan Baldini is the Founder of Polaris Real Estate & Polaris Property Management, […]
May 19, 2015

Why you MUST collect Security Deposit and 1st Month rent at time of lease signing

  One of the most frequent questions I receive from novice landlords is what funds to collect at lease signing. As fast as an Indy 500 car slams into the 3rd turn wall I respond with “Security Deposit PLUS 1st Month’s rent”. The reasons are simple for why you should require both to be paid at once but they all congeal into one simple concept: RISK MANAGEMENT Successful real estate leasing is almost all about risk management and the simplest way to minimize this risk is to force the tenant to have skin in the game.  Collecting essentially 2 months rent value at time of lease signing is plenty of skin for most tenants. It also sets the stage for the tenants to expect a certain standard of engagement with you as the landlord–you aren’t joking around with an important business transaction. Finally, it is an excellent secondary screening method–after all, if they don’t have […]
August 18, 2016

Top 20 Questions (that will spawn 20 more….)

Questions. We all have them. (If you don’t, run away from real estate.) Here’s the Top 20 questions asked by landlords and investors when choosing to hire a property management company. Some are deeper questions than they might seem the first time you read them, which is why the first question on the list is the first question on the list.  If you are thinking about them in the correct mindset, you should realize within 2 breaths that the questions spawn subordinate questions and will take you down a rabbit hole even further. What do you charge? If I have a question and send in an email or call, what is the expected response time from your company? Is the prop mgr available on weekends if issues arise? How do you handle repairs? How does money get to me each month? What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? What […]
November 22, 2016

Why do investors lose money on real estate?

Why do sooooo many investors lose money on real estate? ….Because They Buy: The Wrong Real Estate At the Wrong Time For the Wrong Reasons In the Wrong Way From the Wrong People In the Wrong Location Using the Wrong money/financing The investors who have epic failures typically combine more than one of these reasons. Don’t be an epic failure.  Be an Epic Success by getting educated and being disciplined.
February 15, 2017

Re/Max Centerstone–Agent Training

How to Navigate Investment Property Transactions without Wrecking Your Real Estate Career Advanced Training Exclusively for Re/Max Centerstone REALTORS As a productive agent, you have likely had exposure to investment property deals.  If not, you soon will as these transactions are projected to increase with both frequency and complexity as more money flows into the residential real estate investment arena.  Even if you only represent buyers and sellers of owner-occupied properties and do zero investor business, you will still benefit from having this knowledge for when you DO have to negotiate on a transaction involving an existing tenant-occupied property or a property involving a management company. Managing your Client’s expectations for a successful outcome on each transaction will be key to your continued ability to earn high dollar commissions and avoid contentious E&O claims. We’ll cover topics including: How to navigate tenant-occupied sales transactions from both the Listing Agent and […]
April 10, 2017

Truths in Property Management

A number of years ago, I went to the Indy 1500 Gun Show with a buddy. He was in the market for a specific rifle; I was looking to buy a .40 caliber pistol. We wandered for two hours among the booths and tables and came upon a re-seller dealer from northern Indiana who was selling almost exclusively Glocks. And they were priced very aggressively. (Side note: If you’ve never been to a gun show, it’s truly one of the bucket experiences to complete, even if you’re not a firearms enthusiast. You have thousands of people walking around buying and selling and trading everything from firearms to ammunition to hunting and camping and survival gear to even jewelry. And every single person is on their best behavior saying,”pardon me” or “I’m sorry” or “excuse me” when they accidentally bump into you. Very polite and well-mannered people.) Anyways, I find a […]