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With 17+ years of experience in the multifamily industry, I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick multifamily topics' butts...and I'm all outta bubble gum #DearGabby

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Dear Gabby,  I’ve been hearing more and more about this “All-Inclusive Living” trend as of late. All I can think about when I hear the words “all-inclusive” is a resort where people are lazy, being waited on hand and foot without paying extra. I’m sure there is something more to it since it is becoming more popular but can you explain?   -#ALoyalOfficeFan _________________________________________________________________________ Dear #ALoyalOfficeFan,   Gabby here! And I am going to help you understand all of the details to the new “All-Inclusive Living” trend! It’s less about being lazy and more about residents being busy. They want convenience built into their lives by having everything they need included in their multifamily community.  It’s becoming more and more common for American workers to work long hours. A lot of companies have meals, coffee, nap rooms, employee outings all provided at workplaces such as Google, Yelp, and more! People with this lifestyle are used to having everything in one place and want those conveniences to continue once they come home.  Work life balance is always important when it comes to looking for jobs but what if that balance is becoming more about making work feel like home and home feeling like a hotel. “All Inclusive Living” helps make this balance possible.   Okay, so are some examples of what could be included in “All Inclusive Living”?   Fully Furnished Apartment This one isn’t a new option but space-saving transformable furniture is. With this new furniture, residents can have smaller rooms...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Dear Gabby,  I know you have talked about the micro apartment trend before, but could you give us an update? Should they still be on my radar? I am not sure if my location will even be affected since I live in a smaller market. People here didn’t find out that Bey was pregnant until 2 days after her Instagram announcement for goodness sake! #ATrendyMultifamilyManager    ________________________   Dear #ATrendyMultifamilyManager ,  First off, where do you live for people to be that out of the loop? We had a celebratory toast at the office in honor of Bey’s pregnancy.  Second, thank you for the fabulous question! With new trends there is always the risk of it losing steam and becoming just another fad. With micro apartments, however, that’s not the case!  As I said in my last post, micro apartments mean something different to different people. Some think about their environmental footprint and opt to live in a smaller space to minimize their impact on the earth. Others choose the smaller unit because it is cheaper. They would rather sacrifice space than location, quality, safety, etc. Lastly, some people choose the space simply because it is trendy. No matter the reason, people seem to choose a micro apartment to serve a totally different purpose than a conventional one. On average, micro renters don’t stay as long, causing community to have higher turnover. That’s not to say that these communities are going to begin emptying out. More and more people (mainly young...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   I guess I’m getting old. My daughter just had to show me how to download an app on my new smart phone. Technology is advancing so rapidly, and I’m having a hard time keeping up, especially when it comes to smart home technology.   All of the young property managers are talking about it and I feel out of the loop. What should I be focusing on when it comes to new technology at my multifamily housing community?   - #NotTheNextSteveJobs     Dear #NotTheNextSteveJobs,   It’s okay, I think my teenage son knows more about technology than me too. Kids these days! The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to understand how technology works in order to start capitalizing on the benefits it can provide to your apartment.   Smart home tech is one of the hottest trends in the multifamily industry right now. Why? Smart-home features such as smartphone-managed lighting and security are giving renters a greater sense of control.   Millennial renters aren’t going to be scared off by technology -- they already know how it works… and they like it. In fact, according to a new study from Bailey Brand Consulting, 74% of them believe technology makes their lives easier. And since millennials currently make up the largest group of renters, it’s a good idea to focus your efforts on appealing to them.   Okay, now that you understand the “whys” of smart technology, let’s focus on the “what.” Here’s a list of...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
  Dear Gabby,   I’ve been around the block a few times as a property manager and, not to pat myself on the back too much, I think I’m pretty good at this job. However, I want to be better, but with my busy life, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends. That said, can you give me the scoop on the latest trends for attracting renters?   - #BusyBee       Dear #BusyBee,   I can totally relate. Between making sure my kids get to school on time and being a boss on the job, I barely have time to watch the latest episode of HGTV’s Property Brothers (it’s a guilty pleasure). In fact, I’m squeezing this in during commercial breaks.   Keeping up with the latest trends is important if you want to be a great property manager, so let me break it down for you!   It’s pretty well-known that more and more people are deciding to rent instead of buying houses. 2015 saw the biggest surge in new renters in history, bringing the number of people living in rental units to around 110 million people.This means that more families across the country are calling multifamily communities home. Because of this, renters are looking for an apartment that matches their personality and lifestyle. These are a few of the things they’re looking for:   Customized Design Property managers that want to stand out in an increasingly crowded market can attract renters with décor that...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   Parking. It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare. So many problems arise between us and our residents because of it. Trying to having enough spots, regulating who parks where, I can’t seem to keep everyone happy. Please help!   Sincerely,   #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne     Dear #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne,     Ah yes, parking is a perennial problem property managers face. It seems like every multifamily community just turns into parking lot tetris (not as fun as it sounds).   Unfortunately, property managers are responsible for dealing with the neverending parking struggle. Adequate parking at rental properties is one of the most important amenities for residents and can be the make or break for some when it comes to signing or renewing their lease. After all, parking is what cars do most of the time. In fact, the average automobile spends 95 percent of its time sitting in place. People buy cars because they need to move around, but the amount of time they actually do move around is tiny.   Providing parking is important. Luckily, you have me to help you navigate the treacherous roads (pun intended) of multifamily parking.   Property managers who want to keep their residents happy and reduce conflict between neighbors should have a clearly defined parking plan for their property. Here are some things to consider:   Assigned Parking Spaces: To make sure that all residents in your multifamily housing community have plenty of parking for their own vehicles, there should be assigned parking spaces. Many...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
Dear Gabby,   First off, I would like to put on the record that I LOVE being a property manager. I couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning and doing anything else. It’s like one of my favorite Quentin Tarantino quotes: “When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman.”   BUT… I do have some pet peeves and annoyances that have been building up recently. I wanted to see if you could list some common pet peeves in the industry so that I don’t feel as bad. I mean, if everyone is feeling the same way that I am, it can’t be rude...right?   I just want to make sure that I am normal and that I am not being overly picky or mean.   Sincerely, #SuperAnnoyedPropertyManager _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #SuperAnnoyedPropertyManager,     I TOTALLY get where you are coming from. Sometimes you just want be able to turn your work phone off like a normal 9-5er and head to the movies to see the new Star Wars movie with your kids. Instead, you’re getting calls and texts about a break-in, flooding, or a neighbor’s music.   The short answer to your question about pet peeves being a thing, is YES! We all have things that get on our nerves.   To make you feel better, here are the four pet peeves I hear about the most from property managers:   The questions that come up when screening residents Most property managers top pet peeve is when potential residents ask...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Dear Gabby,   Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.   Sincerely, #ReluctantGrammer   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #ReluctantGrammer,   First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.   As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.   Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!   You should use Instagram as a place...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby, I knew being a property manager isn’t easy, but it’s proving to be a lot harder than I imagined. There are so many responsibilities to balance, but I’m still determined to be the best in the biz. Any tips? Sincerely, #IWannaBeTheVeryBest     Dear #IWannaBeTheVeryBest, So you want to be a perfect property manager eh? The property management world can be highly rewarding one, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. I’ve been working in the industry long enough to know what personalities and skill sets are better suited for this line of work. Just call me the Mr. Miyagi of property management. Learn how to focus on your goals and start with the basics. The rest will follow. Afterall, someone who can catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks can accomplish anything (note: this is not an official requirement of being a good property manager, but it would make for a killer party trick). It may seem like you have a long path ahead of you, but have patience young grasshopper. Let’s start with some of the imperative qualities of today’s successful property managers: 1. Communication A property manager must have excellent communication skills. Residents must be able to reach the property manager for emergency and non-emergency related issues. Keeping the lines of communication open can be challenging when the phones are ringing, your email inbox is full, and residents and potential residents alike are lined up at your desk, but it’s important to do so if...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   I am on the brink of moving somewhere where the weather is warm year-round! Snow might create a pretty winter wonderland, but it’s not as pretty when you need to get rid of it on a regular basis.   I manage a community in an area that’s prone to heavy snowfall every winter. Removing snow seems never-ending! I’m wondering if you can give me some tips for making sure my walkways are always safe this time of year. The last thing I want is for my residents to get snow in their shoes, or even worse, fall and hurt themselves.   #DreamingOfSunshine     Dear #DreamingOfSunshine,   I feel your pain. As that cool winter breeze makes its way in and pushes out the crisp autumn air, only one thought comes to my mind: Winter is coming...and it’s the worst!   Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season. But I could do without the winter weather that comes along with it entirely. For someone like me who wasn’t necessarily gifted with good coordination, winter is my worst enemy. Black ice… UGH, that stuff is always trying to sneak up on me and ruin my day!   Snow is inevitable in many places, so coming up with a plan for snow removal is something multifamily managers need to seriously prepare for well before a storm rolls in. Here are some important things to consider before old man winter shows his face:   Know the Local Laws To...

Posted by on in Property Management
    Dear Gabby,   Have you heard about this new trend? A signature scent for multifamily housing? I get that it comes from hotels and high-end shopping, but really? I don’t know if I am crazy but it all just seems pretty ridiculous. What are your thoughts?   #AConfusedManagerWithANose   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #AConfusedManagerWithANose,   First, I would like to start off by saying one of my favorite things in life is walking through the perfume section in Saks.   It makes me feel nostalgic, reminiscing about when times were simpler. It makes me think of Betty Draper from Mad Men and how on-point her look was. She paid attention to every single detail, all the way down to her perfume scent. What I’m saying is… keep this in mind as you read.   Most agree that smell is a powerful tool that most brands ignore. It can trigger memories and even influence people’s emotions. Every time I smell popcorn, I remember how I used to take my son to the movies every Sunday. Now, he’s too busy playing Call of Duty and Snapchatting his buds…*Sigh*...they grow up so fast!     But here’s the low-down. I’ve been reading about this new signature scent trend in the multifamily world. Right now, multifamily housing have been worrying about the senses when people tour their buildings. Property managers make sure that everything looks good, the furniture feels good, there is pleasant music playing, and they even provide refreshments in the office. With...