Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Help! I'm Drowning in Packages!

Help! I'm Drowning in Packages!
So, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, online shopping revenue will be at approximately $480 billion (yes, I said BILLION) by 2019. And that makes for lots and lots of packages delivered to your leasing office for your residents. Camden Residential's decision to phase out package acceptance at all of their communities was part of the focus not only in the Wall Street Journal article, but also a recent feature on the Today Show.  In talking with several multifamily buildings after Amazon's "Prime Days", properties were overwhelmed with parcels...some receiving a few thousand over the Prime Days event. Overwhelming? Absolutely. But should we drop package acceptance altogether? Or should we put in weight and height restrictions, such as they have done at Equity Residential? Is package acceptance an amenity or has it become a utility - something that residents expect and deserve to have - such as gas, water and electricity?  Have we become too particular as our occupancies have moved up to record levels? And have we become almost arrogant with our record breaking rent increases? Or do we owe our owners and/or shareholders some fiscal responsibility for a service that is costing some companies a reported $3 million per year? Homeowners can order anything they want and have it delivered to their door. Do we need to do that to stay competitive with houses and condos? Or can we simply say, "No more packages?" There are package lockers out there, such as Parcel Pending,  that we can......
Continue reading
5889 Hits

Tatted? Pierced? Does it Make a Difference?

Last week, I dropped my oldest daughter off at school and noticed that the vast majority of her art teachers were tatted and pierced. That didn't totally surprise me, as they were ALL art teachers. But it got me to thinking...is the 'old standard' of KEEP ALL TATTOOS COVERED IN THE WORKPLACE  and NO EXCESSIVE PIERCINGS the 'norm' anymore? And should it make a difference? A recent article on Forbes indicates that tattoos aren't the kiss of death in the workplace that they used to be. Neither are piercings for that matter. But the most recent study by Career Builder shows that 31% of employers think a visible tattoo on an employee could be an impediment to that employee being promoted in the workplace.  Excessive piercings still seem to be viewed as a workplace no-no. As a woman who double pierced her ears at the tender age of 15, I remember the horrified feedback I received from friends, teachers and parents of schoolmates. I didn't understand it at the time. It was simply another hole in each of my ears and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Is that really any different from employees who pierce their eyebrows, cheeks, lips, tongues and more?  Dress codes in the workplace aren't illegal. They are generally created to make sure that customers are comfortable in the environment. And I have to admit, I do have a difficult time talking to a person with a pierced tongue or lip. I keep thinking, "Wow,......
Continue reading
5907 Hits

Marketing Like Miley: Five Lessons Learned

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 48 hours, you know that Miley Cyrus was a featured performer on the VMA's and performed some unusual material. And while people all over the country - well, actually the world - are questioning her performance (myself included), let's take a moment to look at it solely from an apartment marketing perspective, okay? 1. Miley's like a property that is undergoing renovation. Her old reputation as Hannah Montana, a Walt Disney creation, wasn't about to continue to sell in today's pop music economy. She's outgrown the wig wearing, double life persona who sang such bubble gum pop as "The Hoedown Throwdown" and "Best of Both Worlds". She's got to tear down the clubhouse, throw out the white appliances and put in finishes that will SELL to the audience that buys today's pop music. Much like we are creating apartments that sell to the 25-34 demographic.  2. The old marketing campaign has to go. Just like many of us are tossing print in lots of markets (and no, this isn't a discussion of print -vs- online), Miley has to create a campaign that makes people TALK. She's gone totally social with her marketing. And her latest performance garnered 4.5 MILLION Twitter mentions, at a rate of 306,100 TWP (Tweets Per Minute). I'd say that's successful, wouldn't you? 3. She's got other people talking about her 'product'. Much like our beloved Resident Referral, Miley's got people talking. I just typed "Miley Cyrus VMA" into Google and received 449,000,000......
Continue reading
4230 Hits

Beware the Blended Facebook Page

I've been considering writing this post for a while now, running sentences and ideas over in my head. Because I think it's important that you read this and you understand *why* it's important. Facebook has become a huge way for people to communicate. I get an inordinate amount of work related email through my personal page on Facebook. And yes, I share 'personal' things on Facebook. Pictures of my family, my dog, my beloved Green Bay Packers and my friends proliferate my page. And yes, I do 'cross the line' with some political posts at times. I am pro gay marriage and fairly liberal, don't care for Sarah Palin and love the Detroit Tigers.  Lately, I've been posting videos of hymns sung by my daughter's gospel choir. And I know that I run a risk of potentially upsetting people who are anti gay, Bears fans, Palin lovers and very conservative. And I have made the conscious decision to allow 'professional colleagues' to be my Facebook friends. I gave that decision a great deal of thought as I know people might decide not to work with me or read my blog posts based upon my political opinions. If you disagree with my politics and beliefs, as many of my closest friends do, that's okay with me. And you can post all of that stuff that you want. But I am going to warn you here and now, if you choose to make industry colleagues your Facebook friends and you 'sell' to our ......
Continue reading
7274 Hits

The Day My Industry Let Me Down

I have a friend, Debbie, who's worked with me for over 10 years. Recently, she decided to make a lifestyle change and decided to leave her house and rent an apartment, a move that I wholeheartedly supported. She consulted me on area apartment communities - where should she live? What should she spend? She was uncertain - she hadn't rented for almost 30 years.  She called, visited and toured several properties. She finally settled on one that was just about perfect. The model was lovely, the staff professional, the location was good and the price was right. Best of all, they could have it ready on the date she needed it. Unfortunately, the actual apartment she was to get was occupied; she'd have to settle with viewing the model and a 'walk by' of her actual apartment's location. But that was good enough for her.  The first hint of trouble came when her Leasing Professional called her to ask her if she 'needed' it repainted. She (the LPro) said the apartment had been painted a lovely shade of red and perhaps Debbie would like the red? Deb asked my advice. "No," I explained. You haven't seen it, you don't know that you'll like it and you'll want new paint. She took my advice and turned them down.  She proceeded to call the leasing office not once, but *twice* prior to her scheduled move in date to make sure the apartment was going to be ready. "No problem," they assured her, "It will......
Continue reading
4006 Hits

Do Mystery Shops Need to Just Go Away? (part 1 in a 2 part series)

I've had clients asking me  this very question for years. Are shops really valuable to a company? Is there a better way? Let me give you some reasons why  mystery shops just might not be the answer you're looking for at your company. For the sake of this discussion, we're limiting this to phone and in-person shops. 1. Shoppers have bad days. Just like Leasing Professionals, shoppers have 'off' days, too. And this is reflected in the shopping report  that describes the Leasing Professionals' behavior. I once worked for a company who so strongly believed in this that they made sure their employees were shopped TWICE on the same day. That way, if one shop was horrible and one was good, they could throw the bad shop out (chalking it up to a bad day for the shopper).  2. Shoppers have to remember how you behaved on the tour. Having been shopped numerous times in my career, I can tell you that sometimes shoppers get their facts confused. I have had shopping reports that accused me of failing to show all of the amenities on the property to the shopper - and they listed the ones I left out. The  problem? The property didn't HAVE the amenities I supposedly overlooked.  3. Perception is skewed. How I view something can be completely different than how you view the very same thing. While I may think a Leasing Professional is fabulous, you might think that person needs some work. The same holds true......
Continue reading
14259 Hits

Nobody is "Just" Anything

I talk to site staff all the time. It's a big part of my job. And I love spending time speaking with site personnel. They are the heart and soul of our industry and the 'face' of their management company or owners. 

And I find one thing that many site staffers do that I want to change. But I need your help to do it. Next time you (if you work on a property) are describing your job to me or anyone else, please don't say, "I'm JUST the property manager" OR "I'm JUST a leasing professional" OR "I'm JUST a maintenance person." You are SO MUCH MORE than 'just' anything!

You wear dozens of hats, you create the success at a multi-million dollar asset, you touch thousands of lives over your career...you are not 'just' anything. 

You are a multifamily professional. Say it with pride and drop the 'just'. Please.

3225 Hits

Are You on Autopilot?

Today, I purchased my lunch at Noodles , one of my favorite fast-but-good food restaurants. And I love how the one by my house is so 'green'. I get  preferred parking, right by the front door, because I drive a hybrid vehicle. And when I pay, they always ask me if I need a receipt. If I don't want one, they don't print one. I know it's small, but I like that they ask me. Today, as my order was 'to go', my server asked if I needed plastic silverware and a napkin. I didn't and I made a very specific point to tell them how much I appreciated them asking me. I abhor waste of any kind, and oftentimes,  take out orders get a lot of 'extras' that really aren't needed.  Shortly afterwards, my name was called, I gathered my bag and left. Upon my arrival at home, I was dismayed to find  - you guessed it - silverware and a napkin in my bag. I checked the instructions written on the bag label and it was clearly marked "Silverware - Yes".   It got me thinking. The server was obviously used to adding silverware to almost every takeout order. And while she asked me if I wanted any , she never really listened to my answer. She was on remote control - my answer was irrelevant. She was going to proceed as she had dozens of time before. How many of us are on autopilot? There are literally hundreds of......
Continue reading
5734 Hits

Pet Peeves About On Site Staffers

It’s time to turn the tables from last weeks’ posting about property management executives. As I travel the country, talking with corporate staff and owners, I hear a lot of the same comments and complaints from these executives. So, as I have done in the past, I’ve assembled their most common issues they have with their on site staff.( I also get these remarks via email and even occasionally by phone.)Oh, and please don’t shoot the messenger folks. I’m just telling you what I hear.So, here in no particular order, are some reasons why your corporate office might not respect you.1. Your friends are your residents. You hang out with them, drink with them, date them and more. How in the world can you possibly run a property when your residents are your friends?2. You come to work hungover on the weekends. It’s obvious that you are. Why do you do that? Weekends are a part of your schedule and you knew that when you took the job. Move your partying to your days off, please.3. You know your tattoos and numerous piercings are not supposed to show at work. Please keep them covered as we discussed in your hiring orientation. You’ll stop getting written up and we’ll all be much happier.4. Ladies, bare legs are not allowed. When we say wear hose, we mean wear hose. Just because Katie Couric does it doesn’t mean you can do it. 5. Smoke breaks are to be taken away - well away - from the......
Continue reading
4683 Hits

Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Property Management Executive

As I travel the country, talking with on site staff, I hear a lot of the same comments and complaints from these hard working folks. So, as I have done in the past, I’ve assembled their most common issues they have with their owners and/or management companies.( I also get these remarks via email and even occasionally by phone.)Oh, and please don’t shoot the messenger folks. I’m just telling you what I hear.So, here in no particular order, are some reasons why your site level staff might not respect you.1. You’ve never worked a day on site, therefore, you really can’t relate to me.2. You’ve never had to talk to residents about their loud sex, their out of control children, their barking dog or their bounced check.3. You’ve never found a dead body. (For the record, a lot of us who work on site HAVE found dead bodies.)4. You say things to me (and to my team members) that are completely irrelevant to our jobs, proving to us just how out of touch you are with site level people.5. You can wear jeans or something very casual to work every day because your office is ‘business casual’. We can’t do that on site, so please don’t wear your jeans to our site offices. Respect the fact that we have to dress professionally.6. We know you sometimes fly in a private jet because you mention it often enough and it filters back to us. Many of us have never flown on any......
Continue reading
3664 Hits