Guest (Jeff)
Valid in my opinion, Brent. Each asset type certainly has its own unique ideal management concept. ...
Guest (Daisy S. Sterkis)
Great story Laura. Thanks for posting.

Training Trivia

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

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1573304887 [{"id":"192","title":"1%","votes":"0","pct":"0.00","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"193","title":"5%","votes":"4","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"194","title":"10%","votes":"5","pct":"41.67","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"195","title":"20%","votes":"3","pct":"25.00","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 ...
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Technology

- Blog posts tagged in Technology

Posted by on in Property Management
  In a recent seminar at Columbus Apartment Association, Kate Good, National Speaker, Marketer and Creative Consultant for the multifamily industry, gave a speech regarding the current effects of the economy on the multifamily housing sector.  I read pieces of the speech and was enthralled by the data collected by Ms. Good and the points about the changing face of the renter.  However, one of the observations, the increase of specials and concessions offered in today's market was very concerning.  .  According to Ms. Good, approximately 70% of communities nationwide are offering concessions, everything from one month to four months free.  You can view this blog written by Chrissy Wills at http://kategoodblog.blogspot.com/.I have spoken to many people in the industry and found they are divided about specials and concessions offered by communities.  I guess you can say they are "necessary evils".  I say this because renters are researching communities more effectively now than they did even five years ago.  As prospects click on the homepage for apartment communities they are immediately greeted by pop-ups about free rent.  Now, I am seeing the internet coupon used.  By the way, I think internet coupons are a smart way to track traffic.   Without specials and free rent, some potential renters are skipping the community altogether.  It's the WIIFM effect.  In my opinion, giving away so much free rent undermines the integrity of the pricing scheme at the community.  Why not re-evaluate the rent scheme and compete with your competition on market rent instead of...

Posted by on in Property Management
OK...so you have this one floorplan that just will not move. Your manager just annouced an amazing special to lease the apartment. You start making phone calls to prospective residents. You keep getting voicemails because most of your prospects are at work. You can always send a quick email with pretty words and urgent messages to entice your prospects. So you send the email and you wait for the them to call back. But, I am sure other communities are doing the same thing as well. So, you need to stand out and be unique!You can create a mini website to push the apartment. Google Sites is a great tool for this. Perhaps your IT department can help you with a website template site as well. All too often we fail to utilize the strengths of the IT team when marketing. However, that's another blog topic.I created an account with Google. I love Google - I can do almost anything I want to market the homes and communities. I use the Google Sites (http://sites.google.com) to create mini websites to email to my leads. Here is a simple site I created to market a 3 bedroom home at Alexan Belmar in Lakewood, CO: http://sites.google.com/site/threebedroombelmar/. This site tells your prospects all they need to know about the home and it gives actual photos so they can see the home. I prefer to use websites because loading and downloading pictures through emails can be a hassle. It takes time and memory and some prospects...

Posted by on in Property Management
TurnSocial screenshot on UrbaneApts.comIf you're like a lot of us, you're working hard to extend your company's web presence beyond your website. You're probably using blogs, social networking sites, and more.By the time you're done (if that's even possible), you might have dozens of websites that house content and/or spark conversations about your company – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, etc. This is a good thing. Casting a wider net gives you more opportunities to get/stay in front of current and prospective customers, and content from peers is always more powerful than romance copy from marketers. However, while this might make your business easier to find, it creates another problem as your brand's online presence becomes increasingly decentralized. How can you show off your brand's personality and your social media prowess to someone who stumbles upon your website from one of your ILS ads? Many websites and blogs now feature that standard row of social media icons that seems to scream "We're one of the cool kids, too!" These aren't bad, but they don't really tell the visitor much, other than the fastest way to leave your site and play on Facebook. There is also a number of companies that want to aggregate the content of other brands (like yours) to give their users a full view of what people are saying about your brand. So what am I getting at? [Warning: Blatant sales pitch ahead.] We want to provide marketers with an easy way to share social media content with visitors to your website,...

Posted by on in Property Management
Laundry room organization exampleThere are many ways to engage your residents on your apartment Facebook fan page! There seem to be many questions surrounding what type of information residents would like to read about from their apartment communities. It's easy, just think of your Facebook fan page as a newsletter! Here are 4 more content ideas that might interest your residents:1. Update residents on new ideas for space saving, organizing, recipes, D-I-Y decorating, and crafts from Martha Stewart (just don't forget to give her credit).2.Beauty & style or money savings tips from makinglifebetter.com.3.Local and online coupons for products and services.4.News and local area events.Do you have any other ideas or great sources for information? Please share your ideas with us! This post is a follow-up on 6 Tips for Facebook Content.Charity Hisle      "Keep laundry supplies tidy and out of sightwith built-in shelves and a curtain that can bepulled across them when the laundry is done."    ...

Posted by on in Property Management
 So you receive your energy consumption bill in the mail (electric or natural gas).  It's already not a pleasant item to have to open, but you have no choice.  Much to your chagrin, what you owe this month nearly gives you a heart attack.  Then you reflect on how you have to pay all this money this month for your utility bill and yet your home never feels comfortable!! It is still so hot and my air conditioner is always on and nothing, no relief, still uncomfortable!!   Then you notice a little pamphlet inside the envelope that your bill came with.  It has a simple title, "Would you like to make your home more energy efficient?"  You gasp "YES" and you read the information.  It clearly outlines for you what it will take in order to start saving money.  Tips are given on your windows, doors, filters etc.  As you read through the material you come to realize two things are necessary in order to start feeling comfortable in your home.   1. Decisive Action 2. Spending Money on materials to upgrade various components in your home.   Now can you imagine yourself analyzing these 2 steps?  Would you be saying to yourself, "How ridiculous this is to spend money in the short term in order to save money in the long term?"  I would hope not.  Could you see yourself with such an important matter putting this decision off until next year?  I would hope not.  What is important? ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Thanks to the Apartment Association of Tarrant County, I enjoyed one of the most successful and interesting days of my professional speaking career. The program was successful not due to the content Russ and I presented, but rather the folks that were in attendance. Russ declared, according to his math we had over 3 centuries of experience in the room, at an average of 18 years in tenure. That was greatness and a certain ice breaker for what eventually turned into a casual, yet lively discussion, about management ideologies and technology. This was the highest caliber group I have ever spoken to, let alone been given the opportunity to converse with at that level, about core considerations and business processes. Let me tell you, when I realized who was in my hometown audience, I was immediately intimidated and overwhelmed. Today when I saw Anita Hord, Sr. VP at Pace Realty here in Dallas, as a member of the audience, for a moment all I could think about was my interview as a prospective leasing agent for Pace in 1987. Oh, let me mention I got a job at Johnstown Management shortly thereafter, obviously not Pace caliber. That's when the perspiration began, profusely. While my battle with monkey mind (distracting mind chatter) and my lack of confidence were screaming well along, I told everyone that they needed to give me a minute or two to pull myself together. This allowed me to refocus ... to not be that young, ungroomed professional of...

Posted by on in Property Management

Bad PrinterSubmitting a rental application is a HUGE step for both the potential renter and property manager alike. Once the potential residents have submitted a rental application, they have made a conscious buying decision. It is a fact -phone leads, email leads, and walk-ins are great, but completed rental applications are golden.  It's a wonder then, why so many multi-family properties still use only paper and PDF applications when it comes to leasing their apartments! In the age of technology, it has been proven time and time again that electronic submissions are faster, easier, and more organized than a long paper trail.

I'm sure you're thinking, "I have a PDF application that potential renters can print, fill out, and bring back or fax it to me; what's the difference?"

The difference is huge!

First, ask yourself, "How many of your PDF rental applications have you received from your website and internet ads in the last 12 months? 1, 2, 5?"

Online Rental ApplicationPDF applications don't work because they are essentially the same as a paper application that is picked up at the office. In fact, in most cases it is the exact same paper application, just uploaded to the Internet to be printed. Applicants still have to fill it out and bring it to you or fax it. We've learned that the less running around people have to do, and the more convenient their application process is, the more likely they will be to rent with your property. Convenience is key!

We personally own ten multi-unit apartment properties in the Southeast. Our properties, receive an average of 2-5 new rental applications a week from their websites and internet ads! One of our properties had 29 sight-unseen leases last year!

Sergio Navarrete

Online Rental Application by Occupancy100.com

Posted by on in Property Management
It struck me today that we started Creativity For Rent 5 years ago this fall.  At its inception in 2004:•    Facebook didn’t exist.  Today it has 70 million US users.•    Nobody was Tweeting because there was no Twitter.•    Companies were cutting edge to the extreme if they offered online availability.•    If you missed the Super Bowl, you couldn’t check out Janet J’s wardrobe malfunction because there was no YouTube.•    The iphone hadn’t been invented.  There was no app for that.How times have changed....

Posted by on in Property Management
What is your best source of traffic? Are you getting leads from the Internet? How did they find you? Where did they start, end, travel to get to you? Wouldn't we all love to know. I shared this on a discussion and decided to make it a blog. I have started to hear more about the consumer changing their apartment search pattern. IF you think of the ILS as a loop around the city  and city wide searches starting from the outside parameter. At first the consumer googled  "Apartments Atlanta" and worked their way in. Today many savvy internet searchers are taking a direct appoach. Now instead of a parameter search, or beginning with the complete city, they switched to a direct address approach often beginning with their work. The consumer is searching address and then using google neighborhood to search Apartments completely bypassing the entire pariminter search terms. We know that this does not include everyone, because the ILS is still managing huge traffic. However, we are hearing about more address bases searches. Here is a list of mapping services with links to help you be sure your site is properly represented. I would love to know what would happen if someone started placing lead tracking numbers on each mapping services to create data on how many renters are following an address based search through the mapping services. All of these are free listing with no subscription required. I would love to find out how many direct leads to company websites are being...

Posted by on in Property Management
 I have been blogging on this topic and posted this down at the bottom of a long list of comments, so I decided to start a new blog. The question has been asked - Should the term Web 3.0 be used with Social Networking?YOU GOTTA LOVE GOOGLE  -http://alwayson.goingon.com/page/display/15568?param=session/118A program was presented at the Stanford Summit 2007, Moderated by Charlene Li, SeniorAnalyst, Forrester Research including both Travis Katz, SVP MySpace Internationaland Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder Facebook. Topic: Social Networking 3.0 and thefirst question was "What is Social Networking 3.0?” You can follow this link to read the discussion and review audience polling.  If Travis and Dustin find it a relevant topic for discussion at Stanford in 2007, the terms are obviously used inharmony. If you want more - Google "social networking web 3.0" and you will find plenty to read. I am excited about being a part of the community here at Multifamily Insiders. I have a ton of other great topics to discuss and want to hear your comments. I will be posting more blogs soon - thanks for the conversation! I am working hard to share relevant, timely, creative and thought provoking information in my blogs!Web 3.0 is still being defined by the minute. My use of the term is to indicate that there is more to come! The next generation of the Internet is under development and it is dynamic and exciting. I know that there are properties that still don't have computers or Internet and we are talking Web 3.0. I...