Nice post Judy. Yes and social networks are still a great way to make sure you communicate all that...
Drew Brucker
Hey Ann, thanks for adding in your thoughts. Great perspective.

I absolutely believe Gen is/will ...
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Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Dear Gabby,  I’ve been hearing more and more about this “All-Inclusive Living” trend as of late. All I can think about when I hear the words “all-inclusive” is a resort where people are lazy, being waited on hand and foot without paying extra. I’m sure there is something more to it since it is becoming more popular but can you explain?   -#ALoyalOfficeFan _________________________________________________________________________ Dear #ALoyalOfficeFan,   Gabby here! And I am going to help you understand all of the details to the new “All-Inclusive Living” trend! It’s less about being lazy and more about residents being busy. They want convenience built into their lives by having everything they need included in their multifamily community.  It’s becoming more and more common for American workers to work long hours. A lot of companies have meals, coffee, nap rooms, employee outings all provided at workplaces such as Google, Yelp, and more! People with this lifestyle are used to having everything in one place and want those conveniences to continue once they come home.  Work life balance is always important when it comes to looking for jobs but what if that balance is becoming more about making work feel like home and home feeling like a hotel. “All Inclusive Living” helps make this balance possible.   Okay, so are some examples of what could be included in “All Inclusive Living”?   Fully Furnished Apartment This one isn’t a new option but space-saving transformable furniture is. With this new furniture, residents can have smaller rooms...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
We all know that great resident retention depends largely on factors like timely maintenance response, friendly staff, unique amenities and beautiful curb appeal. But how much thought is given to the importance of social connectedness relative to resident satisfaction and renewal rates? There is a great deal of evidence of late on the impact of being socially connected (or not) on physical health and psychological well-being. You can read an outstanding article on the subject citing several related studies here. Witten Advisors presented some interesting industry data on connectedness at the recent NMHC Annual Meeting in a session titled "Hanging onto Residents by Cultivating Real Community and Relationships." Take a look at the following graphs:     Surprising, no? Such a small percentage of residents have more than a couple of friends within the community, and the majority have none. And yet, look at the correlation of number of friends to intent to renew! It seems like a no-brainer that efforts to increase social connectedness among residents are well worth the investment, time and energy. All those great activities you spend hours planning are so very worth it! Anything you can do enhance or facilitate interaction between your residents will pay off in a big way; community apps and portals that make it easy for residents to communicate with you and each other, a consistent and creative schedule of events designed to get people talking and playing together, pet play dates and sitting connections, carpool-to-work opportunities, book clubs and bulletin boards...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Multifamily occupants nowadays are becoming more concerned about cutting down their house energy footprint and save on electricity bills and therefore look for energy-efficient units for rent. In an effort to attract as many prospective tenants as possible, rental property owners hire professional renovation and construction services provider to convert their rental property  into energy-efficient housing units. As roofing system plays a key role in maintaining energy efficiency of a building, this post discusses top three solutions to make your existing roofing system more energy efficient. 1. Light-colored Shingles Dark roof can significantly increase the temperature of your multifamily or commercial property. On an average summer noon, a dark-colored asphalt roof may reach the temperatures between 150-175 degrees fahrenheit. This coerces the air conditioner installed in the building to consume more energy and provide cooling. Asking your multifamily renovation general contractor to use light-colored shingles along with white roof coating can help reduce the temperature of the roof by 50 to 60 degrees, thereby reducing the energy consumption by air conditioner to maintain the temperature. 2. Roof Insulation Due to poor roof insulation your multifamily property is forced to consume more electricity by air conditioner during summer season. During winters, it will take more energy to keep the thermostat working and keep the house warm. You must, therefore, get your multifamily renovation general contractor to insulate the roof, because a well-insulated roof keeps the air intact inside the room, thereby reducing energy consumption during both winter and summer season. 3. Highly...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Anyone who knows me knows that I am fairly passionate about the topic of leadership. To put a finer point on it, I'm passionate about GREAT leadership; the type of leadership that inspires both internally and externally, and makes people, companies and industries better.   The National Multifamily Housing Council"s recent annual meeting had a great deal to offer in terms of leadership. Not only were many of the industry's movers and shakers in attendance and participating on panels, but this year's CEO panel as well as keynote speaker and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were particularly impressive.    NMHC always does a great job of pulling together intriguing personalities from leading companies for the CEO Panel, and this meeting was no exception with representation from Waterton, Greystar, Kettler, Marcus & Millichap and Steadfast.  While perspectives on various discussion topics may have differed slightly from company to company, one thing was a constant: all acknowledged that successful leaders and vision aren't the product of one individual, but of strong and diverse teams. Music to my ears.   And then, of course, is the impressive Dr. Condoleezza Rice.  Her credentials are far too extensive to enumerate here, but allow me to list a few:  aside from being the 66th Secretary of State of the United States (the second woman and the first African American to hold the post), she has earned three degrees, holds 11 honorary doctorates, has authored numerous books and served on many boards including three currently. And let's...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
No, no - this isn't a political post! Although timely, there's certainly enough conversation going on about that on other forums. My musings flow from having attended last week's National Multifamily Housing Council's (NMHC) annual meeting in San Diego. Among the many enlightening sessions, one that really resonated with me was the panel titled "An Imperative for Future Business Success: Walking the Talk on Diversity & Inclusion." Really strong panel, and really great content. An oft-quoted source during the discussion was a McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2016 study, you can view an excerpt from the report here. There was nothing tremendously surprising, of course -- we still have a long way to go as a nation and as an industry to create true diversity and inclusion (and earning parity) for not just women, but all ethnicities, races and orientations. It was extremely encouraging, however, to see that not only did NMHC have a general session devoted to the topic, but that they have a Diversity and Inclusion committee. This high-powered organization and many of its extremely visible members are activity embracing this challenge and creating business strategies (and in some cases departments) devoted to expanding the cultural vision, values and hiring practices around including diversity of thought and individual in the workplace. Refreshing. Necessary. Smart. Right. But as someone who hails from the supplier side of the business, it really got me thinking. Indulge me while I wax anecdotal here . . . but while we seem to have a large...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
  Dear Gabby,   I’ve been around the block a few times as a property manager and, not to pat myself on the back too much, I think I’m pretty good at this job. However, I want to be better, but with my busy life, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends. That said, can you give me the scoop on the latest trends for attracting renters?   - #BusyBee       Dear #BusyBee,   I can totally relate. Between making sure my kids get to school on time and being a boss on the job, I barely have time to watch the latest episode of HGTV’s Property Brothers (it’s a guilty pleasure). In fact, I’m squeezing this in during commercial breaks.   Keeping up with the latest trends is important if you want to be a great property manager, so let me break it down for you!   It’s pretty well-known that more and more people are deciding to rent instead of buying houses. 2015 saw the biggest surge in new renters in history, bringing the number of people living in rental units to around 110 million people.This means that more families across the country are calling multifamily communities home. Because of this, renters are looking for an apartment that matches their personality and lifestyle. These are a few of the things they’re looking for:   Customized Design Property managers that want to stand out in an increasingly crowded market can attract renters with décor that...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
b2ap3_thumbnail_Package_Solution.jpg It is no secret that the trend is there. Package delivery is increasing on a daily basis, as millennials prefer the convenience of shopping from their phone. Even older generations are beginning to resist shopping in stores, opting for the alternative of making a few clicks and waiting a few days for the package to arrive at their doorsteps. That’s why, despite strong industry-wide sales, prominent retailers such as Macy’s and Sears are closing many of their brick-and-mortar stores.  This trend is not a momentary blip. In fact, a recent proclamation by tech giant, Amazon indicates package delivery will continue to steamroll in this direction for the foreseeable future. Amazon, widely known as the king of package delivery, has indicated that it will create 100,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2018, according to a recent article by USA Today. Apartment operators should prepare accordingly, as this is not a knee-jerk move by Amazon. First Data reports that ecommerce’s share of retail sales in the holiday season was 21.3 percent, a hefty increase from the 15.4 percent of 2015. Expect the numbers to rise again in 2017, as the Internet now represents six percent of the total U.S. economy. And it’s not only going to grow during the holiday season. Package delivery is steadily increasing year around, with significant upticks around back to school, Halloween and even Mother’s Day.   If your apartment communities have not yet adopted a solution to combat the influx of packages – such as a smart...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
A week from today, I'll be boarding a jet with my good friends at Delta as I journey to San Diego for the 2017 annual meeting of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), along with the preceding Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference.   As I was checking the agenda against my calendar to figure out the best windows for a few conference calls, it hit me that this will be the first NMHC conference in some time with a new U.S. administration in place. A brand-spanking-new and really different administration. No matter what your political leanings, or how you feel about our incoming and outgoing Presidents, it's safe to say we can all acknowledge this will have an impact on our industry. We just don't yet know what that impact will be.   And all the more reason I'm anxious to attend this year's meetings. What will our industry leaders and data experts project?  Who will feel bullish and who will be more conservative? And speakers like former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice and former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are sure to be queried for their opinions of the newly-inaugurated President and his cabinet choices (think HUD secretary, for example). I'm personally looking forward to Emmy-winning comedian Dana Carvey and award-winning political journalist Jeff Greenfield to add some levity and political scrutiny to the mix.   So, it promises to be a very interesting few days, to say the least. If you're also attending, I hope to see you...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Ready or not, the future is here! The smart home market has grown rapidly over the past several years and is considered by nearly half of Americans to be mainstream according to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Smart Home Marketplace Survey. What's next? Smart apartments! Here's an overview into what's to come: Who? Of Millennial homeowners ages 18 to 34, 72% would pay $1,500 or more and 44% would pay $3,000 or more to make their home smart (Coldwell Banker 2016). Furthermore, 44% of millennial renters would rather have an apartment equipped with smart technology than an apartment with a parking space (Allegion 2016). Yet across all age groups, the U.S. homeownership rate at 62.9% has now fallen to its lowest level in more than five decades (Washington Post 2016). This means we have millions of Americans who want and are willing to pay a signifcant price for smart home technology, but don't own a home. Therefore the demand for smart apartments is more apparent than ever, and will become essential to offer in order to make your building appealing to tenants before we know it. Why? The reasons to equip your building with smart technology extend far beyond the fact that everyone's doing it. As a property manager, smart technology is incredibly convenient. It allows you to manage countless features in your building from the temperature, to the security cameras, to the door locks, and everything in between from a single dashboard on your smart device. If a resident is...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
The holidays are a crazy time for package delivery. With the rush to order presents for friends and family, it's no surprise that the amount of deliveries increases. This year, "increase" is putting it lightly. 2016's numbers blow last year's completely out of the water. Check out these five holiday package statistics that put this year's massive package volume surge into perspective.  1. Package volume has skyrocketed—an 80% increase in just one week.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are famous for sparking huge spikes in shopping, and rightly so; consumers spent $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday alone, making it the biggest online shopping day in US history. In the following week, apartment complexes all over the world felt the aftermath—according to our package locker activity data, the amount of packages shipped and delivered to lockers increased by over 80%. In just one week, package volume almost doubled. 2. As December continues, package volume is increasing, not decreasing. The record-breaking package delivery numbers aren’t going back down. They’re going up.  Instead of slowly settling back down after the Black Friday & Cyber Monday spike, package volume is continually increasing as the holiday season progresses. In the week of December 4th to 10th, there were nearly 4,000 more deliveries to our package lockers than the previous week (and the previous week was the big post-Black Friday surge)! And last week – December 12th to 18th – saw even more package volume than the week prior, with no signs of slowing. 3. Properties saw 50% more post-Black-Friday packages...