David Franklin
This makes good sense. Obviously written by a reasonable person that has seen both sides of this ma...
There's always room for smart people to disagree. I'm going to stick to my assessment on this one. I...

Training Trivia

Which of the following is a true close?

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567277597 [{"id":"224","title":"Would you like to fill out an application?","votes":"0","pct":"0.00","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"225","title":"Do you want to move into apartment 1215?","votes":"2","pct":"3.39","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"226","title":"Would you like to put your deposit on apartment 1215?","votes":"22","pct":"37.29","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"227","title":"All of the above","votes":"35","pct":"59.32","type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/83-which-of-the-following-is-a-true-close No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
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Posted by on in Property Management
I was asked by Hire Priority (www.hirepriority.com) to write an article about hiring in the apartment industry. I do have to thank them because I think they may very well have cured my writer’s block by asking for specific subject matter. Specific subject matter that as of late, I feel as though I have become an expert in! However, the 250 word maximum turned into almost 800 words from this overachieving Type A individual on the other side of this computer screen…..so while the article may not be of use to them due to word count, it’s still worth the read. In my humble opinion.   I have worked outside of the apartment industry, I believe we all have at some point. Whether it was to take that “break” that we thought we wanted or we simply fell into property management after having had another career choice. So a majority of us have been privy to the hiring process outside of the apartment industry. I am here to tell you, as a property manager who has done her fair share of interviews through several lease-ups, hiring in the apartment industry is quite different; for several different reasons. I point out a few below and urge you to keep these in mind when you are looking to hire someone on site….. Consider the team you currently have in place. If you are lucky enough to already have a few in place. If so, you have to really ensure you’re considering the already existing...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
This week, a few of us at Apartments.com had the chance to escape Chicago's chilly temperatures to attend the 2015 Multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa. And what an amazing week it was! We heard from dynamic speakers, connected with smart industry peers, and left the summit re-energized and armed with great information and ideas for being better social media marketers. Did you miss the Multifamily Social Media Summit? Here are four key takeaways. Build Trust with Your Audience People are turning to the internet to do research before making purchases – including their next apartment. Providing these folks with the information they’re looking for is key in building trust. And let's face it -- people are more likely to buy from those they trust. “Honest, transparent and helpful content is the greatest sales and trust building tool in the world, period,” returning keynote speaker Marcus Sheridan (partner at River Pools and Spas and founder of The Sales Lion) emphasized. For example, if a renter is looking for your rent ranges and availability and your website doesn’t include that information, they’ll likely pass you up in favor of an apartment community that is open and honest with that information.  Visuals are Key According to Buffer, tweets with images received 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than those without. And SocialBakers.com found that Facebook posts with photos get far more audience interaction than those without. The bottom line here is that people love visual content. After all, visual content is much easier (and usually more interesting) to...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ve probably noticed that I refer to the Malagasy language a lot. I tend to do that because of the incredible experience I had living among the Malagasy people in Madagascar for a couple of years, and because I spent the next five years of my life studying and teaching the Malagasy language. Malagasy is incredibly simple (fortunately for me), and that simplicity somehow makes it easier to clearly present deeply profound thoughts. In fact, the Malagasy people have ancient traditions of teaching powerful messages through short and simple “ohabolana,” or parables. One of my favorite ohabolana from the Malagasy people is this one: Ny teny toy ny atody; raha foy, manan-elatra. (Words are like eggs; when hatched, they have wings.) You can discern a few different meanings from this ohabolana. For example, you might reflect about how harmful gossip or rumors can be; you might think about how words have the ability to uplift and drive good causes forward; or you might even discern a message in the ohabolana that I’ve never considered! That’s the beauty of an ohabolana; you can get from it what means the most to you. For our purposes in the multifamily industry, I want to stress the importance of knowing what is being said about your community and taking the right amount of time proactively managing your reputation. More importantly, my goal is to help companies avoid the distraction of “wild goose chases”, running after each little thing that has been...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing

Video games allow a player to walk through virtual worlds with a full range of motion, which means you can walk into a room, look up and down, side to side, and walk around every aspect of the room, as well as even interact with that room, such as picking up a plate off the table.  In an apartment marketing perspective, this could potentially allow the prospect to interact with the apartment in completely new ways, and see the apartment in perspectives never before possible.  With the right programming, prospects could literally open up cabinets and the fridge, just like they do in a real apartment tour!  Previously, however, graphics for real-time rendered environments like this simply didn't have the clarity required for a good virtual apartment tour.  When you had to choose between a computer generated image that looked artificial, and a 360 virtual tour that provided real images, although sometimes skewed and with movement limitations, the real images won out.  But after seeing this, I think I may have changed my mind!  (Tip:  Expand this to full-screen mode to appreciate the incredible attention to detail) This video absolutely blew me away!  Now, in this video, it doesn't have the person interact with the apartment - just stroll through it, and from what I am hearing, this is still a few years off from being a reality.  But for the first time, I can truly see the potential of online leasing.  Previously, I couldn't imagine people being comfortable enough with...

Posted by on in Property Management
thebigdataproblem Soooooo, you ever hear the one about the software tester who walked into a bar? She ordered a beer. She ordered 10 beers. She ordered 2.15 million beers. She ordered -1 beers. She ordered a nothing. She ordered a cat. She tried to leave without paying. I’m sorry if you don’t get that one but it’s a nerd classic. Here’s another one. Any program that actually runs right, is now obsolete. Or, my personal favorite: A user will find any interface design intuitive…with enough practice. I kid software. I have a sense of humor about it because generally I have a sense of humor about almost everything. Nothing good comes from getting mad at the software you use. It’s only doing what a human told it to. Perhaps knowing it’s only following commands will now only leave you more exasperated when it doesn’t perform as you think it should. Wait, that’s the important caveat. “perform as you think it should”. Remember that, as we’ll get back to it later. There’s one thing in this industry that even the REIT’s, the small Mom and Pop shops, the Middle Sized, the ones whose units counts change when the CEO sneezes, have in common – renting apartments. The compelling part is how differently we accomplish this task. Same goes for our software. There are at least 6 different major Property Management System flavors you can choose from. They all do things differently. They all were created in different decades with different technology. They are...

Posted by on in Property Management
RedLightHave you ever been sitting at a red light to go straight with the turning lane next to you, they get the green arrow and your first reaction is to go as well?? I think we all have, or watched someone else do it, despite a blaring red light in our lane. It’s psychological, an optical illusion. Or…a knee jerk reaction to the things going on around us. So often in property management we are met with immediate needs, immediate crises, immediate…immediate…immediate. As a result of all of this immediacy we can fall victim to the knee jerk reaction. We have all done it. Sometimes it’s the only thing we know to do. However, it is dangerous territory as leaders to allow ourselves to have a knee jerk reaction. Allow me to explain why…..   Knee jerk reactions are in and of themselves immediate. You’re focusing on your feelings regarding the situation, your opinions on the situation, your perspective. And all situations are not deemed to be focused on you. There are perspectives that sometimes must be attained before being able to make a diplomatic decision. Because as leaders, our job is to be as diplomatic as possible. (Diplomatic by definition means to be skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people, being tactful). On a personal level, any amount of tact that you can bring to a situation makes you that much classier of a human being.   This past week I was made privy to some information that almost caused me to have...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
 As I enjoy very much the study of human behavior, one question I often contemplate is “why do people battle the tumultuous masses stampeding each other on Black Friday? Why would someone awaken at the crack of dawn, or sometimes earlier on what is most usually a day off and willingly, with forethought, venture out into that madness? Oh and let’s not forget the people who sleep on sidewalks for days to be first in line for the latest flat screen TV’S or the new iPhone. Hey, If you participate in any and all of the above, I salute you brave soldier, for me, once was enough, way enough. I ask myself, what is the motivation for this madness? Around and around I go and always fall onto the same answer. People just don’t want to miss out. It’s that simple. It is a subconscious or maybe even conscious fear of losing out. Ultimately, the gain is whatever they end up with, the TV, the low prices, etc but the fear of loss is what drove them in the first place. They fear losing the opportunity to save a bundle or losing out on that limited edition Xbox. Looking at this from a sales perspective, most often what I have seen, especially in the Property Management industry, Leasing Agents typically base their presentations on the idea that the desire to gain something (comfort, convenience, etc.) is the main motivation of why a prospect will lease at their community.  I wholeheartedly agree...

Posted by on in Property Management
Allow me to preface this particular entry with a disclaimer. Not all of my writing has to do with present tense or my current community and/or staff. I have been doing this a really long time and there are times that thoughts cross my mind from prior experiences. Or I have other property management professionals that reach out with topics or questions or what not. In turn spawning a blog entry. So with that disclaimer, let’s move forward with this particular topic…that proverbial line in the sand. We are together as a team more than we are with our family most days….but as property managers we do have to draw the line somewhere and I speak from experience…..working in an office of two, becoming close with your staff is not only a necessity it’s unavoidable. I’m not even sure you would call it crossing a line, because again, it’s unavoidable. Obviously, short of having a romantic relationship, most staffs become extremely close to one another. Again, we are together more than we are with our families. But how do you draw that proverbial line in the sand? Well from my past experience of, I guess you would call it a mistake, you keep your management role extremely clear in all instances. You can talk with your staff, you can share stories (heck, we all have one). But ensure they are extremely clear on your role as their manager. And if you make the same mistake I did (and I think we...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing

***Don't have time to read the entire blog? Click on the video to listen to it now!***  Three simple steps to landing a lease over the telephone Did you know that the telephone can be your greatest sales tool?  It is true!  Read the three easy steps below to ensure that you lock in a lease the next time a prospect calls you over the telephone. Step #1:  Listen, Question and Respond The first step is to simply listen to the caller’s inquiry.  It might not be enough to say, “Yes, we do have the perfect apartment for you to move into right now.”  But, from the first words that they speak,  be prepared to question the prospect further to get details; to determine precisely what they are planning to do, what they have in mind and why they are making the move.  In this manner, you’ll be able to provide the right apartment home.  It might result in a longer lease term or multiple signed lease agreements. It could also result in many more satisfied tenants. Step #2: Ask for the Lease The second step is to ask for the lease.  Don’t ever expect the prospect to close the deal themselves. Some will but most won’t. Don’t be shy about this. The prospect is the person who raised their hand in the first place.  Studies reveal that 60% of those who make pre-purchase inquiries go on to buy the product.  These are good odds.  Make the renter’s life a little bit easier by...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
For the last 100 years, commercial real estate finance has been primarily conducted via relationships, with of course, borrower's local banks. As government sponsored agencies began to pump capital into the markets, lending became diversified, and in 2005 - 2007, the last big mortgage boom, CMBS lenders took the reigns. Now, in 2015, something interesting is going to happen. With the introduction of crowdfunding and the returned liquidity to the CMBS market, options are becoming abundant. But what makes this year even more interesting? Well there are more than half a trillion dollars of CMBS loans maturing between 2015 and 2017. So what does this mean for borrowers, lenders, and brokers? With so many options available to multifamily owners and buyers, it is going to be irresponsible to go to the same bank or lender you've had a relationship with for the last dozen years. The increase in options in capital markets means an increase in competition. We aren't talking about residential loans where a few basis points is a few bucks. 10 bps on a ten million dollar loan is $10,000, and a point is a hundred grand! That means going to a local bank that may charge as much as two hundred bps more than a CMBS lender or Freddie Mac perhaps could cost MILLIONS of dollars.  Multifamily.loans, for example, is a boutique florida lender and broker specializing in commercial properties with the options to price options out with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, CMBS Lender, Life Companies, and...