Good comments. I think in their efforts not to appear pushy, they are coming off as apathetic. The ...
I used to think it was lack of training opportunities. Then I thought it was because no one had taug...

Training Trivia

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

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Posted by on in Property Management
I have been asked on several occasions recently for advice on hiring a property manager. Hiring practices should be personalized to your company, to the needs of the property, and finding the best person for the job, regardless of age, education or gender. I have never understood, one, why HR departments decide on some arbitrary list of “duties and responsibilities” rather than a list of true, hardcore personality and leadership traits when hiring their teams. Obviously, a Property Manager is going to collect rent, take care of evictions, hire and train leasing staff, set market rents, create a marketing plan, and ensure the property is highly occupied and financially stable and maintained. But what else is needed? The most important aspect in choosing a Property Manager is to decide what the needs of the Property are. Is the property stable? Are there certain risk factors involved with the property, such as a sale in the future? Are there certain challenges the property is facing such as a declining neighborhood, community’s sliding economy (or rising one), diminishing resident profile, or impending new construction and new competition? Or, has the property suffered physical structural issues recently from deferred maintenance, for example, fire or even major weather-related damages that now need immediate attention? Or, is it simply that the current Property Manager is leaving, being terminated or being promoted, or the property is a new acquisition for your portfolio? Once the company decides why it is looking for someone to fill this important...

Posted by on in Property Management
Whether managing a property for themselves, or having a property management company manage it for them, property owners often decide to employ a resident manager (also called on-site managers) to handle the errands of running an apartment complex, such as dealing with repairs, showing and renting vacant units, and collecting rent.  In either case, it is important that whomever is hiring the on-site manager actually complies with state and federal labor laws.  In some cases, it is actually required by law to have a resident manager.  Depending on your state, there is a maximum amount of units a development is allowed to have without hiring an on-site manager.  For example, in New York City it is required to have an on-site manager for any property with nine units or more while the state of California requires an on-site manager for  16 units or more.   More information on restrictions and regulations on California commercial properties can be found in the California Code of Regulations. Establishing the correct title of your on-site manager is the first step to paying your on-site manager correctly.  Knowing the type of employee you have is very crucial when it comes to taxes, the wrong handling could result in a lawsuit from the on-site manager or liability on the landlord for unpaid taxes due to governmental agencies.  The on-site manager could be considered an independent contractor or an employee.  Choosing which one is decided on a case by case basis.  The main delegating factor between the two is...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools recently released a statement through his Google+ of Google’s removal of authorship in search results. After three years and much testing, updating and tweaking, Mueller shared that “we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.” It was found that including authorship was neither helpful or harmful for search results. As always, the change is made based on the goal of always improving the users’ experience. It has been found that so far the removal of authorship has shown little to no negativity in terms of traffic to sites or clicks on ads. Search results will still include Google+ posts from friends and pages when relevant, so these changes will not impact the social aspect of G+, according to Mueller. Mueller also shared that while Google Authorship has been dropped, they will continue their efforts in “support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web…As always, we’ll keep expanding and improving the set of free tools we provide to make it easier for you to optimize your sites.”...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
“Every photo, backed up and made awesome.” Google+ has rolled out another update, created with you and your photos in mind. The new auto features are designed to help improve your experience, helping you backup and enhance every photo you upload or your apartment community events or features to your multifamily's Google+ account. Download the app to get started right away with these new features: Auto Backup will safely and, more importantly, privately backup your photos, making them available from any device, including your laptop or tablet, in a private album. Auto Enhance lets you improve any photo, giving you the faux-professional edge you want with every photo you upload. Any changes you make are easy to undo if you decide you prefer your original work as well! Auto Awesome allows your Google+ to recreate any similar set of photos you upload to your library through animation, panoramas, photobooth styles and more. After uploading your photos, your G+ can handle the awesome effects you want. Auto Highlight helps you keep your photos better organized. This feature allows you to sort through your expansive library and find your favorite photos. ...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Autumn brings crunchy leaves, cooler temperatures and…football season! Thinking about hosting a football watching party at your apartment community this fall? It's a great way for your residents to meet their neighbors while cheering on their favorite college or professional team. Be sure to incorporate these four must-have elements for a successful event. 1. A TVYou can’t watch the game without a TV. The larger the screen, the better! Don't have a big screen TV on site? You can usually rent one.  2. Food and DrinksFood and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. So be sure to provide enough food to go around. On a tight budget? Have a potluck and encourage your residents to bring a snack, side or dessert to supplement the food you plan to provide. Add a competitive element by holding a chili cook-off, where residents bring their favorite chili recipes and other residents vote for the best. 3. SeatingAsk guests to RSVP in advance so you know how many chairs to set up. Keep in mind that some folks will prefer to stand. And of course, make sure everyone has a visible view of the TV! 4. Team SpiritEncourage some friendly competition among your residents by asking them to wear their favorite team’s colors. Up the competition even more by setting up games at your party, such as bags (also known as cornhole in some parts of the country), for your residents to play during half-time.  What other must-haves would you add to this list?...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
According to NMHC, 24% of rental households include children. What can you do make your community stand out to these families? Read on for some tips.  Highlight Your Family-Friendly FeaturesWhat schools are close by? Does your community have a playground? Is your community close to parks, libraries, museums or other family-friendly attractions and resources? Be sure to highlight your family-friendly features on your website and in your ILS ads, and mention these features during in-person tours. Also, while safety is important to everyone, it’s especially important to families with young children. What are you doing to keep your community safe for little ones? Be sure to share that information with prospective renters, too! Hold Kid-Centric EventsHappy hours are fun, but they likely won’t appeal to families with young children. Organize kid-friendly events in your community to allow the families in your community to socialize with other families. Looking for ideas for a family-friendly resident event? Here are a few to get the creative juices flowing: Fall carnival: Set up stations with traditional carnival activities like face painting, balloon animals, ring toss…the possibilities are endless! Pumpkin decorating contest: Provide pumpkins and supplies like markers, glitter and paint and invite the kids in your community to decorate a pumpkin. Consider giving out awards at the end of the event, such as most creative and spookiest. Outdoor movie night: Rent an outdoor movie screen and play a family-friendly movie. Show a classic like The Wizard of Oz, or opt for a more modern pick, like Frozen. Ice cream social: Host a different kind of...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I’m willing to bet that we all know what texting is. (If not, just ask a ten-year-old.) But what about the business applications of texting? That’s a bit more complex. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand how texting—both short code and long code—can be used in your professional life. Short Code Texting Officially called “Common Short Codes,” these are the 5- or 6-digit numbers that enable a business to send mass or group text messages to consumers who opt in. Such texts are regulated by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and monitored by the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA) and Neustar, but there are lots of best practices and guidelines on using them the right way, thanks to the Mobile Marketing Association and CTIA. (I’m not going to jump too deep into the TCPA regulations because you can check that out here.) Common business uses of short code are: Mass Marketing - I’ve seen a few successful campaigns using this, but 9 times out of 10 it’s a fail, especially in this industry. It’s often a problem with the opt-in process and actually getting permission to text people in a mass marketing approach. Sure, they may opt in to get mobile coupons from their favorite clothing retailers, but using this approach for apartments, cars, houses and other big-ticket items just isn’t as effective. Current Customer Promotions - If, however, you are promoting something to current customers (or residents), you may have more success: “Pool Party: Sat 10am. Who’s in?”...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development

A few days ago my wife and I had a “discussion” that was particularly illuminating and frustrating all at the same time. I realized that I was approaching a situation in our relationship in a way that I felt was respectful and thoughtful; however she revealed that my actions were not perceived as being respectful and thoughtful at all! In fact, she thought that I was being the opposite of respectful and thoughtful! This was the frustrating part!   The illuminating part was seeing once again, just how different we really are. In my attempts to do the right thing, I ended up doing the wrong thing in her eyes. In her attempts to do the right thing, she ended up doing the wrong thing in my eyes.    Sound familiar?   This same process not only plays out in millions of homes, it plays out everyday where we work too doesn’t it? I read a stat that said that over 60% of workplace clashes were due to “personality conflicts.” Incidentally, “personality conflicts” is a nice way to say, “I think my co-worker is a moron! Jerk! Idiot! Talks too much! Doesn’t talk enough! Is too excited! Is too dull! Smiles too much! Never smiles! Tells dumb jokes. Never has enough fun. Likes Coca-Cola! Likes Pepsi! Voted for Obama. Voted for Romney!” and on and on and on.   In other words, one of the the biggest causes of conflict in the workplace is tied into how we relate to one...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
I’m on the hunt for an apartment. Every weekend I walk into an apartment community, give the leasing agent my email address, and tour beautifully decorated model spaces. A week later, I receive an email from that leasing agent telling me how much they enjoyed our meeting, and how if I’d sign a lease they’d fly me to Bora Bora, along with giving me every Apple product I ever dreamed of... okay, I wish that was an actual offer. I’d sign right there. No questions. But still. These leasing agents email me after every visit, and they tell me what I need to hear. It’s like they know I'm sitting there thinking about my future home… These apartment complexes may not be mind readers, but they have a competitive edge that other communities do not— automated emails. When you're searching for a home, it’s easy to forget who’s who on your search list, which is why it's nice to have someone emailing you, reminding you who they are and what you saw. Here’s the deal; marketing automation works. Specifically email automation. It simplifies processes and it really simplifies the email process. It’s efficient and it’s cool. And like all simple, efficient, cool tools, it has quirks. But don’t you worry. These quirks can be managed. Here are some ways to ensure your email automation efforts provide high-return marketing, not high-risk marketing. 1. Divide and Conquer. Most email automation systems allow you to build custom email lists. It’s important to segment those lists based off certain...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
People want to rent apartments from people they like. Even if they don’t realize it, they want to connect on a personal level. It creates trust and a sense of belonging. Being likable isn’t always easy. But a few years ago, I learned a trick that has helped me tremendously. Shut up and listen.  If you know me at all, you know how hard it is to not insert my opinion. Simply listening to someone makes her feel special. It makes her feel like the most important person in the room.  Most importantly, it shows her that I’m interested and that I care.   If you listen, you can find common ground with your prospects.  It gives you the ability to look for opportunities to connect personally. Laugh at her jokes (even if they’re not funny), smile during the conversation, and ask questions.  A lot of questions.  But of course not in a trial lawyer sort of way. Make it casual and relevant to the common ground you discovered. The point is, let her shine. And, truly enjoy what she has to say. I have found that my conversations with prospects and strangers will often get so focused on the other person that I actually do very little talking.  Sure, it can feel a little unfulfilling for me at times, but it makes the prospect feel like they just met the most interesting person in the room, the person they just like them.  ...