Guest (Jack Weissman)
Great advice Shelby! I feel like the level of professionalism in our industry has improved over the...
Making it easy for the resident to submit a service request is important, too. If the problem is sma...

Training Trivia

In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

Powered by Grace Hill
1351069359 [{"id":"214","title":"True","votes":"15","pct":"55.56","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"215","title":"False","votes":"12","pct":"44.44","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/79-in-property-management,-the-only-true 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

Posted by on in Property Management
imageThe completion of a move in inspection is a document with serious legal ramifications. Without a complete and executed move in inspection, management has no documentation to show the condition of the apartment at the time of move in.  An executed document shows the resident accepted the condition of the apartment with whatever notated findings. There are several methods to ensure return of the move in inspection. The move in inspection is completed with the resident by management immediately following the lease signing.  Both parties sign off and the document is complete. Companies that allow a longer period of time might retain the mailbox key requiring return of the move in inspection before the mailbox key is issued to the resident. Scheduling a follow up visit to insure completion of any additional repairs can create positive customer service.  The resident should be able to anticipate a response from the management company for any items documented on the move in inspection. Are the items reflective of wear and tear from the previous resident or are there repair items to be completed? Including maintenance team members in the move in process for the inspection and orientation can provide a number of benefits. The maintenance team receives first hand feedback on the condition of the apartment home-preferably positive, but in the instances that a resident points out a repair or cleaning item that was overlooked, the experience will create an impression that will insure the item is not likely to be overlooked in the...

Posted by on in Property Management
NAA Exposition 2014 This industry is the best one ever, filled with great people who love to share with others the great things they are doing. If you stepped outside of this industry and talked to others, those other industries would probably all say the same things about themselves. Heh. Still, we know that we’re the cool kids who steal the other industries’ lunch money. Plus, we’re much better looking as a group. All the types of people in this industry ARE awesome. There’s the leasing agent who answers the phone, grills prospects on their needs, and generally looks amazing while collecting commissions. Leasing managers of all types are awesome too. Renting, delegating, being in charge of resident complaints, and sitting behind desks or iPads. Their responsibilities are many and they always look so good doing it. Their suits are crisp and pressed and their perfume smells great. Don’t forget incredibly smart. It’s a women dominated world. Maintenance people do things I don’t even understand. While watching maintenance mania at NAA, I sat in stunned silence at what they were doing. The majority of the things looked complicated. They were experts with switching out ball cocks and flicking switches and wiring harnesses. They hustled, broke a sweat, installed ice makers, and ran around with their arms in the air. At first I was in awe of it, then got confused, then fell asleep. The awesome-ness factor in my mind is due to the mystery of it all. My wife calls me the unhandy man of the...

Posted by on in Property Management
As with any professional business, everything revolves around the aspect of the money. Before anyone can make or manage the money, you have to figure out how to spend it. Whether we like it or not, budgets are a key component of good management practices at your properties. Most multifamily professionals feel that the main responsibility of their company is catering to residents. True, but we need to remember that it still IS, in fact, a business. And we need to have a solid roadmap to accomplish our business goals. Making a profit should be foremost in our minds…daily. It’s that delicate balance of dealing with two sides of the equation: the “human side” and the “financial side”, both paramount in the success of your performance. Every decision has a price tag attached to it: if it’s a $5.00 decision…make it! But if it is a $5,000.00 decision …better get some council and do your homework! It all comes down to your ability to make a profit without jeopardizing the integrity of the operation. Yet at the same time, you have to maintain a good reputation for residents and prospective residents. With that in mind, here are some words of wisdom before you embark on your budgeting journey. Control the Controllables! Prepare yourself for the budgeting process mentally, emotionally, and physically. Set aside specific times when you devote yourself to working on the budget. If you can, delegate some of the tasks to your staff. And help yourself be on...

Posted by on in Property Management
Property management companies implement online payments to eliminate unnecessary work and to add convenience to their life. Sadly, some property managers are so overwhelmed at the office that they don’t have extra time to maintain or promote the system. What they don’t realize is that with a little effort, the number of online payments received can drastically increase – resulting in a huge time savings when it comes to collecting rent. And even better news is that your payment vendor may be willing to do all of this on your behalf. And for free! Here are some things your payment provider should offer you to maximize utilization of your online payments program. Custom Resident Marketing Pieces Custom marketing pieces should be a standard offering from your provider. Based on your portfolio type, your payment provider can make recommendations for the types of materials that will be the most effective. Additionally, they should customize the pieces for your company and print them for free.  The more residents that know about online payments increases the likelihood they will choose to pay that way. Training Programs Instead of conducting trainings yourself, lean on your vendor to train employees on your online payment system. Your payment vendor’s reps are experts on the system and can answer any questions your employees may have. They can also give pointers on the most efficient way to process payments online. Be sure they also provide you with user guides and/or knowledge base articles for you to reference should...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
This week I am in Las Vegas, speaking at the Multifamily Executive Conference, on a panel about big data and its relevance to the multifamily industry.  In preparation for the session, I began to search around for definitions of big and small data, and it got me thinking about some of the unique challenges of the multifamily sector. An interesting Harvard Business Review piece made a particularly salient point about small data: very few companies know how to exploit the data already in their operating systems.  It’s a broad observation about industry in general, but its sub-text – don’t get hung up on “big” data when you already have so much low-hanging fruit within grasp – is well-applied to the multifamily industry. Readers of this blog will be familiar with our views on multifamily benchmarking.  There is no shortage of data sources and products that are designed to help us with it, but none of them enables apples to apples comparison of performance.  Other industries that have adopted revenue management have all adopted a standard industry revenue metric. The benefits are obvious – revenue drives the industry fundamentals, you can’t understand performance unless you can know your competitors’ revenue, therefore you should benchmark revenue performance against your comps. For multifamily companies to benchmark revenue performance, the data of many companies must be pooled and distributed among participants.  The data that is exchanged is confidential, which means that an independent third-party (i.e. not one of the companies providing/benefiting from the data) must...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Is your sales system really customer centered? I know you care about your prospects and customers. I know you want them to recognize how much you care about them. But when you look at how your company trains sales, how it talks about leasing and what steps you’re expected to follow, are they really all about the customer? Or are they all about your company’s process? I’ve looked at a lot of sales training in this industry, and most of them teach a model that looks something like this: The model teaches leasing associates how to handle a first contact, how to tour a prospect, how to deliver a quote and how to process a lease. Throughout this, it emphasizes things like Qualifying the prospect Establishing the tour path Selling “features and benefits” “Asking for the lease”—often accompanied by a secret shop scoresheet that gigs you if you tour somebody and don’t ask them if they’re ready to sign a lease If this sounds familiar, then ask yourself how much of this is really about putting the customer first. I would argue very little—this approach is really all about our process and our objective to “make the sale.” A customer-centered approach is one that actually looks at the decision process prospects go through and matches our behaviors to their journey. It’s less about selling than about helping the prospect make a decision. Most of our prospects are going to rent somewhere, so we don’t need to sell to them. We just...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Is newer and bigger really better? Apple wants you to think so with its recently launched version of a tablet phone that looks strangely like a few other models already in market. While Apple competitors are mocking the new phone entry as an old hat, they may be missing the point in that the new Apple phones - in big or traditional sizes - satisfy the appetite of Apple loyalists who know what they like and what they're willing to pay for their favorite fruity brand. Switch gears to apartment leasing... There are lots of bells and whistles that come with new options for ancillary income, new ways to make it less expensive for applicants to pay security deposits, and new options in amenities. But when you get past the hype, the same old challenges still remain: how to convert and move-in more applicants who have the ability to perform...and by perform we mean be nice to the unit and deliver their rent and other charges on time. Let's focus on move-in costs. The role of security deposits has changed. What was once regarded principally as a means to protect against losses at the end of a lease has now evolved to a competitive lease offer term that can make or break the close with applicants selecting between one or more communities. Five hundred dollars to move in here or $1,000 there – a 'no brainer' to the applicant who may not want to tap into their savings... but a potentially...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
Are you looking to branch your multifamily efforts out and into a new region or area? If so, then you probably realize that there are a lot of factors to consider when making this move. But, which factors are the most important? It is said that all real estate markets are local. Aside from the basic need to research things such as the current and future supply of multifamily units in any area of interest and looking at what's been happening to the rents and prices in those areas, we also need to take a good look at the types of industries within a metropolitan area and how they provide insights into the demographics of the markets being served. A great example of this can be seen in areas where technology is flourishing. For the most part, investors find that these areas are best for catering to the younger demographic--the twenty-somethings. In contrast, in areas where the finance market is thriving, residents tend to be more in their thirties or forties. Regardless, in both of these examples, the would-be renters are more likely to be employed, earn a higher wage, and--especially for the older crowd--have assets that make them more stable tenants than other would-be lessees. The most popular and successful areas for multifamily dwelling will continue to be locations that not only offer a close proximity to employment opportunities, but also offer up plenty of easily accessible activities like dining, shopping, entertainment, and other needed services like public transportation, medical offices, and...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Google Web Search is always evolving in an effort to continually increase each user’s experience. Structured Snippets are a new feature that provides important and relevant facts as “result snippets” in a Web Search. This helps users find the particular information they may be searching for, without having to browse an entire web page. For example, in a search for an apartment community, snippets could return your floor plans, amenities, and rent prices just from the Google search page. Facts will vary with each search, as this feature continues to be perfected and enhanced for easier user experience. This new feature has been brought about due to the partnership between Google Research and the Web Search team. Through machine learning techniques and new algorithms to determine better quality and relevance, each snippet returns up to four facts. You can find snippets on your mobile searches as well....

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
What do you believe is the greatest invention in human history? Electricity? The number zero? How about Gutenberg’s printing press? Some intellects believe the measurement of time to be the most influential invention in human history. Without social context what does an hour mean? A minute? A century? The same goes for online marketing. Without context and understanding, when is the best time to expect the highest chances to interact with your social media audience? You need to make sure you are posting when your desired audience is using and consuming if you hope to engage and influence them. Similar to time, when to post on each medium is relative. Facebook Best Time: 1pm-4pm results in the highest interaction and engagement Peak Time: Wednesdays at 3 pm Worst Time: Weekends before 8am and after 8 pm Twitter Best Time: Mondays-Thursdays 1pm-3pm Peak Time: Monday-Thursdays 9am-3pm Worst Time: Every day after 8 pm and Fridays after 3 pm Pinterest Best Time: Saturday Mornings Peak Time: Fridays 3pm Worst Time: Sharing during normal work hours Google Plus Best Time: Everyday 9am-10am Peak Time: Wednesdays 9am Worst Time: Early Mornings and Evenings You may be curious to know which time zone the times are referencing. It reflects the time of the users. Adjust your social media campaign to fit your audience, not vice versa. If you are looking to implement a nationwide campaign, I would suggest posting to the EST time zone, allowing your post to be live for the optimal time across all time zones thus allowing...