Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

There's No Place Like Home: What Delights Residents During COVID-19?

There's No Place Like Home: What Delights Residents During COVID-19?
  As property teams and residents learn to operate in the new "normal," exceptional service by the office and maintenance staff is getting a huge round of applause from residents in online reviews. In analyzing hundreds of 4 and 5-star reviews which mention the pandemic, it is evident that property teams’ efforts with regards to increased cleanliness, clear communication, and practicing social distancing are getting generously acknowledged in reviews. But what really stands out is “amazing,” “friendly,” “caring,” “attentive,” and “professional” service. Bottom line, a little more kindness and understanding during this unprecedented time will go a long way in cementing strong relationships with residents in the future.  “I love living here, even during a pandemic! The staff is amazing. Very professional, friendly and caring." What are the top compliments by residents in online reviews? What can you do to delight your residents as you navigate through this crisis? Below are insights from positive reviews to excel at resident engagement and earn their appreciation.   Go the extra mile When the staff has gone the extra mile or checked in personally with residents, residents are quick to thank the staff for showing care and concern. Some actions acknowledged in reviews include: Staff members handed out pizza and hand sanitizer. When a resident was laid off, a staff member provided leads on jobs. Maintenance team was quick to fix the garbage disposal when a husband ran the disposal with a baby spoon in it. The property was complimented for being a family-friendly community. The manager ......
Continue reading
2377 Hits
0 Comments

Four Guidelines for Leading your Property Management Team through the Pandemic

With so much information, advice, news, resource links, and speculation swirling around the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are looking to company leadership for answers and instruction. Because the crisis continues to unfold rapidly, company leaders must be willing and able to be nimble in their distilling of information, making decisions, and getting those decisions out to the field. Here are four guidelines to consider when making decisions in response to COVID-19: 1. Provide daily updates The local, national, and global picture is changing constantly, and often seems to be picking up speed. As a result, weekly updates aren’t always providing the critical information to the employees who need it. Whether through a living document that all employees can access or a daily email with a state of the company, provide a trusted source of information and guidance that your employees can rely on for the latest and greatest. 2. Form a leadership cabinet Because there is so much information to sift through, a small, trusted circle of leaders is needed to make swift, critically thought-through decisions. Too many voices can slow the flow and speed of information, but too few perspectives can leave room for imbalance and knee-jerk reactions. Identify a strong, well-balanced few, and allow them to make rapid, tactical decisions in response to real-time issues. 3. Address critical areas of concern Employee Resources – Health and well-being is top of mind for employees, so access to information regarding customer interactions, health insurance, sanitizing equipment and supplies, and more is in hig......
Continue reading
2230 Hits
1 Comment

How to Manage the People Side of the Coronavirus Emergency

How to Manage the People Side of the Coronavirus Emergency
I know. I know. If you're like me you may be tired of hearing about the coronavirus or COVID 19 emergency. You may just want to quarantine yourself for the next 14 days with a case of wine (or your favorite beverage), great food, lots of toilet paper and binge watch ALL of your shows for the next two weeks.  However, if you still have to work in this temporary new normal fueled by COVID 19, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on how to effective manage yourself, your people (if you're in a leadership position) and your residents during this crisis.  Fear Is Driving the Bus Right Now The first thing to understand is that for most people, fear is really driving the bus right now. Fear of getting the virus. Fear of gathering together. Fear of losing income. Fear of not being able to pay rent. Fear of not being able to find childcare while their kids are home and parents still have to go to work. Fear of going to the bathroom only to find there is no toilet paper! And yes, the fear of dying.  So, if you're dealing with fear from your residents and/or from your people here are some tips: Don't Minimize-Empathize We are all dealing with this crisis in many different ways. On my social media feeds this morning I have friends telling all of us to RELAX and have not changed any of their plans, while I have other friends who......
Continue reading
3430 Hits
1 Comment

Legislators recognizing the role deposit alternatives can play in driving housing affordability

Housing affordability is a serious problem across the U.S. Nearly half of renter households are considered cost-burdened (meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent), and of those renters, more than half spend over 50% of their incomes on housing.  This means there’s a real need for strategies that reduce the cost burden on renters.  While some municipalities have focused primarily on rent control bills, others are focusing on solutions that are beneficial for both renters and properties. And as new legislation shows, an increasing number of lawmakers are recognizing the role that deposit alternatives can play in offering these win-win solutions.  Legislators focusing on up-front rental costs Several states introduced (and passed) rent control bills in 2019. This legislation focused on monthly rent costs and was designed to make renting more affordable, but was largely opposed by property owners and operators.  Now, legislators are beginning to shift their focus from monthly rent costs to up-front move-in costs, as these can be cost-prohibitive to many renters.  In fact, in our 2019 Renter Sentiment Report, 30% of renters ranked affording up-front costs as more stressful than making monthly payments, and almost 60% of renters said they’d been prevented from moving into a rental home because the up-front costs were too high.  As a result, legislators like Cincinnati’s have chosen to focus on giving renters more affordable alternatives to standard cash security deposits. With their new bill, passed in January, properties have the option to either cut deposits in half, give ......
Continue reading
1122 Hits
0 Comments

Seattle City Council is the First to Ban Winter Evictions

Seattle City Council is the First to Ban Winter Evictions
Seattle, WA, has passed an ordinance that bars rental property owners from evicting renters during winter. While Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan originally expressed concern about the legislation, Durkan allowed the ordinance to become law without her signature. Now passed, evictions are banned from December 1st to March 1st. According to the Seattle Times, the council amended the original five-month ban to three, restricted the rule to low- and moderate- income renters, and exempts owners with four or fewer units. Seattle’s ordinance does not apply to evictions filed due to a renter engaging in criminal or nuisance activities, due to a resident exhibiting behaviors that jeopardize the safety of their neighbors, or to owner-occupied properties(like house-hacked properties … but is that good enough? And will this trend spread? Are seasonal eviction restrictions a good idea? This law was proposed with good intentions. From December to February, U.S. Climate Data shows that the average high is 47ºF, with the average low at 37ºF, and this ordinance aims to keep more renters from becoming homeless and on the streets during the dangerously coldest months. Especially when the average credit score during these months is comparatively low, these renters could be particularly vulnerable if evicted during this time. On the other hand, laws barring evictions put landlords and property managers in a difficult position. The eviction process can be long, rigorous, and costly, and in the city of Seattle property owners are already under strict “just cause” eviction laws. If a renter does not pay their rent on t......
Continue reading
1119 Hits
1 Comment

Self-Guided Tours: Why Do Prospects Use Them?

Self-Guided Tours: Why Do Prospects Use Them?
Many apartment owners and operators may be leery of offering self-guided tours, but the data indicates prospects want and use them.  Intuitively, this makes sense. Self-service has become more and more a part of the consumer experience. Go into a fast-food restaurant and you can order and pay for your meal at a kiosk, and an employee will bring your food to you in a matter of minutes. You can order something on Amazon and it’s on your doorstep the next day. Increasingly, prospects want to experience an apartment community on their terms. Properties that don’t give prospects the option to self-tour risk alienating prospective renters and may find it difficult to convert leads into new residents. So, what’s the specific appeal of self-guided tours? Statistics point to a number of possibilities. Digging into the Numbers First off, data convincingly demonstrates the popularity of self-guided tours. According to an Anyone Home analysis of the 2018 leasing activity of all of its single-family-rental clients, 24.4 percent of all prospects booked a tour. Of those that booked a tour, 61.3 percent chose only a self-guided one, while 30.1 percent chose only a tour with an associate. The other 8.6 percent of prospects booked both tour types. Secondly, the numbers also show that prospects like to take self-guided tours during normal business hours. Another Anyone Home study of its single-family-rental clients shows that, during the latter portion of 2018, only 21.2 percent of prospects requested a self-guided tour outside of office hours, while the other......
Continue reading
2162 Hits
0 Comments

How Will a Rise in Interest Rates Affect the Commercial Real Estate Market?

In the past couple years, overall interest rates have risen several times in the United States. According to many experts, they are likely to finally stabilize in 2020. However, they have already risen sufficiently enough in 2018 and 2019, and we cannot be sure that the same won’t happen by the end of 2020, or especially the year after. With that in mind, the commercial real estate market needs to start preparing for a possible rise that can have significant effects.  But what are those effects? How does a rising interest rate affect the commercial real estate market? If you want to know the answers, you've come to the right place, as this article aims to give you all the information you need. Let's take a look. How Interest Rates Affect Real Estate Values For those who are unaware, interest rates, like the ones on Treasury bills and interbank exchanges, have a massive effect on the value of commercial real estate and all property, for that matter.  That’s because they influence the ability of people to buy property by increasing or decreasing mortgage capital costs. However, that’s only one part. Interest rates also affect capital flows, supply and demand, and much more. When all of that is considered, we can conclude that interest rates have a profound effect on the commercial real estate market in a wide variety of ways.  However, we are only interested in the higher interest rates and how they affect the commercial real estate market. And that is a ......
Continue reading
1106 Hits
0 Comments

Does TikTok Have a Place in Multifamily?

Does TikTok Have a Place in Multifamily?
Oh the times that we live in. The days of constant innovation and technology evolving at faster and faster rates. How do you keep up? It’s a constant battle of innovating to stay relevant while enhancing and streamlining your processes, but also not innovating so much that you lose sight of the basics that have defined successful apartment leasing and management for decades.  With so much constant change, it’s important to stay in the know, form your own opinions about what could work best for you, your team, and your multifamily community, then make educated decisions from there. So what is one of the latest and greatest things that have people abuzz? TikTok! If you haven’t heard of it, that’s alright. It is to teens now what Facebook was to teens in the 2000s. Let’s take a look at what TikTok is, why it’s all the rage with youth around the world, and take a look at whether or not it’s worth your time investigating for potential apartment marketing purposes. What is TikTok? Remember Musical.ly? Not many people do. It was a 15 second video streaming and sharing app that got acquired by a Chinese company ByteDance. Once acquired, it was rebranded as TikTok, which has absolutely surged in popularity.  Musical.ly focused on lip syncing to music, whereas TikTok consists of 15 second videos ranging from dancing, to lip-synching, to gymnastics, instructional videos, comedy and everything in between — the creative flexibility is up to the user. Musical.ly becoming TikTok was a transformation ......
Continue reading
7874 Hits
0 Comments

Pet Policy Keepers and Dumpers

Pet Policy Keepers and Dumpers
Like nearly everything in an increasingly digital world, rental pet policies are in need of a refresh.  Many pet policies in the apartment world are outdated and based on logic from a previous era, when residents viewed pet-friendliness as a luxury rather than a prerequisite, and before advanced tech tools were available to make life easier for onsite teams. Some pet policies are worth keeping while others should be dumped and can go the way of the dial-up modem. Here is a look at some of the primary examples from each side: Pet Policy Keepers Pet Fees, Pet Deposits and Pet Rent: Residents understand that additional fees come with the pet-friendly territory for apartments. Most residents won’t balk at paying a premium to have their four-legged companion in their rental home, aware that the risk for damage is greater. For apartment communities, pet-friendliness equates to ancillary income opportunities, generally in the form of monthly pet rent, non-refundable pet fees and/or refundable pet deposits.  It’s noteworthy that some apartment operators are veering away from an initial refundable pet deposit and moving toward a non-refundable pet fee. They realize that most pets come with risk of damage and want to recoup some of the costs upfront. Some are even innovating their traditional pet rent (see ‘Flat Rate Pet Rent’ below). Other operators are instituting something of a “resort fee” model, often utilized by hotels. This includes one all-encompassing recurring fee rather than separate bills for utilities, trash, pet fees and other community-related costs. This approa......
Continue reading
1423 Hits
0 Comments

Making Short-Term Rentals a Long-Term Play

If you’re in the apartment industry, you’re undoubtedly well aware of the fact that, for the most part, owners and operators have been quite skittish about embracing short-term rentals.   The reasons are several. To start with, residents have long been leery of them. Also, short-term rentals can create numerous tax and logistical issues.    However, bold, forward-thinking operators have looked at the popularity of sites like Airbnb and VRBO and have seen a significant business opportunity. The revenue potential and operational challenges presented by short-term rentals will be examined in a session at the upcoming MICA 2020 conference in Atlanta.   If you’re contemplating incorporating short-term rentals into your multifamily portfolio, make sure you consider the following three potential challenges and plan ahead for them: Taxes. There’s no way around it: taxes can get really complicated when it comes to short-term rentals. Depending on the jurisdiction in which your community is located, putting apartment homes up for short-term rentals could have some unexpected tax consequences. Some local jurisdictions even require you to get a lodging license and subject you to expensive hospitality taxes.Offering short-term rentals can be a great way to enhance a community’s revenue stream, but you have to make sure you understand the tax implications in the jurisdictions you’d like to operate and plan accordingly. The organization and configuration of short-term rentals. Are you going to cordon off one floor of your community for short-term rental units and manage the units yourself? Are you going to dedicate a whole build......
Continue reading
1003 Hits
0 Comments