Business Recommendation

New Server This Weekend!

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We thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know that we are getting a new computer server for our office this weekend.  Our trusted friends over at Umbrella Systems are doing this project for us.  We will still have email, because we switched to Office365 in October last year… all of our email is “in the cloud!”  Also, our office phone system from Avid Communications will still be working because our internet connection will still be on.  However, due to our server being down for the replacement, there are many activities that might be impossible to do until Monday morning.  We can still communicate… things just might be delayed a bit.

This is one of those necessary maintenance things that is never fun, but so important to get done.  It has been a few years since we have upgraded our network server, and it will be great peace of mind when the project is complete.  One of the best things that will happen as a result of this upgrade is a significant upgrade in the amount of storage we have.  Another is the fact that the backups will be taking a full snapshot picture of our entire server.  Why does this matter?  If the new server crashes in the months/years to come, we will be able to restore the snapshot image to a new server and be back up and running within hours instead of days!

Thank you for your patience as we go through the server project this weekend, we appreciate it!

Happy 20th Anniversary to our Friends at Accommodations by Apple!

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We all need trusted relationships personally and professionally.  And it is so important to be able to count on these relationships.  We have that kind of trust with Kiersten at Accommodations by Apple Corporate Housing and have been referring business back and forth for years!

Accommodations by Apple supplies temporary, furnished apartments all over Kansas City.  They offer short term accommodations for business travelers and relocating families.  We get calls from people that are coming to Kansas City for a 3 month contract and they want to stay in a furnished apartment instead of the typical week-long stay options.  We refer them to Kiersten and she takes great care of them.

Kiersten refers business back to us as well.  Sometimes, it is someone she has heard from that is going to be here for a longer period of time and wants to stay in a home versus an apartment.  Other times, it is someone that has rented an apartment from Accommodations by Apple and ends up taking a permanent job here in Kansas City.  They want to upgrade to a rental home while they figure out their long term living situation.  That is where we come in!

So thanks to Kiersten and Accommodations by Apple for being a company that does what they say they are going to do.  We know when we refer someone to her that they will be well taken care of.  It is a great milestone for them to be able to celebrate their 20th year of doing business here in Kansas City.

If you know someone that needs a temporary, furnished apartment, give Kiersten a call at (913) 888-8100.

RecycleSpot.org – Where to Recycle in Greater Kansas City

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Our team at Home Rental Services believes that it is important to recycle.  If you have known us for very long, you have seen that we are raving fans of the Ronald McDonald house pop-tab and key recycling program.

We have found a great resource for all recycling called RecycleSpot.org.  They can help you figure out what to do with all kinds of waste including hazardous materials (paint and varnish), technology (computers and old TVs) as well as glass, yard waste and old prescription drugs.

One of the best features about their web site is the ability to search by material, community or service provider.  In other words, you can type in GLASS and your zip code to find where to recycle glass nearby.

Kandy connected the dots between key and pop-tab recycling and RecycleSpot.org.  Apparently, RecycleSpot.org didn’t have a good referral partner for old keys… which is perfect for the Ronald McDonald house!  Kandy did an introduction and they are talking to see how they can work together.  How cool is that?

If you have any tips on recycling or appreciated us telling you about RecycleSpot.org, please leave us a comment below!

2012 : Year of the Bugs?

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Bugs, bugs, and more bugs.  That is what we are planning for this year.  Can you remember a more mild winter than the one we just had?  I think we had snow on the ground twice the entire season and it didn’t stick.  Combine that with the occasional day or two of solid rain we are getting, and it is a breeding ground for all kinds of creepy crawlies.

It is important to know that pest control is the responsibility of the renter for the houses that we manage, not the owner.  Things like ants, cockroaches, and mice need to be taken care of by the renter.  We thought it would be important to give you some tips on what to do yourself, and then a recommendation for the pest control company that we use ourselves.

Taking Care of Bugs on your Own

Instead of creating our own list of tips and suggestions, we found an excellent resource at GetRidOfThings.com with a special section just for bugs.  You can view that website here for information on how to deal with ants, flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, silverfish, wasps and more.

The following is an excerpt from TheHousingForum.com on how to get rid of ants in the home:

Ants can get in your home through a variety of ways. Cracks in the floor, the foundation, holes in the wall, and small crevices in the attic, basement, or ceiling are some ways they can find to get in, just to name a few. Leaving doors open is another way they get inside. The most common ants to get inside people’s homes are carpenter ants, or black ants, and sugar ants.

Sugar ants are specifically looking for food, and they will find anything in your pantry containing glucose or sucrose, from cereal to crackers. Letting people into your house for a party only to discover that your pantry is full of ants can be embarrassing and disgusting. There are plenty of products on the market that will take care of your ant problems. Liquid poisons are a good choice for getting rid of the sugar ants. Put a little bit on a piece of paper or tin foil and leave it on the kitchen counter or in your pantry. They will mistake it for food, and eventually they will die off or stop coming back. This method is fairly effective. If you have to use a spray, you can do that, but be careful around food and places where children and pets walk. Dogs will lick anything.

Kansas City Pest Control Company Recommendation – Odom’s Bug-B-Gone

If you don’t have the time or just need help dealing with your bug problem, we recommend Odom’s Bug-B-Gone.  Odom’s is a family owned and operated small business that serves the greater Kansas City metro and has been doing so since 1983.  We have recommended them for a long time because they do good work for a reasonable price.

Owner Spotlight – Artists Helping the Homeless

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Kar Woo has been a client of Home Rental Services for more than a decade.  We are thankful to have his business and proud of his efforts in our community.  Kar is the President of the Not For Profit organization called Artists Helping the Homeless.  Visit their web site to learn more.

Artists Helping The Homeless is a non-profit 501c3 public charity organization that seeks to reduce the need and cost of homeless care in several ways.  The BE THE CHANGE Van provides transportation and assistance in accessing resources to get off the street.  Two meal programs, one in Kansas City, another in Olathe, each serve one night a week.  Their goal is to serve the homeless in their environment, a setting more comfortable to them.  They raise money through art to help individuals who need a new beginning.  Be sure to watch for different art events throughout the year to help raise awareness for this important cause.

We thought we would pass on the wonderful message that we received from Kar a few days ago.  It is a great lesson in celebrating the previous year while planning for the new year.  A lesson that can be applied to your personal and professional life!

For the young couple jumping freight trains that were beaten up in Kansas City, who we gave a safe place to stay, linked up with family and working with other services assisted with medical care and transportation, THANK YOU
For the businessman who developed dementia, lost his business, home and family, who we, working with the VA, assisted in getting the treatment needed, THANK YOU
For the senior in high school that aged out of foster care, who working with the school and other services we sheltered, tutored and took to school, that got his diploma and is now attending college, THANK YOU

Artists Helping the Homeless Accomplishments

  • Fed 43,130 meails on Thursdays and Sundays
  • Provided 7,363 rides to 1,574 people
  • Assisted 83 youth in staying or getting off the street
  • Assisted 33 chronic homeless get off the street
  • Saved the Kansas City Community over $1,750,000 in ambulance, hospital, police and judicial fees

Artists Helping the Homeless Goals for 2012

  • Open an emergency intervention center
  • The center will also serve as the new headquarters

We would love to hear from you if this story has touched you in some way!  Please tell us YOUR story in the comment area below!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas! (VIDEO)

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December 25th is almost here!  We started a tradition in 2010 of caroling for our best referring partners.  This week marks our 2nd Annual Carol-fest!  We went to Group O’Dell and the Koehler-Bortnick Team offices to sing carols on Monday, December 19th.  As always, it was so much fun for everyone and really helped get us in the spirit of the season.  Click on the video below to see a bit of our team singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas at the Group O’Dell offices!

EBE Office Solutions – Excited About Our New Copier!

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Have you ever been in the position where your office copier/scanner is not working like it should?  We found ourselves in that position in 2011 and after months of back and forth with the vendor, we decided to end our contract and move forward with EBE Office Solutions.  (We had worked with EBE in the past and had a good experience.)

How often do you truly get more for less?  In this case, we are happy to say that is true.  The new copier is smaller, so it fits in our break room and has given us back some office space for our growing staff.  Our monthly expense is less than what we were paying before.  We don’t have to take meter reads any more… it happens automagically.  The machine does what we were told it would do and the copies look great.

We worked with Graham Brown and he really helped us through the entire process.  He helped us get the old copier contract bought out and shipped back to the leasing company.  He walked us through our contract options for a new machine and made sure that we got the features we needed… and nothing more.  His team delivered a shiny new Sharp MX-4110N a few weeks ago.  It is so nice to have a color copier/scanner that works.  Their team did on site training with our team, and their engineer set it up to work in our network properly.

We like to share the good news about the companies that we work with that go the extra mile.  We have been very impressed with EBE Office Solutions and would happily refer them to other businesses here in Kansas City!  If you have had copier woes, comment and tell us your story!