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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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A Brief Overview of NAA Assembly of Delegates Meeting -November 2017

Just a week ago, we journeyed to the land of big hair, BBQ and cowboys to attend the National Apartment Association’s Assembly of Delegates meeting in Fort Worth, TX. If you aren’t familiar with the NAA Assembly of Delegates meeting, it is essentially a large business meeting and gathering of all NAA and NAAEI boards, committees and task forces. In order to attend you must be an NAA member, but that’s it! We decided to attend to take part in the conversation of how we can work together to further improve the multifamily industry. And we did just that. We attended as many committee meetings as we could fit in our schedule, soaking up all of the information we could listen in on. We especially liked the technology committee meeting and wanted to share with you some of the topics that were discussed there.   Digitizing Leases There is a big focus on digitizing the lease process and forms across all NAA member apartments. There are over 2,100 forms in leasing across the apartment industry so the task at hand is an enormous undertaking. In order to change over all of these forms, the leaders of this task force are asking property management software companies specifically to integrate with Blue Moon Software using their API so the process is quick and succinct. The goal is save properties time, money and increase ROI with the click and lease program. More info: https://www.bluemoonforms.com   Multifamily Information & Technology Standard (MITS) MITS is a multi......
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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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DIY Advice for Making Accessibility Home Modifications

Despite the disability, there’s no reason that your loved one shouldn’t be able to be safe, comfortable, and independent in their own home. In order for this to happen, however, it’s likely that you will need to make some strategic home modifications. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you’ll likely want to tackle these home modifications without the help of professionals. Here are some tips for going the DIY route (and when you might need to contract a little help). Where to start It makes sense to start your home modifications with the easiest and the most beneficial to your disabled loved-one. Many home modifications are incredibly simple but have a major impact. You should prioritize these tasks. ● Improving lighting – it’s easier to get around and avoid injury in properly-lit spaces. This is a no-brainer. Making sure that every room has both overhead lighting and auxiliary lighting in the form of floor and table lamps are crucial. Consider LED lighting to reduce glare.● Getting rid of obstructions on floors and in pathways – make sure your loved one has a clear path to navigate all through the house. Tape down rugs and make sure they aren’t too tall. Rugs with large lips are tripping hazards.● Putting items in lower positions – this is especially important for those in wheelchairs. Make sure commonly-used items like the telephone, microwave, and other electronics are accessible. Next steps After you do all of the easy stuff, it’s time to move on to some projects that actually take a little bit of install time.......
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OpTech 2017 – Here’s What I’m Looking Forward To

      While some may have trepidation about heading to Mandalay Bay this week for OpTech 2017 (I do share some of that hesitation), I am excited to jump on AA Wednesday morning and put my 2.7mm miles to work.Even though the world is a tough and wild place right now, it is important for me to reconnect with some of favorite people in the world and discuss my favorite thing, this crazy multifamily industry we are all part of.   This year’s event already looks to be one for the record books with cutting edge content on just where the future of the apartment industry is heading. Industry executives will tackle everything from the Internet of Things and Smart Homes to true-to-life stories about the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Maria and even more new marketing practices. And for this multifamily loving guy, I simple can’t wait!   Here are the top four sessions you can be sure I won’t miss!    Wednesday, October 25th 2:30-3:45pm Corporate SocialResponsibility Town Hall   Moderated by Dennis Smillie, president, Multifamily Solutions, Esther Bonardi, Vice President of Marketing for Yardi; Mark Delisi, Sr. Director of Corporate Responsibility for AvalonBay Communities and Jennifer Piccotti, Chief Operating Officer for Managinc will get into the nitty gritty of what it means to actually walk the CSR talk. A lot of companies claim to be socially responsible but I will venture to guess this group of industry execs will really make us think about how we can all d......
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IDEAS FOR RENT - Expand Your Apartment Community's Leasing Hours

I sit at a coffee shop watching half a dozen people plugging away on their laptops, making phone calls and texting away.   However, as lunch approaches, a wave of business people swarm the cafe looking for a quick bite. There are scores of them, frantically trying to get lunch and get back to their offices before their lunch break is over. These days we love to talk about the "on demand" economy, but the data suggests that a significant percentage of the population still works a very standard 9-5pm schedule.  However, those same "9-5" people still use Uber, Amazon, etc. and expect “on demand” service. That is why it is so perplexing that most multifamily communities have not changed their standard leasing hours in the past 30 or 40 years. Most communities have a pretty standard schedule. Weekday's from 9-5 or 6, Saturdays for a couple of hours and some Sundays. However, the problem is, that more and more people want to view apartments and homes when it's convenient for them, not for the management company or leasing agent. Let's say you have two buildings in the same neighborhood, with similar amenities and price points. One has "extended leasing hours, " and one does not. If It's going to be easier for a potential tenant to see the property with extended leasing hours, it's a safe bet to say that may play a role in the final decision of that renter. I've seen this both professionally and personally. During my t......
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A Tenant Signs the Lease and then Vanishes. What do you do?

The prospective tenant passed your background check, they were very welcoming in the showing, and really everything looked great when you signed the lease.  But then when move-in day comes, nothing happens.  The tenant is nowhere to be found.  Plans can change on a dime.  Below are suggestions on handling and preventing cases like these. Procedure: If you have already signed a lease with a tenant, it is a binding contract and you must go through the same legal process as any other tenant. This will be a unique circumstance since the tenant is not presently occupying the unit and may not see the notice on the door.  Post the notice there anyways.  You don’t know if the tenant will return or not.  You as the landlord need to make every attempt to clearly communicate the 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.  This means not only posting a notice on the door of the property, but also emailing, making phone calls, and any other possible form of communication you have at your disposal.  After this period of time, and you have established that the unit is vacant, you then will be able to go back to putting the unit on the market. Can I enter the property to check that the tenant is there? You must first provide a 24 hour notice before entering a unit.  This will simply extend the timeline to getting the unit filled with a paying tenant. If you haven’t received the rent payment on the day it was due......
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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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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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