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Could A Thank You Every Day, Keep The Move Outs Away?

How often are residents thanked for the choice to live at our community?  Demonstrating resident appreciation in the smallest ways, can have surprising and rewarding returns. Most choices for housing involve long-term commitments, buying a house or a condo, requires a mortgage. Individuals who rent can make a change in an instant.  Granted breaking a lease has financial consequences. However, an unsatisfied resident has the ability to make a change with little notice and limited financial implications. Acknowledge Resident Loyalty Taking the time to acknowledge the length of time a resident has lived at a property demonstrates an awareness about the resident household.  When we thank them for their continued loyalty, it can reinforce that commitment. Over the top efforts demonstrating customer service secure publicity and industry comparisons, but simple acts of appreciation, offered with sincerity hold more value than crazy promotions. Creating Resident Appreciation Generally speaking, the staff at a property doesn’t have much contact with a resident after move in.  It’s usually limited to lease renewal, late rent notices and requests for maintenance. Taking the time to insure every contact ends on a positive note will build a stronger relationship with a resident. Offering the comment, “Thank you for choosing our property for your home,” can go a long way in building this relationship. 80/20 Rule The on site team at an apartment community often has anecdotal stories about demanding residents.  For most communities, the 80/20 rule typifies our residents.  Twenty percent of the residents use 80% of the staff......
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How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?

How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?
How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex? Carrier Grade WiFi Calling for Apartment Buildings is Finally Here. “Can You Hear Me Now?” “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s happened to everyone. You’re locked in, completely engrossed in conversation. All of a sudden a little static begins on the line. Then a bit more and before you know it, you have missed every other word. Eventually the call drops completely… You look at your phone to find that you have no service, 0 bars. Hopefully, it was just friendly banter and not something vitally important. God forbid that it was an important sales call or a hard-to-reach individual. We’ve all experienced bad cell coverage and while it’s a pain, hopefully it only happens once in a “blue moon”. We may expect it while driving through a rural landscape, but if it happens from home; it’s an entirely different frustration. If you’re an apartment owner with this scenario you can rest assured… your residents will quickly be finding a new place to live, costing you and your brand. Let’s face it, not all apartments have good cell coverage. These days this can be a major problem for apartment owners. Bad cell coverage can drive occupancy, loyalty, satisfaction and retention down fast. Residents do not put up with bad coverage; many will post negative online reviews which could damage your online reputation. Some may try to change cell providers; however, they are not usually happy to do so. WiFi Calling Replaces DAS – “Two Birds, On......
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Delivery Madness: Are you ready for Prime time?

Many who deal with package management on a daily basis breathed a hefty sigh of relief in January. The holiday season had passed, which presumably meant it’d be another 12 months before another rush of that magnitude. Well, hold on a minute; there are a few hidden holidays that impact the number of packages delivered but what about “self-created” holidays? Prime Day is Prime Time One wouldn’t think a self-created holiday would create such mayhem. Well, unless that holiday is all about packages. Introducing the third annual Amazon Prime Day, which absolutely fits that billing.  Delivery carriers and managers are advised to gear up for this one, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on July 10. Amazon hypes the event as a “one-day only global shopping event for Prime members.” It’s essentially an online version of Black Friday, and you better believe it makes an impact. The e-Commerce giant launched its second ever Amazon Prime Day on July 12, 2016, and it resulted in the biggest sales day ever for the online retail giant, according to CNBC. Amazon declined to disclose how many people signed up for Prime to participate in the sale, but U.S. orders rose by more than 50 percent compared to the first Prime Day a year earlier. Now that Prime Day is fairly established, it’s a reasonable expectation that the numbers will continue to rise. Last year, our customers experienced a 30-percent increase of package deliveries two days after Prime Day. Here’s hypothesizing that the increase will be even sharper t......
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Corporate Social Responsibility and Multifamily . . . Thoughts from Ryan Perez of CF Real Estate Services

Corporate Social Responsibility and Multifamily . . . Thoughts from Ryan Perez of CF Real Estate Services
Corporate social responsibility . . . there’s been a great deal of buzz about this in our industry lately. What does it mean, how do companies go about achieving it, and to what degree? Definitions vary, but Multifamily’s own ManagInc describes it this way: “Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR (also known as the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, and Profit), is simply to focus on the needs of stakeholders who make your success possible: employees, suppliers, residents, and the communities in which you do business.” The leadership team at CF Real Estate Services has fully embraced the concept of CSR both externally and internally. For example, the company has made significant changes over the last 18 months to support philanthropic efforts both nationally and in the local communities they serve. “Last fall, we kicked off our National Week of Service campaign which allows our associates to serve, donate to, and volunteer with nonprofits that feed the hungry, help children, rescue pets, provide quality housing and more,” says Ryan Perez, VP of Marketing. “Our associates love this and we’re blown away by the participation! CF received such an overwhelming response to the announcement of the National Week of Service that we’ve expanded it and are offering this opportunity twice a year, in the spring and fall. The spring Week of Service will reach at least 40 nonprofits in 25 cities and 10 states. To help enable this effort, CF provides all associates 4 hours of paid service per month to volunteer at a charity of t......
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Panther Residential's #PantherRocks Campaign a Fun, Engaging Resident Event

Jennifer Carter shared with me their #PantherRocks campaign, which I absolutely loved!  Such a great play on words.  So I thought I would share it here for you all to see.  Enjoy!

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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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What Can You Do When the Customer is NOT Right, But Thinks S/he Is??

What Can You Do When the Customer is NOT Right, But Thinks S/he Is??
As you know by now, I travel a lot for a living-which means that I spend a lot of time in airports-which means that I am around a lot of people who have a REALLY difficult time following directions, and yes, a lot of customers who are very, very wrong! On a recent trip I remember someone in boarding group 5 for an airline trying to board with the “Elite, Premier, Ruby, Platinum, Really Big Deal Folks” you know the ultra special peeps…and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t board in that group. If you know air travel, you know that a Group 5 boarding group is probably the last group before the plane departs (believe me, I know, I’ve been in that group many times), so someone who is in the last group trying to board with the VIP group causes frustration for the crew and passengers. There was another time when a passenger kept trying to jam an (obviously too large) bag into the overhead bin, even after the flight attendants made numerous announcements regarding this. The passengers behind him were getting irritated because he kept trying to do something he couldn’t (and it didn’t fit!) and it delayed them getting to their seats. Finally the flight attendant grabbed the bag (nicely) and brought it out of the plane to have it put with the rest of the checked baggage. In all of these situations the customer was wrong. You have two problems when a customer is wrong. The first is the obvious-they do......
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Multifamily Leaders on Creating Community -- A Conversation with Rick Graf of Pinnacle

What does it take to create a sense of community within a multifamily operator’s sphere of influence? Do employees and residents respond, and does it positively impact the bottom line? Rick Graf, President and CEO of Pinnacle, was kind enough to share his thoughts on this topic recently. It was an insightful conversation, highlighting how a few basic but powerful values, well executed, can have a profound and lasting effect. “As a company, our culture of collaboration plays a key role in creating community,” said Graf, “allowing us to gain greater perspective and to collaborate with our employees, our residents and our suppliers.” Graf’s vision is to give constituents a voice and encourage input, because, “frankly, they often come up with ideas that are better -- and that resonates with our clients.” How does this culture translate to a feeling of community with residents? According to Graf, Pinnacle utilizes the same approach at the site level. “Take community events, for example. We may come up with something we think is a great idea, but it may not be what the residents really want to do.” Pinnacle employs CARES teams (usually two people who are residents of the community, in cooperation with the Apartment Life organization); these teams are someone the residents know as “one of them,” and work collaboratively with residents and the management team to collaborate on a variety of topics community relations topics. “This has been a true differentiator for us, and we see it in our improved retention rates and satisfaction sc......
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Showing Tenants Some Love - The Rise of Tenant Rewards & Perks Programs

Showing Tenants Some Love - The Rise of Tenant Rewards & Perks Programs
In recognition of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, we thought it would be fitting to discuss a clever new way for landlords and property managers to show their tenants some love.   A relatively new trend in the rental industry is the introduction of tenant reward and perk programs, whereby accommodation providers offer discounts, incentives, and prizes to their tenants.   Tenant satisfaction and retention are two central aspects of maintaining a successful rental housing business, which makes these reward programs an excellent way to help keep tenants happy. Tenant retention is a particularly tricky issue in student housing, as the average turnover rate is about 50% per year, according to Centurion Apartments.So what are some examples of these tenant reward programs?   While there are certainly no shortages of tenant reward programs that have popped up over the last few years, the following are a few of our favorites.  Killam Perks – Killam Properties operates several student housing locations across Canada which offer a program known as Killam Perks. Tenants receive a perks card which grants them access to discounts and special deals from a huge list of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? Save the tax at a fast-growing fresh food chain, Freshii.  MoolaPerks – One way or another, tenants have to pay rent; so why not get rewarded for doing it? RentMoola’s MoolaPerks program does just that. This third-party rent payment company allows their users the ability to be rewarded with a slew of discounts, freebies and perks from a plethora of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? A free $3......
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LTV: Lifetime Value of a Resident

LTV: Lifetime Value of a Resident
Each additional month a Resident stays adds to their LTV. The lifetime value of a Resident is the profit that you’ll make for the period of time they’re renting from you. Keeping Residents longer boosts your profits. If your rental price is $500 a month and the average tenant ‘lifetime’ is 20 months, that’s a lifetime value of $10,000. What if they stayed an additional 6 months? That’s an additional $3,000 generated from each tenant. Keeping residents in your unit means you won’t have to market vacancies, and on top of that, you don’t open yourself to the risk of renting to a non-paying or problem tenant.   "To reach your tenant retention goal, your residents need to be satisfied with their current living situation." Knowing the LTV helps you decide where you can best spend your money to influence tenant retention. We mentioned previously that the average retained resident is worth almost $900 each year to the property, in addition to rent payments. Assume 1 year’s rent is $6,000. If you know that a tenant’s LTV is $6,900 (1 year in rent plus the $900), you’ll be much less hesitant to make a repair in the unit costing $500 because you’re still making $6,400. Measuring tenant lifetime value and using it as a metric will highlight the importance of customer service.  Long-term tenant satisfaction is more valuable than maximizing short-term value, especially in the case of keeping great residents. Before imposing a steep rent increase, knowing the risk you open yourself up to will help yo......
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