Brent, I think we make the assumption that people need to know everything. Sure, we need some filte...
Question about the spilling candy video: Are you getting more people because you made it simpler to...

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

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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...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
The temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling. Winter may not officially kick off for another month, but it certainly feels like it’s already in full gear in many parts of the country. This winter, why not give your residents the opportunity to connect with their neighbors by planning a resident event? Read on for four unique events the residents in your apartment community will love.  Warm Up Wintertime can get pretty frigid in many parts of the country. Set up a hot cocoa bar one day outside of your leasing office so folks can warm up with a tasty treat. Make sure to include fun, yummy add-ins to your spread, like marshmallows, whipped cream and miniature candy canes. Get Crafty Do you have a lot of children with families in your apartment community? Pick a day to organize a craft party. Set up stations with different, simple holiday crafts, such as greeting card creating, cookie decorating, and ornament making, and let the creativity flow! The children in your community can give their works of art to parents and grandparents as holiday gifts. Watch a Flick Movie nights are a great, low-cost, low-maintenance way to get your residents together. If you don’t have a big screen TV at your community, rent one and play a favorite holiday movie that will appeal to the folks who live in your community. Some popular picks include the Polar Express, It’s a Wonderful Life or Elf. Lend a Hand The holiday season is a great...

Posted by on in Property Management
If you’re anything like me, the thought of wintertime conjures up images of time spent with family and friends during the holidays, cozying up by a nice warm fireplace and an occasional snowball fight or two. But in many parts of the country, winter also brings rough weather that can have damaging effects on your apartment community.  Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your building and your residents safe all winter long.  Remove Snow and Ice Snow and ice can lead to slips and falls. Who’s responsible for snow removal in your apartment community? If you don’t already know, now’s the time to find out! You can usually find this information on your city’s website. If you’re the responsible party, make sure your maintenance team (or a third party you hire to handle snow removal) clears snow and ice from parking lots, walkways, emergency exit doorways and common areas. Go the extra mile by keeping a few snow brushes and scrapers available in the leasing office for your residents to use to clean off their cars so they can drive safely.  Prevent Pipe Freezes Frozen pipes can burst, causing a big mess (and often a big expense to clean up that mess). Protect your property’s exposed, outdoor pipes by wrapping them in insulated sleeves. Remind your residents to keep their thermostats turned up to a specific temperature to help prevent freezes in the indoor pipes. Opening the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and running the...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
December is a time of holiday cheer, celebrating with family and showing gratitude for all of life’s beauty.  It’s also time for Black Friday, the never-ending to-do lists, and HOLIDAY STRESS.  There is no better time to show your commitment to “Carefree Apartment Living” than during the chaos of the holidays.  Here are 18 ways to help ease resident’s stress during the holiday season and have them ringing in the New Year right. Gift Wrapping Station: Set up a gift-wrapping station for your residents so they have a space to stretch out and hide from the kids.  You provide the scissors, tape, gift tags, holiday music and hot apple cider.  Residents come with the gifts and wrapping paper.  For a charitable twist, include the wrapping paper and bows and have residents give a donation for each gift that they wrap using your supplies. Skype Station:  This is the time of year to be with your family but unfortunately it isn’t possible for everyone.  Set up a computer, web cam and a Skype account and allow residents to come down and call family.  (Especially great for property with older population or senior housing.) Holiday Bizarre: Reach out to local small businesses and have them set up a bizarre so your residents can do a bit of shopping on their way home without fighting the lines and the parking lot. Tackle Poor Eating:  Work with a local chef or nutritionist to create healthy recipes for holiday favorites. The Gift of Time: During the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Winter is here, and with winter comes an array of holiday, seasonal cheer. Housewarming music fills the radio, along with every decoration imaginable. With all the hot cocoa, pine cone wreaths, and sparkly trees, comes an expectation for comfortable living. I mean “comfortable living” in the sense that your heater works on your day off, because there is no better way to ruin holiday cheer than by anchoring yourself to a single spot on the couch with a mountain of blankets so high there are people forming a line to see what the view is like from the top. Addressing common utility issues that accompany cold weather now, rather than waiting until you're getting emergency maintenance calls at 2 a.m., ensures that your site staff gets to enjoy the holidays. Inform the Residents We all lived through the magic that was Frozen over the last year, but in order to avoid a similar experience for your residents, helping them understand some basic preventative maintenance can go a long way. While sub-freezing temperatures can lead to an increased risk of burst pipes, according to the Weather Channel1, 20 degrees is the magic number where the likelihood dramatically increases. But unlike Anna and the rest of Arendelle, you can teach your residents some tricks to help combat the freezing temperatures. Turning faucets on to a slow drip can help prevent pipes from freezing, and keeping thermostats at temperatures above 60 degrees, even when residents leave town, can help prevent frozen pipes as well. In...

Posted by on in Property Management
Leasing consultants are included in the apartment community budget development process only 6% of the time.  The question is, should they be included more often? The ultimate goal of the property is to make a return for the investors, doing so in a way that provides a quality housing solution for its residents.  But while leasing consultants are in contact with residents every single day, they are in contact with the owners of the property and the financials much less so.  This means that their goals can become more aligned with the residents rather than with upper management. This is abundantly clear when we do surveys about financial aspects of apartment communities, where we often see a divergence in responses between leasing consultants and upper level employees, with property managers somewhere in the middle.  The most obvious example is the use of concessions.  Most regionals and executives don't like the use of concessions while leasing consultants absolutely love them.  Part of that divergence is often from how each group is compensated, and it makes sense that leasing consultants would want higher concessions for easier leasing bonuses, but there is also a significant element of leasing consultants not being as focused on the larger picture, as they are laser focused on a particular sale.  All of this leads to conflicting goals between upper management and leasing consultants, leading to tension and frustration for both parties.  So getting back to the budget creation process, that process is a great opportunity to narrow that...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Is your apartment community located in a popular snowbird destination? If so, you may see an influx of seniors flocking to your city, from the north, soon for some much needed sunshine and relaxation. For snowbirds and retirees looking for cities with nice weather, rental availability, affordability, a strong economy and large population of their peers, Apartments.com has compiled its second annual list of the Top 14 Cities for Snowbirds and Retirees in 2014. 1.  Scottsdale, AZ Average Rent (2 BR): $1,165 Scottsdale is an almost-perfect city for snowbirds and retirees, with 85% average of days of sunshine annually, a median age of 45.1, and median annual household income of more than $72,000. At $1,165 per month on average for a 2-bedroom apartment, Scottsdale is on the higher-priced end of the cities on our list, yet still affordable. Meanwhile, nearby Glendale is one of the most affordable cities on our list, with 2-bedroom rentals coming in at just $731. 40% of Scottsdale rentals on Apartments.com offer short-term leasing options, while more than 60% of rentals listed in the city of Phoenix provide flexible leases. 2.  Henderson, NV Average Rent (2 BR): $980 When the snow starts to fall and temperature start to dip up north, snowbirds can enjoy the annual average of 85% days of sunshine that Henderson, NV offers. Coming in at #2 on our list, this affluent city (with a high median income of $66,000 and a median age of 40.1) is a great destination for those looking to...