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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
Peachtree Business ProductsSeveral weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Peachtree Business Products in Atlanta.  During a tour of their facilities, they showed me a process their company was going through, which can (and should) be applied to on-site leasing teams, as well! When I first started the tour, I noticed that it was actually surprisingly empty – their facilities are fairly large, and yet, there were significant areas that were simply vacant.  Before I could ask, however, they told me that the company was going through a large overhaul, led from the ground up.  They had started to re-assess all of their processes, but instead of making large, sweeping directives from upper management, they had built teams that included front line employees, brought together to figure out how to make all their jobs more effective. It turns out that the facilities were not previously so vacant, but instead, just vastly reorganized.  They had moved around equipment to streamline the manufacturing process, so employees would have all their materials and key equipment laid out in a logical and efficient manner, rather than running from different areas of the manufacturing floor to get different processes accomplished.  Amazingly, this reorganization reduced the distance walked from 16 miles to only 2 miles! As I listened, it was clear to me that there are great opportunities to recreate this concept at our apartment communities!  Even though apartment communities are not manufacturing, they still have processes they have to go through.  For example, think about the time...

Posted by on in Property Management
Well, here we are almost to the end of the first quarter of 2011.  Many of you made your usual New Year resolutions and two weeks into it, found that it was not at all what it was cracked up to be.  This is most likely because we make idealistic goals for ourselves.  Resolutions should be sensible and attainable, with reach.  So let’s look at where we are now and make adjustments before we move into the second quarter: ·         Be realistic by setting achievable goals.  Winning the lottery, for example, is out of your grasp!   ·         Stop trying to be perfect.  Nobody is perfect, so stop trying so hard. Begin the New Year by allowing yourself the luxury of imperfection.  Perfection is the worst enemy of success. Consider completion to be your goal - not perfection.   ·         Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "I want to be more active," opt for "I will walk every night after dinner" or "I will cut down on watching television.”   ·         Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits.   ·         Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit smoking, but you smoked to relax yourself? What other forms of relaxation are available to you?   ·         Write down your resolutions and set action plans to keep you...

Posted by on in Property Management
     Have you made a mistake lately?  What did you do with that?  Did you hide it, or were you forthcoming and go to your boss and say, hey, I made a mistake, and it cost us X amount of dollars.  If you hide it, how much do you think that cost is?  The cost is horrendous, not only in time, but possibly in your integrity. How about your personal character?  Lots of cost there.  Last I checked we are all human, with the propensity to make mistakes and fall very short of doing everything right. But, I haven’t met a mistake yet, that I haven’t learned a great deal from.      Mistakes are learning opportunities for all of us.  Yes, we make mistakes, and yes, we correct mistakes all the time.  When you make a mistake, as a leader it is important to own up to it and learn from it. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the possibility of creating an even larger error.       Who has needed a property manager and there wasn’t anyone really qualified to hire? Or their personality wasn’t quite right for the existing team onsite. If you hire someone that doesn’t fit or isn’t qualified, you run the risk of setting them up for failure and worse, having to let them go and find another to take their place.  Again, it’s the cost of making the mistake of hiring the wrong person.      When you learn from a mistake and admit to making it...

Posted by on in Property Management
What is it about those certain residents (and let's be honest, we've all dealt with them) that causes a roomful of otherwise mature professionals to suddenly revert to  8-year-olds on the playground? "1-2-3 Not It!" everyone declares, in their own way - whether averting their eyes from the approaching resident, answering a non-ringing phone, or suddenly deciding the printer urgently needs new toner. The leasing agent who has not found an occupying task quickly enough is now "It" and must assist That Resident. 'Tis true, these interactions can feel draining and less-than-productive. Here are a few tips to fall back on to make lemonade out of lemons, or at least add a twist of lime to your crushed tortilla chips: - Listen. Really listen. Too often, we can believe we are listening, when in reality we are forming our next response. By carefully listening to the issue, you may be surprised to discover there is a misperception at work or a simple clarification that can resolve the issue quickly and easily. - Stick to the current issue at hand. It is easy to drag up past confrontations and wrongs to use as illustration, but that typically only adds fuel to the fire. By focusing on the here and now, there is a greater likelihood of identifying a resolution for this particular topic. - Be polite. Whoever came up with “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” must not have ever worked with customers... or had a sibling. Name-calling and insults can...

Posted by on in Property Management
For years I've surrounded myself with people I like (most of us do this, it's pretty natural), but also people that have gifts.  Everyone has some kind of unique gift, but we make choices in who we gravitate toward.  The people I gravitate toward, to me, are inspiring.  Not just the fact that I like them, but how their unique gift, as a human being, sticks with me.  With the way the Internet has evolved with social media I'm exposed to even more inspiring people than ever before, and what I find is that technology also allows me to memorialize interactions with these people.  Whether we follow each other on Twitter, interact on Facebook, or even if I just subscribe to their daily blog, we're connected and I have a log of our interactions and ideas. Hugh MacLeod has a little cartoon about inspiration I shared in a post last week.  Today, even more than ever, I think we have the opportunity to inspire and be inspired.  We have the opportunity to share our unique gifts, and we also have the opportunity to soak in and seek out the unique gifts of others.  I know I will continue to share my thoughts and ideas here, and I truly look forward to connecting with more of you along the way. To try to kick start the idea of inspiring one another, I'd like to share some inspiration with you.   Yesterday, Gary Vaynerchuk's new book, The Thank You Economy, came out.  Gary has been an inspiration...

Posted by on in Property Management
Industry-related blogs are a great way to pick up expert tips, tricks, and insider knowledge quickly and for free. But, of course, there are a lot of blogs out there. Since you only have so much time in the day to surf the web, here’s a quick run-down of five property management-related blogs you should be reading. Marketing and More Property management veteran Mike Brewer, who runs the M Brewer Group blog, is one of the most seasoned and consistent bloggers in the industry. While his blog focuses in large part on marketing, you’ll also find various additional industry topics included as well. Brewer has his fingers on the pulse of current industry conversations, so this blog is a great place to stop by to get a quick gauge of what’s currently being discussed by industry professionals. Cyber Consultant With Behind the Leasing Desk, Seattle-based property management consultant Heather Blume provides readers with musings on the industry and insights on how to up your property management game.  On her blog, Heather writes about everything from staff-related training class excerpts to tips for greening up your property. With quick, snappy reads, this blog is a great place to pick up a mish-mash of ideas to help you better your own business, including everything from tenant retention to customer service. Property Renovations Though Brownstoner.com’s Renovation Blog is Brooklyn-based, property managers from everywhere can learn a lot from the site’s home renovation section. If you’re the type that likes to take on projects—or if...

Posted by on in Property Management
      Have you ever been excited to go shopping only to leave disappointed? That's how I felt today after leaving a department store where I was looking for a new television. From the moment I stepped into the store I was greeted by a sales associate who assured me that all of the associates had over 200 hours of product training. The problem was not with how I was greeted or how knowledgeable the sales associates were. The problem was when I went to look at all the new HD televisions.  Now picture this, you walk into the electronics section ready to drool over all the different size televisions an crystal clear picture quality of all the latest an greatest goodies that modern technology has to offer, finding only to your disappointment that all of the televisions are all showing the same Non-High Definition broadcast, Which roughly translates into the formal wear section of the Miss America pageant being down-graded to T-shirts an jeans. None of the TV's were showing off their true potential. The sales associate wasn't even interested in trying to sell, or even acknowledging the presents of anyone other than a rather affluent looking gentleman who was clearly annoyed by him. Needless to say the only thing I left with was disappointment.    This got me to thinking how can I make sure no one ever leaves my community feeling this way. Even the thought of one of my prospective residents leaving feeling as neglected an unappreciated as I did upsets me, considering we are here to provide quality homes and make our communities prosper. No one cares how knowledgeable you are...

Posted by on in Property Management
As a property manager, you have a great resource that shouldn’t go untapped right at your fingertips: your tenants. For as well as you know your property, most property managers don’t actually live on-site. Because of this, your tenants are more qualified than anyone else to provide insights into potentially beneficial changes, improvements, and upgrades that can make your property more appealing—and perhaps even more valuable. You can solicit information from tenants in a number of ways: through an old-fashioned suggestion box either on-site or at your property management office, through an online form, or through a questionnaire for tenants to fill out upon move-out (or at any other point during their residency at your property, for that matter). In addition to all this, when it comes to encouraging tenants to share their thoughts and suggestions, property managers may want to consider taking a cue from condo associations. Hosting forums on an annual or bi-annual basis for tenants to submit ideas for changes and/or to vote on potential changes you are considering rolling out at your property is a great way to not only receive important feedback, but also to bring tenants together to brainstorm and share ideas that you may have never even considered. Though you have the ultimate say about what does or does not happen at your rental property, receiving this sort of organic feedback can lead you in the right direction, providing a lot of insight into what tenants do and do not want to see happen...

Posted by on in Property Management
If you live east of Nebraska, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about snow lately. As cozy and idyllic as it can be to watch flutter to the ground when you’re safely tucked away by the fire in your living room, snow is a very different beast when you’re forced to contend with it. Particularly this winter, when a new blizzard seems to be blowing in on a weekly basis. As a property manager, contending with mother nature is part of the job description. Some cities even have laws mandating that you are legally responsible for removing snow and ice from the public sidewalks in front of your property. Even if your town doesn’t have such laws, it’s still in your best interest to get rid of that snow. Should someone happen to slip and fall in front of your property—which is all too easy to do right now—you may be legally and financially responsible. Let’s begin by looking at the areas you’ll want to shovel: A clear path leading from the sidewalk to your property’s entry door. A clear path leading from the driveway/parking lot to the closest door. The driveway. The sidewalk area around/on your property. In addition to shoveling these areas, you will also want to scatter salt and/or sand to ensure people don’t slip on any remaining ice. With that in mind, what are your options for removing snow and ice? Do it yourself. If you opt to remove snow yourself, remember, it can...

Posted by on in Property Management
It's A Bird, A Plane, No Wait It's A Baby Boomer!   Marketing to seniors has to be one of the hardest markets but it can also be one of the most fun! How do we go from seniors being hard to market to, to being easy? Ooops, I’m still working on that, if you find out, PLEASE let me know! I have been working at a Senior Community since October 2010 (Not very long so I have first hand knowledge-fresh insider look at the struggles & what is working NOW). The senior community is like it's own little world in our industry! Talk about a culture shock going from Multifamily Housing to Senior Housing. So, how do you market to seniors?  Here are some tips that I have learned and what I have research in. Maybe it will help you out when marketing to seniors!   1) Do not underestimate a senior’s knowledge of the Internet! I have learned this the hard way and let me tell you after getting an ear full from my residents and my grandmother; most seniors today are not Internet and social media illiterates of the past. Today's seniors are one of the largest groups using technology to socialize and for entertainment. Some ways to tap into this market are: YouTube your seniors having fun at your community: Create a short film or series documenting what you can offer your residents. Remember you want this to be entertaining but stating your message to the viewer. YouTube videos...