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An appy phone for a happy home! 6 Apps for your new apartment

Welcome to your new apartment! Your smart phone probably helped you find it, schedule the showings, tour it, and look for nearby restaurants. You sent pictures to your friends and family and bragged about it on social media. On the day you moved in, you used your phone to find that nearby pizzeria for your first meal, the nearest grocery store to stock the empty refrigerator, and the utility companies so you can get your cable installed. That analog world is long gone, baby!

From the search, to the packing, to the lugging; moving is daunting. Luckily that next phase, settling in, is much more fun. Once again, your smart phone can deliver a few great apps to turn your apartment into your domain.

 

Mint

Before you splurge on a television big enough to have its own zip code, you probably need to recalibrate your finances. Your rent isn’t the same, your utilities aren’t the same, your commute changed; it can be unclear whether life life became more affordable or more expensive.

Mint is a free personal finance app that will help you forecast and manage your bank account’s ebbs and flows. From the makers of Quickbooks and Turbotax, you can do more than just budget. You can schedule alerts for your bills, check your credit and even learn how to boost it.

Upload your information into the app, squint at it, and see what you can do to your apartment with that treasure chest. Once you’re informed, it’s on to the best part of having a new home; making it yours. Now that you established how big of a television you can fit into your budget, let’s see if there is an app that can help you find the right spot for it in your apartment for it.

 

Magicplan

Magicplan- Floorplan app for your new apartment

Magicplan is an app for your new apartment that creates floorplans with measurements in minutes so you can determine what fits!

You have an empty place. Scratch that. You have a place filled with boxes and random stuff piled up in your living room. You look around and you have a vision. A sofa here. A queen-sized bed there (maybe a king). A coffee table there. It looks good in your head but you’re not really sure what you’re going to find at the store and, when you do see that couch that wants to come home with you, whether it will fit where you hope.

Enter Magicplan. Stand in the middle of your room, slowly turn in a circle snapping a picture every time a corner of the room comes into focus on the app and 360 degrees later you have a floorplan with accurate measurements. You can even convert it into a 3-D floorplan. Then block images of tables, beds, lamps and dressers of different dimensions into your floorplan so you know what will fit and when you’ll need to ask your new landlord to demolish a wall. Now it’s time to shop.

Houzz App for your new apartment

Houzz let’s you see what that furniture will look like in your room before you buy it.

Houzz

Houzz is a must have app for your new apartment. Browse furniture you can add to your cart and purchase. But if you’re unsure how that bookshelf will look in that second bedroom, tap your screen to open your camera and voila, the bookshelf appears in the camera shot. You can move it, turn it, reorient it; see it every way you can through your phone before settling on an expensive, time-consuming mistake.

 

TaskRabbit

Does something require a ton of assembly or heavy lifting? Maybe you need to update your address at the DMV but you know the line is 90 minutes long. And you’re hungry! Because with a new apartment there are new projects, we have another app for you. TaskRabbit is an app that will pair you with a person who will assemble, lift or even stand in line for you at the DMV for a small fee.

 

Art.com (the App)

You need to do something about those bare walls. Again, we have an app for your new apartment. Browse hangable art you can buy through the Art.com app, but see what it looks like on the wall first. You don’t want to get a picture of dogs playing poker if the shade of brown in the beagle clashes with your curtains!

 

Wag!

Speaking of beagle, our final must have app for your new apartment is for the dogs.  After you have settled in to your new apartment, have your furniture and décor the way you want it, and your Mint app is not prompting you to sell your collection of antique fax machines, it is time for a break. You found a nice house on the coast to rent for a weekender, but Poochy Magee is not allowed to come with and your old standby dog walker is no longer an option in your new location.

Enter Wag! The exclamation point is part of the name, but why not be enthusiastic? After a few taps on your phone, you are just minutes away from meeting your new dog walker. Poochy Magee will get her exercise, a chance to bark at plenty of cars, and someone different to pick up her business.

 

If you have any apps you would like to tell us about that make your apartment experience a little easier, please share it with us at info@milestonepm.net.

Santa Spreads Holiday Cheer to Milestone Tenants

Every family deserves holiday cheer during Christmas and every child has a special claim to that magic. For the third year in a row, Milestone Property Management has reached out to our tenants to make sure that Christmas spirit warmed as many hearts as possible.

Young boy gives Santa a warm welcome at a Milestone community.

Young boy gives Santa a warm welcome at a Milestone community.

First Santa visited Milestone kids- at their homes far and near. Delivering gifts and spreading some cheer.

Milestone identified a few children who would especially enjoy Santa Claus’s graces this season. Santa made sure to find toys that inspired learning, building and growth.

This young lady was overjoyed to receive a personal delivery from the North Pole!

This young lady was overjoyed to receive a personal delivery from the North Pole!

Mike, Milestone's maintenance chief, does more than fix sinks and replace cabinets. If you need help opening a gift, he's got the right tools.

Mike, Milestone’s maintenance chief, does more than fix sinks and replace cabinets. If you need help opening a gift, he has the right tools.

These sisters are thrilled with their surprise visitor.

These sisters are thrilled with their surprise visitor.

With the children at play, Santa took to his sleigh, and Ho, Ho, Hoed with his reindeer to the next stop that day.

This little boy made sure to thank Santa for the toys and the visit.

This little boy made sure to thank Santa for the toys and the visit.

With his reindeer determined to avoid being tardy, Santa arrived at the Milestone Party!

As the guest of honor, Santa made sure to find out what each child wanted for Christmas and reminded them all to be nice, not naughty. After all, he is checking that list twice.

 

Santa’s visit to us made it abundantly clear, that we are all one family this time of year.

We need to remember that we are better for it when we bring joy to those who need it most.

It is fitting that the word “smile” is in the word “Milestone.” Anf it is vital that “smiles” abound in our communities.

Whether you are a tenant, a client, a vendor or a neighbor, happy holidays from your family at Milestone Property Management!

 

Resident Retention 101: Don’t just eliminate a bad experience, create a good one

Resident Retention 101: Eliminate the bad experiences

Resident retention opportunities can happen when it is least obvious. Therefore, let’s look at a popular topic we are all confronting this time of year: the weather.

Portland is known for mild winters. Sure, it rains. But snow in the Portland metropolitan area and SW Washington is supposed to be a like a petting zoo: you can drive 20 minutes to the mountains, visit it and then come home without any concerns. 2017 was a nutso year. It seemed every other week we had an ice storm or blizzard. As a result, we were all under considerable stress.

Schools were constantly out, cars were skating off of roads and into ditches (or off an occasional cliff). Some people ditched their cars on the side of the road and shivered their ways home by foot. We put on tire chains and hoped we wouldn’t thrash our wheel wells driving 20 mph on major roads. And for a split second (only a split second) we thought California wouldn’t be so bad. But then we reminded ourselves about how much we love the place we call home and swore this would not happen again for another 3 or 4 years.

Here we go again…

Well, it happened again in 2018. But in property management, foul weather is an opportunity to prove to our residents that we care. We don’t want you to slip on the ice and bruise your tailbone. No. We want you to look around and admire the beauty of the snow clinging to tree branches and walk in your nicest shoes on snow and ice free ground to your car. There will be plenty of opportunities to freak out on the road, but leaving and arriving to your home should be the good part.

Keeping it safe and eliminating stress

They say insurance isn’t appreciated until it is needed. Arranging for 2000+ residents to wake up after a snowy evening to clear sidewalks and plowed parking lots, all de-iced, is not an easy task. We plan months in advance to ensure we can accomplish this for our residents. At the time, we don’t even know if these efforts are going to be necessary. A snow free winter in Portland is plausible after all. But when Jane Resident goes to work and her co-worker is holding her elbow because she fell in her parking lot, Jane Resident will appreciate that her management company took the time and energy to keep her safe. “Appreciation” is what we hope she feels. But we can at least expect her to not be sore and angry. She didn’t have a bad day. And that’s good enough, right? WRONG!

Resident Retention 101: Creating the good experiences

When a customer service person says good-bye, she says “have a nice day” not “don’t have a bad day.” We say “good luck” to people, not “don’t have bad luck.” Clearing the snow and ice is great for eliminating the bad luck and not promoting a bad day. But that is a pretty low bar.

Make their day

The management book “Fish” provides a parable that takes place in the Pacific NW. One of the lessons this book preaches is to “Make Someone’s Day.” If you are determined every day you go to work to make at least one person’s day, you’d be surprised how likely you are to overachieve and make A LOT of people’s days. Bad management can drive a tenant away. However, resident retention is your reward for giving them a reason to love their community.

Therefore, what if a manager ventures into the snow with some of the children in her community enjoying a day off from school and makes a snow man? And what if this snow man is planted right in front of her office to greet the visiting residents? Sure, they didn’t slip on ice and have their day ruined. But how do you not smile at a snow man? The children are undoubtedly high-fiving each other for a job well done. Their parents are happy that for a good 45 minutes their children were occupied with something fun and creative. And at least four other residents took pictures of the snow man to post on their Instagram or Facebook accounts or show to their friends at work.

If clearing the snow and ice is what separates the good property management companies from the meh. Then a snow man, a snowball fight, and snow angels separates the great ones from the good. This is how the magic happens!

Arbor Place Snow Man

Resident Retention 101: Children at Arbor Place helped the manager create “Frosty the Groundskeeper”.

Milestone Giving 2017

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa Claus visits Milestone residents

Milestone Giving 2017: Girl hugs Santa at Covington Square.

Santa gets a big hug from an appreciative girl at Covington Square during Milestone Giving 2017.

Tis the second annual Milestone Giving event. Santa made his list and checked it twice and then drove his sleigh to Mt. Pleasant Apartments in Oregon City, Covington Square Apartments in Aloha and Somerset West Apartments in Tanasbourne to spread some Christmas cheer to a few families who needed a boost.

We put the word out to all of our managers and residents. We wanted to know who was experiencing hard times. Last year we helped six families and an elderly veteran. This year, our outreach extended to thirteen households in Vancouver, Gresham, Portland, Aloha and Oregon City. We are lucky to have truly good, residents. It was humbling to help a family who lost all of their possessions in a fire. Our hearts warmed to see a girl give Santa Claus a big hug and then offer him a candy cane from her Christmas tree. Older siblings proudly looked after their younger brothers and sisters. And the little siblings reciprocated with their adoration.

 

As we head into 2018

Let’s remember, whether you are a resident, client, employee, friend or relative, we are in the community business. A community is strong when its bonds are strong. Let us not forget this when it is not the holiday season.  We are committed to always improving our communities. This starts with caring, loving our neighbors, and building relationships.

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa gives boy gift at Somerset West.

Santa gives a a present to a boy at Somerset West during Milestone Giving 2017.

Special Thanks

We want to thank all of the volunteers who bought presents and wrapped gifts. Let us tip our hats to those who toured our properties with Santa or engaged in their communities to find opportunities to do good things. We are grateful for all of the support we have received from all areas of our organization to make sure the bottom line was measured in Christmas spirit this holiday season, and not in dollars. Thank you to all of the residents who helped as well, looking out for their neighbors and alerting us when there were opportunities to help. We also had several owners who lent their support and deserve our sincere appreciation. Thank you all!

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa poses with Mt Pleasant family

Santa poses with Mt Pleasant family during Milestone Giving 2017.

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa poses with Covington Square family.

Santa poses with Covington Square family during Milestone Giving 2017.

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa gives child present at Mt Pleasant

Child receives gift from Santa at Mt Pleasant during Milestone Giving 2017.

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa with maintenance tech at Somerset West.

Santa poses with one of the best elves in Milestone’s maintenance workshop!

 

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa with smiling girl at Covington Square

Little girl is all smiles with Santa at Covington Square during Milestone Giving 2017.

 

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa poses with family at Somerset West

Family poses with Santa at Somerset West during Milestone Giving 2017.

 

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa with Mt Pleasant Maintenance, Manager and Resident

On-site Maintenance tech, Manager, Resident and Santa… a formidable Christmas Quartet!

 

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa poses with Covington Square residents.

There was a Santa sighting by Covington Square residents during Milestone Giving 2017.

 

Milestone Giving 2017: Santa wishes boy a Merry Christmas at Covington Square

Santa wishing boy at Covington Square a Merry Christmas.

 

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

by Kent the Maintenance Gent

Spring Cleaning advice from Kent the Gent

It’s Spring Cleaning time according to the calendar. But before you get to enjoy the warming temperatures and sun (oh, wait, we’re in the Pacific Northwest), you need to organize, reduce and scrub so you have a respectable home to return to after you enjoy a few post-hibernation outings.

As someone who has been maintenance-genting for many years, I can assure you the pay-off of spring cleaning done right is worth the afternoon you may sacrifice. It will make for a happy tenant, and a home with less maintenance quagmires. Besides, spiders, insects and rodents don’t pay rent!

 

When in Doubt, Throw it Out

When you say the word saving, I hear the word hoarding. And when you say the word hoarding, I smell the word mold. Psychologically, someone can make a great case that decluttering will lead to a less stressful and happier environment. But as someone who has spent years in the damp trenches of Oregon and Washington, I cannot emphasize enough how important air flow is to preventing mold issues. If you have less stuff, you have more air flow. Who doesn’t like breathing?

 

Location, Location, Location

Air space is important. We established that. Wall space is also a factor in reducing mold. It is tempting to try to create more floorspace by shoving all of your sofas and other items against the walls. When one does this, air gets trapped and that creates the perfect habitat for spores. This also gives cover to pests ranging from spiders to mice. I recommend not pushing one’s sofa or bed against a wall if you can avoid it. Also, throw away that box of rags or find a better place to store that case of antique nail clippers and marbles than shoved against a wall.

 

Be a Closer

Let’s talk about garbage can etiquette. No one wants snow drifts of garbage bags lining their hallways, but there are a few rules you need to follow when taking out the trash.

Furniture does not belong in dumpsters. Sofas, TV’s and large appliances need to be hauled to a dump site. If you call a hauling service, there is a fee. But this fee is smaller than the penalty you would have to pay for breaking the property’s rules.

Regarding Christmas Trees, there are two important points. First, it is already Spring, why do you still have a Christmas tree? And second, this too needs to be hauled away by an independent service. For Christmas trees, call your local Boy Scout troop. The Girl Scouts may have the market cornered on Thin Mints, but Christmas Tree hauling… that’s the Boy Scouts’ territory.

 

Final Notes

If you discover any new “pets” while Spring cleaning, then it is probably a very good thing you got around to doing this. And please call your onsite manager or maintenance technician immediately so we can get rid of your unwanted roommates.

Regarding cleaning supplies, use only appropriate cleaners and take special care with anything that is caustic. And under no circumstances should you ever use Liquid Plumber, no matter how stubborn the stain.

Local Housing News

Local Housing News and Developments

Local housing news and developments below are curated as a resource to inform any and all stakeholders in multifamily housing of relevant local updates. If you would like to contribute, we welcome feedback including potential updates and additions via email at info@milestonepm.net. Please help us make this page as useful as possible.

 

Somerset West courtyard

Proposal pushes Portland landlords to be more forgiving of criminal history, bad credit
(The Oregonian, 3/28/2019)

 

Shark Tank’s Corcoran: Oregon is ‘nuts to even contemplate’ rent control (Yahoo Finance, 2/24/2019)

Latest NewsOregon Senate Passes Bill to Enact Statewide Tenant Protections, Rent Control (Willamette Week, 2/13/2019)

Opinion: Tenants rights bill would protect harassers (The Oregonian, 2/8/2019)

Rent control, eviction protection bill advances in Oregon Senate (The Oregonian, 2/5/2019)

Oregon bill could prohibit landlords from charging pet fees (KOBI 5, 1/31/2019)

 

Resources

Portland City Council Meeting Records

Portland Demographics (US Census Bureau)

Vancouver, WA Demographics (US Census Bureau)

Beaverton Demographics (US Census Bureau)

 

Bill Tracking

2019 Oregon SB 608 Tracking- Rent Increase Limits and No Cause Evictions

2019 Oregon HB 2683 Tracking- Prohibition of Pet Rent

2019 Oregon HB 2001 Tracking- Requirement to allow middle housing in lands zoned for single-family dwellings

2019 Oregon HB 2764 Tracking- Prohibiting landlord from requesting information on applicant’s criminal history before criminal screening

2019 Oregon HB 2700- Extending the sunset provision for property tax exemption for multiple-unit housing

2019 Oregon SB 262- Extending the sunset provision for property tax exemption for multiple-unit housing

2019 Oregon SB 334- Extending Urban Growth Boundary

 

 

Snowlandia 2017!

Snowlandia 2017: We worked, we had fun, we made ’em smile!

Snowlandia 2017 photo-blog

What a crazy week we had there, huh Portland? We hope that many of you had an opportunity to have a little fun sledding, throwing snowballs, making snowmen and possibly even making your own igloo (see below… there is a photographic evidence of the snow inspiring someone’s inner-engineer). Hopefully, you also had an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the white snow clinging to tree branches, landscapes of marshmallow fluff, and icicles shimmering in clusters hanging from the rooftops. We do not get too many storms like this. And while it may have caused some occasional hardships, it hopefully also provided some great memories.

Here is how we’re going to remember Snowlandia 2017:

 

Snowlandia 2017_Milestone Property Management Corporate Office

The Milestone Property Management Corporate Office when the snow first fell.

 

 

Snowlandia 2017_Shovelers 2

We conquered the lot.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Snowman

Snowlandia 2017: Our owners and residents are all smiles because, as always, Milestone comes through no matter what craziness is dealt our way!

 

Snowlandia 2017_Jefferson Place landscape in Woodland WA

Jefferson Place in Woodland emerged from the storm with the most picturesque scenery.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Igloo 1

Snowlandia 2017_Igloo 2

At a park near Washington Square Apartments (SW Portland near Tigard), an igloo was built. Rumor has it this studio has washer and dryer hookups!

 

Snowlandia 2017_Irvington Court and Plaza

When a picture perfect opportunity arises at Irvington Court/Irvington Plaza in NE Portland, we make our beautiful winter photos look extra fancy!

 

Snowlandia 2017_27th East

During the storm, 27th East in trendy SE Portland wore the snow like it was a scene in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Washington Square Apartments_Snowlandia 2017_Sign

Washington Square Apartments_Snowlandia 2017_Courtyard

During Snowlandia 2017, Washington Square Apartments in Portland near Tigard donned the snow in its beautiful courtyard.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Cottonwood Court

Snowlandia 2017_Cottonwood Court

When the snow fell, Cottonwood Court in Vancouver WA embraced it.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Cedar Lane

Snowlandia 2017_Cedar Lane

During Snowlandia 2017, Cedar Lane in Vancouver WA also made it one for the memory books.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Mt Pleasant

At Mt Pleasant in Oregon City, hot cocoa on a day like this is worth more per ounce than gold!

 

Snowlandia 2017_Hilltop Court

The weather outside is frightful, but the air in here’s delightful, if at Hilltop Court (Oregon City) there’s no place to go… let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

 

Snowlandia 2017_Orchardview

Meanwhile, at Orchardview in Salem, OR, there was less than an inch. All of our non-Salem properties are collecting snowballs and are preparing to invade!

 

Snowlandia 2017_Arbor Place

Arbor Place in SE Portland near Gresham received a healthy amount of snow as well during the historic storm.

 

Snowlandia 2017_Cove 13 Sign

Snowlandia 2017_Cove 13 2

When the snow came, COVE 13 in Vancouver WA waltzed with Jack Frost!

Santa Claus visits Milestone kids!

Santa Claus made his list and he checked it twice. He found out the kids at Milestone’s properties were nice!

Santa with Milestone Property Management_holiday giving_SW_Mr Handsome_1 12-23-2016

Not only did Santa swing by some of our properties to deliver toys, but we were also able to spread a little bit of joy this holiday season.

From disabled veterans to families enduring hardships, we tried to help those in our communities who needed it the most. But now that the holiday season is behind us, it is important that we hold onto that spirit of kindness, giving and compassion for our neighbors. Over the course of the year, we want our residents to let us know when a neighbor needs a helping hand. In fact, we also want to know when our residents are doing the helping!
Santa with Miss Adorable at Somerset West_Milestone Property Management_Holiday Giving_12-23-2016

So let us all give back this year! Lift and be lifted. We want to make sure we are fostering a community where neighbors look out for one another. We are going to do our part to make sure this holiday spirit persists all year long. The spirit of Santa will be as strong in July as it was in December. Whether we are selling lemonade with our community kids to raise money to fight pediatric cancer, assisting veterans, feeding the hungry, assisting the abused, or building homes for the poor, let us all be present for those who need it the most.

Not only do we want to make sure we’re all doing what we can to improve the community within our gates and the community outside of our gates, we also want to make sure Santa keeps us all on the “nice” list. We understand from all of the children who got to meet him at our properties this year that he is as kind as his reputation suggests. Be safe, stay warm and Ho! Ho! Ho!

 

Sincerely,

Your friends at Milestone Property Management!

Santa giving gift to Mr Awesome at Covington Square during the Milestone Property

 

Joy to the World

Let’s Spread Some Joy

Joy and holiday spirit are important commodities this time of year. Now is when we turn to the ones we love to celebrate with, give to, and lean on. Whether you are a resident, a manager, a maintenance technician or an owner, Somerset West office in winter spread joy Portland Property Managementwe are one community. While some may look away when a neighbor in need could use a helping hand, that is not us. Hence, our mission is to deliver holiday joy to those who need it the most.

 

Because some of our neighbors face hard times during the holidays, they need community support in a big way. Therefore, if someone in our community could use a hand this holiday season, let us know. You can notify your manager, send us an email or mail us a letter. There is also a form below you can use. Whether the relief requires a large lift or a small one, we will do our best to provide meaningful support.

Somerset West winter field spread joy Portland Property Management

You are not only the reason for having a great community, you are also the reason why we’re a great community. Therefore, we would like to thank you for being such an important part of our lives. Also, thank you for helping us spread joy and love to those around us.

Happy Holidays!

Milestone Property Management

 

 

P.S.- On another note, please report any weather related maintenance issues as they occur. Most of all, stay safe during inclement weather. Finally, have a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 Kent the Maintenance Gent with Santa Hat. Milestone Property Management- Portland Property Management.bring much joy and happiness to you and your loved ones.

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Christmas Tree A, B, C’s.

By Kent the Maintenance GentKent the Maintenance Gent with Santa Hat. Christmas Tree. Milestone Property Management- Portland Property Management.

Holiday warmth should come from within, and maybe some eggnog, not from accidental Christmas Tree fires. Tis the season to discuss Christmas Tree safety, maintenance, set-up and disposal! Ho, ho, ho!

 

When Christmas trees become dry, they become very flammable. So, with that in mind, it is important to keep your tree well hydrated, well maintained and away from anything that can spark danger.

 

Christmas Tree Rules

 

1. Keep it Quenched!

  • Make sure to use a quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Trees are thirsty animals and you have to keep them hydrated!
  • Make a half-inch cut at the bottom of the trunk so it can drink water. Make the cut flat… no fancy vee shapes, that doesn’t help according to the National Christmas Tree Association or NCTA (yes, Christmas Trees have their own trade group!).
  • We’ve all been told that it is not the size of the tree that matters. But according to the NCTA the temperature of the water doesn’t matter either! So, hot or cold… let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!
  • Check the stand daily at least twice daily for water level and make sure it doesn’t drop below the base of the tree. When trees get dry, they get angry and flammable!

 

2. Keep it Upright!

  • Don’t whittle down the trunk to fit the stand… just buck up and get a large enough stand!

 

3. Keep it Cool!

  • Use lights that are low heat such as ones with miniature bulbs. It’s a Christmas Tree, not a lighthouse beacon.
  • Keep trees away from sources of heat (heaters, vents, sunlight, etc.). Also, don’t throw gas cans and rubber tires into your fireplace or take baths with a plugged-in toaster. These are all in the same category of bad ideas.
  • Always turn off your Christmas Tree lights when you’re leaving your house. Unless you want to make sure it is well lit for the Fire Department.

 

4. But Don’t Keep it!

  • Never burn any part of your tree in your wood stove or fireplace. And keep your hands and feet away from the fire, too. All of the above will burn fast (though the pine may not smell as bad as your third-degree burn). There is wood that is great for this and it isn’t pine from your Christmas Tree which will burn too fast, too hot and be too smoky.
  • Don’t keep your Christmas tree well beyond the holiday season. Remember, it’s called a Christmas tree, not a President’s Day tree or Groundhog’s Day tree for a reason. Time tends to dry things, even in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Do NOT throw your tree in the garbage! There are services that will pick up the tree for you. I like to give the local Boy Scouts a donation to haul the trees away. But below we will include some links to that and other options. You will likely face a fine from your management team who is responsible for keeping the garbage areas clean for waste management. Therefore, they hire magic elves to keep a look out at all hours of the day to make sure anyone who violates this rule is held accountable. Not only will there be a fine, but you will be immediately put on Santa’s naughty list for the following year. So, don’t do it!!!

 

Bonus Tips

  • Candles (ahem… menorahs), make sure you never leave an open flame unattended and that it is out of reach of children and pets. Especially mischievous cats!
  • It is a myth that alcohol makes the tree smell nicer. All it will do is impair one’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery!
  • And at no point in time should you ever use Liquid Plumber for your tree! (It is my duty to make sure I highlight the dangers of Liquid Plumber in every blog post.)

From myself, and everyone at Milestone Property Management, have a happy and safe holiday season and may the new year bring you and your loved ones much joy and happiness!

 

Tree Recycling Options

Vancouver (Boy Scouts): http://www.columbian.com/news/2016/dec/06/boy-scouts-to-recycle-trees-collect-coats/

Portland (Boy Scouts): http://www.cpctroop100.mytroop.us/

Searchable Database for Recycling Options: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/garbage-and-recycling/find-a-recycler

Please email us with other tree recycling options at info@milestonepm.net and we will update this list with other vetted options.

Mold and Mildew: The Battle Plan

Kent the Maintenance Gent discusses mold and mildew in the apartment

By Kent the Maintenance Gent

 

Are there shitake mushrooms growing next to your bath tub? Maybe you are a gourmet chef or maybe you have serious mildew and mold issues. If you are a gourmet chef, I have to question why you would grow those mushrooms in your bathroom. If you’re not a gourmet chef, then welcome to the Pacific Northwest and please read on.

 

First, the health concerns. You know those pharmaceutical commercials where they spend most of the ad rattling off the most gruesome side effects? Well, it’s not quite as scary as those commercials, but reactions do range from usually mild to occasionally severe. They include sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, headaches, asthma and rashes. Even a minor reaction can be a nuisance so learning how to conquer the spore is worth it.

 

The first rule of fight club mold prevention: air circulation.

  • Keep your doors open, windows cracked and fans running, especially when there is moisture in the air.
  • When showering, use a ventilation fan (known in the industry as a “fart fan”) so the moisture in the air has a way to discharge.
  • Keep ventilation space around your furniture.
  • Don’t live the cluttered life: try to keep your home neat and organized. Those old newspapers can be recycled… the horoscopes are no longer relevant anyway.

 

The second rule for dominating mildew and mold: Mold control.

  • Vacuum regularly to pick up mold spores and prevent the growth of mold.
  • Wipe up moisture and excessive condensation immediately.
  • Consider a dehumidifier, especially when the weather gets cool and damp.

 

Rule three: Living the dry life.

  • Keep the heat on. Cooler rooms tend to create condensation which makes mold happy and you sad. But if you need to use a space heater, stick to electric heaters that have ventilation.
  • Be mindful of mold friends. Do you have a lot of houseplants or fish tanks? If so there may be fungus among us.
  • Turn certain marathons into sprints. If you are cooking or doing laundry all day, you probably have a home that is on the moist side. Cover your pots, don’t boil water for too long, use the ventilation fan and do your in-home laundry in smaller chunks. If you do need to cook a daylong feast, at least crack window and invite over a maintenance gent.

 

So, those shitake mushrooms are screaming “You have a problem!” Now what? Here are a couple of basics that can help clear the air:

  • Mix one part bleach to three parts water in a spray bottle for a “do it yourself” mold solution. Or you can buy similar products at your local store.
  • Call your apartment or maintenance manager if there is a water leak, excessive moisture, or mold or mildew that cannot be removed with household cleaner and wiping. Also, give us a jingle if your heater, central AC or in-unit laundry machines are not working or if your doors and windows don’t open and close properly.

 

And for God’s sake, do not use Liquid Plumber ever for anything! That has little to do with mold, but I feel like it is my duty to say this at least once in every blog.

 

Keep it dry!

Kent the Maintenance Gent

 

Milestone Good Neighbor Finalists

Congratulations to the three Milestone Good Neighbor Award finalists. Below are the entries and the list of official Facebook Pages where you can vote. We are counting cumulative “likes” and each of our nominees will be posted on each of our official Facebook Pages. So you can “like” each nominee up to 22 times! Distribute your “likes” at your discretion. But please reward the kindness with your support.

 

Finalists:

Milestone Good Neighbor Award Nominee: Corkey and Allen Fowler of Sawyer Pointe Apartments, Scappoose, OR

I would like to nominate Corkey and Allen Fowler of Sawyer Pointe Apartments. They have always been nice and friendly, and have helped me whenever I had any kind of little troubles. They are always willing to make a good conversation.

 

Milestone Good Neighbor Award Nominee: Kellie of Orchardview Apartments, Salem, OR

Kellie of Orchardview Apartments is one of the sweetest people I’ve met. Last Thursday on my way home from the post office I saw Kellie on the side of State St. holding a little dog that looked like it was hit. Kellie brought the dog home and cleaned him up. She made lost dog posters and ads. She didn’t find the owners but ended up giving the dog to one of her coworkers. She is just an all-around great person and would do anything for anyone. I nominate Kellie because I want her to know that she is appreciated.

 

Milestone Good Neighbor Award Nominee: Malynda of Sawyer Pointe Apartments, Scappoose, OR

I would like to nominate Malynda from Sawyer Pointe Apartments.

She always has a smile on her face and is willing to help a neighbor in need. With her jams and great vegetables, she is always very giving. I always see her saying hi to everyone on the property when she is out walking her dog Buddy. Last week she was willing to help relocate a baby opossum found on the property. And I also saw her help another resident carry a dresser up the stairs. She is a nice person with a caring heart.

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Official Facebook Pages:

Milestone Property Management- www.facebook.com/MilestonePM/

27th East- https://www.facebook.com/27th-East-Apartments-1783244728571962/

Arbor Place- https://www.facebook.com/Arbor-Place-Townhomes-943841699046279/

Cedar Lane- https://www.facebook.com/Cedar-Lane-115769642148683/

Centre Pointe- https://www.facebook.com/Centre-Pointe-Apartments-527431840800907/

Commonwealth- https://www.facebook.com/Commonwealth-Townhomes-1099697406738649/

Cottonwood Court- https://www.facebook.com/Cottonwood-Court-Duplexes-604126989769325/

Covington Square- https://www.facebook.com/CovingtonSquarePDX/

Erica Village- https://www.facebook.com/Erica-Village-356256961211172/

Hall Street- https://www.facebook.com/Hall-Street-Court-Apartments-523036904550063/

Hilltop Court- https://www.facebook.com/Hilltop-Court-Apartments-1003378343109281/

Irvington Court- https://www.facebook.com/Irvington-Court-Apartments-1050062348403851/

Irvington Plaza- https://www.facebook.com/Irvington-Plaza-Apartments-1583771771931426/

Jefferson Place- https://www.facebook.com/Jefferson-Place-741751732627702/

Mt Pleasant- https://www.facebook.com/MtPleasantApartmentHomes/

Orchardview- https://www.facebook.com/Orchardview-1041304892596079/

Parkview- https://www.facebook.com/ParkviewApartmentHomesHillsboro/

Pleasant Square- https://www.facebook.com/Pleasant-Square-898573240258850/

Sawyer Pointe- https://www.facebook.com/SawyerPointePortlandMetro/

Somerset West- https://www.facebook.com/SomersetWestPortlandMetro/

Spring Park- https://www.facebook.com/Spring-Park-Apartments-336254520038971/

Washington Square- https://www.facebook.com/Washington-Square-Apartments-1777425869203698/

The Milestone Good Neighbor Award

Milestone Good Neighbor AwardDo you know someone worthy of The Milestone Good Neighbor Award?

We love our residents at Milestone Property Management and we’re pretty sure you know why. Our communities are filled with people like YOU- good neighbors, loving families, and caring friends. In the spirit of shining a light on our amazing residents, we want to hear about your favorite neighbor or a neighbor who has done something very special for you or someone in your community. The winning neighbor will be honored with the Milestone Good Neighbor Award and both the winner and the one who nominated the winner will receive a cash prize!

Nominees will be contacted before anything is posted to ensure privacy concerns are met.

Entry Rules:

  • Each essay must be limited to 500 words.
  • Each essay must contain the name of the nominee and the name of the community within the first 50 words.
  • Submissions must be sent to contest@milestonepm.net by 8/26/2016.
  • Submissions must be for someone who lives in a Milestone Property Management community, but one cannot nominate someone who lives in the same household as the nominator.
  • One may submit multiple nominations, but one may not nominate the same person twice.

 

Screening:

Milestone Property Management will screen the submissions and post finalists on EACH of our official Facebook pages. Below we share links to each of them.

 

Voting:

  • Anyone with Facebook access is eligible to vote whether or not they are a resident. If you want to encourage all of your family and friends to “like” your entry, we say “go for it!” Your nominee probably deserves the love.
  • One may submit a vote by “Liking” the post on one of our official Facebook pages.
  • One may vote for the same entry multiple times by visiting our different Facebook pages and liking each instance in which it is posted.
  • One may vote for as many different entries as one pleases. If one likes two of them, but prefers one, the person can strategically “like” one entry on ten of our pages and the second favorite entry on five of our pages. One may distribute one’s “likes” as one pleases.
  • Voting will begin on 8/29/2016 when we post the finalists and will end on 9/19/2016.

 

Winner:

  • The entry with the most combined “likes” by end of day 9/19/2016 (we will be combining them from each of our official Facebook pages) will be named the winner.
  • The winning nominee will receive a $100 gift card.
  • The one who submitted the winning entry will receive a $50 gift card.
  • We will announce the winner on 9/20/2016

 

Official Facebook Pages:

Milestone Property Management- www.facebook.com/MilestonePM/

27th East- https://www.facebook.com/27th-East-Apartments-1783244728571962/

Arbor Place- https://www.facebook.com/Arbor-Place-Townhomes-943841699046279/

Cedar Lane- https://www.facebook.com/Cedar-Lane-115769642148683/

Centre Pointe- https://www.facebook.com/Centre-Pointe-Apartments-527431840800907/

Commonwealth- https://www.facebook.com/Commonwealth-Townhomes-1099697406738649/

Cottonwood Court- https://www.facebook.com/Cottonwood-Court-Duplexes-604126989769325/

Covington Square- https://www.facebook.com/CovingtonSquarePDX/

Erica Village- https://www.facebook.com/Erica-Village-356256961211172/

Hall Street- https://www.facebook.com/Hall-Street-Court-Apartments-523036904550063/

Hilltop Court- https://www.facebook.com/Hilltop-Court-Apartments-1003378343109281/

Irvington Court- https://www.facebook.com/Irvington-Court-Apartments-1050062348403851/

Irvington Plaza- https://www.facebook.com/Irvington-Plaza-Apartments-1583771771931426/

Jefferson Place- https://www.facebook.com/Jefferson-Place-741751732627702/

Mt Pleasant- https://www.facebook.com/MtPleasantApartmentHomes/

Orchardview- https://www.facebook.com/Orchardview-1041304892596079/

Parkview- https://www.facebook.com/ParkviewApartmentHomesHillsboro/

Pleasant Square- https://www.facebook.com/Pleasant-Square-898573240258850/

Sawyer Pointe- https://www.facebook.com/SawyerPointePortlandMetro/

Somerset West- https://www.facebook.com/SomersetWestPortlandMetro/

Spring Park- https://www.facebook.com/Spring-Park-Apartments-336254520038971/

Washington Square- https://www.facebook.com/Washington-Square-Apartments-1777425869203698/

Keep your toilet happy and floor dry

Toilet advice from Kent the GentBy Kent the Maintenance Gent

 

The toilet. Some might say it is the bedrock of modern civilization. When this wonder of engineering is working correctly, it defines easy living. But when something goes wrong, you can have a crisis on your hands. Even worse, you can have a crisis on your bathroom floor. Never feel shy about calling your maintenance technician when there is any sort of issue with your porcelain pedestal. It is that important. But here are a few tips to keep everything flowing.

 

If you only want one rule to live by to keep your toilet in tip-top shape, remember: If it didn’t come out of your body and it is not toilet paper, it doesn’t go in the bowl.

 

Q-tips? Don’t belong.

Dental floss? Nope.

Feminine hygiene products? Mmm… no.

Houseplants? Not unless you eat them first.

Baby wipes? No.

What about “flushable” baby wipes? Still no. Toilet paper disintegrates when it gets wet. Wipes, even when they are advertised as “flushable,” do not break down and will get hung up in the pipes.

Hot Wheels? No.

Star Wars action figures? Neither Darth Vader nor your toilet deserves that.

Cell phones? You’ll have a mess on your hands and the reception will still be terrible.

Barbie Dolls or GI Joes? The loo does not discriminate… it hates all dolls.

Wash cloths? Of course, not.

Bars of soap? Try bars of nope.

Like I said, if it didn’t come from your body and it is not toilet paper, it does not go in the bowl!

 

Now that we settled the “what goes down the toilet” question, there are a few things that may seem small that should prompt a call to your maintenance professional:

 

If you have to hold the handle down to flush, you likely have a bad flapper. Call your friendly maintenance man. This may be a simple part replacement that will save water and will keep you from excessively stressing the other parts of the flushing mechanism from holding down the handle or flushing multiple times.

 

If your toilet is constantly cycling (you see water movement in your toilet bowl, your toilet sometimes fills when not in use, or you hear the water cycling or filling randomly), call your friendly maintenance guy. This may not seem like such a menacing problem, but if your toilet is running for an extended period of time, that can cost you hundreds of dollars in utility bills very fast!

 

If you flush and large bubbles gurgle up, then your sewer is likely starting to back up. Call so we can get this some professional attention.

 

As far as everyday maintenance and use goes there are a few other suggestions I can offer. Never let Liquid Plumber, or any other kind of drain opening compound, anywhere near a toilet. Not only is it bad for the pipes, but when this rapidly reacts with the cold water, it can crack your toilet. This is a double whammy in a bad way. Between damaging your pipes and shattering your throne, these caustic products should give you plenty of pause.

 

Do not use the blue dyes or chlorine tablets in the tank. They will break down and destroy the parts in the tank. If you want to use something to keep your toilet clean, use the products that clip inside the bowl. And don’t be afraid to use the good old fashioned toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner.

 

Finally, always have a good plunger around. The new lower water consumption toilets are great for conserving water, but they do not flush with the same force as the older ones. A good plunger will help keep the good times rolling.

 

What Not to Put Down The Disposal

Kent Morgan- The Maintenance Gent. Milestone Property Management's maintenance guru. Serving Portland and surrounding areas.

Kent “The Maintenance Gent” Morgan

By Kent “The Maintenance Gent” Morgan

The garbage disposal. We all take it for granted until it stops working. They are temperamental suckers. I’m going to tell you how to keep them happy, your sleeves clean, and the drain flowing.

 

Let’s set the ground rules. First, you have to use it regularly. You want to keep the motor moving and lubricated and you don’t want to let the chamber back up to the point where it is likely to overwork the disposal and clog the drain. Second, always run water when using the disposal. When the broccoli is ground into mush, you want to simultaneously rinse it down the drain with running water.

 

Before I tell you what not to put down there, I want to be clear that we are only giving you a list of a few common, non-obvious items. Items like forks, bottle caps, pens, screws, coins, Hot Wheels, toys, gym shoes and all other non-food related items are obvious ones to avoid. Also, I will harp on this in every blog post, NO LIQUID PLUMBER! This is bad for the pipes, bad for the plumber, and if you scratch that itch after you handled it, bad for you.

 

So here are some of the non-obvious items you should avoid putting down the hatch:

 

  1. Bones- Your disposal blades will not grind bones fine enough to fit through the drain. At the end of the day, you will burn out the motor and have a clogged sink. This goes for all bones: beef, poultry, fish, or your cousin “Vinnie Two Shoes”.
  2. Stringy Vegetables- Celery, onions, artichokes… I don’t blame you for thinking your disposal can handle this. But most can’t. If a food item can’t break up relatively easily, most residential disposals will just get these fibers wound up around the blade propellers and burn out the motor. This will not add to the fun of Thanksgiving clean-up.
  3. Pasta- Anything starchy and sticky in large quantities will clog your drain. Say that three times.
  4. Potato Peels- This is the street corner where the fibers of stringy vegetables meet the sticky starch of pasta. Like both of those, I can understand someone assuming that the disposal can do its magic with this. But in a head-to-head match-up between the garbage disposal and potato peels, my money, unfortunately, is on the tater.
  5. Hands- It is not being brave or living on the edge. You start out with ten digits and it would be nice to cross the finish line with ten digits as well, no?

 

If your disposal is not humming or running when you turn it on, there is one thing you can try to get it going. Under your sink, look for a reset button on the bottom of the disposal. Push this button to reset the motor and give it another whirl. If, however, it just hums after you try this, then there is a problem with the motor and you should contact maintenance (via your on-site manager) immediately so we can fix it for you.

 

Kent Morgan is the Director of Corporate Maintenance for Milestone Property Management, LLC.

Picture Perfect: Tips to Top Pics

Jefferson Place living room2- Picture from corner with great natural lightRemember when a picture had to be planned? When cameras needed film and you only had them handy when you were on vacation or at a special event? We also have a hard time remembering those days. Having a smartphone with a quality digital camera embedded in it has become quite a widespread luxury, but few of us know how to take advantage of this new norm when it comes to taking pictures of apartment homes. So we took our curiosity online to find those one or two things we can do to really make a difference.

Seeing the Light- The most common tip we see is minding the light. Natural light is preferred but when this is unavailable for an indoor shot, use what you’ve got! Open windows, shades and blinds to get whatever sunlight is available. Inside cabinets or in dark corners tuSawyer Pointe- Picture with great outdoor lighting with flowering tree.rn on any lighting available or bring your own.

Stage It- Staging a vacant apartment with furniture is not always realistic. It takes a lot of resources and logistics. If you are blessed with the ability to pull it off, that can lead to some great photos. If you cannot, you can still make sure debris is removed, and there are no unwanted or out of place items in the background like a waste basket or tool box. Be aware of angles that would highlight cracks in the sidewalk, an unsightly parked car or a burnt out light bulb and don’t use them. Also, look for props that add warmth like flowers. Remember, this is all about creating an experience for the viewer. A big window with flowers on the sill will look a lot more compelling than a room with a bucket of paint in the corner.

It’s Not About You- Are there mirrors or windows in the picture? That’s fine. As long as your reflection isn’t in them. The lease doesn’t say you are included with the apartment, does it?

Cornering the Market- Take pictures from the corners of the rooms so you could see more walls and make the rooms look larger. Also, try taking pictures from different angles. See what the room looks like if you take the picture from a lower perspective.

While you may not have the word “photographer” on your business card or LinkedIn profile, you can still point and shoot with confidence. So fire away!

Why we changed our name

Effective May 1, 2016 “Canyon Property Management” began operating as “Milestone Property Management.”

According to its principal, Tim Lee, it was important for the name to align with the company. “Nothing screams ‘set in stone’ or ‘business as usual’ more than a ‘canyon.’ The name ‘Canyon Property Management’ just wasn’t a symbolic fit with how we operate. We always pursue ways to improve our communities benefiting both our owners and residents. I am proud of our role in turning around communities, the value we have added to the portfolios of all of our clients and the ‘pride of place’ we have instilled in our tenants. We found ourselves hitting new milestones and it seemed natural to change our name to ‘Milestone Property Management’ to reflect that.”

Going forward, Lee says, the Portland and Southwest Washington regions are going to face unique challenges in the multifamily housing industry. Migration patterns, rent trends, supply fluctuations and apartment offerings have been changing at break-neck speed over the past few years and they are expected to continue changing at such a pace for the foreseeable future.

“At Milestone, we believe the secret to longevity is knowledge and preparation. Our command of market data has allowed us to respond swiftly to changes, often anticipating them before they occur, and we believe that it will continue to guide us through a business environment that requires players to be nimble in order to succeed,” Lee says.

Lee connects the emphasis on understanding tenants with the new service, Apartment Genie PDX, since it provides Milestone with more opportunities to ask prospects about their needs and learn about them. It shifts the process into an exercise about the tenant instead of one that commonly focuses on the property or vacancy.

“You cannot replace real service with an app,” says Lee. “Technology is great, but it will never replace someone who really cares.

“We always need to be progressing, pioneering and hitting new heights. This is just another instance where we are evolving for the better instead of just going through the motions. That is why we are Milestone.”