Check out my last post “The weird and wonderful things I saw at the condo expo.” Here are some more highlights:
- A costume change for your building: PermaTint is a company who can actually change the color of brick. We’re not talking about just painting it because that can be tacky. This company has formulated various tints to permeate brick. What’s really nice is that they can change a color not only from light to dark but also from dark to light. And it doesn’t give the “off” effect like what you get when you put blue contact lenses over dark brown eyes (I’m not a fan of that creepy business). This looks really natural, with the new color appearing to be original. Not only can they give building a facelift for a more updated, unique look, they can also create a uniformity for section of brick that has been repaired with a non-matching color or brick that has been stained. This can also be very helpful when graffiti removal leaves a big, ugly dark spot.
- Crime scene cleanup: One company, SERVPRO, provides cleanups for crime scenes and other biohazards. It’s overwhelmingly sad that Chicago and other big cities are experiencing such a need for a service like this, but it’s good to know where to go if you need it. Be aware that for certain situations, you can’t just grab a pair of rubber gloves and some bleach to clean up after a violent act. Bodily fluids and tissues could be contaminated and such biohazards should be disposed of by certified professionals. SERVPRO also provides services relating to fire and smoke damage, mold mitigation and remediation, water removal and dehumidification, and airduct/HVAC cleaning.
- The wrong kind of green roof: One company, Advantage Roof Cleaning, offers a way to restore the look of a discolored pitched roof. Over time, light colored roofs can develop ugly “stains” and streaks. These are actually not stains but organic material like mold, moss and lichen which attaches itself to grow on your shingles. While green environmental rooftops are all the rage, this is not the kind you want. Advantage Roof Cleaning offers an eco-friendly way to kill and remove these materials without harming your roof, siding or landscaping. With no pressure washing to weaken the integrity of your shingles.
- Sweet Little Puppies: I don’t think you’re ready for this one because I wasn’t, but I’ll share it with you anyway. My favorite discovery of the day was something I could not have imagined. Wait for it………bed bug-sniffing dogs. We’re all familiar with the disturbing headlines over the last few years about the increase in incidents of bed bugs. Most companies depend on human visual inspections which are not always reliable. What better way to detect a problem before it gets out of hand than with the specially trained noses of sweet little dogs? I’m not a dog person but I must admit I let out a little squeal when I saw that the company actually shows each dog and its bio in the pamphlet. Plato, the German Short-haired Pointer. Stark, the Labrador Mix. Lincoln and Jebidiah, the Belgian Shepherd Malinois. It almost makes one hope to get bed bugs just to see these cute little guys in action. Check out Platinum Pest Solutions.
Of about ten seminars offered over the course of the day, I was really disappointed that the only one geared more toward condo investors than condo owners was cancelled. The session “Rent or Buy? Marketing Your Properties to a Changing Demographic” was supposed to help attendees “find out who’s renting, how long they stay, and what they’re looking for. Learn effective marketing strategies for an array of multifamily properties, and how to minimize turnover.” A reason for the cancellation was not given but hopefully they’ll offer it at the next one.
The session I did attend was “Dealing with the Difficult: Avoiding and Resolving Conflicts.” Apparently, conflicts in condo and homeowner’s associations keep a LOT of people awake at night. The panel included an attorney who discussed the advantages and disadvantages of mediation, arbitration and litigation. I don’t know if it’s urban legend or if it’s a real epidemic but every time I hear about HOA conflicts they always bring up the guy who wants to paint his front door red. I wish HOAs would finally wise up and stop letting this guy in. You would think they would have identified him and sent out flyers by now. Someone should arrest that guy.
Anyway, if you missed the spring expo make sure to add your name to the Chicagoland Cooperator’s mailing list to find out about the fall expo. It’s a good experience for rental property owners and investors whether or not condos are your thing.
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