Florin Iftode
Great article and great ideas Gino.
I really love the idea with the pizza contract. Definitely it i...
Very interesting article! Airbnb is definitely going to become a major topic for the multifamily ind...

Training Trivia

If a prospective resident wants a lease with an ending date not available on the lease expiration matrix, it is smart to make an exception and allow their lease to end when they desire to secure the lease.

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616969961 [{"id":"290","title":"TRUE","votes":"17","pct":"21.79","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"291","title":"FALSE","votes":"61","pct":"78.21","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/104-if-a-prospective-resident-wants-a-lease-with-an-ending-date-not-available-on-the-lease-expiration-matrix,-it-is-smart-to-make-an-exception-and-allow-their-lease-to-end-when-they-desire-to-secure-the-lease No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
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Posted by on in Miscellaneous
With many short-term subletting options available for renters looking at posting their apartments on sites like Airbnb, couch surfer, vrbo, HomeAway, and others, it has now become easy for anyone to make that extra buck off that empty room (or couch) in a short period.  A recent study reveals that the leader in short-term rental, Airbnb, is now active in 192 countries, 57,000 cities and 173,000 units are listed in the US alone. With such phenomenal numbers, what does that mean for a property management company? Trimark Properties, a leading student housing property management firm based in Gainesville, Florida, is experiencing their first web-2.0 year, with students posting their apartments on the popular short-term rental websites. Trimark Properties offers luxury apartments near UF and typically leases to University of Florida College students who enter into one-year lease terms. The team at Trimark is familiar with tech-savvy websites since they offer a dynamic Gainesville apartment search with a map, apartment photos, and student reviews. In fact, when they recently discovered a listing for one of their apartments on Airbnb, the tenant had used photos and text from the Trimark Properties website. Many of Trimark’s renters are only attending college for ten months, but their apartment lease contracts are twelve months long. The renter, therefore, has two months when they will not be living in the apartment but has to pay rent. Does that give them a free ticket to use sites such as Airbnb to collect additional rent from a stranger while...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
Seasoned property managers know that emergencies can and do happen at all hours. Experienced managers plan ahead by putting systems in place to deal with emergencies and reduce stress when something goes wrong. Learn how maintenance emergencies can be prevented outright or mitigated quickly by putting the right systems in place. What Are Maintenance Emergencies? There are many types of maintenance emergencies, and each type of emergency needs its own unique plan for every apartment you manage. Common maintenance emergencies to prepare for include: Burst pipe/water leak Broken heating system Broken central air conditioning Flooding Gas leak Fire Power outage Tornado Hurricane Pest invasion Emergency preparedness can feel overwhelming when you're staring at a laundry list of problems. Tackle one at a time. While these emergencies differ in scope and threat level, you will use many of the same techniques to handle them — so your task is not as daunting as it may seem. Responding to Maintenance Emergencies Maintenance emergencies may be divided into two main categories: Weather disaster and equipment malfunction. While you cannot prevent a weather disaster, you can make sure you're well protected and have a disaster recovery plan in place. Develop a storehouse of emergency response equipment, including first aid, extra water and food, flashlights, batteries, walkie-talkies and other essentials. Install emergency generators, if you haven't already. This ensures you can get the lights on quickly after a power outage. Your municipal or state government should have advice to property owners on how to handle weather...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
  Municipal Water Is Heavily Treated, But With Differing Approaches To Treatment Water authorities are required to add many ingredients to the water supply to comply with the Clean Water Act and many other State and Federal regulations. As a result, different regions have distinctly hard water, soft water, low/high pH water and water with high dissolved solids based on their primary water source and treatment approach.   Water Reacts With Your Pipes The steady flow and temperature of water through your system erodes your pipes over time. Your pipes also have a slightly negative charge which can attract particles flowing through the water. These particles react in various ways with your plumbing – leaching pipe materials, creating fissures, pinhole leaks, oxidation, brown/red water and other forms of corrosion. The lead in the Flint, Michigan water was likely pulled from the pipe walls because of the water composition.   Pipes Can Be Protected From The Harmful Effects Of Municipal Water As reported by CNN, “According to a class-action lawsuit, the state Department of Environmental Quality wasn’t treating the Flint River water with an anti-corrosive agent, in violation of federal law. Therefore, the water was eroding the iron water mains, turning water brown.” For over 80 years many water authorities have used anti-corrosives to prevent the harmful effects of water through their pipes, but these additives can be expensive. Anti-corrosives could have likely prevented the Flint, Michigan tragedy from happening. Because of the expense, water authorities typically only protect their supply pipes,...

Posted by on in Student Housing
      Popular culture and film has a funny way of influencing the public’s opinion on practically any topic, student housing included. Let’s go back as far as 1978 when the film Animal House was released. This iconic film gave viewers a taste of fraternity style living, albeit an inaccurate representation. This depiction of student living and accommodations would be reiterated time and time again in practically every college movie released since 1978. The residence in Animal House would contribute to what we see today as the student housing stereotype. This label is one in which student accommodations are often negatively perceived; over-crowded, single-family dwellings in shoddy condition and ill-maintained, which are inhabited by young troublemakers who are a constant source of neighborhood disturbances. This is the basis of the student housing stereotype; an outdated misrepresentation of student living that has been reinforced over time.   The student housing industry has been fighting an uphill battle, as it modernizes and tries to distance itself from this inaccurate label. The problem is that the general public often sees student housing as a bad thing, which is why student housing developments are often met with protest from local neighborhood groups. Student housing is sometimes seen as being intrusive and is unwelcomed in family neighborhoods, as residents fear it will change their area for the worse.   What these local groups fail to realize is that new and modern student housing isn’t anything like the preconceived ideas they may have in their mind. In fact, most purpose-built student...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
9 Essential Reads that Will Change the Way You View Business In my consulting work, I am often asked to coach or mentor pricing managers, marketers and/or regional operators and above. In doing so, I typically include reading assignments involving books and articles that I believe are relevant to the skills we’re trying to develop. Occasionally, I’m even asked proactively for a reading list. So in that spirit, here are my “Nine Essential Reads.” A couple of them are classics that I’m sure you’ve heard of, while I’m guessing a few of them are new to you. My criteria for this list is quite simple: These books materially changed the way I viewed business, myself and/or the world around me. They’re based on actual data rather than pop psychology. I find I almost never get through an individual engagement without mentioning at least one of them in the natural flow of the recommendations that come from my work. 1. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey This one is so classic it’s almost trite to include in the list. However, I probably reference lessons from this book more than any other. The list is long so here are three examples among many: The need to seek interdependence instead of independence The notion that urgent “fire drills” often crowd out important “production capacity increasing activities” “Begin with the end in mind” 2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’tby Jim Collins Another very well-known book, Collins really focused my attention on the notion that a “stop doing”...

Posted by on in Property Management
Have you used Airbnb yet, either as a vacationer or a person renting out your home? According to the site, there have already been 60 million users, so chances are you have. I mean, I haven’t, because I like getting my towels cleaned every day and stealing hotel-branded pens, and also I think I would get creeped out when surrounded by some stranger’s family pictures while I’m trying to go to sleep, but, what can I say, I’ve always been a rebel. And it’s not just single-family homes that are being rented out. Now multifamily is slowly, tentatively exploring the possibility of maybe getting in on the Airbnb action, as MHN recently reported. As a property manager, should you allow residents to participate in Airbnb or use the service yourself for vacant units? Lets look at some pros and cons. Click here for the full story: Airbnb: 3 Pros and 4 Cons for Multifamily...

Posted by on in Miscellaneous
In the previous article, I left you with a task of spending fifteen minutes per evening with your children and allowing them to choose what they wanted to do with you.  I would like to give you a couple of activities that I engage in with my children, while teaching them about money and creating wealth.          Most kids have an attraction to board games, and we love to play Monopoly.  The game has been around since the 1920s and is still one of the best ways to teach children about investing.  I focus on allowing the kids to be the “bank” and let them add and subtract the money.  What a fantastic and fun way to teach your children math.          I always have the kids concentrate on buying assets and trying to build up their passive income by collecting the rents.  The young ones even understand to mortgage their properties to acquire more assets.  This allows me to introduce to the children at a young age to differentiate between personal debt (bad) and business debt, which is good and can provide for your lifestyle.  I expose my kids to such words as cash flow, debt, asset, liability and apartment.  In the end, the huge lesson is trade four small houses for a hotel.          With the older children, I have developed a higher level of sophistication for them.  I introduce the term Return on Investment (ROI) and how to calculate it.  I take the rental income of the property...

Posted by on in Property Management
Landlords’ utility costs are heating up. Last year, U.S. water costs rose faster than nearly every other household expense. The ongoing California drought did little to dampen the visibility of water shortages, and many water distributors had no choice but to raise prices in accordance with demand. Cities across the nation are testing tiered pricing structures to distribute water fairly, but their battle is a testament to the struggles property managers face on a daily basis.   Water isn’t just outstripping other household costs, though — it’s beating the regular market by a wide margin. Excluding food and energy costs, the Consumer Price Index rose by 1.8 percent last year, while water costs rose by an average 6 percent. And during the past 30 years, water prices have actually increased faster than oil prices.   As if rising water costs weren’t already squeezing landlords, energy prices are also trending up. The cost of electricity will continue to climb and is expected to increase 18 percent by 2040. Although oil might be cheap today, demand for it and other energy resources is poised to skyrocket over the next decade and a half.   Landlord and facility management professionals aren’t expected to solve our growing resource crisis, but they do feel the sting of increasing utility prices more than most. For today’s landlords, the challenge is reducing utility expenditures while maintaining the level of comfort tenants have come to expect.   Drop Costs, Not Comfort   Every residential building, old and new, can make a few simple changes to wrangle utility costs, help the planet, and...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
My first sales job was leasing apartments near Cleveland, Oh.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and truly believed in my product so much that I thought every person that walked in the door should lease an apartment.  That enthusiasm (and naivety) propelled me to some initial successes in leasing.   Eventually, the enthusiasm tapered off a bit and my rose colored glasses broke and I found myself underperforming.  Luckily, I worked for a phenomenal management company who believed in ongoing training via their training academy.  They trained from the get go that leasing is a sales role.  It wasn't until my leasing % went down, that I fully embraced what this meant.  And eventually returned to Top Performer status! What did this mean? 1.  Leasing is the front line.  Beyond "online curb appeal" or true physical curb appeal, leasing representatives are the first impression a prospect receives as they walk in your door or call you on the phone.  Good sales people are always prepared to make a good first impression.  Although it is possible to recover from a poor first impression, great sales people know to start off strong and get stronger from there. 2. Leasing isn't telling.  I was so impressed with my apartments that I couldn't wait to tell each and every prospect every amazing thing.  But good sales people don't talk, they listen.  It doesn't matter if I LOVE the apartments, it matters if the apartments meet the NEEDS and WANTS of the prospect.  Great sales people know that if they listen and learn from the prospect, they...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
D2-NAA-Homepage-banner.png I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record but can you believe the National Apartment Association (NAA) Annual Conference is less than a month away? I’m very excited to be moderating a panel discussion titled, How The Zero Moment Of Truth Requires Us To Change Sales. Last week, we provided a sneak peek into the discussion from the perspective of an operator – Jason Whittington from Gene B. Glick Company. This week, our sneak peek is from Joanne Chapman-Reps fromEffective Leadership Solutions, LLC. Her perspective is from a learning and development viewpoint. We sat down with Joanne last week. What made you realize sales in multifamily needed to change? I’ve worked in the multifamily industry for more than 18 years, and during that time I have seen a lot of focus placed on certain areas. One of the most notable is the area of customer service and experience. Many companies have spent a lot of time creating programs to make our residents living experience better. Additionally, marketing has also changed their approach focusing a lot on things like reputation management and ‘voice of customer’ surveys. However, one area that often does not provide that same level of customer experience in multifamily is the sales approach; in fact, often times it very old-fashioned. Over the past few years, we’ve started seeing prospects come in for tours who know more than our leasing associates. From a learning and development perspective, it left me wondering what we could do to help our sales teams...