VOLUME IVNote from the EditorWhether you’re a landlord, a property manager, moonlighting as an interior designer or a condo board member, there’s rarely a dull moment in the real estate industry. I have been both a condo board president and now condo board treasurer, and I learned more about contractors and the real estate business in that first year than I have in my entire life surrounded by property owners and investors.

The first two major lessons I learned: 1) Become even more meticulous with paperwork for tax season; 2) regular inspections and maintenance upkeep can save thousands of dollars in the long run!
In addition to keeping receipts and detailed record-keeping for tax season (“Avoid Property-Owning Expense Headaches This Tax Season”), two of my first big jobs to tackle as the board president were a major plumbing leak and roof repairs. I can personally relate to “Even With Homeowners Insurance, Regular Roof Maintenance Is Key” and hopefully it helps you get your roof into tip-top condition.Safety is key, and so is regular maintenance. Be sure to check out “Mold Or Mildew: What To Do?” Even if you think your building or unit is safe, it never hurts to triple check. I distinctly recall being disappointed when my “dream home” had 11 violations, ranging from a fire hazard in the fuse box to a middle-of-the-deal plumbing catastrophe that left the bathroom ceiling in shambles. I scrambled around to find a new place to buy while my prior landlord had already found a new tenant. Yikes!Inspectors know how to look under the hood of what on the surface looks like a great investment. Before you buy (or rent) a home, always get an expert opinion and complete walk-throughs with care.In these times, and especially for shared amenities, property managers and landlords should also prioritize tenant safety in ways that may have not been the norm pre-2020. “Sharing Is Caring, But Maybe Not During COVID-19” is a must-read during the pandemic, especially for multi-unit landlords (and condo board members).Once all those maintenance and repair boxes are checked, are you ready for your next tenant? What can you do to entice the next prospective rental? Maybe try something new outside of the usual fresh coat of paint and carpet cleaning—without trying too hard. Check out interior (and exterior) design tips in “Wabi-Sabi: Adding Imperfect Beauty to the Home.”And don’t forget to check out our regular columns: “Conversation In Real Estate” and “Neighborhood Spotlights,” which highlight the must-know travel and investment spots, and the realtors who are experts in their fields.

We hope Volume IV answers questions you may already have and some you didn’t even know to ask. Is there a topic you’d like us to talk about? Contact me at shamontiel.vaughn@go4rent.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief
About Shamontiel:Shamontiel L. Vaughn has been in the publishing industry for 17 years as a newspaper reporter, a web editor, social media specialist and a print editor. Her areas of expertise include K-12 and adult education textbooks; local and nationwide news; and health news. She's also completed approximately 235 interviews in a variety of areas, including business management; entertainment; internet technology; law (entertainment, business and real estate); nursing; and travel. Some of her bylines can be found in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune and CBS Chicago.

The unapologetic dog lover also owned two prior dogs (German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever mix) before becoming a two-year dog walker (500 walks with 84 different dogs) and adopting a third dog of her own on Juneteenth 2021: a Hound mix named Junee. When she's not writing, editing or playing with her dog, she can usually be found scoping out vegetarian and Thai restaurants, daydreaming at a beach, or practicing her next Toastmasters speech.