Randi R
Sounds great. Would love to see in a low income community. Lol. Maybe they could influence the wa...
Thanks Terry, Let me know when your article is published. I want to share it with our community as ...
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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
pot-new-pets.jpg (Warning: Don’t read this if you’re not interested in hearing a provocative point of view) I was meeting with a client of mine who has communities in California, and they shared a letter they were sending their residents. The letter was informing residents that, while California had passed a recreational marijuana initiative, the law gave apartment owners the right to declare their property to be marijuana free. The letter went on to inform residents that this company was exercising that right and that any use of marijuana in their apartments would be a violation of their lease and could result in eviction. As a resident of Colorado (one of the earliest states to approve recreational use in homes) and a demand management modeler, this got me thinking. I wasn’t surprised that my client exercised their right; in fact, I expect that virtually all professionally managed communities will do or have done so already. But is that really the right business answer? Perhaps the continued disconnect between these state laws and federal laws makes it the right answer. Perhaps there are indirect liabilities I’m not fully aware of (though not a lawyer, I would struggle to understand how liabilities surrounding marijuana would be any different than what already exists with alcohol consumption)? Or perhaps there are legitimate concerns related to managing issues like the potential for, shall we say earthy, aromas to permeate a building and annoy other residents (more on that later)? All of which reminded me of pets and...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
most-effective-email.jpg I was talking with one of my clients about sales management, and the topic of how many unanswered follow ups are appropriate before declaring a lead to be 'lost'. He admitted his company had no standard, but surmised that if they did have one “It would be at least three, maybe four”. I generally agreed with him that three or four was reasonable, provided he added to that one more email or voicemail…the most powerful and effective email/voice mail in a salesperson’s bag of tricks. It’s so powerful that it can only be used once with a prospect; and like many powerful tools, using it too early will negate its power. What is this magical email or voicemail, you ask? Well it’s not really magical, but it does have strong results. We call it 'the break up email' and it goes something like this:   You’ve left some combination of four emails and/or voice mails (preferably a mix) with absolutely no response from the prospect. You don’t know if the lead is lost, and you’re clearly stuck. Leaving more messages would just be annoying, so it’s time to take control (one of the three Ts of InSite Selling). Send an email (or leave a voicemail) like this: Dear (name), Thanks again for your interest (fill in community name). In the past couple of weeks, I’ve made several attempts to contact you again to discuss this. I know you’re probably very busy, or you may no longer be interested in leasing a new...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Dear Gabby,   First off, I would like to put on the record that I LOVE being a property manager. I couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning and doing anything else. It’s like one of my favorite Quentin Tarantino quotes: “When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman.”   BUT… I do have some pet peeves and annoyances that have been building up recently. I wanted to see if you could list some common pet peeves in the industry so that I don’t feel as bad. I mean, if everyone is feeling the same way that I am, it can’t be rude...right?   I just want to make sure that I am normal and that I am not being overly picky or mean.   Sincerely, #SuperAnnoyedPropertyManager _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #SuperAnnoyedPropertyManager,     I TOTALLY get where you are coming from. Sometimes you just want be able to turn your work phone off like a normal 9-5er and head to the movies to see the new Star Wars movie with your kids. Instead, you’re getting calls and texts about a break-in, flooding, or a neighbor’s music.   The short answer to your question about pet peeves being a thing, is YES! We all have things that get on our nerves.   To make you feel better, here are the four pet peeves I hear about the most from property managers:   The questions that come up when screening residents Most property managers top pet peeve is when potential residents ask...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing

An article on how to lease to Baby Boomers is a shift isn’t it, from the normal focus on Millennials. Now some of you are thinking, “It’s about time we stopped focusing on those Millennials!!” While others of you are thinking, “Why would we focus on Baby Boomers?? They already own their homes!” The truth is while Millennials will continue to be a major force in the rental housing industry for years to come, Baby Boomers are still a crucial component of your success too. Did you know that over five million Baby Boomers (including current homeowners), aged 55 and over expect to rent again by 2020. (Source: FreddieMac) If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Many Baby Boomers have spent many, many years working hard, climbing the corporate ladder, raising children, while pursuing the “American Dream” of owning a home. And now many Baby Boomers want someone else to take care of things so they can enjoy the lives they’ve worked so hard to create. So what can you do to attract Boomer renters? I’m going to focus more on the “people” aspect here, since you may not be able to do something about the product or the price, depending on what you do at your company. But, you can control you, right?   So here is what you need to know. First, I want you to watch this classic Chrysler commercial with Ricardo Montalban…. Did you see how they compared a Chrysler to a Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce at the end? What...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
2017trends.png As we close out 2016 and look ahead to 2017, I can’t help but reflect on what I think some of the key multifamily trends will be. We make more of deal about the change from Dec 31 to Jan 1 than any other change from one day to the next, which in some ways makes for an artificial sense of “newness.” Yet at the same time, it’s useful to collectively assess where we are, where we want to go and what will help or hinder us on that journey. Here’s some thoughts on what I think will be some hot topics for 2017: 1. Soft or Hard Landing. No one disputes that we are past “peak YOY revenue growth.” The question is whether we can settle into several more years of near-historic growth or whether we will hit a national rental recession (we already have market recessions in cities like Houston and San Francisco). Since my crystal ball is particularly hazy on this one, I fall back on the mantra, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” I recently blogged on ways to deal with a down market, so check that out. 2. Rising Customer Expectations. It’s happening in every industry and ours is no exception. A combination of increasing disruption from technology and continued growth of affluence in major markets. Think about it. Last time I was in New York, I was amazed at how clean the taxi that I rode in was. Then I realized they...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  Pre-leasing may be the most important phase of a new development. If you don’t have compelling marketing, you won’t be able to persuade leads to lock down their units early, and owners and operators won’t hit their occupancy numbers. You can overcome the challenges presented by a multifamily lease-up by taking these nine critical steps while planning and executing your marketing strategy.   1. Build marketing momentum   To build marketing momentum, establish an inviting, branded website or landing page. If you’re using a corporate site or an independent listing service, consider creating your own website. You want leads to focus solely on your property. At a minimum, your home or landing page should ask leads for contact information and provide them guidance on the next steps in the leasing process.   2. Watch lead indicators   It seems intuitive that a new development will always attract the most leads but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Go beyond focusing on your absorption rate. Make sure your leasing velocity is heading in the right direction and that you have taken seasonality into account. Adjust your marketing strategy as necessary, and always look for market opportunities to boost revenue, either by increasing rents or decreasing the concessions you’re offering.   3. Nurture renter leads   Don’t let your lead list gather dust. Invite leads to upcoming events and develop an email strategy that provides them information that's particularly useful to them at each stage of the sales funnel.  Use email and social media to drive traffic to...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
bwki71ap-y8-tim-gouw.jpgPhone calls, emails, leasing tours, resident interactions...these are just a few of the things taking place in a leasing office on any given day. Leasing teams are the definition of walking, talking multitaskers —creating inefficiencies on the best days and organized chaos on the worst. With leasing quotas to reach and individual prospects/residents to manage, there’s often misalignment when it comes to big picture goals. Leasing can create a high-pressure environment, and there’s always room for more structure, organization, and team collaboration. Of all the many challenges arising in a leasing office environment, one of the most common questions we hear from multifamily portfolio managers is: “How can I empower my sales team to meet or exceed their goals on a regular basis?” With the rental market showing some signs of softening in recent months, it's more important than ever to maintain a leasing sales force that's motivated to crush their goals regularly. Here are some ideas on how to empower your leasing professionals in 2017 — and beyond.     1. Educate to Motivate   Knowledge is power. Power your leasing teams with meaningful insight into your leasing team’s goals on a day-to-day basis — not just the dollars and cents of them, but the how and why behind them, too. For example: How do their daily or weekly goals impact the community's long-term goals Why focusing on leasing two-bedrooms, rather than one-bedrooms, will make a more immediate impact this week In other words, what do these specific leasing goals mean - for the health...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
When you advertise an available apartment to rent, you hope to find a good fit — a qualified renter who appreciates the apartment, has a good job and would be a welcome addition to the rental community. When you have the good fortune of finding more than one qualified renter for a single apartment, how do you choose among them to select the right renter? Narrow Down Candidates With References and a Checklist No one likes to be turned down, especially for emotional situations like renting an apartment. Yet as landlord or property manager, you can only choose one lucky renter. Review the criteria you established to reduce the applicant pool. Do all applicants have the required minimum credit score? Does every applicant earn enough to pay the rent, using the general consideration that rent should take no more than one-third of a renter's income? Can everyone provide personal, employment or housing references? It's critical that you require all applicants to provide the same information; otherwise, you could be accused of housing discrimination. To protect yourself, write down the criteria used to screen applicants. As long as no question could be construed as violating the Fair Housing Act, you are in the clear. If one or two applicants do not provide the information you request, remove them from consideration. To whittle down the list further, call all references for a given renter, not just his or her last landlord or boss. Ask previous landlords if the applicant paid the rent on time. While an occasional late...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
bull-market.jpg Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen increasing evidence that the historically strong “bull market” in the multifamily industry is at or nearing its end. In January this year, I wrote a post aiming to identify where we likely were in the cycle. I concluded that we were anywhere between the “5th to 8th inning” of the cycle. Recent data from Axiometrics would indicate we’re likely in the 8th inning. Their report showed that U.S. rent growth has slowed to 3% in the third quarter (down from 5.2% a year earlier).  While that still remains above the historical long-term average of about 2%, it’s a trend worth noting, particularly given the steepness of the decline from the peak. The report shows that rent increases have been slowing for four consecutive quarters and key, traditionally strong markets like San Francisco, New York and Houston are seeing negative rent growth. Does this mean we’re heading to a big crash, or just a return to normalcy (rent growth closer to 2%)? The answer is that we’ll have to wait and see. What is clear is that markets are softening, supply continues to increase and we need to be prepared to compete in what will be, at the least, tougher environments than we’ve experienced in more than half a decade.   The more valuable question to focus on is what actions should we take to maintain strength regardless of the greater market? Here are the five things we recommend: Prepare Your Team Given the unusually long...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Why More Training Isn't Enough to Solve Your Multifamily Sales Problems Everyone wants positive sales numbers, right? After all, when leasing/sales numbers are strong, it means the overall financial health of the organization should also be strong. But what happens when those numbers aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be? How does leadership react? What steps are taken to improve results? In my experience, it is often tempting to reach for the ‘easy’ button…and believe “everything will improve if we just do more training!”   This request for additional training varies in focus; it might be a request or desire for training to help the leasing associates ‘close better’ or the training might take the form of a leasing ‘boot camp’ - an event meant to rally the leasing teams to improve overall results. Whatever the focus, the reality is when sales numbers aren’t where they need to be, the discussed solution within many multifamily leadership meetings evolves toward training. These leaders believe that if the leasing associates could only ‘close’ better, then results will improve. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Yes. Training is part of the overall sales/leasing equation. However, improving sales performance requires a lot more than just training the teams. The journey a prospective resident goes through when they are looking for a new home involves many elements. And, as you can see from the graphic below, the last mile of the journey from lead to signed lease is certainly not a straight line; instead it is often a complex journey with many touchpoints. And while training is part of that journey,...