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What Is Your Business Strategy?

What Is Your Business Strategy?
When it comes to jeans, Old Navy is my “go to” store. I shop at Old Navy because I like the fit of their jeans and I love the price! The negative is that the jeans don’t last as long, or keep their shape and color (for me) as more expensive jeans I’ve had in the past.    If you’ve shopped at Old Navy you know there is a difference in quality between their clothes and those found in their sister stores Gap and (especially) Banana Republic. Yet, Old Navy has recently been more successful financially than Banana Republic and especially Gap. Through Q2 2018 sales at Old Navy stores increased by 5%; sales increased at Banana Republic by 2%; while sales at Gap decreased by 5%.* The poor performance of Gap stores resulted in an 11% decrease in Gap Inc. stock   What is wrong at the Gap?   I think Gap stores have performed poorly because they don’t have a sustainable business strategy. Why is this important for you? Because for your company to succeed you need a sustainable business strategy and it requires you to make a choice. Let me explain further…   There are three basic elements of business: price, service and quality. In my experience for a business to succeed it needs to choose two of the three to compete in, but it cannot choose all three, or the business will not succeed in the long term. Why? Let’s look at the Old Navy/Gap example I began this post......
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California Multifamily Professionals – Please Read This!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a sizeable recall notice on 11/8/18 for ~616,000 gas water heaters that were made between April 8, 2011, through August 1, 2016, which were primarily sold in California.  While anyone and everyone should check their water heater to see if they have an affected unit, multifamily owners and managers should also be proactive in determining if these recalled units are serving any of their communities – especially considering that approximately 1,200 apartment communities were built in California from 2011 through 2016 which represents an estimated total of just over 150,000 units.

Additional Resources & Information 

  • The official recall notice can be viewed on the CPSC website at https://goo.gl/zHy3LE
  • Consumers should go to https://www.waterheaterrecall.com, input their model and serial number and complete the form to determine if their water heater is subject to this recall
  • Consumers with Whirlpool, U.S. Craftmaster, or American Water Heater brand water heaters can call toll-free (866) 854-2793
  • Consumers with Reliance, State, A.O. Smith, and Kenmore brand water heaters can call toll-free (866) 880-4661

Hope this is helpful in some way and please don't hesitate to post questions and comments if there is anything else that I can do to help!

John Griffith

 

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Amazon's New Headquarters, and What to Do When You Have Your Choice of Residents

"We should have bought our Queens apartment," my husband lamented this morning. 

Our one-bedroom walk-up with a clanky old heater, no parking and occasional water bug problem was not without its charms, of course. But with a baby on the way, a new job for my husband that wasn't accessible by subway and the siren song of more than one bathroom, we moved on to greener pastures—the New Jersey suburbs.

What idiots.

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The Prospect Email Strategy Guidebook

Introduction Nurturing prospects is one of the most important steps to convert a lead into a lease. According to Hubspot, 47% of shoppers look at three to five unique marketing materials prior to reaching out to sales personnel. Lead nurturing campaigns can provide more frequent and consistent touches than a purely human workforce. Considering that nurturing emails average a 4-10% higher response rate than traditional campaigns, we think you are going to want to invest in it. So, we wanted to create a playbook that outlines how you should communicate with prospects during the 4 most important prospect journeys. Communicating with prospects consistently during these journeys makes prospects more comfortable and excited to sign a lease! Let’s explore the email options for communicating with warm and cold leads!   Pre-Tour Emails Why email prospects before their tour? Due to the introduction of big ILSes like Apartments.com and Zillow, prospects are overwhelmed with apartment options. Emailing your prospects before they tour can set you apart from the competition. Take a minute and think about how many recipes you have pinned on Pinterest. If you are anything like us, those new, tasty recipes are sitting untouched on our "Foodie” board. Even though we think these recipes sound good and we have to eat, we still end up making the same five recipes over again. Why? There are three main reasons: We forgot about our newly saved recipe. We slip into old habits because they are familiar. We don’t want to put in the work&......
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Is Recycling Now a Sham?

Recently on an invoice from our trash service provider I noticed an extra charge of $254 for a “Contamination Fee”. Unfamiliar with this type of charge I contacted the company who told me that the property’s Recycling Dumpster contained items that were not recyclable. I thought, “Okay, maybe I need to educate our Residents better.” Sending emails and letters proved to work for one month. Then the next invoice contained not one, but two of these “contamination fees,” each $254! What?????   I called the company again and was told the only thing the company considers to be recyclable is cardboard. Hummm. But the label on the Dumpster says otherwise. “We recommend that you tell your tenants to only put cardboard in the Dumpster.”   Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of recycling? I asked.   From what I have been told, both Waste Management, as well as Republic Services, another national waste removal company, would ship their scrap paper, plastic materials, and other recyclable items to China for processing. However, last summer, China began to refuse to accept these shipments, virtually eliminating the possibility that they would accept anything from foreign countries. What Waste Management and Republic Services has stated is there is no alternate provider who accepts this type of thing without having to pay extremely expensive shipping and dumping fees. Therefore, waste removal companies are taking the recycling to landfills.   In other words, your contract (usually a 5-year contract) that specifies your property will accept resident’s recyclables in a marked container is in fact collecting......
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Why Is It Important To Background Check Your Soon-To-Be Tenants

image6.jpgIf you have ever rented a live-in unit, you know avoiding problem renters is everything. When you’ve got good, responsible tenants living on your property you know you won’t have to get into uncomfortable arguments and situations every other month, or – even worse - come to collect rent one day and find your property demolished, or robbed with your renters nowhere in sight. On that note, if you are considering renting your property, here’s a list of reasons why it is essential to do a background check of your soon-to-be tenants. #Your Property Protection In talking to your potential tenants, you are setting yourself up to know as much valuable information as possible that will help you decide if this person is a good match or not. Start by asking yourself questions like: Does this tenant have a history of reckless behavior and vandalism? What is their lifestyle? Are they party people or low-key? What’s their temper like? Do they strike you as reliable or flaky? These and similar questions may be a great start for when you are marketing your rental property. You want to make sure you are renting your property to someone who’ll treat it like their own, not someone who’ll ruin it. #Financial Security No matter how well you click with someone during your interview doesn’t mean you can cut corners and ignore their financial liability. Like criminal background checks, financial background checks are an essential starting point when saying “yes” to a tenant. Why? You want to be sure ......
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The Resident Email Strategy Guidebook

Introduction Resident retention is a hot topic in Multifamily these days. It is cheaper and easier to have a resident renew than find a new renter--- $2,811 cheaper to be exact. So why does multifamily still have a turnover rate of 53%? Most agents don’t have enough time to check in with residents regularly. We identified the five best times to connect with residents. Now, this can seem like more than your agents have time to do, but there are a lot of email schedulers that can make this a breeze for your team.   Settling the Pre-Move Jitters Before any big change in life, there seems to be a frenzy of emotions. Over the course of one minute, a soon-to-be resident can go from ecstatic to stressed to sad. With all that going on, it’s hard to remember things like when to pick up their keys or how to reserve an elevator. The last thing they want is to do is realize they needed a money order to pay the first month’s rent and all they have is a credit card. And to top it off, its a Sunday so the bank is closed. The worst part is that the leasing agent told them about the money order three weeks ago when the lease was signed. So, they only have themselves to blame. Let’s be real, nobody wants to blame themselves. So, they are going to blame you, the property management, instead. This is not how you want to start off a relat......
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Voice To Text - How Voice Commands Are Changing The Expectations in Multifamily and Beyond

  Technology is changing rapidly - and with the new rollouts from Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and all of the other companies using voice technology as a tool for automation, it’s safe to say that voice is the way that things are heading. When it comes to communication, writing, and note taking, verbal voice to text can help things be faster and more automated - allowing you more time for brainstorming, and less time spent typing.Interested in seeing how voice to text will be able to simplify your day-to-day? Check out these ways that we believe voice is going to change the multifamily industry - sooner rather than later.Voice to Connect:Feel like you already have your hands full during your day-to-day? That’s where voice comes in! Voice to text has already become a player in the retail and communication sectors - and now multifamily is benefiting from this tech-trend!Need to send a text message to building 3 after you’ve already left the office… during dinner? It happens! There are resident communication tools out there that allow you to quickly and easily send texts to your residents… and that includes a voice text! In times of urgency or emergency, being able to use your voice to send a mass text message or respond to a resident via text message (from your property’s unique text to chat number) is an essential and powerful tool.Voice to pay rent: Paying rent has seen some major changes over the last few years - once only possible by dropping a ch......
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Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily

Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily
We’ve all heard the banter between folks when discussing their tattoos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said, “I was young and dumb” in reference to tattoos. I sometimes feel this way about mine, as they’re quite visible on my hands and arms. I had them done during my stint as a world traveler, not thinking I’d find myself in the corporate world, wearing long sleeves and rings to cover my teenage rebellion’s lasting mistakes. I’ve been lucky enough to develop business relationships without my tattoos acting as a barrier, however this isn’t the case for some. We all know that millennials are changing the game by promoting a more casual approach to work and with their take-over of nearly 40% of the job force, I foresee big changes in corporate standards. Considering that 40% of millennials carry body art, it’s hard to imagine that this 40% would also carry with them an employment disadvantage, right? A friend of mine thinks differently. She argues that visible tattoos are unprofessional and that their stigma will last much longer than my hopeful fantasy suggests. Recently, we toured a downtown Las Vegas community, where our leasing consultant was heavily tattooed. She was dressed casually and had facial piercings. I connected with her and admired her artwork and style, but my friend resented her choice of dress and visible tattoos and our consultant had “lost all credibility” as far as she was concerned. This incident showed the difference in our perception of what’s acceptable in t......
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Residents Have Leftover Halloween Candy? Here's What to Do With It

Candy is the best. On Halloween, you get candy. Ergo, Halloween is the best. 

But, can there ever be too much of a good thing?

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