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California Multifamily Professionals – Please Read This!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a sizeable recall notice on 11/8/18 for ~616,000 gas water heaters that were made between April 8, 2011, through August 1, 2016, which were primarily sold in California.  While anyone and everyone should check their water heater to see if they have an affected unit, multifamily owners and managers should also be proactive in determining if these recalled units are serving any of their communities – especially considering that approximately 1,200 apartment communities were built in California from 2011 through 2016 which represents an estimated total of just over 150,000 units.

Additional Resources & Information 

  • The official recall notice can be viewed on the CPSC website at https://goo.gl/zHy3LE
  • Consumers should go to https://www.waterheaterrecall.com, input their model and serial number and complete the form to determine if their water heater is subject to this recall
  • Consumers with Whirlpool, U.S. Craftmaster, or American Water Heater brand water heaters can call toll-free (866) 854-2793
  • Consumers with Reliance, State, A.O. Smith, and Kenmore brand water heaters can call toll-free (866) 880-4661

Hope this is helpful in some way and please don't hesitate to post questions and comments if there is anything else that I can do to help!

John Griffith

 

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The Prospect Email Strategy Guidebook

Introduction Nurturing prospects is one of the most important steps to convert a lead into a lease. According to Hubspot, 47% of shoppers look at three to five unique marketing materials prior to reaching out to sales personnel. Lead nurturing campaigns can provide more frequent and consistent touches than a purely human workforce. Considering that nurturing emails average a 4-10% higher response rate than traditional campaigns, we think you are going to want to invest in it. So, we wanted to create a playbook that outlines how you should communicate with prospects during the 4 most important prospect journeys. Communicating with prospects consistently during these journeys makes prospects more comfortable and excited to sign a lease! Let’s explore the email options for communicating with warm and cold leads!   Pre-Tour Emails Why email prospects before their tour? Due to the introduction of big ILSes like Apartments.com and Zillow, prospects are overwhelmed with apartment options. Emailing your prospects before they tour can set you apart from the competition. Take a minute and think about how many recipes you have pinned on Pinterest. If you are anything like us, those new, tasty recipes are sitting untouched on our "Foodie” board. Even though we think these recipes sound good and we have to eat, we still end up making the same five recipes over again. Why? There are three main reasons: We forgot about our newly saved recipe. We slip into old habits because they are familiar. We don’t want to put in the work&......
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Why Is It Important To Background Check Your Soon-To-Be Tenants

image6.jpgIf you have ever rented a live-in unit, you know avoiding problem renters is everything. When you’ve got good, responsible tenants living on your property you know you won’t have to get into uncomfortable arguments and situations every other month, or – even worse - come to collect rent one day and find your property demolished, or robbed with your renters nowhere in sight. On that note, if you are considering renting your property, here’s a list of reasons why it is essential to do a background check of your soon-to-be tenants. #Your Property Protection In talking to your potential tenants, you are setting yourself up to know as much valuable information as possible that will help you decide if this person is a good match or not. Start by asking yourself questions like: Does this tenant have a history of reckless behavior and vandalism? What is their lifestyle? Are they party people or low-key? What’s their temper like? Do they strike you as reliable or flaky? These and similar questions may be a great start for when you are marketing your rental property. You want to make sure you are renting your property to someone who’ll treat it like their own, not someone who’ll ruin it. #Financial Security No matter how well you click with someone during your interview doesn’t mean you can cut corners and ignore their financial liability. Like criminal background checks, financial background checks are an essential starting point when saying “yes” to a tenant. Why? You want to be sure ......
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Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily

Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily
We’ve all heard the banter between folks when discussing their tattoos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said, “I was young and dumb” in reference to tattoos. I sometimes feel this way about mine, as they’re quite visible on my hands and arms. I had them done during my stint as a world traveler, not thinking I’d find myself in the corporate world, wearing long sleeves and rings to cover my teenage rebellion’s lasting mistakes. I’ve been lucky enough to develop business relationships without my tattoos acting as a barrier, however this isn’t the case for some. We all know that millennials are changing the game by promoting a more casual approach to work and with their take-over of nearly 40% of the job force, I foresee big changes in corporate standards. Considering that 40% of millennials carry body art, it’s hard to imagine that this 40% would also carry with them an employment disadvantage, right? A friend of mine thinks differently. She argues that visible tattoos are unprofessional and that their stigma will last much longer than my hopeful fantasy suggests. Recently, we toured a downtown Las Vegas community, where our leasing consultant was heavily tattooed. She was dressed casually and had facial piercings. I connected with her and admired her artwork and style, but my friend resented her choice of dress and visible tattoos and our consultant had “lost all credibility” as far as she was concerned. This incident showed the difference in our perception of what’s acceptable in t......
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Revitalize Cold Leads, Effortlessly.

Lead Win-back for Multifamily  Most CRM’s for multifamily ignore cold leads after a few months. The idea is that these leads have decided to rent elsewhere and aren’t viable prospects anymore. However, what these systems are ignoring is the high resident turnover rate for multifamily. 53% of residents do not renew their leases. Which mean 53% of the leads you ignore are going to be actively searching for a new apartment within the next 10 months. Call us old fashioned, but we don’t see why anyone would throw away perfectly good leads. Think about wine for a second. There are two approaches to drinking wine: There are the Barefoot wines that are ready-to-go. This is a popular choice for novice wine drinkers. Similar to how an basic marketing plan is only concerned with prospects who lease with you the first time around. Then there are true wine connoisseurs. They tend to be more experienced and patient individuals. They understand the value of waiting for a desired outcome. This reflects how a mature marketing plan is willing to invest in revitalizing cold leads. Before you get the wrong impression, we aren’t wine snobs. We see merit in both options. Which is why we suggest using an email marketing strategy that manages both warm and cold leads. This approach gives you more opportunities to turn leads into leases. Plus, gives you more money to buy more wine: Win - Win 🙂   How to Win-Back Cold Leads We recommend automating the cold lead communications. That way, ......
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Do You Know the Most Common Types of Depreciation?

Depreciation expense is used in accounting to allocate the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. In other words, it is the reduction of value in an asset over time due to usage, wear and tear, or obsolescence.  By depreciating an asset an investor can offset their income by the annual amount they depreciate the asset, thus increasing their “in pocket” cashflow. Straight-line Straight-line depreciation is a very common and simple method of calculating the expense. In straight-line depreciation, the expense amount is the same every year over the useful life of the asset.  Under new IRS guidelines, an investor can now depreciate an asset over a 25 year period. Depreciation Expense = (Cost – Salvage value) / Useful life Double declining balance Compared to other depreciation methods, double-declining-balance results in larger expense in the earlier years as opposed to the later years of an asset’s useful life. The method reflects the fact that assets are more productive in its early years than in its later years. With the double-declining-balance method, the depreciation factor is 2x that of a straight line expense method. Periodic Depreciation Expense = Beginning book value x Rate of depreciation Units of production This method provides for depreciation by means of a fixed rate per unit of production. Under this method, one must first determine the cost per one production unit and then multiply that cost per unit with the total number of units the company produced within an accounting period to determine its depreciation expense......
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7 Essential Text Messaging Stats Every Property Manager Should Know

  7 Essential Text Messaging Stats Every Property Manager Should Know SMS marketing is quickly becoming a necessary part of business for every vertical - including property management. In recent years, text messaging has proven itself to be a superior communication platform. Texting has become the preferred method of communication between friends and colleagues because it's quick, easy and multi-functional. Because of this, property managers are finding creative ways to use this technology as a reliable resident communications tool - it's the ideal way to let residents know that there's work being done in their community, that the water is going to be out for a few hours, or even letting them know about emergency scenarios if necessary.  If you haven’t yet, you should be looking into ways to utilize a text strategy within your resident communities. In today’s world, few approaches compare. Check out the seven mind-blowing statistics surrounding text messaging, and consider the many ways an intuitive text message platform can help strengthen your community: 95 to 98% of texts are read immediately: These texts are read within one minute of receipt, influencing the recipient (resident) almost immediately. This makes text messaging one of the fastest and most convertible forms of communication available. (Source: MobileMarketing.com) The average response time for a text message is just 90 seconds: Compare that to the average response time for an email, which is 90 minutes (Source: CTIA.org) 86% of consumers send and receive texts every week: Today’s modern consumers are mobile-centric, so it isn’t a surprise how often the......
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Supersize Me: Scaling Multifamily Like McDonald's

Supersize Me: Scaling Multifamily Like McDonald's
Lessons from McDonald's What’s McDonald's Secret? Consistency & Repeatability McDonald's is a master at scaling their operations. The key is consistency. This is their process: Create the recipe Perfect a process that is consistent and repeatable Scale! All across the world... Think about this: the chefs who create these recipes have trained in their craft for years, sometimes decades -- but the crew that prepares the fries will be trained within three days! Now, that’s mastery of scale.     How Consistent Are Your Operations? When you think about scaling your own operations, are you able to identify areas which would benefit from this idea of consistency? For example, do you nurture your leads consistently? Do your prospects always receive a follow up? (From our surveys, we know 45.8% of 3rd party manager prospects do not receive any follow up.) Do your prospects receive nurturing emails that inform them about the neighborhood, the amenities or the features of your community? (From our surveys, we know only 12.5% of the 3rd party manager prospects receive nurturing emails.) Do your prospects receive a reminder on the night before the tour? (From our surveys, we know only 12.5% of the 3rd party managers sent a reminder.) As another example, is your resident renewal program consistent? Do your residents receive an offer to renew when their lease is up? Do your residents receive a friendly notice reminder? Do your residents receive a helpful move-out checklist, if they don’t choose to renew?   How to Scale Multi......
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Should Your Apartment Community Get Involved with Local Crime Watch or Neighborhood Watch Programs?

I am a big believer in being involved with your local crime watch or neighborhood watch programs. I’ve seen firsthand how it has positively impacted investments with apartment communities that we’re involved with. Here are just a few reasons to get involved: Deters criminal activity Many of the attendees will communicate issues they are having in their community, some of which may not have been reported or available in any other form, and that will in turn allow you to keep an eye out for such activity. Creates a greater sense of security If your residents know you have their interest in mind they will tend to feel more like it’s also their community and a great place to call home.  Many crime watch or neighborhood watch programs have flyers and stickers that you can place in your office, or on the building that shows you are an active member. Builds bonds with neighbors. People look out for one another. When your residents know you are taking steps to improve the community, other residents will also do their part to help.  A program gives them an opportunity to voice their concerns and to be heard. Stimulates neighborhood awareness Your residents become more aware of what’s happening in your community and will usually “step up” and help keep you informed. Reduces the risk of becoming a crime victim and in turn reduces the physical, financial and psychological costs of crime Helps to create awareness, and potential criminals may avoid your community if they know y......
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Apartment Marketing 101 - Professional Photography

Apartment Marketing 101 - Professional Photography
There's a case to be made that photos are the most important part of apartment marketing. While some would argue differently, there is no denying the impact that quality photos (or lack thereof) have on potential renters and their decisions to visit your community. For that reason alone, it's imperative that you have quality photos of your community. While some ILS's now offer professional photos with their listings, most of those images are watermarked, limiting their use in other areas. Not to mention, that in most cases, you do not have a say in who will be photographing your community or building, much less the final images. With that in mind, I always advise my clients to hire a professional photographer. Here are several tips on hiring the right photographer and getting the best photos of your community: FINDING A PHOTOGRAPHER Google Search - Most people start with a Google Search to find anything these days, and the same is true for finding a photographer. One thing to consider is searching for your specific city for photographers, not national firms. Also highly suggest using sites like Yelp, and Google Reviews to get more information on the reputation and reliability of the photographer. Competitors - This may sound counterintuitive, but asking competitors (who have great photos), who they used, is a perfectly acceptable course of action. In some cases, you can even find the photographers information on their website. Company or Individual - There are a large number of companies as well......
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