Training Trivia

Do not begin the follow-up process immediately after a prospective resident leaves your community, this would be considered annoying.

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  Leasing apartments is a tricky game to play.  Most prospects tour 4 to 6 apartment communities before selecting the one they feel deserves their commitment and most importantly, their money.  So who wins the lease?  The community that strikes the most even balance will most likely get the lease.  Let me explain.  Imagine your prospect walking through the door carrying a balance scale.  There are two sides that must balance in order for the prospect to consider you a serious contender.  One side is the emotional connection between you and the prospect and the other side is all of the physical features about the community itself.   Creating an emotional connection   Prospects need to like you.  They need to feel some kind of a connection.  And most importantly, they need to trust you.  So how do you manage that when you have never met this person before?  It all starts with a conversation.  Never laundry-list the items on your guest card.  Remember, prospects are not interviewing for the job of resident, you are interviewing for the job of apartment community.  Why should they hire you?  Are you worth the twelve months of rent they are going to be paying you?  A prospect isn’t going to spend money for something they don’t like and they’re not going to give their hard earned money to someone they don’t like.    Keep the conversation easy, make small talk.  If it’s all business, you’re missing the point.  Get the “need to know” information...

Posted by on in Property Management
What is your property’s growth strategy? As a property manager or owner, your initial instinct may be simple: We want to reach and stay at full occupancy. What more do we need to know? But every successful business needs a growth strategy to reach their goals. Your property is no different. There are a few different types of strategies businesses can choose from, based on the product or service they provide and their end-goals. These include: Market penetration—Where the company tries to create more sales to existing customers without making changes to the product, through tactics like lowering prices, increasing advertising, etc. This approach risks profit in the short-term to reach further and gain more market share. Market development—Where the company identifies new markets where they can develop their product or service. Product development—Where the company offers a modified or new product to its current market. Diversification—Where the company goes in a completely different direction than its current business model—providing a diversified offering to its current market. Considering the multifamily industry, there’s a limit on how many ways a growth strategy can be developed. After all, your market really is limited to the area and community around the property, and the goal ultimately isn’t to add to or completely diversify your current offering. You also aren’t likely to change a property so much it appears new to the market, such as going from a C-class to B-class property. So, that leaves us with market penetration. According to Entrepreneurship.org, developing a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Image: © Michellestewartphoto | Dreamstime.com Have you ever heard of a remora fish? Also known as the suckerfish, these long silvery finned friends live an interesting, symbiotic relationship with sharks. Using a sucker on its head, they attach themselves to the sharks and accompany them on their travels. They keep the sharks clean by eating off any parasites, while benefitting from any leftover food. It’s a win-win situation. After examining this relationship, James over at Passive Panda applied it to his own theory of how marketing partnerships could and should work, which is why it is known today as the Remora Method. He explains it as follows: “Just as the remora partners with a strong host species to provide protection and food, you can partner with a strong host business that can easily provide you with a supplemental income." Taking this idea and applying it to multifamily property management, there are many ways you can generate interest in the property, get to and stay at occupancy, and, in turn, enjoy an increased revenue stream. It all comes down to complements. Consider complements to your business. Complements are two products or services that “go” together, like a tennis ball and racket. For multifamily properties, some examples of complements include furniture rental services, relocation service or corporate move providers, and area leasing specialists. Basically, you need a list of potential “hosts” that would have opportunity to send prospective tenants your way in exchange for something beneficially to them in return. Create a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
The lease renewal is a coveted thing to a property owner or manager. Securing it with a loyal tenant is something we strive for, and rightfully so. After all, the price of attracting and retaining new tenants is exponentially more expensive than efforts needed to retain new ones. For instance, recruiting new tenants requires extra spend on marketing the unit, the loss of rent for any period of time the unit stays vacant, and the any expenses needed to maintain the unit in the period between occupancies. Keeping current tenants happy and then rewarding their loyalty by providing incentives for lease renewal, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be so pricey…or time consuming.  In fact, it can be downright easy. You can utilize survey results like those released by Rent Roll to determine what tenants really want in an apartment lease. Then, you can make offerings accordingly, based on your own budget and practicality of the offer. Here are 10 suggestions based on the results: Discount—Everyone loves money; and a discount off rent for a month, 6-months, or a 12-month lease term is going to go along way with tenants. That’s why 52% of respondents prefer this incentive. Security deposit rebate—If you’re trying to keep a tenant that poses a lower risk for default and/or property damage, you can always consider another form of monetary incentive in a partial or full deposit rebate. Gift Card—You can always go old fashioned and give a gift card to a local retailer...

Posted by on in Property Management
keep-calm-and-do-damage-controlThe past week and a half has been somewhat crazed. Nothing more than any of the rest of you handle on a regular basis. It is partially one of the many reasons why we love what we do. Like I explained to someone today, it’s the good and the bad all sandwiched together that make it awesome. The good days make the bad days bearable and the bad days make the good days great. Right? I honestly welcome this change. Our property has been so quiet as of late. And I hate to admit it, but, easy. There was not a lot of standard property management stuff going on. Enough to keep content going on the blog, specifically in regards to hiring processes, HA! But otherwise, fairly mundane. Until this last week. Which in turn turned into content about damage control. I’m not even certain where to start. But the story does need to be prefaced with the fact that certain specifics will be left out for anonymity purposes and certain details will be provided to lay the groundwork for where this is going. Last week I had an employee out all week with the stomach flu. I had another employee out for a day with it. I had another employee out two days for having worked the weekend. I had a new employee start midweek. We had eleven move ins (six of which were immediate ASAP move ins) and nine leases. Are you holding your breath yet? Probably not. In the...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
There must be something in the DNA of the residential property management industry that seems to compel thousands of people to wear “property management blue” each and every day. In fact, I may be wrong about this, but I think there may be a “Pantone Property Management Blue” swatch somewhere in the universe that is the reference color for all in the industry.    I mean, the next time you walk into a community, or attend an industry event, don’t we all seem to have the same blue-toned shirts or blouses on?    Before I upset you fans of “Property Management Blue,” understand this, I LOVE blue. This is not an assault on the color blue. As a matter of fact I have several blue dress shirts, I’m wearing a blue shirt now as I write this post, and I like them all.    (Incidentally, If you’re a company that encourages/allows your associates to wear dress shirts/blouses/tops other than PM Blue or white, this post is not for you! But feel free to pass on to your friends in other companies that only wear blue or white tops.)   But if your company dress code is more conservative, with a limited amount of options, I’d encourage you to consider allowing your associates the ability to wear other colors! Today’s fashion environment is very different from a decade ago and colors that were considered non-professional, or too informal a few years ago, are now considered business normal in much of the workplaces...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Breaking News!! The Zombie apocalypse has infiltrated the Multi Family industry. Zombie Leasing agents have been spotted in a community near you! Below are some characteristics that will let you know if you have come in contact with a Leasing Zombie!!! Zombie leasing agents have an inability to build rapport Zombies leasing agents forget to build trust Zombie leasing agents are not authentic Zombie leasing agents are not enthusiastic Zombie leasing agents do not tailor the presentation to meet their prospects needs Zombie leasing agents forget the importance of a genuine smile and eye contact Zombie leasing agents have an unfocused message and they forget that too much information confuses people Zombie leasing agents are self focused instead of focused on their prospects/residents Zombie leasing agents will feature dump without presenting benefits Zombie leasing agents are not prepared or practiced Zombie leasing agents use a “sales pitch” instead of conversation Zombie leasing agents will not ask for the application today   And finally, Zombie leasing agents forget to have FUN!...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
We know that a customer’s experience impacts their purchasing behavior.  In fact, in a 2014 study, Accenture found "two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers...said they switched providers in at least one industry due to poor customer service." The good news is, this doesn’t have to be the case as there are lots of ways we can impact the customer's experience in a positive way: 1. Ask customers for feedback. You might already offer surveys at your community, but consider opportunities you have to ask for 'real time' feedback during conversations with customers.  Create opportunities during daily interactions to ask customers about their experience, and if there is anything you can do to improve it.  Ensure you listen to their responses and then follow-through with any items where you can help. 2. Be honest and remember it's okay to say "I don't know." Many people feel that if they are asked a question they must have an exact and perfect answer in that moment.  It's perfectly acceptable to respond with "I don't know the answer, but please allow me to find out and follow up with you.". Customers would prefer to hear that response and receive a follow-up at a later time than the alternative! 3. Build a sense of community. Ask residents for a list activities or events they would like to see offered at the community and then enlist the help of those residents in getting the word out.  If budget is an issue, focus on events that won't break the bank...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
b2ap3_thumbnail_Birthday-become-a-fan---redacted.JPGSocial media selling can be one of the toughest skills to master, mainly because it requires so much restraint.  In a live social setting, when you bring up a sales pitch in awkward and pushy ways, you get immediate cues from those around you.  They may roll their eyes, they may give the thousand yard stare showing they have completely tuned out, or they may simply walk away from the conversation entirely.  But in social media, those responses are not visible, so it is often harder for salespeople to learn what is appropriate in their sales techniques.  They often feel they are being subtle in bringing up their company, when in reality, it is the equivalent of waving a banner and shouting at the group. Before I share these examples, I want to note that I have done equally awkward and socially-offputting things as I began to learn the art of social media sales, so I'm not trying to put someone down.  That said, it is very important that people see lessons on how social media selling can backfire! So today's lesson is all about the birthday sell.  Let's first talk about birthday company interactions that actually work: Starbucks free drink:  Love it.  Who wouldn't love a free drink?  And plus, it is only for customers with a loyalty card, so it is clear I already have a relationship with them.  Visible Changes discount:  It's not a free haircut, but it is a discount for a service I already get, so...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
As a property manager, you work hard to make sure your apartment community is a great place to live. But no matter what you do, you’re bound to have an unhappy resident every now and then. And some unhappy residents may turn to social media to complain.  But don’t worry! Your online reputation isn’t doomed. The do’s and don’ts that follow can help you survive a negative comment -- and even come out on top! Do: Respond Quickly According to Convince & Convert, 42% of consumers complaining on a social media channel expect a response within 60 minutes. But research shows that many brands are significantly falling short of these expectations. According to eMarketer, only 18% of companies respond to customer complaints on social media within an hour, with 21% saying they rarely or never respond to customer complaints at all! Make a commitment to respond to negative social media posts as soon as possible to avoid the situation escalating any further.  Don’t: Delete Negative Comments When you see a negative comment on one of your social media channels, your gut instinct may be to hit “delete” immediately. But don’t! For one, it’ll just upset the poster even more, potentially leading them to post more negative comment on other sites. On the other hand, responding a negative comment will show the poster (and prospective residents) that you truly care about the concerns of your residents.  And who wouldn’t want to live in an apartment community where their voices are heard? Of course, there...