Lisa Kassoff
The leasing agent should have qualified the prospect earlier in the interview. The pet-friendly apar...
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Training Trivia

If a prospective resident wants a lease with an ending date not available on the lease expiration matrix, it is smart to make an exception and allow their lease to end when they desire to secure the lease.

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Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development

Benjamin Franklin said “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, and for property managers who have a wealth of opportunity to grow with the multifamily housing industry, this quote has quite a bit of substance. While there are plenty of driven students who can’t find enough opportunities for learning, many people need some guidance and motivation to get back into the classroom after they have finished their primary education. There are plenty of different driving factors that make a person want to learn more about their craft, but it can sometimes to be difficult to find accessible options.

Depending on your level of interest, here are 3 fantastic opportunities to increase your multifamily credentials:

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
Did you watch The Lego Movie? (Can you tell I have a child?) The central character in The Lego Movie is a guy named Emmet. And Emmet is the perfect example of the third relational style that Karen Horney (whose work has inspired my thinking on how we relate to one another) would call “Moving Towards People.” I call it “The Pleaser.” In this scene from The Lego Movie, a group of construction workers (Emmet among them) are leaving the work site. They all are trying to figure out what to do after work, and Emmet tries to work his way in somehow.    Construction Worker #1: When you’re part of a team! Wooh! Yeah! I’m going to the Sports Bar after work tonight. Who wants to eat some delicious chicken wings and get crazy!(As the other constructions workers start to leave together, Emmet is left behind and tries to get their attention)Emmet: Chicken wings! I love chicken wings!Construction Worker #2: Yeah, who wants to share a croissant with this guy?Emmet: Croissants! I love croissants!Construction Worker #3: Oh, yeah! I sure do love giant sausages!Emmet: Giant sausages! No way!(No one seems to notice Emmet, no matter how hard he tries)Later on, when one of this co-workers is asked what he knows about Emmet, this is how he responds,“And I mean, all he does is say yes to everything everybody else is doing.”The Nice GuyWhen you interact with Pleasers you’ll often think that they are some of the nicest people you’ve ever met. After all, they agree with you on everything…so if...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing

The look of your rental property can make or break an applicant’s interest in becoming your new tenant. For most millennial applicants, visual media is a must for even a phone call. While using a DSLR camera or high resolution camcorder would be ideal, these few tricks you can use with your smart phone can help make your rental look enticing to potential applicants.

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Did you know that it can take as many as 7 mentions of a name or brand for a person to be able to recall it from memory? When you own or manage a multifamily property that’s competing in a saturated market, you need all the help you can get in ensuring your property is the one that stands out. Drip campaigns are a great solution. The Who If you already have a lead collection system, such as a newsletter sign-up form on your website or a “contact us” form where email is a required field, you’re off to a good start. If you don’t have such a tactic in place, we recommend you start. You will combine the leads from these efforts with any you pick up in direct or face-to-face contact to create your database. The What A drip campaign is essentially a series of emails that begins with a trigger event. Let’s say that someone signs up for your email newsletter. That is the ‘trigger.’ Once they’ve clicked submit, they are in your system and they receive their first email. The idea is to keep your brand top of mind, so it’s wise to use this opportunity to make introductions to the property, spotlighting its amenities and main selling points. Over the next several days, there is a ‘drip’ of emails distributed to that contact. These emails build upon each other, creating a comprehensive message about your property that reiterates its name and value. The How Frequency is...

Posted by on in Property Management
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin How current is the business plan for your multifamily property? If you said “Years” or “Business plan? Why would I need a business plan?” we need to talk. According to the Small Business Association, a business plan is “an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.” The question isn’t “why would you?” it’s “why on earth wouldn’t you?” The business plan is your strategy for how you intend to make your business a success and every multifamily property needs one. But before you get overwhelmed in what you believe the minutiae to be for this process, take a breath. Now, follow these steps: Write a mission statement. This is a one-sentence explanation of why your property exists. Example: “Providing residents with professional, courteous, and timely service that exceeds their expectations is not an accident.” Write a vision statement. This is a one-sentence forecast of where how you see your property in five years. It’s the essence of what you want your property to become. Example: We are the leader in providing quality, smart growth, multi-family rental housing. Identify your market. Who is your target audience? Have you done any research to understand...

Posted by on in Property Management
One of the most important decisions a multifamily property owner will make about his or her property is whether to hire a manager. Yet, many forego consideration of this option for the simple fact they have misconceptions about property management as a whole. These misconceptions tend to stem from the following 3 property management myths: Property management is too expensive. This is probably the biggest misconception about property management, but the truth is that it could be much more expensive to manage a property independently than to hire a professional. They not only have access to economies of scale that allow them to save money by hiring in bulk (maintenance), they also have lots of experience in marketing, assessments, and collections—aspects of property management that tend to drain the inexperienced property owner. Property management is only for large multifamily properties. Property management is a viable option for any size property. Fees are based on revenue, not a set rate; so a property manager’s services are designed to fit the needs of each individual property. Property management isn’t difficult. It takes experience to manage a property well. It is a full-time business with many facets. A professional property manager is going to handle every aspect of the investment for you from discovery and purchase, to marketing and tenant assessments, and collection and accounting. And even more. Property management done right is best done by someone who knows the commitment requirements and has the resources to dedicate to it. Bottom-line? Property management can...

Posted by on in Property Management
Motivational speaker and bestselling author, Larry Winget, once said, “Firing is not something you do to someone: firing is something you do for someone.” If you’re a property owner and your property manager isn’t keeping up his/her end of the deal, then that someone you need to do something for is you. So, once you’ve determined the need to give your property manager the boot, use these tips to help ensure your bases are covered. Provide enough warning time. Property managers typically have a time restriction worked into their contracts that mandate at least 30-days’ notice. You must read your contract carefully, however, because it may be as many as 90 days. Put it in writing. It does not matter what kind of relationship or trust you have with your property manager. Every business agreement—and especially the termination of a contract—must be in writing. It should be dated, include the date of termination, and any additional instructions, such as how final payment will be handled. Give notice to tenants. No one likes change. Even if the decision to let a property manager go is because he is neglectful, tenants may react badly. So it’s best to give as much notice as possible (as soon as written notice is given to the property manager is ideal). Communicate it in a number of ways to ensure everyone gets the message (e.g., newsletter, email, notes on doors), and ensure tenants know who they can reach out to at any time, 24/7, should they have...

Posted by on in Property Management
Do you find yourself wondering if it’s time to give your property management company the boot? The likelihood is great that if you’re questioning it, it’s probably time. But let us take this opportunity to detail some of the conditions that should raise your red flags.  Lack of Communication Has direct contact with your property manager become fewer and farther between? Do you find that it takes more effort to gain a returned phone call, or that it’s difficult to ‘catch’ him or her in the property office? It’s a pretty safe bet that a PM who is inaccessible to you is also inaccessible to tenants, which can significantly impact satisfaction, occupancy and the bottom-line. But, just as important, is the need to gauge the performance of your investment through your PM—something that’s hard to do with poor communication. Contract Fulfillment Depending on the type of contract you have with your PM, there are a wide variety of services he or she may provide. This can include marketing, bookkeeping, accounting, maintenance, and more. And, if a part or whole of the property management contract is going unfulfilled, you have reason to terminate the agreement. Fiduciary Duties Your PM has a fiduciary duty to act on your behalf, and that includes helping ensure the financial health of your investment. While no PM can help or overcome external forces such as market downturns, he or she can and should be able to negotiate costs for liabilities while also handling the influx of funds...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
With many young professionals and families opting to rent rather than buy, multifamily developers are facing more competition for tenants today than ever before. To win over prospective renters, developers are designing apartment communities to act more like resorts. Smart developers are focused on providing high-value amenities to make their properties more attractive to the higher-end clientele. The question most developers want to know is, “which amenities do renters want and value the most?” I have been in the design business for more than 20 years, providing comprehensive corporate and commercial interior design for over 450 projects throughout the West Coast. There have been many trends in multifamily amenities that have come and gone over the years. Here are the amenities that will stand the test of time and make a particular multifamily housing complex more attractive than the competition.  1. Outdoor Living Spaces With apartments being limited in space, large outdoor spaces act as an extension of a tenant’s living spaces. This is one of the most popular amenities among renters today—especially in areas with great weather like Southern California. Often times including a clubroom with a kitchen connecting to a pool area, outdoor spaces provide a great mixed-use space for entertaining or lounging. Patios with plush seating areas set around a fire pit are also in high-demand in outdoor spaces. 2. 24-Hour Fitness Centers Many tenants lead busy lives. As such, it can be difficult to get to the gym, regardless of best intentions. This has created a demand...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
When you’re looking for tenants to occupy your rental property, it probably doesn’t matter to you too much how old your prospective tenants are. For the most part, that’s the right way of thinking; you just need to fill the openings so you can increase the passive income stream that rent checks generate. While you may not worry too much about the age of your applicants, there is a scenario when you may want to keep in it mind: millennials. The millennial generation is renting more and more these days rather than own a home and it doesn’t look like the trend is going to change in the near future. Since millennials are making up a large part of the renters, it’s important you know how to reach them. It’s not enough to put a “For Rent” or “Apartments Available” sign outside of your property; what if no one drives past it? There are a number of better ways to get the word out about your property to millennials. Here are 10 of them: Take your marketing efforts online Many, if not most, millennials tech-savvy and when they’re looking for a new place to live, they’re going online or to their mobile device to find out what’s available and how much will it cost. Get your property on as many lists as possible; renters aren’t likely to jump on the first opportunity they see. They’re going to do their research and you want to make sure you’re part of it. You...