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The Covid-19 Parcel-Geddon and property managers’ golden opportunity.

Online shopping has gone through the roof since COVID. Online sales rose by 74% when Lockdown first started back in March 2020, compared to the same month in 2019,   and despite the easing of restrictions, most people have not returned to traditional shopping on the High Street. Why should they? The High Street is losing retail outlets and with household names such as Debenhams moving online, the average town centre is no longer such a happy place as the retailer exodus continues. This means that parcel delivery is also rising. It was estimated that it would reach 200 billion parcels delivered by 2025, but with the increase in online shopping , we are likely to reach this figure far sooner than anticipated. It is easy to see why. Online shopping appeals to all demographics. Elderly people, who were initially reluctant to embrace technology, have taken to it like a duck to water during the pandemic and have stuck with it. Younger people too find the convenience of online shopping is hard to beat.  Although this is good news for online retailers and parcel delivery companies; the high volume of all these parcel deliveries is causing major issues at the end of journey, especially in high occupancy dwellings such as apartment blocks and housing complexes. Parcel- Geddon is already upon us For property managers this is already at crisis point. Property managers are now struggling under a Parcel - Geddon of deliveries which arrive at all times of the day (up......
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Fair Housing Attorney - The Specialist You Need

Fair Housing Attorney - The Specialist You Need
Should I Consult A Fair Housing Attorney? If you had a specific medical problem, you would want a specialist in that field. It stands to reason then that if you have questions regarding The Fair Housing Act, you would want to reach out to a lawyer that specializes in this.  This article takes a look at when you should consult a fair housing attorney. How this may look will depend on the size of your company and most importantly the advantages of doing so. A Fair Housing Specialist is Irreplaceable Many companies fall into a false sense of security that they have had enough fair housing training that they do not need to consult an attorney when a problem arises. Or perhaps your company is looking for a way to cut costs and wants to avoid attorney fees.  The fact is that fair housing laws are ever-evolving. Along with that, consider the cost of just one fair housing complaint. Consulting a fair housing attorney is an unavoidable part of this industry but it serves as a protection.  Updating Fair Housing Company Policies Consider one scenario that should always be reviewed by an attorney:  updating your company’s fair housing policies. As stated above, fair housing laws are constantly changing and your policies will have to change with them. Your policies not only need to be internally reviewed annually, they also need to be reviewed by a fair housing attorney at least every three to five years.  Keep in mind that if any c......
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Top 3 Things to Budget for in 2022

Top 3 Things to Budget for in 2022
Fall is fast approaching and you know what that means. Budget season! As you carefully calculate your property management budget for 2022, it’s a perfect time to consider ways to improve your property and resident experience.   To help you be strategic with your finances, we’ve compiled a list of the top three things to budget for in your 2022 plan:  1. Amenities2. Resident Retention3. Property Technology   Amenities Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your residents are spending more time at home than ever before. As a result, residents are prioritizing different amenities for 2022. This is a unique opportunity for your property to stand out by including more of what today’s renter is looking for.  Desirable community amenities include: • Coworking space: Accommodate the growing work-from-home trend and foster community at your property by adding a coworking space. • Onsite storage: Over 31% of Americans say they wish they had more storage space. Capitalize on this by turning any underutilized space into storage for rent.• Outdoor amenities: Appeal to renters with upgraded outdoor amenities like rooftop patios, dog parks, and community gardens.• Guest parking: Improve the day-to-day lives of your residents by renovating or expanding your parking to accommodate visitors.    You can also increase your property value with in-unit amenities such as: • Onsite laundry: In-unit washers and dryers are a top priority to renters. Although it requires an upfront investment, your rent revenue can increase up to 20 percent!• Heating and cooling: Improvements to your units such as central air conditioning ......
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Should Landlords be Licensed?

  Denver says landlords should be licensed.   In early May, the city of Denver passed a law that requires all long term rentals to be licensed. The justification is that it will improve professionalism and hold landlords to a higher standard.  Specifically, City Counsel President Stacie Gilmore is quoted as saying, “This policy will help stabilize housing and neighborhoods.”   Lofty goals, for sure, and they may well be achieved with help from this policy. What seems to have been left relatively unexamined is the fact that any licensing system brings costs in addition to the potential benefits. Licensing fees ($50/unit for small properties, as little as $2/unit for large properties) are not huge, but are just a part of the cost.  There will also be periodic inspections, which will likely cost between $300 and $1,000.   In a market with average rents of about $1,700, that $350-$1,050 cost is a material increase to the cost of doing business, not to mention a significant additional compliance activity. How will this change the Denver rental market? What impacts - good or bad - will this have on the Denver rental market?   The Analogue Happily for us, licensing systems are very well studied and have been a hot topic of debate in academic and policy circles for many years.  Research is widely available from organizations like Brookings, Columbia University and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the U.S., there are many professional licensing systems, and almost all of them accomplish a few goals: Licensing set......
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The Benefits of Vertical Integration

The Benefits of Vertical Integration
If you were to ask my take on vertical integration in an apartment company, in a nutshell my response would be something like this: "If done correctly, the benefits are enormous. But you have to do it for the right reasons. Otherwise, it's easy to mess it up." Over the years, I've seen too many apartment owners create their own property management and construction divisions for the wrong reasons. Maybe they simply want to be able to tout their vertical integration to help them raise big money. Or perhaps they're just focused on maximizing the revenue streams these entities may create.  If you're an owner with these motivations, I'd strongly recommend against launching an in-house property management and/or construction company. The chances are, things will go wrong before they go right.  But if your focus is on building in-house divisions with the proper expertise and experience in place to optimize the performance of your own portfolio, then you and your investors can reap significant benefits from vertical integration.  For starters, when you have your own property management team running your apartment communities, they're bound to be extra motivated to do all they can to boost property performance and the bottom line. Plenty of third-party managers out there do great work – I'm not saying they don’t – but a fee manager's compensation structure might not necessarily result in them doing everything they can to maximize a property's revenue and performance. Stated another way, you're (hopefully) going to look after your own child......
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The Five Best Ways To Deal With Delinquencies Right Now

Dealing with delinquencies especially in rent collection is an age-old problem that property managers have to deal with especially in the recent past. Due to unprecedented economic times, residents are not able to pay their rent on time while some of them do not pay at all. In multi-family properties, effective delinquency management is one of the most overlooked factors despite this having a major impact on operational performance. Common effects of having applying inefficient techniques of dealing with delinquencies in the real estate sector include; increased risks to the community or portfolio, reduced financial performance through working capital requirements, unnecessary expenses and write-offs and disruption of operations that affects productivity and resident turnover. So what are some of the ways that property managers can best deal with delinquencies? Create a Disciplined Approach and Impose Reasonable Penalties Property agents understand how crucial it is to have a disciplined approach when it comes to rent collection. It is equally important that everyone understands the rules. When there is an inconsistent application of the rules, then residents are likely to abandon the culture of prompt payments. When there are alternative payment plans, exceptions or one-off favors, such a situation is likely to set a dangerous precedent leading to residents accumulating insurmountable balances. The key challenge therefore is to have effective processes, train everyone involved and have the right technology to ensure compliance where everyone is accountable for the good stewardship of the property. Residents who violate the contractual agreement of their leases should......
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3 Easy Ways to Retain Residents in 2021

retain residents for multifamily property managers      It’s safe to say that the multifamily industry faced some unprecedented changes and challenges in 2020. Now, in 2021, property managers are tasked with adapting to a new reality and finding new ways to keep residents content.  Investing in resident satisfaction is always worthwhile because it leads to increased loyalty and lower turnover. We all know that keeping existing residents helps avoid the cost of vacancies and lost rent — but how can property managers retain residents? Here are three ways you can better retain residents this year: Enhance communication with residents Create a sense of community Adopt new technology   1. Enhance communication with residents With so much uncertainty within the last year, it’s vital that you maintain open and positive communication with your residents. To improve communication with your residents, try these tips: Always ask for feedback. Not only does asking for feedback give you tangible ways to improve, but it also shows residents that you genuinely care. Stay positive. Even when you have to deliver bad news or deny a resident’s request, use friendly and positive language. A positive attitude goes a long way. Keep residents updated on your building’s latest COVID-19 policies. Whether your amenity spaces have reopened or you’ve updated your sanitation measures, send out a quick message to let residents know. These ongoing updates will provide some much-needed peace of mind. It’s never a bad time to invest in the relationship between property management and residents, but now it’s more crucial than ever. Maintaini......
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What Does a Great Market Survey Experience Look Like?

What Does a Great Market Survey Experience Look Like?
Introduction The other day, there was a comment posted on Multifamily Insiders asking why people hated market surveys so much. This is a real issue that many property managers and agents face on a weekly basis...keep reading if you're interested in a solution! If you're familiar with property management, then you probably know what a market survey is. You also know how tedious, time-consuming, and stressful they can be. This is where Market Survey Tools (MSTs) come in. What are Market Survey Tools? MSTs help in the weekly compiling of property information such as: Move-Ins Move-Outs # of Tours # of Cancels These tools simplify and streamline the process, allowing agents to enter their weekly data and then share that data with their comps through a couple of clicks. What Makes a Good Marketing Survey Tool? Not all MSTs are made the same; a good MST: Is made for agents (and regionals) Automates for you Makes reporting easy Makes sharing easy Stores your data   5 Reasons You Need a Market Survey Tool 1. Market Survey Tools are Made for Agents (& Regionals) Whether you're an agent or regional, MSTs can make your life easier. With the right MST you can: Complete surveys View previous surveys View competitors' data Review your property's data Send reports 2. Market Survey Tools Automate for You With so much going on these days, it's tough to keep your schedule straight. A good MST sends notifications, reminders, and updates right to your inbox. Here's what a......
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What If Porsche Ran A Property Management Company?

What If Porsche Ran A Property Management Company?
If you visit Porsche's factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany, the first thing you notice is … well … it’s tiny! Like smaller than a satellite parking lot at Ford! And when you learn that they make more than 55,000 cars per year at that factory, it’s easy to ask, “How?”  I am sure there are many reasons for their success, but the concept that resonated with me (and spawned this post) was their absolute mastery of two principles: Just-In-Time (JIT) and Just-In-Sequence (JIS). Something I found fascinating is that the materials used to construct their vehicles often arrive no more than one hour before being installed on the assembly line! One hour! And not only do they arrive “just in time,” but they are loaded/off-loaded in the exact order as the cars in the assembly line (Just in Sequence). What does this have to do with property management? Here it comes: the Porsche factory has to be extremely efficient and well-organized. And they have to execute their processes to perfection – there's no room for waste of any kind. If they make an error, there are very few areas where a car can be removed from the line. If a part is wrong or missing, they are stuck! This got me thinking about why there are such varying degrees of performance from apartment operators who operate similar class properties within the same markets. Some portfolios achieve lease:lead conversion at 5-7%, which is good, but some peers achieve 10-15%. Why? The answer is rooted in a compa......
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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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