I am on the board of our local association and can't agree more. Now to figure out how to reach and ...
Danielle Noel
Couldn't agree more, Jason! And speaking of outlets, why aren't more USB outlets being installed the...

Training Trivia

Maintenance costs associated with a student property are typically lower than conventional communities.

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Scheduling conflicts are one of the biggest reasons leasing agents are losing out on leases. Prospects can lead busy lives. This makes it difficult for them to make it in during standard office hours. You can either lose the prospect or be on call 24/7. If that sounds familiar, I have some good news. Meetings do not have to be done in person. They can be done over the phone. You can also solve this problem with technology. As much as technology continues to advance, it amazes me how many people don't realize its potential. You can use software to stay in touch with prospects. You can even lease apartments without an in-person meeting. There are several ways to do this, but we are going to focus on ooVoo. -------What is ooVoo?ooVoo is a video chat software. It makes staying in touch and answering your prospects questions easier than ever. ooVoo allows you to do live video chats with your prospects. This eliminates the need to do meetings in person. That is not even the best part. In November of 2015, ooVoo released its web client. You can now implement the live chat feature into your website. Meetings can be set up and done online. Simply set ooVoo up on your website, then give prospects the link. They visit the website at the time of the meeting to start the video chat. The mobile app allows you conduct video meetings from your smartphone or tablet. -------Why Use Software?ooVoo and similar software...

Posted by on in Property Management
Determining property value is one of the great difficulties faced by multi-resident housing investors. Many investors have previous experience with other types of real estate, typically residential homes or duplexes. However, the methods used to value those properties are different and often much simpler than the methods needed to value multifamily. For example, it is generally quite easy to find the fair market value of a single family residence by using a comparative sales approach. However, investors and appraisers use a variety of techniques to determine the fair value of a multi-resident property. Among these methods, The Rule of 150 is one of the most common. What is The Rule of 150? The Rule of 150 applies to the operational profitability of a multifamily property. It suggests that for each additional $1 in monthly NOI (net operating income), the value of the property is increased by approximately $150. This rise in NOI can come in one of two ways: increasing income or decreasing expenses. How does it work? Unlike the comparative sales approach mentioned above, multifamily property valuations are primarily a function of the CAP (capitalization) rate. This method maintains that by improving the financial operation of a building, this will in turn improve its overall value and equity. The following terms and formulas will help to explain further: NOI = income minus operating expenses Capitalization Rate = a measure of the income produced by an apartment building divided by the cost of the building Simple CAP Rate Formula: Capitalization Rate = NOI/Building Value So as an example, if a property generates an annual...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
CIOs, if you haven’t heard the pleas from your facility’s team to move away from traditional lock and key systems then surely you’ve heard them lament the hassles. In the era of smart homes and ultra connectivity, old-school locks that require keys seem laborious and antiquated. Who can blame them? Replacing keys, re-keying locks, managing the keys—it feels like a lot of busy work. And it is, especially when there is a more streamlined approach to the whole key management effort. While key-related processes may not be your top concern, managing qualified information systems is. If you haven’t considered smart locks a priority for your multi-family property, maybe it’s time you take another look. New systems have been developed that make life easier for property managers, residents and even you. Intrigued? Keep reading. Open architecture streamlines property systems. Smart lock systems designed with an open architecture platform help properties streamline processes. More to the point, these high-tech locks can integrate into existing third-party software enabling you to place the functionality and analysis of another key aspect of your business at your fingertips. Choose your own platform. Smart locks built on an open architecture platform give you complete freedom to use the best third-party access management software for your properties’ needs. No need to change existing management infrastructure when making the switch to smart locks. Thanks to the cloud, it is possible to manage your property’s marketing, bank ledger, credentials and more from a single system. They are a problem solver. Smart locks and credentials...

Posted by on in Student Housing
I'm at Starbucks almost every day. It's not because I'm rolling in the dough. Starting your own business means you have to be scrappy. You have to tighten up your belt. Nope, I still pay almost double for my morning cup of Joe because Starbucks pays attention to the small details.  Starbucks, in other words, is premium. Think about those two things for a second. One, offering premium services means a hyper focused attention to small details. And two, people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for your product if you do.  Here's my typical experience when I go hang out at Starbucks. Logistics Design: I walk in and order my coffee. The line is usually short but, when it's not, it moves quickly. Since I'm ordering a drip coffee, they immediately pour it for me when I get to the register. I don't have to wait behind someone that ordered a double frappuccino with skim milk, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I hand the card to the Barista (instead of having slide the card myself.), no "debit or credit" question, no entering in a pin, no waiting for the software to log onto the internet. Nope, just hand my card, they hand it right back. Done. That is not an accident. That is a well planned logistic design strategy.  Interior Design: I grab my venti cup, walk over to a table and place my backpack on the back-end of the seat. A seat that is purposely heavier than normal chairs so the weight of my bag...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Epoxy pipe lining is often viewed as an alternative to replacing the old piping with a completely new system.  In theory, the lining process involves coating the inside of the pipes with an epoxy resin to seal off pinholes and corrosion, creating a lasting solution to solving your pipe problems.  That’s the theory. In practice, the challenges with epoxy are numerous: For one, there is no way to know how well the epoxy adhered to the inside of the pipe, and if an even coat was achieved, without cutting into the pipe. Second, if a leak occurs at a future date, repairing an epoxy-lined pipe is very difficult. The resin cannot take heat, and application of a torch to try and solder in a new piece of pipe or a fitting ruins the integrity of the lining at that location. Likewise, use of a “press-fit” connection (the solution by many epoxy companies for epoxy-lined pipe repairs) may crack the epoxy lining at the point of the repair, allowing water to get between the pipe and the lining, further corroding the pipe. The initial epoxy lining process itself creates a certain amount of pressure on the pipe walls, and may blow out at weak spots or threaded areas. And lastly, critical elements of the piping system are often excluded in an epoxy lining job. Because of these challenges, SageWater encounters failed epoxy lining jobs, or partially completed epoxy lining jobs, that now require a full pipe replacement.  These, as well as other...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
In my research I believe there are two distinct communication styles that people have. Last time we talked about the Direct Communicators. ​Direct Communicators are people who “Say what they mean-and mean what they say!” You will typically know what a DC is trying to communicate to you because there is no ambiguity or lack of clarity in their communication style. Direct Communicators say “My words are my words!” Lucy Van Pelt from the Peanuts comic strip is a great example of a Direct Communicator! (And no...I'm not saying that all DC's are loud, bossy and obnoxious like Lucy!)    On the other end of the spectrum are INDIRECT COMMUNICATORS. In contrast to Direct Communicators, Indirect Communicator’s words often do NOT reflect what they really feel, mean or want to say. If WORDS are the way Direct Communicators communicate, Indirect Communicators communicate through their body language, expressions, and mannerisms. Let me give you an example…Let’s pretend that a Direct Communicator (DC) and an Indirect Communicator (IC) want to go to lunch. DC: “I’m feeling like Mexican food today. Does that sound good to you?”IC: (Fidgets, crosses arms, looks away) “Uh…I just had Mexican yesterday. Did you hear about the new Chinese place down the street? BUT, if you’d really like Mexican, I guess I’m okay with that.”DC: “Awesome! Let’s go.”IC: Sighs (internally) and goes to eat Mexican food, and is NOT happy about it! Later on that same day...The Indirect Communicator meets up with a fellow Indirect Communicator and is ready to explode! IC: You’ll never believe what happened at lunch today!IC2: What?IC: You know...

Posted by on in Property Management
Six words or less!   This month, we challenged our property management leaders to tell us in their own words what their superpower is. Why they are successful—in six words or less (most made it within six words). We had so many insightful, smart and passionate answers. Our leaders have summed up those key skills that have made the difference between leaders and great leaders: Leadership, Learning, Customer Service, Passion, Teamwork, and Hard Work and Values.   Here’s what they shared:   Leadership: ·         Hire character, personality, & work ethic.  ANNA BANKSTON ·         Be available to your team! MONIQUE PINEDA ·         Lead with empathy, and by example. SARA BURROW ·         Authentic, adaptable, engaging, integrity, impact and influence. SANDRA MORFIN ·         The ability to negotiate successfully. CATHY STALLINGS ·         Lead by example! SUSAN SCHNEBERGER ·         Surround yourself with the right people. ANNA BANKSTON ·         You MANAGE things; You LEAD people. ISABEL ALVAREZ   Learning ·         Always be eager to learn! HEATHER HOVINEN ·         Never stop learning or teaching. VICTORIA WILKINS ·         Asking questions & time management! CANDACE GREEN ·         Great mentors & coaches. MESHA GILBERT   Customer Service ·         Patience is key. Value people. FAITH EVANS ·         Patience and a Smile. RAVEN SHARP ·         Listen… SMILE… be tactful… eat chocolate! LORI HERRERA ·         Be good to yourself, your team & your residents! MELINDA SHEA ·         Customer service is always #1! GRISELDA MURO ·         Compassion and listening skills are paramount. SUSAN SANSBURY ·         Great Customer Service is your most valuable asset. DIANNA WINGO...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
I was not a happy camper my first year of marriage. I thought it was boring. It got much better once the kids came along and married life turned into family life! In any event, I had to find a way to fill my time in between, so I chose teaching and was, it turned out, pretty good at it. However, even after a few years teaching kindergarten, I longed for a little bit more, so when the administration created a new position as the school’s Art Director, and they asked me to take it, I was apprehensive, but thrilled for the challenge. Turns out, having the opportunity to create a whole new curriculum where none existed before was the best thing to stimulate my growth as a leader. An entirely new opportunity to set the stage for learning was my perfect world. Our school was the first of its kind in offering art education to children from preschool to kindergarten age, so it became my responsibility to share that knowledge with everyone else in our state. This meant that I would have to actually teach the adults by presenting at professional development conferences. Now that I am in the multifamily/property management world, I crave those opportunities to learn anything new! One of the best ways for us to receive any level of professional development is through the Apartment Associations, either at the local, state, or national level. It is vital that our onsite teams be given the opportunity to participate...

Posted by on in Student Housing
NIMBY [nim-bee]: An acronym standing for not in my backyard. It’s commonly used to express opposition by a group of people towards the development of a residential, commercial or civic project, such as student housing. In such a circumstance, the group believes that the project will have adverse effects on the surrounding community, often leading to decreased property values. In many cases, these community members identify the need for such a project, but prefer it be developed outside of their neighborhood.   So how does NIMBYism relate to student housing? To start, it’s a relatively common occurrence for local or neighborhood collectives to voice opposition towards the development of major student housing projects, citing reasons such as increased noise, decreased property values and vandalism. Many groups often paint a pretty negative portrayal of student housing.   This sense of NIMBYism is often echoed through media channels, as these stories are picked up because they stir up a lot of controversy and attention. Almost every other week there is a story about student housing being opposed or rejected. Here are just a few examples:  Concerns over new student housing development near McGill Student-housing plan faces opposition in Fort Collins Homeowners complain of student housing growth in Hamilton Purpose-built student housing will not be permitted in the downtown urban core   While scanning student housing news, it quickly becomes clear that NIMBYism is a big problem in this sector.   One of the most troublesome things about NIMBYism in student housing is how the opinions of...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Multifamily Insights Gleaned From NMHC.. Are we in the 7th Inning? I recently attended the NMHC annual meeting, and the effects of what is likely to be the biggest and longest bull run in multifamily housing in my career were certainly evident. In several conversations, I shared a belief that no one really knows how long this run will last. It seems like everyone likes using the baseball analogy, saying “we’re in the 7th inning.” However, I don’t think that’s the result of strong analysis. Rather, it’s simply a reflection that saying anything like the 3rd or 5th inning implies a Pollyanna-ish view since no one believes a run like this will last 5 or more years, while saying it’s the 9th inning would ignore current job growth and imply that a housing recession is just a quarter or two away. So being the data driven person I am, and using 3Q 2009 as the start of the current run (rents bottomed out in 2Q 2009), here’s what the baseball analogy portends depending on what inning you think we’re in (and presuming we’re “in the middle” of each inning): Inning Proj End      1 4Q71      2 3Q40      3 2Q30      4 1Q25      5 4Q21      6 4Q19      7 2Q18      8 2Q17      9 2Q16 While a perception that we are in the 7th inning is reasonable, anything from the 5th to the 8th seems plausible to me. With interest rates low, job growth strong, macro-demographics in our...