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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Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   Parking. It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare. So many problems arise between us and our residents because of it. Trying to having enough spots, regulating who parks where, I can’t seem to keep everyone happy. Please help!   Sincerely,   #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne     Dear #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne,     Ah yes, parking is a perennial problem property managers face. It seems like every multifamily community just turns into parking lot tetris (not as fun as it sounds).   Unfortunately, property managers are responsible for dealing with the neverending parking struggle. Adequate parking at rental properties is one of the most important amenities for residents and can be the make or break for some when it comes to signing or renewing their lease. After all, parking is what cars do most of the time. In fact, the average automobile spends 95 percent of its time sitting in place. People buy cars because they need to move around, but the amount of time they actually do move around is tiny.   Providing parking is important. Luckily, you have me to help you navigate the treacherous roads (pun intended) of multifamily parking.   Property managers who want to keep their residents happy and reduce conflict between neighbors should have a clearly defined parking plan for their property. Here are some things to consider:   Assigned Parking Spaces: To make sure that all residents in your multifamily housing community have plenty of parking for their own vehicles, there should be assigned parking spaces. Many...

Posted by on in Property Management
For an end of the year report, I pulled some data on the number of move ins for my group. While the results are good, and show some occupancy improvement..I’m all about the next step. What can I learn from the data? What do reports tell us about our performance? When a property is performing well, occupancy is strong, and rent collection is excellent. It becomes increasingly difficult to expect continued improvement. Or so I thought. The first report that I reviewed provided a list of the total number of applications received during 2016. Adding a filter identifies the number of approved applications. Then the reality check. The number of approved applications was almost double the number of move ins. Literally 100’s of approved applications never became move ins.  Somehow they fall between the cracks of our daily busy-ness.  They never became our residents. They didn’t add to our rent revenue or occupancy number. Individuals had enough interest to pay the application fee, obtain the thumbs up for approval. Then…..lost…..stolen by aliens? This is not Area 51 in the desert. Low Hanging Fruit Its alarming and comforting. How could we have not done the follow-up to secure the move ins? But once again, the low hanging fruit shows us the opportunity for improvement. It’s certainly not impossible. We already have everything we need to increase the occupancy. Now, we need a process to follow-up on the approved applications. For my group, 20 apartments will grow our occupancy 1%. Thinking that...

Posted by on in Property Management
Charlie thought he’d found the perfect apartment community in a booming Denver neighborhood. It was located near a popular jogging and biking trail, and the twenty-something fitness enthusiast envisioned lots of long, health-boosting runs in the Colorado sunshine. But a low credit score and poor rental payment history unraveled his rental application. Spending his young adulthood being a little too careless about paying his bills and rent put his chosen lifestyle in jeopardy. Credit scores can have an impact on many aspects of life. But a large number of apartment residents aren’t aware of how a low credit score or an insufficient credit history can hamper their ability to make significant purchases. A good credit history is a major factor in securing mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and, yes, apartment homes. With low vacancy rates across much of the nation, apartment communities — especially higher-end properties — are requiring stronger credit history and higher credit scores to lease an apartment. And with more and more multifamily communities reporting their residents’ rental payment history to credit bureaus, leasing teams now have an additional method of determining which prospects are most likely to pay their rent on time and in full each month. Put bluntly, a less-than-stellar credit score and a spotty payment history means applicants might be less likely to land their desired home in today’s marketplace. But poor credit scores do more than harm the apartment residents themselves. It’s well-documented that the lower a renter’s credit score, the less likely he...

Posted by on in Property Management
Weekend hours Is your leasing center open on Saturday, possibly even Sunday? Many are open on the weekend.  It’s a great opportunity for future residents to have time to explore and investigate possible options for their new homes. Usually weekday leasing appointments are crunched between transportation pick ups, lunch hours and errands.  This limits the time available, putting a quick end to a visit. Too often, weekend hours are viewed a punishment to a property for not achieving an occupancy goal. The team needs to understand and appreciate the hours of operation.   Actually, Saturday and Sunday hours can be very productive to finalize decisions on leases, and complete lease renewals.  Assigned to the leasing office for the weekend schedule can be the best opportunity to lease. Customer Service Multifamily housing is a customer service industry. We provide homes, and we service those homes. This requires us to be open and available to provide service when needed by our customer. Our customers are current residents as well as prospective residents Setting up the schedule for Saturday hours often involves assigning the newest team member to cover this assignment. Tenured staff members will say, “I’ve paid my dues. I don’t or shouldn’t have to work the weekend schedule.” Teams I’ve worked with, usually have a revolving schedule to cover weekends. This is more difficult on smaller properties, with less staff. Why Are We Open? Weekend hours are not simply covering the office IN CASE a prospect might stop by. In addition to the appointments that...

Posted by on in Property Management
I was enjoying lunch last week at Benihana with our awesome chef, Hori. He was great, flipping and flying food with the best of them. Sadly, Hori had to deal with two high maintenance and very unhappy people. (Not us, we were delightful-don’t be silly.)   “We don’t want sauce.” “Add this sauce.” “More garlic butter.” “More this, more that…” Complain, huff, deep sighs. I felt badly for Hori, as did my dining companion who heard more than I did. Hori, though, rolled with flow, stayed professional, dignified, and kept plugging away doing his job like the rockstar he clearly is.   As is the usual, once your onion-volcano-making, shrimp-tail-flipping, clickety-clacking, food-flying chef is done, he’s off to another table to wow those guests and add more shrimp tails to his hat. After he left, the two at our table (or for the fancy reader … hibachi) went on a rant with the server about Hori.   Because, as previously mentioned, we were delightful, we stayed after to tell the server how great Hori was. We found out the other guests had complained about Hori and his awful service, saying he was “too old and should retire.” Can you imagine? Apparently, they “get stuck with him all the time.” All I could think was thank goodness I’m not in a customer service role like that.   Then it occurred to me. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, everyone is in customer service. Everyone you deal with is a...

Posted by on in Property Management
As the curtains draw on yet another eventful year in the rental industry, our eyes turn towards 2017 with excitement and optimism. 2016 has seen the industry go through many milestones, with the latest and one of the most critical ones being the hotly contested U.S. presidential election- which going by previous predictions, would have seen a slump in the rental and overall real estate appreciation rates. Fortunately, despite a tight, uncertain race, the industry has remained stable, and tenants continue taking up properties even in some of the previously dormant market areas. With that out of the way, 2017 is expected to be very stable, with almost no risk of a crash downturn. Rental markets in areas like New York, Miami, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Los Angeles and Dallas, are expected to be particularly strong, aided by: Donald Trump’s proposed approach to “draining the swamp” Overall outlook of the US economy. It’s predicted to enjoy a mild cyclical rebound in 2017 Cost of production pushed up by labor shortages Government deregulation trends The rise of millennials as prime renters Gradually rising mortgage rates Evidently, the market is yours for the taking. However, to fully benefit from the recent uptake in rental units, you need to start the New Year with a solid strategy seeking to fuel persistent growth through the next 12 months. And that should form the bulk of your New Year’s resolutions. To help you track and implement them adequately, we’ve kept them brief and actionable, focusing only the most...

Posted by on in Property Management
With just 23,000,000 landlords serving over 110,000 renters in the United States, one thing is clear- the rental market is doing really well. As a matter of fact, there are more than 2600 new renters every day. Going by these figures, you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive tons of tenancy applications for a good, strategically priced piece of property. Unfortunately, this presents a challenge, combing through all the applications to weed out the ne’er do wells. Of course no one would want to deal with a troublesome tenant, right? Well, strangely, 23% of landlords do not even bother to conduct credit checks on their applicants, and 49% do not get in touch with past landlords or other references provided. If you thought that’s bad enough, 66% don’t conduct Sex Offender Registry checks. Of course this is great news to shady characters, but potentially detrimental to landlords and other tenants. While a couple of landlords claim that they fail to conduct comprehensive checks because they simply don’t have the time and resources, many of them admit that they just don’t know how to do it. So, how do you effectively screen your tenants legally? Federal Laws on Discrimination We agree that sometimes tenant screening may feel like some form of discrimination, especially to prospective tenants who are eliminated. It’s actually an elimination process, which can only be described as “discrimination” when a landlord breaks any of the discrimination laws. At a time when “discrimination” is progressively gaining a bad flavor in American mouths, it’s critically important for landlords and property...

Posted by on in Property Management
December is a busy month. There are office parties. End-of-year sales. Holidays. (Plus don’t forget December birthdays! Although everyone always does anyway. Sigh. I’m going to pour one out for my homies, my fellow forgotten Sagittariuses.) And, of course, all of the tips and presents.   Read on for the full blog....

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby, I knew being a property manager isn’t easy, but it’s proving to be a lot harder than I imagined. There are so many responsibilities to balance, but I’m still determined to be the best in the biz. Any tips? Sincerely, #IWannaBeTheVeryBest     Dear #IWannaBeTheVeryBest, So you want to be a perfect property manager eh? The property management world can be highly rewarding one, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. I’ve been working in the industry long enough to know what personalities and skill sets are better suited for this line of work. Just call me the Mr. Miyagi of property management. Learn how to focus on your goals and start with the basics. The rest will follow. Afterall, someone who can catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks can accomplish anything (note: this is not an official requirement of being a good property manager, but it would make for a killer party trick). It may seem like you have a long path ahead of you, but have patience young grasshopper. Let’s start with some of the imperative qualities of today’s successful property managers: 1. Communication A property manager must have excellent communication skills. Residents must be able to reach the property manager for emergency and non-emergency related issues. Keeping the lines of communication open can be challenging when the phones are ringing, your email inbox is full, and residents and potential residents alike are lined up at your desk, but it’s important to do so if...

Posted by on in Property Management
I'm a huge fan of charitable works. I’d love to have been Mother Teresa if I could…except for the whole being a nun thing. I really like my husband and son and would have hated missing out on that! (And let’s not even go into my whole shoe and purse obsession, neither of those I’m sure would help with my nunley duties.) Three years ago, my company’s Core Values were a huge part of why I decided to work for Steadfast. Proceed with Integrity (I like where they’re going with this) Value People (Excellent I’m a person and I LOVE being valued) Embrace Opportunities (Tell me more…) Pursue Excellence (Totally in my wheelhouse) Do Good as We Do Well (YESSSSS) Are you kidding me? Each of these on their own as a company’s core value is pretty great, but all together? I’m in! This last one though, Do Good as We Do Well, is what I want to talk about today. At our annual holiday party, our company unveiled our new VTO opportunity. Volunteer Time Off. Not content to just put Do Good as We Do Well on our business cards, stationery and website, they put their money where their mouth is. Starting January, 2017, in addition to our holidays and our regular PTO, every employee is being given two days of VTO a year to do volunteer work. EVERY. EMPLOYEE. Anyone who wants gets two days to go out and do good. Obviously, there are some rules. You can’t use a day of the...