Why We’re Ditching Cable and Satellite in our Furnished Apartments

I love upgrades that cut costs – especially when cutting costs means we can offer more upgrades in other areas of our units. This time around, we’re taking a closer look at cable and satellite TV.

Fewer people than ever watch TV – in the traditional sense. It’s all about convenience and tuning in on your time – not adhering to a network’s schedule. There are exceptions to this of course, but as much as cable and satellite companies push their ‘watch it now’ features, they’re not nearly as effective as they lead you to believe.

Our previous approach with tenants was to try and give them more comforts than they have at home. Take the electric can opener for example. It’s a simple, effective and useful tool that doesn’t sell very well. It’s an extravagance – that’s the point! TV and premium channels sell very well, but what’s the point if they don’t fit your needs or if you can’t even use them?

After close examination, we’ve decided to ditch cable and satellite* and we have seven really great reasons why it’s beneficial for our tenants.

LA Furnished Changes TV Offerings

    • We spend thousands a year offering premium Time Warner Cable TV and Premium DirecTV to our tenants. We get requests all the time for additional packages, like sports channels (we give our tenants whatever they want, by the way). I’ve personally closed apartment rentals with the premier cable package we offer combined with a 42” HDTV.Those packages are luxuries that force us to make hard financial decisions about other expenditures that might be more appealing to a broader base of clients. When there’s a less-expensive alternative that provides a better experience – why not go for it?

 

    • Satellite is all about positioning and DirecTV requires West Coast viewers to face southeast. If you’re not on the right side of the building, DirecTV/Dish Network isn’t even available to you. If you’re one of the lucky ones, then enjoy watching your connection break down with a single wind gust, knocking your dish out of place by less than an inch at least once every 1-2 years.

 

    • Most people aren’t computer savvy enough to have custom-built “personal TVs” to record shows directly to their PC or a home theater computer. Those people were the ones breaking into their DVR (voiding the warranty) to upgrade the hard drive for more space. Everybody knows a “tech guy” who can rig something together (I’m one of those), but ultimately, people want a simple alternative to watch their shows on their own schedule, or watch a movie instantly, and best of all – without having to sit through commercials.

 

 

    • Digital TV has taken over the market. Windows and Apple tried to merge TV and the Internet with the creation of Windows TV and Apple TV. They both failed miserably. Just ask anyone with a Windows or Apple TV. Feel free to let us know when you find them.

 

    • TV-connected apps are rising in popularity. Netflix almost single-handedly brought down Blockbuster and is now nearing its 20th birthday. According to Harris Interactive, the top apps for Smart TV owners aged 18-35 are YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. For people aged 36-47, Netflix leads the way, followed by YouTube and Amazon. These apps can easily be accessed via a Roku, Playstation or Wii (no, we’re not putting a PlayStation or Wii in every unit).

 

  • TV is expensive, let’s face it. We call cable companies bad names and claim to not watch much TV, but, we actually do watch a lot. Pretty much everyone has a favorite show, and they never miss an episode. The absolute cheapest price you can pay for TV is to sign up for one of those $30/$30/$30 TV/Internet/home-phone deals – and then get ready to pay big time for it the following year when your deal expires.Not only that, what you’re actually getting is standard definition TV at almost the lowest tier. You’ll also need to rent the receiver, which you don’t find out about until you see the bill. Then you’ll pay $16 for HBO because you have to see Game of Thrones (I do). Then you’ll rent a Time Warner/Comcast cable box, which is part of the package (first box is free with DirecTV), but you’ll pay $5.99 to rent the modem or more for a router-modem. Last but not least, you’ll unfortunately discover that you signed up for the second to slowest Internet package offered.

Enough of that – we’re done trying to keep up with MB speeds and package prices and we don’t think our tenants should have to either.

The “standard Internet package” is now finally fast enough to support online streaming. Our tenants deserve it, and I’m going to give it to them. Not just the Roku device though, we’re going to give them Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu-Plus all for free. And, HBO-GO is in the works.

If you have questions about our units, feel free to send us an email or leave us a comment.

 

*Ditching cable and satellite doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get special channels. If you want to watch the MLB channel or live streaming news or listen to Pandora, download it and sign-in. There are several free channels and extras accessible via Roku. Tenants will be responsible for any channels that aren’t free, such as Pay-Per-View. Check out how Netflix, Amazon and Hulu-Plus compare and then remember you’re getting all of them.
Photo credit: robpegoraro / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

7 Most commonly asked questions we get as a Furnished Apartment Provider:

(These are asked whether the information is already our email to them or not.)

Q: When do I get the security deposit back? Do you take any charges out of it?

A: The only times we are forced to take funds from the deposit are when the utility overage is high above the amount we allow and have determined to be our tenants’ average. We tell everyone, ‘just treat it like it’s your own apartment’. Shut the lights off when you leave, don’t leave the A/C on 24/7 and shut it off when you leave, be careful not to muddy the carpet so we don’t have to steam clean it etc. In addition to our cleaning crew knowing exactly which possible damages are already there (small scratches here or there), please let us know using the 2nd page of the lease, which items are missing or broken and we will be happy to replace them free of charge.

Q: How big is the room? Is it sharable?

A: Yes it is. We have had 2-3 people staying comfortably in our units before. The solution is usually just picking up a $20 air mattress from any of the large stores around this area.

Q: Does it have Wi-Fi?

A: Yes, we provide all our tenants with High Speed Wireless Internet.

Q: Where is the laundry?

A: I haven’t ever seen a one bedroom apartment in this city with a washer and dryer inside, so most communal laundry machines have them either on the same floor or simply on the ground floor.

Q: Is the parking secure?

A: Yes, it is secured, covered and underneath all our buildings.

Q: Is there a Doorman? What about personal security?

A: There are no doormen as there are in New York City, however all of our buildings subscribe to 24 hour patrols and some even have a permanent presence after the management team leaves for the day.

 

Spencer Fine – www.FurnApt.com

Miracle Mile in a Nutshell

The Miracle Mile community in Los Angeles is everything you could want in LA –From food to kooky shops, to art museums and pristine culture. Miracle Mile is for those who want it all. That’s why we’ve made this our target area where we hand-pick apartments for our tenants. For some of our guests, a weekend brunch enjoyed at any one of the nearby restaurants, and a walk down Wilshire Bl. never gets old. Nothing to do? How about attending an incredible variety of concerts and music unlike anything you’ve heard before? And to top it off, a visit to the prestigious El Rey Theatre. The world-famous La Brea Tar Pits with 10,000 year old fossil remains is located right next to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. In the other direction, find thousands of cars from every era at the Petersen Auto Museum. On Fairfax Avenue, planning isn’t a problem when you have so many options for a bite to eat or even a drink with friends. Weekends are set when you can walk to the Grove and do all of your shopping and even catch an outdoor concert. Nightlife draws an evening crowd with fine dining and a piano jazz bar. Home is always close by and can be reached within 10 minutes, without traffic for those times when you get tired. Then get ready to settle in for the night or relax in the spa or Jacuzzi. You’ll always feel comfortable with our apartments because they are designed to make you feel at home.

Why the Volcano Will Not Disrupt the Travel and Housing Industry


Trans Atlantic travel was rocked today by a massive plume of volcanic ash, spewing sporadic heat, clouds of sediment in the air and causing a melee of mechanical difficulties. The pockets of heat caused unpredictable and violent effects on airliner engines and flights unable to be diverted are being grounded with all precautions taken.

The massive plumes of smoke that will hover in the atmosphere for days is enough to cause safety concerns because of obvious issues of visual impairment and the sediment that the volcano is spewing includes so many metals that it would play havoc on mechanical systems and sensor readings.

Where our industry is concerned, the fallout from volcanic ash is likely to severely hurt the airline industry and is costing a reported 200 million dollars a day but this will not cause a significant blow to the travel and housing markets. I have a couple tenants who are stranded and were en route to us but we are rearranging the schedules around them and we will see them safely after this weekend is over. Global Economic Insight chief for UK and European Interests Howard Archer says “The overall impact should be very limited even if the problem persists for a day or more … ,” In other words, this disruption does not equate with the eradication of the dinosaurs, and it will be business as usual in another few days.

Sports Cars and Sandpaper


How can I picture the difference between Hotels and you guys?

Imagine driving around in a two-seater sports car. Now that’s a pretty picture but put yourself behind the wheel. You feel the power obviously; you also feel the wind with th

e top down and the envious stares from all around you. What isn’t obvious in your image is how cramped the car actually is. It’s built for speed but everywhere you look there are speed limits and cops are looking for cars like yours to pull over. You may have the ability to speed but always risky opportunities. The car is aerodynamic but it’s so close to the ground that you might as well be driving the Flintstones car when you feel every jar and bump the road has. The car is small and therefore has great maneuverability but at the same time it cuts out 2 of your friends because it is lacking a backseat and even if it does, how does it feel pushing your seat forward for them to get in and out? How do you feel about spending 5x the average person’s salary on a car and then moving the gears yourself? What conveniences aside from a CD player and A/C are left out to simply focus on the raw power of the car? Oh, and you’re paying $200,000 for all this.

Now imagine you are in a luxury car. Put yourself behind the wheel again and feel the elegance. You have a powerful engine but glide forward instead of roaring ahead. You have the privacy of people staring at your tinted window wondering who you are but unable to look inside. Police are no longer waiting to pull you over but looking on enviously. The car sails so smoothly down the road that you might as well be weightless. The car has 4 doors for your friends and is fully loaded with state of the art amenities, gadgets, xm radio, gps and a host of other features. For $60,000 is there a comparison?

The hotel is the sports car. It’s a pretty picture from the outside until you are in the cramped interior. Service is at your beck and call 24 hours a day but how often do you really need that? How does it feel to be sandwiched with 500 other people and how often have you wondered how many people have the key to your room? How about wondering how many shady people have been through that room using the linens that you’re supposed to sleep on and are they really clean? How much time do you actually want to spend in the room itself and while the room is built for necessities and does this well, soon the cramped bedroom begins to take its toll. What conveniences are left out to focus on getting you in and out of the hotel to facilitate a faster turnover? Oh and you’re paying $160 a night plus having to carry a wad of cash around to tip everyone you run into.

LA Furnished Apartments is the luxury car. Spread your arms out on the couch and feel at home, which is what temporary housing is supposed to be. Have the conveniences of a home, not a hotel. Enjoy 3x the space in a fully decorated apartment. Friends over? No problem. Want to watch something on a premium channel? Can do on a 42” flat screen HDTV. Privacy? You’ve got it. High speed wifi? It’s faster than a hotels speed if they even offer it. Soap that doesn’t come wrapped in paper and then dries your skin out? Try our liquid moisturizing soap. Toilet paper that doesn’t double as sandpaper? We’ve got it and now so do you. Check our comparison page if you want some visuals. Oh, and enjoy your stay with us for $89 a night.

What is a Corporate Apartment?

I want to get back to basics here and write an answer to an easily overlooked question. When someone asks me what I do and I say ‘corporate real estate’ or ‘corporate rentals’ they say ‘oh’, turn slightly, and I then try not to notice the all too familiar glaze in their eyes. Sometimes its a convenient conversation stopper but mostly in business its time. Quite literally, time.

When time is money, a small business competing with giant corporations loses on two fronts. First, our sales team has to go into specific detail on every sales call (which we are happy to do but is a resource consumer). Secondly and this is where we lose the most time, is when we have to sell our services to a client who has no idea why our apartment is more expensive than an unfurnished unit they could find on Craigslist. I.E. What is a Furnished Apartment?

Our definition of a Furnished or Corporate Apartment is a unit in a building that is chosen because of its amenities, location, quietness, cleanliness, and which have capable management. Anything less in a building is unacceptable. The unit itself has been cherry picked by us based on its location to the street, its view, the privacy, the natural light, spaciousness, possible fireplace etc. All of the utilities have been set up and paid for prior to our taking occupancy and we offer a host of features like 42″ flat screen HDTV’s with the most premium cable package, beautifully decorated, fully furnished with modern furniture, premium pillow-top beds, full sets of linens, kitchenware, etc. which are all included in the single rental price. We don’t charge our tenants taxes, fees, or hidden charges of any kind. We offer all of these services and beautiful upscale apartments for one rental fee and for a 30 day minimum stay. There are no yearly leases to sign. There are no shopping trips to purchase or rent anything at all. Everything our tenants could want is already at the apartment and waiting for them to move in. Comparing corporate housing to that of a hotel, extended stay, an unprofessional/possibly illegal sublet is a waste of what we could all use more of: time.

Ready to find your dream apartment today? Check out LA Furnished Apartments for the hottest and latest listings around!