Wendy Dorchester
Hire for culture, train for skill! Love this. Jared, you have always emulated great culture in every...
This is great! One small addition I have for "In Case You Missed It" - I have seen instances where ...
Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!
Multifamily Blogs
  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
Internet revenue is fast becoming the new ancillary income for multifamily apartment owners. Many apartment owners have known for years that Internet is one of; if not the most important amenities prospective residents are looking for. What may not have been so intuitive is how many Internet choices are available to property owners that were not in the market place until now. Additionally, they may not realize all the new business opportunities that are now available by maximizing the “Internet Real Estate” they own. What’s the Current Market Place Like? Up to this point it has been common place to allow the “Big-Box Internet” companies to provide antiquated infrastructure and services to residents. In some cases the property owners are even incentivized to “push” or market the services for financial gain. Although this model has been the norm for years in the multifamily industry, it has fundamentally disregarded huge advances in technology, namely ones dealing with Internet delivery. Compounding this issue are the huge amounts of profit left on the table by property owners. The current model enables monopolistic “Big Box Internet” providers to offer inferior services while making a majority of the revenue from YOUR residents. Unfortunately, there are no good reasons for this mentality to change. They will go on offering inferior residential services for astronomical prices mainly because it makes financial sense FOR THEM.  Think about it…Why cannibalize your billion dollar infrastructure with upgrades, when there is really no push-back from the marketplace to do so?  When you...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
Property management professionals have to maintain successful relationships with a variety of people: fiduciary relationships with owners, tenant relations, and vendor relations. Relationships with vendors are arguably as important as having a good relationship with one’s owners because we rely on vendors so heavily during the course of our business. Instead of writing a ‘self-help’ article geared for the property management professional (which there are plenty), I decided to focus on that vendor who is trying to gain my business. During my decade of property management experience, I have noted several pitfalls for vendors, as well as ways they can earn “brownie points”.  Vendors take note! This article should be particularly useful as it is coming not from another vendor, but an actual property manager. Vendor Drop Ins. I get it. Instead of the cold call in which you will be immediately dismissed by a site manager, you want to meet him/her face to face and make a good impression and introduce your business. You plan several communities to visit over the weekend and on Monday you make your visits. Bad move. Why? On any given Monday property managers are dealing with issues that occurred over the weekend, following up on emails, and reporting for their owners. I for one have major reports due on Mondays, as well as payroll. The vendor that makes an unannounced visit at 9:30am Monday morning has immediately made a poor impression. My advice to you, the vendor: Mondays are the absolute worst day for you...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
The NAA Conference & Expo is next week, and for those who have been before, trying to visit each booth in the Expo is just about impossible, as there are  just so many great companies to visit.  So somehow, we must narrow down our list of booths to visit.  Normally, we don't allow advertising in the comments here, but for this blog we are making an exception!  Vendors, share below why the Insider community should visit your booth!  Who has the best story to tell?...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
On January 01, 2016 the open carry law goes into affect in Texas. If the communities want to restrict open carry, they must have a sign posted. The sign must be at least 33" x 33" with 1" block lettering.
Hits: 690

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
If you’re like most property managers, you’ve developed a method for communicating with your residents. You may not stop to think about how successfully it works. You are probably more concerned with making sure you notify every resident about emergencies, utility outages, or maintenance work that affects the whole community. Maybe it’s time to think about the way you reach your residents. Look at the things you do to get the message out to every resident in your community. Consider the amount of time you’re spending every time you have something important to share with every resident. Thanks to the Internet, people can now look for anything from movie schedules to restaurant menus. Many people prefer cyber-shopping to shopping at local stores. Apartment finding websites that reward people for using their referral links give prospective residents an incentive to take advantage of their offers. Properties need to have websites so would-be renters can look at pictures, find out about amenities, unit prices, and square footage and look at floor plans. They also need a simpler, more efficient way to let residents know about community emergencies or send out routine notices. The following are the most common ways that property managers communicate with their residents. Do any of these sound familiar? Hanging fliers on residents’ doors Manually calling every single resident Putting notices in every mailbox Leaving notices at the entrance to buildings Posting notices where residents go to retrieve mail Posting notices in community laundry facilities If any of these are...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
b2ap3_thumbnail_Birthday-become-a-fan---redacted.JPGSocial media selling can be one of the toughest skills to master, mainly because it requires so much restraint.  In a live social setting, when you bring up a sales pitch in awkward and pushy ways, you get immediate cues from those around you.  They may roll their eyes, they may give the thousand yard stare showing they have completely tuned out, or they may simply walk away from the conversation entirely.  But in social media, those responses are not visible, so it is often harder for salespeople to learn what is appropriate in their sales techniques.  They often feel they are being subtle in bringing up their company, when in reality, it is the equivalent of waving a banner and shouting at the group. Before I share these examples, I want to note that I have done equally awkward and socially-offputting things as I began to learn the art of social media sales, so I'm not trying to put someone down.  That said, it is very important that people see lessons on how social media selling can backfire! So today's lesson is all about the birthday sell.  Let's first talk about birthday company interactions that actually work: Starbucks free drink:  Love it.  Who wouldn't love a free drink?  And plus, it is only for customers with a loyalty card, so it is clear I already have a relationship with them.  Visible Changes discount:  It's not a free haircut, but it is a discount for a service I already get, so...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
We spend a lot of time this time of year trying to figure out the right way to express our appreciation to clients and community staff for allowing us to help them grow their businesses.  A broad variety of ideas fly around the office on what would truly be considered meaningful, kind, or just fun.  Here’s a sampling of what we’ve considered.  What does your company do? – Or, What do you wish the companies you come in contact with year-round would send your way for the holidays? Traditional Recommendations – These include sending candy and baked goods, but we worry we’ll be blamed for an extra five pounds on the hips instead of a sweet gesture…and that’s no way to build on a relationship in the new year! Socially-Minded Recommendations – These include donations to our favorite charity, but we wonder if the causes that touch our hearts will ring true with others. Playful Recommendations – The kind that toys are made of that include squishy balls, funny hats, desk trinkets and the like…but we wonder if those gifts are really worth the non-biodegradable material they’re printed on. In all, we hope our commitment week in and week out to client service strengthens the bonds between us and our clients and that a heartfelt ‘thank you’ is more material than any material gift could possibly be.  Where do you stand on the art of gifting?  (And please remember, cash, checks and money orders are typically frowned upon.) Best wishes for...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
In a recent survey, we delved into how apartment communities develop their budget, and one question in particular asked about what frustrations and challenges they had in finding suppliers.  One of the most common responses was surprisingly simply getting suppliers to submit a bid!  Now the layperson might be thinking that is ridiculous - We are trying to give them business and they don't even bother to submit a bid!  But there is often another side to the story, and I have heard an alternate response from suppliers:  Essentially, a supplier can spend so much time submitting bids that they lose focus on the service itself that they provide.  And with many quality bids losing out to unqualified companies with lower bids, it can be a frustrating process, leading to wasted time.  So instead, it is a better use of time to focus on the personal relationships with their contacts where work is obtained without going through as many hoops. So this is a request for suppliers to share their side!  What are some of the frustrations with submitting bids?  What would you suggest property management companies do to increase the number of bids they get, by making it easier/less time consuming/etc for the supplier to take the time to submit a bid?   Share your thoughts in the comment area below!...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
Despite the many unpredictable demands property managers must handle, offering residents with flexible rent payment options can ease the amount of time spent collecting and receiving timely resident payments. Here’s a look at the benefits and potential drawbacks of accepting multiple rent payment options. Electronic funds transfer. Accepting paper checks for rent payments is inherently inefficient: Not only can it take up to 10 days to receive “snail mail,” there’s the potential that the check gets lost in transit or in a sea of paperwork, compromising the security of residents. (According to the ACH Network, an average of seven people have access to sensitive financial information like a payer’s bank account and routing numbers, in paper check transactions). Assuming the check is received, additional time is required to deposit the check into a bank account. If the resident’s account doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover the check’s amount at the time of deposit, the resident and property manager may be subject to NSF fees imposed by their respective financial institutions, which can be as high as $35 per bounced check. Implementing electronic funds transfer (EFT) as a rent payment option can eliminate many of these issues, allowing the tenant to pay directly from his or her account, with greater efficiency and security (funds electronically transfer directly from a resident’s deposit account to property manager’s account). Because an EFT transaction can be set up to take place on a recurring basis, and on a given date, it also minimizes collections efforts, and...

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
When you hear warnings about identity theft, most of us think about stolen credit cards and fake ID’s used to make unauthorized, expensive purchases in another person’s name. However there’s another form of identity theft not often thought about: utility fraud. Believe it or not, it happens a lot during the summer months. Utility fraud is when a person fraudulently uses someone else’s name or identity to order water, gas, cable or other types of services. Cable fraud is the most commonly committed utility scam. This type of identify theft is actually quite easy to pull off, because often times a utility company only requires a name, address and maybe a social security number – but often times they don’t confirm the identity of the person providing the name and personal information. When a person’s wallet is stolen, they can call the police and file a report and let alert their credit card companies — both actions remove the person from liability of purchases. However, with utility fraud a victim wouldn’t even know their identity is being used and therefore no police report can be filed until long after-the-fact – when an unpaid bill appears on your credit report. By then, the process to get it removed by the credit bureaus can be arduous and expensive. Consumers should be diligent in monitoring their report, because otherwise these crimes are very difficult to detect. Police say that by the time an unpaid bill hits a person’s credit report, the thief may no...