Property Management Blog

Seasonal Diligence

System - Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Property Management Blog

From Julington Creek to Arlington to World Golf Village and all points in between, one thing every property type and style has in common is the need for ongoing preventative maintenance.

This traditionally happens seasonally but what do you do when you live in a place that seemingly has no seasons? You do it anyway—and stay particularly diligent on the maintenance items that are most impacted by hot and humid weather! In our estimation that means:

Check weather stripping and caulking around windows & doors, especially if using central air. Insuring tight seals keeps the hot, humid air out and stymies the escalation of that utility bill during the months when the AC is running non stop

Change HVAC filters. This is so important to insure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system which is working even harder during the “Florida” summer which can last easily 6 months!

Check exterior for cracked or peeling paint (caulk & repair as necessary) the ravages of exterior weather conditions (and think hurricane season) can create conditions for mildew and water intrusion—much more costly to resolve than some touch up painting and caulking

Clean windows & check door and window screens (repair as needed) Screens can be critically important during those transitional months when it hasn’t become so consistently hot all the time that you might actually open the windows! A circulation of fresh air is not a bad thing when the house will likely be sealed like a sarcophagus against the summer heat June through September!

Remove pine straw from roof, inspect condition and clean the gutters: accumulation of any material on roof can lead to moisture intrusion/damage and clog gutters

Pressure wash exterior: inhibits moisture intrusion and enhances other efforts (prior to sealing windows) and enhances curb appeal!

And More about Décor Trends………

System - Sunday, February 12, 2017
Property Management Blog

Bathroom trends, specifically. Here are some great insights from Apartment Therapy, with our two cents added!

Textured/patterned tile

Cement, terracotta and even zellige tiles lend a rich, old-world feel to the bathroom. If you're concerned about price, try half-height tile in a smaller bathroom, like a powder room, or creating a small accent behind the sink. Many of the older and Jacksonville beaches homes already feature this look!

Rustic/industrial elements

Rustic and/or industrial elements are another great way to bring in texture. Other ways to get the look: worn woods, exposed brick, or concrete accents. Ditto—older home = interesting features!

Vintage vanities

Using a vintage piece as a vanity gives your modern bath a timeless feel. If you have the floor space in the bathroom, you can also press a vintage piece into service as extra storage — both beautiful and practical. See where this is going? Think San Marco, Riverside, Avondale, Springfield….

French door shower enclosures

These eye-catching glass enclosures take the shower from a utilitarian space to the focal point of the bathroom. Gorgeous but not for the modest minded inhabitant!

Darker colors

As part of a trend towards darker, moodier colors all over the house (and especially kitchens), we're starting to see more somber, dramatic colors in the bathroom as well. Balancing dark colors with shiny white fixtures and gold accents is one way to keep this look from getting too gloomy. Instant drama!

Vintage-look tile floors

Everything old is new again. Vintage-style tile floors look great in any style of bathroom, are relatively inexpensive, and they're sturdy enough to last for a long, long time. You will definitely find this in some beaches properties (Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach) as well the historic districts in Jacksonville

Round mirrors

Round mirrors are great way to soften the hard lines of a modern bathroom, and lovely to look at as well. A pair of mirrors over a double vanity, or just a single oversized one, is especially eye-catching. Easy change up and affordable too!

Where is Décor Headed in 2017?

System - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Property Management Blog

We’ve been researching and reading about décor trends, both those a renting resident could implement without too much difficulty and for owners looking to make small, affordable improvements. We found 4 recurring trends—meaning lots of different resources are citing them as relevant:

  • Marble accents
  • Black fixtures and hardware
  • All beige interiors
  • “Smart” home technology

We also found these additional trends emerging from various sources like House Beautiful and My Domaine and they all strike the same thematic chord:

  • Organic shapes
  • Earthy materials
  • Plants
  • Jewel tones (and more specifically, ”Greenery”, the Pantone color of the Year for 2017)

It seems the trend is towards more natural, organically oriented details in numerous areas. Adopting any of these trends could be fairly easy either in terms of shapes or material of acquired items (a new side table?) or simply adding a signature plant to your interior or painting an accent wall. Interestingly, there has also been a lot of reading lately on the health benefits of having plants in your home. For our money, that’s a double down benefit—relatively inexpensive and good for you!


System - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Property Management Blog

So if you read our 1st blog of the year and/or are reading our Facebook posts, you know we’re trying to stay mindful of the “book” we are writing for 2017, as individuals and as an organization. It’s not so much about “resolutions” as it is about “reconsiderations”. We’re thinking about how we do things and why we do them that way—is it out of habit, because that’s the only way we were taught or is it a product of thoughtful consideration?

We’re asking ourselves: “Are there old habits that are pulling you back and weakening your motivation (to improve)?”

In property management and real estate, dynamics are always evolving and change is virtually a constant. We often must adapt and more specifically, embrace changing “old habits”—however well they may have served us and everyone we work with in times past! The ”old habits” we may find ourselves letting go of are all in the interest of serving our residents, owners, vendors and each other better—to write a book for 2017 that surpasses 2016. We have a few “old habits” that are being reconsidered even as this is penned—stay tuned here for some potential revelations and why it will be a good thing!

2017 IS HERE!

System - Monday, January 2, 2017
Property Management Blog

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day”.       Edith Lovejoy Pierce

So today marks the 1st chapter in the book of Opportunity for 2017! At the beginning of each New Year we all seem filled with hope, optimism and excitement for what is to come.  As we reflect on the passing of 2016, we know that “what is to come” is not always to our liking. Yet, come it will—but with it all the joys and blessings along with the less than embraceable. 

We are First Place Management and FPM Properties are going to do our level best to stay focused on the joys and blessings—in our work, in our lives, in our families.  We know we are blessed with the people we get to work with: owners, residents, vendors and each other.  We have many other blessings to be grateful for—most importantly that we are here to celebrate and usher in another year. Another chance to do better;  be better.  We will share these efforts and outcomes as the year goes on.

Share with us how you plan to write your book for 2017—send your story to for a shot at a $25 Starbucks card and enjoy some java on us!

What's your favorite holiday memory?

System - Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Property Management Blog

Favorite Holiday Experiences

As our team looks forward to the height of the holiday season, our conversation has turned to some of our favorite holiday memories. Here is a sampling:

“Having lost my mom when I was 5, my dad and I were quite close. We shared a lot of great experiences, including those at Christmas, but my most cherished memories are those that occurred after I became an adult and we became best friends as well as father and daughter. At that point, he lived alone and we had stopped doing all the pomp and circumstance of the holidays and enjoyed a quiet gift exchange on Christmas Eve. The next day, having collaborated on the choice, we’d go to a movie together and then talk about it the rest of the day! Now, I have an entire ‘catalog’ of movies that bring back such wonderful memories of time spent with my Dad and best friend at Christmas.”
And another:

“I was notorious for snooping the packages under the tree and deducing what my gift might be based on the signature wrapping. One year when I was in high school, my parents decided to get one over on me. They put a lavishly wrapped present that was clearly from my favorite store (based on the wrapping) under the tree. Unbeknownst to me, it was recycled from another gift giving and did not contain a purchase from said store. On Christmas morning I reached for the package with great anticipation of the fantastic “girly” gift inside to find they had wrapped up a can of black olives (a favorite) just to see my reaction!  Fortunately the gift I was hoping for was under the tree, cleverly disguised as something else. Snooping cured!"

What’s your best holiday story?  Email us one at for a chance to win a $25 Starbucks card!

Giving Thanks

System - Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Property Management Blog

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus

As we embrace yet another Thanksgiving holiday season, it is customary to reflect on what we are grateful for.  In 2016, Thanksgiving comes on the heels of a tempestuous period in all our lives that has the potential to diminish our gratitude if we allow it. This is the time to reflect on our blessings- which are abundant! 

Specifically for First Place Management and FPM Properties, we are grateful for our owners and residents and our dedicated vendors who work hard (sometimes on holidays mind you!) and strive to take care of everyone as swiftly as possible.  Some of them will be “on duty” this holiday and possibly not able to travel to be with their respective loved ones in order to be on hand to service emergencies—and we thank them in advance for that! 

We are also grateful for one another—our colleagues. Our team works hard but it’s made all the better because we enjoy working together!

We hope all of our owners, residents and vendors enjoy a holiday filled with the warmth of time spent with loved ones and know that we appreciate them every single day. Happy Thanksgiving to All!

It Really is a Small World

System - Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Property Management Blog On a recent trip to Ireland, Mike Hodges was determined to find time to explore the property management dynamics being experienced in Ireland. While in Galway, he stopped in to a property management office and had a chance to talk briefly with the broker there and it was enlightening to say the least.

This is what he learned and found somewhat surprising:

In a nutshell, they have experienced much of the same trends as we have: low inventory, high demand. Fallout from the 2008 financial crisis. Galway is a college centric rental environment so demand for rental is constant. They also have rent control in place for 2 years per lease. This was instituted to address affordable housing (contain cost/stabilize rents). Once those properties became available again, the rents have escalated exponentially. Additionally, what was traditionally rental housing is being purchased now as primary dwellings. 

Add to this the low to nonexistent new construction and they find themselves in the same soup as we are here in Florida and much of the US overall. This is what he learned in just one specific Irish market but does support the adage: it really is a small world. 

Moving doesn't have to be stressful

System - Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Property Management Blog

Moving can get you out of breath just thinking about it, and while it’s not always pleasurable there are ways tomake it stress-free with less anxiety.

Before you move
  • Immediately start making a list of everything that needs to be done from change of address, to lining up a mover, to organizing a yard sale. Keep this list up-to-date and make changes/additions as you think of them. In the long run, this will help keep unexpected events to a minimum. 
  • Once you find out that you are moving, take photos of the inside of your new home as well as doorways and the garage entrance. From those photos, make a rough sketch of where to place the furniture. This will help so you only have to move it once, then make minor adjustments. 
  • Look at those same photos to help plan how to get the furniture in the house in the easiest manner with little to no damage to walls, door jams and the furniture itself. Are there tight turns going through the front door that would make it difficult to bring in a sofa? Maybe it would be better to bring the sofa in through the garage. You get the idea.
  • Take photos of your important documents and belongings, then store them in the cloud or on a flash drive. Dropbox and Google Drive work perfectly for this. 
Moving day
  • Take photos of the back of your TV or sound system with your cellphone. When you get to your new home, this will make putting it back together much easier.
  • Make arrangements to have your small children stay with family or friends. 
  • Don't forget about  your pets! Either board them for the day or have them stay with family or friends. The stress of the move may be too much, so when the moving van is gone, you can introduce them to their new home.
  • If you are moving yourself, put the things you’ll need right away on the truck last. When you get to your new home, they’ll come off first.
  • Pack a box of items that you’ll need in the first 24 hours when you get to the new home. This might include things like medications, coffee maker, coffee and filters, snacks, and food for pets. 
After the dust settles
  • Gather all your receipts. There may be expenses that you can deduct on your taxes. Check with your CPA.
  • Keep a cleaning kit handy for quick wipe ups like fingerprints that can easily be removed. 
Finally, there will be a point that you will have move. If you plan well in advance, the worry and hassle of a move will be greatly reduced. For more tips, click here

Congratulations Tim!

System - Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Property Management Blog

Congratulations to Timothy Blanchard, a Florida REALTORS® member, who was recently awarded the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation.  He  joins other top producers in the residential real estate industry who hold the designation across the nation.

Tim earned the “Graduate, REALTOR® Institute” (GRI) Designation by attending a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction, covering a variety of subjects including: contract law, professional standards, sales and marketing, finance, and risk reduction. 

In addition, he has learned the fundamentals of brokerage and other areas of real estate specialization. With this designation and through increased awareness of current topics important to the real estate professional, such as legal issues, these REALTORS® can better serve prospective clients and customers.

The GRI designation sets the individuals who have attained it, apart from other practitioners because it indicates to the public that the individual has obtained a professional educational foundation on which to base the services they provide and that they are a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. 

Obtaining the GRI designation is a beneficial way for a REALTOR® to advance their professional image. The extra measure of knowledge and prestige achieved by completing this course work is a tool that will advance a career in real estate on attracting and building new business.

The REALTOR® Institute has been in existence for more than twenty-five years and has graduated thousands of REALTORS®.

REALTORS or consumers interested in learning more about the program may visit

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​ Disclosure: First Place Management Properties, LLC is "not" a real estate brokerage and does not lease or sell properties.
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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