Ashley
I have a question regarding this. If you have a resident that smokes marijuana due to medical reason...
Thank you, Samantha! My views have largely been shaped by the student market that we cater to, so it...
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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
At this very moment I am watching TV, checking my e-mail, Facebooking, reading an article about The Psychology of the Walking Dead, texting, and writing this blog.”   You see it everywhere, Ad's for new electronic "fix” touting the capability of using technology to accomplish several things at once. The "skill" of multitasking is a highly sought after attribute that can be found in many job postings and is widely used in the strengths sections of résumés. People pride themselves on being high-performing team players wearing the "I Am a Multitasker" badge loud and proud. Guess what? It's BS. The human brain is not built to work this way. Recent revelations in brain research tell us that the brain doesn’t (and can't) really do multiple tasks simultaneously, as we once thought. Actually, all we are doing when we claim to multitask is just very quickly bouncing between tasks. Any time we move from answering the phone to texting, emailing or talking to someone, there is a stop/start process that goes on in the brain.    That start-stop-start process is rough on us. Rather than saving time, it costs time (even very small micro seconds), it’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time it can be energy sapping and lead to massive amounts of stress, burnout or depression. In the business world, where concerns about time-management are all the rage, warnings about workplace distractions borne from a multitasking culture are on the rise. Newer research is concluding that workers are taking...

Posted by on in Property Management
When going to the NAA Education Conference and Exposition, it can always be a challenge to decide which education sessions to attend.  Fortunately, I managed to hit the jackpot by attending the session, Strategic Procurement.  Rather than my typical blog post format, I thought it would be best to simply share the many tips I was able to jot down during the session:  (I have attributed when possible) 1)      My first tip was a general overall observation by Eric Broughton of eSupply Systems, who noted that marketing topics get so much more love, even though maintenance and other community spend is over 3X larger than  marketing.  In other words, in our professional development, it might be more fun to go to marketing-related events, but are we also making sure to hit the "less sexy" aspects of property management that might make a bigger financial impact? 2)      If you use a variety of vendors for the same function, there are certain drawbacks, such as additional non-compliant spending, issues with uninsured workers on the property, and a diverging product because of different suppliers.  Also, soft costs can go up, such as having to process multiple invoices and deal with multiple deliveries. 3)      Although online invoicing can mean vendors have to sign up with a variety of payment processing entities, Krystin Reuter of Avesta noted that it can also be a help to vendors by reducing payment times.  She saw processing time reduce from 23 days with a paper invoice to 7 days from...

Posted by on in Property Management
As a residential property manager, you’re likely already gearing up for the 2017 budget season. As busy as property managers are with the many hats they wear — marketing and sales, screening prospective residents, assisting with all manner of residents requests, and more — most understand that putting together a solid budget is critical for financial performance all year long. A budget tells you where you are and where you’re going, and it helps you measure your progress along the way. It provides an organized and easily understood look at money coming in and going out for anyone who might need the information, including your staff, community investors, and financial professionals. It’s also an invaluable tool for you in assessing how your community is performing, identifying any fat to be trimmed, and adapting as situations change. As you prepare your 2017 budget, take a look at the tips below to help make the process as painless as possible. Review industry dataVisit the library, use an online database, or search online to review standard income, expenditures, profit margins, and other metrics for your industry. You can find lots of free information simply by searching online for various keywords, and you can also find annual reports from market research firms that give away some information for free and include others for a fee. Generate methods for increasing revenueIf your community isn’t at full occupancy, create a marketing, sales, and communications plan before working on your budget. Does your website need work? Should you...

Posted by on in Student Housing
Nostalgia can be incredibly powerful; that certainly has been demonstrated with the release of Pokemon Go in North America!   Pokemon Go isn’t just for kids either; baby boomers, millennials and Gen Z’s are all playing, which has attracted the attention of business and marketers. While coffee shops, cafes, and bars appear to be the first businesses to catch on to the marketing potential of Pokemon Go, other industries are watching and taking note.One realtor in Victoria, BC has already started to utilize Pokemon Go to lure interest into a home for sale. He’s not the only one doing this either; there are reports from San Francisco, Cincinnati, Williamsburg and more with realtors and renters using Pokemon Go in their marketing strategies. Student housing is an industry that could cash in on this opportunity in a few different ways.  1. Pokemon Go Lease Promotions:Some student housing properties are on the (poke)ball and have already launched Pokemon Go related marketing campaigns. Take RezOne Waterloo, for example. They are currently running a promotion where level 17+ Pokemon Go players can get a $200 Visa gift card when they sign a lease. Another example is The Hub at Columbia, where they are incorporating Charizard into a ‘hot summer deal’.Considering the bottom line is most important in apartment marketing (signing leases), it takes some brainstorming on how to employ Pokemon Go marketing strategies that generate ROI and lead to signing leases.   2. Catch-‘Em All Resident Party:   Credit goes to Axiometrics for coming up with this one – hosting a Catch-‘Em All resident party. Normally, a successful...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
We all know the importance of keeping a sharp mind in the maintenance field, but what about working just as hard on your physical fitness? Most of us maintenance supervisors have been in this game for a while. Many of us are a little older than we would like to admit. We are a wealth of knowledge but are we giving our company and co-workers 100% if we deliberately allow ourselves to get so far out of shape that we are no longer able to convert our knowledge into action? Working out 30 minutes a day will not only improve how you feel, but also improve your ability to get-in-there with your co-workers and not just tell them how things should be done but SHOW them how to do it. If your people are like mine and most hands on learners, they learn a lot better when you physically show them. For those of you who are in the student living side of this business you understand how demanding 7/31 through 8/15 can be! We’re on our feet 12 to 16 hrs. a day, going up and down stairs and living here in Arkansas it’s as hot as you know what!!!!  If you can’t physically keep up, your people will be over worked and looking to you for help but you will have nothing left to give.  Don’t be that guy.  Moral of the story, your fitness affects more than just yourself in your work/personal life. Live Well.    J John Jones...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Dear Gabby,   What is a Net Promoter Score and why is it relevant to me?  #JohnnyDollar$igns     Dear #JohnnyDollar$igns,   I’m a little disappointed. I thought your submission was going to go down something like this… JohhnyDollar$igns: I want to share everything with you Dear Gabby: Let’s start with your bank account   **Sigh**…maybe one day. But I must say, I love the question. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is something that I get asked about quite a bit. It measures the loyalty that exists between a supplier and a consumer.  You know, like the reason you’ve been going to the same tailor for years…because he really suits you.   Well, this loyalty metric calculates NPS scores ranging from −100 to +100. For example, cheating ex-boyfriends typically land in the -100 range while a mythical creature like Prince Charming would land in the high positive zone.  If you happen to find a Prince Charming, please capture it safely, keep it alive, and bring it in for additional research. I’d like to study it and figure out how to replicate it.     Net Promoter Scores are calculated using the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” (1-10 Scale)     Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.  Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
There is an aggressive demand for inventory among investment property buyers due in part to current market conditions. Unfortunately this high demand over the last few decades has caused an increase in less than optimal standards in construction in an attempt to supply the market. Conducting thorough Due Diligence inspections is the only way to avoid unnecessary maintenance costs associated with potentially unsound construction. Apartments are a combination of both residential and commercial projects. Therefore it is necessary to know where and how the reoccurring construction problems tend to arise with this specific combination. Buyers must be prepared to conduct investigations on an almost forensic level.Common issues such as water penetration may remain concealed behind finish materials such as concrete. A potential investment should be reviewed even down to its architectural structure to identify the potential for corrosive manifestation. This sort of mindset for a completely thorough Due Diligence inspection process will help the buyer to successfully negotiate sales based on existing standards; ultimately saving thousands to millions in capital expense. The success of such an inspection process requires in depth documentation to substantiate any specific claims; as well clear communication among team members and between buyers and sellers. As it goes with the the proper completion of any task, utilizing the correct tools is an essential component in achieving success....

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Since its debut earlier this month, Pokemon Go has become a massively popular app, prompting millions of downloads and user numbers that rival Twitter. For those not familiar with Pokemon Go, the app is based off of the Pokemon franchise which features animated “pocket monsters” that users can catch. Though the franchise has covered movies, a TV show, games, trading cards and more, Pokemon Go marks the first time it has been available as a free mobile app, where users can sign up and instantly begin playing the game. Because Pokemon Go is a location-based app, many real estate companies have seen a positive flow of traffic, particularly on the multifamily side.  Pokemon Go players are now visiting what are called PokeStops, designated spots where they can collect more Pokemon. These are mainly random businesses scattered throughout each area. With the game focusing on location, apartment owners and managers have the opportunity to capitalize on this fun trend. If you’re a student housing professional, or have simply noticed your residents using Pokemon Go at your apartment communities, consider using these marketing tips to keep residents happy and attract new ones as well! 1) Have a photo contest of residents who take pictures of Pokemon at the apartment community. Since Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game, users will see Pokemon appear on their phone. This makes for fun moments when they can see Pokemon appear in places like their living room or kitchen. The most creative picture can win a prize from the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
From the State of the Nation’s Housing 2016 report to NAA Education Conference sessions to Apartment Internet Marketing sessions, a lot of discussion is taking place about demand for apartment housing. The State of the Nation's Housing 2016 report proclaimed that the nation’s housing market is recovering thanks in large part to rental demand. Yet, several sessions at NAA and AIM discussed integrating marketing and revenue management to generate more demand. It may seem a little odd to talk about demand generation in a hot market. You might even be thinking: My community or portfolio is almost full and I have more demand than I need. There isn’t much need to create more demand. Is there? The short answer is there’s always a need to drive more demand, even in this hot apartment market, for two very important reasons: 1. Demand drives rent growth. 2. Demand drives brand awareness. Demand Drives Rent Growth You might be 97 or 98 percent occupied, but, eventually, some residents are going to move out. When their leases come up for renewal, the demand you have for that apartment home is going to determine the rent listed on their renewal offer. The greater the demand, the higher the rent increase you can present for that apartment home. If they choose to move out because the renewal rate is too high, you should be able to easily fill that home with someone willing to pay the higher rate. It’s really simple supply and demand economics at work....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Pokémon Go Can Help Multifamily On July 6th, 2016, an event of monumental proportions happened: Pokémon Go was released. The game has already revolutionized mobile gaming and is uniting people across all generations. Niantic Inc. developed the game through a licensing deal with Nintendo, the majority stakeholder of the franchise. The deal has proven to be fruitful; Nintendo's market value jumped an astounding $7.5 billion since release! The game is simple: "catch" Pokémon with your phone in different areas of cities and towns. The game is a based on "geolocation,” GPS locations and landmarks, so one has to walk around to progress through the game. There are "Pokestops" and "Gyms" where people can get rewards, play against other Pokémon and find new Pokémon. So why should you care? This can be a golden marketing opportunity for multifamily communities. You can actually drive potential residents to your property with the game! Pokémon Go is a "free to play" style game. This means that one can play for free, but upgrades are purchasable through an online store. One of those items is a "Lure Module," which draws Pokémon to a certain location for 30 minutes. They cost about 99 cents per lure. The lures need to be set within proximity of a Pokestop (currently). Your community may already be a Pokestop or Gym; you just need to check in the game. Super geeky, right? Well, businesses have caught on and are driving traffic to them because people playing see where lures are and stop to get the free items. So how can a multifamily community benefit? Marketing With Pokémon Go If you could set lures...