Guest (Cat at TheSuiteLifeLA.com)
Love this, Rommel! I also love to point out how close the nearest gym is to the community and if it...
Ooops...I just re-read my previous response and wanted to clarify in the first sentence that this sh...

Training Trivia

In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
The post originally appeared as commentary on Multifmaily Executive Magazine's website.  Rehabs present one of the most challenging pricing situations I’ve found in the apartment industry. There’s a tug of war between the business desire to allocate capital in a way that provides a measurable real return on investment (ROI) and the human desire to preside over a nicer portfolio. Candidly, I find that a lack of familiarity and comfort with the math behind ROI calculations often gets in the way—and not always just from the jobsite side of the team. The basic premise of rehabs* is straightforward: An operator invests $X to increase rent $Y, gaining a return of Z% in the process. As long as Z% is higher than the cost of capital, the overall return is positive. Seems simple enough, right? But I’ve encountered several issues that cause me to believe that operators aren’t always getting what they think they’re getting from their rehab investments. Renovations Aren’t Forever I frequently hear something like this from rehabbers: “We’re putting $3,000 into a rehab and need a 10 percent ROI. So as long as we get a $25-a-month bump in rent, we’re good.” Twenty-five dollars times 12 months is $300 a year, which is a 10 percent return on a $3,000 rehab cost. What’s wrong with that? Nothing—if you’re going to get the rent bump in perpetuity. But of course, we’re unlikely to get that—every upgrade has some life span to it, and that life span significantly affects the project’s actual ROI....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
  This year, team members from Apartment SEO had the privilege of attending SMX (Search Marketing Expo) Social Media 2014 in Las Vegas, NV. The event was packed with cutting-edge social trend knowledge and valuable tips for increasing exposure via all Social Media platforms. Apartment SEO loves sending its team to conferences and training sessions outside of the mulitfamily industry, as it allows us to bring the latest and greatest technical and strategic marketing best practices to the wonderful world of apartments. So, here is an inside look at the Top 5 insights we took from SMX Social, and how you (or Apartment SEO) can apply them to your multifamily social media marketing strategy in 2015.   1. All Content Needs Good Design It may come as no surprise to most that valuable and engaging content is still the main ingredient in any social media strategy recipe. However, even the most helpful and engaging piece of content on the internet is useless if it does not have an appealing user experience (UX) to compliment it. The way your content is “designed” is what sets your message apart from every other grouping of words that are trying to capture people’s attention on the web. Whenever possible, break your content up into lists, separate your content into shorter paragraphs with one idea explored in each paragraph. This makes your content easier to consume, and therefore easier to share!   2. Catchy Title, or Social Sharing Machine? In the modern age of information overload,...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
With the holidays quickly approaching, online shopping provides consumers everywhere with a convenient alternative to waiting in long lines and braving the chilly weather. In honor of the busiest time of year for shopping, here are some expert tips from Experian to protect yourself while shopping online this holiday season. 1. Be Wary of Wi-FiBe advised that free Wi-Fi services at coffee shops and stores can be easily hacked. Don’t unknowingly give an identity thief access to your personally identifiable information (PII). Therefore, it is best to refrain from online shopping while taking advantage of these free, public Wi-Fi services. 2. Know Your SellerKnow who you’re buying from. Only make online purchases from reputable merchants. If a business sounds suspicious, it is always better to be safe than sorry. 3. Create Secure ProfilesUse strong passwords and change them routinely. Protect yourself from identity thieves by changing your passwords before and after the holiday shopping season. Each account should have a unique password that is at least eight characters in length, does not contain your name and is a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. These proactive measures better protect you from online thieves and provide additional peace of mind while you shop online this holiday season....

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
b2ap3_thumbnail_dominos-pizza-order-status-screen-700x301.jpgIf I am a renter, I want to be able to open an app or log into the website and see the equivalent of this: What do you all think?
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Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Placing important keywords in the content of your webpage is SEO at its most basic— one of the foundational blocks upon which SEO practices are built. But in the past this practice has led to many an awkwardly-written webpage, since many people have simply written content that has nothing more than keywords strung together with average-to-poor writing. Nowadays, however, Google and other search engines have more powerful tools and algorithms at their disposal, many designed with the goal of finding and encouraging better-written content across the internet. Some of the ways that Google searches out quality content include: TF-IDF: Term frequency-inverse document frequency TF-IDF rates words and phrases by how often they are used. For instance, the word “car” appears more often across most documents and webpages than the term “car repair.” Having a more unusual word for your keywords can help improve your SEO. Synonyms and Close Variants Google knows how to recognize and connect words with their synonyms. For instance, it can identify that “car,” “automobile,” and “vehicle” belong together when they’re used in a single page or document. Content that uses a variety of synonyms for their keywords will be better optimized than content that uses the exact keyword over and over. Page Segmentation Not all portions of the page are created equal. Some are considered more important than others, and having good keyword use in these more important sections will improve your page’s SEO. How can you tell what’s most important? Well, for starters, you can compare your page...

Posted by on in Property Management
Last week I posted 5 episodes of the Marketing Minute. Topics include effectiveness of Craigslist, supply and demand, wearable tech, customer loyalty programs, and Instagram contests. Two things. 1. Subscribe on YouTube if you want to watch them as I post them. 2. Please comment. Even if you don’t have something to say about one of the topics of the day, ask me about something that’s on your mind and I’ll mention you in the next episode. Episode 9 – Is Craigslist Still Effective Episode 10 – Oversaturation in D.C. (and other markets) Episode 11 – Wearable Tech Episode 12 – Customer Reward Programs Episode 13 – Instagram with Justin Timberlake   ...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
LinkedIn is a great networking tool, whether you’re searching for a new job or just looking for a way to connect with other multifamily professionals. Want to be successful on LinkedIn? Here are five things NOT to do. Forget to Include a Profile Image According to Digital Marketing Ramblings, your LinkedIn profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you include a photo. Why? Because people want to connect with other people. And if you ask me, this guy doesn’t look like a real person. If I got a connection request from him, I’d probably ignore it because it might be a fake account or a spammer. Bottom line? Include a photo on your profile. Which leads me to my next “don’t”… Choose the Wrong Profile Image LinkedIn is a professional networking site. So, it should go without saying that the photo you choose for your profile should be professional. That means no photos of you and your husband at your wedding, no photos of your new puppy, and no photo of you sipping a margarita on the beach in your swimsuit. Save those photos for Facebook and stick to a professional head shot on LinkedIn. Fail to Proofread Your Profile We’re all human and mistakes happen, but a typo on your LinkedIn profile can reflect poorly on you as a professional. Proofread your profile. Then, proofread it again. Get a fresh set of eyes by asking a family member or friend to take a look at your profile,...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
As a property manager the most important aspect of your job is to provide quality care to your client’s property. So the vendor you hire to do work on that property needs to be well equipped to do a valuable job and at a reasonable cost. The selection process should be precise and efficient so you can have reliable vendors for any future problems that may occur on that property or on another one of your properties.  The vendor selection process can be a complicated and stressfull undertaking if you don't know how to approach it properly from the beginning. These steps will guide you in choosing quality vendors. Step One: Determine Your Needs Define your vendor requirements. Figure out what kind of service you need for the issue at hand. In most cases a general in-house handyman can be the solution to your problems, but in other cases you will need a service that specializes in a specific service. (For example, roofing, plumbing, landscaping, etc.) Step Two: Establish A Timeline Establish a timeline for when you need your work to be completed by. Ergo give yourself time so that  you’re not in a rush and forced to find a vendor that has the time to do the work you need. You may find out that the vendor was widely available  because of the subpar work that they do.  Once you have a timeline, notify your tenants of the expected repairs. This gives them time to prepare for any necessary arrangements....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
It’s one thing to train your associates on sales. But if the new behaviors are going to stick, part of the “sales ecosystem” must include coaching to reinforce the desired behaviors. That’s obvious and easy to say, but coaching is a skill that takes time to learn, and practice not just something all managers just automatically do well. The biggest challenge to this that I’ve seen in my 15+ years in the industry is that very few organizations invest the time and resources to create a coaching climate and teach managers to coach; without an intentional approach we can’t expect managers to know how to do it.  Our leasing associates’ success is critical; after all, they really are the ones who get prospects to become customers. So how do we create a coaching culture to help them succeed? Here are three quick tips: Focus on one thing at a time. Good football coaches don’t start practice with a scrimmage. They start with practices individual skills like blocking, catching, throwing and running. They build up to components of plays and only then put all of it together into a full scrimmage. The same is true with any other sport. Similarly, a good sales coach/community (or regional) manager doesn’t overload an associate with improving multiple things at once. She focuses on a single skill—the opening conversation, asking more probing questions, dealing with decision reluctance (aka “objections”), talking price, …. People learn and internalize the new skills when they work on one thing...

Posted by on in Property Management
multifamily-pricing-is-brokenPersonally, if I’m ready to buy something, I need to know two basic things. First, what’s my excitement level for it and secondly, how much is it? That makes sense right? Overextending oneself is something one does right out of college when you think you have the world at your feet and assume that money grows on trees and so you run up your credit cards because you’re young and dumb. Not that I would know anything about that. Most people, though, are much smarter, whose thoughts are driven by the need to have what they want, balanced by how much they can afford. Fundamentally, at the end of the day, it’s really all about affordability – and at its heart – price. I stumbled across funny reviews for a really huge television on Amazon a few weeks back. I admit I was intrigued by the size of this thing. 85 inches of pure 4K High Definition goodness. Whoa. Then, I saw the price tag and had sticker shock and collapsed in a heap of I’ll Never Own a TV As Awesome As That. The price – unaffordable – way out of my league – was ridiculous but thank you to Amazon for publishing the price and letting me know that I am not as financially sound as maybe I’d like. Some Multifamily companies or dare I say it, ILS’s, would have advertised the television this way: It’s annoying enough that sometimes I can only view a price when I add...