More than 160 million paper rent checks are written — though perhaps not always mailed — every month. PayYourRent.com hopes to put a dent in this number by offering landlords and tenants a secure platform for paperless online rent payment. Tenants can automatically debit rent payments and submit maintenance requests. Property managers can edit payment information online, process rental applications, and export data to accounting software. The platform’s basic service is free, but online payments require a convenience fee that can be paid by either the tenant or landlord. Contact PayYourRent.com at (888) 800-4797 or www.payyourrent.com.
Faced with stiff competition in the ongoing smartphone showdown, BlackBerry has added two new features to its Storm2 9550 model: Wi-Fi connectivity and SurePress touch screen technology. The former allows users to link to wireless networks or hotspots outside of their regular coverage areas. The latter lends a more tactile feel to the virtual QWERTY keyboard. The Bluetooth-enabled Storm2 also includes a 3.2 megapixel digital camera with auto-focus and 2x zoom. In addition to the standard e-mail, phone, and browser software, the device features calendar, address book, and other organizer applications. The BlackBerry Storm2 9550 costs $279.99 with a two-year contract. Contact Verizon Wireless at (800) 256-4646 or www.verizonwireless.com.
Subsidized Apartments Study
The Institute of Real Estate Management’s new benchmarking study, 2009 Income/Expense Analysis: Federal Assisted Apartments, examines utility costs, maintenance costs, operating ratios, and other factors that contributed to a widespread increase in operating expenses in this sector. Mining operating data from 975 government subsidized properties, the 22nd annual report is geared primarily toward property owners and managers but also can be a resource for developing appraisals, sales proposals, and loan requests. The study costs $374.95 plus shipping and $187.95 plus shipping for IREM members. It also is available in downloadable Excel and PDF formats. Contact IREM at (800) 837-0706 or www.irem.org.
AuctionPoint is an online accelerated marketing platform geared toward brokers who are trying to manage the current influx of distressed assets. Using AuctionPoint, brokers can set up a customized, unique property auction Web site containing all property information, including the minimum bid and due diligence materials. Potential buyers are pre-qualified by providing a deposit, allowing the selling broker to target market to the registered participants who compete for the property online on auction day. The service costs $395 per auction plus a 1 percent buyer’s premium, which is reduced if the sale price exceeds $10 million. Contact AuctionPoint at (800) 807-1688 or www.auctionpoint.com.
Presentation in Your Pocket
Compatible with most computers, video cameras, cell phones, and iPods, the 3M MPro 120 pocket projector allows users to display presentations or videos to small groups without crowding them around tiny laptop or iPhone screens. The device projects images in sizes ranging from eight inches to 50 inches, for up to four hours on a fully charged battery. The MPro 120 comes equipped with an AV cable kit, a computer cable, tripod, rechargeable battery, and international power adapter. A car charger and an Apple product cable are optional. The device costs $359. Contact 3M at (866) 631-1656 or www.3mmpro.com.