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Give 'em some sugar

I am planning an 8 hour flight to Europe.  As many of you know I have a 3-year old, who is awesome, but she is still a 3-year old, so the planning that has to happen before we embark on this adventure which is truly a 16 hour flight (round trip) is extensive.  I also have an amazing supportive partner who is not a fan of flying so add to my drama (I digress).  So in planning for this adventure I have loaded up on sleep pillows, compact games and books for the little one and a eye mask - which leads me to this posting.  I ordered the eye mask (along with a few other goodies), and sat and waited for the much anticipated, "we've shipped your order' email that Amazon suppliers provide.  So, 2 days after the order placement it arrives and how surprised and excited I was to get a little bit of sugar with my order!  Below is the email: Your Sleep Mask order has just been shipped as you asked.   I think you will love it. When you receive it, please pay attention to the instructions for use.  It works by far the best if you flip the nose flap inwards and upwards. We provide a full satisfaction guarantee.  If you have any concerns with delivery or with the Sleep Mask itself after you get it, please let me know, and I will ensure it gets handled. I have attached a bonus eBook - Sleep Naturally......
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Drinking the Disney Kool Aid!

Drinking the Disney Kool Aid!
I'm recently returning from a trip to Disney World.  Need I say more?  The land where dreams come true!  The land of hopes, your return to childhood and of course the last stop for all of your savings!!  After paying about $100 a day for tickets to this "land where dreams come true" I enter "The Park" (and by The Park, I mean a park a day as Disney World offers 4 amazing parks, 2 water wonder lands and several food and entertainment venues to choose from).   After you are able to actually get into a park, either by walking two miles from the parking lot, by tram where we are squished between two crying toddlers who clearly were awoken from their slumber, or forced on a ferry or monorail to get to this "magical kingdom" you are greeted by smiling faces!  I mean it we spent 4 days in and out of Disney and even the lady whose job it is to walk around the park looking for gum and scrape it off is smiling and even humming the Disney propaganda.  So how do they do it?  How can Disney possible get their tens of thousands of workers to drink the Disney juice, even when they dealing with crazy people who spit their gum on the ground so others can step on it, even when they have to do that 2 mile trek into work EVERY DAY, even when some of them are the 100 degree heat for hours......
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"The Manager at Park at XXX deserves DEATH!"

"The Manager at Park at XXX deserves DEATH!"

If you have attending my training you'll hear lots of funny stories about resident, employees and the craziness of our business.  As many of you do, I have a journal of endless antics, stories and episodes as I travel through the property management world!   I vow that none of the things I shared are fabricated, because the REAL stories of REAL people and events are SOOO much more entertaining and full of life than anything I could EVER make up.

That being said, I was a bit taken back when a post came across my Facebook feed recently.  The post states,  "the manager at Park at XXX deserves death."  WOW!  I thought that is pretty harsh, wonder what the manager did to this guy... then I click on his profile and learn that not only did he post this about a manager, but HE himself is in the apartment industry AND a temp, probably looking for a job no less!!  WOW!!! 

So I encourage you to remember that your social media presence IS YOUR everyday presence!  If you think that people don't look at your profile when they are interviewing people YOU ARE WRONG!! 

What shocking posts or information have you seen that made think about how social media has changed the game???

Love to hear the feedback!!

 

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Why am I not at 99%? According to the papers everyone else is!!

Why am I not at 99%? According to the papers everyone else is!!
Have you been reading about how GREAT the apartment industry is doing? Papers are reporting that the apartment industry is booming but perhaps you are still struggling to keep your head above water??? From Boston to Houston to the California coast rents are reportedly on the rise so why are you still at 90% and having to give away up front concessions? If you are barely keeping your head above water there may be some internal office and operational issues you may need to deal with or consider. Sit down with your key team players and ask the tough questions: 1. Is our product the best for our target market? You may not have all the bells and whistles but of the bells you do have do they ring? Are they clean and presentable or are they questionable?? If you are not requiring your teams to put their best foot forward and present the highest quality product for your customer you will always be just holding on and turning over apartments in mass! 2. Are you creating a community for your residents? Do you know your people by name? Do they WANT to come to the office to see you or do they slide rent in the night drop even when you are open for business? 3. Do you believe in your team and your product or are you just checking in and out daily? When was the last time YOU walked the model and tour route or sat down to......
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Lessons in property management from my 1 yr old - Episode 10

property management officeIt's been awhile.. What can I say life as a Crazy Training & Marketing Gal and a mom is a bit busy!  So, let's get started... When my daughter is awake it's all hands on deck, whether it's coloring, painting or just following her around while she wheels her baby around the house, she needs to be watched. It is very difficult to sit down and write a blog as she is playing with my mouse and my cursor is bouncing all over the screen.  But I CAN empty the dishwasher when she is awake and ready to play, in fact she even helps put the silverware away. Not exactly what the drawer looked like before a baby but heck at least it's all IN the drawer. I digress....  Managing my time with her is much like managing my time when I'm on site.  Anyone that works on site knows that constant interruptions from residents and your team is a way of life. Whether it's the nice old lady in apartment 101 that wants to tell you about her grandson's tooth falling out or the crazy resident in apartment 501 that wants to show you her ingrown hair. (YUK.. but you know it happens).  Even the good interruptions like people paying rent or your team asking about raising the rental rates because you haven't had any price objections in a while. It all changes your train of thought and forces us to be master multi-taskers and great at remembering where we left......
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Lessons in property management from my 1 yr old - Episode 9

EXAMPLE 1: We live in a cul-de-sac so the kids in the neighborhood are always running around, dogs chase balls and the adults frequently participate in adult beverage championship drinking in their lawn chairs in the drive ways.   Before I had a child I would look at them through the window and think, 'man, can't they do that in their back yard?’  Then I had my daughter and she insists on being in the front yard running and participating in all the neighborhood ball chasing and kid watching.  So I find myself taking my adult beverage outside and lettering her run around and play, yelling CAR and snatching her up every 20 minutes or so as a care makes a turn in the cul-de-sac circle.   So we are out one evening and my daughter is very busy running and falling and getting back up and running and falling again... and I let her!  The neighbors tell me that I'm WAY too laid back for a 1st time mom, that they were hysterical with their 1st kids, running to catch them before the fell and watching off their hands when they touched the ground.  I started thinking maybe I was too laid back and maybe I needed to jump in there and catch her before she fell; but that is just not me.  I appreciate that she will fall and cry and be upset about things.   EXAMPLE 2:  We are vegetarian... ALL of us... that means Rilynn has had......
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Lessons in property management from my 1 yr old - Episode 8

So I know you are wondering where I have been?  Well HELLO; I have a one year old, I have a job, am in a committed relationship with 2 dogs.. I've been CRAZY busy people!! (I digress) There are several schools of thought on this but many believe that effective scheduling is the key to effective parenting.  Others think that 'free parenting' is the only way to ensure your child is brought up with a free spirit and bonded with their parents.  I think I'm somewhere in between which brings us to our property management lesson for this episode. It is imperative that you maintain a consistent schedule of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual duties to ensure effective management.  Of course as mentioned in previous episodes flexibility in PM is also important but maintaining a consistent schedule is the ONLY way to ensure that your property, your team, your residents, your owners and your asset in general are all fully benefiting from your expertise! Why is consistent scheduling and 'to do' lists so important in PM?  Here are a few reasons to help explain to your teams why you want those boxes checked off on to ensure things are done. WHY: Consistency:  This will ensure a level of quality every day!  Consistency in what we do ensures that we are delivering what is expected of us day after day.  Why do we love McDonald's so much?  Because you know what to expect!  You will consistently get the same hamburger in......
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Lessons in property management from my 1 yr old - Episode 7

Entertaining toddlers isn't easy.  They are everywhere all at once and mine is very sensitive so you never know if a laugh will instantanously turn into a cry or outburst.  So we try and prepare and enjoy every minute because this is so much work we will surely not have another (I digress).  So this lesson actually comes from both my 15th month old and her father.  Daddy was responsible for watching the little one.. for TWO WHOLE DAYS.. as mommy was in conference.  He said, "oh we'll just hang out in the room or go to the pool", I said "trust me when I tell you that if you actually go do something the day will go much quicker".  Day 1 - he didn't listen, I show up after my conference, the hotel room has toilet paper hanging from the lamp shades, my suitcase is unpacked (skillfully by Rilynn of course as my pants are wet from being plunged in the toilet) and daddy looks like a train hit him and is ready for a night cape and his pj's.   Day 2 -- ZOO DAY!  Good decision dad!  The day went great and I received texted photos of giraffes and monkeys and it put my mind at ease - that they were doing something together and that there were other people at the zoo to help him out if it got desperate.. (just kidding daddy - you did a great job as always!)  So as they return from the zoo......
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Lessons from my 1 yr. old on property management - Episode 6

Traveling with a toddler is always risky!  My little one is very mobile - in fact she has just started jogging and is currently training for her first 5K for the 2013 Houston Apartment Association Fun Run I'm sure!!  (I digress!)  So we just got back from our 5th flight with little Ri (smilin' Rilynn as we call her).  Because for her other trips she was not walking and now she is a jogger, I was a bit nervous this time around.  Her four other flights were pretty eventless and we made out looking like we had the perfect child.  You see traveling with a little one is all about research, preparation and flexibility.  The first time I knew I was going to get on a plane with my little one she was just about 3 months old - it was my first time for a work trip and I couldn't bear to leave her so we packed her up and we were off.  But before we took off, I started scavenging the internet, went to the book store (yes I still do that - I actually LIKE the feel of books in my hand that I can highlight and fold the pages) sat in the corner and read all I could, checked out parenting blogs and asked my friends.  Then I took all the good advice and prepared.  I bought the necessary tools (footnote:  I have included a few tips on GREAT gear at the bottom on this blog).  I......
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Motivate Maintenance to WIN at Leasing and Retention

apartment maintenanceI can't express enough how important a GOOD, MOTIVATED maintenance team is in the success of your property.  This is not an epiphany, I am not a genius because I'm saying this - I know this!  But, what are we doing day to day to keep our maintenance teams motivated?  Although I hope I don't have to tell you why it is important to keep them motivated but I will so we are on the same page. WHY keep them motivated? Motivation builds loyalty and engagement - what they deal with daily is a challenge - I mean when was the last time that YOU unclogged someone else's toilet? We frequently forget when we have events or meetings to include maintenance so they are forgotten They know what is happening on your property and in your units -- if you connect with them and make them feel like they are part of the team then they will feel more comfortable telling you what is happening on site. I want to give you all a few quick activities to help you get started in maintaining good, motivated teams: Have a make ready contest - take a perfect make ready and stage some things in it that are out of place, i.e.,  missing vent, minor leak in sink, lights out, missing rod on blinds, etc.. then have a timed race for who can find the most errors in the make ready - give gift cards, etc.. Attach customer comments to the work orders and......
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