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Can Netflix Influence Multifamily?

How many Netflix movies or shows have you binged that would have never been on your radar if it weren’t for the personalized recommendations that show up every time you log in? Or, what about Amazon and the recommendations they serve you every time you visit their website based on a previous order? The point is, that other verticals can help influence the multifamily industry and how we market, lease, and engage with prospective and current residents. So, what sparked this idea? In case you missed it—Kristi Fickert, VP of Enterprise Growth, and Angie Lombardi, VP of Marketing at The Franklin Johnston Group hosted a webinar where they discussed why teams need to stop leasing new apartments with old strategies. Impressed by the number of takeaways, below are three of my favorite takeaways! 1. Use Personal Experiences and Apply It To Multifamily Look outside of multifamily and follow other industry leaders or companies who are creating great personalized experiences, such as Netflix or Amazon. It doesn’t cost you anything to hit the “Follow” button. Other industry leaders, even outside of multifamily, may help you spark up an idea. 2. Automation is Important, but Personalization is More Important Personalization is not just saying “Hi, [name].” You need to customize your automation to fit each prospect’s needs based on their behavior. Website heatmaps are known to help identify that! 3. Video Is Powerful Customers want options, and incorporating personalized videos into the leasing process creates a more authentic and efficient process for the prospect – even......
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The Power of "And"

The Power of "And"
Google the phrase “the power of ‘and,’” and you’ll see that it’s the title of a TEDx Talk, a book about responsible businesses and even the slogan of a university.    Over the years, I’ve come to believe that it is a perfect description of how to achieve real success in lead management.    By this I mean operators too often think of implementing solutions as an either/or scenario: should we offer guided tours or self-guided tours? Should we have prospects interact with chatbots or leasing agents over the phone? The answer in these situations is almost always “both.”   You should offer agent-led tours AND self-guided ones. You should have chatbots AND associates available by phone. What you really want is to offer leads a real choice in the way they interact with your communities - don’t make the choice for them. Allow prospects to trade in their currency and you will see your conversion take off.   Case in point: While self-guided and agent-led tours convert fairly similarly on their own, lease conversion increases by 38% for communities offering both options. That’s because you’re allowing prospects to shop the way they want to shop. And with self-guided tours, you make it a breeze for prospects to make return visits or take their first tours during hours when there are no leasing associates onsite. You are outperforming your competition by allowing prospects to engage by the method of their choosing.   Similarly, one NMHC Top 50 operator saw its conversion from tour to lease jump......
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How To Make A Virtual Tour Video To Engage With Residents

As multifamily leasing professionals, you’re constantly looking for new and different ways to engage with your residents. Well, if you know how to make a virtual tour video, you can open up a whole new arena of ideas. Video is by far the best way to engage with residents, and if you have the right virtual tour software, you’re halfway there! Whether you’re sending announcements, community updates or trying to engage with your residents, video is your best bet. Here are a few ideas of how to make a virtual tour video to engage with residents. Announcement and News When we say video works, we aren’t making that up. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. Video keeps your residents’ attention, and it helps communicate whatever news or updates you need for them to hear. Video is also much more likely to get residents to pay attention than flyers under doors or just text-based emails. When you slip a flyer under the door, you have no way of tracking if a resident reads it. With video, you’re able to track your engagement! Email faces a similar struggle. Did the resident actually read the email or did they just click “marked as read” or just moved to junk? True, you can track if the email is open, but are residents reading it? Embedding video helps tremendously. Video can increase open rates by 19% and click rates by 65% while reducing unsubscribe rates......
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Why You Still Need Virtual Tour Software in 2021

Why You Still Need Virtual Tour Software in 2021
By now, you’ve had to have heard of virtual touring. Many know virtual touring software became a must have for multifamily real estate in 2020. Yes, technology made its way through the industry in years prior, but wow — 2020 saw the demand skyrocket for virtual touring. While things certainly exploded in 2020, it’s not time to change course. Virtual touring, and the need to adopt technology to support it, isn’t going anywhere in 2021 and here’s why. Safety and Security In 2020, COVID-19 and the accompanying shelter-in-place, social distancing, closed leasing offices, and other restrictions made leasing agents everywhere realize they needed to know how to create a virtual tour. Prospective residents weren’t able to be there in-person to see the space, but leasing agents still had a job to do. Well, unfortunately, COVID-19 and all that comes with it are still impacting how we run our businesses and how we live our daily lives. For many Americans, COVID restrictions are still very much in place. While it varies state-by-state, some citizens aren’t allowed or don’t feel safe venturing to too many places. And that can include touring a potential new apartment community. It’s key to provide these prospects with a quick and efficient way to tour your community in a safe and secure way — that is in their own homes. They can take a tour through a personalized pre-recorded video library or a virtual live tour and get the experience they are looking for without a mask or worrying about what......
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Don't Put Too Much Stock in Your Net Promoter Score

Don't Put Too Much Stock in Your Net Promoter Score
As many who work in multifamily real estate know well, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular method of measuring customer satisfaction.  But, as we will discuss here, it has significant limitations, from how it was conceived to what it truly measures, all of which should give landlords and managers pause about how it is used to guide property operations and marketing.  A brief primer on NPS: the NPS of an apartment community represents the percentage of renters surveyed who are likely to recommend that community to family or friends by rating it a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. Those respondents are the community’s “promoters”. Scores of 7 or 8 are considered “passive” or neutral, and scores of 6 and below are considered to be “detractors”.    NPS is used in various industries, and within multifamily it’s used to measure and manage renter satisfaction, reputation, and can even be tied to on-site employee compensation and bonuses.       The creation of NPS is credited to Frederick Reichheld, with its first public introduction in an article he wrote for the December 2003 issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR).  NPS gained particular popularity within the multifamily industry around the mid-2010s, as customer service best-practices from other sectors began crossing over into real estate management.    According to Reichheld’s 2003 HBR article, the spark for NPS came from a meeting of CEOs of major companies during which they discussed their strategies and methods for creating customer loyalty.  The CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car announ......
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Cut Through the Self-Tour Clutter: The Best Experience for Your Prospects and You

Cut Through the Self-Tour Clutter: The Best Experience for Your Prospects and You
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, apartment operators have had to rethink the prospect visit and the prospect experience at their communities. As such, the term “self-guided tour” has gained significant fanfare - think “business intelligence” of five years ago - and gets tossed around constantly. (It’s even got its own acronym: SGT.) Unfortunately, a lot of confusion exists around this self-guided tour concept. Operators often are left uncertain about the technologies and solutions they need in place to offer SGTs. Some property managers seem to think all they need to do is install smart locks, but a smart lock alone doesn’t equal a self-guided tour. The truth is, these tours come in different shapes and sizes. To implement self-guided tours that fit your goals – and to determine what technologies you need to offer them – ask yourself the following questions: Actually, before you do that, let’s clarify a few things - self-guide tours are not the same thing as virtual tours or even video tours. Virtual tours are when a prospect “visits” a community remotely. A live virtual tour occurs when a leasing associate shows a prospect around a property via a video call. Pre-recorded videos of a community offer prospects another kind of virtual tour. Self-guided tours are when prospects visit a property and tours it unaccompanied by an associate. All of these tours can benefit prospects and communities. Now, on with the questions: 1. Do you want prospects taking self-guided tours to have any interactions with leasing associates? Some operators seem t......
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Online Leasing: 5 Common Myths & Misconceptions

Online Leasing: 5 Common Myths & Misconceptions
Accessing, signing and storing documents of all kinds online is commonplace in today’s increasingly digital world. Nevertheless, many landlords are reluctant to make the switch from traditional pen and paper to digital. Of course, it’s important to be cautious about making major changes to your business, particularly those that have legal implications. But, some of the wariness surrounding online leasing is unwarranted. Misconceptions are driving much of the apprehension. Trust us, signing leases online can save you and your tenants a tremendous amount of time and headache. Here are the five most common myths about online leases: Online leases aren’t legally valid. Electronic signatures aren’t secure. Leasing online is more trouble than it’s worth. Online leasing is for the tech-savvy. Online leasing is too costly. Let’s take a minute to examine your doubt and dispel your hesitancy by reviewing these five myths: Myth #1: Online leases aren’t legally valid. The eSign Act that President Clinton signed in 2000 ensures that electronic rental agreements are 100 percent legally valid. As long as your lease contains all the basic terms of tenancy (which every lease should have already), the electronic signatures on the lease have the same legitimacy and enforceability as a hand-signed document. Additionally, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) grants electronic documents the same at the state level, so they will hold up in any court in the U.S. Myth #2: Electronic signatures aren’t secure. A wet signature refers to a traditional pen-on-paper approach to signing. It’s unique to you, it can’t be hacked, and it’s stood the test of time — right? On the ......
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Traffic and Leasing Move up From Pandemic Low

Traffic and Leasing Move up From Pandemic Low
It’s been two months since the initial lockdowns started across the country. This week, we saw a number of other states start to open up, and our industry is showing some positive signs in terms of some leading indicators.On a national basis, both traffic and leases were up during the week ending on May 13, according to data from Radix. Specifically, traffic and leases were up 8.7% and 6.6%, respectively, week over week. They were down 41.7% and 18.2%, respectively, year over year. On the plus side, the YoY deficits for these two metrics have been dropping in recent weeks. For example, leases were down more than 50% on a YoY basis just four to five weeks ago.Nationally, the occupancy rate dipped 11 basis points to 92.85% during the seven days ending on May 13 (it was down 139 basis points YoY). However, that was the smallest WoW decline since the start of April.The accordion effect of these leading indicators is now showing signs of more significantly impacting net effective rent (NER). In the week of May 13, we saw the largest WoW drop in NER – 1.1% – since the pandemic began. And, for the first time since the coronavirus came to the U.S., we saw the YoY comparison dip into negative territory at -0.8%.What could all this mean? We could be seeing the first signs of demand stabilization as leading indicators are improving and stabilizing. The slow but constant gains in traffic and leasing are encouraging and we are makin......
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Operating Statistics: Impact of COVID-19 on Multifamily

From the very early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, it was clear the pandemic would have serious repercussions for the multifamily industry. Now, with emerging data to analyze, we are beginning to get some concrete sense of the outbreak’s impact. Data compiled by Radix shows that, in terms of property performance fundamentals, there are some predictable but nevertheless worrying trends.Nationally, traffic is way down on a Year-over-Year (YoY) basis. For the week ending on April 15, traffic was down 63.3% from the same time last year. On a more positive note, it was up 11.3% when compared with the preceding week. From discussions with our clients, this increase is likely due to the fact that operators are getting creative and doing virtual tours through applications like FaceTime and Google Voice.Additionally, leases signed are decreasing. The average U.S. apartment community signed 1.7 leases during the seven days ending on April 15. That represents a YoY decrease of 48.5%. Traffic and leases are leading indicators, and when they are down for sustained periods, we will soon see negative impacts on metrics like occupancy and leased percentage rates, and then followed by rents.We are seeing the first signs of this cascading effect. For example, the U.S. same-store occupancy rate for the week ending on April 15 was 93.55%, a 0.19%- drop from the preceding week and a 0.58% dip from the same period one year earlier. The same-store percent leased rate for the week of April 15 was 94.51%. The rate was a 0.35% d......
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5 Things You're Doing Wrong When You're Trying to Lease Your Apartments

I'm sure you're doing a lot when it comes to apartment marketing. After all, no one wants to have empty units in their communities—that's potential income just sitting there. Plus, you gotta admit, it's a little spooky. 

But when it comes to marketing, there are certain missteps that people make that can lead to missed opportunities. Are you making them? I'm not here to judge (well, maybe a little). Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when you're trying to lease up your apartments.

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