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
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Miscellaneous
Motivation is defined as “the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something”. I have come to define motivation as a mental strategy that you can use to perform the tasks you need to get the job done. The problem with most of us is that our motivation is low when we need it most. This article will discuss the two different types of motivated people, how to create a strategy to tap into motivation when it is needed and discuss how values and beliefs affect our motivation and how we can increase our motivation with aligning our actions with our values. Please allow me to use my successes and failures as examples throughout the article to illustrate how you can incorporate the strategy into your life. The two types of motivated people are the ones who move away from pain or the ones who move towards pleasure. The direction of your motivation is either towards what you want or away from what you don’t want. It is extremely important to find out what type you fall into. I don’t think either strategy is positive or negative, although I would always prefer to move towards what I want and towards whatever brings me joy. Unfortunately, I fell into the away from pain type. My success in real estate came from moving away from pain. I was dreading the thought of going to work, being stuck in an unfulfilling occupation, not generating enough income and most importantly not living...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Stacy Bouchard from D2 Demand Solutions posed the question “Is your Sales Process Prospect-Centered?” a few weeks ago. While it’s a great question that the apartment industry needs to strongly consider, looking at the sales-cycle is only half the battle. Making the sales cycle prospect-centric can only be so effective if apartment marketing is still delivering sub-par leads.   For example, most multifamily websites provide a feast of choices and assume that the online prospect will take a self-guided tour through the site, consuming whatever content they feel like. Having options like video tours, vibrant site maps, and online leasing is good. But, in some instances, it may be too much of a good thing. You wouldn’t give a prospect a brochure and a sitemap then tell them to go look at whichever parts of the property they felt like. So why are we doing it online? In most cases, the answer is “because we want qualified leads.” And that’s not a bad answer. It’s just not a prospect-oriented answer.   According to some sources, the average prospect looks at more than 20 communities online prior leasing. That’s 20+ self-guided tours of pool photos and amenity lists for every prospect that contacts your community. Crafting a prospect’s experience through the marketing funnel provides opportunities to customize their journey and shorten the path to leasing.   Making the marketing experience prospect-focused doesn’t have to be a forced process and for some, a self-guided experience is just how they like it. Exactly how...

Posted by on in Property Management
It’s hard to find the compassion when a resident is standing in front of you, yelling, accusing you of stealing her rent check. Onsite team members deal day in and day out with the most challenging of situations. I wonder how many in upper management understand this. Just yesterday, at a property, the former property manager called to ask if the property had received a package for her as she had it sent to the property address. (No idea why since she no longer worked there.) When she was told they had not received anything for her, she stated loudly over the phone, “Well, I used to have ALL of my packages shipped to the property and they were ALWAYS delivered with no problem.” She was asked how the package was supposed to arrive; she replied by USPS. “Uh, well, today is Veteran’s Day, so no mail was delivered today,” the Leasing Consultant said. Apparently, this answer was still unacceptable as Caller proceeded to say someone in the office must have stolen her package. Finding compassion (and a sense of humor) must become first and foremost a priority each day for our onsite team members. Otherwise, even the most experienced, calm, and professional person might simply walk away from this career path. It truly is a challenge each day when you have a resident, whose monthly rent payment is $2.00, NOT pay on time. When it is all said and done, the late fees can total more than this resident’s...

Posted by on in Student Housing
In a media driven world that is oversaturated with marketing messages and advertising, it’s hard to stand out. Generally speaking, student housing providers don’t have massive marketing budgets to purchase primetime television spots or launch massive guerilla marketing campaigns. Having said that, you don’t necessarily need a huge budget or a world-class marketing team to launch some outstanding campaigns.  Here’s our favorite student housing marketing campaigns from the last few years.   1. Landlord Lou – Killam PropertiesKillam Properties set out to target student renters in the Halifax area and to position their company as a leading student housing provider that cared about its tenants. With the help of Colour.ca, Killam launched the Landlord Lou campaign which focused on a fictional character that went above and beyond with helping young student renters.  Killam set up a temporary website called LandlordLou.ca (no longer operational), ran a competition for free rent for a year, created several YouTube promotional videos (some netting over 100,000+ views!) and various other marketing initiatives. Killam was successful in generating full occupancy in its properties and received exposure from national business media. Also, Landlord Lou won an ICE Award for the best online campaign.   2. St. Patricks Day Snapchat Geofilters – Varsity PropertiesVarsity Properties  has excelled in their student housing marketing initiatives and were one of the first student housing players in Canada to leverage Snapchat as a leasing tool.  Varsity Properties utilized Snapchat Geofilters for St. Patrick's Day which ended up being used 651 times and yielded an estimated 43,000 impressions....

Posted by on in Property Management
img_0665 Benefits of Lease Renewal An effective resident retention program offers many benefits. The most obvious benefit is lease renewals. Increased renewals result in a reduced number of move outs. Reducing move outs reduces turnover expenses. This affects labor expenses for our team, contract and supply expenses. We don’t have vacancy loss or the marketing cost to find a new resident for the apartment home. We have saved expenses in a number of expense areas, and possibly limited some capital replacements. We have probably secured a rent increase. In addition, to the many areas of expense reduction (saving) we have also added revenue of a rent increase times twelve to the property rental income. There is a wide range of value from a lease renewal. How well do we prepare to present the new lease offer to our residents? Generally, a form letter mail merged to pull name, address and new rental rate are mailed a month or so, before the current lease expires. The letter is generic confirming to our residents; they are an apartment number and a rental rate. Even more disappointing are preprinted letters, poorly copied, with spaces for the “required information fields.” Retaining a resident will continue rental income, thousands of dollars. The time to prepare a renewal offer? Even if it takes 15 minutes to prepare a renewal letter, consider the return on the investment. Twenty five percent of a leasing persons hourly rate. Certainly a wise investment. How to Personalize A Lease Renewal Offer An...

Posted by on in Property Management
The year 2016 has been exciting to property managers, to say the least, particularly on technological advancements.  Going by recent developments in the real estate sector, it’s pretty obvious by now that every year marks a milestone for the industry, with new trends affecting not only property managers, but also owners, renters and buyers. It may be difficult to conceptualize now, particularly for the new breed of property managers, but about 15 years ago, the real estate industry was a different game altogether. Records were arranged in heaps of handwritten files, consequently making storage and retrieval very cumbersome and difficult for all parties involved. Marketing vacant units greatly depended on word of mouth, while management, even if you had an extensive portfolio, was entirely onsite based.   Compare that to 2016, a year that has seen the number of prospective renters and buyers who search for properties online rise to 80%. 91% of property managers and realtors are now leveraging social media one way or another, but unfortunately, only 9% of them use it to market their listings. Additionally, contrary to previous years when renting was cheaper, it’s now 35% cheaper to buy than rent in the US. But, millennials still widely prefer renting over buying, largely because of the convenience attached to rentals. Even when a bulk of prospective renters and buyers are relying on online forums, property managers and agents are still heavily dependent on referrals, which generate 49% of new leads. Unfortunately, after successfully acquiring leads, property managers now have to wear different hats, by...

Posted by on in Property Management
It's been a long, bumpy journey this election season. The campaigning has been going on for months and months. There have been attack ads. A seemingly endless stream of articles, think pieces, op-eds and memes. And, of course, Alec Baldwin. But the end is finally—finally—in sight. We all deserve a break (and a stiff drink). So here is the definitive guide to throwing a successful election-night party at your apartment community. Read the full story here: The Definitive Guide to a Successful Election-Night Party at Your Apartment Community...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Inevitably, the sizzling apartment market occupancy rate had to cool off at some point. That time might be just around the corner. According to a recent report by the National Multifamily Housing Council, rent softening is already underway in a number of markets. Market conditions in all four indexes in the NMHC’s October survey, including market tightness, sales volume, equity financing and debt financing showed weaker numbers than the previous quarter. The findings indicate that the growing supply of new apartments has finally begun to catch up with demand. Panic isn’t going to help, but ramping up your marketing efforts will. We’ve always recommended that you continue marketing through the slow season to maintain consistent exposure, even when the market is trending upward. But whether you kept marketing or dialed it back a bit, now would be a good time to reinvigorate your marketing campaigns. If you don’t take action now, come leasing season, you might be in more of a fight than usual for leases. Here are a few ways to make sure you get a head start on your comps. When spring arrives and your comps are desperately trying to regain exposure and traffic, you’ll already be ahead of the game. First, start with some housekeeping items: Follow the market trends. Analyzing market trends in rent, occupancy and more at the unit level on a regular basis is vital to your ability to effectively price apartment homes. Make sure you’re receiving market trend reports from your marketing partner so...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
demand_management.jpg Multifamily housing operations often takes a cue from travel and hospitality management. In that vein, I would like to talk about a business term that is fairly common in the world of travel and hospitality but hardly ever used in multifamily housing. That term is “demand management.” We’ve borrowed many pricing and revenue management (PRM) concepts from travel and hospitality; however those industries have moved far beyond mere PRM and into the much more integrated and sophisticated world of demand management. The “PRM view” focuses on how pricing translates available demand into realized demand (in our case leases); in contrast, a “demand management view” expands well beyond pricing to include everything else about how we generate demand and convert it to leases. As with PRM, we’ll need to modify the concept of demand management to the unique characteristics of multifamily housing. Doing so uncovers the key drivers to managing demand within our capacity constraints: 1. Lead Generation The first part of any demand management platform is the process to create the demand in the first place. The interesting thing about multifamily housing is that we’re really in the “structural demand” business., i.e. we don’t create demand through marketing. Rather, outside stimulus (job change, family status change, etc.) create the demand, we just need to “catch” it. That’s why I’m a fan of a “honeypot” strategy—put as many “pots” out there as possible to catch demand where prospects are shopping. Online that means strong SEO and investments in ILS (including craigslist)...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
This month marks my second year as a home owner and I truly miss apartment living.  Buyer’s remorse? More like the apartment blues.  Don't get me wrong, I love my home but I jumped into things with all of the wide eyed exuberance of a first time buyer.  I had big plans for my new home; remodeling, painting, hardwood floors – the works.  Now that all of the work has been done and the newness is wearing off, the reality of what it means to own a home is overwhelming at times. Articles abound describing the pros and cons of renting versus buying and while arguments can be made on both sides, highlighting the cons of home ownership could sway residents into staying a bit longer at your community.  Beyond the move-out calculator, here are 5 things to impart upon residents who are considering the switch. 1. Maintenance – kind of a no brainer.  Maintenance is usually our go to defense when residents talk about home buying.  But let’s go a bit further.  Do residents have a full understanding of what entails a professional service call?  Plumbers, electricians and the like incorporate additional fees such as trip charges and diagnostic testing on top of labor and material costs.  Some companies often do not have the proper licenses and insurance coverage – things apartment residents may not know to ask. ACTION ITEM: Create an itemized list of costs associated with common household repairs.  2. Neighbors – where to begin.  If there is one...