I'm a big believer that the way to the heart is through the stomach, at least it is for me! And whe...

Training Trivia

What percentage can a resident save on heating costs by lowering their thermostat setting from 70 degrees to 68 degrees?

Powered by Grace Hill
1256159104 [{"id":"192","title":"1%","votes":"0","pct":"0.00","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"193","title":"5%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"194","title":"10%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"195","title":"20%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/73-what-percentage-can-a-resident-save-on-heating-costs-by-lowering-their-thermostat-setting-from-70-degrees-to-68-degrees No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!
Multifamily Blogs
  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
Subscribe to this list via RSS

Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
Many apartment communities have adopted utility billing programs as part of their energy management initiatives.  Properties will use these programs to help encourage conservation, share the burden of utility costs, advertise lower rents, and to pass along utility rate increases as they occur instead of waiting for the lease to renew.  These programs can be of value but ONLY if they are done correctly.  Unfortunately, I often find that there is substantial room for improvement.First, let's consider the business model of the billing company.  They get paid based on the number of bills they send out each month to your residents.  They don't get paid based on how effective the program is - meaning they don't have any incentive to ensure the program is meeting the property's goals.  Further, once a property starts a billing program it is hard to stop which means the billing company has a rather secure source of revenue.  These programs are hard to stop because the properties build them into their leases and rent structure.  Also, many of the billing companies try to get management companies to sign long-term contracts with auto renewals - don't do those.Before you begin a utility billing program for any utility type (water, electric, gas, etc.), I strongly suggest that the property take measures to make sure the consumption issues have been addressed prior to starting.  Trying to pass along the cost of utilities when consumption isn't where it should be is going to mean higher bills for your residents which...

Posted by on in Property Management
leaky bucket This statement was made on a call I was on and at first I agreed. Something did not ring right though... Here are my thoughts and I would love to hear yours. No doubt this economy is impacting all of us in some way and it is safe to say that many are now looking at change as a necessary evil. It is human nature to be content with status quo in most cases. So here is the question that came to mind; have we changed over the last 200 hundred years because we had to or because we felt we could make things better? I strongly believe that most changes have come from the possibility of a better way to do things and not from the pain that could be caused by not changing.   In fact most inventions may have been looked at unnecessary by many and are now "indispensable". Do you believe that Thomas Edison thought that electricity was a need or did he see opportunity for a better and more comfortable life? I know my great grandmother did not let electricity be connected to her home until 1974 because she was just fine that way it was... What does that have to do with you?... Everything! Today's challenges are tomorrow's opportunities. By embracing change as a new and better way to do things you will gain a source of excitement rather than a feeling of beating beaten up. The key word that I see tied to...

Posted by on in Property Management
Homeowners associations and rental property owners are evaluating their policies surrounding secondhand smoke as laws and attitudes across the country evolve.  Condominiums, cooperatives and co-housing developments have approached this issue by changing their CC&Rs through a membership vote, but apartment owners have several other considerations.  People have become accustomed to signs that ban smoking at work and in other public buildings, but it gets dicier when landlords start to restrict smoking inside and outside residential buildings.  If current trends continue, however, they will be getting some assistance from their local municipalities.  City officials across the country are attempting to address threats to public health and smoking cigarettes is on the hit list. Who smokes?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the most recent figures available show about 46 million adult Americans were smoking in 2008.  That is about one out of every five people, with gender divisions at 23.1% for the men and 18.3% for the women. When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows: Whites 22.0% African Americans 21.3% Hispanics 15.8% American Indians/Alaska Natives 32.4% Asian Americans 9.9%  Unfortunately, there were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups with 23.7% of 25 to 44 years olds current smokers, compared with 9.3% of those aged 65 and older.  Still, with a super-majority of Americans not smoking, it should be no surprise that tolerance for the habit has waned. Respecting our behind-closed-doors mentality, the sanctity of one’s home has been considered utterly sacrosanct whether rented or owned.  However, as sacred and inviolable as the concept may be in theory, landlords are getting pressure from their tenants, insurance...

Posted by on in Property Management
I toured a community with a a client recently, and as we pulled up, commented on how impeccably clean the grounds were. (Not a small task, given the age and size of the community.) My client said, “That’s because Lincoln works here. He is amazing. There he is now”. As we approached, Lincoln waved his shovel in the air in greeting. He came up to the car with a big smile and an enthusiastic “Hello! How’s it going?” My client commented on how good things looked, and he said, “Oh, thanks. They could look better - I’m working on that nasty pile of snow in the corner now.” A thankless job, grounds. Many think it an easy position that anyone with a modicum of responsibility can do, and others think it a terrible job that anyone (including groundskeepers) would hate to do. Both assumptions are wrong. Groundskeepers clean up after people, pets and the elements all day long knowing the next day they will return and start all over again. It makes me weary thinking about it. Funny, the really good groundskeepers I have had the opportunity to work with never seemed to get weary. They see in their position the opportunity to be creative, accountable and do tangible work every day, and understand the impact their efforts have on value creation and resident retention efforts. Making the community just right brings them strength and satisfaction. Lincoln has the kind of attitude that makes you smile, and think, “Why can’t everyone...

Posted by on in Property Management
Multi-family complexes include rental apartments, condominiums, and cooperative apartments. For insurance purposes, they have many common characteristics and some important individual differences.Rental apartments are multi-resident buildings owned by an individual, partnership, or corporation. Condominiums include unit owners, who hold title to their living space and an association of unit owners that controls the common areas. In a cooperative, commonly known as a "co-op," the residents hold a life tenancy to their apartments and they own stock in the corporation that owns the building. In all three formats, insurance should be purchased to properly cover all buildings, equipment, and related business personal property owned by the building owning entity.The insurance policy should provide coverage for replacement cost, agreed amount clause, flood and earthquake, ordinance or law, code upgrade, loss of rental income, extra expense coverage, and back up of sewers and drains. Additional coverages may include: debris removal, preservation of property, fire department charges, pollution cleanup, newly acquired or constructed property, outdoor equipment, etc.If multiple buildings are involved, a blanket insurance policy is recommended. There are three levels of covered causes of loss which may be written: Basic Form, Broad Form, and Special Form.The Basic Form covers losses caused by:fire, lightning, wind, hail, explosion, damage by aircraft or vehicles, riot, civil commotion, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, sinkhole collapse, and volcanic action. The Broad Form includes the perils of the Basic Form and also covers losses caused by:falling objects, weight of snow, ice or sleet, water damage, and glass breakage.The Special Form includes all risk of direct...

Posted by on in Property Management
I LOVE American Idol. At the audition stage in the game, when the judges are trying to find the best talent in each city, in 10 seonds or less, they can tell whether someone MIGHT have what it takes to "Be The NEXT American Idol."In some ways, American Idol is very similar to the resume-interview-callback-job offer process. The end result is the same: Every company is looking for their NEXT rockstar. Are you IT?(Picture provided by nickel.media on Flickr through creative commons license.)Not feeling so much like a rockstar? For every apartment jobs listing I post, I receive somewhere between 100- 250 resumes. How do you stand out in the sea of paper, shine at your interview, get called back for a 2nd interview and land that job?YOUR Resume = The AuditionReceiving over 100 resumes is not fun. I've got it down, much like the American Idol judges, in 10 seconds or less, I determine if the candidate is "qualified" enough to get to the next stage. How do you stand out in 10 seconds or less?Less is more. Don't send in a 3 page resume. I'll never read the entire thing in 10 seconds. With over 100 resumes, my job is to screen candidates OUT. Don't risk getting screened out too soon by providing me all that information - and much of it being irrelevant to the job I have to offer. Shorten it up. Focus on the relevant points, and shorten up the rest. Oh, and follow directions folks! If the job...

Posted by on in Property Management
Wear and TearWear and tear is a fact of life for every landlord. Since we’ve already spent some time on this blog looking at how to tell the difference between damage and wear and tear, let’s talk about the specifics of what to expect when it comes to basic apartment fix-it work and how to stay ahead of the maintenance game. Generally speaking, the best time to take care of wear and tear on a unit is between tenants. And often, this goes beyond just doing a thorough clean and making sure that everything is spic n’ span for your next tenant. While it’s so obvious that this between-tenant downtime is the perfect opportunity to take care of any and all outstanding issues, all too often things are still neglected. Whether it’s because the window of time between tenants is so short or expenditures are already up for the month, it can be easy to let the little things fall to the wayside until next time. Our best advice? Don’t. No matter how small a wear and tear item seems, no matter how loudly the voice inside your head tells you it’s okay to leave that tiny scratch on the hardwood floor until the next time you flip the apartment (“But it’s so small!”), don’t delay. As we’ve discussed so many times before on this blog, all too frequently little things become big things if they are left unattended. Also, the best way to ensure that your property maintains—or even better yet increases—it’s...

Posted by on in Property Management
 1/12 of the year is over, and the clock is ticking. Have you made progress towards your occupancy goals, or have you started the year off already behind? Your PRIME leasing season is coming - are you ready? Whatever the case, the best way to maximize your upcoming leasing opener is to call your Internet Listing Service (ILS) account rep TODAY.Why?#1: ILS's for the apartment industry are your BIGGEST source of traffic.#2. Because you are UNDERUTILIZING all that they offer.It's time to Get READY, Get SHARP, CALL! Work smarter and pull ahead of your competition. Your ILS partner can help.(Picture provided by ShellyS on Flickr through creative commons license.)ILS technologies change all the time. In the apartment industry, we complain all the time, and the few people who actually listen to us and DO something about it is our ILS's. The technology changes constantly, there are new marketing/advertising packages out there, new reporting capabilities. Want to know what is working and what isn't working? The one person who would know, AND willing to share with you their vast sea of knowledge is your ILS representative. The advice, training, and information your Internet Listing Service representative can bring you could amount to HOURS of research, hundreds of calls, and a TON of reading. Your rep can shave HOURS out of that process and share with you the information YOU need. And the price can't be beat - it's usually part of doing business.Here is a list of things to discuss with your ILS representative so that you can better...

Posted by on in Property Management
We all cope with aging in different ways. In my case, I have always taken solace in the fact that I don't quite look my age. But this week, I got a rude awakening. I had a few headshots taken for a speaking engagement, and in one of them, I look ten years older. The photo captured every wrinkle and every uneven spot in my complexion. I look in the mirror every day, so to me, my appearance doesn’t seem to change. But seeing the truth captured in print was a wake up call that my perception was not in alignment with reality. This same type of shift—a slow erosion that's unnoticeable month to month but adds up over the course of a year—is happening in the online advertising space. During the past year, it's likely that a combination of the economy, a proliferation of new sites, and your own improvements to your website and internal web marketing have reduced the number of leads you are getting from paid advertising sources (although not all sources are experiencing declines) . Renters are being more careful than ever, which is also decreasing the average closing ratio. But has this shift changed your thinking about the standards by which you measure your ILSs? Some marketing managers are very realistic, but many are still expecting to pay less than $10 per lead. In most submarkets, you'll be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Sure, you’ll still get some leads, but if you...

Posted by on in Property Management
As I travel the country, talking with on site staff, I hear a lot of the same comments and complaints from these hard working folks. So, as I have done in the past, I’ve assembled their most common issues they have with their owners and/or management companies.( I also get these remarks via email and even occasionally by phone.)Oh, and please don’t shoot the messenger folks. I’m just telling you what I hear.So, here in no particular order, are some reasons why your site level staff might not respect you.1. You’ve never worked a day on site, therefore, you really can’t relate to me.2. You’ve never had to talk to residents about their loud sex, their out of control children, their barking dog or their bounced check.3. You’ve never found a dead body. (For the record, a lot of us who work on site HAVE found dead bodies.)4. You say things to me (and to my team members) that are completely irrelevant to our jobs, proving to us just how out of touch you are with site level people.5. You can wear jeans or something very casual to work every day because your office is ‘business casual’. We can’t do that on site, so please don’t wear your jeans to our site offices. Respect the fact that we have to dress professionally.6. We know you sometimes fly in a private jet because you mention it often enough and it filters back to us. Many of us have never flown on any...