I hear you Susan. Even if you live in a bigger area, finding a Regional Position is hard. I would ...

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A recovered drug addict is protected under the Handicap Status section of the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

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Posted by on in Resident Retention
As a corporate speaker and trainer I am often asked by my clients if I have any specific needs or requirements when I am invited to speak at an event. My typical answer is usually something like this…   “I really don’t have any specific requirements, I’m pretty easy-going. The only thing that I must have when I speak are Pellegrino and only green M&M’s.”   I like doing this because it tends to break the ice, it helps my clients see that I do have a personality and hopefully reinforces the idea that we’ll enjoy working together. The line usually gets a laugh from my clients … well, once they realize that I really am not some sort of “divo” (Is that even the word for a guy diva??) and the conversation moves forward.   My Gift   Recently I did a speaking engagement in Atlantic City, New Jersey for an incredible company as part of their annual employee conference. After I finished the presentation the president of the company thanked me for speaking and handed me a gift bag. When I went back to my hotel room, I opened the gift bag and found …    You guessed it! A bottle of Pellegrino and green M&M’s.    I immediately started laughing. I couldn’t believe that Mary (the person at the company who invited me to speak and who put the conference together) actually remembered that I said that and then went through the effort of buying the Pellegrino and an...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Last week, I shared an NAA Education Conference-inspired blog about not seeing our prospects as commodities, realizing that some prospects are inherently better than others, such  as those who stay at our community longer, pay rent on time, and treat their neighbors with respect.  In a perfect scenario, we would take the "pick of the litter", snagging the absolute best prospects first, and leaving the less-than-ideal prospects for our comps, all while strictly adhering to Fair Housing laws.  The challenge, of course, is to find this information and act on it, by either targeting certain demographics or increasing acceptance criteria to weed out negative prospects.  But the benefit is enormous by finding residents who stay longer, pay rent online, and have the potential to truly fall in love with your community!  There are countless ways to improve your mix of residents.  In the preparation of this blog, I was able to identify six targeting/screening options, but you will surely find more as you dig deeper. NOTE:  By attempting to do any targeting as I mention below, it is extremely important to understand Fair Housing laws.  I am not advocating targeting by (or against) any protected class - these suggestions are to encourage targeting for other factors, such as if someone is fitness oriented or a dog lover.  But also be careful to not discriminate unintentionally.  For example, would targeting hockey fans be a problem considering 92% of fans are white?  Consider those implications before implementing. 1) Overall demographic targeting.  This is...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
When you own or manage a multifamily housing complex, one simple backed up sink can cause problems for many residents. Knowing how to prevent common plumbing problems is essential to keeping your residents comfortable and your building protected. Common Issues for Apartment Buildings  What type of plumbing issues do apartment buildings face? The truth is, apartment buildings can face the same issues any residential building faces, from backed up toilets to plugged up drains. The difference is that some problems can create issues for more than just the resident who caused them. Consider a plugged kitchen sink, which is quite common. When one unit's sink gets backed up, it can cause multiple sinks along the line to back up. If the backup is too large, the lower unit may even end up flooding. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Dirty water can be another problem in multi-family buildings, particularly in older buildings in urban communities. Often the water pipe corrosion in old water and sewage lines that have begun to break down are the cause of this problem. If your building is older, be sure to inspect the quality of the water regularly for signs of a problem. Finally, apartment owners can experience problems when the main water or sewer line breaks. These leaks are often hidden away from plain sight, so it's difficult to notice them until a serious problem occurs, such as a sewage backup in a unit. One indication that you may have a...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Summer is here, which means it’s time for vacations, trips to the pool…and getting at least a handful of move-out notices from your residents. As a property manager, no one has to tell you that retaining residents is preferable to looking for new renters each year. After all, when a good resident moves out, you’re not only losing a valuable renter, but you’re also losing money, since finding new residents doesn’t always come cheap. Looking to get more leases re-signed this summer (who isn’t?)? Here are three tips to make it happen. Notify Residents the Right WayDon’t send your renters an impersonal notice letting them know their lease is up. Instead, give them a call to personally let them know. Small things, like using their name and thanking them for being great residents, can go a long way, especially if renters are on the fence about renewing. And don’t wait until the last possible minute to alert them – especially if you’re raising the rent. You don’t want your renters to feel pressured into making a quick decision. Offer an IncentiveYou know those ideal residents – the mild mannered folks who pay their rent on time each month and keep their apartments clean. Obviously, keeping those renters in your community is ideal. So, consider offering an incentive to residents for re-signing their leases, such as a complimentary carpet cleaning or a fresh coat of paint. Or, offer to keep their rent at the same price for another year.   Ask for...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
When looking at all the new development taking place in our nation’s multifamily industry, it seems that most markets are seeing not only growth in their local communities because of all the new construction, but an emerging trend in which multifamily is actually taking the lead in kick-starting local economies. It’s a trend that is beginning to show us just how important a role multifamily plays in our local communities. A role that goes beyond the demand for new rental units and becomes a key catalyst that’s fueling the other sectors of our economy. We know that those looking to buy a single-family home in the current market are finding that they have limited access to available credit and it’s forcing them to reconsider purchasing for the time being and it’s fueling the rental market, but did you know that multifamily development is responsible for leading the recovery in the residential sector and  boosting the growth we’re experiencing in the construction markets? According to recently released U.S. Census data, permits for new housing construction saw an 8% boost in April 2014 with a majority of those permits being issued for multifamily structures that are planned for five units or more and overall multifamily construction was up 32.5% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014. With all these new communities coming together, the concentration of new residents means that existing businesses in the these areas are seeing a boost in new customers.  This translates into a need to hire more people to service the influx of new...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
This month's Multifamily Executive magazine outlines how the apartment industry is breaking through the traditional formula of supply and demand. I look forward to the next part of the conversation about the payment practices of the today's renter nation and what can be done to make sure they stay - and pay - reliably.  Read more here and let's talk about what's working at your communities to move in residents to tools to deliver their rent on time without eating into your ability to predict cash flow and profit.   http://www.multifamilyexecutive.com/occupancy-and-vacancy-rate/5-reasons-occupancy-is-growing-stronger_o.aspx?dfpzone=home&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MFEBU_071714&day=2014-07-17    ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
In mid-June we returned from the largest trade show in our industry, the National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition. This show represented months of prep, thousands of man-hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars investment. I really do love planning, promoting and attending these events, but as I decompressed from the show I wondered if the return could possibly be worth all that investment. The fun part of my trade show job as a marketer is now over. Now comes the hard part— proving out the investment. Trade show ROI is notoriously difficult to quantify. Piecing together the right metrics and measurement strategies can sometimes take months to accomplish, but if you know what you are looking for it can be possible to prove trade show effectiveness. The first thing that I want to determine is if trade shows are even worth our time. Currently 89% of marketers say that trade shows hold some level of importance and value to their organization, but only 31% say that they are vital1. In fact 40 percent of companies are cutting back on big shows in favor of more targeted gatherings, and 44 percent are choosing to host their own events such as the 2nd Annual Property Solutions Summit (sorry I couldn’t help myself). So, is the trade show world slowly dying like it showed a few years ago? Actually the opposite is true. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research2 the trade show industry has grown consecutively over the last nine quarters and is projected to...

Posted by on in Property Management
   One of the hardest steps in my 20 year career in the apartment industry was making the transition from Assistant Manager to Property Manager.     I had been an Assistant for a relatively long time because of a couple relocations to new areas and companies, and also because I spent a lot of time  on a property I loved too much to leave, so I had to wait for the Property Manager to leave or die, and I wasn’t sure which would come first. :)  Disclaimer: she is still alive and well.   I loved the Assistant Manager position.  Bookkeeping and file checking are fun to me, so I enjoyed that aspect.  Having someone to pass the buck to was also nice. Over time, I took on more and more of the Property Manager responsibilities at properties. At one property we were hiring a manager, at another my manager worked at two properties and so was not there all the time, and once my manager was on maternity leave for three months.     I thought I was prepared. I dealt with resident issues, no problem. I got Final Account Statements done in a timely manner, check.  I scheduled the onsite and maintenance teams and handled their issues, bam.  I even had to fire someone.  I knew I was ready…   But what you don’t see from the Assistant Manager position, is that you have to transition from being the “do-er” to being the “make sure it’s done-er”.  As...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
Would it surprise you to know that I don’t like seafood? If not, consider this…I’m of Asian ancestry, (which is well known for having seafood as a part of their diets), I was born in Hawaii and spent a great deal of my childhood there, and ever since I was a kid I’ve never liked it. Unfortunately this created issues for my parents who had to often cook something else just so I would eat. So, while the family was having seafood, I was probably eating Spam. (Yes, I said Spam.)   You Would Like it If Only …    What really used to bug me as I grew up was that when people found out I didn’t like seafood, they would usually tell me one of these things: “Oh, you just haven’t had it the right way!” “You’re missing out!” “What is wrong with you?” “Are you sure you don’t like it? Maybe you just haven’t tried the right kind of seafood!”   Have you experienced something similar in your life? Isn’t it frustrating when you feel the need to defend why you like what you do, or don’t like what you don’t? Isn’t it maddening when you have to defend who you are, what you’re about, what you like and what you don’t?    In short, doesn't it stink when the people around you choose not to accept you for who you are?   Of course it does!   When Do You Brighten the Room?   Here is something...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
D2blogimageStop for a moment and think about the last time you made a major purchase. Now, think back 10 – 15 years and compare how you researched, analyzed and ultimately made your decision then to your most recent decision. Chances are your approaches were materially different.  If you’re like the vast majority of consumers, your recent purchase was highly influenced by time you spent online.  Maybe you read some articles online, downloaded a buyer’s guide, visited a review site or utilized social media to gauge the experience or knowledge of others. If you did, you’ve participated in the biggest changes in marketing since the development of modern consumer branding techniques. The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) represents the time one spends in self-discovery during a purchasing process. Ten years ago, when a consumer would be exposed to a stimulus or realized a need they would seek out vendors (salespeople) to assess their needs, learn about alternatives and get support in making the decision. This “First Moment of Truth” placed tremendous importance on the sales function. In those days, marketing’s job was to create the stimulus and that was about it.  So advertising to highlight products, creating direct mail pieces for awareness, managing trade shows and the like were the focal point.  After that, it was sales’ job to take care of the rest. Today, most of the primary job that consumers used to rely on salespeople for is done online.  This means that if your website is still a static set...