Guest (Jeff)
Valid in my opinion, Brent. Each asset type certainly has its own unique ideal management concept. ...

Training Trivia

What percentage can a resident save on heating costs by lowering their thermostat setting from 70 degrees to 68 degrees?

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744447413 [{"id":"192","title":"1%","votes":"0","pct":"0.00","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"193","title":"5%","votes":"4","pct":"30.77","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"194","title":"10%","votes":"6","pct":"46.15","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"195","title":"20%","votes":"3","pct":"23.08","type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/73-what-percentage-can-a-resident-save-on-heating-costs-by-lowering-their-thermostat-setting-from-70-degrees-to-68-degrees No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
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Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Do you have a customer journey map? I know this is kind of a rhetorical question, since you can’t immediately respond, but it is something I am very curious about. The more I ask people about it, the more I realize that understanding and owning your customer journey map is not the norm for our industry. Actually, I don’t think it is the norm for most industries, because it’s a lot of work.  We are still designing, marketing, and selling for ourselves, or a very skewed version of what we think the customer wants. Whether we realize it or not, our ego often gets in the way of seeing the perception and the truth. I mean, come on, no one wants to admit they are experiencing ugly baby syndrome. So, it is easier to think our years of experience give us all the answers. For example, I recently spoke with a group about the customer journey map, and a woman responded with, “It’s too new agey.”  You can probably imagine my giant eye roll. It was so big it almost gave me a headache. But, it also made me feel a little defeated. A customer journey map is not anything new. It is often what determines any company’s future growth and success, especially when communication and information sharing changes as quickly as it does today. Put in the work, and do your research. And, commit to not making another reactionary decision until you have completed your customer journey map.  I might...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
It’s understandable that property management companies choose to respond to online reviews from a central location.  One person in particular may be designated to create responses for all of the communities within the portfolio.  One person…one tone…one message.  It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Where this practice seems very practical, it may cripple the onsite teams in a variety of ways.  Oftentimes, residents air their grievances online after numerous attempts to settle their issues in-house.  If managers have not been trained in handling these interactions, a small issue could escalate into something more complicated, and more costly to resolve. The basics of reputation management are very similar to conflict resolution.  How to handle a situation as it is presented can determine what will ultimately be expressed in an online review.  Communities across the country are met with reviews about unresponsive management, lack of trust, and indifferent service.  I say this time and time again; what happens onsite will often end up online. Even if onsite teams are not tasked with responding to online reviews, it’s important that they have been trained in reputation management.  Where they may not be responsible for addressing resident concerns online, they are responsible for doing so onsite.  Learning to address resident concerns head-on with honesty, empathy and professionalism goes a long way to ensure resident satisfaction. Do you consider conflict resolution and reputation management skills one in the same?...

Posted by on in Property Management
Heartbleed In the first week of April we received word that OpenSSL, the open source implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols, had been compromised. Over the past 2 years, this vicious flaw that raged throughout the internet, allowed hackers to steal encrypted data. If you’re like most people, up until recently, you probably had no idea what this technology even meant. Who cares, right? I just need to check Facebook one more time. Truthfully, though, the normal web protocol (http) is not very secure. If you’re smart and have the proper software, it’s possible to listen in on what computers are saying back and forth to each other. You could read passwords and usernames and credit card information and the number of times you watched Miley on YouTube. Secure Socket Layer encryption (https) makes it so if you do listen in, you won’t be able to understand a word of it. Until the Heartbleed security flaw, of course. The name Heartbleed is kind of a clever play on words. When your computer is communicating with a web server using SSL, sometimes it needs to ask the web server if it’s still there. To do this, it sends what is known as a heartbeat packet. It’s this packet of data that hackers could exploit. They could fake this heartbeat, pretend it was coming from you, and gain access to whatever is in the webserver’s memory. In most cases that’s credit card information, passwords, and other important data. Oops. The one thing...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
Powerhouse multifamily investors from across the globe took part in Avanath Capital CEO Daryl Carter’s “View from Investors” panel. For foreign investors seeing the European markets opening up to the migration of millennials and baby boomers and giving the U.S. Markets even more stability, investing in multifamily is at the top of their investment list. Even with over 300,000 units under construction this year, investors aren’t showing too much concern around overbuilding. Instead, today’s savvy investors are focused on making smarter purchases in markets that have room for rental increases based on either an area seeing substantial job growth or finding property that has been under-managed. According to a poll conducted by Morgan Stanley, the majority of U.S. Millionaires see real estate as the top alternative asset to own in 2014. As a matter of fact, 77% of investors with a million dollars or more in assets own real estate. A third of those investors polled say that they plan to purchase additional commercial and residential this year, and 23% of these millionaire investors are planning to invest in real estate investment trusts (REIT) this year. So, what are the factors that go into making real estate the most interesting investment market in the world? After being named “Trendsetters of the Year” at the 17th annual Washington, D.C. TrendLines event, Transwestern and their affiliate Delta Associates released a list of the top commercial real estate trends they’ve identified for the current and future state of the industry. Delta identifies the fact that while we had some...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Instagram, the photo sharing social network, has grown like crazy in the three and a half short years since its initial launch in October 2010. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down. According to its website, Instagram has 200 million monthly active users throughout the world (that’s just a bit less than the population of Brazil!) sharing an average of 60 million photos per day. Have an Instagram account for your property but stumped about what kinds of pictures to take and post? Here are six ideas to get you started. Signs of summer: Summer will be here before we know it. Take photos of the different signs of summer around your community, such as blooming flowers, the swimming pool or the fountain you just turned on for the season. How you’re going green: Appeal to eco-friendly renters by showing off how your community is going green. Snap photos of recycling bins, reusable cups (in place of plastic water bottles and Styrofoam cups), earth-friendly cleaning supplies and anything else that makes your community green. Pets in your community: Snap photos of pets out and about in your community (but ask for permission first – some humans are very protective of their pets!) People love pictures of cute animals...search Instagram for hashtags like #catsofinstagram or #catstagram and you’ll quickly see what I mean. Plus, sharing pet photos on Instagram is a great way to show that you really value your furry residents. Your all-star staff: Your employees are a key element of your community. Share a group photo of...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  It is officially behind the times to have your prospective residents manually filling out guest cards. With modern day technology why would you hand someone a piece of paper and ask them to fill it out? Since when do people even physically enjoy writing with pens?   Not only is this way of gathering information from your prospective resident outdated, but you run the risk of missing the window of opportunity to gather the rapport. Even if you fill out the guest card yourself, not everyone is good at writing and remembering. If you allow your prospective resident to fill out the card you may also miss valuable information on the guest card, and let’s not forget the guest card that get missing in action that don’t get entered into popcard, yardi, onesite etc. It has been an age old debate of who should fill out the guest card, the prospect or the leasing consultant. The answer to this question with many explanations will vary depending on who you ask. I shopped a new construction property in downtown Washington Dc and I was rather impressed when the leasing professional pulled out his ipad. I called ahead of time and he already had my information in the handy dandy device. It was very professional and gave the property even more of a polished feel. We are living on a world of convenience and first impressions. Changing from paper guest cards to a hand held computer will give the effect of professionalism...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Colleges and universities across the U.S. are sending another crop of newly-minted grads off into the real world. While this new world is filled with exciting challenges such as finding a job and an apartment, the first step is deciding where to live. To help make these big decisions a little easier, Apartments.com weighed the most important factors facing new grads including employment opportunities, salary, affordability, age and the city’s singles scene, to compile the 7th annual Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates list. The Apartments.com list sets itself apart from other best-of lists by taking a comprehensive view of what qualifies a city to be considered. Our list takes into account affordability versus just median income, which gives advantage to cities where the average rent for a one bedroom apartment falls within the recommended 25% of gross median income. Additionally, unemployment was a major factor in determining this list. Cities with unemployment above 7% were eliminated. Apartments.com 2014 Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates 10. Dallas, Texas Average Rent 1 BR Apartment: $1,178 Dallas is one of the top employment centers in the country primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, energy, health care and transportation. With big opportunities for employment, apartment availability and vibrant culture, Dallas is a great place for new grads, landing the #10 spot on the list. 9. Las Vegas, Nevada Average Rent 1 BR Apartment: $897 Internationally renowned as a major resort city famous for gambling, shopping, fine dining and night life,...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
The rumors floating around the internet about Twitter getting a facelift are true! Last week, the folks at Twitter announced a complete redesign of user profiles. Right now, the redesigned profiles are only available for select users, but they’ll be rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks. Read on for a summary of the changes and steps you can take to prepare for the roll out. What’s new? If you’ve seen a new Twitter profile, you know that the changes are pretty dramatic. Here are a few of the highlights: Header and profile images: The new Twitter profiles are highly visual, with a large banner image that stretches across the entire page in addition to the main profile picture, which is now located on the left side of the screen. Take a look at Ford's profile. Top tweets: Tweets with the most engagement (retweets, favorites and replies) will appear slightly larger on your profile. That way, your top content will easily stand out to users scanning your profile. Check out these two tweets from Starbucks for an example. The middle tweet has been retweeted, favorited and responded to more than the other two, which is why it’s displaying in a larger font Pinned tweets: Similar to Facebook, the new Twitter profile layout allows you to “pin” one of your tweets to the top of your profile page. That way, users who visit your blog will see that tweet first. What do you need to do? If you’re not one of the lucky few that already has the...

Posted by on in Property Management
You made it past the hard part, you leased out your apartment! Now What? Now you try to make your new tenant transition into your property as smooth as possible.  With these easy tips you can make your new tenant transition smoother, and therefore they will be happier. Offer moving services. Partner with a moving company in which you could send them business and they could offer discounts for potential tenants.  This helps the tenants with their moving process, which entails makes the moving process less stressful. Tell them the services in the area.  Most people are in contract with certain companies as in cable, Wi-Fi, or phone companies. Tell them the companies that are offered in the area so they may do some research on the pricing of the services they may want. Offer welcome gifts.  Welcome gifts can get you and your new tenants off to a great start! During the moving process the new tenant is moving all their property in but everything is packed up! A good welcome gift could include a bath towel, a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, a shower liner, and a small bar of soap. Maybe if you’re feeling generous even some Clorox wipes. This will help them get settled in and with their cleaning until they are able to unpack all their belongings.  A typical welcome gift should cost less than $15 dollars Give instructions on how to change their mailing address. Have a “Change of Address” packet from a local...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
It's been a long winter and your residents are probably ready to get outside and soak up some sun!   Why not give them an opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoor amenities you work so hard on all year long!   How about partnering with a local photographer...maybe one of your residents is a photographer, you get the idea!  And extend the invitation to take advantage of your amazing backdrop with some priceless family photos.  Residents can take their own shots or schedule a personal photo shoot with the photographer (and then purchase the photos if they like them.)  It's a great opportunity for the photographer to earn some business and the residents don't have to go far for something special!  And the price is right for your budget!  Serve light snacks, lemonade etc.  Provide props, like empty photo frames, couch from the clubhouse, table and chairs, blankets, picnic baskets etc. to make it fun for the DIY'ers!  I'd love to see some of your how it turns out, please post on this blog or send me your ideas and results and I'll share on my Pinterest Page, www.pinterest.com/thebeckycurrie/apartmentland.   Happy Spring! Cheers,                                                                                                                ...