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What are the Two Most Important Questions to Ask Prospects?

Found a great video from Matt Easton today where he shared his two most important questions leasing consultants should be asking prospects:

I love the part about knowing when to switch to closing the sale.  What do you all think about these two questions?

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What You Need To Know About The Rent Control Measure.

The Affordable Housing Act which was presented by Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and David Chiu as AB 1506, died in the Assembly’s housing committee earlier in the month. Now a new proposed ballot measure plans to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Costa-Hawkins Act, the state law which more directly effects 5 of the 15 California cities with rent control, applies to large housing developments built prior to 1995 and does not include single-family homes, condos, and duplexes. Currently, in these markets, the landlord has the right to raise rents upon a tenant moving out and second, prevents the capping of rent on units constructed after February 1995. In Los Angeles City, rent control is applied to units constructed prior to October 1979, under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and yearly increases are capped at 3 to 8 percent (as set by the Rent Control Board) for the controlled units.   As a self-described union for renters, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), filed the paperwork along with Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Citing that California is facing a growing demand for affordable housing, a rise in homelessness and the historic housing crisis is pushing out low- and middle-income renters out, at times even in cities with some rent control. Supporters like the ACCE, say they have been gathering signatures easily, as people are expressing enthusiasm for the proposed November ballot. They have already collected 100,000 signatures, of the total 365,880 signatures needed by June to qualify for the ballot.   Critics like the California A......
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The Effects Of The Blockchain On Real Estate

  Blockchain is an emerging technology which will transform the way we buy, sell and lease real estate. “A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order.  It allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically. Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what’s known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record which cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.” (1) Real estate will not be passed over when it comes to the blockchain disruption either. There will be a need for education in order to transition from the current standard analog norms into the digital space for high value assets such as real estate. Blockchain technology introduces smart contracts on its platform. This allows assets like real estate to be tokenized, and be traded in the same vain as cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and others. You will be able track all information on real estate,......
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Apartment Staffing 101: Don’t Hire Nice People

Apartment Staffing 101: Don’t Hire Nice People
Apartment staffing can be tricky business. Over the years, I have managed and hired hundreds of Leasing Agents. It can be tough trying to find the right candidate. Early in my career, I made many mistakes when it came to hiring.  Some candidates I thought would be great turned out to be all talk and no action, while others who I thought we be just “ok,” turned out to be excellent employees.  But one of the biggest mistakes I made was presuming that because a candidate was “nice,” that they would be a great Leasing Agent.  However, what I found is that while “nice” individuals are perfectly acceptable, all of the “great” leasing agents I ever hired were very “kind” people.   What's The Difference Between "Kind" and Being "Nice"? It's a common misconception that being "nice" and being "kind" are the same thing. People tend to confuse the two. They are in fact two separate traits that can make a big difference in an employee's performance.  Individuals that are "nice," tend to be very polite, are well-liked, show common courtesy and are very personable. Most of the agents I come across fall into this category.  On the other hand, "kind" individuals are the ones that always show empathy for others, try to help wherever they can and always seem to put other people's interest above their well being. This shows in their sales techniques (i.e., connecting with renters), their role within the organization, their willingness to help fellow employees and most importantly, t......
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Why the New Way to Close a Sale is Through a Story

Storytelling helps prospective renters envision themselves using the apartment home and community amenities. Stories encourage the emotional side of the brain and allow the customer to connect in a way that is far superior to a list of community features and benefits. There are four types of stories to choose from when closing the sale. Depending on what the renters’ concerns and values are, will determine which type of story to tell. Tell a who we are story if the renter is concerned about finding a place in your community. These stories relate to the community culture, both within the renter population and the Leasing Center.  The prospective renter wants to know they’re coming into a happy, consistent community. Tell a what we are story if the renter hopes to find specific amenities or rates. Engage the prospective renter with a detail-oriented story, relaying the sights and sounds of the amenity or home.  These renters want to be able to see themselves enjoying the community amenities and their home. Tell a why we are here story if the renter values personal attention from Leasing Consultants. Share stories that inspire trust and can be personal, why helping the renter find their new home is a rewarding opportunity. Tell a what we do story if the renter expresses concern about maintenance services or any other services. This is the opportunity to sell the community’s customer service through real stories and remind the renter the staff goes above and beyond. Stories that tell about the sights and sounds will encourage renter’s brains to create ......
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3 Areas to Focus on in the Current Multifamily "Goldilocks" Market

Axio rent growth 1712.jpgThe multifamily real estate market has softened some over the last few years, but 2017 was again a highly profitable year and there is reason for continued optimism in 2018. There was a common theme of concern coming into last year that, after several years of record rent growth, 2017 would see a pullback. While ‘17 hasn’t maintained the previous pace, rent growth has maintained historical averages with growth hovering between 2.1 and 2.5% and ending December on a high note. As an aside, I have to share that while we often talk about historical averages, last year was unique because it actually delivered pretty much exactly the historical average, and with remarkably low volatility throughout the year. As we sit here today, the market can best be described, truly, as a Goldilocks market, where supply and demand factors seem to be strongly balanced and the operating environment is not too strong and not too weak...it’s just right. Through my career in multifamily, I’ve spent considerable time working with senior executives discussing the best strategies for managing performance in a weak market or for leveraging a strong one. I cannot recall spending much time working on strategies for the type of stable market we find ourselves in. With 2018 shifting into full swing and showing signs of continued balance, now’s the time to really focus on that unique environment. So here are three things to focus on to maximize performance: Pay Attention to The Little Things In an strong-growth world, a rising ti......
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Following Up Beyond 3 Attempts

Residents are a very stressful mindset when they are inquiring and touring for a new apartment home. They often tour 4 to 6 apartments before they even start to narrow down their search to the 2 they are most interested in. When thinking about following up, treat each type of lead differently and make sure to stand out when you follow up. Now a days, it takes on average 7 follow ups before someone returns a call or an email. Renters are busy, stand out with the tips below!  As video becomes more and more influential in a customers experience, think about capturing their new home on video and using it to follow up.   Stay away from the "I am just calling to follow up with you on your apartment search" The follow up needs to be specific and intentional as your competition is following up with the potential renter as well. Have the mindset of more than let me check the box and just say I followed up. In addition to calling a prospect who has inquired via email and has provided their phone number on their form- follow up in both ways.   A best practice that has always worked well is, if you call and receive their voicemail, email them after you hang up. "I am sorry we missed you via phone, but perhaps email works better..." Many renters don't answer numbers they do not know, but will check their email over 40 times a day.   There are three ......
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Security deposits as ancillary income – why the numbers don’t add up

Let’s talk about security deposits as ancillary income. I’m sorry but it bothers me to categorize an extra cost burden to prospects that will likely impair their payment performance as an income source. Of course, property companies need protection against potential loss, but for the majority of professionally managed portfolios it can be argued that the majority of losses start with residents’ inability to keep up with rent. And that’s where the story begins… The Current State of Affairs Since huge swaths of Americans earning as much as $50,000 or more don’t have $1,000 in the event of an unexpected expense, it makes sense that asking them for first month rent and security deposit at lease signing sets up them up to fall backwards on rent. Bleeding water from a stone only makes the stone crumble… In the good old days of multifamily, security deposits were intended to cover losses. Today, however, the amount of cash deposits required upfront has become a competitive lease term tied up with concessions and special offers. As such, prospects compare lease costs from one community to the next with the cheapest offer often winning. To be clear, moving in more residents is the goal, yet anyone worth their CRE knows that two truths:   1.     Making it cheaper for prospects to move in only makes it cheaper for prospects to move in without any assurance of payment performance throughout a lease2.     Losses are less when rent is delivered on time   And therein lies the rub between the desire to cou......
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Sales Tip: "Don't Give them the Entire Menu!"

Sales Tip: "Don't Give them the Entire Menu!"
Think about the last time that you went out to eat at a “sit-down” restaurant. My guess is the process went something like this-a host/hostess asked how many people were in your party, led you to your table and let you know that your server would be right with you. Then when the server arrived s/he probably gave you a menu, asked if you wanted something to drink and then left to give you some time to look at the menu. Then, I bet the server brought your drink and then asked if you were ready to order. If you were ready to order you said something like, “I’d like a cheeseburger deluxe, side salad and a diet cola” (or whatever it is that you actually wanted to eat!) The server might have then asked if you wanted lettuce and tomatoes on the cheeseburger and what type of dressing you wanted on your salad. Imagine if… The server didn’t ask how many people were in your party and just seated you wherever she felt you should sit. “Oh, you have 5 people…well, this two person table is where you’re going to sit. Deal with it!” What if the server just assumed what you wanted to eat and drink without even asking for your input, kept bringing more and more food (even if you didn’t want it) and then still insisted you pay the bill. How would that feel? Sales professionals can learn from wait staff at a restaurant! Here are some key tips: Let your cus......
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Don’t suffer from “Me Syndrome” – Leasing through the Renter’s Hearts, Minds, and Emotions

Too often we are focused on ways to win a “lease” or worried about filling our personal wallets. We should be focused on creating massive joy for the renter through their hearts, minds, and emotions. Demonstrating the community value and benefits through forming attachments makes it difficult for a renter to say no to calling your community home. Three Easy Ways to Secure a Lease through the Renter’s Hearts, Minds and Emotions: Focus on community Benefits rather than Feature. A benefit answers the question “What’s in it for me?” Benefits give customers a reason to buy because they explain how the community or apartment feature improves their lives. Sell The Feeling – Trust, Confidence, and the Feeling of being taken care of. Renters want to feel they can depend on you. That you mean what you say and you’ll do what you say. Having confidence shows the renter the community is right for them, and you have expertise to meet their needs. A feeling of being taken care of means the renter feels you have their best interest at heart and that you’ll take care of them not just throughout the lease signing, but months down the road. Form Attachments with the Renter. By forming attachments, the renters can visually see their future at the community. Renters are emotionally involved and will feel torn if they walk away from the opportunity to have joy at their new home. To encourage this, use phrases such as:  “Your home…” “Your daughter’s bus stop…” “Your fitness center…” “Your nearest grocery store…” The mo......
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