Hi Michelle,

That's a clever strategy especially with international students or even students liv...
I am a Property Manager. I ran a student property - UCR - University of CA Riverside, for 5...

Training Trivia

Which of the following practices is permissible and in accordance with Federal Fair Housing law when managing student housing communities?

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- Blog posts tagged in Technology

Posted by on in Property Management
The Dos and Don’ts of Twitter For apartment leasing and new home community sales By Jory Rozner Strosberg, ThePropertyDiva DO Find industry experts, local businesses and local people relevant to your propertyFollow themListen to themLearn from themConverse – Re-tweet interesting tweets, reply often, respond and ask questionsAdd value – Tweet good articles, good ideas and good answersBe transparent and somewhat personalLet us know who is tweeting for your communityKeep your brand message consistent DON’T Don’t try to rent or sell by spamming your twitter stream with your available unitsDon’t use twitter as a billboard to tell us about your specialsDon’t have different people tweeting for your community on different daysDon’t fail to respond to your @mentions or direct messagesDon’t direct message (DM) people with your specials or offerings.  Save that for your opt-in email lists Follow these simple steps and suggestions and you will automatically begin to get followers, learn a lot and increase your brand exposure for your community.  If you don’t, people will unfollow you or  just tune your noise out. Jory Rozner Strosberg is a Chicago Realtor and property marketing consultant.  When you want to boost your sales or rentals and want new, fresh ideas,  contact Jory Rozner Strosberg, ThePropertyDiva at 847.436.4752 or email me.  I specialize in innovated marketing ideas, internet and social media as well as Realtor outreach programs for the multifamily industry. You can also find me on TwitterVisit my website Jory Rozner Strosberg, THEpropertyDiva!   ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Many of the apartment communities that I'm connected to on Facebook are set up as profiles rather than fan pages. The problem is that having a profile for business is against Facebook's terms and conditions.  Lisa Trosien has pointed out that she gets regular calls from apartment communities whose profiles have disappeared because they went against Facebook rules. So all their work, contacts, etc are now down the tubes. Unfortunately, there is no easy converter to change your profile to a fan page. So instead, you have to spread that message to your network and inspire them to become fans. Here is a video that will help you do that.[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRbOiKLoVbY 444x250]  (In the video, I reference the Custom Profile Box.  You can find the app here:   http://apps.facebook.com/profile-box/.  If you are looking for a similar solution for your Fan Page, you can use the FBML app.  Changes to the Facebook Fan Page may impact how this application works, however.)  I am sure there are other great ideas to spread the word - What other suggestions can you all give?...

Posted by on in Property Management
Is your property website mobile-friendly?Nielson reports that the use of mobile devices to browse the web increased 34% from July 2008 to July 2009 (56.9 million). Are you alienating these users from viewing your website? If prospects pass your office and attempt to see more property information from their phones, will they be able to do so?Why is a mobile site so important?The rapid adaptation of the mobile web is leaving many companies behind.  Although Nielson projects that the majority of mobile phones by 2011 in the U.S. will be smartphones, many companies aren't making the investment in mobile websites.   eMarketer predicts that by 2013, nearly 50% of mobile phone users will access the mobile Internet at least monthly.All companies should consider making the effort to establish a mobile site that is easy-to-use on the go. Mobile research is not only used by Generations X and Y, even seniors are increasingly using the Internet. According to Focalyst over half of Americans ages 62-71 online. With the increase in smartphone sales, it won't be long before seniors start using mobile devices for browsing the Web. Why not make it as easy as possible for prospects to learn more about your property?From rent research, to maps and directions, there are many opportunities for you to engage your audience where your competitors do not.Here are some tips to make your website more mobile-friendly:Many people use their phones for finding directions, be sure this option is clearly visible and user-friendly so you don't miss a walk-in opportunity.Phone screens are small, space is a commodity....

Posted by on in Property Management
People ask me all the time about facebook. Some people are just confused, some are scared, some are excited, some are clueless, still others hesitant, and then there are those who FAKE it! (You know who I'm talking about!) Why all the confusion? Why all the ruckus? I just don't get it, and if you have been reading my posts and know my tagline, well, I GET IT. But all this confusion is...confusing!So, let's talk it out, or should I say, blog it out. I've narrowed down the top three questions I get asked most often:1.) What is my ROI when using facebook as a marketing tool? - This is usually asked by various levels of upper management - your CEO's/COO's/VP's/Director's. Occasionally a very business-minded manager also ponders this out loud.2.) Should my site(s) "do" facebook? - This is usually asked by someone who realizes that they NEED to be on Facebook - because everyone ELSE is thinking about it or already "DOING IT."3.) What should we (as sites) be "doing" on facebook? - This is usually asked by someone who has just opened up a facebook account and realizes they don't know what to say or "do." Their friend list consists of 22 people - 10 of whom are vendors, 8 are competitors, 1 is their mother, and the last 3, they *hope* are residents or prospects of their apartment community. OUCH.Don't get me wrong, there are a TON of other questions, but these are the ones I get asked most often. AND, very relevant questions for beginning users, intermediate users, and...

Posted by on in Property Management
Online or otherwise-automated rent collection has the potential of simplifying one major headache for on-site apartment teams. And even better, residents seemed to really want this new ability themselves, providing a nice benefit to them, as well. But somewhere along the line, the plan has broken down. According to a recent report by NMHC, an impressive 81 percent of apartment operators utilize online rent payment through either credit card, bank transfer, or both. But when the dust settled, only 18 percent of residents actually used the service. The report states that 76 percent of residents still make the walk to the leasing office each month, rent check in hand.  The report mentioned a few obstacles that online/automated rent payment had, including:Costly convenience fees for credit card transactionsIntegration problems with property management softwareAccounting and reconciliation issuesOf course, that does not explain the lack of bank transfer use. Was there a element of confusion with setting that type of transaction up? Or possibly a misguided lack of trust issue? If you offer these services, what are the reasons you have heard why residents don't participate in your online/automated rent payment options? (If you would like to see more statistics from the NMHC report or would like to view the entire report, click here.)...

Posted by on in Property Management
This may come as a shock, but I've been thinking. After the Rent.com debacle, I started thinking about the ILS models in general. I've shared some of my thoughts about ILS's in a MFI discussion (click here) before, but here are some more ideas and I want yours please. Tell us what you want to see. How do you want to see the ILS's change? [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMXtv5SG-7U 444x350]As seen @ Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Do you ever wonder what your high school sweetheart, quarterback, class clown, cheerleading captain, class nerd, and valedictorian are up to these days? You may have lost touch with these people over the years but all is not lost. Baby boomers and beyond are finding social networking sites appealing for the same reasons most people do - to stay in touch with people. They are interested in reconnecting with old friends and classmates whom they haven't talked to in more than 30 years.  Currently, 16.5 million adults age 55 and older engage in social networking, according to Internet monitoring site comScore. A consumer survey of U.S. consumers from the NPD group, Inc., a leading provider of reliable consumer research, shows that 61% of baby boomer Internet users (age 44 to 61) had visited sites that offer streaming or downloadable video, while 41% had visited social networks. There are helpful, even enjoyable and easy-to-use, Web sites that offer social benefits such as networking opportunities, research tools, and helpful articles on everything from retirement to long term care. These sites allow you to sign up and join, meet others, post articles etc, while others provide access to useful information regarding life after 55. The industry experts at After 55TM Housing and Resource Guide and SeniorOutlook.com continue to stay abreast of new media trends and want to provide you with a list of social networking sites that can benefit you. Facebook Facebook is a place to connect online with your friends and family...

Posted by on in Property Management
Social Media- Know Your Risks  By Nadeen Green, Senior Legal Counsel at For Rent Media SolutionsWhen you got ready to leave home today, you knew there was the possibility that someone could wrongly come into your home to steal things, so you probably locked your door, and perhaps set an alarm.  Then, when you got behind the wheel of your car, you knew there could be an accident, so you buckled your seat belt.  No one is telling you not to leave home or not to drive, but both of these activities pose risks.  Everyday we take risks, and the better informed we can be about risks, the smarter and safer we are.  The same is true for advertisers as they embrace social media to promote their apartment communities.  Social media is a great innovation, but it does have its risks, and the better informed advertisers can be about those risks, the smarter and safer they are. Remember that a website is a form of advertising.  As a practical matter it is no different than any form of traditional advertising, and the same rules apply.  The things you say must be true, because if they are not, it is libel; you have to be aware of consumer laws (watch out for sweepstakes that are really illegal lotteries); and, you have to honor the trademarks and copyrights of others. And of course, don't forget about fair housing considerations.  The point of a website is to advertise the community; what is posted on a website (and that...

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...