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Love this, Rommel! I also love to point out how close the nearest gym is to the community and if it...
Ooops...I just re-read my previous response and wanted to clarify in the first sentence that this sh...

Training Trivia

In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
b2ap3_thumbnail_Best-Type-of-Lead-Survey.jpgLeads come in all shapes and sizes — from online guest cards to walk-ins. Sometimes, a lead will tell you everything you need to know and other times, you only get a first name and phone number. Will some information make you stop everything and call a lead? Please take 10 minutes to help find out what you value in terms of lead information and which type of information would help you convert more leads. Enter your email at the end to be entered to win a Dropcam (a cool, wifi monitoring camera). Winner will be chosen at random. Click Here > > What Is The Best Type of Lead?    ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Over the years, I’ve always felt that industry marketers have always been on the lookout for the shiny new penny. They lift rocks, scrape off the moss, roll it around in their hand, stare at it and hope it’s the next thing that will bring the new residents in. If you think I’m just being curmudgeonly by saying these things, think about the new concepts that have been discussed over the years: Should you go all in on the ILS’s? What about SEO? Are there any more acronyms we can make up? How do you utilize email drip campaigns? Is posting to Social Media the answer? Will I rent more apartments by using Facebook? What about reviews? Do they matter? Will Mr. Craiglist change his service again? Can we stop using it and survive? Should I use a posting tool? How can I get my agents to answer the phone? … and on and on and on. The fact is these are merely more tools in the marketing tool belt. Some are way more useful than others, while some have very little usefulness at all. The conversations in this space over the years have been amazing, educational and fun but there’s a sad truth to face. They’ve stopped. I tweeted the other day to everyone, just on that off chance that people were around – maybe to say hi or discuss their shiny new penny. Hello Twitter peeps. What’s new? — BSitko (@BSitko) October 8, 2014 Silence. This post isn’t about my...

Posted by on in Property Management
Today, I would like to make a tribute to those not-so-happy moments as a resident. Those moments when you accidentally light something on fire, or flood your living room. Those moments while in the depths of panic you have that annoying thought in the back of your mind, “I really should have purchased renters insurance.” I also want to argue the benefits of requiring renters insurance on your properties. But before I begin, let me bring a little humor to the scene. Lets take it back a few years — to the golden years — to college. 1. The Apartment’s on Fire This actually happened to me once. I was frying up some chicken with my college roommates, and as we were talking about our day, the nicely greased chicken thigh lit up in flames. I started screaming like a crazed lunatic, and grabbed the pan away from the stove, which caused some oil on the stove to catch in the fuel beneath, resulting in another burst of flames. All I remember after that was a bunch of screaming and water flailing. That whole fiasco could have been a disaster. But thankfully the roommate with a calm head on her shoulders diffused the situation and none of our cabinetry was damaged. The chicken, however….now that’s another story. Not everyone is lucky enough to walk away with no damage after a small chicken fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association¹, between 2007 to 2011 gas grills were involved in approximately 7,200 home fires, and...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
In most selling systems a tremendous amount of emphasis is placed on the presentation and closing abilities of salespeople. Phrases like “Always Be Closing,” and “Close Early and Close Often” are commonplace among sales teams. Yet, increasingly research from organizations like the Sales Executive Council, Forrester and others demonstrate that these approaches, while occasionally producing short-term results are ineffective over the longer term and create a number of negative consequences in the process. As we shared a couple of weeks ago on this blog, the real leverage point in any interaction between a buyer and seller lies in the ability to ask resonating questions, influence the prospect’s assessment of a situation and demonstrate an understanding of their unique situations--a segment we call Inquiry. We regularly advise salespeople and sales leaders that the key to shortening the sales decision time is to slow the process down. The most common (and one of the biggest) mistake made by salespeople of all types in virtually all industries is jumping too quickly to what we refer to as advocacy mode. They simply start making recommendations before they’ve earned the right (and the trust) to do so. Why do they do this? First, Advocacy tends to be more fun for people than Inquiry, and it’s certainly more comfortable for them. Advocating is simple, while inquiring is more complex. When you’re advocating you’re dealing with what you know (or at least what you think you know), while inquiring requires that you deal with the unknown. The...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) has opened nominations for its annual Launch Pad competition which recognizes startup technology companies targeting the apartment industry. Technology firms that have been in business five years or less are eligible to enter by submitting a 500-word summary of their innovative product or service by the October 23 deadline.  “Now in its third year, the NMHC Launch Pad is a highlight of the Council’s OpTech Conference & Exposition,” said Julie Stalknecht, NMHC’s Senior Vice President of Membership, Meetings and Marketing. “The last session of the conference features four finalists pitching their company to a panel of industry judges, and the winner receives the 2014 Technology Innovation Award, a $5,000 cash prize and a complimentary one-year membership to NMHC.”  “Launch Pad is an important element of NMHC’s broader industry technology program,” said Rick Haughey, NMHC Vice President of Industry Technology Initiatives. “Technology has become an integral element of virtually every aspect of apartment operations. With leadership from the industry’s top technology practitioners, NMHC plays an important role in helping create the ecosystem that supports continued innovation in our sector.”  Firms interested in competing in Launch Pad can learn more at http://ow.ly/ChCpo.    The 2014 NMHC Technology Innovation Award will be presented at the NMHC OpTech Conference & Exposition being held November 17-19, 2014 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL. More than 1,000 senior executives will gather at the conference, which features 40+ educational sessions and peer-to-peer roundtables in five tracks: marketing, technology, telecommunications, sustainability and industry...

Posted by on in Property Management
Hello MFI family! We are starting the process of going smoke-free in select buildings.  Does anyone have a letter they sent out letting the residents know?  I am a bit nervous on any push-back we might receive!  Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!--Jenn...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
With multifamily communities seeing an upswing in both new construction and occupancy across the country, it’s no surprise that, in the metropolis that is San Francisco, this growth has resulted in a market that is seeing huge increases in both price per square foot and overall rents. Experts are attributing the high demand for rentals in an area to the city’s better than average employment rates. With flocks of job seekers and new startups flooding into the city, the current limited supply of available units is causing prices to naturally increase, hence the multifamily rental market equivalent of a perfect storm. With an average one-bedroom unit in the city commanding a minimum of around $1,895 a month and up to over $3,500 in some areas, rents are considerably higher than most competitive markets in the country. As a matter of fact, on the sales side of the market, price per square foot for communities with more than five units in popular areas like Marin are averaging around $298 per square foot, while previously less popular areas like Tenderloin are seeing averages in the range of $357 per square foot. On the higher end of multifamily property in San Francisco, areas like Hayes Valley are seeing an average of $426 per square foot, the Telegraph Hill neighborhood has properties listed in the $490 per square foot range, and the Pacific Heights neighborhood is commanding a whopping $526 per square foot. By far, the area seeing the biggest spike in overall sales is the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Of course fire safety is important everyone however, to the Multifamily professional it is very important.  Here are a few tips for you to consider: 1.  Review your fire insurance policy.  If you do not have enough coverage, make the changes now before a fire.2.  Walk yn routes are posted in every floor and by elevators ( elevators are not safe to use in the event of a fire.3.  If you have a community association or can arrange a meeting with all residents, do so inviting a member of your fire      department to speak.  This can be a fun as well as educational event.4.  Make sure EXIT lights are bright and clearly visible, fire extinguishers are current and easily accessible,    fire hydrants are not obscured by plants or signs and "Fire Lanes" are clearly marked and stay clear. 5.  Replace batteries in all smoke detectors.  There should be at lease one in each unit.  If the property is heated by gas or      coal each unit should have a carbon monoxide detector.  Carbon monoxide is a orderless killer.6.  Have a staff member check the lint filter in the dryers each morning.  While you are at it, have heating units     serviced and cleaned.  Debris collected over the summer can easily ignite when the heat is turned on.7.  Your fire marshal or other fire official may have tips that uniquely apply to your property, even if you are required to        have a fire safety inspection yearly, a tour of the property...

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
When it comes to investing in rental properties, the common question is: “Which is better, multifamily or single?” Now, first and foremost, you must have the funds to acquire a multifamily property, which can run into the ballpark of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But, this aside, we’re going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’re considering a purchase of either a multifamily property or several single family homes. In this case, we’re going to provide a breakdown of the benefits of ownership of each option. We only present the benefits because you can assume the benefits of one do not exist in the other; hence, the comparison. Single Family Rentals The positives of owning single family homes are many. They are smaller properties, with less work and maintenance. Because of this, they do not require on-property management, which can instead be handled by an off-property management company or personally by the owner. Single family home owners benefit from lower taxes when compared with those imposed on multifamily properties. There is also a higher appreciation typically associated with single family homes. While multifamily properties can turn a significant profit over time, the flipping game is something to be reserved for single family homes. Probably the biggest selling point of buying a single family home is its selling point. Multifamily properties are large, more expensive, and reserved for investors. So, there isn’t going to be as large of a market as for single family properties, meaning a faster...

Posted by on in Property Management
There are some properties that just lend themselves to student housing. They are located close to a college, university, or vocational institution; offer a number of student-required amenities such as are filled with other students; and offer student-friendly rents. Apartment complexes or multifamily properties are more likely to become “known” as student-friendly, but it’s just as likely for single family rental homes to do the same. Regardless of the type of rental property you own or are considering for an investment, there are some pros and cons you need to consider: Pro: Demand is something many student designated properties hardly ever, if ever, have to worry about. With every semester comes a new wave of students in need of off-campus housing. As long the educational institution is near-by, the demand remains. Con: Turnover is the flipside of the demand coin. While students likely always be lined up to fill vacancies, high turnover is intrinsic to this market. It’s not only a pretty good bet that most tenants will only stay 9-12 months, and at most 2 or 3 years, there is also a higher rate of incidence with this group of skipping out early on a lease. Pro: Economics are another significant factor on the side of investors. Even with a steady decline in enrollment since 2009, there are still more than 19 million students attending colleges and universities nationwide.  And, the National Center for Education Statistics forecasts enrollment growth to increase to 24 million by 2022. Combine this knowledge...