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Top 10 Apartment Resident Customer Satisfaction Complaints

J Turner Research, a leading marketing research firm exclusively serving the multifamily industry, today announced a ranking of the top 10 apartment resident complaints, as revealed in an analysis of 10,000 customer satisfaction surveys completed over the past two years at communities nationwide. Results from the survey analysis were released last week at the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in San Diego. According to the analysis, apartment residents are most likely to complain about rental rates more than any other issue. In fact, rent rates were more than twice as likely to be mentioned compared to concerns over pet waste, which perennially rank high in renter dissatisfaction. Additionally, rent prices were almost three times more likely to be highlighted by disgruntled residents than noise, which did not even crack the top 10:             Top 10 Multifamily Apartment Resident Complaints: 1)    Rental rates 2)    Poor grounds / common area upkeep 3)    Disorganized staff / lack of communication with staff 4)    Quality of response to maintenance requests 5)    Overall customer service of management staff 6)    Quality of parking / parking availability 7)    Concerns over security / safety / lighting 8)    Lack of upgraded amenities 9)    Pets not on leash / poor pet waste removal 10) General lack of preventative maintenance Renter complaints regarding rates could signify a broader softening in rent fundamentals, which have enjoyed a relatively steady rebound since the beginning of U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession. Following rental rates, residents are also most likely to be concerned with......
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Phoenix Tops List of Best City for New Grads

Phoenix Tops List of Best City for New Grads
College graduates from across the country have more in common than that shiny new diploma and the class of ’13 distinction. No matter where they received their degree, they all face the same life-changing decision: where to work and where to live.  While the national unemployment rate is moving down, competition for jobs is still stiff, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing 11.7 million unemployed persons (April 2013) and a mere 3.8 million available jobs (March 2013). Add on the increasing cost of apartment rents, and it’s clear how important it is to live in a city that offers the best overall opportunity.  This not only includes opportunities for employment, professional growth and an affordable home, but also a location that makes you happy, catering to the needs of your day-to-day lifestyle.  To help make this process a little easier for young professionals, we have release the 6th annual Apartments.com Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates list. While larger cities—often featured in other best-of lists—obviously offer more job opportunities, it’s important to consider all the aspects of a city, even in smaller markets.  Over the past six years, Apartments.com has been culling it’s lists to keep them relevant and meaningful.  We adjust our methodology as needed to reflect current economic changes, taking in the bigger picture in unemployment, affordability and other key factors. #1 Priority: Affordability This year’s took a deep look at affordability and not just median income.  This bodes well for cities where the average rent for a one bed......
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Student Search Trends Revealed

Student Search Trends Revealed
The real estate industry has a growing niche market: the student renter. Student renters create a unique opportunity for marketing, as their search habits and overall generational trends are completely different from what marketers are accustomed. In order to create the proper marketing strategies to pique the interest of these apartment shoppers, it’s important to study and understand which marketing styles attract student renters. For Rent Media Solutions™ and ForRentUniversity.com® conducted a survey to bring the search habit trends of student renters to you. Here’s what was discovered about the top criteria for students searching for off-campus housing.   Two Cents on Top Factors Cost efficiency is a top priority for money-conscious student renters when looking for off-campus apartments or housing. 51% of student renters say that the cost of rent is the most important factor in apartment selection. Location and distance to campus were a second priority, with 19% of students stating proximity is a deciding factor. Beyond price and location, students had varying opinions on important features and benefits for their apartment communities.  However, the top selections have a common theme – people. 37% percent of student renters say that a helpful leasing staff is an important community benefit. Students have a lot on their plates, so it’s no surprise that any additional support your leasing and management staff can provide goes a long way. Providing quality customer service not only helps build resident retention, but it can help increase your resident referrals. Another not-so-surprising factor in apartment selection: 14% of stu......
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CA Fee Increase on Public Records

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b2ap3_thumbnail_seal.jpgGovernor Brown's 2013-2014 budget could prove catastrophic to California's property management companies, real estate agents, landlords and employers if passed as currently proposed. The budget includes a "per case" search fee for criminal and civil court records which will create an undue burden on California businesses and increase the threat to public safety in the rental housing community.

The average number of eviction cases filed in California each year is 140,000. At $10.00 per case, that is $1.4 Million in added costs that public records search firms will have to share with their clients (you). That dollar figure does not include criminal cases which will increase that amount many times! The potential cost of screening rental and employment applications may increase in the millions. Individual landlords and businesses in California already burdened with limits for tenant screening fees and high business taxes may elect to forego the screening process altogether rather than pay the increased fees, creating obvious safety issues for their communities and/or workplace.

Please take the time to contact your local legislators. This budget item cannot be allowed to pass!

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More Renters Seeking Pet-Friendly Apartments

b2ap3_thumbnail_SimoneRogi_n.jpgDo you have a pet-friendly policy at your apartment community?  If not, you could be missing out on a growing breed of renters.  In fact, there has been 32% increase in the number of renters who own pets today compared to last year, according to an Apartments.com national survey.  These finding may be a sign of an improving U.S. economy as the struggling economy has played a strong role in the first decline in pet ownership since 1991, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. While renting with pets may be on the rise, survey respondents said finding an apartment that allows pets was somewhat grueling, or often came with some hefty fees and deposits.  More than 60% of renters surveyed said they faced some challenges in finding accommodations for them and their pet, and 63% said they were required to pay a pet deposit. As you can imagine, pet policies play a major role in a renters decision of where to live and can be a deal-breaker for many.  Personally, I know that I could never live somewhere that wouldn't allow me to bring my two beloved cats Simone and Pierogi. Not only do I consider them an extension of my family, but there are also very helpful around the apartment. If I didn’t have them… Who would help me with important organizational projects around the house, like folding laundry? I digress, I digress…  The good news for all us pet-loving renters is nearly 80% of respondents said they live in a pet-f......
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Apartment Markets Resume Growth According to NMHC Survey

Apartment markets improved across all areas according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) April Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. All four indexes – Market Tightness (54), Sales Volume (55), Equity Financing (56) and Debt Financing (59) – came in above 50, which indicates improving conditions. This reverses last January’s findings, where Market Tightness and Sales Volume dipped below 50 for the first time since 2010. “The apartment industry is operating on cruise control, as the expansion continues unabated,” said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC’s Vice President for Research and Chief Economist. “While concern about overbuilding has begun to crop up, demand for apartment residences remains strong. New construction may have finally recovered fully, but most units under construction won’t be delivered until 2014 or later. The dearth of recent completions has contributed to relatively low product availability. As deliveries increase, we expect to see an even greater pick-up in sales volume.” Key findings include: Financing remains constrained. One in ten reported construction financing as available for all types of apartments in all markets. In addition, only one quarter thought acquisition financing was available for all properties in all markets. Market Tightness Index rose to 54 from 45. The index has been above 50 for 12 of the past 13 quarters, with only January 2013 indicating contraction. One quarter of respondents saw markets as tighter, up from 16 percent last quarter. The Sales Volume Index increased to 55 from 49. Like the Market Tightness Index, the pickup in the Sales Volume Index showed improving co......
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2013 NMHC 50 Names Nation's Largest Apartment Owners, Managers

  In an apartment market firing on all cylinders, Boston Capital (155,521 units owned) and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC (198,533 units managed) remained the nation’s largest apartment owner and manager, respectively, for the third consecutive year, according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) new 2013 NMHC 50, the annual industry ranking of the top 50 apartment owners and managers nationwide. The complete rankings and detailed analysis are online at www.nmhc.org/2013NMHC50. “Following the Great Recession, unsettled financial markets, combined with a still-weak job market and considerable uncertainty about near-term political and economic conditions, led many to think apartment investment was still too risky,” said NMHC Vice President of Research and Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky. “But by year-end 2012, the real risk was getting in too late, not too early.” “Top firms looked to position themselves to meet the higher demand, resulting in increases in transaction volume and new apartment completions. Despite this pickup in apartment activity, the NMHC 50 owner and manager lists showed the kind of stability that characterizes mature industries,” Obrinsky said. Highlights from the research include: The number of apartments owned by the Top 50 owners fell by 98,768 units compared with last year to a total of 2.9 million. By contrast, the number of apartments in the portfolios of the Top 50 managers grew by 6,719 units to 2.8 million units—a record high for managers in the NMHC 50’s 24-year history. Transaction volume for apartment properties rose almost 50 percent in 2012 to $85 billion, the highest level outsid......
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How Big Is The Excess Inventory Of Vacant Apartments

This report is courtesy of the National Multi Housing Council. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, absorptions dried up, causing the number of vacant apartments to rise beyond the normal range and creating what are termed “excess” vacant units. This excess inventory signaled a supply-demand imbalance that led to a sharp cutback in new production and lower returns. Over the past three years, however, the increase in apartment demand has outstripped the increase in supply, causing occupancy rates to trend up again and reducing excess apartment inventory. But to what extent has that excess inventory of vacant apartments shrunk? Unfortunately, public data are too limited to provide a clear and simple answer. What follows is a brief summary of data sources and issues, along with a standard estimate of excess apartment vacancies. Following that is an assessment of the reliability of this sort of estimate. Our best estimate is that there is little excess vacancy nationally. This means that while there is excess vacancy in some metro areas, it is offset by other markets where the number of vacant apartments is below average. Overview of Public Data on Vacancies There are four main federal data sources that provide estimates of renter vacancy rates: Housing Vacancy Survey, Decennial Census, American Housing Survey and American Community Survey. The most widely used is the Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS). It is available quarterly, making it the most frequent and timely data source, and has metro area vacancy rate estimates as well as vacancy rate est......
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Economic Uncertainty Drives Renters to Make Cautious Moving Decisions in 2013

Economic Uncertainty Drives Renters to Make Cautious Moving Decisions in 2013

Today, we released the findings of our annual What Renters Want moving survey.  Throughout this survey, we learned a growing number of former homeowners are choosing to rent, employment relocation, cost savings and apartment size topped the list of reasons people are moving this year, and there was a significant increase in renters seeking out the trusted opinions of others during their apartment search through review websites and recommendations.

 

Additionally, the survey sheds light on:

 

  • Why former homeowners are choosing to rent
  • Reasons people are moving in 2013
  • Tools people are using to conduct their apartment search
  • Who people are planning to share their space with

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Strong Companies in a Weak Economy

Inc. 5000 companies grew despite of the recession and they tend to continue to be an optimistic bunch. Recently, Inc. surveyed this group of CEO's to determine their confidence about business and the economy. The results show that even with a less than optimistic view of the economy, there is still opportunity to grow a business. Nearly 90% of the CEO's surveyed say they will increase the size of their workforce in the next six months. 78% reported that sales were up in the previous six months compared with last year in the same period.This rock star bunch of leaders are concerned about economic uncertainty and find it difficult to forecast the upcoming year. Another concern is the morale of their team members who know that poor attitudes leads to a lack of motivation and productivity. And so, taking control of what they can, Inc. 5000 CEO's are planning plenty of rewards and recognition of team members in 2012.As I travel throughout the various companies and events in our industry, I am seeing improvement in market rents while most are waving goodbye to concessions. We are in the same situation as the Inc. 5000 companies surveyed because we are gaining strength in a weak economy. I too share the same concern that the last few years has taken a toll on our teams. If you were in the home office, you probably witnessed each department cutting back. We all had to exert increased personal energy to do more with less all......
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