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Ms. Lujan, your rule to not allow skateboarding, roller skating and loitering for everyone is OK. Y...
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Training Trivia

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

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Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
With fall here and winter surely on its way, there’s a few items you want to make sure are in order with your properties. If your property resides in a warmer climate such as Southern California or Florida then there are only a few details that are necessarily a concern. If your property resides in the colder states, where the winter consists of your tenants staying in with the heat on full blast, then there's quite a few things you should know. LLC Property Management is here to help you  maintain your investment property during the fall and winter seasons.   Here are a few pointers to help you cut down cost in the long run: ·         Attics: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation. ·         Exterior Plumbing: Verify that the exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing, and drain outside faucets to prevent bursting in freezing temperatures. ·         Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in kitchen and bathrooms of each unit on the property. ·         Filters: During your monthly or quarterly inspections of the property units check that the tenants are keeping the air ducts clean and clear. The heating and cooling vents should also be clean and clear from furniture and draperies. ·         Fireplace: Change the filter of the fireplace and dispose the ashes. If there is a chimney check for loose or missing mortar and have it cleaned professionally. Double-check that the damper closes tightly and check for carbon-monoxide leakage. ·        ...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
As we know, incentives and special offers from apartment communities have decreased dramatically in recent years. Back in 2009 when the vacancy rate was at a 23-year high, some properties were attracting prospects as well as encouraging current residents to renew their leases with flat-screen TVs, cash, rent cuts and other concessions. A sharp contrast to today as concessions and incentives are nonexistent in some of the hottest rental markets due to high demand for rentals. After surveying more than 2,500 renters across the country to get a better understand of why they choose to rent, what motivates them to move immediately and what matters most when deciding where to live, Apartments.com found that the renters surveyed are realistic about rental incentive during a time when competition for apartments is still so great. When asked about the importance of rental incentives in 2014, renters said incentives help motivate, but they’re not a deal breaker for most. Here’s more on what renters said when asked about the importance of rental incentives when deciding on an apartment. Nice to have but not a deal breaker: 33% They’re one of a few key factors in deciding to move or stay put: 28% I haven’t even seen any rental incentives during my apartment search: 20% They’re critically important (make or break): 14% I don’t care about rental incentives at all: 5% Although rental incentives are few and far between, renters said a discount on rent and more space would motivate them to move immediately to...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Apple recently launched a new service for businesses, featured on Apple Maps Connect.  Business owners can now manually add or edit their own information to Apple Maps’ small business listings directory. The service is free and takes only a couple minutes to upload your apartment information. The pros? This is a win-win for both your small business and the Apple Maps App. You can post more unique information about your multifamily community, with options to submit your apartment’s website and social media accounts to your listing. You can verify current information or enter new information about your apartments to ensure accuracy as well. After all, nobody knows your apartment community better than you. Entering and verifying your information also serves an additional purpose to help to improve the accuracy and value of Apple Maps Connect for all users. As Apple Maps evolves to meet growing needs and resolve old issues with their product, you can enjoy the ability to accurately submit your own apartment information to a valuable Maps App....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
One of the things that continues to frustrate me about our industry is the general lack of measurement and adherence to analytical decision-making. Don’t get me wrong, we’re much better now than when I first entered the industry in 1999. But we’re still woefully behind many other industries—and even when we do measure things, it’s often not the right things. To align with this blog’s focus on leasing/sales, I’ll cover 1 metric we should STOP measuring and suggest a few worth focusing on. STOP measuring closing ratio! What? Isn’t that the classic measure for all salespeople? In industries with essentially unlimited supply, of course it is. But in capacity-constrained industries like multi-family housing rentals, it’s an incredibly dangerous metric. That’s because the metric itself implies that a higher number is good, and a lower number is bad. If a community has high exposure, that’s true; but if it has low exposure, then it’s not true—show me a high closing ratio at a low exposure community, and I’ll show you units that are priced too low. Accurately measuring closing ration is practically a herculean task. We are forced to get everyone to understand that whether this metric should be high or low is situational, and what typically happens is that leasing associates learn how to “manage” the metric by selectively entering and not entering guest cards. This hurts our ability to understand demand and to judge the success of our marketing efforts. Plus it encourages a culture of “cheating” on data...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
With the way that the real estate markets have fluctuated over the last decade - from strong and steady to a full-blown recession - it’s no wonder that some multifamily investors and other industry professionals have undoubtedly asked themselves, “Are our best days behind us?” The short answer? No way. Here’s why… Across the country vacancy rates are steadily decreasing, rental rates are on the rise, and new construction is breaking ground at an impressive rate. Looking at the Marcus & Millichap’s 2014 National Apartment Overview, we see that national vacancy rates for multifamily sector are expected to reach 5.1% in 2014 mostly because of the 215,000 new multifamily units under construction this year. In addition, the reports project that rental rates will increase by another 2.6% over the 4.2% we saw in 2013. From Seattle to Miami and San Diego to Colorado, the multifamily markets are booming as an aging demographic is moving from single family units into easier-to-maintain multifamily units and a coming-of-age demographic is branching out on its own for the first time. According to the experts, we shouldn’t look for the multifamily market to slow down anytime soon. As a matter of fact, these experts feel that when the time comes we will see a “tapering off” when interest rates begin to rise, but that shouldn't happen anytime within the next 3-5 years. Described as a “feeding frenzy”, both developers and commercial lenders seem to share the experts’ opinion, citing that a large percentage of their investments and partners still regard multifamily as a valued...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
Despite the many unpredictable demands property managers must handle, offering residents with flexible rent payment options can ease the amount of time spent collecting and receiving timely resident payments. Here’s a look at the benefits and potential drawbacks of accepting multiple rent payment options. Electronic funds transfer. Accepting paper checks for rent payments is inherently inefficient: Not only can it take up to 10 days to receive “snail mail,” there’s the potential that the check gets lost in transit or in a sea of paperwork, compromising the security of residents. (According to the ACH Network, an average of seven people have access to sensitive financial information like a payer’s bank account and routing numbers, in paper check transactions). Assuming the check is received, additional time is required to deposit the check into a bank account. If the resident’s account doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover the check’s amount at the time of deposit, the resident and property manager may be subject to NSF fees imposed by their respective financial institutions, which can be as high as $35 per bounced check. Implementing electronic funds transfer (EFT) as a rent payment option can eliminate many of these issues, allowing the tenant to pay directly from his or her account, with greater efficiency and security (funds electronically transfer directly from a resident’s deposit account to property manager’s account). Because an EFT transaction can be set up to take place on a recurring basis, and on a given date, it also minimizes collections efforts, and...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
I was sitting in a small regional plane at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport waiting for the go ahead to disembark the plane. As I sat in the airplane I noticed the Captain of the airliner (another small regional plane) next to us walking around his aircraft. He looked under the nose. Then he walked to the engine closest to me and visually inspected it. Finally I saw him go under the fuselage, run his hands on several areas, and continued with his inspection.    There was a part of me that figured that United Airlines would have someone else who could/would do the visual inspection of the aircraft, freeing up the pilot to do all of his pre-flight preparations in the cockpit. Yet, even if there is someone else who could do it and does do it, I can understand why the pilot would do it also; after all, it’s “his” plane isn’t it? And his life and the lives of the passengers on the flight (like me) are counting on him!    In other words, regardless of what anyone else is supposed to do, he is ultimately responsible isn’t he?    Are You the Captain?   As I thought about this-and as I am writing this, I have to admit to feeling so BUSTED! on this in my life right now, and throughout my life in general. I like the idea of being the “Captain” but I have too often resorted to blaming the “flight attendants” or “ground crews” in my...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
I recently had the opportunity to shop a number of new communities, and let me tell you, compared to the no-frill floor plans, kidney shaped swimming pool and fitness center the size of my desk I sold during my leasing days, it’s a salesperson’s Nirvana out there. Impeccably designed, thoughtfully appointed and generating a hip and now vibe, each of the communities I shopped was stellar. The leasing people looked professional, seemed to know availability and didn’t seem unhappy to show us around. It was, well, OK. Sort of like a date where you don’t have a bad time, you just don’t fall in love.    So what’s the problem?  It didn’t appear we were the tenth tour of the day, and none of the leasing professionals seemed to be tired or ill, they just seemed a bit... apathetic.    apathy - a lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern.  Websters.   They’ve got a product that pulls out all the stops, a pleasant environment to work in and in my opinion, a great job.  They get to help people find a place to live, and that’s important.    So where’s the love? Where’s the over the moon, “I can’t stand it I love this place so much and you will too!” feeling?  Where’s the enthusiasm, the pride in product?  Why didn’t any of them look at me and say, “We want you to live here.”?    Don’t get me wrong, they pushed their product - hard. Trouble is, I felt a...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
If you own a property in Los Angeles then you know how important inspections are. Inspections could be the breaking point of your profit if you fail, therefore it is important for owners to be informed of the inspection process. The Los Angeles Housing Code Enforcement Divison is cracking down on unapproved construction and unsafe living conditions. It is stated in the their mission statement "It is the mission of the Los Angeles Housing Department Code Enforcement Division to identify and facilitate the abatement of physical conditions and characteristics of substandard and unsanitary residential buildings and dwelling units which render them unfit or unsafe for human occupancy and habitation and which conditions and characteristics are such as to be detrimental to or jeopardize the health safety and welfare of their occupants and of the public." On top of the routine inspections given by the Housing department, there is a separate division under it called the Complaint Department. This department's sole purpose is for tenants living in a property who feel their living conditions are unsuitable for them to live in. The city inspection department answers within 72 hours. After, the department has spoken to the complainee, an inspector will come to visit the property and unit of the tenant that made a complaint. In most cases the owner is unaware of the inspection happening because it is not required to inform the property owner until after the inspection is completed. If the inspector finds three or more violations in the building,...

Posted by on in Property Management
backlinksThis is from a post on Apartminty in their ongoing “Quick Marketing Wins” series. The opinions expressed in here are mine. At first they called it the Now Generation, but I guess that had too many letters in it, so they officially named it the Y Generation but Google prefers you to call them the C Generation. Whew. Either way you look at it, these Millennial‘s want things NOW and are used to getting it that way. I speak as if this Generation is outside of my own. Err, let’s change the subject. If you’re under 35, you’re used to YouTube, getting things now, fast computers, and small devices you can hold. This generation makes up the majority of our new renters. This is who we need to cater to. Of course, you aren’t going to cater to them by the older, more traditional methods such as Any Apartment Magazine. It takes much bolder, more technologically driven initiatives. In the world of Information NOW, how can you make sure you’re showing up where people are searching for you? By utilizing free tools. Remember, in this day of Marketing 5.0, the biggest new development is the proliferation of better marketing tools that aren’t just for Coca-Cola’s big budgets. In fact, I’ve found many in this industry that can help you rent apartments. In keeping with the Quick Marketing Wins series, I’ve got 3 big ones here for you, to help you grab that Millennial’s attention for even the briefest of seconds: Craigslist / Ebay Classifieds / Oodle Honestly, I never say no to...