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Tech Tools to Help Your Creative Team Breathe Easier

The creative teams that are responsible for overseeing collateral for multiple apartment communities have one big problem -- time. These teams have evolved to handle a wide range of projects, and in doing so, have become strapped for time because they have to serve many different departments, communities and masters all at once. Fostering creativity requires time and space, and when overlapping deadlines must be met, creativity can suffer.   Luckily, the multifamily industry has started adopting new technologies that can support the management of design work for both creative teams and property management teams. Here is a look at four different tech tools that can help your creative teams take back their time:   Asset Management Systems Asset management systems allow design teams to organize, customize and maintain various marketing collateral and inventory needed to create campaigns and promotions. Depending on functionality, these systems can also empower property managers to jump in and customize flyers for their respective communities while maintaining brand standards through templates that can be reused and repurposed.   In the past, asset management systems could be expensive to purchase and to implement, but today’s updated versions incorporate renter communication tools and are reasonably priced. When utilized correctly, user-friendly systems like these can greatly assist with creating targeted emails, flyers for community events and even signage for on-site promotions.   Zazzle, Flipsnack, Media Center PRO, and Canva are great tools for on-site teams to build their own flyers and other marketing pieces online. Some tools also offer c......
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How to Analyze 2017 Marketing and Plan for 2018

How to Analyze 2017 Marketing and Plan for 2018
  I once attended a team building event when I was with Greystar, presented by Afterburner who "teach the techniques used by elite military teams to drive accountability, increase agility and accelerate performance." The group presenting to us were a group of fighter pilots who explained a variety of topics but one hit home specifically to me. They stated that every mission they fly, before it is executed, they already have a post-flight meeting scheduled to analyze the wins and lessons learned from the mission. They explained how critical this is to the successful planning of future missions by learning how they could improve. In property management, we're in such a fast paced industry that it's difficult to slow down and assess all of the wins and opportunities at each asset, each month. However, NOT doing this is much more critical. As an RPM, I would have Property Managers present their wins and opportunities to me in front of their peers. We would discuss the ways they excelled in performance, how we could apply those wins to other communities and strategize about how to readjust our plan for the coming month to overcome any deficiencies. As 2017 comes to a close, are you dedicating time for your teams to look at their marketing plan goals they set forth at the beginning of the year and analyzing the actual year end results in detail? Are you bringing Property Managers together to review the collective performance of your marketing and see how you can improve......
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ReMarketing - The Secret Weapon of Apartment Leasing

ReMarketing - The Secret Weapon of Apartment Leasing
So you're browsing the internet. Let's say you're on Amazon.com. You view some items then decide to check the news over at CNN.com. Magically, you start to see ads for products you just saw on Amazon on the CNN site. How did they know? Is it magic? Some kind of sorcery? No, it's Remarketing. Remarketing is a relatively new way of showing targeted ads to individuals that have previously visited your website - as they browse elsewhere on the internet. It has been primarily used by big retailers over the last couple of years with great success and now, could be a game changer for the multifamily industry. Remarketing & Apartment Marketing One of the most significant deficiencies in the apartment marketing world has been brand awareness and website conversion. Let's say Jane Renter is browsing your website. She likes your building but isn't ready to pull the trigger. She leaves and keeps browsing the internet. You've now lost her as a lead. You've spent considerable dollars and time to get Jane Renter to your site, only to see her leave without contacting you. However, with Remarketing, Jane Renter will now start seeing eye-catching ads for your building on other sites she visits. This will increase your brand awareness as well as the overall conversion of your leads. Benefits There are a variety of different benefits to utilizing a remarketing campaign as part of your communities overall marketing plan. Inexpensive - Instead of paying for ads to a broad audience, you can......
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A Door-to-Door Guide for Apartment Operators

The importance of understanding what multi-family residents are looking for in a rental facility is critical for property managers and operators to keep up with the competitive rental market. In today’s technological society, updating multi-family facilities to feature the most updated building technology and amenities is expected among many renters. Until recently, updating buildings to include electronic locks was more a question of if, not when, for property managers and operators. Elevated installation and implementation costs were enough for even the most experienced multi-family operator to turn away. The question has now become where the best place to start implementing these locks is. The answer – the renter’s front door. Today, the cost of installing electronic locks in a multi-family community has decreased significantly and become more mainstream. What’s more, this technological upgrade is an amenity that residents have come to look for when searching for an apartment as it is the first thing a prospective renter sees upon touring a facility. While installing a smart interconnected lock was once more difficult, the trouble has since been mitigated and these locks now provide an added sense of security for both property managers and renters. Electronic locks log who comes and goes and gives property managers the ability to manage who has access to the facility and when. To entice more potential renters, property managers and operators should consider the switch to electronic locks. For example, in a recent survey of 1,000 Americans by Wakefield Research, 61 percent of millennial renters said they we......
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The Most Expensive US Cities for Renters

The Most Expensive US Cities for Renters
If you want to live in the beautiful city of Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, prepare yourself to make a huge spending on your rentals. Zumper, a rental listing company puts forth the statistics where San Francisco tops the rentals in the nation. Here are the top 10 most expensive cities in the US: 1. San Francisco The rental for 1 bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,590. 2. New York This march the prices rose by 1.8% in the New York City. The rentals for 1 bedroom apartment are now $3,340. 3. Boston Boston, Massachusetts’ capital has taken an upswing to $2,310. 4. Oakland Oakland prices have reached $2,280 for a median one bedroom apartment. 5. San Jose It is a hub of technology belonging to the Silicon Valley and has its 1 bedroom rental of about $2,270. 6. Washington One bedroom apartment rent for Washington is about $2,200. 7. Los Angeles Los Angeles is where the nation’s television and film industry belongs, so it is not surprising to know that the price for 1 bedroom apartment is $1,970. 8. Miami Prices have increased by 8.6%, thus, making Miami secure the 8th most expensive city. 9. Chicago The city is well known for its bold architecture and has its rentals of about $1,790. 10. Seattle Seattle, the seaport city has over 704,352 residents with a rental of $1,750. Which cities are growing the fastest in the US? The data collected by the US census Bureau in the year 2015 and 201......
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Massive Change to Facebook Marketplace: Rentals Are Now Here

Facebook  Facebook Marketplace Rentals vs. Craigslist! ...and your ILS. Oh, and maybe even Google too.  Facebook Marketplace Rentals just happened. And it's about to get real for Craigslist first, but also Internet Listing Services (ILS). Heck, Facebook could even bite into Google's piece of the pie if users really go for it.   First, let's back up a bit. If you're an owner/property manages of a small to mid sized portfolio, then you needed to get the best return on their small marketing budget. So Craigslist, being free (and pretty clunky), was an obvious initial go-to option for many.  But Craigslist can take a lot of time, and depending on your target demographic, maybe didn’t even return that many quality leads. Then you got entangled with a pricey ILS contract. Hopefully that's doing something useful for you. And now you've heard about advertising on Google and on Facebook. But which would work better for you?  It used to be a no brainer for us.We'd pick Google for your budget first every time. That's because the difference between the two is that Facebook is "interest" based and Google is "intent" based.  Interest vs. Intent and Why it Matters If you're looking for a Mexican restaurant or a new dentist - you went to Google or Google Maps.  That's intent. (It's also making me hungry for tacos and slightly nervous to make that appointment I need) Facebook was just for expressing which movies, books, sports, etc. you loved. That’s interest. Most people who ......
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Apartment Chatbots: AI-Assisted Human Interaction vs. Human-Assisted AI

  There’s no denying that artificial intelligence is changing the way apartment communities interact with prospective renters.   But while AI-powered apartment chatbots are capable of performing tasks such as answering questions about amenities and floor plans, making apartment tour appointments, and sending rental applications, we don’t yet have the technology to remove humans from the equation if a question is posed that the bot can’t answer. There are two primary ways that leasing staff and chatbots can work together to give potential renters the kind of smooth and helpful interactions they expect: AI-assisted human interaction and human-assisted AI interaction. What sets these two approaches apart are how the messages are received and how the messages are responded to. 1. AI-Assisted Human Interaction This service is primarily operated by property managers, leasing agents, or other staff, who are supported by AI. Here’s one way this could work: A chatbot is the first point of contact. It uses AI to look for keywords to figure out what the prospective renter is asking. For example, the question, “Are dogs allowed?” might trigger keyword “dogs,” which falls under the bots understanding of the pet category. It walks the prospect through a set of pet category questions: “Are you asking if we allow dogs or cats?” The answers and the bot’s replies are received by human customer service agents. The bot suggests answers that the agent may use: “Cats are allowed” or “Dogs are not permitted.” The agent can approve the bot’s responses, or the agent can take over if the a......
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Apartment Marketing 2.0 - Top 5 "Must Have" Marketing Strategies

Apartment Marketing 2.0 - Top 5 "Must Have" Marketing Strategies
“What do you mean I can’t just post an ad on Craigslist and lease my entire building?” In this day and age, I never expect to hear that, but to my surprise, I still hear those words from developers and managers. The problem is, long gone are those days of posting free Craigslist ads and watching the leads roll in. These days, it takes a lot more than simple ads to get a building leased and stay competitive. Even communities or portfolios who have moved beyond that, have resigned themselves to the status quo of marketing. You know the ones, they throw an ad on Apartments.com and post "how to spruce up your kitchen" posts on Facebook and still wonder why they have vacancy issues. You have to be creative, involved and spend the time and money to ensure your property is at the forefront when renters are searching for an apartment.  Here is what should be the most vital parts of any communities marketing plan: SEO | SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION This might be the most important of all the recommendations. Having a comprehensive SEO strategy is paramount to your community being found online. It also can provide a HUGE boost to reduced cost lead generation as well as a competitive edge in your market. PPC | ADWORDS A fundamental of leasing these days, AdWords advertising can produce excellent results if you know how to optimize it. The keys to a successful AdWords campaign is testing, good copyrighting and keyword selection. Remem......
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Resident Retention Tips For Property Manager & Landlords

Resident retention in the real estate industry is a critical part to an investor’s success.  Several factors go into the cost of acquiring residents, marketing, and make ready costs. There is also lost revenue from vacant units, making it a key part of your ROI. We put some tips together to help you retain your residents. A key factor in a resident staying is they feel they belong to a community. Their apartment should be more than a place to sleep and eat. Create a social media presence for your community. Try to get your resident to utilize your page to talk about the events you hold on the property. Talk about your staff and the community. Look to create experiences within the community. The day a new resident moves in, you should have a nice welcome gift waiting for them. Something they can use in their new place. Also, a popular idea is a gift certificate to a local restaurant for takeout or pizza. After a long day of moving, it’s nice to order some food and relax. Creating events for your property can give your residents a sense of community, and allow them to get to know each other as well. Fun events like cook-offs, BBQs or events for their children are usually big winners. An added benefit is once your residents get to know one another, they become more vested in the community, looking to better it, and taking a pride of ownership mentality. Training your staff in t......
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IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan

IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan
Let's be honest. Very few in our industry like online review websites. They are a constant struggle. Very rarely do they provide a sound mechanism to generate leads and more often than not, they lead to bad reputations, decreased lead generation, and fewer renewals. However, we still need to deal with them. Online review sites are here to stay and should not be ignored. Hoping they go away won't solve the problem. However, if you have the right plan, you can make sure you are setup for success. Reputation Management Plan It's essential, if not vital that every community today develops a plan on how to deal with online reviews. The goal of any good Reputation Management plan is to minimize the impact of adverse reviews while improving the number of positive reviews left by renters and tenants. STEP #1 - Respond to Negative Reviews A Reputation Management plan starts with responding to reviews in a timely, understanding and mature manner.   React Quickly and Politely - Not responding to negative reviews can be the worst thing a community can do. Ignoring it doesn't make it better. Respond to every review quickly and politely. Address Criticism - When responding to a review, acknowledge the criticism if it is valid. You must address the issue "head-on." Making excuses or passing-the-buck can only lead to more criticism and worse reviews. Empathize with Complaints - What would you write if you had the same experience? Empathizing with a renter or tenant about their issues shows you......
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