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Three Fundamental Steps to Successful Apartment Marketing

Three Fundamental Steps to Successful Apartment Marketing
  As a property manager, you likely have noticed the challenge that exists in apartment marketing. It can be hard to get the positives of a property across in many kinds of marketing, as most people are looking at the cost and spying closely for any kind of negatives. Basically, people are always looking for that one reason to look at another property rather than your own; your job then becomes trying to convince them not to do so. If you want to start making better progress when it comes to apartment marketing, here are three fundamental steps that can make a telling difference to your success rate. Use these, and you are far more likely to find it easy to get your apartments rented out to the right tenant. Host Community Events One of the most powerful tools that you can utilize for powerful and effective apartment marketing stems from hosting a community event. Not only does this allow you to draw in interested parties and gain some trust, it lets you begin to better understand the local community. That understanding can be essential to long-term success. Just make sure that you use a local calendar to find some spare time on the local scene; competing with things like school events will see turnout dwindle quite heavily. Also, give yourself between 4 and 6 weeks of marketing time to help build up local interest in the community. An event, though, from raising supplies and food for food banks and homeless......
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Beware of Bad Marketing - SEO Services That Fail

Outsourcing marketing processes can be a great way to efficiently attain your marketing goals.  That said, I've seen some incredibly bad solutions, especially for SEO services!  So just make sure you understand where they are posting and what they are posting! Given our size, we get requests daily to provide free content to us in exchange for a link back to their client's sites.  In almost 100% of the cases, we decline.  Why?  There are several reasons why that type of content is of absolutely no value to us, such as the content is only tangentially related, at best.  For example, one person reaching out to us right now is talking about home buying tips.  Not only do we not deal with home sales, the target audience is completely wrong - our audience aren't home buyers - they are professionals working in the real estate field.  The marketing company only saw that we were in real estate, but didn't really care to figure out that it wouldn't make sense.  You would never be so careless with your marketing, but a bad marketing company may not be as discerning. The second problem we encounter is that the SEO/Marketing company is often the one writing the pieces.  Why would we want content written by someone who has exactly zero experience in the field they are writing about?  This reflects badly on both us and their client.  Sometimes a hybrid approach can work - the marketing company does the leg work to get the......
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Closets: The Untapped Resource

Closets: The Untapped Resource
How to become a front player in the estate development industry? Also, how to build and safeguard a strong financial muscle investing in real estate?  The next wave of consumers will want customization. Looking toward the next influx of buyers this is one way to attract a wider market and increase profits. With offering a wide range on configurations potential buyers are able to choose a design that fits their needs. Everyone from the working bachelor to the soccer Mom can benefit from a customized closet. Investors will benefit from properties “tailor made” for the consumer. This concept also will make the properties stand out from the competition. Widening the market will only widen profits. The closets by design concept allows the property to have as many as three to four different options for the potential consumer. Having multiple options will bring a fresh perspective on a normally routine event. This inspires a sense of ownership with the clients. A sense of pride when making it your own space only personalizes the experience. More and more the consumers want storage designed for ease and accessibility. This is how property management can capitalize on this growing need. With a cookie cutter approach to having closet configurations mass produced the initial investment is minimal to the offset of future earnings. Leading the way for this untapped market allows the property to stand out from the barrage of competition. Making it the desirable, useful, and fun alternative. The options of the closet design concept can......
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Don’t let a Landlord-Tenant Dispute Become a Natural Disaster

shutterstock_171847709Don’t wait until disaster strikes to protect yourself and others from damages. Have a plan in place to prevent landlord-tenant disputes when there is property damage of any kind.  You should take steps to ensure that the lease clearly designates who is responsible for what damages and when.  Both parties should also have insurance when replacements or repairs have to be made. Mind the Lease Lease Termination Landlords should take special care in the rental agreement about terms and conditions for terminating or breaking the lease. This should include stipulations that specify how much advanced notice a tenant must give in order to break the lease and what fees will be incurred if the contract is violated.  Both parties are required by law to provide a 30 day notice that they will be terminating the lease, but you can choose to request a larger time frame in the lease.  Keep in mind that if special circumstances develop on the property, such as a tornado ripping off the roof of the property, the tenant can’t be expected to continue to live in the property.  In such situations that the property is deemed to be untenable, the Landlord must either provide alternative housing for the tenant during the period of repairs or terminate the lease. Damage Repair Replacement and repair for damages are generally isolated for the landlord and the tenant.  The tenant is to be responsible for their own personal belongings inside of their unit.  The landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the physical property inside and out. What if the pro......
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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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Communicating with Prospective Renters in an Email-light World

In the words of one-hit wonder 10cc, “Communication is the problem to the answer.” We’ve gone from dispatching handwritten letters to typing emails; from exchanging text messages to publicly posting tiny, 10-second videos of ourselves wearing digitally affixed dog ears. More ways than ever to communicate and yet getting our message into the right hands for the right response is more difficult than ever.   Since our communication channels are in constant evolution, marketers are continually  refocusing efforts on reaching both prospective and existing renters – particularly the younger millennials (the group born between 1977 and 1995) and Generation Z’ers (the group born between 1995 and 2014).  These generations are checking their email--if they even have email--less often, and they find it to be an outdated method of communication. In fact, you probably won’t find Gen Z’ers – the world’s first generation of true digital natives – looking anywhere other than at a smartphone.   While millennials have already been yielding significant spending influence within the apartment market, Gen Z’ers are beginning to trickle into the workforce and consumer market. They will be the new renters, and it’s crucial to communicate with them in an authentic, visual and real-time way in order to capture their buying power.   ALTERNATIVES TO EMAIL   Text messages These instantaneous private (or even group) messages have become so deeply ingrained within everyday life that in many cases they are replacing phone and face-to-face conversations altogether. Upwards of 15 million texts are sent every minute of every day worldwide, ......
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How to Stand Out to Potential Renters

According to a CNBC article posted in June, renters are avoiding buying because home prices are soaring. In fact, only 52 percent of renters surveyed by the National Association of Realtors quarterly report stated that they feel now is a good time to buy a home – this is down from 62 percent a year ago. With renters on the rise, property managers need to constantly be prepared for an individual to move out. When a current renter decides to move out, it’s standard practice to provide property managers and owners with a 30-day notice. And as property managers prepare for the renter transition, it’s critical to emphasize the unit and building amenities, and even take the time and resources to make updates when possible. Marketing a vacant unit in a multi-family complex is integral to filling the property within a reasonable timeframe. When a rental property is vacant, it costs money for every day it sits empty. Therefore, it’s important to reduce that time between qualified, paying renters to the bare minimum. No matter what tactic property managers use to market vacant rental properties, there are a couple things that will maximize the impact of their outreach efforts. On one hand, marketing the unit and building is crucial to standing out. Everything about the rental property – from the outside of the building to the front door and the interior – needs to be attractive and look rent-ready. While writing enticing copy for a listing, include all the features and updates of the unit......
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Is the Multifamily Industry Still Missing Out on Marketing Opportunities?

In 2014, we partnered with On-Site to release a study that focused on how effectively multifamily operators were utilizing email marketing. Three years later, we revisited the study to see what, if anything, has changed.   The initial 2014 study surveyed online responses from 31 different communities. The communities represented a wide range of companies—public and private, national and regional, owner/operator, fee manager (and mixed), with an equal distribution of geographic locations. We made contact with the various communities through their company website (not through apartment marketing sites) and requested information about a one bedroom one bathroom apartment.  If required, we asked for a move-in date one month from our inquiry date, and specified a 12-month lease. We intentionally did not give a phone number so that we would experience how operators responded through online means exclusively. In our 2017 research, we replicated the study using the same methodology and included the same companies. We generated 31 leads online, using the same set of operators as in 2014. We contacted one community per operator, however, this time we also filled in a phone number to measure phone, as well as email response. In 2014 we saw varying response times after the lead was submitted. Most of the responses that we received came the same day, which impressed us, and a few came in too late to be meaningful. We were disappointed in the number of operators who did not respond to our inquiry at all, but there was some good news in that t......
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Top 6 Resident Complaints That Will Damage Your Reputation

Author John Green’s book title “The Fault in our Stars” seems fitting to describe the significance of star ratings for prospects scouting the Internet to search for apartments. We know that residents are flocking online to voice their disappointments or favorable experiences at their apartment homes. Research proves that these online conversations affect prospect traffic to your doorstep.   A nationwide survey by J Turner Research involving more than 25,000 residents indicates that 62 percent refer to online ratings and reviews at the beginning of their apartment search. According to a 2016 study, the two most influential aspects of reviews in a prospect’s decision making are star ratings and the relevancy of reviews to their likes and dislikes – relevancy refers to content of the reviews. The number of reviews is a close third.   Are you monitoring the content of your online reviews? Do you know the top complaints echoed by residents on online review sites and ILSs?  In analyzing hundreds of online reviews, below are some key pain points that annoy residents the most.   1.  Racial discrimination – The rhetoric of racial discrimination can damage a business severely. Residents feel victimized due to “perceived” racial discrimination by a specific staff member. Residents also notice how staff members deal with a diverse resident body. If the interaction is not respectful by their standards, the resident may misconstrue it as an act of racial discrimination.   2. Eviction letters/notices - Residents view eviction letters as humiliating and threatening. Sticking eviction letters on thei......
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The One Amenity That Never Goes Out of Style

In the property and hospitality line, there is a constant rush to have the latest and trendiest amenities, from urban staples such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and business lounges – to more recent, trendy options such as creator studios, infrared saunas, and salt rooms. Yet amid all these investments into amenity space, another crucial yet often overlooked amenity is neglected – the service that occurs within these spaces. While creating space is all about size, square footage, and built-up area, service is what takes an environment from simply being “space” to being a “place”. “What’s the difference?” you may ask. Space is simply an area that may be available for use but may be unoccupied. A place is where people go to with a clear intent and purpose in mind – an area used and designated for specific experiences – just like how many cozy coffee shops have turned retail space into a “Third Place” for many people in between work and home. Service is what takes an environment from simply being “space” to being a “place”. Service is what makes the difference between a common noun and a proper noun – a subtle nuance, yes, but isn’t nuance what makes all the difference in tipping a brand’s scale? My partner Amy Blitz and I have worked on numerous amenity consulting projects and one of the first questions we are usually asked is about what kinds of new amenities renters, residents, and guests are looking for. Without hesitation, the first answer on our lips is usually – service. We believe t......
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