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The 3 Most Powerful Brand Rituals. What’s Their Effect On Today’s Renter?

brand-rituals-85400489.jpgWhat are community brand rituals? A ritual is a habit or routine and when a renter associates a ritual with a brand, there is a powerful effect on loyalty and enjoyment. The ones that are in place, do they stand out?  Without community brand rituals, you are just another community among the crowded apartment industry. Renters today want to feel as though their community is truly extraordinary. Today’s renters look for 3 Brand Rituals which create community loyalty. Routine, Sense of Belonging, and Trust are most important to today’s renter. Renters are expecting to see these Brand Rituals on a day to day basis. How can we adapt them in our daily workday? Routine – Renters are looking for community routine in the landscaping upkeep and the community amenities. Is there money being spent throughout the year keeping the grounds looking nice? Are the amenities always in working order? Inside the apartment home, are there routine checks to make sure the amenities are in working order for the resident? Upkeep is extremely important to the renter as it represents them when their family and friends are visiting. Sense of Belonging – Everyone in today’s society wants to feel they belong and are valued, renters included. Allow the resident to give their opinion whether that is on which movie to watch for a resident event, or which type of food will be at the next resident event. Give the resident the opportunity to express their opinion with management through resident surveys or other forms. Offer a di......
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4 Ways to Make the Most of the Time After the Holidays

4 Ways to Make the Most of the Time After the Holidays

It's finally the holiday season. Time for parties. Champagne. Seeing friends and family. Cookies. So many cookies.

And that's so festive and fun. What a great time of year. Until January 1st. And then there's nothing. For a while anyway. Sure, Valentine's Day is in February, but that is a long, cold, sad stretch until then. And, really, what do you even have to look forward to with that? Chalky conversation hearts, over-priced prix fixe meals where they will definitely be out of heart-shaped ravioli by the time it's your reservation and drug store boxes of chocolate that are 85 percent cherry cordial for some reason? Bah, humbug!

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Your Residents Care More About Their Apartment Than You Do, and That Could be a Recipe for a Bad Customer Service

We often pride ourselves on how much blood, sweat, and tears we put into our jobs, doing our very best to create the best environment for our residents and prospects moving in.  And usually, more often than not, things flow smoothly without a hitch.  But sometimes something does go wrong, and when it does, one of the key elements to the resolution is whether the team can match how much the resident cares about the situation. Let me illustrate:  I remember when I first started learning to drive, a white-knuckled experience where I was hyper focused on the task at hand.  Fast forward many years, and you'll find people who often take a lackadaisical approach to driving - they text while they drive, they daydream, they even read through their Facebook feed.  They have essentially become so experienced, or at least they think they have, that the job of driving has become "old hat" to them, and they may not take the job as seriously as they should. This can also happen when working at an apartment community, no matter how much we care about our job.  We deal with hundreds of move-ins, service requests, minor emergencies, major emergencies, and who knows what else just to keep the community up and running.  When one deals with issues that many times, each new issue just doesn't seem as big of a deal as it might have when we were a green leasing consultant.  But compare that to our residents.  They have exactly......
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A Door-to-Door Guide for Apartment Operators

The importance of understanding what multi-family residents are looking for in a rental facility is critical for property managers and operators to keep up with the competitive rental market. In today’s technological society, updating multi-family facilities to feature the most updated building technology and amenities is expected among many renters. Until recently, updating buildings to include electronic locks was more a question of if, not when, for property managers and operators. Elevated installation and implementation costs were enough for even the most experienced multi-family operator to turn away. The question has now become where the best place to start implementing these locks is. The answer – the renter’s front door. Today, the cost of installing electronic locks in a multi-family community has decreased significantly and become more mainstream. What’s more, this technological upgrade is an amenity that residents have come to look for when searching for an apartment as it is the first thing a prospective renter sees upon touring a facility. While installing a smart interconnected lock was once more difficult, the trouble has since been mitigated and these locks now provide an added sense of security for both property managers and renters. Electronic locks log who comes and goes and gives property managers the ability to manage who has access to the facility and when. To entice more potential renters, property managers and operators should consider the switch to electronic locks. For example, in a recent survey of 1,000 Americans by Wakefield Research, 61 percent of millennial renters said they we......
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Critical Mistakes Some Property Managers Have Made

Not Screening Potential Residents The stories I have heard from managers that have chosen to not screen their potential new residents are dumbfounding to me, if you don’t know the history of an individual(s) you can put yourself in jeopardy by having them move into your community. To be safe you should at least run a background check and always be sure to check references (work and last residences). Hiring Unskilled Maintenance Members I understand the desire to save money but hiring unskilled workers will eventually cost you more than doing it right the first time. The work that a novice does will more than likely need to be replaced in a shorter time frame if not completely just redone properly. Have it done right the first time. Hiring New Contractors on a Regular Basis When big projects arise on property and you reach out to get 3 bids every time in an effort to save money you are setting yourself up for bigger problems. While you are getting multiple bids, which will take days your issue on your property is sitting with nothing being done with it and residents/tenants are put out so the longer it takes the more likely you will also have resident/tenant complaints. The paper work you are created by going out for these bids every time will also take a lot of additional time. We always recommend building a team around you, find a great plumber, contractor, roofer and have them be your go to people. L......
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The Importance of a Move-In and Move-Out Checklist

shutterstock_232553836A landlord/property manager is required to document any expenses that are taken out of a tenant’s security deposit; therefore, good documentation is vital. A move-in/move-out inspection with a checklist, pictures and/or a video is essential. These Checklists can be Beneficial to the Property Owner and Tenant The Move-In/Move-Out Checklist is a convenient, all-inclusive and reliable way to document the property’s condition. Tenants can benefit from a Move-In Checklist because any existing conditions will be predated to his/her occupancy. This checklist helps the landlord/property manager by reducing liability risks due to disagreements related to security deposit reimbursement; thus, protecting the value of the property. Documenting Improvements/Repairs Made to the Rental Property New carpeting, countertops and paint all need to be documented prior to new tenancy. Take pictures/video of the unit before the tenant moves in. Remember to take before and after pictures, and/or video of repairs made to the rental unit itself or its contents (refrigerator, stove, etc.) throughout each tenancy. The Process Prior to the beginning of the rental term, walk the tenant through the property. What to look for and document on a walk-through: Each room of the property needs to be addressed and documented separately. This is where a well-planned Move-In/Move-Out Checklist allows for a quick, yet accurate, documentation process. Entire Rental Property Missing ceramic floor/countertop or splashguard tiles Loose ceiling and wall fixtures Scratches on floors Missing glass or ripped screens Furnace/Heaters Air conditioners Tears or burn marks in the carpet Rubbed off/Faded paint Outlet receptacles and covers Kitchen Scratches or ......
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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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