Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!
Multifamily Blogs
  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
In the previous article, Jake and I discussed incompetent team members and signing an exclusive with a broker. In this article, we are going to tackle two problems and one potential value-add that we faced early on in our investing career. One situation was unavoidable, and the other could have been avoided if we planned correctly. We stumbled upon the value-add with utilities, nevertheless, it has been a vital component to our success as multifamily operators.   Let me recap the 13 mistakes: Nightmare manager Unscrupulous mortgage broker Incompetent team member Sub-par employees Deceased tenant Bed bugs Septic systems Safety net Long-term holdings Signing an exclusive with a broker Utilities Capital expenditures Negotiation Deceased tenant If you own an extensive portfolio of properties, chances are, at some point, you’re unfortunately going to have to deal with this sad situation. We’ve dealt with it ourselves; we just didn’t expect it to happen with our first deal.The tenant had been living at the property when we acquired it. We owned the property for only six months when the property manager entered the apartment and found the tenant deceased in the living room. We were completely shocked and saddened. The police were called, the woman was taken away, and we were told not to allow anyone in the apartment until after an investigation was completed.All of a sudden, family members started coming out of the woodwork trying to lay claim to this poor woman’s possessions, but we were adamant that no one was allowed...

Posted by on in Property Management
Rejection I just finishing reading “Rejection Proof” by Jia Jiang. The author created a personal challenge to overcome his fear of rejection. He created one hundred scenarios where he was likely to be rejected. This would give him experience with rejection.  It would prepare him to pursue entrepreneurial efforts, where he would likely experience repeated rejection. Throughout his journey, the author is mystified when presented with even the most ridiculous request; more times than not, the response is a YES, not the expected NO. Overcoming The Fear of Rejection Brings Results The opportunities to apply his experiences with leasing and property management are striking. With every prospect to lease an apartment, or any resident presented with a renewal offer.  The desired outcome is a Yes, I will lease the apartment, or renew my lease.  But we are, also facing the possibility of rejection. Touring a prospect, the desired outcome is the YES decision to lease an apartment.  The conclusion of the tour is time to ask for a decision.  Instead the prospect is given an application or a brochure, with a comment, “Call or come back if you’re interested.”  Asking for a decision, opens the door for the answer to possibly be NO. As a manager, I have reviewed many mystery sales shopping reports. This involves a mystery shopper calling and possibly touring an apartment community.  This provides an evaluation on the leasing presentation.  The most important question, “Were you asked to lease the apartment?”  The checkbox is sadly marked “no.”...

Posted by on in Property Management
Paying a property management company might seem like a needless extra expense at first blush. But, before you dive into managing your own investment properties, consider a few ways property managers can use their resources and experience to actually boost your profits. Save time, save money. Some tenants are easy-going and can handle minor property maintenance and small repairs. Others are more high-maintenance. Spend time working or with family rather than hanging light bulbs, greasing squeaky hinges, and trimming bushes at the rental property. Save on maintenance and repair costs. Property managers regularly employ bonded and insured contractors and maintenance staff. The volume of maintenance and repair work that property managers handle means they pay less, understand the work, and can supervise effectively. Collect rent without a runaround. Property managers handle all collections and any legal issues that arise from nonpayment, including eviction. Keep properties rented. Management companies vet tenants to find the best ones, keep tenants longer than owner-managers do, and keep vacancies to a minimum. Managers set a fair rent for your property and market it effectively to attract the best tenants. Maximize property values. Management companies know all about the best improvements you can make for your money to improve its actual market value. They'll share that knowledge with clearly written, easy to understand proposals that are tailor-made to increase your profit margin. Simplify income taxes. Property management contract payments are actually tax-deductible expenses. A good property manager also keeps all your paperwork and receipts in one place,...

Posted by on in Miscellaneous
Apparently when we planned our November schedule, we forgot about the old adage, "Don't bite off more than you can chew."  Fortunately, we have a great team that can pull it off!  Since we have a lot of things going on, I thought it would be best to share everything here so nobody misses a beat.   How To Deliver Bad News November 2, 2016 Presented by Lisa Trosien One of the worst (but most necessary parts) of the job as a property professional is delivering news that the recipient really doesn't want to hear. From telling someone they will be evicted to correcting a staff person's behavior, these situations can be really difficult! Learn how to handle these meetings more easily. From pre-meeting prep to follow up, this session will take you through the difficult path to delivering bad news.   Mastering Maintenance: Seven Fair Housing Pitfalls Your Service Team Must Avoid November 8, 2016 Presented by Doug Chasick Since Maintenance Professionals have more direct and close contact with residents than any other staff person, going in and out of residences and working throughout a property, they have great exposure when it comes to fair housing compliance. We’ll look at specific situations and interactions in which Maintenance Professionals need to be aware and have strategies to navigate the potential pitfalls of any situation – and give you those strategies.   Followership: How Dynamic and Trustworthy Followers Create Successful and Effective Leaders November 16, 2016 Presented by Rick Ellis Never be...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
pexels-photo-29594-large.jpgIf you’ve come across this article, you’re likely one of the many multifamily professionals trying to find better, faster ways to get new potential renters through your door - muting occupancy and exposures concerns in the process. Call scoring is the one definite solution. This forward-thinking feature gives multifamily organizations a consistent, monitored pulse on leasing performance while using qualifying questions to advance the sales process. By incorporating a lead management platform that includes call scoring, you are solving more problems than just your occupancy woes. You’re developing your people, your brand, and your customer service efforts. If you are a multifamily professional who is on the fence about whether or not to include call scoring and call monitoring in your property management sales process, this blog is for you. In this article, we discuss the seven advantages of using call monitoring and lead scoring in your leasing offices.    1. Improves customer service and satisfaction Customer service and satisfaction can often time be the deciding factor between two choices that are otherwise equal. With accountability and sales process standards at the forefront, leasing teams are put in the best possible position to win over renters considering other communities.    2. Pinpoints leasing performance strengths and weaknesses  Call quality data can easily identify how well your team is interacting with every incoming prospect on a rated scale - transforming the way property and portfolio managers are now looking at leasing analytics. Key qualifying questions (such as asking: the prospect’s name, move-in date, floor plan preference, and appointment) are identified...

Posted by on in Property Management
b2ap3_thumbnail_building-leasing-apartments-rainmaker.jpg Every multifamily executive knows that when it comes to analyzing property performance, they need to look beyond the basics like vacancy rates, lead generation, and operating costs. Conducting an accurate assessment of how well a property is performing demands in-depth investigation into multiple metrics and data streams to establish an accurate overall snapshot of both current conditions, and the long-term potential for future opportunities. The real challenge in evaluating property performance lies in the analytics - finding the right metrics, knowing how to weight their values, and understanding how to implement meaningful changes where necessary.   Measure Performance With RPU Revenue per unit (RPU) gathers historical performance data directly from the property management systems of participating apartment communities. From there, the data provides apartment owner/operators with a consistent and standardized means to compare the achieved revenues of their communities against those of other properties in their markets. Using RPU as a performance metric provides a unique benchmark for owner/operators. Most apartment companies today use a wide array of data sources, including secret shops, REIT filings and even calls to competitors in an effort to benchmark the performance of their communities against competitors. One challenge to this is that some of this information is gathered based on asking rents rather than collected rents. This current method also relies on manual data entry and phone calls, resulting in a greater chance of potential errors and discrepancies. Asking rents often differ from what communities actually collect from residents. Additionally, this methodology doesn't account for the rent...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
You’ve officially made it past the hard part of getting residents to visit your website. They’re so impressed with the high-quality photographs of the properties on your user-friendly website along with the listed amenities and benefits of living there that they’ve requested information! You have the potential resident’s full attention, and now is the most important time to clinch the lease by sending them an effective, straightforward series of emails that is guaranteed to seal the deal.   The best way to do this is to automate the email process in a way that will simplify transactions for you, but still give possible leasees the feeling that they have received a personalized message that will leave them both informed and excited to sign a lease at your property. At Trimark Properties in Gainesville, Florida, we use email strategies to broaden the reach of the persuasive marketing of our website and to communicate with prospective tenants who have indicated interested in our properties. We have found that the following four guidelines have made it simple for property management firms to implement effective email marketing campaigns to convince potential residents to lease at their property. 1.) Add a simple “Request Information” form on your website that will notify you immediately when someone has asked for additional information about one of your properties. Including the ability on your website for potential residents to request information through email by submitting their contact information and any questions they might have has two major advantages. First...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Today I'm going to write a blog without offering a solution, which I'm sure will annoy some of you, but hopefully we can get some brave people to chime in within the comments!  And what I want to discuss is the human element to our amenities.  Here's what I mean by that:  Take an outdoor space, as beautiful as can be, and in one scenario, fill that space up with a group of fun, lively people having a good time.  In another scenario, remove all the people so it completely empty.  Do both of those scenarios using the same amenity have the same impact? For those of you who follow my updates, you know that I like to take my laptop and work at Starbucks, as my work can be anywhere that has Wi-Fi.  Near where I live was a wonderful coffee shop with fast Wi-Fi, good coffee, and a great ambiance.  It had a great mix of comfortable chairs and desks for those who were more work-oriented.  BUT, it lacked one thing:  people!  So while I absolutely loved almost everything about it, it just seemed dead and stale.  When you have a social-based location without people, it lacks a sort of social validation, and it is hard to get momentum, because nobody wants to be the first to stick around.  I remember throwing parties in my younger years, and you always needed a certain number of people already present to validate that the party was worth as proof for the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   I haven’t been getting much sleep recently. I am not sure if it was in anticipation for the premiere of the Walking Dead or because I am struggling with lease expirations at my community. Should I be looking at the market? At my units? Or just letting my residents (or soon to be residents) choose the lease term that they prefer?   ...HELP!   Sincerely, #AWalkingDeadFanWithAProblem   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear#AWalkingDeadFanWithAProblem,   Don’t worry, lease expiration management (LEM) is a tough thing for most property managers to get a grasp on. Similar to how I can’t get a grasp on the size of my closet...I keep buying shoes thinking I have room for them only to realize my closest is already full. If you or a friend happen to have some closet space available, help a sister out.   Anyways...Here is a quick list of best practices that I usually follow:   Limit/Expand Term End Dates: To ensure that your community/building doesn’t empty out at the same time, you should stagger end dates in your leases. You can stagger based on apartment type so that you always have a variety of layouts for people to choose from or you can stagger based on lease signing.   You can also include a month-to-month option. This will aid people during their decision process. If they don’t have to sign a lease right away, they may move in, only to think about their options and realize they want to sign a lease...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Whether you manage the finances of a large multifamily apartment building company or you own a small company that contracts work for specific multi-unit building projects, finding ways to save money is probably on your dreaded “to-do” list. Since prime building season is coming to a close (at least in the north), maybe it’s time to consider researching a new strategy that will help builders save money. A little reading could really go a long way, so stick it out and read through to the end; you just mind find that this strategy will get your budget back in shape. How do Builders Make Money? In short, there are certain professions that are more lucrative than others for two reasons; first, no one wants to do it, and second, no one CAN do it. But you can. And that’s how you make money as a builder. Yes, there are multifamily building companies that turn up left and right, but it’s the experience that really sets you apart from others. The more you have to show for previous work, the more money you can charge. And don’t worry about quoting the lowest price to land a project, because if a company or land owner hires you because you are the “cheapest”, well then they are probably not the type of people that you want to work with. So, after getting a little background out of the way and without further ado, let’s delve into the one sure way that home builders can...