Hi Mindy! Great to hear from you! Your comments are so true...we will fall back on what is familiar ...
Great article, Rommel! I would like to add that each sales professional will almost always fall back...

Training Trivia

Which of the following is an assumptive pre-close?

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Posted by on in Student Housing
Every student housing market is a little different but one thing remains consistent - all rental property owners wish to maximize profits and keep vacancies low.   In order to accomplish this, some property owners have adopted the idea of renting by-the-room, instead of by-the-unit, especially in competitive rental markets. There are both benefits and drawbacks of both to consider.In student housing, a landlord will often rent a property to multiple unrelated individuals. When the only option for students is to rent an entire unit, they must group together ahead of time. Many students don’t have groups of friends or know other students who are searching for housing as well, especially if they are first-year students.  As a result, they often prefer to rent a place individually. If these students cannot afford an entire unit on their own, then their rental options can be limited. This is why many students prefer to rent by-the-room.  In addition, it saves them time and the situation of trying to find a reliable group of peers to share a unit with.Renting by-the-room also absolves students of the concern and potential expense of a roommate not paying rent or causing damage to the unit. When renting by-the-unit, the lease typically requires all roommates to be responsible for the rent and condition of the unit. This is generally known as the Joint and Several Liability clause, where in the event one roommate stops paying rent, the others will have to cover the amount.   A factor to...

Posted by on in Property Management
Many if not most multifamily housing folks truly make the effort to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act and are well aware of the need to accommodate persons with disabilities (PWDs).  Compliance is the goal not just because civil rights law and prudence dictates, but because it is the right thing to do when any PWD seeks reasonable accommodation in order to manage better in their apartment home.  So handicapped parking is reserved if need be; the PWD at an older community is allowed to install a ramp when needed; the resident who is deaf can have visual doorbells and fire alarms.  The types of requests are many and varied, but perhaps none causes our industry more angst than those related to service animals, assistance animals, companion animals, emotional support animals, working animals (chose whatever term you prefer – for this blog I am going to use “assistance animals”).  And when an animal is really, truly providing a service of any kind for a PWD, we will do what we need to do.    But what about imposter service animals - those that sport an “official” vest or patch and have paperwork obtained when someone (usually not a PWD) has gone to a website and registered their pet (usually a dog) and paid for that vest and paperwork?  Ahhh – now I hear some gnashing of teeth, and I mean the human ones.  Because we know, we absolutely just know, that there are many people out there without disabilities who...

Posted by on in Property Management
Being in the vicinity of a meth lab puts a person at risk of personal health problems due to the chemical residues. It also affects personal safety because of the risk of an explosion. For a landlord, the cost of cleaning up a home contaminated by a meth lab could cost $10,000 or more.   Here are the signs you should not ignore:   Neighbors complaining of strange activity at the home, such a people coming through at all hours of the day. A random abundance of common materials used for meth production, such as: cans, bottles, tubing, propane tanks, cooler, portable stoves Packages of suspicious chemical substances like acetone, brake cleaner, drain cleaner, iodine, paint thinner, phosphorous, etc. Strong, unpleasant smells – similar to cat urine.   Ask yourself, “Why does my tenant need paint thinner?” or “What IS that smell?”   You can purchase DIY meth detection kits online for around $50, or you can pay a professional service to perform a more comprehensive test for just under a thousand dollars. While that might seem costly, it is nothing compared to the price you will have to pay to evict, and then treat your home for contamination....

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
I was asked to be the manager of a small team of 5 people about a year after I finished college. At the time, I was sure this was due to my management skill, but in hindsight, I believe the promotion was largely due to my performance as an individual. Very often, managers are promoted under similar circumstances, and this practice is not just limited to software companies1. Many of the Property Managers and Regional Managers I meet were at one time the best leasing agents in their office now promoted to be managers. Being a new manager is difficult, not in the least part because now all of a sudden you’re accountable for the work of other people. And people can be so… unpredictable. New managers all go through a phase where they ask themselves, “how can I be a good manager?” To add to the proliferation of opinions on the internet, I’d like to share one more through the lens of a simple weekly meeting: the 1:1. Managing Sam (my perspective; name changed to protect the innocent) Sam was one of the first employees I managed. He was bright, fun to work with, and methodical. Previous to my promotion, we had been peers. As a new manager, I just presumed that since Sam was such a nice guy, he was surely being productive. We didn’t really meet to discuss his work, but I was able to observe his output. We were good friends, and often went to lunch as a...

Posted by on in Property Management
Do you cringe when you hear the words “budget season?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. Budget season is a busy time for multifamily professionals. With numbers to crunch and dollars to stretch, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and check out these 5 tips to help make this budget season a little less stressful in your office. 1. Stay OrganizedWalking in to the office each morning and being greeted by a messy, disorganized desk is a guaranteed way to start your day off on a stressful note. So, at the end of each day, take a few minutes to organize your desk so you can start the next day with your paperwork organized and easy to find.  2. Take a BreakStand up and stretch. Take 5 deep breaths. Take a quick walk around the block. Stepping away from your desk every now and then allows you to clear your head so you’re mentally prepared to take on your next task. 3. Ask for HelpYou don’t have to do everything yourself. Instead, delegate tasks to your team so you can all work together to ensure everything gets finished. 4. Make Your Health a PriorityDuring the busy budget season, it’s easy to put yourself last on your list of priorities. Don’t fall into that trap! Unhealthy habits like frequent trips to the vending machine and skimping on sleep can actually make you more stressed! Instead, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular exercise and clocking enough sleep each night so you wake up...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Anyone who rents or invests in multifamily in any of the major U.S. markets knows that the multifamily industry is seeing substantial growth and that the shortage of inventory and increasing demands for units has elevated rental rates through the roof. On the national level, rental rates have seen a year-over-year increase of about 4.5%. According to Trulia, markets like San Francisco, Denver, and Oakland have actually seen a 10% increase. In some markets, like Miami and New York, a two-bedroom unit can cost more than 60% of the average renter’s paycheck--twice the 30% allotment most budget-conscious renters allow for their monthly housing. Of course, most renters in these larger, more expensive markets make up for these higher costs by having multiple jobs or wage earners or living in smaller units. On the other side of this trend, savvy renters looking for a bargain are beginning to flock to cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, or Houston, where rental rates are still increasing, but are more manageable compared to the average local wage. This overall increase in rental rates and the new push from competing investors has caused the average multifamily property’s sale prices to rise as well. According to the Multifamily Index, the industry’s steady growth has seen an overall increase of 7.8% in the last year and pricing for the multifamily index has now come within 8% of the pre-recession peak it experienced in 2007. When you add this to the fact that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that current...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
We all know that websites play an important role in any business today. But the majority of us only know we need them, maybe what we want them to look like or say. It’s another thing entirely to understand how to do that properly...in a way that will deliver the results we need.   That’s why you hire experts to do it for you, right? Well, it’s still smart to know the basics so you can pick those website experts even more wisely. And know what to watch out for.   SIDE NOTE: My experience with websites extends back to 1999. I started playing around with search rankings in the early 2000’s and ran an Internet marketing company for a few years (we specialized in building websites and marketing them using SEO, SEM and VSEO). I say all that to say this: I’ve learned some things along the way and I believe in sharing! So here it goes...   Choosing Your Domain Name If you already have a website, you have a URL that looks like www.myurl.com. You can purchase these on Godaddy.com. A quick, easy way to get them cheap is to first search for “cheap domains” and click the Godaddy ad for $0.99/domain.     Whatever you do, don’t let your website provider purchase your domain. They could get bought out, go out of business or, worse, keep your domain if you try to leave them (sadly, a common practice in some industries). It’s not a good choice, and...

Posted by on in Property Management
imageHow healthy is your property emergency contact list? Is there a reminder in your planning calendar or property procedures to contact emergency providers with changes in telephone numbers or staffing?  Unfortunately a failure in this process usually results in a former employee or the company COO receiving a middle of the night notification because they had the only valid number on the call list with the alarm company.  In an emergency, effective time management is critical.  Overseeing real estates investments worth millions of dollars warrants appropriate emergency care and planning. An emergency plan outlining responsibilities with a list of stocked supplies is also a must have. An apartment building that experienced a devasting fire, consuming most of the building in minutes, was able to safely evacuate every resident.  A list updated on a regular basis; listing every resident with mobility limitations was creditied with assisting in the evacuation efforts. Contacting the emergency service providers; fire, ambulance and police departments to tour the property for an open house style experience will assist these services.   Providing a valuable knowledge of the building layout; location for emergency resources prior to an emergency event; explanation of elevator emergency systems accessibility of a Knox box key storage list of residents with mobility limitations, including the date to show updates and review. overview and explanation of the fire alarm and monitoring system. Emergency support agencies should be contacted at least twice a year.  Not only should the property specific information be reviewed, but also, inquiring if...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
I am a football junkie and I am very excited that NFL training camps have begun and that the start of the regular season is only a month away. What’s interesting with training camps is that the teams already know which “stars” are going to make the roster. I mean, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos are not worried about whether they’re making the team, are they?   The real battles to watch concern the role players on the team; these are the men who are either not stars yet, or quite frankly will never be stars, but can still perform at the level necessary to be professional football players. While being a player on special teams, or being the backup tight end may not seem sexy or exciting, those players are still an hugely important component of a football team.    A football team needs everyone, both stars and role players, to be able to perform at a high level … and the same is true for your leasing team as well.    Role Players Have a Valuable Role   Throughout my 25 years in sales and management, I’ve only met about five people who I would consider to be “natural sales people.” These were the people who could sell anything to anybody and would always top the sales charts in the organization. Understandably, most companies want sales teams composed entirely of these selling superstars. Wouldn’t you?   Yet, I’m here to...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
We are under a lot of pressure to deliver results when it comes to marketing programs and efforts.  Things are much easier to measure, so expectations are higher.  And of course this also brings a lot of observers watching your every move. Well, I have a tip that alleviates some of that pressure.  Leverage the content that your residents are already contributing.  Conversations about you are happening whether or not you encourage it.  Are you listening, engaging, and sharing?   This is the content that truly converts prospects into residents.  It’s real stories from real residents, people that are trusted. Create a campaign and engagement plan that will increase and improve the conversations.  But don’t be intrusive.  Let your influencers continue to run the show.  You just need to focus on creating opportunities from the relationships you have formed.   ...