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How much is multifamily data worth?

How much is multifamily data worth?
REALITY CHECK The multifamily housing industry is sitting on a goldmine of information that hackers would like to steal. Personally identifiable information (PII) includes name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, Social Security Number, bank account info, credit card number, and other types of sensitive data that we collect on tenants. On the Dark Web -- the place on the Internet where people can browse anonymously to sites that deal in contraband such as illicit drugs, child pornography, and stolen credit cards -- the average estimated price for stolen credit and debit cards ranges from $5 to $30 in the United States. Bank login credentials for a $2,200 balance bank account sell for $190. (Source: BGR) Thieves can use stolen identities to open credit card accounts, file false tax returns, create fake credentials, or even get medical treatment on the victim’s health insurance. You also need to be aware that attackers are after your company's intellectual property, financials, employee PII, bids/proposals, and other company sensitive data. It's much easier, for example, to steal your research, than it is to conduct my own. And you don't have to be a Home Deport or Target to be a, well, target. I just hung up the phone with a client who was being hit with both ransomware (malicious software that encrypts all your data files and demands a ransom) and a denial-of-service attack (massive amounts of network traffic directed at his site to make it unavailable to customers), and he wondered aloud why they would g......
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Don't Underestimate Your Angry Residents' Desire For Revenge

Resident-Revenge.JPGSome angry residents only go so far as to write a negative review of your community, but others act as if you have dishonored their family and have now made it their sole mission in life to make life miserable for the community.  In December, an evicted resident shot two people in the community office as retribution.  Fortunately, that is the exception rather than the rule, but more often residents will take less extreme measures to harass a community and the team online.  We have seen that first hand here on Multifamily Insiders.  Almost 99% of the time, our discussions only attract others who manage apartment communities, but every so often a post will also draw in residents.  A few years ago, Erin wrote a funny post about "How to Write a Bad Apartment Review", and funnily enough, residents don't seem to get the joke, as they frequently try to post comments blasting their apartment community.  For example: What I find hilarious is the idea that residents go into Google and do a search for "How to Write a Bad Apartment Review", like there is some sort of special formula to get the maximum negative reaction for  the community.  But regardless, it just shows that without properly handling an angry resident, their influence isn't just a negative review on ApartmentRatings.com - their anger metastasizes and spreads to every outlet they can find.  Would a local news outlet like to hear about the "unlivable conditions" of the "slumlord" where they live?  Or......
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Incredible 3D Scanner for a Tablet - How do you think this could be leveraged in multifamily?

Incredible 3D Scanner for a Tablet - How do you think this could be leveraged in multifamily?

My absolute favorite show is This Old House, and this weekend they featured a 3D scanner tool for mapping interior spaces that attaches to mobile tablets!  Take a look at the clip below, and I would love to hear your all's thoughts of using this technology in multifamily!  Comment below!

 

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Alexa in Apartments?

Alexa in Apartments?

There is finally someone in my house who will do all of my bidding. (It's really all I ask.)

It's not my husband, even though I insist it was part of our marriage contract and that he should've read the fine print. It's not my toddler. I can't even get her to put on her pajamas without it becoming an all-out battle of wits (which I frequently lose). And it's certainly not my baby. She pretty much just sits there and claps when I ask her to do something. Yes, yes, you're very cute, but that doesn't add granola bars to my shopping list now, does it?

We got the Amazon virtual assistant Alexa, who actually listens to me.

Virtual assistants are becoming extremely popular. And they might have a place in your apartment community.

Read the entire blog.

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Quick Tip: Don't Forget Your Meta Image On Your Home Page!

During today's Potluck Marketing webinar, I realized that our own website was missing out on something, and after looking at several of the top property management company websites, I found that they were missing it too - so I thought I would share!

What I realized was that while many of us are using meta images on our content pages, we are missing them on our home page!  So when someone tweets our website home page, it ends up not utilizing Twitter Cards as they could.  Let me show you how phenomenal they can look for a home page.  One of the resources that Barbara Savona shared during the webinar was a website, Design-Seeds.com, that helped with inspiration on the color schemes for your marketing.  I shared this tweet:

For color schemes that really work, check out http://www.design-seeds.com #aptweb

What showed up, however, looked absolutely fantastic!

 Here is the markup for their home page:

<meta property="og:title" content="Design Seeds" />
<meta property="og:description" content="...for all who love color." />
<meta property="og:image" content="https://www.design-seeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screenshot-2016-11-17-at-12.19.37-PM.png" />

As I said, I looked at several company websites to see if it was just us who wasn't properly using meta images on our home page and I found that we were not alone.  So I hope this helps!

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Pros and Cons of Developing a Website In-House vs. Hiring an Outside Ad Agency

In our internet-driven society, having a website is now not only strongly advised, but a necessity for property management firms. A company’s website needs to have visual appeal, be easy for visitors to navigate, be optimized for search engines, and also have that “wow” factor that gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. No pressure! Whether you are a new property management business who needs to develop a website, or you already have one but it needs some serious updating, you’ll have to make the choice between designing the site in-house or outsourcing the project to an advertising or web design agency. There are plus-sides and disadvantageous to both, and a lot of it depends on the current structure of your company.   At my property management firm, Trimark Properties, we’ve used both an outside agency and an in-house developer over the years to design the website for our apartments near UF. We ultimately realized which course of action was best for us, but which one should you choose – an in-house developer, or an outside ad agency? An easy-to-navigate, visually striking webpage is critical for property management companies. Benefits of Designing a Website In-House  You know more about your company culture and what will attract tenants Nobody knows more about your apartments, company culture, typical tenant profile, and marketing vision more than you do. While you can relay this information to an outside agency, it can be difficult for them to develop a website that fits your specific vision. If you desi......
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Great Use of Instagram by an Apartment Community

 

I absolutely love this use of Instagram for an apartment community!  

 

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Want to compete like a big brand? Use social ads to help you step up your game

By now you’ve probably been exposed to “social” ads. You know, the ones you see popping up in your Facebook or Instagram feeds? Maybe even on Twitter? Even if you haven’t yet taken the leap and set up or run any ads for your specific property or location, you’ve probably at least seen an ad for some sort of product or service show up on your page or newsfeed (maybe you’ve even made a purchase from an ad - I’m personally a sucker for t-shirts with cute slogans and any “baseball mom” themed items. Ha!).   But whether you’re already running ads for your company, community, product or service or still just getting educated on where to even start, these awesome tips and insights from the 2017 Multfiamily Social Media Summit should help get you on the right track:   How in the world can we use ads to compete like a big brand? Think about it this way. Nike, for example has a huge, diverse audience. Young, old, sports enthusiasts, casual athletes, sports fans, men, women, children - the list goes on and on. However, in multifamily, our target market and demographic pools are much smaller. Yes, we rent to people of all ages and with many different backgrounds and interests, but all of our prospects have one thing in common - they are looking for an apartment. They are renters. They aren't condo shoppers or homeowners (yes, sometimes they overlap, but most of the time they are solely in the market for an a......
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AI, Alexa and Apts: 12 Provocative Statements

b2ap3_thumbnail_Google-home2.pngA lot has been written about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice-activated search devices such as Alexa or Google Home. Yes, apartment property management is beginning to take steps to bring this remarkable technology onboard.   I recently spoke to dozens of industry professionals about how AI plays into their operations. Below are the 12 most provocative comments. Visit the full story in the April issue of units Magazine and see who said what.   1. “Real estate is a top industry that could benefit from AI, but it’s way too early to say devices such as Alexa are making an impact. Even the leading, break-through industries are not using AI regularly yet. So, real estate is not ‘behind’ when it comes to implementing AI.”   2. Asked if the company is working toward implementing AI in day-to-day operations, one apartment REIT with a long-standing, strong reputation for experimenting with cutting-edge technology, says, “Not now. But check back with us in the third quarter.”   3. “For AI to truly be a better and enduring solution from the resident experience point of view, it has to deliver answers, information and convenience that is greater than or at least equal to other options, including what a person could deliver through conversation or what they would need to look up themselves via a web or resident portal search.”   4. “When it came to using chatbot for customer service, owner/investors’ responses were mixed. Some would say, ‘I think that’s great’; and others would say, ‘I would never do that.’ The res......
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Insta-Marketing with Instagram

Insta-Marketing with Instagram
Insta-Marketing. As in, marketing you can implement instantly. Who doesn’t love (and need more of) that?   Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social networks of today’s highly digital era and it’s actually a fairly easy platform to learn, even for today’s most social media challenged individuals (no shame here - everyone has to learn sometime, right?).   So when it comes to multifamily marketing, what can you actually do to improve your marketing on Instagram and why should you be doing it? Well, a group of savvy marketers recently learned exactly this at the Multifamily Social Media Summit 2017. We heard from Sue B. Zimmerman (also known as THE Instagram Expert). You can find and follow her on Instagram by searching for her handle, which is: suebzimmerman     Here’s what she taught us...   The Why: Instagram has more than 600 million active users Instagram has “less noise” than other social platforms (more simplistic approach with photos) You can use photos to “tell” your story (and your customers will most likely help you tell your story too, through their posts) It’s quick. Posts require little more than uploading a photo and incorporating some hashtags It’s easy to toggle between Instagram accounts (for example, if you have a personal account and a property account) Instagram is focused on mobile (helloooo that’s where our customers are) Instagram is visual (which is exactly what we want to be in this business) You can get qualified leads through this platform (she’s seen it happen)!......
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