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Decreasing Safety Concerns among College Students and their Parents

When college students move from residence halls to off-campus housing, many parents are concerned about their child’s safety, knowing the facility might not be as secure as their dorm. Recognizing these worries, property managers can update facilities to increase security, ensuring residents are safe and parents are at ease. One specific way to help address these safety concerns in an off-campus housing facility is to integrate an electronic access control system to increase building security. With students regularly moving in and out every year, it can be difficult to ensure that only authorized individuals can enter the facility. By implementing an electronic access control system, property managers can easily grant or revoke access as needed, ensuring that building access is limited to those who are permitted. Knowing that only authorized people can enter the facility, residents will feel safer and their parents will have one less thing to worry about. The benefit of upgrading to a new system doesn’t end there. Electronic access control systems also allow property managers to view a history of building access. The timeline provided in an access report is valuable in many situations, such as a theft investigation. After reviewing this information, those involved will have a better idea of who visited a specific area and the time frame and duration of their visit. While upgrading to a new system might seem daunting, investing in an electronic access control solution can provide many short and long term benefits. During the upgrade process, property managers should consider bot......
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Opportunities for Corporate Social Responsibility in Multifamily

The multifamily industry has made some meaningful progress when it comes to practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR). But there are still many areas for improvement. That was the consensus of a session examining the state of CSR in the apartment industry at the recent Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. The session began with a look at what CSR really is. To be sure, practicing genuine CSR means much more than a company making periodic donations to local charities, although such donations are certainly laudable. Instead, an apartment company engages in true CSR when it has in place an ongoing, all-encompassing effort to care for, connect with and positively impact employees, residents and surrounding neighborhoods. The result of such a program should be more engaged workers, happier residents and increased profitability. A number of studies have demonstrated the importance of having a strong CSR program in place. According to the 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, 91 percent of millennials would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality. Additionally, 63 percent of millennial women and 45 percent of millennial men say their decisions about job offers are impacted by the employer's CSR work, according to the Six-Month Research Update to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, a study conducted by Achieve. So where are multifamily companies currently succeeding when it comes to CSR? "In terms of providing opportunities for career advancement, professional growth and time off we’re doing a pretty g......
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5 Landscaping Tips to Enhance the Rentability of your Multifamily Property

Multifamily property owners are more focused on the interiors of their rental building and more often than not ignore the importance of exterior. As the exterior of your rental property plays a key role in attracting customers, it is also important to renovate the exterior of your building. Many buyers prefer multifamily units with soothing exteriors and innovative landscaping. Landscaping not only enhances the aesthetic value of the property, but also maximizes its market value. As multifamily property owner, it is your responsibility to focus on both interior and exterior renovations. To help, this blog post lists five tips to improve the landscape of your multifamily property.1. Build a Beautiful GardenAn innovative way to improve the landscape of your rental property is to incorporate edibles and ornamentals. All you need to do is plant Bright Lights Swiss Chard with colorful stems and other decorating plants that not only enhance the external beauty of your multifamily property, but also makes it stand away from the crowd. If you want to incorporate such landscaping in your property, hire a multifamily renovation company that fulfills your exterior renovation requirements.2. Construct CarportsConstructing carports is a unique way to improve the exteriors of your multifamily property units and to attract potential renters. Carports not only maximize the external appeal of your property, but also provide space to accommodate tenant’s vehicles and protect them from sunlight and storms. Many home renovation companies offer carports as part of their exterior renovation services.3. Mulching the Soil with Plant BedsMulching i......
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What is the Amazon Dash Button?

Do you remember Staples' EASY button commercials? You know, the big red button we then saw pop up on site staff's desk that when pushed said, "That was easy!".  Well easy, has gotten easier. Usually at conferences each session or presentation is pretty unique. And while there were different topics at this year's AIM conference I saw the same picture come up 3 different times and it was mentioned more.   What is the Amazon Dash Button? Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi connected device that reorders certain products with the press of a button. Yes, you have to have a Prime account and yes, there is a "cost" of $4.99 to purchase each button. However, when you push each button for that first order, you get a credit of $4.99 rendering the button free. Also, if you are involved with affordable housing, Amazon just announced on Tuesday 6/6/17, that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card that is  used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps will pay just $5.99 per month for a year of Prime. There are over 300 brands with products for purchase like laundry soap, pet food, snacks, and even Play-Doh! How will this affect us? One of the trends to watch that was talked about in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) session and in Rohit Bhargava's keynote speech is the idea that people want seamless or invisible technology. While the Dash button is not invisible, it is seamless. To steal......
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3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for Interacting With Pregnant Residents

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for Interacting With Pregnant Residents

“You must be so excited!” our waitress said to me.

was so excited. At the time I was six months pregnant and enjoying a rare night out with my husband.

“Thank you, I am,” I said, beaming.

“Here you go. I’m giving you the bigger portion because you’re eating for two,” she said.

This pregnancy thing has some perks! I thought.

“But you should be careful with all that eating,” she continued, “because it’s hard to take the weight off after the baby, and you don’t want to lose your figure. So when are your twins due?”

I didn’t quite know how to answer that, partially because due dates are just estimates and babies come when they are ready, but mostly because I was not, in fact, pregnant with twins.

The whole experience was actually pretty awesome, though. Because we complained to the manager and got our dessert for free. But that is not how you should talk someone who is pregnant. Shouldn’t people in customer service know better?  Customer service is the name of the game for property managers and other employees who work onsite at the community.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for interacting with pregnant women at your properties.

 

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A Passing Comment Can Create Referrals

ReferralsWhere does your leasing traffic come from?  In many cases, referrals are a strong contributor to the sources of traffic at a property. The days of depending on a newspaper advertisement to be your leading source of traffic are long gone. Internet ads, locator services are among the sources that put information at prospects fingertips twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.But one of the largest sources of traffic for a property is the General Referral, sometimes referred to as a Word of Mouth source of traffic. Referred by a friend, family member, former resident, current resident, people have a comfort level of knowing someone else can offer some positive feedback or firsthand knowledge on their potential choice. Creating Referrals Are you working the referral tree? Referral offers are often included in newsletters, but are you, the Community Manager, the leasing consultant, assistant manager, or Maintenance technician generating word of mouth traffic, creating your own general referrals? Imagine someone talking to the local overnight delivery service provider .. “My sister is moving to the area, I want to help her find an apartment” Would the response be….. you need to check out Cozy Apartments? The staff is great, they’re friendly, cheerful. Hallways are clean. If the staff isn’t in the office, there’s a notice telling me where I can find them. Usually its because they’re out showing an apartment to someone or inspecting the grounds. How would your delivery person describe your property in this type of conversation? The postal delivery......
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When a Crisis Arises; what to and NOT to say!

Yesterday at one of my client’s properties a person was shot and killed by a resident.  The perpetrator was carrying a knife while trying to break into an occupied apartment. The press and the anxious residents had lots of questions.  Having had professional training on dealing with a crisis situation, I contacted the client immediately.  This advice is important to all of us, whether a death, a fire, or an accident.

Refer the press to your corporate office.  Hopefully, someone with authority from corporate arrived the minute they were advised.  

The worst thing to say is “no comment.”  It sounds evasive, abrupt and cold.  Rather say something like this “We are very concerned and are still gathering information and facts. Thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned.”  Don’t be prodded into sharing anything else!  Not only does it spread gossip, but it could also have legal ramifications. Remain professional and calm.  The corporate office/owner should prepare a mass email or flyers for the resident’s doors using the same calming language.  The more professionally you handle a crisis, the sooner the situation will calm down.

 

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Why Property Management Firms Are Increasingly Adopting Software Systems For Maintenance Tracking

Why Property Management Firms Are Increasingly Adopting Software Systems For Maintenance Tracking
Let’s be honest. The word “maintenance”, more often than not, carries a negative connotation because it’s mostly considered a liability. Every real estate agent wants to build an extensive portfolio and grow as much as possible without the added expenses that come with maintenance. However, and rather ironically, maintenance is actually an essential component of real estate management. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably as important and tenant prospecting and acquisition. Apart from the fact that it’s one of the most direct routes to tenant satisfaction, maintenance is critical in preventing building decrepitude. Although it’s largely beneficial, it could also be your firm’s Achilles’ heel if managed ineffectively. That’s why the most established firms are relying on streamlined maintenance processes, built on cloud real estate management systems. But, is it actually that serious? Why would you pay extra for a system, yet you could comfortably track orders from your ledgers? When did real estate management get so complicated? Well, technically, real estate management is getting simpler by the day, thanks to comprehensive management systems. And yes, computerized maintenance management is the way to go if you intend to improve efficiency, grow your portfolio, and challenge some of the most established firms. Using a reliable system to track maintenance orders will benefit your firm in the following ways: Provides Real Time Data Access Property management, as you’ve probably recognized by now, is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s more like a full time engagement, since maintenance requests come through even in the middle of the ni......
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A Guide to Smart Apartments

A study conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center found millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S. To keep up with this tech-savvy generation, multi-family professionals understand the value in updating their facilities to feature smart technology. Whether or not you consider yourself a techie, this innovative technology is taking the industry by storm, and gives a competitive edge for properties that adapt. Smart features, including smart locks, lighting and HVAC systems, have become key elements to attracting potential residents, and property managers are taking a closer look at smart home features that provide additional convenience. As they consider upgrade options, smart locks are the perfect place to start. In particular, Schlage Control™ Smart Locks offer innovative, appealing solutions to attract new residents and streamline operations. These locks are an open architecture design, allowing property managers to easily upgrade systems that will seamlessly integrate with Allegion’s Software Alliance members. Additionally, Schlage Control™ Smart Locks allow property managers to easily grant or revoke resident access, gather data, view access history and more. Similarly, Wi-Fi enabled thermostats controlled by smart devices can help cut costs for both property managers and residents. For residents, the ability to control the temperature of their apartment via smart devices allows them to remotely adjust the temperature levels as needed. At the same time, for properties that factor utility costs into the rent, the automated temperature control across units can help cut costs, especially when apartments are unoccupied. Should a unit becom......
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Jared Miller on Culture as the Ultimate Business Fuel

Jared Miller on Culture as the Ultimate Business Fuel
It’s always fun when you have the opportunity to sit down with an industry business leader who has a passion for making the intangible tangible, the non-measurable measurable. Such was the case with long-time multifamily professional Jared Miller, who views a company’s culture as the real power that makes an organization’s engine run smoothly and efficiently. Jared is no stranger to a how culture can optimize performance during his career with companies such as Lane, RedPeak, Bainbridge and currently Homestead Development Partners – and in a variety of roles and company types, from marketing leader to operations and asset management, from fee to owned to development to being a partner in his current firm, to all of the above simultaneously. He was awarded MultiFamily Executive’s first ever “Rising Star” award in 2010, and was an NAHB “Pillars of the Industry” finalist for best marketing campaign in 2007. He gets it; he really gets it. “Our current economy is very stable, our industry continues to perform quite well for owners, operators and investors, and as a nation we are seeing full employment for the first time in many years” says Miller. “Culture has always been a differentiator, but now it’s an imperative – it’s the only lever that can impact overall experience end-to-end, and therefore turnover among both employees and residents.” So what is the end-to-end experience? Miller emphasizes it’s really about “everyone who touches your company,” adding that, “it can’t be about only your employees, although everything flows from their cultural experience and if you don’t have a strong......
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