The Top Property Management Newsletter and Events for December 2022

December Is for Silver Linings

Silver Linings and a Blue Christmas – Thank you for letting us into your mailbox to share ideas and tips to maximize your experience as a landlord or REALTOR®.

December is for Silver Linings

The end of the year is fast approaching and time to finalize plans for 2023.
It is also time to bring you a round up of the latest news, ideas and tips to maximize your experience as a landlord or REALTOR®.

Just What Is A Blue Christmas?

It doesn’t matter if how (or even if) you celebrate the holidays, you have probably heard the song Blue Christmas. But what is that song about? What does it mean?

But, Just What is a Blue Christmas?

For some, it means to have sad Christmas, perhaps because you are away from family or alone, or even filled with thoughts of a happier time that brings tears to your eye. Blue is a symbolic color for the emotion sad.

“I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you”
– Elvis Presley in Blue Christmas

For Colts Fans, it is a reflection of their hope that the season turns around and that the Blue can rise up to bring some joy and good cheer to the rest of the 2022 Football Season, and if they don’t – see the first definition!

There is a third definition: The holiday season can be a difficult time for firefighters, police and other emergency services. Blue Christmas is about honoring their work and supporting them through the holiday season.

So What’s the Story Behind the Song?

Blue Christmas” is one of the all-time holiday classics each year during Christmas time. The heartbreaking song about unrequited love perfectly captures how lonely the season can be without the one you love, which is probably why it’s been a staple for over 70 years. Though the beloved tune is now most frequently associated with Elvis Presley, it was originally recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948.

According to Classic Country Music Stories, songwriter Jay W. Johnson first wrote the song on his commuter train from his home in Connecticut to New York City. He had been working writing jingles for the radio and was inspired by some of the other hit Christmas songs at the time like “White Christmas” which blew up thanks to Bing Crosby.

He took his lyrics to his composer friend Billy Hayes and together they put the finishing touches on the song. But initially, no one was interested in recording the song when it was offered to various artists around Nashville.

Country artist Ernest Tubb recorded the song after O’Dell and his version ended up hitting number one on the Billboard chart in January 1950. Throughout the ’50s, Tubb helped popularize the song and generated interest among other country artists to cover the song. But when the King came around in 1957, he would put his own spin (and shake) on “Blue Christmas” that would forever associate him with the holiday tune. What’s interesting is he reportedly didn’t even want to record it at the time.

According to backup singer Millie Kirkham, when they first entered the studio to record the song, Elvis said “Let’s just get this over with.” Kirkham added at an interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that everyone in the recording, including backup singers The Jordanaires and guitarist Scotty Moore, felt the same way and didn’t believe the studio would actually release the song. But the rock and roll version of the country Christmas song became a major hit on Elvis’s first Christmas EP, Elvis Sings Christmas Songsalong with other classics — “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me),” “Santa Claus Is Back in Town,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” It has since been covered by some of the greatest musical acts across all genres from The Beach Boys to Martina McBride.

At Polaris Property Management we believe that every holiday should be a joyous occasion.  If you have questions concerning your property that is for sale or lease, the experts at Polaris Property Management will be pleased to help.

Call our experts at 317-870-3249 or e-mail at Dan@PolarisMange.com.

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The $6,000 Egg
by Harvey Mackay

How much would you pay for an egg? Fifty cents? Two dollars? How about $6,000?

That’s how much it cost one res­taurant in Newport Beach, California, which refused to honor a customer’s request. The money wasn’t lost through legal action or any formal process. Rather. it rep­ resents the lost business that eatery suffered – because of one egg.

Let me explain. Authors Deb and Todd Duncan, whose careers also include television production and peak performance training, detail the 10new golden rules of customer ser­vice in their new book, “The $6.000 Egg.”

Deb and Todd were frequent patrons at a chic test kitchen that experiments with new menu items. One day, the featured special was a waffle served with an egg on top. The couple wanted a cheeseburger, which was on the menu, but asked to have a fried egg added on top of the burger. They were surprised to hear from the server that the kitchen might not be able to do that. Sure enough. even though they were making eggs for the waffles. the server told them the kitchen was too busy to make one for the burger. So they asked a different server who knew them well.

The answer was still no, because it wasn’t on the menu. When they asked to speak to the manager, she approached without a smile. After yet another request, she stood firm, explaining the restaurant only orders a certain number of eggs per day. and they couldn’t sacrifice one for a cheeseburger.

Todd was incredulous. He asked her, “So a one-time visitor who or­ders a waffle for $15 is more important to you than a $6,000 cus­tomer who comes in at least four to six times a month?”

Her response was a textbook les­son in terrible customer service: “If we run out of eggs, we can’t serve the waffle.” So when Todd sug­gested she might be able to send a busser down the block to buy a few extra eggs, she offered to cover their check for their inconvenience.

He couldn’t believe she would rather pay their $75 tab than sell them a single egg. They left, and vowed never to return.

They wound up at a restaurant next door, where they shared their experience. There, the server told them that their company creed is “We don’t say no here.” And they don’t need the manager’s permission to satisfy customer requests.

Guess where they go for break­fast now?

So many of the rules the Duncans include in their book are simply com­mon sense, yet they are broken over and over again.

Perhaps the most frequent com­plaint I hear is that people are repeatedly disappointed in the service they receive, even from com­panies they have done business with for years. Those companies would be wise to remember that one bad experience can destroy customer loyalty. And anyone in business knows it is much more expensive to find new customers than to retain existing ones.

Technology has replaced the need for envelopes in many in­ stances. Fax machines. email, text messages. Snapchat, online bill pay­ing – you name it, another bite out of our industry. So we need to keep our customers happy, because their options seem to expand daily.

You can have the finest products, the best food, the most incredible ho­tel rooms and the trendiest styles – but if you don’t deliver quality ser­vice, you have nothing. Even in this instant-gratification world, custom­ers relish personal service. They want to feel important. They want to know that someone cares about their needs.

Want to know what really says that a company doesn’t care? The phone call that’s answered by a voice telling you to hold. but “your call is very important to us.” And then you wait. And wait. And the message is repeated. And you start to wonder how important your call really is.

I understand the economic con­siderations, but I wonder how many businesses are actually losing busi­ness when you can’t connect with a live person in a reasonable amount of time.

Remember, most customers aren’t asking for miracles. They might have special requests or needs that are not part of your usual offer­ings. But if you can accommodate them, do it. Don’t make your cus­tomers walk on eggshells.

Mackay’s Moral: Great customer service is the goose that lays the golden egg.

_____________________

Great customer service is the key to not having customers with a blue Christmas!

If you are looking for a Property Management Company that can help you provide excellent customer service for you leasing clients, give us a call at Polaris Property Management.

Will Rents Decline in 2023? 

This past week, my schedule has been chocked full of meetings with many of our local real estate broker partners to address their concerns on the high-speed slow-down in home sales and how best to position their Client’s listings to possibly rent instead of selling. This is an especially critical time for those Clients who bought a home in the last 24 months and cannot sell it currently due to market conditions.

So, what do you think about this question?

If you had to get out your crystal ball and predict, what will happen to rents in our market in 2023?

Up? Flat? Or decline a bit?

Well, let me share with you a couple recent data points, news stories that have come out and some things we’re seeing “on the ground” here. Most importantly, how to prepare for that in relation to combating it in a proactive, aggressive manner and not in a passive manner.

So, here’s a story that was just released a few weeks ago from Real Page.

Apartment Rent Rates Drop

Their data shows “apartment rents fell 0.6%, not 6%, but 0.6% in October from September, which was the third largest drop it recorded since 2010”. The third largest drop since 2010. Now before you say, “Whoa, Dan, Dan, Dan, you’re missing the point Dan. You’re missing the key word there. It says, ‘Apartment rents dropped’, Dan. And we all know that the apartment world has overbuilt, and this isn’t impacting us at all, Dan, it’s single family. We do single family. Come on, Dan, get with the program. You’re losing it. You’re losing it”.

Well, what we know throughout economic history is what happens in the multifamily world, in the apartment world, is frequently the canary in the coal mine for what’s going to happen in the single-family world. So, what’s happening in the multifamily world very likely could carry into the single-family world. Now, it hasn’t happened, it hasn’t carried forward yet, kind of, but it’s starting to. So, it’s Headline Number One.

Let’s jump to Headline Number Two.

Rents Drop for 1st Time in 2 Years

This was in the Wall Street Journal. The days of “stupid easy Covid money” are done.

We are now in a herky jerky downward movement in certain markets, in certain property types, in certain aspects of things. Some single-family homes’ demand is strong, but then, this property can’t get rented at a price point, then that property can’t get rented at that price point, and that’s what a lot of places are seeing.

So….Two pieces of advice on how to aggressively address the new normal market:

1. Stay Informed and educated on your local market conditions. Things are changing faster than Elon Musk’s HR decisions at Twitter.

2. Be appropriately aggressive in adjusting rental rates to match market conditions.

Those are the levers we have to pull.

Now, who knows where 2023 leads us?

Six months from now, everything I said could be wrong, but prudence means we get prepared for all the possibilities.

If you own property, or are thinking about investing, and would like to discuss steps to obtain your own financial independence through property ownership and professional property management, please contact us today: Dan@PolarisManage.com