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The Revolving Maintenance Tech Door and how to close it

  I’m in the multifamily industry in St. Louis, MO and have been for almost 30 years.  It seems we have an ongoing, common issue with getting and keeping good maintenance techs.  With so many property management companies losing & needing great maintenance techs, I posed the question on our facebook page as to why good techs are leaving and the common answer was wages. They can make more with their own business or in commercial construction jobs and also avoid the issues with being on call.  So, I did some math. Again, I’m in the St. Louis market, so using some typical numbers we see here for this.    If the average rent is $900 per month and you lose just 6 residents a year due to poor maintenance, that’s a minimum of $5400.00 in vacancy loss if the apartment sits vacant for just 30 days. Now add in the wages paid to maintenance, contractors and leasing to turn and re-lease the units and the utility costs management will have to pay during this time, also any inspection fees. So, let’s add in another $500.00 per unit. Now we’re at $8400.00 for the 6 units we lost due to poor maintenance. And these number are conservative. In all likelihood it will be much more. And can we put a dollar amount on the poor reviews we’ll get and the chatter they’ll be telling literally everyone they know about the reason why they’re moving due to poor maintenance?? All the while, we’re spending ......
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Quick, easy & fun leasing refresher!!

Quick, easy & fun leasing refresher!!
It’s the first of the year; many leasing offices may still be busy clearing out holiday décor, 2015 files, and preparing new books, new files and new goals for 2016.  But, how are you rebooting and preparing your leasing teams?  A quick, easy (and team building!) exercise can be done in less than 30 minutes and right on your own property!   1. Decide on a good time for everyone to meet; smart phones in hand. *mornings are the best training times.  Chose a comfortable, casual setting where everyone can sit; use a display if you have one.  2. Everyone Google your property.  Where are you showing up, does everyone know the ads that are out there?  Review the ads; briefly read 2 or 3 aloud that contain great amenity language.  This will up your liven up your agents presentations, reinforce relaying amenity benefits & keep them in the know of what prospects are seeing! Time – 15 minutes  1. Phone shops – these can be done on your comps… or not!  Everyone should have your company phone shop evaluation page.  If they haven’t seen one, have them review it ASAP & make sure they know what your company expects on phone skills.    2. Speaker call 2 -3 properties, as a group, then evaluate the calls.  What new, good techniques did you hear? Can you use anything you heard in your presentation?  How could the call have been better?  How can you use this demo to make YOUR calls better? Set goals for longer, be......
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'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips

'Sun'sational Summer Leasing Tips
  Make the most of tours with quick easy summer leasing tips Studies show that prospects that spend more time in the display or vacant apartment home, are more likely to remember the property and much more likely to LEASE there! To help kick off your summer leasing season, here’s some tips to extend your prospects visits:   Keep cool beverages in the display/vacant frig!  Allow your prospects to slow down, take a breather and absorb the apartment surroundings with a break & a few sips of a cold beverage! Stock it with interesting choices & make it memorable!  Try raspberry lemonade   Have a Seat!  If you have a furnished display, let your prospects have a seat. Leasing agents should take the lead and be seated first, then ask your prospects to do the same!  This is the perfect time to engage prospect into conversation of how they would place their furniture in their new home and visualize living there!     Enjoy the great outdoors! Have a patio or balcony?  Make sure you’re taking prospects outside and as you linger, ask how they will enjoy their outdoor space once they get moved in! Make this popular space really inviting, with bright flowers & wind chimes.   GRAND FINALE!! FAV 3 close:  After the tour, ask your prospects to take one more look through the apartment on their own, and return and tell you their favorite 3 features!  This is a fantastic tool to use in your summary close!! It wil......
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How selfies can boost your property social media presence

How selfies can boost your property social media presence
  Selfies are so on fleek! Yes, that’s the new term; on fleek.  Meaning; on point.  Selfies? That’s much easier.  Combine the two, get a great selfie wall or frame at your property and let the fun and social media magic begin!  Selfies are all the rage on social media; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the lists are endless.  Incorporate this social media trend with a great selfie wall or frame at your property.  It’s easy!  Dedicate a wall in your clubhouse or display and get your prospects and residents involved!  Make your selfie wall colorful, fun and make sure it has your property name, website, email, or number on it too!   No wall space, no problem!  Invest in a large picture frame, or large piece of poster or foam board, decorate it with fun colors, flowers, a huge Welcome Home, your property name, number, hashtag, etc.  Presto! Instant portable selfie frame ready for action!!  It’s a great way for new prospects to capture (and remember!) their visit to your community.  Fun for residents too!  Have them post it, tag themselves and check in too.    For prospects, make this an added incentive to receiving any of your current specials, or create a special if they take a selfie, tag, post & check in.  Email it to them as a great follow up too!   Residents renewing make the perfect selfie testimonial for great transparent advertising.  Testimonies are one of the marketing tools and this is FREE advertising for your property!   This will be a new, fu......
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Excuse me...your miserable is showing

Excuse me...your miserable is showing
  As a multifamily trainer I get the opportunity to work with many leasing agents in various stages of their careers.  Sometimes brand new to the industry, sometimes seasoned leasing specialists just needing a refresher course.  But, the one task I can’t train anyone on....being happy. I’m not talking about having a tough day, a mood swing or the periodic slump that most of us go through from time to time.  This kind of infrequent funk can be camouflaged with a great lip gloss or a fake it ‘til we make it attitude.  A truly unhappy person is not something that can be trained or glossed over.  And often they are the ones on the front lines of your property.  They’re the first person to greet your prospective renters, your residents and answer the phone.  I’ve witnessed it many times.  I’m all about getting everyone on the happy bus but when your front line people are unhappy, the misery shows.  When residents come in with complaints, you may overhear them chiming in with comments like, “I know! It’s ridiculous, but they say that’s their policy!” or “I have no idea why they do this or that.” Not only are they not handling the issue professionally, they’re adding fuel to a fire that’s headed straight to nonrenewal land.  Translation – you’re losing money.  That fire needs to be extinguished. I had a “Let’s Get Leasing” training class this month with an agent that got less than stellar marks on her shop report.  It’s wonderful when management embraces these opportunities to help im......
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Would you work for you?

Would you work for you?
I was at my local office supply store yesterday; the Epson printer has printer her last page. Think I’m going HP this time.  While checking things out in their DIY print section (love to have a local places where we can get marketing items printed ASAP!)  I overheard a conversation between the manager and an obviously, new employee.  He was explaining how to NOT spend a lot of time with customers. Intrigued by what I was hearing…okay, I was being nosey, I continued to browse the area and hear more.  He made some good points. "Know the material to be able to explain to customers, be ready with an order form.  This way they won’t hold you up while they try and figure it out . Cause they usually can’t."  Wow. He continued as this young lady asked questions like, “well what if they’re really interested and just need help getting through the forms?”  Manager reply; “Sit them over here and tell them to let you know when they’re ready.”  Then go fill out forms, stock this or that, blah blah blah.  He continued in this intimidating manner and the whole time could clearly see me.  Within eyesight = within earshot. Good rule to remember.  Seconds later, I heard the girls voice crack as he barked at her and said something about no common sense.  Then asked her if he offended her.  Really?!  This is the time for Under Cover Boss!!  Or, would undercover boss care? Is that what we’re doing?   Is that the message we’re sending......
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New Year Fresh Start

 New Year Fresh Starts  Wake up! It’s 2014 and it’s about to get exciting again in the multi-family industry! Are you ready?  ‘Cause it all starts with you.  That’s right, YOU! Lisa leasing agent, Mary manager, and Ted the maint tech.  Your attitude is setting the stage on how you, your team and your property will succeed in 2014.  Today, more than ever, you can find boundless resources focused on having that “winning attitude”.  So much of what is suggested for a happy life, happy self is found online, on CD’s and in print.  So if you don’t already have that glass is ½ full view, here’s some tips to get yours started!  Here’s to making 2014 your best year yet…1 day at a time.   Be grateful – say you are thankful for at least 1 thing every single morning.  Work related or not, find 1 thing – first thing.  Soon you’ll start finding things throughout your day, all day.  Make your workplace a cheerful, organized space.   Take time to clean out and clean up offices, invest in a little dollar store décor in your leasing space & post your goals!  Goals posted are 80% more like to be achieved.   Complements – make it a point to complement at least 1 team member / co-worker every single morning.  No exceptions!  Write down your to do’s – start with the top 3-5 MUST DO’s as 1st;  then 2nd priority items.  As you complete the task, it will make you feel accomplished to cross it out or check it off!  A......
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Excel at Leasing; prepare, execute, succeed

Excel at Leasing; prepare, execute, succeed
Yahoo!! We talked about the importance of working in the off season on your leasing skills to be the best you can be a few weeks ago. The example given was my son working hard in the off season to be great at baseball and make his high school team. Well the off season workouts paid off…my son made his baseball team yesterday and is an official Spartan baseball player!! I couldn’t be prouder, can ya tell? Lol The same applies to your leasing goals.  At Apartment Leasing Solutions we focus on just that; great leasing. It’s our passion; it’s what we love to do. There are many ways to become a leasing Rock Star. In the off season when it’s slower, it’s the perfect time to shop your comps in person, share new ways on how to close the deal with team members and colleges, develop great marketing partnerships, broaden your apartment and community knowledge, expand your vocabulary and practice over coming objections – yes, even in the ‘off season’. When you prepare in the off season, you’re skills will shine effortlessly in prime time. In leasing we have the privilege of helping people with one of the most important decisions of their lives; selecting their new home!! Yes, we do it many times a month, a week, even in a day! We may show 5-10 prospects apartments on any given day. This regimented routine can get tiresome when we do it over…. and over…. and over. But to that prospect, that family, ......
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Leasing Clydesdale style

Leasing Clydesdale style

The best Super Bowl commercial and leasing…what do that have in common? Only everything!

The commercial voted as the best by the millions of Super Bowl watchers, the Budweiser Clydesdale spot, didn’t show one drop of beer, not one word was spoken, yet it ranked in the top spot by viewers. Why? It created emotion. The 60 second spot created more emotion than any other ad in the 4+ hour sports spectacular. The tear jerker ad showed the bond between the young colt and his trainer, the progression of the bond as the colt grew up, moved away to his Budweiser destiny, in the end, the separation and then the uniting of the two. Simply a true, sweet, story creating emotions.

Emotional selling works. It works for beer, and it works in leasing apartments. And in my opinion, you have a head start with someone’s home in the forefront. An apartment home is much more emotional than say…beer. So why not get a little emotional with your apartments, someone’s soon to be home? Get vested, start caring and watch the leases pour in.  Now, please pass the tissues...

 

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Did we have you at "hello"?

Did we have you at "hello"?
  Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE You had me at hello…the 3rd time! So when does follow up really end? In the apartment biz, the standard practice for follow up that I was taught 20 something years ago, still rings true today. After a prospects initial visit, if they did not rent, you started the follow up process. Call within 24 hours, send thank you note within 48 hours (by snail mail of course! Lol) another follow up call in 72 hours, and so on, until the prospect came back and leased, or their phone was disconnected. Yes, this was back in the days of landlines! With technology advances, follow up techniques have changed, and now include emails, Facebook posts, videos and calls to cell numbers that never change, but the principle has stayed the same – continued communication. But, what about continued follow up with residents once they move in? Do we keep that communication open and on an ongoing basis? If not, what if we did? A phone call within the first few days of their move in checking to see if everything was going okay, a “Welcome to your new Home” card sent out within a week. A personal visit within 3 months to offer a personal hello, send a birthday card, holiday greeting card, and so on.  When we have them at 'hello" do we change our communication to be just "show me the money!!" Far too often we forget about the resident after the......
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