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Maintenance costs associated with a student property are typically lower than conventional communities.

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
The Most Powerful Sales Conversation This week we have a guest column from Doug Davidoff, one of our partners in our InSiteSM Sales model.   We talk (or write) a lot on this blog about how sales has changed, and how the role of the leasing associate has become more of a curator and facilitator. The days of “selling to” are virtually over; to be successful the job is to lead your prospect towards making a good decision (which is a lot harder than it sounds). Recently, I was talking with a physician friend of mine and it reminded me of just how much the changes we talk about on this blog are impacting the jobs of virtually any industry. We were talking about an oft-quoted statistic that the number one indicator of whether a doctor will get sued for malpractice is not competence, but how much time they spend with a patient.  The doctor I was talking with told me that while that was true, another key skill that drives better patient-doctor relationships is how they ask questions. He asked me to guess what the average time is before a doctor goes from a general question (which is important to make the patient feel understood) to a directed question.  Take a moment and make a guess yourself. Eight seconds – that’s it. Actually, I’m not surprised – most salespeople aren’t much different.  It’s one thing to ask a question; quite another to let the customer/prospect answer, and I mean really answer, the question.  I work...

Posted by on in Property Management
  Here’s the thing about employee turnover. It is directly correlated to employee engagement. So, let me tell you about Lauren. She does not work in our multifamily real estate industry. Instead, this bright young lady graduated #2 in her class at a prestigious university on the east coast. She is working at a pharmaceuticals company, coming in as a basic Claims Processor. She did work hard learning all the new formulas and processes and policies for her position. When others left at noon on Fridays that first summer, she worked until 5:00 PM, sometimes past – most of the time. Her immediate supervisor took notice of how precise her work was and how high the volume output was. He reported to his boss how impressed he was with her work. Soon they offered her the opportunity to join their company’s Leadership Class where she would be paired very often with the highest ranking officer of their division (pretty high up!) Her annual review went well with some positive feedback and a couple of needs improvement areas. She worked on those improvement areas, overcame them and was soon promoted to a leadership role supervising a couple of others. Then they noticed how well her group completed assignments and they promoted her to “boss” position. They gave her an Award (including money bonus) and sent her to the national corporate headquarters where she lead a team to assume management of a couple of their responsibilities. She delivered feedback on new hires, trained...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
b2ap3_thumbnail_iphone-cellular-signal-bars-600x600.jpg According to the recent NMHC/Kingsley Resident Preferences Survey*, 98% said GOOD CELL RECEPTION is important to them!  And 91% of apartment residents report they use their mobile phones all the time!  Over half your prospects will test connectivity when they are sho Can you hear me now?  Does your community have super cell coverage?  If so, brag about it!  Snap the “bars” on your phone and make a big picture of it!  Post it on your social media, in your offices, EVERYWHERE! You could snap it daily and post it! If your cell coverage is bad, fix it!   Contact all the cell service providers in your area and tell them how many residents there are in your community.   Show them the stats that 91% of apartment residents report that they use their mobile phones ALL THE TIME!  So it is in the cell provider’s interest to turn up the reception in your community!    Offer them the opportunity to market to your residents IF they fix the reception! Get residents to help! Get cell-phone using residents to sign a document (not a petition) asking for improved cell service in their neighborhood.   If different carriers have better (and worse) reception in your community, co-market with the ones that have great reception, and focus improvement efforts on those that don’t. This kind of change takes time, but the stakes are high. Short-term you may want to investigate boosters, which can be purchased to operate in a small environment, like...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
February is here, and although the cold tends to keep most residents indoors, they’re likely feeling the beginning of spring fever. And so should your homeowner’s association. Start creating your spring to-do list now so that when all the snow melts and the weather warms up, you’ll be able to get started on spring cleaning right away. Parking Lot ResealingIf you had cracks in your parking lot before winter started, they’re likely bigger now. Water enters those cracks and then freezes, enlarging the cracks in the process. You can seal those cracks yourself, but hiring a company to put down a fresh layer of blacktop will solve the problem for a longer period of time. Leaf RemovalYou likely cleared your property of leaves in the fall, but some trees drop their leaves all winter long. If you have trees like this on your property, you’ll likely have some leaf clean-up to do. Look under and around outdoor equipment, in the corners of fences, and under bushes where leaves tend to accumulate and hide. Power WashingIf you have a tennis court or pool on your property, you might notice an accumulation of dirt over the winter as leaves decay and leave their traces behind. Line up a power washing company now that can help you clear that dirt before people want to start using the pool and courts again. PlantingNow for the fun part. Nothing brightens up a building and makes people excited for spring than flowers. Plant some annuals that love...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
1) Focus on keywords that are semantically tied to apartments. These words include living, home, life, loft, residents, residences, residential, renovated and many more. This will help you avoid keyword stuffing in Google’s eyes and increase the quality of your content overall. 2) Make your content shareable with others in the Multifamily Industry through a Q and A blog. Find the most influential minds in the multifamily industry and have them share their story. Lots of times they will link back to you because the content mentions them. 3) Find sources of quality links over quantity of links. Great examples of quality links are from Apartment Associations, city specific websites like Austin360.com and always remember to link back to relevant communities in the same city too. 4) Double check your mobile or responsive website on all smart phones and tablets to ensure the user experience is easy to navigate and words or letters aren’t being cut off. 5) One of the most overlooked tactics and easiest to implement is your title tags. Make your title tag as relevant as possible. Don’t just target Apartments in City, ST because you want to make sure to add very specific descriptors. Examples include luxury, urban, eco-friendly, high-rise and other long tail search terms which may set you apart, while you try and rank for more competitive search terms like City Apartments. Also don’t forget about your h1, meta description and alt image tags too. 6) Besides having localized home page content of about 200-300...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Every leasing agent knows hearing “No” is part of the business. But “No” is not the same as "Hell No." It is important to know the difference between the two. If you don't know the difference, you will be losing out on a lot of leases and leaving a lot of money on the table. A prospect will often say no because they have objections that have not been addressed. In these cases, addressing those objections can turn their no into a yes. Prospects might also tell you no if they don't have enough information. Your property could be just what they are looking for but, they don't know it. You can solve this problem by improving your communication.   -----Is it a "Hell No"? You will be able to tell if the prospect is giving you a hell no by their tone of voice. If a prospect is 100% not interested, they will have a strong downward inflection in their voice. They will sound confident, and you will be able to tell they are firm in their decision. You can also tell if they mean hell no by how receptive they are to further conversation. If they give closed answers, their no means hell no! A closed answer is any answer or response that does not allow the conversation to keep flowing naturally. Their no could also mean hell no if it would be impossible for you to disarm their objections. For example, if they absolutely can't afford your rent,...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
The Carolina Panthers were THE team to beat in the 2015-2016 NFL season. Their offense was number one in the league in points scored (31.2 per game), their defense was ranked sixth in points allowed per game (19.2), their quarterback, Cam Newton was the league's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year and the team cruised to a 15-1 record.  Most pundits chose the Panthers to defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50-and this game was touted and hyped (oh, the HYPE!) into a battle between the "old guard," Peyton Manning, and the "new face of the league" Cam Newton, with Newton and the new school Panthers primed to shove "chicken parm that tastes so good" into the face of the Broncos and (perennial TV pitchman) Manning. These Panthers were too good. They were so good that it was too easy for them this year.  And maybe that was the problem ... it was too easy. ​ It was clear from the start of the game that something wasn't right with the Panthers. The swagger, the energy (some might say cockiness), the level of confidence that they brought into NFL stadiums this year was gone. The things that had worked all year stopped working. And when adversity arose, it looked to me like they didn't know what to do, or how to handle it. In the end, they didn't. Isn't it funny that we often go to great lengths to avoid adversity, pain, disappointment, and failure in our lives. Yet, as cliched...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Scheduling conflicts are one of the biggest reasons leasing agents are losing out on leases. Prospects can lead busy lives. This makes it difficult for them to make it in during standard office hours. You can either lose the prospect or be on call 24/7. If that sounds familiar, I have some good news. Meetings do not have to be done in person. They can be done over the phone. You can also solve this problem with technology. As much as technology continues to advance, it amazes me how many people don't realize its potential. You can use software to stay in touch with prospects. You can even lease apartments without an in-person meeting. There are several ways to do this, but we are going to focus on ooVoo. -------What is ooVoo?ooVoo is a video chat software. It makes staying in touch and answering your prospects questions easier than ever. ooVoo allows you to do live video chats with your prospects. This eliminates the need to do meetings in person. That is not even the best part. In November of 2015, ooVoo released its web client. You can now implement the live chat feature into your website. Meetings can be set up and done online. Simply set ooVoo up on your website, then give prospects the link. They visit the website at the time of the meeting to start the video chat. The mobile app allows you conduct video meetings from your smartphone or tablet. -------Why Use Software?ooVoo and similar software...

Posted by on in Property Management
Determining property value is one of the great difficulties faced by multi-resident housing investors. Many investors have previous experience with other types of real estate, typically residential homes or duplexes. However, the methods used to value those properties are different and often much simpler than the methods needed to value multifamily. For example, it is generally quite easy to find the fair market value of a single family residence by using a comparative sales approach. However, investors and appraisers use a variety of techniques to determine the fair value of a multi-resident property. Among these methods, The Rule of 150 is one of the most common. What is The Rule of 150? The Rule of 150 applies to the operational profitability of a multifamily property. It suggests that for each additional $1 in monthly NOI (net operating income), the value of the property is increased by approximately $150. This rise in NOI can come in one of two ways: increasing income or decreasing expenses. How does it work? Unlike the comparative sales approach mentioned above, multifamily property valuations are primarily a function of the CAP (capitalization) rate. This method maintains that by improving the financial operation of a building, this will in turn improve its overall value and equity. The following terms and formulas will help to explain further: NOI = income minus operating expenses Capitalization Rate = a measure of the income produced by an apartment building divided by the cost of the building Simple CAP Rate Formula: Capitalization Rate = NOI/Building Value So as an example, if a property generates an annual...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
CIOs, if you haven’t heard the pleas from your facility’s team to move away from traditional lock and key systems then surely you’ve heard them lament the hassles. In the era of smart homes and ultra connectivity, old-school locks that require keys seem laborious and antiquated. Who can blame them? Replacing keys, re-keying locks, managing the keys—it feels like a lot of busy work. And it is, especially when there is a more streamlined approach to the whole key management effort. While key-related processes may not be your top concern, managing qualified information systems is. If you haven’t considered smart locks a priority for your multi-family property, maybe it’s time you take another look. New systems have been developed that make life easier for property managers, residents and even you. Intrigued? Keep reading. Open architecture streamlines property systems. Smart lock systems designed with an open architecture platform help properties streamline processes. More to the point, these high-tech locks can integrate into existing third-party software enabling you to place the functionality and analysis of another key aspect of your business at your fingertips. Choose your own platform. Smart locks built on an open architecture platform give you complete freedom to use the best third-party access management software for your properties’ needs. No need to change existing management infrastructure when making the switch to smart locks. Thanks to the cloud, it is possible to manage your property’s marketing, bank ledger, credentials and more from a single system. They are a problem solver. Smart locks and credentials...