Property Management Blog


System - Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Property Management Blog

Yes, it has officially taken hold of Jacksonville. Yes, they lost this past Sunday in a heartbreaker.

As we write this we’re preparing to depart to the NARPM National Conference and don’t know what the outcome will be when the Jags face off against the Saints (at home) on the 13th….we hope it’s a win.

What we do know is if Gardner Minshew is playing, it will be exciting and we have a chance to win. The prospect of going into each game with a mindset that we can win each one is, well, foreign to us. It’s just been a long, long time since we’ve had reason to feel optimistic about our chances…maybe even a little confident.  

Clearly, we’re not sportswriters—just enthusiasts. What we’re postulating here is summed up perfectly in this article (see link below). We are just relishing taking a time out from “property talk” and pondering all that this refreshing quarterback and season holds for us!

Totally Off Topic…

System - Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

We’ve never (pretty sure) written about sports here before. It’s almost always industry related or a topic particularly compelling for our owners or residents but right now we just have to give in………. 

Jags win, on the road, in a stunner! We have a 6th round draft, backup quarterback (you know who he is) SPARKING this team and we are HERE for it!  

It’s been awhile since it’s been this fun/crazy/ exciting to watch our Jags and we just have to take a moment and revel in it! Minshew Mania is definitely taking hold…. keep watching folks; it is certain to stay interesting. 

Oh and one more fun note—he was coached by our Broker’s favorite college football coach so there’s that 

Everyone agrees….

It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over

System - Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Property Management Blog

After an exhausting nearly 2 weeks of tracking and enduring the approach of Dorian, we feel we can speak for all of not only north Florida but probably the entire state when we say “dodged a bullet”.

The devastation in the Bahamas should give us all serious pause as it’s hard to imagine any amount of preparation could really do justice to that onslaught.

We are beyond grateful that our area was spared and that we had very little concerning news to deliver to our owners and our residents emerged virtually unscathed. 

Having said all that, Humberto quickly formed behind Dorian and thankfully is headed out to sea; however, this is what hurricane season is all about. It’s not over until November 1 and we’ve got weeks to go. We cannot let our guard down as in recent years these 2 months have proven to be just as fearsome as the 3 that preceded them. 

One last comment: if you were ever on the fence before, hopefully now you are planning your insurance for next season, well ahead of the curve.

Storm Fatigue…the Struggle is Real

System - Saturday, August 31, 2019
Property Management Blog

It’s Friday before Labor Day weekend and we’ve already been following storm Dorian since late Monday when indications became clear we needed to. As of this writing, it’s not expected to arrive in our area until next Wednesday now. It’s a slow moving storm which, as reported by local news and the weather channel, gives it additional time over warm waters to gather strength. This also increases the amount of storm surge and rainfall it can dump in the area as it passes through.

This, our friends, is the very definition of storm fatigue—the waiting, the watching, the ever changing forecasts and ultimately an outcome over which we have no control other than our own actions and preparation. If you’ve never lived in Florida during hurricane season it’s hard to accurately describe the extreme trepidation and anxiety that accompanies this situation….for days. Add to that the depleted resources (gas lines at 2 a.m., no water to be found anywhere, etc.) and you start to get the picture.

So, we’re doing the only thing we can: staying calm and preparing. Gathering the supplies we can (and taking our pets into account) and making sure we know our flood zone and evacuation routes. Making sure we’ve downloaded apps, gathered critical contacts & information and charged up our devices & back up. Watching the news for updates so we know when & how to act if necessary.  This really is about preparation and the right expectations post storm. There may be flooding. There may be power outages. There may be fallen trees.  Our City of Jacksonville and our utility (JEA) seem to be well prepared as well. Now, we watch and wait. We persevere; we always have. #DTWD

Speaking of updating property

System - Thursday, August 15, 2019
Property Management Blog

Speaking of updating property, we know everyone knows about the importance of “curb appeal”.

The exterior is the first impression of the property and this counts as much with rental property as a property on the market for sale.

This does not require a massive landscaping overhaul (though the more you can do the better!) but 3 small, simple steps could make a huge difference and not cost a small fortune!

  • Pressure wash the exterior—it’s almost like repainting the exterior (assuming your exterior paint is in good shape).
  • Paint the front door: especially if it’s weather worn and/or a tired color. A punch of contrasting color can really make the whole property “pop”.
  • A little fresh mulch goes a long way….a maybe a little shrub and tree trimming/shaping.

A little loving care on the outside and they’re likely to want to come inside!

10 Tips for a Successful Remodel

System - Thursday, August 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

So on the subject of upgrading and “remodeling”, it can be overwhelming, right?  The time, the expense, the decisions! One of the keys is to make your investment where it will matter the most which is likely the kitchen and/or baths. Why?

These areas see a lot of action in life and a rental property is no different.  These areas have the most, for lack of a better term, “features” (as opposed to a 9’x9’ sq. ft. bedroom) and they are necessity rooms (as opposed to the addition of a deck or a pool). 

Materials and labor will likely be the biggest portion of the overall expense but we’ve got a handy visual here that outlines the overall process and what to anticipate. Fortunately, the upgrades in a rental property take place during vacancy, alleviating some of these factors and our property managers are on hand for many of the other steps.

Did You Know????

System - Monday, July 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

The “industry standard” refrigerant of yore, R-22 (also known as Freon) is being phased out worldwide due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.

As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant will become illegal in the United States on January 1, 2020. After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US.

After that date, it will become difficult (if even possible) and expensive to acquire R-22.

So, for example, if you have been “getting by” with an older system that leaks refrigerant by periodically adding R-22, it’s going to become cost prohibitive if not impossible.

This leaves homeowners (with older systems using R-22) with 3 basic choices:

  1. Do nothing until your system needs an expensive repair.
  2. Retrofit (or convert) your old R22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
  3. Replace your system proactively.

We always weigh the repair vs replace question whenever a major system issue comes up. We advocate for planning now for replacement if you have such an older system as this decision is inevitability. The systems being installed today are much more energy efficient and tend to come with more generous warranties than years past. 

We’ll talk more about that next time….

Grass is Greener…….

System - Friday, June 14, 2019
Property Management Blog

So earlier this month we brought up watering restrictions and it just so happens it was a bit of a dry period at that point. Now, we’ve had some much needed rain but here are some other items to consider when caring for a lawn during dry conditions---as they could come back!

  • Water correctly. Aside from mandated watering restrictions, you need to “train” your lawn to thrive on less water and become more water efficient. Limiting the amount of watering will gradually train your lawn to send down deeper root systems that will be much more efficient at using whatever moisture is in the soil.
  • Reduce foot traffic on lawn and mow grass to a taller height ( this will shade the soil and keep roots cooler)
  • When feasible, plant drought tolerant grass.

Here in Florida, moisture is usually not an ongoing problem but when we do experience dry periods, mowing and watering correctly can keep the lawn viable until our weather returns to its typical moisture laden ways!

It’s HOT! Your Yard is Thirsty! Storm Season is Coming!

System - Monday, June 3, 2019
Property Management Blog


It’s HOT! Your Yard is Thirsty! Storm Season is Coming!

So we just survived record breaking temps this past Memorial Day weekend. It’s Florida—little chance of that circumstance dissipating before September! So a few reminders…..

  • Hurricane Season starts June 1 and runs to November 30. See the links below to read recent press about the predictions and take heed! 
  • Time to think preparedness as the storm season commences……there is lots of “intelligence” on this topic (including our past newsletters and blogs) so educate yourself if necessary.
  • The blazing heat and lack of rain is stressful for your lawn. If you are not the homeowner but have responsibility for upkeep of the yard, make sure you are tending to it which includes knowing the watering restrictions in your area.  We’ve included the links to all three counties that we manage properties in so you can check if you are not already well acquainted!

Hurricane season predictions…….

Watering Restrictions


System - Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Property Management Blog

If you read our newsletters and/or blog, the topics are usually relatively serious; preventative measures, maintenance tips, legislative issues and the like.  We decided to change it up for the month of May  (where our residents are concerned) and write about something fun!  Summer fun to be specific.

Check out the newsletter here on our site; there are great links to great places right here in Jax to enjoy this summer. A component of the newsletter our residents received was a call to action for a gift card drawing (if they read the entire newsletter!).  

We are happy to say we had a lot of responses but there was only one prize and the winners were our residents Andrea & Leti (pictured here). Congrats to them—we hope to hear what “summer fun” they invested in with the gift card!

Keep checking in—you never know what surprises we’ll dream up for our readers!

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All sales and leasing activities are conducted through FPM Properties, dba. & First Place Management, Inc. both are licensed Florida Real Estate Brokerages. ​

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