Great blog, Shellie, and I think this first class mentality becomes even more important after severa...
Commercial Appraiser
"How do you calculate value with cap rates? Let me show you a quick calculation. Let’s assume the ...

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 Industry News and Trends
The multi-housing market is a strong, but crowded, field to play in these days. More people are opting to rent. In fact, the Harvard Research Center believes the 2010s are on track to become the strongest decade for renter growth in history! No wonder we are seeing amenities like pet recreation facilities and on-call concierges pop up in multi-housing buildings across the nation. Hey, it’s competitive out there and properties have to do what they can to stand out. Many are stepping up their tech game as a point of differentiation. It’s a good play. “Smart” features entice residents who are tech savvy, those who seek efficiency in everyday tasks, and individuals and families driven by the next big thing. Many multi-family tenants now have access to dependable Wi-Fi, Internet TV, cloud-connected devices, and a lucky group is even using their smartphones to lock and unlock their doors. It’s the latter tech tool that is arguably the easiest upgrade for properties to integrate into their set of amenities. For one, smart locks require no electrical or communication wiring and no modifications to door frames. Some even fit within an open architecture system, which means properties can integrate the smart lock system into their existing access management software. Property managers also tend to favor these tech-forward locks because it means they can manage lockouts and re-key locks from just about anywhere. In other words, no more touring. As a sales tool, however, smart locks offer more than distinction. These exceptionally convenient tools enable residents to ditch the inconvenience...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
When it comes to closing the deal and getting the lease, few things are more important than believing in yourself and your property. Not having self-esteem when talking to prospects will cost you the lease. It will cost you profits. It could even be the difference between the success and failure of your company. However, if you have self-esteem and believe in yourself, your prospects will pick up on it. They will find you more charming and engaging. They will be more interested in what you have to say, and they will take you seriously. Once you have their interest, you need to close the deal. You need to ask for their money. This 3 part guide is going to teach you the most vital concepts to keep in mind each time you interact with a prospect.   Part 1 This section is going to teach you about having the right mindset. It is critical to have the proper mindset. If you don't have the right mindset, you will unknowingly let interested prospects walk away. You will be leaving money on the table and you will never be as efficient as you could be. If you lack the proper mindset, you will never reach your full potential. Imagine that you have an old childhood friend. This friend has been looking for a specific apartment in a specific location for years now. You have finally found the apartment of his dreams. You know he will be overwhelmed with joy when he hears...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Remember when prospects battled like shoppers on Black Friday - scratching and clawing for a handful of underpriced, supersized vacant apartments?  If you answered yes, chances are those days are long gone.  Marketing is essential to leasing and retention; without it communities become ghost towns and owners disappointed in the teams hired to manage their assets. Beyond the banners, balloons, and latest gimmick of the moment, marketing is most effective when the message is conveyed by those who believe in the product itself.  So, if the goal is to market a lifestyle, as opposed to an empty box, who better to spread the word than residents at your community?  Here are 5 truths that point to why residents can be a powerful marketing ally. 1. They have an extensive network – the wider the net, the better.  Family, friends, co-workers, friends of family members, friends of co-workers, the cashier in the checkout line, their children’s teachers …you get where I’m going with this.  As discovered in our “Today’s Online Renter Study”, 74.4% of apartment hunters trust the opinions of people they know.  You never know where the next lead will come from and residents could be a powerful and FREE marketing channel. 2. They love to brag – and will do so to a worldwide audience.  In the same study, 61.0% of residents said they would be willing to post a positive review if asked by their management company.  Talk about low hanging fruit!  Especially considering that 67.7% of apartment hunters...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
I wanted to share with you a story of a great customer service experience I recently had with a man named Bill Moore of Softcomm Industries. I am a member of Civil Air Patrol, and as a aircrew member trainee, I wanted to stop using the aviation headsets that are in our planes and used by different people, and wanted to have a set of my own. (This thought came to me somewhere at 3,500 feet when I wondered “Who else has been using these? And did they clean them??”) I found a headset, that was perfect for my situation, on eBay at a good price and was very excited when it arrived in the mail. My excitement was tempered a little when I realized that there were no cushion pads on the ear covers, just the covers themselves. After wearing them for a bit it was clear that they could really use the foam cushions! Wah-wah.  I looked online at my usual sources and couldn't find an exact match for my headset…then I looked on the Softcomm website and saw that they head accessories (like the ear cushions) but the only indication on how to purchase them was verbiage that said, “Contact us to find the dealer near you.” So, I contacted them to find where I could purchase the cushions and I received an email from Bill that simply asked for my mailing address. I gave him my address and I assumed that he was sending the ear cushions...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Let’s rewind a decade to the beginning of 2005: Blockbuster was still in its prime. Facebook was still called “the Facebook”, membership was exclusive to select colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and it boasted roughly 5 million registered users. For business purposes, social media was largely nonexistent at this point. Since then, organizations have begun adopting social media as a means to sell products and services, provide customer support, and to engage with their audiences. While many businesses and organizations identified the need to be on social media, once they got there, they often didn’t know exactly what to do. In particular, the student housing industry has been relatively slow at adopting social media. The communities that have accepted it often have difficulty navigating the social media landscape and understanding how to effectively use it. This inexperience with using social media can cause some student housing communities to commit what we refer to as a social media faux pas. We’ve highlighted some of the key faux pas to avoid committing below.   1. Registering for Every Social Media Platform Imaginable While it does make sense for a student housing community to secure a brand name on social platforms, there are many different social media networks that aren’t a good fit for these brands. It’s productive to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ but not necessarily on Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Ello, Flickr, etc. (you get the point). Rather than signing up for every social media platform, it’s best to...

Posted by on in Property Management
Spring is on the way, and everyone’s attention is turning to one thing: landscaping. Whether you manage a smaller multifamily home or a large apartment complex, you’ll find that a carefully designed landscape comes with many benefits. First of all, tenants will be attracted to the beautiful space that you’ve created. Good landscaping will also raise the value of your rental units. A single-family home, for instance, is normally worth about 15 percent of the total cost of the home. You can also expect similar increases for rental units. Read below for landscaping tips that can help you attract even more prospective tenants and retain existing tenants for years to come. Landscape for Energy Efficiency Between the shade and the moisture that they release, trees can cool the area around a building by up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. However, that is only one way to save on energy costs. Any planting that shades windows and siding — particularly to the east and west of a building — will save when it comes to cooling. This includes not only trees, but large shrubs and even trellis-grown vines. Another way to save on energy costs is to plant windbreaks. When the weather turns cold, a line of evergreens will help divert the chilling wind. Landscape Vertically Not all property managers have the luxury of space, but even if you do have plenty of room to landscape, still consider landscaping upward. On a flat roof, you should definitely think about planting a rooftop garden. Tenants can...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
6 Reasons Multifamily Leasing/Sales Process Drag NOI Performance For the last three years, we’ve been working with multifamily operators helping them to modernize their leasing/sales process. I have to admit the experience is far more intriguing than I would have anticipated. It’s a unique challenge getting executives to recognize that their sales approach is broken, and then further to act upon that realization when revenues, rents and occupancies are at record highs in markets across the country. How can sales be broken when you’re making more money than ever?  Record revenues aside, the reality is that the leasing/sales process is broken; and even in markets as strong as we’re in today, it’s costing you money. In my estimate for most operators, their leasing/sales process is costing them 50-200 bps of RPU (Revenue Per Unit). For a 10,000-unit portfolio, that represents roughly $750 thousand to $3 million[1] of lost net operating income (NOI), and $12-48 million of portfolio value[2]. When the economy turns and we don’t have such a tailwind, the impact will be even bigger. We have a great opportunity today to update and refine our approaches while times are good, to drive even better results (with less negative impact caused by change) and position our portfolios to perform better in all market conditions. Over our three years working with operators on sales performance, I’ve identified six primary reasons why your leasing/sales process is dragging performance. If any of these issues apply to your approach, you can bet it’s costing you NOI. 1. The Process Is Linear I’ve yet to meet an...

Posted by on in Property Management
For anyone that knows me, or anyone that spends more than an hour with me, knows that I am a complete and total control freak. In a very Type A, overachiever way. It’s in my DNA, but it’s also a result of a long tenure of working for a micro-manager (see prior blog post of Micro-Management is a Form of Abuse). And with any form of abuse, it can have a long term effect on you. I am very mindful of my control freak ways and try to ensure that it’s in no way damaging to others around me and that it’s all my own. I don’t expect anyone else to operate the way that I do. There are days when I have to be more mindful to allow delegation to occur, to allow executive decisions, without my input, to occur. And one day, not so long ago, I was not provided the choice……   It was forced on me. About two weeks ago, I was literally laid up in the bed in the worse pain of my life. Come to find out, I had kidney stones. In turn, the pain turned into being completely incoherent with pain medication. Not a fan, btw. In the state of pain and incoherence, I was unable to answer calls, respond to emails, send emails, manage anything short of sleep and drowning my body in as much water internally as possible. What did I learn when my kidney stones and my control freak ways collided? I learned...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
I have a confession to make … while I make a living speaking to thousands of adoring, screaming, hysterical crowds all around the country (okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration), I have to give myself a pep talk every time I walk into a room full of people I don’t know! ​It’s true! ​ While I consider myself a “people person” (which would probably be good for a guy who brands himself as “The Connection Expert), the truth is I like to describe myself as an “Extroverted Introvert.” While I like being around people, I also need distance, privacy and space…and when the situation doesn’t require me to fill the room with personality, I’m content blending into the background.    Let me give you an example…I was recently doing some work with a vendor company whose CEO is someone I have known for many years and worked for when I first got started in this industry. She introduced me to a new team member like this, “I want to introduce you to Rommel. The interesting thing about Rommel is that while he can seem pretty mellow and quiet and just does his thing.... when he is on a stage he is an amazing speaker!” I’ve learned that my default relational style is what psychotherapist Karen Horney (whose work has greatly influenced my thinking on this) would call “Moving Away From People.” I like to refer to this style as “The Avoider.” I Need My Space!What are some characteristics of those with the Move Away style?They desire independence and self-sufficiencyMay seem to...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
Are you ready to visualize your dreams into action? One of the best ways to do that is with a vision board. A vision board is an awesome tool that will help give you the clarity, direction and motivation to achieve your dreams, goals and your ideal life. I love vision boards and throughout my life they have helped me achieve many goals including rocking my closing ratios when I was a sales executive, keeping me motivated and inspired during life’s less than wonderful moments and keeping focused and brave while  starting my own company.   By creating a vision board that displays your goals, dreams and life vision, and placing it in a space where you see it often, no matter what happens during your day, your vision board is a positive reminder of where you intend to be. Appealing to you on both conscious and subconscious levels, a vision board is a super cool way to keep you motivated, focused on your goals, and headed in the direction you have chosen. Creating Your Vision Board Q&A What should I place on my Vision Board?   Anything that inspires and motivates you! Think about and make a list of what your goals are in the following areas- relationships, career, finances, travel, personal growth and health. Ask yourself, what does my ideal life look like?You can use your vision board for goals and dreams in all areas of your life, or in just one specific area that you want to focus on....