Recovering Your Apartment Security Deposit | Pre-Move Cleaning Checklist


When moving out of an apartment, getting your security deposit back is one of your top priorities. A thorough cleaning ensures that this happens. This checklist will help you do a complete cleaning of any rental so that you can feel confident of getting back your hard-earned money:

Entire apartment:

  • Remove all nails and screws from walls, and fill them smoothly. Repaint areas if needed.
  • Dust all ceiling and wall fixtures. Using a product like Pledge and a dusting cloth will help keep the dust from swirling around and landing somewhere else.
  • Dust all windowsills, shelves, and ledges.
  • Clean windows, doorknobs, and doors.
  • Wipe down all light switches and outlets.
  • Wash walls and baseboards.
  • Get rid of cobwebs.
  • Clean air vents and replace the filters.
  • Deep clean all floors (more details per room below).
  • If you’re moving large appliances (like a washing machine or dish washer), suggests disconnecting these at least 2 days in advance to allow them to defrost and/or dry out.


Bedrooms and living room:

  • Vacuum or sweep (depending on floor materials) the room after it’s empty.
  • If carpeted, clean steam carpets. Keep in mind that many landlords will not accept it if you just rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself. You may need to hire a company to do this for you.
  • Ensure closets are empty.


  • Scrub the shower and tub, and bleach the grout.
  • Wash the countertop and sink.
  • Clean and polish the mirror.
  • Clean out drawers, vanity, and medicine cabinet. Check cabinets beneath the sink.
  • Dust and clean exhaust fan, if there is one.
  • Clean shower curtain if it remains with the apartment.
  • Mop floor, and scrub any stains. Bleach grout if it’s tile floors.



  • Scrub the sink and faucet. Wipe away water spots with a soft cloth.
  • Clean inside and outside of cabinets, including shelves and doors.
  • Clean inside and outside of drawers.
  • Wash countertops.
  • Pull out the stove and clean behind and beneath it. Clean hood and exhaust fan.
  • Wipe down stovetop, and remove and clean drip trays. Clean inside oven.
  • Wipe down the exterior of the microwave, and scrub the inside.
  • Wipe down refrigerator, inside and outside.
  • Pull refrigerator out, and clean behind and beneath it.
  • Mop floor, and scrub any stains. Bleach grout if it’s tile floors.


Outdoor spaces:

  • If outdoor spaces are shared with other tenants, only clean your area. If you have your outdoor space such as a patio, front stoop, or grassy area:
  • Clean and sweep patio, porch or step, and wipe down the outside of the door.
  • Clean sliding glass doors, if applicable.
  • Mow grass, and remove weeds.
  • Clean out any storage areas. Remove personal belongings, clear cobwebs and dust. Sweep floor.
  • Repair or replace any outdoor light fixtures that are not properly working.
  • Pressure wash concrete patio, parking space, or driveway.

If you take the time to complete this checklist, you’ll leave your apartment in excellent condition and should have no trouble getting back your security deposit. Many of these tasks can be completed prior to the movers‘ arrival, so you do a final once-over once the moving truck is loaded and be on your way. Best of luck with moving day!

Email Marketing Guide for Real Estate Agents


Compared to social media and video marketing, there is nothing trendy or exciting about email marketing. About the only thing email has going for it is that it flat-out works. Figures supplied by the Data & Marketing Association show that email marketing typically delivers an impressive ROI (return on investment) of 4,300 percent.

Real estate is a highly competitive industry, and email marketing offers an effective and highly affordable way for you to stand out from the crowd and communicate with prospective clients in buying as well as selling scenarios.


How Email Marketing Can Help Grow Your Real Estate Business

  • Email marketing delivers your message to a targeted audience of prospects who have already expressed an interest in hearing from you.
  • It provides a great ROI – each dollar spent returns an average of $44 according to a 2016 report by Campaign Monitor.
  • Results can be measured – you can track how many recipients open your emails, click on your links, or visit your website.

How to Start Your Email Marketing Campaign

  1. Set-up an Email Autoresponder Account

An autoresponder organizes and maintains your real estate email marketing list, and sends out your emails automatically based on the schedule that you select. Since many autoresponder companies don’t allow you to import your list, you’ll want to choose a provider and set your account up before you start collecting addresses. A number of both free and paid autoresponder options are available such as Aweber, OutboundEngine, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse.

  1. Add an Email Subscription Form to Your Website

Place your email list sign-up form in a prominent place on your homepage. Offer a freebie incentive to encourage visitors to give up their email address such as a free report or a free comparative analysis of their home’s market value. Don’t go overboard in requesting personal information – ask for their first name (allows you to personalize your messages) and email address only at this stage. The more information you request, the fewer sign-ups you’ll receive. If you don’t have a website yet, a landing page hosting company such as LeadPages can set you up with a basic hosting page for your email subscription form.

  1. Expand Your Email List Marketing Outreach

Display an email sign-up form at open houses. Add a sign-up link to your business cards, brochures, your email signature, and your social media pages.

  1. Start Laying Out Your Content

The sky’s the limit as far as your email messages are concerned – just make sure you offer good value for your subscribers. Some tried, and true content ideas include home improvement ideas, listings updates, separate tip sheets for sellers and buyers, and local mortgage rate updates.

After you’ve sent out a few emails, encourage your list subscribers to complete a brief survey about their specific interests. This information can be used to segment your list and better target your content to home sellers, home buyers, renters, and any other client niches that you can think of.


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