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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Community Contacts Create Outreach Opportunities

  We are all chasing the elusive magic ticket that brings prospective residents to the apartment community.  We invest our marketing budgets in AdWords.  The staff is scheduled to update Craigs List.  With every visit, the guest card documents the source of traffic.  “How did you hear about us?”  And we drill down to evaluate the cost of bringing traffic to our community.  Sometimes overlooked and too often assumed, is the answer to an equally important question.  “Why are you moving?”  The answer to this question could be the doorway for an Outreach Marketing opportunity.  Learning about the local businesses and their hiring practices is the foundation for effective development of community contacts. -An employer is adding to the workforce. -A new employer is coming to the area. -Another apartment community has been sold and rents are being increased. -A business is opening a new location. The occupancy at an apartment community can be quickly affected by economic development in an area. Actively participating in economic organizations such as The Chamber of Commerce or The Rotary can provide new leads for marketing outreach.  Connecting with community contacts can provide an inside track to Human Resource Departments. Participation Is The Key The key to membership in community organizations is participation. Having a membership because someone  might include print material in their welcome package, or will include a link to your property webpage has little chance of generating leads and potential move ins. Attending the meetings, networking with business leaders has the opportunity to create g......
Continue reading
223 Hits
0 Comments

What you need to know about service dogs & emotional support animals.

There seems to be some confusion in our industry as to the difference between a service dog versus an emotional support animal and the documentation needed. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) defines service dogs as any guide dog, signal dog, who is trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability and a therapy dog provides healing to his or her companion or family, as well as hundreds of other people in a therapeutic setting – whether a hospital, a school or a retirement home.…Another difference between therapy and service dogs is that the latter are often picked by breed for certain characteristics.  The ADA is specific about a service “dog” and states that it must be a dog, with some exceptions for miniature horses. Since the Emotional Support Animal does not perform any specific tasks for a person, the accessibility it has is limited. The Emotional Support Animal does have a right to be kept in a “no pets” policy apartment/condo and also to ride in the cabin of an aircraft. By Federal Laws, these are the only two places that an ESA is legally allowed. For your Emotional Support animal to be legitimate you will need the following; A letter from your mental health (or other medical professionals) stating your need for the ESA. Your ESA letter must be on your mental health professional’s letterhead. The ESA letter must also include the doctor’s license number, where it was issued and the date it was issued. The letter may need to be upda......
Continue reading
397 Hits
0 Comments

The Best Outreach Marketing Tool: Your Service Team

You are spending money advertising your community online, to businesses in your area, for campaigns designed to reach out to the right demographics.  Your company has a Reputation Management Department specialized in damage control, as most of the potential renters are checking online reviews before considering to become your residents- I called that reactive marketing. What if I told you that you are underutilizing the best marketing tool that is already at your disposal: your service team. Consider this:  Your current residents are the best vehicle for spreading the word about how great is to live at your community to their friends, family and co-workers. Most of them only walk into your office only three times: when touring the community, signing the lease and turning in keys at the move out. The only associates they may be in contact with for the length of their stay are your service team members.  Besides residents families and close friends, chances are that nobody else except your service team has the privilege to enter their homes.  Focus on making your service team visits count: professional appearance and efficient service goes a long way.  As a consequence, you will end up with: a happy resident, hopefully followed by a great online review and a recommendation for your community and less work for your Reputation Management Department. This way, you are turning your resident into a promoter. Not only that they are doing free advertising for you, but they may end up renewing their lease, therefore......
Continue reading
250 Hits
0 Comments

SEO & Apartment Marketing: The Next Step

SEO & Apartment Marketing: The Next Step
A very long time ago (circa 2008) the leasing world was a simpler place. Place an ad on Craigslist or in a newspaper, and sit back and watch the renter leads flow in. The most complicated it ever got was when you wanted to add a template to Craigslist. Those were what I would call "the good old days."  Flash forward ten years and the leasing world could not be more complicated. From ILS sites, listing syndication systems, Social Media, Blogs, Google Adwords, Remarketing and more, there are numerous marketing channels to choose from. However, there is one area that could be the most important, but seldom gets the attention it deserves, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Curiously most apartment communities either don't think SEO can have a significant impact, or are dissuaded by trying to compete with the "big boys." Whatever the reason, SEO needs to be the next step in your apartment communities marketing efforts.  What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?  Search Engine Optimization is the process of building a strong search engine presence to ensure visitors can more easily find your website amongst all your competitors online. The primary aim is to improve your websites page ranking so that renters will see your website when they type specific keywords or phrases into search engines like Google.  In simplest terms, it's getting your website to the top of search engine results for searches that your renters conduct (i.e., apartments in Charlotte, rentals in San Antonio, etc.) Why is Search Engine......
Continue reading
577 Hits
0 Comments

The Positive Impact of ORM on Apartment Operations

The Positive Impact of ORM on Apartment Operations
If you were asked to provide an example of just how much the multifamily industry has changed over the years, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more powerful one than the emergence of online review sites like Yelp and Google. As apartment communities across the country have learned, reviews posted by residents and prospects – and the online responses of operators – can make the difference between sinking and swimming. Consider this: according to a Kingsley Associates study conducted on behalf of RentPath, 91.4 percent of apartment shoppers rely on reviews and ratings at least to some extent when looking for their next home. These days, effective online reputation management (ORM) is absolutely vital to a community's success. But it's also important that operators and their onsite staffs not become intimidated by ORM or view it as a form of drudgery, simply yet another item to be checked off the daily to-do list.  Instead, apartment companies should embrace ORM enthusiastically and look at it not only as a necessary endeavor in today's marketplace but as a great opportunity to improve their operations. Free Market ResearchForward-thinking operators know that a robust ORM program can produce more than a slew of five-star ratings. They have realized that the honest online feedback can serve as invaluable – and free – market research into how to improve operations at their communities.  That's because when they're motivated to leave an online review, residents are inclined to provide the kind of raw and honest assessments they might not pro......
Continue reading
567 Hits
0 Comments

Eight Ideas To Implement Support Team Recognition

  All too often, the preparation teams at our properties aren’t recognized for their efforts. We couldn’t function without the housekeeping, maintenance and grounds crew.  They clean the common areas, care for the grounds and prepare apartment homes for new residents.  Team recognition to colleagues, prospects or vendors can be as valuable to employee retention as compensation and benefits. Housekeeping and Maintenance teams are the backbone of every Property Management staff.  We can create more ownership by emphasizing and recognizing the efforts of staff. We can start the recognition environment during the leasing process or move in event.  Maintenance or housekeeping could be scheduled for quick introductions with new residents. The Hospitality Model The hospitality industry incorporates this recognition with comment cards  left in guest rooms and signed by the housekeeper.  For apartment communities a welcome letter signed by maintenance, housekeepers and any contractors who participated in the turnover preparation of the apartment home can initiate this recognition. Included in the Welcome Move In Package should be a Team Introduction Letter.  The letter including pictures of the entire team must be revised with any staff changes.  With pictures of the team listing names, years of service and a tip or quote offers a personalized note. Post cards on hallway bulletin boards in each hallway with the tag line, “This hallway is professionally cleaned for you by ….”  Offers another opportunity to recognize the housekeeping crew. Knowing Who To Expect I recently experienced the inconvenience of having my luggage delayed on a flight.  When my luggage was located, I received a......
Continue reading
850 Hits
0 Comments

Property Managers, Should You Get Off Facebook?

Poor Facebook. It's been getting a bad rap nowadays, what with the news that 87 million users had their private information stolen by the political research firm Cambridge Analytica.

Continue reading
418 Hits
0 Comments

How The Digital Locker System Can Benefit Your Business

Chances are, if you’re reading this digital article, then you’ve ordered something online. A lot of you have purchased something online within the past week. Some of us have ordered things online today and some of the packages may even be sitting in a digital locker system awaiting your retrieval. According to a recent study from Forrester Research Inc., online retail sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 49.7 percent from $334 billion (2015) to nearly $500 billion (2019). Today’s consumer is increasingly turning away from brick-and-mortar stores and shopping online, and with that comes an increased expectation when it comes to package delivery from retailers and e-tailers. Consequently, businesses strive to keep up in an increasingly competitive market. To challenge big online brands like Amazon and eBay, brick-and-mortar retailers are creating their own online shops and turning to delivery and pickup alternatives to compete while also cutting costs. How, then, are these smaller businesses competing with online giants? More and more online retailers and e-tailers are investing in intelligent lockers to beat the last-mile delivery problem – all while making it faster, safer and more accessible to the consumer. A digital locker system benefits small businesses because it is a smart, secure way to store those packages, but also convenient to the consumer when they are ready to pick up their package. An added bonus: It drives foot traffic to their store. During a time when showrooming is becoming more popular (or when someone shops in-store and then actually purchases online), the added benefit of in-store foot tr......
Continue reading
375 Hits
0 Comments

Tips For Becoming A Highly Successful Landlord

Treat your property just like it’s a business. Put your processes and systems in place, know your numbers, delegate what you are not great at and be very consistent. Understand the importance of charging market rate rents, but weigh that with the benefit of having a good long term tenant. Know Fair Housing Laws There are local, state and federal Fair Housing Laws be sure to know them all as it’s a very time consuming and expensive matter if you break one of these laws, even when it’s an accident.  Something as simple as having wrong/old wordage on a sign can get you in trouble. Provide a great place to call home Make the property desirable and put durable, reliable systems and appliances in the unit so you are not constantly fixing them.  Have the home clean and ready when the resident moves in and have the common areas kept up. Market your available properties to everyone Be sure you make a complete effort to get your available homes seen by everyone looking in your market place. If you have a website be sure all of your properties (including floor plans) are posted; utilize all forms of social networks including pushing out to groups; have a great referral system for your current residents as they can be your best resource and lastly be sure to utilize websites that allow you to post your available homes for free. Utilize a strong tenant screening platform This is a big one as your screen......
Continue reading
652 Hits
0 Comments

Five Reasons Manual Rental Payment History Checks Don't Work

The multifamily market didn't exactly crater in 2017. In fact, according to preliminary numbers from Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate brokerage and research firm, the average effective apartment rent in the U.S. grew by 4.5 percent last year, to $1,343 per month.  Still, there's no denying that apartment markets in many metros across the country have softened in recent years, and operators must always be on the lookout for a true downturn. What goes up must come down. When the pressure to fill their units ratchets up, operators must make sure their screening process is in first-class shape so they have a crystal-clear view of the risk an applicant poses and they can move quickly to sign suitable prospects. To do this, operators need to eliminate manual rental payment history checks and incorporate payment history that is gathered electronically and automatically. Below are five ways manually checking payment history by phone puts operators at a disadvantage in markets both soft and strong: 1. They're impracticalFor applicants with significant rental history, it can be virtually impossible for leasing agents to reach someone at every community an applicant has previously rented to check payment history.   2. They can be incompleteApplicants may not list all the apartment communities they’ve ever rented from, because they either simply forgot about a community or intentionally left a place out after a bad experience. This leads to operators having an incomplete picture of a prospect's past.  3. They don't workAt a session at the 2017 NMHC O......
Continue reading
572 Hits
0 Comments