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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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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Property Management
Apartment Marketing for Qualified TrafficI absolutely love targeted apartment marketing ideas, as long as they are within the confines of Fair Housing rules.  I recently found this conversation about a marketing approach that catered towards professionals versus students. I want to note that the point of sharing this is not to advocate against students by saying they are bad renters, but rather highlight how property managers use targeting strategies to fit their particular goals.  It just happened that these property managers favored professionals rather than students, but there are obviously countless strategies that would work in the opposite way to attract students.  It appears that the fear of Fair Housing often leads property managers to water down their apartment marketing to appeal to every single person possible, but I think this is a brilliant approach to using the wants/needs of their target demographic to drive interest from a particular group.  (Although their use of "young" is probably not appropriate from a Fair Housing perspective)  Anything that (legally) gets us out of the one size fits all mode I think is a step forward, in my opinion. (To some property managers who have been in this industry a long time, targeted marketing like this is nothing new, but please keep in mind that we always have a fresh group of new, inspired property management professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge!) Brent Williams is Chief Insider of Multifamily Insiders.  You can connect with him on LinkedIn or on Facebook....

Posted by on in Property Management
I’ll admit it. One of the most exciting parts of my life as a Property Manager on a Section 8 property was getting involved in the drug busts. It was an adrenaline rush like no other, no pun intended. Part of being a Manager on any property in any community is to provide decent, safe and sanitary apartment homes for our Residents. And, yes, I call the people who live in my communities “Residents” and not Tenants simply because everyone deserves to be treated respectfully. It is also a mindset. We must adopt the notion that people want to live long term, or at least as long as necessary, willingly in our apartment communities. This will reduce turnover costs and promote a more harmonious living environment for our Residents. We must believe that there is value in creating a warm, nurturing home atmosphere for our Residents. If we are successful, they will stay longer; they will take better care of their apartment homes, and thus the property.   You never want someone to feel bad about where they came from or what their current circumstances in life may be. You want to uplift your Residents’ spirits and promote a better lifestyle. If we can impart this mindset to our Residents, they in turn will believe in themselves more and become contributing members of our communities. At least this is my personal motto.   This is why I take illegal drug activity so personally and seriously. Many people assume it is normal...

Posted by on in Property Management
Many communities have some sort of maintenance guarantee at their properties, such as a 24 hour maintenance guarantee.  But for those that have comps that also provide the same maintenance guarantee, here is a good option to go a step beyond and trump them, all with a simple poster.  If you think about it, if you have a 24 hour maintenance guarantee, that actually represents the maximum time (theoretically) for maintenance to address the problem.  So the average maintenance time will always be less than that number, sometimes much less.  So consider creating a poster for the community that details out the 24 hour maintenance guarantee, and then below that, list out the 12 months of the year.  For each month, record the actual average maintenance time so prospects can see that although the guaranteed time was 24 hours, the actual times being achieved are closer to 9, for example.  This leaves you the flexibility of your 24 hour guarantee with the marketing benefit of a much lower number. What do you think?...

Posted by on in Property Management
Outreach Marketing 101 Outreach marketing allows us to connect with other businesses on a more personal level. It allows us to market our community in unique ways to get people to start talking about us. Outreach marketing will not bring mass traffic to your door but will help bring awareness to your community. The key to outreach marketing is to target areas that have your demographics and to make your presentation memorable, hopefully inspiring conversation about your community when they are talking to a friend about places to live or when they research apartments online. Remember to be consistent with your outreach marketing and build a relationship with local businesses. Here are a few easy & affordable outreach marketing tips you can use for your community outreach marketing. 1) Choose a local business in the area that many people visit to be your community’s “Business of the Week/Month”. Make sure to let the owner or general manager know that you have chosen them as your business of the week or month, and ask if they have any coupons or special discounts they can give you for your residents and prospects. In exchange, feature them on all your social media sites, community blog and property website. Bring the business a present for being your local business of the week or month. Make sure you have a sign printed for them to display that can say “We are ABC Apartments Business of the ____________”. 2) Pumpkin Patches are just around the corner and...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I love to study all things marketing and in the past 13 months I have been taking notes about marketing that gets my attention in an age where traditional marketing channels no longer work. Based on my notes, here are three things I am doing in my marketing plans and activities today:1. Simplify Your Message - Today's consumer is on advertising overload. The days of busy ads selling all things to all people no longer exist. Today, the message the reaches and resonates with the customer is a simplfied one. Stay on target and be clear.2. Keep it Positive - Everyone likes good news. Fun, happy, positive messages are memorable and welcome in all worlds. Celebrate and enjoy. Pass this along to your target customer and it is contagious. 3. Don't tell people what you sell, tell them why they should buy it. 'Nough said!...

Posted by on in Property Management

So maybe you heard about this: Earlier this year, rapper Armando Christian Perez, or “Pitbull”, partnered with Walmart and Energy Sheets in a social media campaign which took a turn for the worst. In June the trio announced a Facebook contest, in which the local Walmart store that received the most page “likes” would receive a personal visit from Pitbull so he could “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with [his] fans.

That’s when David Thorpe, writer for The Boston Phoenix and the off-color comedy site Something Awful, got wind of the promotion and hijacked the campaign by encouraging people to #ExilePitbull to a remote Walmart location on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The prank spread like wildfire season in the interior arctic, and by the conclusion of the contest, a city with a population of 6,000 incinerated the efforts of 4,000 other U.S. locations, achieving over 70,000 Facebook “likes.” 


Posted by on in Property Management
Whew! We’re now coming through another heavy leasing season for those of us in the multifamily industry, anyway. We’ve grabbed and garnered leases left and right. We’ve been able to hold onto a lot of current residents. We’ve gotten leasing bonuses and everyone is finishing up vacation time, even though we are secretly trying to harbor a couple of days to use at Thanksgiving for Black Friday or the holidays.   For me, I have noticed that the hardest “sells” have been those families with school age children. Honestly, it brought me back to the time when my husband was rapidly moving up the corporate ladder, which necessitated many different moves all across the country. I remembered that apparently my husband’s preferred method of informing his family that we were moving was to take us to a restaurant and make the announcement. It seemed his favorite restaurant to do this in was Pizza Hut. Probably because the kids loved the pizza there (and he did, too.) However, after the fourth time it happened, it kind of ruined the idea of going to Pizza Hut for me and the kids.   It has occurred to me that the actual moving experience does not have to be horrendous. It’s the fact that, if you are not the decision-maker, it can be very stressful. After all, if you’re the child, you really get very little input in the decision. Most of the time, your parents make the announcement and start discussing all kinds of...

Posted by on in Property Management
The NEW Generation of RentersNow that the baby boomer generation has begun entering retirement we are starting to see the impact on property behavior. This is the NEW generation of renters.  This generation - those born between the end of World War 2 and the early years of the 1960s - are a very large group in our society; 76 million strong. This means that we are facing a large and growing demographic that is getting increasingly older with corresponding life needs. Changing needs While some may continue to live in the family home as they age, others will look for new housing, especially if it offers smaller, more manageable, more comfortable space. It is fairly common for older people to sell larger, family homes because the bigger space is no longer needed and the maintenance requirements have become inconvenient.   Growing customer base According to the U.S. Census, there are 35 million seniors in the U. S. today—12.4% of the population. Over the next decade that percentage is projected to increase to 16.5% (53.7 million people). Considering this as a customer segment, it has the potential to become one of the best sales pipelines in the market today. So, how do we attract this population to our community? Attitude is key. Remember to whom you are marketing. Yes, of course to the senior prospect - but also to their children and influencers. Don’t approach your customer as ‘old’ - studies show that we routinely think ‘old’ means ten years older...

Posted by on in Property Management
“Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and "virtual word-of-mouth" to boost a company's reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier's gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human.” ~  Reference to the social media explosion after the manager of a Panera Bread restaurant who made a bowl of clam chowder for a young man’s dying grandmother in article written by Bill Taylor, HBR Blogs (Harvard Business Review)   Maybe it is more important to be kind, rather than offering Specials and concessions to our Prospects and to our renewing Residents to entice them to live in our communities.. There are sure to be some cynics out there that will disagree with this, that Gen Y and X will choose price over any other offering when apartment shopping, that our current Residents only want to maintain a status quo without enduring the dreaded rent increase, that our Team members only want raises – that the almighty dollar trumps our ability to offer a connection to one another.   I posted a comment to one of Maria Lawson’s Blogs on Multifamily Insiders regarding loyalty recently. I wrote of how during...

Posted by on in Property Management

As a long-time renter, I have been through many apartment showings in various countries throughout my life. Despite the fact that I have never been a leasing agent, I have a good feel for what works and what doesn't. For the most part, a rental unit will sell itself. The renter usually has an idea of what they like and what they don't. The goal of the leasing agent should be to determine a potential client's requirements and then provide options that meet or exceed those expectations. Personally, I don't like a heavy sales pitch, and from my experience, good leasing agents avoid the hard sell tactics.

Over the years, I have encountered a fair number of agents that really push a property to the point of appearing almost desperate. It made me wonder what might be wrong with the unit or the complex as a whole. To be fair, some properties are just easier to sell than others. Buildings in great locations and newly constructed apartments with quality amenities can attract renters by word-of-mouth, or, by curb appeal alone. For older, less maintained buildings and complexes that are in less-desirable neighborhoods, it can be a more difficult process to get the units leased.