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Top 5 Mistakes Leasing Agents Make

Top 5 Mistakes Leasing Agents Make
Let me start by saying, everybody makes mistakes. But the only way to correct those mistakes is to acknowledge them and work on fixing them. Whether it's a lack of training, laziness or case of the "Mondays", it's important to make sure you are on the top of your game each day. Here are the top 5 mistakes leasing agents make and how to correct them:Lack of FollowupI've seen a lot of leasing agents focus their follow-up efforts on renters who have toured the community and showed a real interest in the community or property. But not many take the time to follow-up with EVERY lead (including ones that haven't seen the community already) that comes across their desk. Sometimes that lead that requested information but never set up a tour is busy. Following up on all your leads is vitally important.Not Gathering Enough InformationSo you have a prospects name, email, move date and price range. But what about the other stuff? One fundamentally selling technique is building rapport with a potential resident. Selling involves matching a renter's needs with your product. Ask questions like: where do you work? What are you most looking for in an apartment? What's your decorating style? Is view important? Do you have a pet? What do you do for a living? Get to know your prospect! Touring Only Sample UnitRenters want to see the space they are going to live or something close to it. Showing them a bottom floor unit that is staged when the......
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I Am Shocked By This Employee Satisfaction Metric

We recently released our Professional Development Research Report (free download here), and with any professional development, there is a component that is driven by the employee, and there is a component that is the employer supporting the professional growth of that employee.  I was truly saddened when I saw the results of this question:  Do you feel your company is sufficiently preparing you to advance to the next stage in your career?

Ready?  The percent that said that “Yes” their company was preparing them to advance in their career:

18%

This is a dreadful statistic, and even worse, it has real ramifications.  This isn’t a situation where the employee just shrugs his or her shoulders and continues on in their job.  We also asked, “How highly do you factor your company's support of your professional development in your decision to stay at the company?” 

So that lack of support from their company has a direct impact on employee turnover at the company.  People want to feel that they are progressing in their careers – they want to see their company support their goals, providing opportunities to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and advance.  And if they don’t feel their company is supporting them in those ways, they are ready to leave to a company that will.  So the question is:  Is your company supporting the goals of its team members in education and career growth, or are they risking losing their stars by not preparing them for advancement?

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The Downside To Raising Rents

The Los Angeles rents are likely to rise an additional 2.9% in 2018, what this means to you as a landlord is higher rental income of course, but it could also mean additional vacancies or evictions as the rental rates are pushing the renters beyond appropriate rent to income ratios. Many of the renters are choosing to relocate to an area that has better rent for them but that sometimes means driving further which as we all know in L.A. can add a good amount of additional drive time, others may try to scrape the money together every month so they don’t have to move but that’s usually a short term prospect. As a landlord you will want to consider your current residents and face the facts that if they move the cost to replace them can be significant, down time for the unit (lost revenue), the expense to turn the unit and of course advertising and in some cases you will have to pay commissions to a realtor or property management company. It can sometimes behoove a landlord to meet the resident halfway on the increase, maybe setup a plan to gradually increase their rent instead of all at once or maybe consider not doing the full percentage increase but something that is comfortable for you both (keep in mind the higher rent will  exponentially  increase the value of your asset) and will allow them to stay in their unit. If a resident tries to make ends meet but can’t and y......
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Huge Opportunities for Mentorship Programs in Multifamily

I remember back when I first entered the industry, I was participating on an Yahoo newsgroup for the multifamily industry, possibly run by Lisa Trosien, and I got into an online discussion with Doug Miller.  I was being brash and probably arrogant with my opinions, and Lisa took the time to share with me how Doug was a respected leader in the industry and I might want to tone it down a bit.  I always look back at that moment as a time where someone mentored me by helping me realize how the way I was coming across to others was not the way I would want to be perceived.  What I found most important about that story was that I can’t imagine an alternative way I would have learned that critical lesson.  Was I going to learn it by reading a book, attending a class, or paying for a seminar?  I don’t recall seeing a class called, “Brent, you are being a jackass - stop it.”  And this is why mentoring is so very valuable.  Mentoring creates a relationship that fits with the custom needs of the mentoree, guiding them through their specific challenges in their career, and sometimes even beyond their career.  A mentor can assess issues that the mentoree might not even know about.  Or maybe the mentoree has questions but doesn’t feel comfortable asking a superior or trainer.  There are several scenarios where traditional training can never replicate what a mentor can provide. So why am I talking ......
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Boosting Employee Wellness

Boosting Employee Wellness
To build productive and thriving onsite teams – that's the goal of leaders everywhere.  But the creation of high-performing employees involves more than simply training them for their specific jobs. Companies have to truly care about their employees' overall well-being. Working in multifamily can be extremely fulfilling, but it's also demanding and comes with no small amount of stress. Property management firms have an obligation to help their employees take care of themselves and be the best version of themselves they can be. Below are suggestions for boosting employee wellness. • Promote physical fitness. Exercise is a powerful stress reliever, and team members who are physically fit are bound to be happier, more energetic and more productive. Provide discounts to memberships to local gyms or implement a gym membership reimbursement program.  Hold friendly, low-key competitions among team members to see who can exercise the most during a certain timeframe and offer a great prize for the winner. If your company does this, it might want to give employees digital step trackers or incorporate some other type of technology to track team members' progress. Also, encourage team members to share their progress in these competitions on social media, as this can help employees within your company connect with each other and create bonds that foster wellness.  Beyond such competitions, urge your employees to take regular walking or exercise breaks during the day. Also, consider bringing in nutritionists to speak with employees about healthy eating, and make sure your onsite vending machines offer som......
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Opening more doors for women in commercial real estate


theRRD's Joe Killinger sits down with Sturai Yusufi of Commercial Brokers International to talk about women in commercial real estate. Sturai shares her experiences, how she broke into the field, and advice for those looking to break the cre glass ceiling.

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Career Advancement Lessons Hidden in Plain Sight!

Today I want to talk about lessons in career advancement hidden in plain sight!  When an industry leader is speaking during a conference education session, or maybe during a webinar, that person is not only imparting specific tips relating to the topic, but they are also sharing a hidden lesson, showing you exactly how they rose through the ranks in their career.  Do you know how to find those hidden bits of wisdom? I’m not sure when I started realizing there were hidden lessons embedded in our webinars, but one that really stood out was a webinar with Chad Moulin.  Chad is a leader on the maintenance front within the multifamily industry, and one webinar he shared a simple tip about keeping a glass of water on his night stand when he was on call.  Therefore, when a resident called in at two in the morning, he would quickly take a swig to clear out his throat, so when he then answered the phone, he would sound awake, alert, and eager to handle their issue. As I heard the tip, I thought that was a great idea to improve that resident interaction, but even more so, I asked myself, “who even thinks of ideas like that?”  In other words, ideas on how to sound more positive and energetic on a 2am call would never even occur to most people.  Frankly, most people are not exactly thrilled with the prospect of being on call in the first place, so they probably think ......
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Maximizing Internal Communication in a Company

Maximizing Internal Communication in a Company
Property management companies depend on many things for success. For starters, they have to have strong marketing campaigns to attract the right prospects to their communities. And they need well-trained, high-performing onsite staffs to keep current residents satisfied and eager to renew their leases when the time comes. While sometimes an afterthought, strong internal communication is also fundamental to the success of a community and a property management company. When leadership takes the time to keep employees in the know, team members feel respected and appreciated, and that can help foster loyalty. And when employees can easily communicate with each other, that fosters the healthy exchange of ideas. Here are some different tools you can implement within your company to help optimize internal communication:  Internal e-newslettersCompanies use internal e-newsletters to bolster their communication with employees. Newsletters are highly effective ways to celebrate recent successes and to communicate long-term corporate strategies as well as a company's quarterly and annual goals. They can also provide employees with valuable information about new technology and new system rollouts, wellness programs, HR benefits, company events and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, e-newsletters serve as a great platform to highlight the successes of employees throughout the company. These types of shout-outs can really boost employee morale and show that good work doesn't go unnoticed.  Chat softwareInstalling company-wide chat software has been a big trend across many industries as tech-savvy millennials have grown into such a sizable segment of the workforce. Team messaging apps like Slack, Yammer and HipChat make......
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Wow Words: Use Descriptive Language to Spice up Your Marketing Verbiage

Keep Calm and Use Wow Words 2nd Edition Dear Awesome Apartment Marketers, Back in 2011, I wrote a blog about using unique and descriptive words to help your apartment communities stand out from the competition. In the post, I added a list of what I now refer to as “wow words” that I utilize almost daily when writing ad copy, creating content, dreaming up romance paragraphs, and coming up with a unique list of amenities and features to describe our apartment homes and communities. In addition to descriptive phrases, I’ve included a list of headings/taglines and transitional phrases to amp up your verbiage. Of course, since that blog seven years ago (where did the time go?) there are no apartment “guide books” to be found and Air Tran is no longer in existence… And just like me, my list of “wow words” has gone through a transformation also. I’m continually on the watch for unique verbiage to use in marketing and am always adding new ways to say something. I get tremendous inspiration from the real estate industry, specifically new home subdivisions, looking at listings on Zillow, watching HGTV, and gleaning ideas from the hotel industry. The list of wow words has been added to so often that it can no longer be included in the blog post (like it was in the first edition) because it is so lengthy! Multifamily Insiders has a great resource called the File Bank. If you haven’t perused it yet, you are missing out! But, Keep Calm...the new list of Wow Words can be found t......
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Avoiding the Training Trip Hazard, “Call If You Have Any Questions”

Appointment“Call if you have any questions,” is often the closing comment for an onboarding, orientation or training event. This short phrase, six little words could be the first step to failure for a newly hired or recently promoted individual.As the supervisor, the team leader, it appears that we are always available;”just call,” “call anytime, day or night,” “I always have my phone with me.” Time goes by, critical deadlines are missed or errors continue in work product. As the time leader is faced with correcting mistakes and missed deadlines the question hangs in the air, “Why don’t they call?” If we consider the psychology in this situation, we create an environment where our new employee must ask for help.  Essentially, they are admitting a frustration or a failure.  We have created a win lose proposition.  You are losing.  Call me, and I will give you the information to secure a win.  As leaders if we anticipate deadlines and scheduled completion dates, offering help and assistance we build confidence. The key is in the question asking yes and no questions, will not provide much information.  “Is everything ok?”“Do you need any help?” What To Ask A new employee might not know what help to request. They could become concerned that asking questions or requesting assistance indicates they are struggling with the new responsibility. Asking specific questions of a new employee, What project were you working on today? Was any of it confusing for you? Can we provide some additional background or supporting information that would give you a broader understandi......
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