Wowza! What a great way to inspect and expect excellence! Very cool, thanks for sharing this! I r...
Amanda Friesz
Great article Scott!

Training Trivia

In which of the following situations should you cease follow-up with a prospective resident?

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77064623 [{"id":"232","title":"After three unsuccessful attempts at reaching them","votes":"34","pct":"27.42","type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"233","title":"When you hear from a competitior that they have leased with them","votes":"8","pct":"6.45","type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"234","title":"When they have told you they are putting off their move for a while","votes":"9","pct":"7.26","type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"235","title":"None of the above","votes":"73","pct":"58.87","type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] sbar 200 200 /polls/vote/86-in-which-of-the-following-situations-should-you-cease-follow-up-with-a-prospective-resident No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...
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Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
In all circumstances, a lie is a sign of fear. People tell lies when they fear that the outcome of honesty won’t be in their favor. When it comes to leasing apartments, the fear is that the prospect will pass on your offer, causing you to miss out on the value they would’ve brought to the property and to you.  It’s vital to recognize that the short-term benefits of dishonesty cannot compare to the long-term benefits of being transparent. A resident that you convinced to move in by lying will quickly become disillusioned and will either seek to break their lease as soon as they can, or refuse to renew their lease once it expires. Dishonesty Can Cost You More Than You Might Think As anyone who has extensive experience in the business of property management and leasing apartments knows all too well, it costs much more to have a high resident turnover rate than it is to maintain resident loyalty. The turnover expenses come in the form of advertising fees, apartment cleanup, additional time spent searching for and screening new prospects, and much more.  Depending on the size of the property and the turnover rate, such expenses can easily add up to several thousands of dollars a year. All of that money is money that uncompromising honesty can help you save.  But the financial burden of dishonesty in apartment leasing doesn’t stop with the cost of bring in new residents. It’s important not to forget that the resident who moved...

Posted by on in Property Management
  One of my blog mentors (Brent Williams to be exact) recently suggested to me that I break from the tradition often followed by those of us who teach fair housing.  More often than not we tell you what you cannot and should not do (and the dire consequences should you in fact not heed our collective warnings).  So at Brent’s urging, this is a marketing blog that tells you what you can do yet still stay fair housing compliant (and even earn bonus fair housing points).   Yes, you can market your community as family friendly.  The Fair Housing Act prohibits advertising that indicates a preference for/limitation of (or discrimination against) the protected classes (race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability).  But it is acceptable to market specifically to people with children for the simple reason that their opposite (people without children) are not a protected class. Is your community a quiet one, either because of the neighborhood (perhaps not much traffic) or because of your own rules (quiet community)?  Then make some noise and shout if from the rooftops.  Or put that in your marketing materials.  Just be sure, though, as prospects come to visit, that you are consistent as to with whom you share your quiet dictate (you should tell everyone, no matter that they do not have children, that you have quiet rules for all your residents). Yes, you can refer to the walking distance or “walk to” benefits for your residents.  Often it...

Posted by on in Property Management
CapCon2Let me start off by saying, I am not a political gal, in any shape, form or fashion. If you start a conversation with me about politics, more than likely I will be lost and remain silent, as any opinion that I may have to offer, based on subject matter, will not be an educated one. But, I was provided an opportunity to be a part of the NAA Capitol Conference this year. And will be provided the same opportunity again next year. And I have to say, I may very well become an advocate for what the Capitol Conference stands for and what it exists for. Because while I am already extremely passionate about what we do for a living, the Capitol Conference provides you, as an individual, an opportunity to join other individuals to speak out and make a difference in key issues. While the key issues are provided to you, maybe one day, as future leaders of our industry, we will have an opportunity to have an input on those key issues that we speak to Congress about. You never know. “One Industry. One Voice.” It was such an amazing opportunity and I am not 100% certain that I can put into words how it made me FEEL. Yes, feel. You’re in a group of industry professionals, some seasoned at this, some newbies, like yourself, and you just know that you’re currently in existence to not only learn something new and experience something new, but to make a...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Most prospects in search of an apartment to rent consider honesty to be a given. They assume that those who are in the noble profession of leasing apartments have gotten where they are in life by being virtuous and responsible. Yet some property owners, managers and leasing agents think honesty is optional when trying to convert prospects into residents.   Lying might seem like an effective way to overcome objections and boost occupancy rates, but even one little white lie that you tell a prospect can prove devastating to your long-term goals. The lie deceives not only the person you’re telling the lie to, but it also deceives you by making it seem like you’re succeeding when you’re really just being set up for future failure. ...

Posted by on in Property Management
resortHave you ever heard this saying?  It strikes a real chord with me after a recent vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.  All inclusive has some real and clear benefits, but what happens when all-inclusive removes the incentive for great customer service?  As you would expect, the photos of our resort online were amazing!  I perused through them picturing myself and my family in each of the settings.  On the private “Platinum Beach”, relaxing on the luxurious chaise lounges, while sipping a tropical adult beverage, gazing upon the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, reading a book I have been waiting to have the time to read…not a care in the world, not a bother from the outside world, just pure bliss!  Floating in one of 12 sparkling pools, wading up to the swim up bar for another one of those tropical umbrella drinks.  Dining in style at one of the many restaurants situated throughout the resort.  The pictures on the Website took me right to this oasis!  The rooms pictured were pristine, shiny and clean with the perfect appointments to make the accommodations beyond my expectations.  Pictured was a private outdoor hot tub on the balconies of only those who paid the extra to be upgraded to the “Platinum Suites.”  Along with this “Platinum” privilege came our very own swimming pool, lobby with private concierge, private beach, and that all important “Ocean View” that my travel agent promised.  As I did my homework and researched the perfect resort for...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Yes, you read that right - leasing to new prospects is a massive waste of time.  However, that doesn't mean it isn't completely necessary, as it most definitely is.  If a community leases to a new prospect rather than renewing an existing resident, they are not somehow farther ahead.  Although the leasing office may celebrate the new lease, the fact is that the community has actually lost ground, as renewing a resident is much more profitable than leasing to a new one.  That community just spent a ton of time focusing on marketing, leasing tours, follow-up, move-in programs, and all sorts of other prospect-related activities, when all it had to do was renew the initial resident to begin with.  That is an incredible amount of effort to get back to a point that isn't even as good as the point they started at! To take this idea from a different perspective, imagine money is tight and you lose your wallet with $50 in it.  You now have to work some overtime to replace the cash you lost just make ends meet.   Who in their right mind would be celebrating the benefit of working overtime just to get to the same amount of money they had before?  Nobody, of course, and yet that is the mentality we have when we lease to a new prospect. The problem, however, is that new leases are necessary to some degree.  Saying that "all they had to do was renew the initial resident" sounds flippant, unrealistic,...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
As demand across the apartment industry continued to outpace supply, 2014 proved the bull market still has spring in its step. The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is reporting notable growth across the industry in the newly-released 2015 NMHC Top 50 – the industry's ranking of top apartment owners and managers.  "While one might expect the apartment industry expansion to have reached its peak, we are seeing the opposite," said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Economist. "Renter growth remains at historic highs and for the fourth time in the last five years, we saw an increase of more than one million new renters." The number of apartments in the portfolios of the NMHC Top 50 managers rose to an all-time high, just short of 3 million. Notably, all five of the biggest NMHC Top 50 owners specialize in affordable housing.  Hunt Companies of El Paso, Texas retained its top spot on the owners list (244,451 units owned) and Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC of Charleston, S.C. (393,079 units managed) continued its dominance on the list of top managers for the fifth consecutive year.  The nation's growing appetite for rental housing is also keeping apartment developers and general contractors busy. For the first time this year, the NMHC is expanding its top lists to include the nation's Top 25 Developers and Top 25 General Contractors.   Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Company, No. 1 on the Top 25 Developers list, had an impressive year in 2014 and started construction on 7,500 new units...

Posted by on in Property Management
Sometimes, the genius of something is how simple and unique it is. Take Flappy Birds for instance. Although it wasn’t an immediate success, it sat in general ambiguity for 4 months before it exploded, it created an entire genre of game. It’s no longer available in the app stores but its legacy lives on in its many clones. It was first, it did it best, and it changed the game – pun intended. Back in the stone ages of Multifamily, about 3-4 years ago, for reviews, there was ApartmentRatings. Just ApartmentRatings. No clones. Ratings and reviews were the new buzz words. Yelp had very little relevance and Google reviews was a land of crickets. As an industry we had many intense debates about whether you should respond or even pay much attention to reviews at all. The idea finally caught on but not in the way, I think, we envisioned. Fast forward to today. Every ILS seems to offer their own set of reviews, independent of the Flappy Birds of the industry, ApartmentRatings. Every company who does reviews has a “Verified Resident” program of some sort. Did you know that one ILS won’t allow your rating to go below 3 stars? That’s pretty handy. The only thing these types of reviews seem to benefit is everyone’s SEO. Ouch. I haven’t read any new funny ApartmentRatings reviews in a while. It’s been flooded with fake and verified reviews which are hard to digest. Most reviews I’ve read on the other sites, especially...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
In the sage words of Zig Ziglar, “For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough.” Leasing Agents have a huge responsibility to always be ON. As you greet your prospects when they arrive to your leasing office, think of yourself as being on stage.  Just as your favorite musician walks onto the concert stage, you need to be ON every time your audience is watching you. Yes, your prospects are your audience. Your attitude, energy, and enthusiasm will absolutely directly affect your closing ratios.  So eyes bright, smiles on, stand tall, you’ve got this! It is so very important that you have enough enthusiasm to transfer a good amount into the mind of your prospects. What this means is that the most effective sales people know their community, they believe in their community, and love their community. They really believe that their property has the very best benefits for their prospects. If you don't believe in and love your community or, if you wouldn't let your best friend, a family member, or even your own self live there, then you're probably leasing at the wrong community. Without this deep belief in the greatness of your property, you will never be able to reach the level of enthusiasm that must be transferred from you to your prospects to make them want to lease. I don’t mean the jumping around speaking in exclamation points type of enthusiasm. That can be overwhelming and scary. I am talking...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
Your company is looking to fill a maintenance position. You have already written a detailed job description, carefully defined the skills and possibly the concrete work experience necessary for someone to excel in that position. But somehow, your recruiting efforts do not seem to turn up that ideal candidate. Almost always, there's something amiss with the one you hired. Either they have poor work ethic, lack motivation, fail to pay attention to detail or worse, they decide to bail out on you without prior notice! If this has been your experience, you're probably asking 'where are all the good maintenance candidates!?'. We have seen this scenario and heard this question countless times. Placement firms are dedicated to taking the guess work out of the hiring process, thus putting an end to this painful, recurrent HR problem.  Finding the perfect fit... The problem of 'cultural fit' is a big one. In fact, recent studies show that one out of two people won't last more than 18 months at their current job mainly due to an ill-matched cultural fit. Acknowledging that determining whether a specific candidate is the right fit for your company can be challenging.  Why you should hire a placement firm... #1.Working Interviews: Seek a firm that allows for working interviews.  This will provide a platform to efficiently recognize people who would fit in your unique work environment. On the flip side, the maintenance professional also get a chance to assess whether or not they will fit into that particular landscape....