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The Silent Treatment, Overcoming The Just Looking Response

QuestionsImagine a leasing consultant returning from an apartment tour. It’s an apartment with a less than great view, it’s been vacant for 45 days. It’s on this weeks focus “hot” list. The manager asks, “How did it go, did you get a deposit?” The leasing response, “Great, they didn’t even comment on the view! They’re going to get back with me and let me know if they want the apartment.” The manager investigates a little further, “What objections did they have? We’re you able to overcome them, what features and benefits did you use? Challenging the Just Looking Response The response from the leasing consultant is chilling, “They really didn’t say too much, they were just looking.” Chances are the decision on this apartment has been made. The prospect probably won’t be returning. Ask any sales person; retail, automotive,. The most difficult sale to close is the customer that’s “just looking.” When someone is “Just Looking” A sales person:-can’t overcome objections-can’t create a sense of urgency-can’t create interest in features and benefits A skilled leasing professional isn’t going to be content with a “just looking” response. Using Conversation Starters A few open ended questions can change the direction of the conversation-what do you like about where you live now.-what are you looking for in a new home.-is your current home convenient for your lifestyle?-does your closet have enough storage for your shoes? Every person that enters a leasing office looking for an apartment is an opportunity for a twelve month lease. If a prospect isn’t forthcoming about their opinion of the po......
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What are the Top Sources of Ancillary Income?

Ancillary income for multifamily properties is always a hot topic, both for punitive fee-based charges, as well as service upgrades, and was a compelling session topic at the 2017 National Apartment Association Education Conference and Expo.  According to Chase Harrington, COO of Entrata, ancillary income averages 4.4% of scheduled monthly charges, and he shared their research on the top 20 sources of ancillary income: Additionally, the panelists at the session, Gunti Weissenberger of Westover Companies, Kellie Hughes of Mill Creek, and Robert Speck of Bonaventure, shared their top 10 sources of ancillary income: Westover Companies Mill Creek (Modera Brand) Mill Creek (Alister Brand) Bonaventure Utilities Garage Early Termination Fees Late Fee Income Early Termination Fees Parking Parking Garage Income Laundry Early Termination Fees Laundry Income Bldg Facility (Renters Insurance) Month to Month Fee Amenity Fee Late Fee Pet  Rent Pet Income Storage Pet Premium Month to Month Premium Water Application Fee Administration Fee Laundry Income Billing Fee Pet Premium Application Fee Valet Trash Cable Internet Initial Pet Fee Initial Pet Fee Application Fees Late Fee Administration Fee Misc Income Pet Move-In Fee Short Term Premium Late Fee Storage Parking Income   The session also shared some data from NAA on actual ancillary income averages in some top metro areas:   The panelists also shared some insightful comments about specific ancillary income options: RUBS - Gunti Weissenberger indicated that they don't prefer using RUBS as their residents don't like the way utilities are broken out.  He mentioned that when they switch to......
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Hardwire Internet has important edge over Wi-Fi for Apartments

Hardwire Internet has important edge over Wi-Fi for Apartments The world is linked by wireless Internet, but even Wi-Fi can experience some connection tangles from time to time. While, Wi-Fi is a more popular, widely used method of Internet connection these days, don’t be so quick to bail on the good ol’ Ethernet cord – at least for the backend of your apartment community. Wi-Fi is more convenient and tops the resident demand list, but a trusty hardwire connection is immensely more secure and challenging to hack. Convenience is a great sell, and your property probably won’t meet its occupancy goals without wireless access for daily use in your resident’s apartment homes. You have to have it. Although, when it comes to operations, nothing beats top-notch security, especially digital security, which some residents don’t realize they actually need. As more apartment communities begin to rely on Internet connection for day-to-day operational functions, like rent payment portal sites and electronic package locker systems, property managers should consider some of the pitfalls of a wireless connection before rolling up the Ethernet cables for good: Wi-Fi signals commonly drop with interference Wireless doesn’t have as stable an Internet connection as a hardwire because it only works within a certain range, and is more susceptible to interference and objects blocking the signal. Any wireless user can vouch a Wi-Fi signal can get pretty feisty. In an apartment community, if the wireless were to go out, it could disable an entire system that operates via Internet. If Wi-Fi lose......
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Why You Cannot Afford To Run a Property Management Firm Without a Website

Why You Cannot Afford To Run a Property Management Firm Without a Website
$39 billion. That’s the annual revenue of the U.S. property management industry. It sure looks good on paper, but you’d probably be surprised to learn that 30% of this goes to the top 500 firms. So, where do the rest 79,500 firms lie? The bulk of them are stuck at what’s arguably the most critical stage- getting their strategy right.  While property management may not be the simplest business engagement, one thing you’ve got to admit is, it’s not as complicated as manufacturing. Even the smallest firms have fair chances of outdoing large established businesses, thanks to something called the web. According to a report prepared by NAR, 84% of both buyers and renters are heavily using the internet as their first step in their home searching process. If they can’t find your information online, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of potential business. Well, of course there’s the option of riding on a third party website like Facebook, but personal websites have proven to be considerably way more effective. Here’s why: Growing and Managing Your Clients Through CRM and Contact Management Getting tenants is not that simple anymore. With competition persistently growing, property management firms are now leveraging CRM and contact management tools in lead prospecting. And going by recent trends, both prospects and property management firms are happy with the consequent results. According to Nucleus Research, every dollar spent on such tools generates an average return of $8.71- super neat, right? So, here’s the thing- CRM and contact management can only be effec......
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How to Increase Your Google Map Rankings for Your Apartment

Google Maps for ApartmentsRanking in the local map pack can be super challenging at times. Especially when you’re in a very competitive metro area like Los Angeles or Atlanta. How can your community stand out among the rest of the apartments on Google Maps? Here are a few ideas: Increase the number of images on your Google Maps Listing Increase the number of positive reviews on your Google Maps Listing Increase your Google Hang Time on your Google Maps Listing       Increase Images: This is an easy one. Most G Listings that take the top spots usually have about 20 to 40+ images uploaded into their Google Listing. If you can get close to this number of photos uploaded you should be in a good position. Increase Positive Reviews: This is easier said than done, I know. However, with a great Survey Product (Which Apartment SEO offers!) you can survey your residents after a successful move-in or work order to get them to leave a review while you have their attention. Send residents a 1 question survey and if they leave 3 stars or less, it stays internal and anything 4 stars and above, the user gets prompted to leave a review on Google! Increase Your Google Hang Time: This item can get a little pricey but well worth the investment. Working with a Certified Google 360 Company is key. If you can have your 3d tour completed and added to your Google listing this will help increase the amount of time users s......
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Why Does This Dishwasher Take So Long??

Why Does This Dishwasher Take So Long??
Recently our kitchen has undergone a renovation with new cabinets, countertops and appliances. While we were not excited for the process, we are thankful for the end result and the kitchen looks so much better and is far more functional than it was before. So, before I go further, thank you to the owner of our townhouse (we're renters) for green lighting the project! The funny thing is the genesis of the kitchen remodel was that our (OLD) dishwasher was no longer cleaning dishes well. When we approached the owner about replacing the dishwasher, she actually suggested the full kitchen remodel. Score! When I first started using the dishwasher I was confused because the wash cycles were so much longer than our older model. When I saw that a load was supposed to take about 3 hours I couldn't fathom why this was the case, especially since our old dishwasher's cycle was about an hour long! After doing some research I discovered that in order to meet new (and far more stringent) energy and water consumption requirements, manufacturers designed these machines to run longer. In other words, since new dishwashers need to use less water and energy, dishes will only get clean if the cycles run longer than older generation machines.  As my high school economics teacher would have said, "There is an opportunity cost for saving water and energy...and that cost is a dishwasher that runs three times longer than an older model." What does this have to do with......
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How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?

How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?
How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex? Carrier Grade WiFi Calling for Apartment Buildings is Finally Here. “Can You Hear Me Now?” “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s happened to everyone. You’re locked in, completely engrossed in conversation. All of a sudden a little static begins on the line. Then a bit more and before you know it, you have missed every other word. Eventually the call drops completely… You look at your phone to find that you have no service, 0 bars. Hopefully, it was just friendly banter and not something vitally important. God forbid that it was an important sales call or a hard-to-reach individual. We’ve all experienced bad cell coverage and while it’s a pain, hopefully it only happens once in a “blue moon”. We may expect it while driving through a rural landscape, but if it happens from home; it’s an entirely different frustration. If you’re an apartment owner with this scenario you can rest assured… your residents will quickly be finding a new place to live, costing you and your brand. Let’s face it, not all apartments have good cell coverage. These days this can be a major problem for apartment owners. Bad cell coverage can drive occupancy, loyalty, satisfaction and retention down fast. Residents do not put up with bad coverage; many will post negative online reviews which could damage your online reputation. Some may try to change cell providers; however, they are not usually happy to do so. WiFi Calling Replaces DAS – “Two Birds, On......
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Affordable Anguish, Agency Requirements

Affordable leasingPeople looking for an apartment, are in fact, people looking for an apartment.  Even if your community is affordable and you are required to meet agency requirements. As leasing professionals, we need to know: Do they have an apartment size preference/requirement? (Yes, there’s a difference!) Do they have an expected moving date (is it flexible? It could make a difference for a discounted rental rate, or a move in special…”if I could delay the start of your rental payments, until the first of the month, could you sign your lease today?”) When can you visit our property, so I can show you your future home? But the cry comes out, “I work at an affordable property! I have agency requirements!” “I have to verify income, assets, possibly medical expenses or childcare!” Yes, you do! But first you have to sell the apartment. Why would we want to drown a prospect in the paperwork requirements before they’re even in the door? Most apartment communities are going to verify an individual’s income either to confirm they have an income to support the rent or to confirm the income doesn’t exceed an income limit. Consider this dialog; “Thank you for calling Awesome Apartments! This is Perky Patti, are you looking for an apartment home? I can help you! How soon are you looking to move?” Or…. ” Hello, this is Agency Apartments, my name is Dreary Deb. This is a property with an agency mortgage. I have lots of paperwork to do before you move in, so I hope you’re ......
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Google Adwords: Apartment Lead Generation with Message Extensions

When it comes to gathering leads through Google Adwords some of the more popular conversion KPI’s are calls and emails. Times are changing with the rise of mobile and texting.

Google recently released a new Ad Extension to help with enticing searchers to text your community, so you can engage with them via text at your convenience.

 

 Here is how the process works:

1.      Users click on your text ad extension and sends a text

2.      Users get an automated text back acknowledging their text

3.      Messages are then downloaded in a spreadsheet

4.      You follow up with your new potential resident asap

Google Adword’s newer ad extension is focused to help you reach more potential residents while keeping your cost per acquisition low. There is strong data showing how users are more willing to text a community vs. calling or emailing nowadays. You can auto respond quickly to acknowledge them while they start their journey down the conversion funnel till they lease!

If you have any questions about Google Adwords for Apartments, feel free to send me a message!

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Achieving Optimal Performance from Your Employees

Achieving Optimal Performance from Your Employees

Research shows that successful employee performance management processes help people bring their best to work. To be effective, these processes need to align with your workforce, improve your employee’s performance while supporting employee development and drive better business results. These concepts need to be implemented year round, and of course, they need to be easy for managers and employees to take part in. At the CFAA Rental Housing Conference “Performance Management: The Basics” were outlined by Colleen McCarville (Killam Apartment Reit).  Topics discussed were:

1.      Managerial skill and values

2.      Having a clear corporation strategy and objectives

3.      Ongoing performance management culture

4.      Appraisal and assessment programs

5.      “People” focused approach

6.      Reporting and Analytics

Managers need to continuously communicate confidence while with employees because you can’t lead a successful team without insightful feedback and coaching. The best managers play a role in engaging and motivating their employees, work with the employees to identify the root cause of successful behaviour, brainstorm how success can be replicated in other areas and listen carefully to employees without judgment in their self-assessment.  If you want to build an exceptional team, your performance management process must include thoughtful coaching, ongoing performance reviews and the use of data to empower managers to coach the future leaders. 

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