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Resident Retention Tips For Property Manager & Landlords

Resident retention in the real estate industry is a critical part to an investor’s success.  Several factors go into the cost of acquiring residents, marketing, and make ready costs. There is also lost revenue from vacant units, making it a key part of your ROI. We put some tips together to help you retain your residents. A key factor in a resident staying is they feel they belong to a community. Their apartment should be more than a place to sleep and eat. Create a social media presence for your community. Try to get your resident to utilize your page to talk about the events you hold on the property. Talk about your staff and the community. Look to create experiences within the community. The day a new resident moves in, you should have a nice welcome gift waiting for them. Something they can use in their new place. Also, a popular idea is a gift certificate to a local restaurant for takeout or pizza. After a long day of moving, it’s nice to order some food and relax. Creating events for your property can give your residents a sense of community, and allow them to get to know each other as well. Fun events like cook-offs, BBQs or events for their children are usually big winners. An added benefit is once your residents get to know one another, they become more vested in the community, looking to better it, and taking a pride of ownership mentality. Training your staff in t......
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IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan

IDEAS FOR RENT - Developing a Reputation Management Plan
Let's be honest. Very few in our industry like online review websites. They are a constant struggle. Very rarely do they provide a sound mechanism to generate leads and more often than not, they lead to bad reputations, decreased lead generation, and fewer renewals. However, we still need to deal with them. Online review sites are here to stay and should not be ignored. Hoping they go away won't solve the problem. However, if you have the right plan, you can make sure you are setup for success. Reputation Management Plan It's essential, if not vital that every community today develops a plan on how to deal with online reviews. The goal of any good Reputation Management plan is to minimize the impact of adverse reviews while improving the number of positive reviews left by renters and tenants. STEP #1 - Respond to Negative Reviews A Reputation Management plan starts with responding to reviews in a timely, understanding and mature manner.   React Quickly and Politely - Not responding to negative reviews can be the worst thing a community can do. Ignoring it doesn't make it better. Respond to every review quickly and politely. Address Criticism - When responding to a review, acknowledge the criticism if it is valid. You must address the issue "head-on." Making excuses or passing-the-buck can only lead to more criticism and worse reviews. Empathize with Complaints - What would you write if you had the same experience? Empathizing with a renter or tenant about their issues shows you......
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5 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Your Apartment Community

It's that time of year already: Halloween. Yay! Time to grab your costumes and your candy and get in the spirit. Haha, get it? Good, clean fun, folks. Halloween is a lot different for me now that I have kids. Now, instead of going to a bar, staying up late and shivering all night because a jacket totally ruins my look, I'm planning on dressing up my children and forcing them to wear jackets while trick or treating because I don't care if it ruins your look, I don't want you to get sick!, and eating all of the Snickers bars out of their plastic pumpkins under the guise of "checking for razor blades."

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Creating Sense of Community in the Aftermath

Creating Sense of Community in the Aftermath
With the Atlantic hurricane season drawing to its yearly close, the damage done by this natural phenomenon has yet to be entirely evaluated. Recovery actions can take at least a few years, but this can be a time to shine. Property managers become instrumental in these times. So much can be done to improve upon the lives of those affected. Especially in the multifamily property management market.  A prepared property management team is crucial. Having a plan of action that coordinates grounds keeping crews  to assist with tenants needs . In times of crisis most services such as waste management become in-operational. It is the responsibility of the property management team to keep residents informed.  By having a plan in place provides this basic need to the renters. A commitment of services provided brings forth the we are in this together approach. The property management team  can become a more efficient network.  A team dedicated to the assistance of their renters  in times of crisis . A team that works directly with local state and federal emergency agencies for a more efficient resolve.  Share the knowledge by updating the residents with all emergency relief agencies  information.  These are some recommendations that any property management team can implement. Organize Gatherings to Cultivate the Sense of Community There is no better way to cultivate a sense of community with your multifamily property than to host gatherings and organize events.  Take full advantage of the holiday seasons and impart a better sense of community. ......
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The Three Ps of Amazing Customer Service

The Three Ps of Amazing Customer Service
I was recently in Miami staying at the Fountainbleu Hotel for a conference. Located in the heart of Millionaire’s Row, the hotel is smack dab in the middle of a spit of land with the Atlantic ocean on one side and the bay on the other. The room was gorgeous, and I spent quality time on the private balcony enjoying the views of both bay and ocean.   Accommodations aside, what really impressed me was how The Fontainbleau seemed aggressively involved in the customer journey and experience. They crushed it in the three Ps; Place, People and Post-Experience.   The Place. The instant you walk in the experience begins. In the air throughout the hotel is the faint (but definitely perceptible) scent of flowers and, strangely, what seems to be suntan lotion. They use ScentAir products and have a signature Fountainbleu scent. The smell evokes the beach and reminds you that you should be out there soaking up the sun. I’m using my imagination about the sun part as it was raining with thunder storms and extremely hot and humid.   The People. Every single person was exceptionally customer-focused. From the porter to the shop clerks to the concierge, my every need was anticipated and handled.   The Post Experience. I reviewed the hotel on Facebook and within two hours, I had received a personal thank you and they asked me about any special memories of my stay. From start to finish, it was extraordinary.   Wouldn’t it be great if every......
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It's R-U-D-E to Pay Rent Late

Why do Residents consider it rude for a Manager to ask a Resident whose account is delinquent when to expect the rent to be paid? Do Residents think that paying rent is an option under the Lease Agreement? For the past several months, I think I may be laboring under the assumption that Management has no right to even ask or remind a Resident that rent has become past due. Chronic late payers need to be corrected in their thinking that paying rent late does not matter to the “Big Bad Management Company” who has all the money in the world. Even if they do have all the money in the world, that isn’t the point. Delinquent payers CAN cause a Management Company to delay payments to vendors, put off capital improvement projects, even scrap a plan to replace outdated appliances for the quarter when collecting rent is THE paramount goal for the onsite Office team. Recently, spurred by this topic, I suggested some “creative” ways for Residents to scrape up the money to make it through another month. While directing concerned residents to the obvious sources: United Way agencies, township offices, Trustee Offices, churches, and other local charitable organizations, I was also wondering if there are other ways worthy of consideration.  How about: 1.       Payday Loans (One manager I know has used this successfully at his property. I don’t know how that ultimately helps a resident in the long run, but it can keep a roof over one’s head for a month or ......
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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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Top 6 Resident Complaints That Will Damage Your Reputation

Author John Green’s book title “The Fault in our Stars” seems fitting to describe the significance of star ratings for prospects scouting the Internet to search for apartments. We know that residents are flocking online to voice their disappointments or favorable experiences at their apartment homes. Research proves that these online conversations affect prospect traffic to your doorstep.   A nationwide survey by J Turner Research involving more than 25,000 residents indicates that 62 percent refer to online ratings and reviews at the beginning of their apartment search. According to a 2016 study, the two most influential aspects of reviews in a prospect’s decision making are star ratings and the relevancy of reviews to their likes and dislikes – relevancy refers to content of the reviews. The number of reviews is a close third.   Are you monitoring the content of your online reviews? Do you know the top complaints echoed by residents on online review sites and ILSs?  In analyzing hundreds of online reviews, below are some key pain points that annoy residents the most.   1.  Racial discrimination – The rhetoric of racial discrimination can damage a business severely. Residents feel victimized due to “perceived” racial discrimination by a specific staff member. Residents also notice how staff members deal with a diverse resident body. If the interaction is not respectful by their standards, the resident may misconstrue it as an act of racial discrimination.   2. Eviction letters/notices - Residents view eviction letters as humiliating and threatening. Sticking eviction letters on thei......
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The One Amenity That Never Goes Out of Style

In the property and hospitality line, there is a constant rush to have the latest and trendiest amenities, from urban staples such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and business lounges – to more recent, trendy options such as creator studios, infrared saunas, and salt rooms. Yet amid all these investments into amenity space, another crucial yet often overlooked amenity is neglected – the service that occurs within these spaces. While creating space is all about size, square footage, and built-up area, service is what takes an environment from simply being “space” to being a “place”. “What’s the difference?” you may ask. Space is simply an area that may be available for use but may be unoccupied. A place is where people go to with a clear intent and purpose in mind – an area used and designated for specific experiences – just like how many cozy coffee shops have turned retail space into a “Third Place” for many people in between work and home. Service is what takes an environment from simply being “space” to being a “place”. Service is what makes the difference between a common noun and a proper noun – a subtle nuance, yes, but isn’t nuance what makes all the difference in tipping a brand’s scale? My partner Amy Blitz and I have worked on numerous amenity consulting projects and one of the first questions we are usually asked is about what kinds of new amenities renters, residents, and guests are looking for. Without hesitation, the first answer on our lips is usually – service. We believe t......
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Six Suggestions For Resident Retention

time-to-renewMany property management reports focus on occupancy. Every week, how many move ins will you have? What do you have as preleases? The number of lease renewals is also important. Renewal is a Satisfaction Indicator Securing the move in is only the first step toward building a relationship with a new resident. As time goes by, one of the true indicators of property success is the number of residents that renew their leases. Residents demonstrate their satisfaction at a property when they make the decision to continue living in their apartment home.  Residents who are frustrated with poor maintenance, lack of follow up, poor communication and yes sometimes rent increases, may never call the leasing office to ask questions or voice concerns, they simply turn in a move out notice and move away. Renewals Reduce Turnover, Reduce Expenses Reducing turnover has the potential to save a property thousands of dollars in expenses. In addition to the rent loss from a vacant apartment and advertising costs, consider the time for the maintenance team to complete the turnover process  preparing the apartment for the new move in. The combination of labor, supplies and lost rent can quickly total $1000 or more for each move out. Imagine if each month you were able to convert one move out notice to a lease renewal. This could save $12,000 in maintenance expenses! The decision to renew or move is strongly influenced by the performance of the leasing and maintenance staff, not the potential increase in ......
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