I am a Property Manager. I ran a student property - UCR - University of CA Riverside, for 5...
I believe using the right survey methodology and asking the right questions is the key to obtaining ...

Training Trivia

Which of the following practices is permissible and in accordance with Federal Fair Housing law when managing student housing communities?

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Have you ever noticed that all great leaders are supported by a great team? I can’t think of a single great leader I have worked for who didn’t have a sixth sense about talent - they all had a knack for building teams that surpassed most other leaders I have observed.  But, is it really a sixth sense? Or, is it a skill built and refined over years of trials and tribulations? The truth is, it may be a little of both. I’ve met great talent evaluators over the years. Some of them had the skill wired at an early age. I’m sure they were better at evaluating talent in their 20’s and 30’s than they were in their teens, but they seemed to have been born with this precious skill. I’ve also met leaders who, quite frankly, weren’t very good at evaluating talent while they were in their 20’s. Many of these leaders, however, improved at this skill over time. These leaders are now top notch talent evaluators, and they are incredibly successful leaders because of it.  I’ve learned many lessons either by direct conversation with these leaders or by observation of their habits over time. The six that highlight how these leaders build great teams include: 1. The fit with the team is vital to the success of the candidate Have you ever noticed that the most overall talented team rarely wins the trophy? This year the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, last year it was...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
On January 01, 2016 the open carry law goes into affect in Texas. If the communities want to restrict open carry, they must have a sign posted. The sign must be at least 33" x 33" with 1" block lettering.
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Posted by on in Miscellaneous
I don’t have any advice about marketing, customer service, online reputation, apartment leasing, Craigslist posting or any of my other favorite topics today. Today I want to talk about how important it is as humans to give back to others. Doing good as we do well. This is one of our company’s core values. It was actually one of the most important ones to me when I was considering going to work here. The knowledge that giving back is important here was a game-changer for me. Many of our onsite teams make it a priority to get out in their communities and give their time and resources. I love receiving the photos and stories of our teams serving meals, collecting clothing and food, hosting blood drives, making blessing packages and so much more.  Last week, we kicked off our annual fall charity event at our Corporate Office. The whole company goes crazy for this event. In the past, we have had carnival fundraisers, office bake sales (lunch sales, soda sales, you name it) and team building contests to earn money for our different charities. This year we’ve been given a huge opportunity. We are privileged to be working directly with the charities themselves; to plan events, serve meals, do fun things with kids, help seniors, paint, repair homes, pretty much anything they need. What an amazing blessing to work directly with the people we’re helping. To actually make a difference in the life of someone. Many someones. Heck yes, I’m in! The various charities...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
There’s no question that exceptional customer service leads to increased resident retention. However, according to the NAA Survey of Operating Income and Expenses1, the resident satisfaction rate over the last three years has remained fairly constant at about 76 percent, but residents’ intent to renew declined from 58 percent to 53 percent over the same period. If a large majority of residents are satisfied, why are they still undecided when it’s time to renew? This puzzler may be best explained as the Cookie Conundrum. Imagine that Property X puts a tray of hot cookies in the leasing office. Throughout the day, delicious cookies are eaten by delivery guys, property staff, neighborhood children, and the occasional resident or prospect. After eating a cookie, the resident is asked to fill out a satisfaction survey. With the delectable memory fresh in their mind, they rate the property positively. Unfortunately, a few months down the road when it’s time to renew, the tasty cookie is completely forgotten and the resident’s decision to leave the property is based on factors that cannot be masked by the temporary satisfaction of cookie - no matter how sweet. In short, sometimes resident retention efforts provide temporary happiness but fall short of creating long-term resident satisfaction. Renewal decision factors gathered by the 2015 SatisFacts Online Renters2 survey suggest renters are increasingly focused on the value of customer service they receive at the property, which is largely determined by interactions with the office staff and by the quality of maintenance services provided. The key...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Scumbag-Steve-Apartment-Search-EvYnul4.pngI love finding people talking about their apartments or their search for an apartment, because it gives an unfiltered view of the things they love and the things that drive them absolutely crazy.  Yesterday I found a meme of "Scumbag Steve" where they talk about searching for an apartment online: I guess the moral of the story is that they want to see pictures of the actual apartment they might rent!  (Or at least a similar one) Check out the original post for all sorts of interesting discussions about how renters view the apartment search process.   ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Content has been been a business focus for many years. I’m sure you’ve heard the overused phrase “content is king,” especially when it comes to website and SEO strategies.  But the real power behind that content “throne” is a meaningful connection. Connections and engagement—which may spark from or be influenced by your content—are so much more important than the content itself. It’s the results that matter. Getting the results you want, though, may require a change or two because consumer expectations have evolved faster than many of our websites. Better Connections for Better Website Results A website is no longer a place to advertise your business like a billboard. It’s a place of connecting. And I’m not talking about the old-school ways of connecting like lead forms and phone calls. If shoppers will visit at least four sources during an apartment hunt, why not be the one they actually connect with right then and there so you can influence that decision?  Instant help from real people. That’s the start of a meaningful connection today. Such consumer engagement is the single most important thing you can do online (beyond driving relevant traffic to your site, of course). Offering help, sharing incentives or asking the right question at the right time—they can all change the consumer experience and disrupt the apartment shopping process in a positive way!  Here are a few ways you could make such connections and improve the digital experience: Offer live chat to answer questions in real time. Add behavioral...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Are your team meetings boring? Have you gotten into a rut of going over a similar agenda at every meeting? Are heads nodding off or are team members forgetting what was discussed? You can change that. Regular meetings are an important activity for any business with more than two people on the team. Situations occur in the daily running of any business, and there is little time for analyzing and communicating with others. By getting together on a regular basis, experiences, knowledge, suggestions, etc., can be shared so all team members are working from the same base and benefit from each other’s experiences. Teams of workers should meet on a regular basis. The ideal frequency of meetings depends on a number of factors – that is a topic for another blog. Any activity that is run on a regular basis can get boring or stale as time goes by. Therefore, since meetings are so important, it is necessary to keep them fresh. There are many ways in which you can add or change things to increase the chances of team members remembering what was discussed. 1. Make the meeting interactive At least part of most of your meetings should be interactive. Be sure to bring your team members into the discussion. Nothing is more boring than just listening to someone talk about what needs to be done, what is being done wrong or just talking. This puts people to sleep. One way to keep meetings interactive is to ask questions rather...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Hundreds of millions of smartphone toting consumers have become accustomed to instant gratification where “I see it. I want it” can be achieved without even having to pull out a credit card or sign your name. Yet while services like PayPal and Apple Pay make payments more and more invisible, the need for consumer management of their funds remains crystal clear. Sure, the guy in front of me at Starbucks was annoyed when he couldn’t just flash his smartphone to get his coffee because the amount he had loaded on his prepaid card had been consumed. Imagine his grief when he had to dig in his pockets for cash to capture his morning brew. Small dollars, as the expression goes. What about higher recurring dollar purchases like car payments, utilities and rent, where credit and debit options are fewer and far between from lenders who don’t want to be left out in the cold. Auto-pay options for these services typically rely on the consumer to make sure they have sufficient funds in their bank account when bills are due. For consumers adept at money management, that works out fine. For millions of consumers with lower credit scores, the cost of these auto-pay options can be expensive, especially on occasions when hidden fees are charged for insufficient funds on the date of scheduled pulls, which can occur for reasons beyond a consumer’s control like holidays that can cause a deposit to an individual’s bank account to appear a day later than expected....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
   A little different article for you today...With all this talk and chatter going around about the infamous “Red Cup” I have this compelling urge to share my thoughts. So here we go. Today I was in the Starbucks drive through and as we all know, it is usually quite busy especially around 3 in the afternoon when everyone’s is in dire need of their midafternoon buzz fix. Today was no different. While I sat in line, to pass the time I did the usual, I fiddled with the radio, checked my emails, organized my console and checked my face in the rear view. (sounds familiar, yes?) What I saw past my reflection in the car behind me sat a young woman by herself. I noticed immediately that she looked sad. Maybe just bored I thought as the line hadn’t moved for a bit, so I studied her further. Nope, sad, definitely sad. She had this faraway look in her eyes that told me she had a lot going on. “Wow” I thought, “such a beautiful girl and so young, too young to be looking and feeling like she was carrying the worlds weight”. Normally, I would have started a conversation with her but I thought it wise to NOT be the crazy chick running up to her car on the Starbucks line so instead when I finally reached the window I paid for my Macchiato and paid for her drink as well.  As I pulled ahead, and she reached the...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Common-Space.jpgI just found out about a really interesting multifamily concept called Common Space. It's essentially a middle ground between student housing and conventional apartment communities utilizing micro units, and I really think it is fascinating! I made a video about the concept, and I would love to hear what you think. Just found out a really interesting multifamily concept called Common Space. It's essentially a middle ground between student housing and conventional apartment communities and I really think it is fascinating! I made a video about the concept, and have a link below in the comments.Posted by Brent Williams on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 Here is the floorplan that details out the micro-units and the common areas, including a large kitchen and living area. ...