Thank you for feedback Elliot! Great comments and we both definitely agree with Gene's post for cle...
Paul Mitchell
Thanks Donald, excellent points. An attitude of serving, helping solve problems rather than "selling...

Training Trivia

In which of the following situations should you cease follow-up with a prospective resident?

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Let’s face it. If there were no objections in a sales cycle, everyone would be in sales. Closing a deal (lease) would take nothing more than handing over a pen and an application to your prospect. Every day we hear many types of objections from our prospects. And really the only way to close a deal and get that application today is to effectively overcome these objections.  Knowing that you will hear objections during your tour, the first skill you should master is to draw the objections out of your prospect. There are no clear rules about drawing out objections, but if you've built rapport and addressed the majority of the qualifying questions (who, what where, why, etc) with your prospect during the discovery (information gathering) step, objections should be front and center. And if you have successfully built rapport, you have already overcome one of the biggest objections in getting through the initial lines of your prospect’s defenses. Some of the objections you will face will be drawn out during the property tour. During this step, you will be showing your client why your community will help them meet their needs. Some prospects will be free to offer their objections during your tour, while others will hold their feelings tight. Main and Minor Objections Objections can be either "main" or "minor" ones. Main objections are deal breakers that, if not overcome, will prevent you from getting the lease. Minor objections are usually beliefs that cause your client to question something...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I bought a new car back in April of 2014 that offered Sirius within the entertainment center.  I enjoyed the 6 months free service I was given but have not picked up the subscription with them since I continuously play my iPod.  For almost a year now Sirius has been soliciting me with headlines of “You Qualify for 73% off” and “Act Now for this Great Low Rate!”  I get tempted once in a while but what’s the urgency?  They will continue to send me the same thing and I keep waiting for something special.  Have you seen that same thing in your apartment communities?  I recall listening to a recorded call at one of my leasing offices where the prospect asked a fairly new leasing representative “Do you have any specials” to which she replied “no.”  Then after a brief pause she said “well, we are giving one month free.”  She had been at that site for just over 4 months and that same special had been running continuously.  It wasn’t really a special any longer and its purpose of urgency was certainly not being used. How many times have you driven by a community or even a store to see the same directional markers, flags or banners stating the same promotions time after time after time.  How can you change it up to get better results?  If it was working the way you wanted it to you would you be running the same special.  Don’t they say that the...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Recently, I attended a training for property management professionals and had the opportunity to mingle with those in the multifamily housing industry from my area. Many of these individuals are property owners and some work for fee management companies. There were many things learned and observed, but there seemed to be a consensus among this group that stood out: Property Managers hate their residents! The course was taught by an owner of a PMC named Greg (name changed to protect the innocent) and the idea of loathing residents was coming from him, but being perpetuated by the class. Let’s look into this idea and find out why this is a problem. Greg started out the class with the question, “By the raise of hands, who loves the residents in their community?” And the class busted out in laughter in response to the question. Someone blurted out, “Isn't that an oxymoron to have residents that you love?” Having been in property management for many years on the property side and on the vendor side, I wasn't surprised by the response from some in the group. The topic of discussion was regarding property inspections and service requests and how renters demonstrate their frustration to the site staff or maintenance staff. One property manager exclaimed, “Quite frankly, I hate my residents! They are inconsiderate, they knock on my door after hours, they are rude, and expect that I know every problem in their apartment. They don’t know what’s it’s like to work on a property.” I...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
b2ap3_thumbnail_wearesocial1.JPGBack in the days when we were in class we heard that expression from our instructor….”Just pay attention!”   Why was that expression used?  More than likely it was because of the vast amount of information that was being shared.  If we did not pay attention then we could potentially miss out on some key information that is critical enough to affect our grade or even our future. It is no different today when it comes to our digital marketing.  The continued rise in statistics can lead us to be a bit baffled on how to keep up which is why we need to pay attention.  Take a look at some basic rising statistics. Mobile drives over 50% of all e-commerce traffic Mobile and social are merging. By 2018 video will account for over 2/3 of mobile usage. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn. Grandparents are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter. 90% of buyers trust peer recommendations. The average person has a: 07 attention span…that’s worse than a goldfish. Hello 4 C’s of Digital: Creating, Curating, Connecting, and Culture Source: Equalman     Source: WeAreSocial The statistics are endless but the point is true.  We must pay attention.  Are we planning our marketing strategies to cover us through 2015 or are we preparing now for the growing trends that will lead us for the next few years to come?  Do major decisions such as making our websites mobile friendly take months or years because of having to go through layers...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
Have you noticed the generational differences in the majority of property management employees and the corporate leaders in the multifamily industry? They’re sometimes two generations apart, which could be viewed as a problem—different ways of thinking, different views of leadership different motivations, etc. However, I see it as an opportunity! Millennials consume massive amounts of information, and their perspectives can bring fresh ideas to individual communities and corporate organizations alike. So here are some tips to help leaders bypass generational gaps, build relationships and motivate your millennial property management staff: Recognition programs - Create a list of goals and reward top performers monthly (i.e., those who have the most leases, most appointments showed, highest renewal percentages). It doesn’t have to be monetary, either. Maybe the top property pro gets taken out to lunch. (Even better? Take them out yourself and let them share their ideas with you. Demonstrate that you value what they bring to the team.) Leadership programs - Would you rather have “owners” or “employees” working with you? Owners are the types of people who do their jobs passionately, want to move up and grow professionally. You have what they need to do so: wisdom and experience. So don’t lose them to other industries (or companies) because you aren’t pouring into them! Consider creating mentoring options for such team members. Passing down knowledge is one of the greatest legacies you can leave. Listen - Millennials see things through a different view, guided by their own experiences, the technology and culture they grew up with, etc. Allow them to question rules...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing

Search engine optimization--SEO for short--is both vitally important for most businesses and widely misunderstood. In this sense it's like many other elements of online marketing--Craigslist, pay per click advertising, website design, etc.

This leads, predictably enough, to radically different experiences with SEO from person to person. Someone who works with a person who knows their stuff will reap considerable rewards from SEO work. On the other hand, apartment communities that work with a less knowledgeable person will likely come away thinking that SEO doesn't work and is a waste of time. So today we want to talk about some of the most common apartment SEO myths, where they come from, and why they aren't actually true.

Apartment SEO doesn't work.

Why this myth exists: Many apartment communities that are new to the world of online marketing have tried doing some sort of SEO work. In some cases, this "SEO work" was actually not legitimate SEO but rather tactics that have been condemned by search engines, such as buying links or keyword stuffing. In other cases, it was valid SEO work that the community didn't stick with long enough or that didn't work due to other problems in the community's overall marketing strategy. 

Regardless of the reason, this is one of the most persistent myths you'll find if you spend enough time in the SEO world. 

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Cloud-based applications can offer your property management company numerous user and cost benefits such as streamlined business operations, ease of collaboration and more efficient application development. However, choosing the wrong vendor can have unforeseen consequences. When choosing a technology provider it is important to consider these five questions in order to avoid the most common pitfalls of adopting cloud-based technology: How much control will you have over your data and software services? Your software vendor should offer you protection and the ability to own your software and data and run it from anywhere. In many cases, software providers have a tendency to stockpile data, making it incredibly difficult for a property management company to access and utilize their data. Make sure your vendor allows you unlimited access to all of your data regardless of the circumstance. What will it take to integrate?Many property management software companies will pile on the fees and charges for integrations to discourage you from using competing products and services. Find a software company that allows you to build your own, custom suite according to your company’s unique needs. Don’t let one provider bully you into using their inferior products or keep you from using your current system because they lack the ability to support the integrations you need. When choosing a provider, find out exactly what level of customizability your provider will allow you to have and how much it will cost you to modify it to fit your needs before you sign on the dotted line. How secure is...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
It’s no secret that more and more consumers are letting the opinions of complete strangers influence their purchase decisions. According to research from Bazaarvoice, 71% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. It makes sense, then, than positive reviews can have a big influence on whether or not a prospective renter decides to learn more about your apartment community. But how can you get more positive reviews for your community so others will want to check it out, too? Here are three tips that can help.  Provide Great ServiceLet’s get down to the basics here. Your residents won’t write a good review if there’s nothing good to write about. Give your residents something good to write about by building and cultivating a culture of service in your community. Remind your staff that every interaction they have with a renter is important – whether they’re giving a prospective renter a tour of your community or fulfilling a maintenance request for a current resident. Don’t be Afraid to Ask research found that only 23% of renters have posted an apartment review. But 52% indicated they are extremely or very likely to do so in the next 12 months. More than half of renters are willing to write reviews…they just need to be asked! When’s the best time to ask for a review? Any time a member of your staff has a positive interaction with a current, prospective or departing resident. Remind your staff to ask for reviews: After maintenance visits After giving...

Posted by on in Miscellaneous
Let’s face it – curb appeal isn’t a concept limited to home sales! When you have an apartment community that you want to be more successful, you need to create a warm, welcoming environment that makes prospective residents envision themselves coming home to. But how do we do that while still keeping overhead as low as possible? Here are a few great ideas to consider on adding curb appeal without breaking the bank: Add low-maintenance landscaping. Landscaping helps create more green space, giving an apartment more of a home feeling than a business building. If you don’t have enough space to plant in the ground, add large planters with a variety of colorful plants that accentuate your color scheme. Use contrast effectively. Does the front of your building just blend together? Add a contrasting color that still fits in with your color scheme to trim, shutters, doors, and similar areas to help punch up its appeal. Keep it clean and neat. Nobody wants to rent at an apartment where there’s junk lying around and trash being scattered. Likewise, keep your grass and landscaping plants trimmed and looking attractive. Define your walkways. Do people just tromp across the grass to your office? Lay down some pretty stepping stones or put in a walkway that keeps people on the right path and your lawn looking lovely. Add outdoor features. When people live in apartments, they often crave the outdoors. Create outdoor features that encourage your residents to get outside, such as a fire...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Several years ago I wrote about the "benefits" of frat hazing.  I put benefits in quotes because I wasn't promoting hazing itself, but I was promoting the idea of understanding why hazing works to create very loyal members of the group.  I recently started reading a book called Influence:  The Psychology of Persuasion that touched upon this very idea, and it was so interesting I had to share, and hope to expand on why it is important when it comes to the concept of resident retention! The book explains that frats are not composed of social deviants who always enjoy torturing other people.  Here is an interesting excerpt: The picture that emerges of the perpetrators of hazing practices is of normal individuals who tend to be psychologically stable and socially concerned but who become aberrantly harsh as a group at only one time - immediately before the admission of new members to the society.  The evidence, then, points to the ceremony as the culprit.  There must be something about its rigors that is vital to the group.  There must be some function to its harshness that the group will fight relentlessly to maintain. To explain why this ritual appears to be so important for frats, the book then cites a 1959 study that indicated that "persons who go through a great deal of pain to attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort."  This is very much  in line...