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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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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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Seven Steps To Increase 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 equally important. Renewal is a Satisfaction Indicator Securing a 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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7 Essential Text Messaging Stats Every Property Manager Should Know

  7 Essential Text Messaging Stats Every Property Manager Should Know SMS marketing is quickly becoming a necessary part of business for every vertical - including property management. In recent years, text messaging has proven itself to be a superior communication platform. Texting has become the preferred method of communication between friends and colleagues because it's quick, easy and multi-functional. Because of this, property managers are finding creative ways to use this technology as a reliable resident communications tool - it's the ideal way to let residents know that there's work being done in their community, that the water is going to be out for a few hours, or even letting them know about emergency scenarios if necessary.  If you haven’t yet, you should be looking into ways to utilize a text strategy within your resident communities. In today’s world, few approaches compare. Check out the seven mind-blowing statistics surrounding text messaging, and consider the many ways an intuitive text message platform can help strengthen your community: 95 to 98% of texts are read immediately: These texts are read within one minute of receipt, influencing the recipient (resident) almost immediately. This makes text messaging one of the fastest and most convertible forms of communication available. (Source: MobileMarketing.com) The average response time for a text message is just 90 seconds: Compare that to the average response time for an email, which is 90 minutes (Source: CTIA.org) 86% of consumers send and receive texts every week: Today’s modern consumers are mobile-centric, so it isn’t a surprise how often the......
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Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?

Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?
Have you noticed that Cokes just taste DIFFERENT at McDonald’s? (Now for you more health conscious individuals I feel the need to mention that I don’t frequent McDonald’s much any more. Apparently the older I get the more my body tells me, “You can’t eat like a teenager anymore!”) Well, I did some research and it really is a thing that McDonald’s Cokes (and Diet Cokes) do taste different and there is a reason why. This excerpt is from the McDonald’s website: There are many reasons the Coca-Cola tastes so great at McDonald’s. We simply follow the guidelines set by Coca-Cola and take steps to ensure it tastes the same as when you buy it in a bottle.  The water and Coca-Cola syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt. We also keep our fountain beverage system cold so your drink can always be at the peak of refreshing. In order to ensure our drinks are always meeting a gold standard, we have proper filtration methods in place.  There’s also our straw – it’s slightly wider than a typical straw, so all that Coke taste can hit all your tastebuds.  ____ My first takeaway is how intentional McDonald’s is in making sure that a soda from their fountain tastes just as it would as if it came from a bottle. Stephen Covey famously described this strategy as, “Begin with the end in mind.” By knowing where they wanted to end (making sure a Coke in their ......
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Money Worth Spending- Promotional Items Done Right

Money Worth Spending- Promotional Items Done Right
As far as partnerships go, the one that I have forged with a great promotional company has been one of my favorites.  Stephen McFadden and I collaborated for the first time many years ago, and that is when he taught me how much more there is to promotional items than what had always been done.  At that time, we started venturing into promo that was strategic and smart.  When promotional items were created and customized to a specific event or specific outreach, they had way more value to them. For example, when we were working on some student properties, instead of handing out generic stuff- the everyday koozie- we started creating ‘eye blacks’ that were branded for football games, and after a while, everyone knew we were the ones that gave out that material.  Next thing you knew, people were running around tail-gating with our eye blacks on.  The examples from there grew, and then Stephen started really thinking about how promo items can be a bigger value to ROI. There was an interesting pattern that he spotted.  Companies wanted to get his ideas on items that would showcase their brand and produce a converted lead, but they were not willing to invest the money.  Companies will spend $100ks of dollars on new branding and marketing/advertising material and then wind up getting super generic promotional items.  This creates the Brand Gap – How are future residents supposed to know you have a waterfall pool and $10,000 chandelier based on the $.50 stadi......
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What Causes HVAC Systems to Fail and How to Prevent It

What Causes HVAC Systems to Fail and How to Prevent It
Preventative maintenance goes a long way in keeping HVAC systems operating as they should be, but breakdowns can still occur. These complex systems are made of many components. Without being familiar with how HVAC units and their many parts work, diagnosing issues can be difficult. Especially when you’re managing large multifamily properties, it’s helpful to know about some of the most common causes of HVAC problems, as it can save you, your team, and your residents from a lot of frustration.   Swollen Capacitors  Air conditioners cannot run on their own when their capacitors stop working. The job of a capacitor is to start the motor and to help keep it running. It does this by sending jolts of the energy it stores to the fan. Without the jolts, the fan simply can’t get going. There are a few ways to tell if a capacitor has gone bad. A visual inspection is often the easiest, as a swollen capacitor is a problematic capacitor.   What causes capacitors to swell? Gas is created when the conductive electrolyte within the capacitor decomposes, which happens with time or damage. Capacitors have a lifespan that can vary but is definite. The HVAC systems that house them can outlive them, meaning there naturally comes a time when a capacitor must be replaced. Swelling is a sign that the time has come, as any swollen capacitor has reached its end. You can tell that a capacitor is swollen when its shape has become altered, usually resembling a can of soda ......
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Is Your Apartment Marketing Boring? Try Theming...

Is Your Apartment Marketing Boring? Try Theming...
One quick way to elevate your marketing is through theming... And the fastest, easiest themes to come up with are seasons and holidays. For example, we're in the month of October, which means the start of Fall, pumpkins and Halloween.  An easy way to adapt this in your marketing is to change out any website images with fall like photos. If you're running ads on Craigslist, Facebook or Google Display Network - you can tie in the October month by adding an orange border around your ad photos. This will make them stand out. Here's an example: Additionally, think about making your prospecting emails more fun with Halloween references. Create a haunted apartment at the community for residents. Create a haunted walking tour for prospects that come onsite for a tour. When you start theming your marketing becomes more fun, fresh, and relevant. In many cases you'll be piggybacking on the millions of TV and digital ad dollars being spent by big box stores promoting their own themed/seasonal goods - that's a good thing as you're entering the thoughts/conversation already happening in your prospects mind. Other themes you can use: Winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. New Year Valentine's Day Start of Summer 4th of July Labor Day Need more ideas? Here's a full calendar of unusual happenings that your marketing could take advantage of. (Note - this website is very old, but still useful)...
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How Not to Be a Bad Property Management Company

How Not to Be a Bad Property Management Company
There’s nothing special about bad property management companies. They ought to be literally a dime a dozen, because they usually end up costing owners far more than they can bring in or help keep. Bad property management companies provide much opportunity for great property management companies. They can snatch business away from the bad ones easily, as well as gain big through referrals. But, how can you know if your company is good or bad? Here are a few things that make it good: Care About the Residents Caring about the residents should be the number one rule. They are the ultimate source of profit after all. Ironically, the trouble starts when you think of residents more as numbers than people. A cold-hearted push to reduce costs and maximize revenue at the expense of your residents’ happiness will only undermine your goal. Think of your residents as a community and communities as families; serve them well and the benefit will be great. Care About the Property Generally speaking, the better the condition of the property, the happier the residents, the lower the repair costs, and the greater the potential to attract great residents who are willing to pay decent rent rates. To be a great property management company, go the extra mile in upkeep and maintenance. Get creative. Do what you can to make the property you manage a wonderful place to be.  Care About the Owner Besides taking good care of their property and its residents, how can property managers show the......
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5 Essential Automation Plays for Resident Satisfaction

5 Essential Automation Plays for Resident Satisfaction

What is the Resident Zone?

Before we jump into the Resident Zone, here is a refresher on the concepts behind Lifecycle Programming:

  • playbook is the complete guide to automated customer lifecycle marketing. It maps out personalized content to engage customers from the time a prospect fills out a guest card until they move out.

  • A zone defines where the customer falls in the customer journey.

  • A play is designed to move customers from one lifecycle stage to the next. 

 

The Resident Zone encompasses all customers from the time they sign a lease to until they move out. If you have looked through our Playbook, you probably noticed the Resident Zone has more plays than the other two zones combined.

There are three reasons why this zone has the most plays:

  1. It’s the only zone where the PMC’s make money (so we want to keep customers there!)
  2. It has the longest time frame. A customer can be a resident for years. So, it is important to keep them engaged throughout their residency.
  3. The Resident Zone has the most lifecycle stages; therefore, it has the most plays.

 

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