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Top Tips to Keep Traffic High for Multifamily Communities

It’s no secret that the pandemic has limited traffic to apartment communities. On top of that, the weather also limits traffic to multifamily communities in the winter. But what shouldn’t be limited during the colder months is traffic to your website.  This past year has challenged leasing teams to take their apartment marketing strategy to new heights. You may have seen an uptake in traffic to your apartment communities during the warmer months due to your hard earned marketing efforts, but now, you may be questioning why traffic seems so low. Or what are some ways to increase the traffic to your property, and how do you market vacant apartment units? Luckily, you won’t have to keep asking these questions for long if you follow these tips to increase traffic for apartment communities.   How to Get More Traffic to Your Apartment Community It’s not only important to market your multifamily communities online but to take it a step further, and market your properties in a real and transparent way. This is where prospective residents can learn more about what your apartment community offers and get comfortable with wanting to take a next step. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. So how do you increase traffic to your apartment community through video?   Video Tours One of the best ways to attract prospective residents during the colder months is through your website. Be sure to c......
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Marketing Tactics to Re-Engage Your Residents in the New Year and Keep Their Leases

With 2021 just around the corner, you’re likely thinking about your residents’ plans for the new year — specifically, are they planning to move?   Along with going to the gym regularly and forming better communication with long-distance friends, moving to a new apartment is often one of the changes renters decide they want to make in the new year.    While it’s not possible to keep a resident forever and there are many circumstances where a resident has to move, there are many opportunities to save leases. Sometimes it can be such a small reason a resident decides to move, and with your efforts, you can eliminate it.   Here are a few highly-targeted marketing tactics to re-engage residents and encourage them to renew their lease with your property:   Utilize Residents’ New Year’s Resolutions It’s a safe bet that many of your residents’ New Year’s resolutions surround health, money, and relationships. In fact, 50% of Americans stated exercising more was a New Year’s resolution in 2020. As well — saving money (49%), eating healthy (43%), and losing weight (37%).   Knowing this, you can lean into it and utilize it in your apartment marketing strategy.   For example, you can increase the marketing of your on-site gym or fitness center. You can show your residents how they can meet their new fitness goals at your property. Here are a few ideas to help get their attention:   Offer complimentary training or group classes Create downloadable individual exercises or an exercise plan that ca......
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The 2020 City Center Shift to Suburbia

Across the globe, multi-family markets of all types have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 – having a varied impact on occupancy levels. With restricted amenities, online universities, and the option to work remotely, city centers are simply no longer able to demand the premium they historically did. With the desire for more space, and lower costs, we are seeing an increase in demand and renters in suburban areas with a departure and softening of the urban market. However, real estate professionals are struggling to fill vacant buildings now and are no longer in a position to wait for the future normal to arrive – they need to address today’s normal now. Here are some steps that real estate professionals can take today in order to minimize losses and turn a struggling balance sheet into a healthy financial reflection: 1.Leverage Proptech. One of the biggest advantages real estate professionals can capitalize on when utilizing proptech is the reduction of in person meetings to view/assess a property or a rental unit. By incorporating proptech into your business models you will be a step ahead of the game by having access to more potential tenants at any given moment in time. For example, instead of allocating one appointment slot to provide a tenant with a tour of a property, property managers can incorporate proptech such as VR (virtual reality) technology which provides access to multiple floorplan tours for various tenants at any given time without requiring the property manager to be on si......
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My Top 5 Takeaways from OPTECH


  I was asked to team up with Mike Whaling of 30 Lines and Greg Isaacson of MultiHousing News to share our top 5 takeaways from day 2 of the OPTECH Conference.  I hope you find these takeaways meaningful!   1.       Explosion of Service and Experience-Based Amenities During day 2 of the conference, physical amenities within individual apartments gave way to a dramatic shift towards service and experience-based amenities.  In a convergence with hospitality, more amenities were focused on the overall community and how the residents interact with it.  Here were some examples we heard: Shifting job roles to provide concierge-based services Towel service and food delivery at the pool Building a personal profile of each resident to understand their individual preferences, and then cater the service to those needs Expanded event planning, such as ski trips, book clubs, and wine clubs Weaving technology into the amenities provided, especially for signing up and reserving amenities Note:  I only covered Day 2, so amenities within the apartments may definitely have been on display in other days.   2.       Coworking While coworking had been a growing amenity in multifamily, COVID has caused this amenity type to completely take off.  With so many offices shutting down temporarily, or even long term, communities are shifting to coworking to provide a space for residents to work from home.  This includes the ability to reserve offices on an hour, day, or monthly basis to provide additional revenue, or providing social spaces for coworking, residents have begun to......
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Apartment Intercom Systems: Here are Four Ways to Choose the Right One for Your Building

apartment intercom system    Whether you own or manage an apartment building or you’re developing a new building, it’s important to remember that every prospective resident’s first impression starts at the front door. That’s why your entry system is so important. To ensure the best first impression every time, invest in an apartment intercom system. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which intercom to buy? Read on for a handy guide to choosing the right apartment intercom for your building. Before you buy an intercom, consider these four important factors:   1. Wired vs. wireless intercoms Have you noticed the trend in wireless technology? Your headphones are wireless, your phone charger is wireless — your intercom should be wireless, too.  Traditional intercom systems require wiring between the outdoor intercom and the indoor panels in every unit. That’s a lot of wiring — which equates to high installation costs (up to 3 times what you paid for the hardware). These days you don’t even need hardware in each apartment unit because 96% of Americans already have a better solution in their pockets: a cellphone. Instead of installing expensive, buzzer-style hardware in every unit, choose a wireless apartment intercom system that residents can operate from their cellphones.  Something to keep in mind: While intercoms without building wiring are the best way to go, intercoms wired directly to the internet are more reliable. Instead of relying on spotty WiFi or an overloaded cellular network, choose an intercom with a direct internet connec......
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7 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving at Apartment Communities During a Pandemic

Thanksgiving is going to be a little...different...this year. 

With COVID raging, many officials are asking people to keep their celebrations small, or to not have in-person gatherings at all in order to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

And, fair enough, of course. We should all do our part. But it's still a bummer.

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The Pet Effect on Resident Satisfaction

The Pet Effect on Resident Satisfaction
While everyone has handled the pandemic-ridden year in his or her own way, there’s no disputing that 2020 hasn’t exactly been a morale booster. Essentially, 2020 has meant to morale what torrential rain means for safe highway travel. But if there is one silver lining, it’s that people have gotten to spend more time with their pets. In a trying year that has tested everyone’s capacity for change, the expanded time with pets has undoubtedly served as a neutralizing force due to pets’ numerous mental health benefits.  As apartment operators clamor to provide a happy and healthy living environment, the presence of pets at their communities should not be undervalued. According to a survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, 66% of pet-owning residents say that their pet has brought them closer to their neighbors. Happier residents are more prone to renew their leases, pay rent on time and less likely to leave a negative review. While we’ve recently discussed ways operators can make their communities more pet-friendly by reducing or eliminating restrictions pertaining to weight, breed, age and number of pets, the mental-health component underscores why it’s worth considering. A few additional takeaways from the HABRI study especially pertinent to residents during the pandemic include: The practical work involved in caring for a pet, such as feeding, was reported to be a pleasant distraction from mental health concerns.  Pets provide security through generating a sense of order and continuity, and through providing a sense of meaning in an individual’s ......
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Don't Put Too Much Stock in Your Net Promoter Score

Don't Put Too Much Stock in Your Net Promoter Score
As many who work in multifamily real estate know well, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular method of measuring customer satisfaction.  But, as we will discuss here, it has significant limitations, from how it was conceived to what it truly measures, all of which should give landlords and managers pause about how it is used to guide property operations and marketing.  A brief primer on NPS: the NPS of an apartment community represents the percentage of renters surveyed who are likely to recommend that community to family or friends by rating it a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. Those respondents are the community’s “promoters”. Scores of 7 or 8 are considered “passive” or neutral, and scores of 6 and below are considered to be “detractors”.    NPS is used in various industries, and within multifamily it’s used to measure and manage renter satisfaction, reputation, and can even be tied to on-site employee compensation and bonuses.       The creation of NPS is credited to Frederick Reichheld, with its first public introduction in an article he wrote for the December 2003 issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR).  NPS gained particular popularity within the multifamily industry around the mid-2010s, as customer service best-practices from other sectors began crossing over into real estate management.    According to Reichheld’s 2003 HBR article, the spark for NPS came from a meeting of CEOs of major companies during which they discussed their strategies and methods for creating customer loyalty.  The CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car announ......
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The Right Mindset for Making It through the Pandemic

The Right Mindset for Making It through the Pandemic
Six months after it began in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic is still with us. Hopefully, a vaccine is on the not-too-distant horizon, and things can return to something resembling normalcy. Until then, multifamily owners and operators will have to continue to adapt to a challenging market.  One of the keys to successfully adapting to the pandemic is to realize that nothing has to be set up perfectly before implementation. Take self-guided tours, for example. Self-guided tours were certainly becoming more common in multifamily before COVID-19. Now, with the need to practice social distancing, the adaption of them has accelerated.  But perhaps you are hesitant to immediately invest for a full-blown, complete implementation of this technology. Do you really have to have all the associated hardware – such as smart locks – from the start? Do you have to go whole hog, or can you just do the bare minimum for now and grow as necessary? The answer to that last question is "yes."  You can offer a scaled-back, barebones version of a self-guided tour in which, for example, a prospect shows a driver’s license through the leasing office window and then an associate passes the prospect a FOB or a key through a slot.  The reasons why an operator would want to implement self-guided tours in some form or fashion are obvious. For example, one apartment operator that began offering self-guided tours earlier this year has found that its prospects who complete a self-guided tour at any point in the leasi......
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3 Thoughts on Amenity-Based Rent Pricing

  As a landlord or property manager, setting rents is a high-stakes exercise.  Set them too low, you might get a tenant but you are leaving money on the table.  Set them too high, you could be unnecessarily extending your vacancy loss.  And it is with this backdrop that rent setters employ various strategies and technologies to help with pricing.  Finding that equilibrium point is not easy, especially in a dynamic market like New York City.                Amenity-based pricing is a common way to set rents, and this article is mainly in reference to such models.  Amenity-based pricing is a methodology in which a base rent is set for a unit type of some kind, then various amenity prices/values are added in, creating the all-in rent that renters see and pay. Individual amenity prices are set by a variety of factors, including the cost of developing the amenity, the desired payback (to the landlord), and perceived value to renters. The percentage of amenity value to total rent varies a lot, but consider it to be about 5-10% of the total rent.               Aside from landlords and property managers, renters also have a vested interest in how rents are priced, because they want to know they are getting a fair market deal, and because, naturally, it is a lot of money.                So we wanted to provide a few thoughts on how rents can be set and to encourage landlords and property managers to re-think the exercise in ......
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