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Mr. Anacan presents a thoughtful assessment and suggested course of performance with respect to Fair...
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If your running your business while in fear of the Fair Housing Laws, you probably do not fully und...

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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Posted by on in Property Management
  Summer is nearly upon us, and many property managers experience a tenant turn-over in the summer related to college schedules. Some of the people moving in might even be renting an apartment for the first time. To ensure a good relationship with your new tenants, it’s a good idea to set expectations right away. When your tenant moves in or signs the lease, let them know what types of repairs they’re responsible for and what type of repairs you want to fix. For example, you might be fine with your tenant changing a lightbulb, but would prefer they don’t fix a clogged sink. You should also walk through the apartment with them and make sure they know how everything in the apartment works. Show them the stove, microwave, dishwasher, and thermostat. When it comes to rent policy, be clear from day one. Let them know when rent is due, when you consider it late, and when you take action as a result of non-payment. This will help you avoid confusion later. Although personal relationships and conversations about these things are important, some property managers find it helpful to print out a new tenant handbook. This handy manual will tell renters what to do if their sink is backing up in the middle of the night. Having clear policies that are clearly communicated is the key to good relationships with your tenants. Pilera is a best-of-class, easy-to-use, comprehensive online community management solution for apartments, condos, and associations. Pilera provides the easiest, most...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
In February, Google introduced its new Google Maps to the masses (although beta testing had been on-going since May 2013)¹. The new Google Maps brings an improved user experience, with an emphasis on hyper-localized search results. And when people search for navigational directions the results will now display multiple transit options (i.e. subway, bus, train, bike, or car), with the associated distance and estimated time of arrival. Lastly, Google now provides high-quality images with a plethora of vantage points ranging from aerial views of beautiful cityscape to street views of your neighborhood. However, the most recent Google Maps update did not eliminate many of the headaches apartment owners experience when trying to secure their map listing. So with many of those roadblocks still in place, here's a breakdown of how apartment communities can navigate through a few of the most prevalent Google Maps issues: Wrong Information Your current apartment listing has incorrect information. How do you fix it? If the information is within the name, address, or phone number you will want to correct it before you claim and verify your listing—if the listing is already claimed and verified you will need to get in touch with Google support to correct the information. All other business listing information (i.e. apartment website, hours of operation, email, and business description) can be edited without the need to re-verify. Duplicate Listing Google doesn't like duplicate listings, because it complicates and confuses user search. If you're claiming your business listing and discover duplicates, I recommend that you choose the listing that has the...

Posted by on in Property Management
I was at my local office supply store yesterday; the Epson printer has printer her last page. Think I’m going HP this time.  While checking things out in their DIY print section (love to have a local places where we can get marketing items printed ASAP!)  I overheard a conversation between the manger and an obviously, new employee.  He was explaining how to NOT spend a lot of time with customers. Intrigued by what I was hearing…okay, I was being nosey, I continued to browse the area and hear more.  He made some good points. "Know the material to be able to explain to customers, be ready with an order form.  This way they won’t hold you up while they try and figure it out . Cause they usually can’t."  Wow. He continued as this young lady asked questions like, “well what if they’re really interested and just need help getting through the forms?”  Manager reply; “Sit them over here and tell them to let you know when they’re ready.”  Then go fill out forms, stock this or that, blah blah blah.  He continued in this intimidating manner and the whole time could clearly see me.  Within eyesight = within earshot. Good rule to remember.  Seconds later, I heard the girls voice crack as he barked at her and said something about no common sense.  Then asked her if he offended her.  Really?!  This is the time for Under Cover Boss!!  Or, would undercover boss care? Is that what we’re doing?   Is that the...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
If we are helping well over a 100 people move into our community over the course of the year, there is a very good chance that we stop remembering how difficult the move can actually be for our residents.  While it is an everyday checklist for us, it is a major life change for them.  I came across this letter today that is surprisingly from a fellow neighbor who "gets it".  He obviously understands how difficult the move is, and amazingly offers to help.  It was personal, and it showed he cared.  So when things are busy and we have a ton of move-ins happening, are we taking the time to act like Chris?     When this image was shared on Reddit, here was a great response: Thing is, it doesn't take much. Back in the days when people came in as neighbours people would give them a lasagna, cookies, and whatnot. It doesn't cost much, it doesn't take much time. But in the context where nobody does it, actions such as Chris' strike the imagination of people because they are not ordinary, they are not the "usual". A simple gesture such as Chris or anything else can mean the world to new neighbours without the time to cook or to get familiar with the neighbourhood. I wish we came back to a time where such behaviours were the norm, not the exception. That is so very true.  Think about those simple Stouffer's lasagnas.  What are they, $10?  If I...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
In order to successfully market your community to prospective renters, you have to gain insight into what they are searching for in an apartment. Understanding preferences, such as the types of amenities searched, can help you showcase the best features that your community has to offer. Once you’ve seen some of the things that your prospects are looking for, it’s time to show them off. But how?   As a community, you should always be looking for fresh and innovative ways to accentuate your assets and what you can offer to renters. Using video is a beneficial way for you to highlight your community’s best features for prospective residents. Here are some of the pros: Showcases property. Video allows the renter to get a feel for the property in a way that photos alone cannot provide. With video, prospects are able to get the ‘big picture’ without having to actually step foot in the apartment. Saves time. Since apartment shoppers are able to view your video from your online advertisement or on sites like YouTube, when they make their next move to visit your community in person it can save your leasing staff time. For prospects unable to take an in-person tour, this saves time for everyone and creates the opportunity to build confidence in what they can expect from the property itself as well as get a feel for the community lifestyle. Makes a lasting impression. Once the video is recorded and posted within your online advertisement and on your website, the message you’re trying to...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
First off, let me say that Facebook isn’t my jam. I don’t personally have a Facebook account and I am very leary of using Facebook as a major part of any marketing strategy. That’s just me. It’s how I was raised. That’s not to say that Facebook doesn’t have its place for businesses as it can be a way to extend your brand and keep your followers informed on apartment community events, notifications, and promotions ...assuming your posts are even reaching anyone's newsfeed. Facebook is ending the free ride. Organic reach for brands or non-personal Facebook accounts has been steadily dwindling over the last couple of months¹. In fact, reports show that Facebook is limiting the organic reach of brands to between 1-2% of fans. That means if you have 100,000 fans you now have a max unpaid reach of 2,000. What does this mean for property managers and owners? Obviously, if your property has a Facebook page you won’t have 100,000 fans. If you are a large property you might have 1,000. If that's the case, then your post might be seen by as many as… wait for it… 20 people! That’s why no one showed up at the BBQ last week, right? But don’t blame Facebook just yet. Why can’t your fans just go to your Facebook page and see what is happening? They can. But they don’t. According to Socialbakers, Facebook engagement rate is dropping across the board². It’s not just your page that Facebookers are losing interest in, it’s...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
As real estate crowdfunding builds a head of steam behind the JOBS Act, what are the benefits and initial concerns that will make or break this budding industry? “It is really this access problem.” says RealtyShares co-founder Nav Athwal and his partner Trey Clark. “The fact of the matter is, there is no easy-to-access marketplace for even investors to access a reliable source of quality private real estate investments and thus investors have traditionally invested in what is readily available – stocks, bonds and mutual funds.” When President Obama signed the JOBS Act in April of 2012, the crowdfunding industry achieved what has been identified in the industry as having “potential to be a game changer” for future private equity fundraising efforts. According to RealtyShares, the JOBS Act brought about for the first time since the great depression and the enactment of the Securities Act of 1933, the opportunity for unaccredited investors to be able to participate in a private equity deal. This is a huge step for investors looking to take advantage of the fact that private equity investments in the U.S. have traditionally outperformed the stock market. Up until the signing of the JOBS Act, these private equity deals were reserved for only for the wealthiest investors, while the average investor was left to invest in the public markets. And while the JOBS Act is considered by most to be a step towards balancing this inequality, it does have its limits. For both investors and fundraisers, understanding these limits is crucial.  For...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I was recently speaking with a man that is about to rollout a supplement line for women. His first thought was to use a soft script and pink package. Yes, he thought making his product pink would make it appealing to women. Now don’t get me wrong, I love pink…a lot. But, I don’t want my vitamin packing to be a generic “woman” pink.  It’s kind of insulting. He was making a very broad and inaccurate assumption. He was generalizing women, because it’s the easy solution.  Well, we kind of do the same thing in multifamily.I would bet that most properties give every single customer the exact same customer experience, the exact same pitch, and even the exact same follow-up. Oh, you’re in your late-20s and live in the city? You must like to party, so we are conveniently located next door to this liquor store.  And, I know this sounds crazy, but not everyone likes auto-generated follow-up emails or scripts. They don’t exactly make you feel warm and fuzzy.    We often forget that the experience, the package, the conversation, etc, should be all about the customer. Not what is easiest or cheapest for you. When a prospect walks in your doors or contacts you, a strong sales person lets the prospect speak (and actually listens). They let the prospect share their thoughts and blabber on for a minute before they dive into their sales story. This is a big part of relationship development. The prospect is going to reveal who they are, what they want,...

Posted by on in Property Management
b2ap3_thumbnail_givemefeedback.jpgFor years now, we’ve used a free tool called Kampyle to collect feedback on our website. After a minute or two of browsing our site, customers would get a popup widget that asked them to rate the site from 1-5 and give comments on what we could improve. The great comments we’ve received over the years have led to many changes that have improved its usability. A month ago, Kampyle released their own full site redesign – which totally broke it. Links don’t function. I can’t log in. I cannot get my feedback data. I cannot see my website reviews. I’ve sent emails to them. I’ve filled out their feedback form. I haven’t received a single response. The irony of this, of course, probably isn’t lost on all of you. A website, designed to collect feedback data, doesn’t actually respond to feedback data. One could argue that this isn’t actual feedback I’m sending them. This is me, telling them, about their site, which doesn’t work – at all. It’s a bug report. By definition, feedback is: information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc., used as a basis for improvement. Improvement? No Kampyle, your site is busted. As in, I can’t do anything on it. I just assumed companies want to know when things aren’t working. Maybe, I’m naive. Maybe, I’ve watched too many sessions on reviews and read too many blog posts on listening to your customers. I suppose I never stopped to wonder if...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Your mother may have told you not to judge a book by its cover. But when it comes to emails, that’s exactly what people do. Inboxes today are flooded with emails, and subject lines help consumers determine whether an email gets read, saved for later or trashed. That’s why it’s important to create subject lines for your email campaigns that stand out from the crowd and catch renters’ attention. After all, you could be sending out the greatest email campaign ever, but if no one opens it, it really doesn’t matter. Want to create more effective subject lines that stand out and entice readers to open your emails? Read on for a six simple tips that can help. Keep Key Words to the FrontRemember that many people are reading your emails on their mobile devices. And most mobile devices will cut off subject lines at around 40-50 characters – that’s just a few words! So be sure to “front load” your subject lines by putting the most important information at the beginning. Be Transparent It seems obvious, but your subject line should give readers an idea of what they can expect from your email. If readers feel like your email subject line was in any way misleading, they’re far less likely to open your emails in the future.Make it PersonalWho wants to read an email that sounds like it’s been blasted to a million random people? Consider using words like “you” or “your” in the subject line to make the email sound inviting...