Calendar icon February 6, 2023

A Beginner's Guide to Weatherstripping

Drafts and air leaks exist in about every home in America. The edges of windows and doors are the primary enablers for this air outside your home to get inside your home and vice versa. Drafts may not seem like a major issue, but over time they can really drive up your power bill as conditioned air escapes, and they can introduce lots of foreign pollutants from outside into your home. In short, it's something worth fixing, especially since it usually takes about five minutes and 20 dollars to do so.

So how do you actually accomplish this task? With the magic of weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is basically strips of materials that you adhere to doors and windows. These materials, if installed correctly, seal the edges of doors and windows when they're closed, preventing the movement of air any nasty stuff in the air.

Pro Tip: Weatherstripping is commonly associated with wintertime, but it's just as valuable in the summer as it is in the cold months.

How do I know if I need weatherstripping

The first step in identifying where your home needs weatherstripping is to test for air leaks in places that are most vulnerable. There are a handful of do-it-yourself options for this, or you can hire a professional to conduct an energy audit. A professional energy auditor will give you precise answers to where you need weatherstripping, in addition to other useful information.

If you wish to opt for the DIY versions, there are a couple ways to test for insufficient seals.

The flashlight test

This requires two people and it needs to be at night. So grab a friend, child, or spouse, promise to buy them a bottle of wine for their help (unless your children are helping—please do not buy wine for your children), and get to work.

The test, which works best for doors, is pretty simple. One person takes a flashlight outside once it's completely dark out. Close the door behind them and have them shine the light all around the door and surrounding areas. If you can see light coming through at any point, that's a point where you have an insufficient seal and should consider adding weatherstripping.

The moisture test

The moisture test only requires one person and can be done at any time of day, but it's helpful if it's done on a cold day. If you're looking to save money this summer, you may want to pick a different test.

The moisture test is also pretty simple. Wet your hand with some room temperature water and then feel your way around the edges of the door or window. The moisture will cause your hand to feel cold if it comes in contact with air from the outside (again, this only works on a cold day). If it feels cool, go ahead and add some weatherstripping.

The dollar bill test

This test is specific to doors and requires the use of a single dollar bill. Open your door and place a dollar bill in between the door jamb and the door itself, then close the door. Grab the bill and try to pull it out. If it slides out easily, time for some weatherstripping.

The smoke test

The final test you can try for a draft in your home is what we'll call the smoke test. This involves lighting a candle or match and holding it behind your door or window. Watch the smoke carefully for changes in how it moves. If incoming air effects the smoke stream, it's a good bet you're losing money and warm/cool air through a draft. Time to do some weatherstripping.

The different varieties of weatherstripping

Who knew weatherstripping could be this complicated? It turns out there are a ton of different kinds of weatherstripping, some of which perform better in certain situations than others. We're going to simplify this down as much as possible.

There are several different varieties to pick from. We did some research for you, and hopefully, this can help you become a weatherstripping expert—or just learn what you need to make an informed decision.


V-Seal is probably the most common type of weatherstripping that is used within the home. Its name comes from the V shape that it takes when you fold it down the middle, which allows it to line the inside edges of window and door frames. It can come with adhesive backing for easy installation, or it can come without one and requires nailing in. If installed correctly, V-Seal can be among the most durable weatherstripping options.


Inexpensive and less durable, felt is sort of the "old news" of the weather stripping community. It's sold in rolls and can be installed stand-alone or with a metal strip for reinforcement. It's useful in doorways where it is affixed or nailed to the door jamb. That way, when the door closes, it compresses the material and blocks out air. It's important to note that felt does not work well in high moisture conditions. Felt is known as the cheapest and one of the easiest options.

Door Sweep

The type of weatherstripping best designed to seal out air coming in from underneath the door is what is known as the door sweep. Drafts usually exist at the bottom of doors facing outdoors, which is why this type of weatherstripping exists. You'll often find two options: a metal or plastic strip that you screw into the bottom of the door and a brush, or piece of nylon that extends to the floor (the sweep). If installed correctly, this will cover the entire space beneath the door. Some versions actually slide onto the bottom of the door instead of being nailed into the bottom of the door.

Foam Tape

Foam Tape is sort of like of felt except slightly more advanced. While the application is very similar, foam is of higher quality than felt. It usually comes with an adhesive backing for easy installation. Also like felt, it's one of the less durable options and should not be installed in high moisture areas.

Rubber tubing

This type of weatherstripping may have a variety of different names, but its construction is rubber with adhesive backing. Installation is similar to that of foam tape. Still, the rubber will last longer and is not as vulnerable in moist conditions. It can also provide waterproofing in addition to fighting off air leaks.

Outlet Gaskets

One place you might not expect to find an air leak is at your outlets and light switches, but surprisingly, these areas can be just as vulnerable to drafts as your doors and windows. Luckily, covers that seal up these places are cheap and take only a minute to install. It's as simple as removing the plastic covering from the outlet or switch, inserting the foam gasket behind it (make sure you punch out the holes first), and then reinstall the cover. That's it. That's literally it. You should be able to do your entire house for under $20.

Weatherstripping is one of the easiest and most useful do-it-yourself tasks for your home. It's relatively inexpensive, can take only a handful of minutes to install, and will leave you knowing you made your home healthier and more efficient with this quick and easy DIY project.

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10 Best Property Management Websites for Property Managers

One important approach that property managers can take to keep up to date with current industry trends and approaches is to maintain a watchlist of different property management websites. That's because these sites often reflect best design practices and website templates as well as content sharing ideas. Today we'll cover some of the top property management websites, all considered favorites and regularly featured on “Top 10” lists in the industry, with a focus on what makes each one distinctive, whether from a design optic or a content perspective. 1. Second Nature It may seem odd for us to mention ourselves first on this list, but we are genuinely proud of our brand and messaging! After all, we’re in this business for a reason – and that’s why the content of the Second Nature website is so squarely people-focused, with an emphasis on solutions that improve the lives of residents, investors, and property managers alike. There’s a robust business principle underpinning this “Triple Win” philosophy: residents want their needs proactively anticipated, and they're willing to pay (and stay) for that service. This is particularly true for a younger generation that is attuned to the convenience offered by services such as Uber and Amazon. That’s why the language used on the website reflects a humanistic approach that goes beyond transactional basics, preferring “residents” rather than “renters,” for example, or “home” rather than “rental property.” It’s also why Second Nature’s “Resident Benefits Package” is front and center, and designed to give residents, investors, and property management businesses a win. Accordingly, like all successful marketing, Second Nature’s value proposition is not only tangible – it’s personal. Visit to learn more. 2. Nest DC The Nest DC website also focuses on the families behind the doors and the people behind the investment portfolios. Although residential real estate management is associated with a certain gravitas, the language as well as the overall branding of the Nest DC website plays off of a certain “avian” riff and is designed for easy readability. Where most sites incorporate an “About Us” page, for instance, Nest DC features an “About the Birds” content piece. It’s all done with serious intent, however, and the website design is sleek, clear, and user-friendly. Visit 3. Bay Management Group As soon as you hit the homepage of the Bay Management Group website, it’s clear that its primary target audience consists of real estate investors and property owners. That said, the site does host an impressive library of instructional and advisory videos for tenants, property managers, and landlords, as well as investors. With the tagline “property management that’s a cut above the rest,” home page testimonials, and a blue-toned web design of the sort favored by financial institutions to connote trustworthiness, the focus is on differentiation through delivery of high-quality property management services to deliver reliable rental income. Beyond its primary “free property management analysis” feature, other web functionalities include a blog, owner portal, tenant portal, and various program application options. Visit 4. Rentberry Rentberry is a global rental platform describing itself as a “transparent and secure home rental platform that connects tenants and landlords.” With the tagline “Renting done right – finally,” its principal focus is on prospective tenants and landlords. Top-level navigation includes online rent payments/rent collection. It also includes tenant screening functionality as well as options to search listings for vacancies or create a property listing. Among the usual resources (blog, help center, FAQ, contact information), Rentberry also features pricing guides for both tenants and landlords to help streamline the onboarding process. Visit 5. Grace Property Management & Real Estate Based in Denver (Colorado), Grace Property Management & Real Estate focuses on both residential and commercial properties in Denver. Although the company was founded in 1978, its online presence boasts astute use of online marketing tools and property management solutions, to say nothing of search engine optimization, with numerous calculators and other resources available from the top-level menu. Like many companies with a strictly regional presence, Grace Property follows the tendency of including full social media and phone contact information in the header. Visit 6. MESA Properties MESA Properties gives its geographical focus the hero image treatment, with the tagline “Servicing the Inland Empire, Eastern San Gabriel Valley and High Desert.” Below the header, it also bills itself as “an owner-centered property management company.” Accordingly, much of the functionality on offer from the top-level navigation is focused on professional property manager services and resources for owners, but it does include resources for tenants, including maintenance request options, and portal login. Visit 7. Golden State Property Management The Golden State Property Management website presents with the tagline “Total property management of the most comfortable homes in the South Bay,” as well as two prominent feature buttons aimed at residents (“Pay Rent”) and potential residents (“Search Vacancies”). With straightforward top-level menu options, mobile-friendly design, and high-contrast navigation elements, this site is exemplary in its simplicity. Visit 8. Sleep Sound Property Management Sleep Sound Property Management takes aim at the stress of managing the rental process, and as such takes on an advisory persona in its content. With the word “guarantee” appearing over 10 times on the homepage alone, the message is clear: this is a company devoted to providing great property management services in support of maximizing investment returns. Its “Why Choose Us” page also highlights its investments in cloud-based property management software, also designed to ease the stress of managing property investments. Visit 9. Good Life Property Management The website of this San Diego-based property management company is one of the only companies in the industry to highlight customizable user elements (color and font size) in the header of every page of its website. From the marketing perspective, this sends an important signal that the company is serious about finding ways to partner effectively with its community of investors and tenants. Visit 10. Luxury Property Care Luxury Property Care bills itself as “Florida’s only full-service property management and investment concierge for residential and commercial properties.” Its focus on offering high-end services is reflected in its mission statement: “Treat yourself to the luxury you deserve and let us handle every aspect of investing in off-market real estate and building a first-class rental empire with ease.” It’s also reflected in the website design scheme, with black and gold color elements being a popular way for brands to convey notions of elegance and prestige. Visit Follow the Second Nature Website to Keep Tabs on the Property Management Industry At, you’ll find an abundance of resources designed to keep you up to date on events, analysis, and expert perspectives in the field – all geared toward helping property managers create a “Triple Win” that benefits residents, investors, and property managers alike: Triple Win Property Management Blog Triple Win Property Management Podcast Triple Win Property Management Events Learn more about Second Nature’s Resident Benefits Package, which is designed to generate revenue and establish Triple Win conditions for your residents, investors, and business.

Calendar icon February 26, 2024

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10 Best Property Management Blogs to Read and Learn From

As a property manager, one of the best ways to stay attuned to the latest trends, technologies, and strategies in the field is to read industry blogs across a range of property management websites. That's because the content of these blogs often consists of shared best practices and practical tips from peers and other experts. They also help you keep abreast of any regulatory changes and compliance requirements that may inform your business decisions and strategies. Today we'll cover some of the top property management blogs, with a focus on what each site brings to the table. 1. Second Nature The SecondNature blog provides insights on a wide range of topics related to property management, including market trends, technology, resident retention, and more. Its focus is primarily on a “Triple Win” philosophy, which expresses the idea that residents, property managers, and investors can go beyond transactional basics to create new, mutually winning experiences. In that vein, sample blog post titles include “How to Start a Resident-focused Property Management Company in 13 Steps,” “9 Ways to Improve Your Resident Experience,” and “How to Craft a Lease Renewal Letter that Wows Your Residents.” With top categories ranging from “Operational Efficiency” to “Resident Experience” and “Homeowner Insights,” the SecondNature blog is a valuable, highly readable resource for property owners and managers alike. Visit the SecondNature blog 2. Bay Management Group Blog The Bay Management Group manages over 6,000 units throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Its blog reflects this partially regional focus, with categories including “Owning a rental property in Maryland,” “Owning a rental property in Pennsylvania,” and the like. However, much of the content is broadly relevant to the property management business, with articles including “7 Ways to Ensure Your Potential Tenant’s References are Real,” “Tips for Successful Real Estate Partnerships” and “What is the Renter’s Bill of Rights and How Does It Protect Tenants?” This is a great blog that hosts archives going back to July 2012, making it one of the more venerable sites in this list. Visit the Bay Management Group Blog 3. Nest DC Blog Nest is a Washington management firm that focuses on homes and residents in and around Maryland, with expertise in single family homes, condos, multifamily housing, and mixed-use property in high-density, urban environments. Its clean, stripped-down design dispenses with the standard trappings of blogs such as tags and categories, and features both job listings and articles, with sample titles including “Important Factors for Real Estate Investing,” “Best Practices for Tenant Screening,” and “A Guide to the Eviction Process in Washington DC.” Visit the Nest DC Blog 4. Buildium Blog The property management software company Buildium publishes blog posts and other resources on a wide range of property management topics, from accounting & taxes to legal considerations, to marketing tips and the latest news from Buildium. Clearly, the content is aimed at a broad segment of the property management community, including rental property owners, property maintenance professionals, and real estate investors. Sample blog post titles include “The ins and outs of HOA reserve fund accounting,” “The best rent payment app in 2024: Comparing 8 online rent payment systems,” and “The 5 best multifamily property management software solutions in 2024.” Visit the Buildium Blog 5. Appfolio Blog Another software company, Santa Barbara (California)-based AppFolio focuses on SaaS for the real estate market. You do not need to be a user of the Appfolio software to find its blog relevant – in fact, much of the content focuses on issues of broad interest to property management and property investment groups, with sample blog article titles including “Three Leasing KPIs Every Property Manager Should Track to Optimize Their Business,” “4 Ways to Strengthen Vendor Relationships,” and “Your Ultimate Guide to Leasing Season: How to Maximize Occupancy and Efficiency.” Visit the Appfolio Blog 6. BiggerPockets BiggerPockets is positioned as a complete resource for anyone looking to succeed in real estate investing. Thus, its blog is squarely focused on matters relating to property investment and rental income, with titles that reflect that focus (e.g., “12 Ways To Make Passive Income From Real Estate Investing,” “High Credit Borrowers Get Punished and New Landlord Laws Put Tenants First,” and “2024 Rental Market Outlook: Is a Shift Coming Next Year?”) However, it also provides a number of articles with potentially broader interest to property management services (e.g., “Put THIS in Your Lease Agreement (So Tenants Don’t Break It!)” “9 Ways Your Property Management Tool Can Improve Your Business,” and “The Rise and Fall of the American Shopping Mall”). Visit the BiggerPockets blog 7. Rentometer Blog Rentometer provides a number of offerings around its collection and analysis of approximately 10 million rental records annually. The Rentometer blog is an extension of this capability, and aims to provide marketing insights to help manage real estate businesses. Its blog publications date back to 2018, and provide perspectives on remote property management, tools for growing real estate businesses, and more. Sample titles include “6 Tips for Communicating Rent Increases,” and “How to Use Rent Comps When Setting Your Rent Price.” Visit the Rentometer Blog 8. Propertyware Blog Like Buildium, Propertyware is an acquisition of the RealPage corporation but it continues to maintain a blog featuring news, trends and tips on single-family rental properties. Sample titles include “10 Tips For Maintaining Electrical Safety At Your Rental Homes,” “What’s Hot: Tankless Water Heaters for Rental Housing,” and “How Rental Property Software Helps in Processing Security Deposits.” The blog has also compiled different article series under various themes and topics, making it easier to navigate the wealth of information on offer. Visit the Propertyware blog 9. Rent Manager Blog The Rent Manager blog is largely focused on news about this property management software developed by London Computer Systems (LCS), and features tips and best practices for users, as well as news on feature enhancements. However, the blog also includes a dedicated category for property management trends, with articles such as “The Benefits of AI for Residential Property Management,” “Why Lowering Renewal Rents is a Smart Move for Multifamily in 2024,” and “Resident Screening: The Lost Art of the Reference Check.” Visit the Rent Manager blog 10. All Property Management Blog The All Property Management Blog reflects its identity as a marketplace of property management services, with articles aimed at real estate investors as well as property managers. Blog categories include property management tips and advice, product reviews, and content related to property taxes and finances. Sample titles include “How to Rent Out an Apartment: The Go-To Guide for New Landlords,” “Top 10 Rental Listing Syndication Websites and Time-Saving Tips,” and “5 Successful Rental Property Management Strategies.” Visit the All Property Management Blog Follow the Second Nature Blog, Podcast, and Events to Keep Tabs on the Property Management Industry At, you’ll find an abundance of resources designed to keep you up to date on events, analysis, and expert perspectives in the field – all geared toward helping property managers create a “Triple Win” that benefits residents, investors, and property managers alike: Triple Win Property Management Blog Triple Win Property Management Podcast Triple Win Property Management Events Learn more about SecondNature’s Resident Benefits Package, which is designed to generate revenue and establish Triple Win conditions for your residents, investors, and business.

Calendar icon February 21, 2024

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