Blog

Homeowners & Renters Alike Should Consider Emergency Preparedness As Wild Fires Blaze in the Southeast

Homeowners & Renters Alike Should Consider Emergency Preparedness As Wild Fires Blaze in the Southeast

With the wild fires blazing in Gatlinburg and all around the Southeast, there is a daunting reminder for emergency preparedness in the Southeast. While California is not a stranger to this type of natural disaster, the Southeast is a region ill-prepared for the destruction that would come as a result of such fires. It is important to have a plan for each type of natural disaster and to make sure your home and other assets, including your pets, are taken care of before disaster strikes. Here are some simple, but necessary, steps to emergency preparedness. 1. Check with your insurance provider to make sure you are covered. From car to home to family, making sure you have coverage from A to Z is the best way to make sure that even if there is a natural disaster or emergency, you will be able to recover fully. 2. Create a preparedness kit. If you are stuck… [Read more »]


Holiday Décor and ACC Requests

Holiday Décor and ACC Requests

Decorating for the holidays is both a nostalgic treasure and a beloved tradition. While your neighbors may think their handmade paper mache snow man looks great on their front porch, you secretly know that you and everyone else in the community would prefer if they kept it inside. When you live in a covenant protected community, you may be protected from odd decorations and bright lights that seem to be sprinkled through every neighborhood during the holidays. If you want to join in on the celebrations by decorating your home, make sure that your community does not require an architectural request or variance request before you place Santa Claus and his reindeer (or any other decorations) in your front lawn to prevent violations and fines this holiday season. As always, be sure the decorations you intend to place are current with OSHA Electrical Safety Standards and local code enforcement standards. Tolley Community Management recommends placing… [Read more »]


Why You Should Host a Community Friendsgiving

Why You Should Host a Community Friendsgiving

The smell of turkey and pecan pie floats in the air as people gather together to celebrate each other and all of those things which they are thankful for. Thanksgiving, typically reserved for family, should be something that is shared with all of those you are thankful for; that includes your neighbors. As neighbors, you watch out for each other and each other’s homes year-round. You develop cherished friendships at the pool during the summer, watch the flora bloom during the spring and enjoy snow days together during the winter. Friendsgiving is another great way to build comradery (and share some yummy family recipes)! Here are five reasons you should share a Thanksgiving meal with your neighbors too: 1. Breaking bread together makes you a better person! According to a study featured in the journal Appetite, sharing meals increases aspects in individuals such as politeness, fairness and respect. Not only are these traits positive to… [Read more »]


4 Fun & Easy Ways to Build Community in Your Neighborhood

4 Fun & Easy Ways to Build Community in Your Neighborhood

Whether you have been in the neighborhood for years or just moved in, building positive relationships with your neighbors is an essential step to ensuring comradery and comfort within your community. The process of creating the desired environment within the community can range from simple to unique. Backyard Realty Group DBA Tolley Community Management presents some ideas to kick start a positive community engagement process: 1. Go for a walk: Walking during the evenings after dinner is not only good for your physical health; it is also a great time to develop new friendships within your community. Since many families are out during this time, it is a great opportunity to find familiar faces and learn new ones. 2. Share Contact Information: Whether it is sharing information in a group chat or creating a community Facebook page, making sure neighbors can get in contact with each other is not only a great networking opportunity, it… [Read more »]


5 Reasons You Should Thank a Veteran Today and Every Day

5 Reasons You Should Thank a Veteran Today and Every Day

Veteran’s Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, is a day to celebrate and thank those who have served and protected our great country. Here at Backyard Realty Group DBA Tolley Community Management we are #VeteranOwned by Mike Tolley, who served in the Navy. We also have Michael Degrauwe and Brian Tolley who have served in the Navy as well. These three veterans are a few of the 23.2 million military veterans in the United States of which should be thanked on this special day. Here are 5 reasons you should thank a veteran, today, tomorrow and always: Thank Them for Their Time: The amount of training, mental preparation and time in-service is unparalleled to any civilian job most of us have encountered. When thanking a veteran, consider the amount of time they have placed into protecting you and your family. Thank Them for Their Commitment: Whether they signed up for a one-time or extended contract… [Read more »]


Easy (and landlord-friendly) Ways to Decorate Your Rental

Easy (and landlord-friendly) Ways to Decorate Your Rental

Trying to decorate your rental home without breaking your lease can be a bit of a challenge. In this age, we are lucky to have some products and ideas that weren’t available to us before (thank you Pinterest!). From ceiling to floor, there is a way to decorate your rental home without breaking your lease or your budget. Ceiling Make sure to check your lease or with your landlord, but some rental properties will allow you to change out lighting fixtures as long as you place the originals back when you move out. Another idea is to change out ceiling vents with upgraded ones or even to spruce up the ones that are already there with a coat of fresh paint. Walls These days there are dozens of options for wall treatments. If you are looking to make a bold impact, there are peel-off wallpaper sheets that can be used and removed more easily than… [Read more »]


Today is Boss’s Day!

Today is Boss’s Day!

Boss’s Day, which was originally conceptualized in 1958 by Patricia Bays Haroski in an effort to focus on the time and energy placed into creating a great work environment, is a day to celebrate and appreciate those who lead. Here at TCM we have one person to thank for his perseverance and determination to create a thriving business, Mike Tolley. Mike served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years. During his time in the service he also bought purchased renovated and upgraded properties for the purpose of using them as rental homes. It was then that his passion for real estate was sparked. When Mike retired from the Navy in 2003 he started Backyard Realty Group, LLC, which has now evolved into Backyard Realty Group (rental property management and real estate sales) and Tolley Community Management (HOA & COA management). Mike now focuses on teaching agents and managers how to handle real estate and be… [Read more »]


How to Assemble a Budget for Your Community Association

How to Assemble a Budget for Your Community Association

Assembling the budget for the next year is an important part of the board’s duties at the end of each year. This not only encourages the board to evaluate the success of the past budget, it also helps to plan upcoming projects for the next year and beyond. Additionally, assembling a budget can help the board to assess whether or not they need to conduct a reserve study or set up special assessments for the upcoming year. The board will first need to back-track to the previous year’s budget to assess whether it worked well for the community or not. This includes considering whether or not money had to be pulled from reserves in order to finance an unexpected project during the year. Evaluating the property for wear and tear on a yearly basis is an important part of making sure the new budget will be effective for the community as unexpected repairs can be… [Read more »]


It’s the US Navy’s Birthday – Get to Know our Navy Veteran’s in our Office!

It’s the US Navy’s Birthday – Get to Know our Navy Veteran’s in our Office!

We are lucky to have a couple of Navy Veteran’s in our office! Get to know them and celebrate them today on the Navy’s Birthday (October 13th)! Every day we are thankful for the service men and women of the United States, but today it is especially important to focus on those we have here at Backyard Realty Group DBA Tolley Community Management. Thank you for your service Mike and Mike! Mike Tolley Why did you join? Two reasons, my brother was in the Navy and I was able to talk to him about it and the other reason was that I always wanted to work on airplanes and this was the best way to do that. What did your fist days in the service feel like? Kind of intimidating. Which war(s) did you serve in? I served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Where exactly did you go? I was stationed in Naples Italy… [Read more »]


The 20% Rule of Fall

The 20% Rule of Fall

As the weather cools and leaves begin to fall, the general population begins to prepare for the weather and excitement of the upcoming holiday season. Do you ever consider the damage the leaves and cool weather may be doing to your lawn? As the leaves gather and frost and potentially snow accumulates there are several issues that can occur if more than 20% of your lawn is covered by leaves. 1. Inhibited growth: Leaves covering turf all fall and winter suffocates the grass underneath, making it difficult to obtain a plush lawn in the spring. 2. Snow Mold: Snow mold occurs in temperatures just above freezing where moisture develops between the snow or leaves combined with frost. There are two types of snow mold, pink and grey. Pink mold can be treated with fungicide, as where grey cannot. This means that with snow molds there is a chance that you will have to replace the… [Read more »]