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

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1256159104 [{"id":"192","title":"1%","votes":"0","pct":"0.00","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"193","title":"5%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"194","title":"10%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"195","title":"20%","votes":"2","pct":"33.33","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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Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
In an earlier blog, SEO strategist Patrick T Mower explained how Google has no love for Facebook Likes and provided some great insight on Facebook's strengths and weakness for SEO marketing. But don’t get too discouraged about social media, because it can and will have varying levels of positive influence on your SEO rankings. There is one social medium, however, that has a major, direct influence, and that my friends is…*drum roll please*…Pinterest. As you've probably heard, this photo-powered online social sharing site can have a direct positive correlation toward improving your apartment community's SEO rankings. To help to make the most of Pinterest for SEO, here are the key strategies to remember with Pinterest marketing for apartment communities:   Associate Pinboards with Keyword Families Create a unique pinboard for each keyword family you want to focus on. And (this is crucial), you will want each pin within this pinboard to contain your targeted keyword(s). As the images on your pinboards are repinned, it broadens the reach and strengthens the association between your campaign and the repined keywords. This can be done much like any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, because in both respects you're creating different keyword strategies to develop and promote a spectrum of targeted campaigns.   Allow Online Visitors to Market Your Message Pinterest wants to supply users with high-quality, visually rich content; and they want to make everything as easy as possible. By adding the “pin it” button you allow your apartment website visitors to share your photos and increase your online presence. When you add a “pin it” button, make sure...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
One of the biggest problems facing today’s entrepreneurs is the lack of access to financing. In fact, 98% of the businesses that are able to secure an appointment with a venture capital firm fail to secure financing often as a result of a single element in their business plans. The Small Business Administration reports that, regardless of the level of legitimacy of the business’s need, banks in the United States are lending less often. In 2011, banks had over $607B worth of outstanding American business loans, all of which were for $1M or less. In comparison to the same period of time in 2008, that’s a reduction of about $100B. As discussed earlier in the week, crowdfunding, is the practice by which informed investors pool their money together into a single deal. For real estate investors, that would be to acquire property. In return, the investors earn a share of the profits once the deal is complete. Aside from the smaller risk, the “crowdfund” investor is able to benefit from having other informed investors involved in ensuring their deals’ success. It’s clear that the advancements in technology have revolutionized the ways in which we access and gather information. Researching an investment was once more of a cumbersome process that took not only time and money, but know-how and access to previously publicized resources. These days you can research everything from property profile data and lean information with nothing more than an address or parcel number. Once you’re invested, there is technology available that allows you to track...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, SEO and PPC always seem to be competing for marketing budgets.   Many marketers in the multi-family industry often wonder, “Should I be using PPC, or SEO?” To help settle the debate, I invited Property Solutions' Ryan Hill (SEO Manager) and Ryan Mower (Sr. Paid Search Strategist) to share their thoughts on the strengths and weakness of each approach to determine which is a better fit for your apartment community website.   Which Strategy Brings Greater ROI? Ryan Hill - “SEO definitely brings greater ROI for the long term. It is all about your reputation. Renters will refer other residents and talk about your online reviews, or personal reference thus generating more traffic and increasing keyword rankings. “ Ryan Mower - “Depending on situation, short term PPC would bring ROI because the campaign will immediately begin. You get instant traffic. For long term, there might be keywords that are hard to claim the top spot for SEO; with PPC you can immediately get traffic from that keyword. Once SEO starts, PPC can then adjust strategy for keyword variations. " Which Strategy Brings More Site Traffic? Ryan H - “One big component of SEO is to leverage social media sites like Google +, Facebook, Twitter to gain traffic. With SEO you can gain traffic without having to pay the individuals sites for an ad campaign, which can be very costly. Thus bringing traffic from a mix of sources unlike PPC. “ Ryan M - “I am waving the white flag for this question. However, with PPC you are guaranteed traffic,...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
This week, Facebook announced they are revamping “Pages” -- which, if you’re new to Facebook, are essentially timelines for anything besides an everyday individual like you or me. Think businesses, organizations, brands, products and bands. Refreshed Design Facebook Pages will now have a new, cleaner design similar to the layout you’ve probably noticed on your own personal timeline. The new design will feature a two column layout, much like the current version. However, instead of posts appearing on both columns, the left side of the page will feature general information about your business (like your website, phone number, business hours and photos), while the right side will be home to all of your posts. A rail on the far side will provide a summary of any ads you’re currently running on Facebook, as well as additional notifications that may need your attention. The jury’s out on where additional custom tabs (such as contest entries and additional media) will appear, but my guess is that they will live under the “more” tab. Facebook shared this image in their announcement as an example of what the redesigned Pages will look like. An Eye on the Competition Facebook is also adding a new feature called “Pages to Watch,” which, as the name suggests, will allow Facebook admins to make a list of similar Pages they’d like to keep an eye on. Facebook admins will be able to access basic analytics for the Pages they watch to get an idea of how they’re performing. For property managers,...

Posted by on in Property Management
The nice thing about renting is that you don't have to worry about foreclosure, right? Not necessarily. Many tenants have come home to see a notice of foreclosure on their front door. Of course the responsibility falls on the landlord but the situation is also stressful to renters who are unsure of what they need to do now.Understandably, renters who receive a notice of foreclosure might question whether they need to be worried. Will they be ordered to leave? How much notice will they have? These are questions many renters have asked themselves. Fortunately, the law has provisions for people in this situation. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act which was passed in 2009 spells out the various rights that tenants have when the landlord loses the property through foreclosure.Tenants' rightsOf all the tenants' rights spelled out in the law, two are the most important:   1.   Tenants with a written lease cannot be ordered to vacate the property   until the lease has expired. The only exception to this is if the property   is purchased and the buyer intends to occupy the home. Then the tenant may   be given a written notice to vacate within 90 days      2.   Tenants without a written lease are considered month-to-month tenants   but are still protected under the law. At the time of the foreclosure sale   and if the buyer wishes to, tenants can be given 90 days to vacate the   propertyWhether the tenant has a lease or not they are guaranteed at least 90 days...

Posted by on in Property Management
Buzz,swish,buzz,swish,buzz, swish: That's the theme song of rent week that every community or assistant manager  has accepted as their awful fate every month. The dreaded check scanner for rent checks, or worse, money orders...or let's take it even further—that sound acquainted most with rent week is the unwrapping of band-aids as you cover yet another paper cut from handling resident checks by hand, one-by-one. And don’t forget, this isn’t just a check scanner solo, it’s a duet with residents who are still coming in to drop off their rent check and talk about the noisy neighbor that needs to be taken care of or how one of the washing machines isn’t working. Music to the ears, right? Community managers—Victims and survivors of the monthly battle of paper payment processing.  But, do they need to fight the fight every month? Luckily, you know the answer: online payments and electronic money orders. Almost every property has them, yet the average amount of residents who pay their rent online at any given property is approximately 32%. Why? Do residents just love their paper payments? According to 2014 NMHC's industry report, 79% of residents say they would prefer to pay their rent online or via a smartphone. So where does the issue lie? Through the majority of consults I've completed, the usual problem is simply informing residents that you offer online payments! "But when will we have time to increase our online payments when we need to process paper payments?!" your on-site staff cries. Well then, might I...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
A renter’s search for a new apartment in the town where (or near where) they currently live usually goes something like this: Decide to move. Search for apartments online. Look at photos and videos. Read reviews. Call or email for more information, if needed. Narrow down apartments and schedule tours. Decide on new apartment or return to step 2. Obviously, that’s overly simplified, but you get the general idea. But for renters looking for an apartment in a new city – whether they’re moving for a new job, the military or to be closer to family – the process can be a bit more complex and challenging. For one, many renters who are looking for an apartment in a new city are under tight time constraints. Plus, renters relocating to a new city don’t have the luxury of dropping by an apartment community on a whim to get a tour of available units. In many cases, their entire apartment search process has to be squeezed into one Saturday afternoon during a pre-move visit to their new city. Apartment communities that make the search process a bit easier have the opportunity to better connect with these busy out of town renters.  Read on for some simple ways to appeal to renters who are relocating to your area.  Provide Visual AidsOut of town renters don’t have the luxury of touring dozens of apartment communities. Instead, they’re more likely to narrow down their choices to a few communities and schedule tours of those few apartments during...

Posted by on in Property Management
  Virtually every property management company has strict rules against the use of illegal drugs on their property. It’s a policy designed to keep everyone safe, to uphold community standards, and to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. The anti-drug rule became a challenge, however, when medicinal marijuana became legalized. If a tenant had a valid prescription from a licensed physician, what could a property manager do besides make allowances for it? This, of course, led to situations of “Well if he can, why can’t I?” which are always a headache for property managers no matter what the subject. Now with certain states legalizing marijuana and more trending that way, property managers are going to have to deal with a whole new set of issues. Will pot-friendly properties be the wave of the future? Will the growing of marijuana on the property be allowed? How will property managers deal with prospective tenants who don’t want to be exposed to marijuana where they live? How will property managers handle drug testing of their staff? There are still a lot of questions to be answered with regard to legalized marijuana and property management, and as more states legalize, the situation will only become more complex. Forward-looking property managers should take the time now to decide their policies on this issue so they’ll be prepared when and if the time comes....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
This is a fairly common question that our staff often receive from landlords - When is the best time to post my rental property advertisement for students?   Unfortunately, there is no absolute answer to this question. But as a rule, we generally find that the old saying usually applies - The early bird gets the worm!   Many students often plan ahead and start looking for housing options long before they start school. In addition, after 10 years of experience in the off-campus housing industry, we have learned that students move around throughout the year, especially if they are dissatisfied with their current place of residence.   Having said that, there are other factors to consider: academic calendars, how competitive the rental market is in your city, when students get their housing assignments and much more! It is our goal to help landlords and property managers analyze these factors and successfully fill their vacancies!   Generally speaking, most schools have two major start dates - one which begins in September (fall term) and one which begins in January (winter/spring term). Keep in mind that each academic institution’s programs are unique and many schools now offer short term courses with varying start dates. As well, many programs involve co-op terms which may require students to move. Landlords can visit most school websites for clarification of program start dates and details.   Students typically start searching for accommodations a few months before their term starts. In competitive rental markets, students often begin searching for a place six or...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Finding and replacing tenants can be a costly task for landlords.  When property managers come across great tenants, it’s in their best interest to try to retain them for as long as possible.    Here are some proven strategies that landlords can use to find good tenants and keep them:   1) Choose Tenants Carefully: It is beneficial to take some extra time to prescreen tenants thoroughly, rather than rush the process and accept applicants immediately.  Many landlords check references, request guarantors and/or perform credit checks.   2) Be Responsive: Being quick to respond to any type of inquiry is incredibly important. Landlords should never ignore a phone call or email from a tenant.  It is best to respond promptly, as it shows that they are concerned about the condition of the property, as well as the tenant’s comfort and safety.  3) Treat Every Maintenance Request as Important:  While a tenant’s maintenance request may seem insignificant or small to a landlord, the tenant might regard it as urgent and important. If the problem can’t be fixed immediately, inform the tenant and provide a reasonable timeframe in which they can expect to have their problem resolved.  4) Ask for Feedback:  By asking tenants what they like and dislike about the rental, landlords can gain valuable input on how to improve the property. Some suggestions may not be feasible to implement, while others might be simple and cost effective to consider.   5) Respect Their Space:Unless it’s an emergency, landlords should never enter a rental property without providing adequate...