gino barbaro
Hi Rick
The deal is in Maryville, TN. It neighbors Knoxville. It is a slow grower but an area whe...
Rick Sanguinetti
Thank you for your article. I enjoyed it very much. I am an investor in San Francisco. It is a very ...
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Posted by on in Property Management
After speaking with a few clients in the past couple of weeks about this topic, I find many reporting that the vendors they use for background checks simply aren't up to par.  I know it takes time, but it has been a month and the vendors getting geared up is very critical.   I have a tip that may make your lives much easier.  Make sure that criteria questions begin with credit.  There is a pretty good chance that poor or no credit may eliminate the applicant far before it gets to the criminal issue.  This advice is not intended to keep a group of people from renting...it is to prevent our having to deal with criminal background if they cannot pay the rent anyway. And as always, I cannot give legal advice and this is not intended as such....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Why Your Sales Process Needs to Change: An NAA Conference Sneak Peak The National Apartment Association (NAA) Annual Conference is coming up fast. This year I’ll be moderating a panel titled: How The Zero Moment Of Truth Requires Us To Change Sales. One of the members of the panel is Jason Whittington. Jason is Vice President-Business Solutions at Gene B. Glick Company. As a senior member of a mid-sized operator, Jason brings a unique perspective to the discussion. He has to deal with the same challenges that much larger operators manage, and he must be particularly focused on how he allocates his limited resources. Recently, we sat down with Jason and asked him a few questions about how he arrived at the conclusion that sales in the multifamily industry needs to change. Here’s a summary of our discussion to give you a quick preview into our NAA panel. What prompted you to even consider the idea that sales in multifamily needed to change? A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to build a house. There was a period of time before our house was ready that we needed to lease an apartment. Like everyone else who leases an apartment, we started shopping. Guess what? Apartment shopping was not like any other recent shopping experience we had in the last several years. I was struck by how much the multifamily sales process was stuck in the past. Additionally, I had recently attended a presentation by Daniel Pink. That presentation already planted the idea in my head that people shop differently now,...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Here’s a hard truth; residents could care less about the jobs that we do.  Residents have no clue what a day in the life of a multifamily professional entails.  I should know – I used to be one of them.  As a resident, I thought management teams had the easiest jobs in the world.  Planning parties, answering the phone, maybe showing an apartment here and there, how hard could that be?  You can only imagine how quickly and dramatically that theory was eviscerated the day I began working onsite. Management teams are a special breed.  At its core, teams do their very best to make sure residents are happy where they live.  Aside from putting in long hours, dealing with a multitude of different resident personalities and watching the bottom line to ensure owners are profiting from their investments, teams also have to contend with not-so-nice things being said about their performance in online forums. Reputation management has become prominent and prevalent in recent years.  Back in the day when I was leasing, very rarely would a prospect mention that our online reviews were the reason we were chosen over a competitor.  Nowadays, it’s commonplace for a prospect to outright take a community out of contention or sign on the dotted line squarely based on what they read online. Just as a community’s reputation is vital to its success, a resident’s own reputation can determine where they call the next year “home”.  Our SatisFacts Insite Q1 2016 analysis, released just 3...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Today I'm sitting in a first class pod on a Boeing 777 and I never want it to end. EVER. This time my flight has me thinking about reputation management and customer satisfaction. I have just cleaned my hands with the warm hand towel, feet up (in my complimentary first class socks), seat back, waiting for my wine and wagu beef to be served. This has been a ridiculous day. Heading to Miami for the weekend, we get to the airport for our 10:30 am flight. Only to find out (after my carryon bag has been thoroughly searched and my offending new tube of toothpaste has been confiscated) it's been canceled due to mechanical issues. The airline has rescheduled us for the 2:00 pm flight. Needless to say, we are extremely unhappy with this airline. Fast forward and now we're on the plane (yay!) and a very angry woman next to me is yelling a lot of four and five letter words at the flight crew (boo!). Pro tip: when a crazy lady is yelling at a flight crew, or really anyone, do NOT make eye contact. I don't know why she's angry at them, but now she’s yelling at me as well. I’m not going to repeat what she said—you’re welcome. But she was on a roll and she wasn't going to stop. Our captain makes a U-turn on the runway and goes back to the gate, where the woman was politely, but firmly, escorted off by the police. Cheers and...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Locks are as key to multi-family units as are a roof and four walls. And like a roof and walls, locks can either enhance a property’s value or diminish it. Upgrading a property with smart locks not only helps keep residents safe, but contributes to a more profitable, desirable facility overall. And that’s a good thing. For those unfamiliar with the technology, smart locks can be locked and unlocked via residents’ smartphones or smart credentials. They are a breeze for people to use and free residents from the hassles of traditional keys. But enough about residents, let’s talk about you. Smart locks save you time. You’ve no doubt dealt with traditional lock and key systems. Someone locked herself out? You walk over and unlock her door, or call a locksmith to do it for you. Someone loses his key? You pay someone to rekey the lock. Then your resident gets a new key to manage, and so do you. Of course, there’s the whole oversight of key management systems to boot. It all requires a good deal of effort. Cloud-based smart lock systems, on the other hand, require much less time and energy. By design they can be managed by property staff from just about anywhere via smartphone, tablet or computer. This means less touring, and less touring means more time for other demands. Smart locks save you money. Money once spent on lockouts, lost keys, rekeying and pricey key management systems is, with smart locks, money back in your budget....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Google is hosting a Live Stream talking about all of their new features and user interface design changes for Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Take time today to register for this info packed event to learn more about their robust platforms. Don't miss Google's Performance Summit Keynote as they release new products to help you grow your leases in a mobile first world! Tuesday, May 24th at 9:00 AM PT/12:00 PM ET Registration Link: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/gps-livestream/...

Posted by on in Property Management
“From day one of the initial placement of apartment security systems cameras onsite loitering and suspicious activity stopped entirely. What was once a safe haven for criminal-entrepreneur activity has now been returned to a much safer environment.” – Owner, Apartment Complex & client of Stealth Monitoring If this a statement you dream of being able to make of your own property, video surveillance may be the solution. There are many benefits to having security cameras on your property, including: They act as a deterrent—In a recent New York Times article, Larry Dolin, the chief executive of American Security Systems, said, “Every building is putting in cameras everywhere. And the truth is, you want them. They are a deterrent. People see a camera, they are less likely to do something if they know they are being recorded.” They make tenants feel safer—Renters are 85% more likely to experience a home burglary than homeowners. Many renters, for obvious reasons, consider security systems and surveillance to be an amenity and would pay more to have them. They make them feel safer. They help solve problems and crimes, when needed—Need an accurate detail of an event? You can’t get much better than a video recording. The catch to this ‘benefit,’ however, is that the cameras must be continually monitored. But before you run out and buy some surveillance equipment to throw up around your campus, there are legal technicalities of which you need to be aware. In a recent article, New York attorney, Lucas A...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
By now, everyone who has sifted through heaping piles of leads gets it. Quality matters more than quantity. It seems almost paradoxical to hope for fewer leads, but if they are the right leads – meaning those that will close at a significantly higher rate – they are better for your leasing associates, better for your marketers and better for your community. The concept in itself seems simple enough, but it takes more than a snap of the fingers to transform your organization into one that adheres to this philosophy. It begins with improving the way you track your leads, and following up with a series of steps that will dramatically help increase your lead quality. Here are some recommendations: Consider using lead-tracking technology. The more efficiently you can manage your leads and determine where they are coming from, the more likely you are to hone in on your target market and delegate your resources toward capturing leases in that particular demographic. Use only sources that produce quality leads. Although conversion ratio is a key data point, don’t measure success solely by this figure. Measure it by the quality of the prospective renters coming through the door. Determine whether they are in the price range, whether they are looking to lease within 90 days and whether your community is in the location they really want to live. And do they have the financial means to afford it? Remember, conversion ratio is a reflection of more than just lead quality. It’s also...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
TAA---Barbara-Savona-Blog---small.JPGA few weeks back, I had the good fortune of hearing my friend, Barbara Savona, speak at the Texas Apartment Association Education Conference, and she was teaching the packed audience how to insert "Wow" into our operations.  One of the first slides was a great quote, so I have to share it here: I find that to be incredibly true, and after watching Barbara speak, you can see the difference between merely checking the boxes towards basic satisfaction and truly wowing our customers. Community, team values, and emotional connections should be what sells your community over and over again, not amenities and features.    Let's face it, a lot of our communities look a lot alike.  And many have the same basic amenity set, with a "luxurious" pool and "state of the art" gym.  What sets a community apart are the little things that connect the community with the resident on an emotional level.                 When I am emotionally connected, I will be 44% less likely to shop around. I think this quote is so incredibly important, as it stops turnover before it even starts.  The reality is that oftentimes we are at a pretty big disadvantage when selling a resident on a renewal.  We are often trying to sell a rent increase when there is a good chance our comps are giving away a concession!  Plus, our comps are providing a new experience with a "new" apartment.  There is too much in the decision making process to discuss all here,...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
Throughout the last decade, the housing industry has been flooded with high-profile Chinese-manufactured product failures prompting a worrisome construction defect epidemic. The multifamily industry has already been exposed to these troubling products, that often produce negative health effects to residents and damage to buildings, in addition to the reluctance of insurance companies to cover or remediate costs associated with replacing the defective product. The following examples show a history of concern regarding Chinese-manufactured products:   Chinese Drywall During the construction boom in the early-mid 2000’s, and following a severely damaging hurricane season in 2005, a shortage of drywall spurred builders to import Chinese-manufactured material, particularly to the Southeast region. Issues with the product included pre-mature corrosion of electronics and appliances, caused by hydrogen sulfide, as well as health effects from short and long-term exposure to low-levels of sulfur gases emitted from the material. Several class action lawsuits have been filed against importers and manufacturers to varying degrees of settlement success. Last March, when CBS News’s “60 Minutes” exposed Lumber Liquidators practice of importing defective laminate flooring to the U.S., the company pulled Chinese-produced flooring from distribution. However, the negative effects of the material linger: the CDC recently published a report announcing that “certain Lumber Liquidator flooring from China could have triple the amount of cancer-causing formaldehyde than originally thought.” While this material involved only certain product lines of the laminate flooring, class action lawsuits are currently in the works.   Is Chinese-produced cast iron piping next? Many mid to high-rise buildings...