Guest (Michael Kelly)
Hi Kerry, Thanks for sharing. You wouldn't happen to have anything in Blog format. Our property man...
Wow, very kind words Anne. I appreciate them very much. I believe there is a disconnect today betw...

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Open ended questions are helpful tools leading up to a close. Which of the following is an open ended question?

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165736640 [{"id":"206","title":"Do you like apartment 1215?","votes":"2","pct":"7.41","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"207","title":"When did you want to move in?","votes":"3","pct":"11.11","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"208","title":"Is this within your budget?","votes":"1","pct":"3.70","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"209","title":"What do you think of the open floorplan?","votes":"21","pct":"77.78","type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/77-open-ended-questions-are-helpful-tools-leading-up-to-a-close-which-of-the-following-is-an-open-ended-question No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
People want to rent apartments from people they like. Even if they don’t realize it, they want to connect on a personal level. It creates trust and a sense of belonging. Being likable isn’t always easy. But a few years ago, I learned a trick that has helped me tremendously. Shut up and listen.  If you know me at all, you know how hard it is to not insert my opinion. Simply listening to someone makes her feel special. It makes her feel like the most important person in the room.  Most importantly, it shows her that I’m interested and that I care.   If you listen, you can find common ground with your prospects.  It gives you the ability to look for opportunities to connect personally. Laugh at her jokes (even if they’re not funny), smile during the conversation, and ask questions.  A lot of questions.  But of course not in a trial lawyer sort of way. Make it casual and relevant to the common ground you discovered. The point is, let her shine. And, truly enjoy what she has to say. I have found that my conversations with prospects and strangers will often get so focused on the other person that I actually do very little talking.  Sure, it can feel a little unfulfilling for me at times, but it makes the prospect feel like they just met the most interesting person in the room, the person they just like them.  ...

Posted by on in Miscellaneous
I know, I know. Summer isn't really over yet, but as we approach Labor Day weekend and the turning point between "it's been so great spending this much time with the kids" and "can't wait for school to start," I thought I'd share a favorite reminder of the beauty of summer and the promise of a great times ahead. Travel safely and enjoy!    ...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
It seems like every time we turn around, Facebook is making another change to its algorithm, that complicated formula that determines which stories show up in users’ news feeds. And this week, Facebook announced yet another update. Read on for a summary of the changes and what these changes mean for you. Cracking Down on “Click Bait”Ever see a post in your timeline that has such a vague, intriguing headline that you just have to click it to see what it’s about? Maybe something like this? Posts like these, which Facebook refers to as “click-bait,” get a ton of clicks. The thing is, when you click links like these to get the full story, it’s usually not very interesting…so you probably don’t end up spending too much time on the page. Before Facebook’s latest algorithm update, the more clicks these posts received, the more they showed up in news feeds, drowning out other posts. Facebook’s latest algorithm update looks beyond clicks and also considers the amount of time people spend reading an article, as well as the number of likes, comments and shares the article receives. Sharing LinksOn Facebook, links are generally shared in one of two ways: 1. Pasting the link directly into a blank post, which triggers preview text and an image from the site to appear. Check out the example below. When a visitor clicks on the image, it takes them directly to the linked URL. 2. Posting a photo and including the link as part of the caption,...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
I recently had a conversation with a regional manager who accepted the fact that her leasing agents are just too busy to talk to people. And when I say “people,” I mean prospects and residents. That’s a scary thing. Yet I know it feels like the unvarnished truth most days. I shadowed a leasing agent (my friend) and was blown away by how many responsibilities he juggled in one short day. It wasn’t just leasing an apartment or talking to residents. On our way out to the golf cart, I stood in the doorway holding his keys for 15 minutes while his phone blew up. When we finally got in the golf cart, a resident walked up and asked about a package that was being held for her. My friend quickly jumped out of the golf cart to grab the package. And so it continued. What was interesting, though, was that he was extremely busy, but not too busy to talk to prospects and residents. He loved the interaction—seemed like he couldn’t get enough. He’d even stop the cart to talk to residents headed out to their cars or on a walk.   It reminded me of something my mentor told me when I started my career as a manager: “Ryan, it will be very easy to hide behind your desk and get buried in the paperwork and demands of the job. But don’t forget that your job is the people who work for you and the customers they serve. If...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
“The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it, its too high, its in no-mans-land. You look like you live with your mother!"   -Jerry Seinfeld to George Costanza     Fans of "Seinfeld" will recognize the above lines from the first and final episodes of the iconic show. And I have to tell you, Jerry Seinfeld was absolutely correct; the second button really does make or break a shirt. For something so small, it can really make the difference between a favorite shirt and one that remains in the back of the closet.  For instance, I have a white shirt that I just don't wear very often. Since it is my only casual, cotton, white, button-down shirt, I end up wanting to use it a lot. Then I put it on (again) and realize (again) that it just doesn't feel right. So, back in the closet it goes.  What's wrong with it? Yep, the second button! If I button it I look like someone from the Geek Squad. If I don't button it, it looks like I never left the 70's and 80's when the way unbuttoned shirt was "in" for men. So, the white shirt only comes out a couple of times a year when I am in some type of dire need for a casual white shirt.   Isn't is amazing how such a small thing can have such a big effect?  The same thing is true in your career isn’t it?  Throughout my career in residential property...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
With all of the multifamily construction projects taking place serving as an indicator of just where the housing market is heading, for the first time since the recession, nationwide housing starts have bumped past the million-unit mark. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau report that in total, production was up 15.7% month-over-month and up 21.7% over this same time last year. Translation, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts hit 1.09 million units in July and it's due entirely to the 39.6% increase we've seen in multifamily starts. Experts agree that single-family home builders are still hesitant to push for new construction expansions due to the fear that a lack of available credit and potential economic uncertainty will hinder would-be buyers from purchasing. These same experts also agree that because of this sentiment, demands for new apartment construction continue to grow. While single-family housing starts saw a minimal increase of only 0.8% or a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 649,000 units, multifamily is on pace to surpass even pre-recession production with an increase of 39.6% or an adjusted annual production of 423,000 units. Economists are encouraged by the growth in multifamily because they see the current demand for new units as a sign that more young adults are branching out and forming their own households, a trend which will one day help to boost the demand for future homeownership. National statistics show that this growth isn't focused on any one part of the country and instead...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Stop for a moment and think about how much time, money and effort your community spends on lead generation? How much have you invested in: Your website? ILSs? Signage? Other media? If you’re an operator of any size, those investments are in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Despite all of the money spent on these efforts, how confident are you that you are maximizing the return on those investments? This is one of the questions we embarked upon answering in our latest research project on email re-marketing. The research project, sponsored by leading leasing technology provider On-Site, sought to answer the question, “Are MFH communities missing out on the power of email re-marketing?” While the study shows that communities are generally good at providing an initial supply ( 84% of those contacted by email sent something back),  the short answer is, “Yes, they are missing out.” Follow-up beyond the initial contact was disappointing and lacked a systematic approach, the study states. The study also noted some clear usability problems and branding missteps at the prospecting stage: 10% of the sites contained difficult spam filters or required fields that were not marked “required”; 16% had confusing or hidden “contact us” links; 23% requested many extraneous pieces of information like a secondary phone number; 19% displayed an error message or blank page after submitting the form; One email was branded with the logo and color scheme of the property management software supplier instead of the community. Effective email re-marketing,...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Sometimes it seems like you can’t go a week without hearing some analyst, commentator, or industry insider touting the importance of increasing social engagement. But with so much of this information focusing on eCommerce sites, it can be hard to tell how to apply it to the social media campaign for your apartment community. Never fear; I have compiled a list of tips to help you take your social media campaign up a notch! Make posts relevant to your renters People are much more likely to respond to and engage with posts that they can relate to. Making posts that appeal to their interests, hobbies or even frustrations is a great way to increase resident engagement. Say, for example, your local area is experiencing unusually warm weather for the time of year. This would be a great time to make a post reminding residents that “there is no better way to beat the heat than by taking a dip in Hypothetical Apartment Community’s resort style pool!” By showing empathy for their situation you are able to establish a more meaningful connection than you might have had otherwise. Let pictures do the talking for you Use pictures to add substance to a short message, like "Summer heat got you down? Cool off with this refreshing take on strawberry lemonade!" They say a picture is worth 1000 words, and that can really come in handy when you are trying to keep a post under 140 characters. Using pictures to convey an  idea is a great...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Like it or not, renters will form impressions of your company based on their experience on your website. And they’ll form those impressions quickly! A study from the Missouri University of Science and Technology found that it takes two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first impression of your brand based on your website. Yes, you read that right…two-tenths of a second. What can you do to ensure your website gives visitors a great first impression of your community? Be sure your website incorporates these five must-haves. 1. Simple NavigationPut yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Then, ask yourself these questions: Is the information on my site organized in a way that makes it easy for renters to find what they’re looking for? Do all of the links on my site site work? Are calls to action clear and prominently placed? Want to get others' opinions? Consider conducting a survey. 2. Accurate ContentVisitors expect to find accurate, up to date information on your site. Perhaps your leasing office hours changed. Or maybe your rent prices went up. Make sure you update your website to reflect these changes. 3. Compelling Visual Elements“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember that old cliché? Well, it’s true! A compelling visual on your website can capture someone’s attention and make them want to learn more about your community. Be sure to incorporate visual elements into your website to attract (and retain) visitors, such as: Photos Videos Infographics 4. Scannable TextThe majority of renters don’t have...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing

I am a huge fan of video for marketing apartments, with one of my favorite companies being ShowMyProperty.tv, and now, there is another tool that you all will definitely want to check out!  The system is called Hyperlapse, developed by Microsoft, and will be an amazing way to create time lapse videos of the areas around your communities, or possibly even within your communities.  This video explains the process, and I hope you can see the possibilities of creating videos for apartment communities: I had actually had this blog waiting in the wings for a week or two because Hyperlapse wasn't available to the masses.  But now, Instagram has created a new app that allows you to create your own Hyperlapse video!  Here is an example:   What do you think of this as a tool for marketing an apartment community?...