Drew Brucker
Hey Ann, thanks for adding in your thoughts. Great perspective.

I absolutely believe Gen is/will ...
Thanks for sharing, Drew! Your blog post offers great insight on Generation Z and explains why multi...
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 Apartment Leasing
Go to a public park and watch how strangers interact with dogs in the park.  An owner of a cute dog will have a steady stream of people stopping over and asking if they can pet the dog, which is no surprise, as dogs have a way to draw people in, comfort them, and impart some of their eternal happiness onto everyone around them.  So it occurred to me, why not have an office dog at an apartment community, especially at one that hopes to focus on being "pet friendly"?  I tried to imagine myself as a prospect, and I'm sitting in a seat across from the leasing consultant, when suddenly I look down and there is a snout of a Golden Retriever, Cubbie, laying its head on my lap, his eyes looking up at me in an appeal to be petted.  I reach down and start petting him, letting out an unconscious exhale as I release the stress of trying to find my new home.   When it is time to take a tour, Cubbie joins us, walking to the model and following me from room to room as I check out my potential new digs.  He's become my temporary best friend, and makes my trip more memorable than any of the other cookie cutter apartments I see that day.  To top off the tour, the leasing consultant gives me a treat to give to Cubbie.  Our bond is now complete, and I'm ready to sign the lease. Granted, leasing is...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Developing a brand identity that encourages customers to form a personal connection with your product is one of the most important steps in securing a sale. This is especially true in the multifamily industry, where residents need to be fully confident that your apartment is their best option before they commit to a lease. A relationship such as this one is built on one fundamental element: trust. But how do you build trust with a potential resident before they even walk into the leasing office? When building trust, your biggest asset actually comes from your current and former residents. Not surprisingly, consumers trust the opinions of others more than what companies say about themselves, and the influence and input of others is crucial in the decision-making process. This concept, called social proof, reveals that we are psychologically programmed to learn from others to prevent making potentially detrimental decisions. One of the primary ways customers learn information about a product or service, second-most only to information directly from the company itself, is from what they hear from others. Therefore, it is incredibly important for potential residents to see your apartments through the experience of current or former residents. In a digital marketing campaign, the best way to do this is through user-generated content. User-Generated Content Marketing Others’ opinions and experiences with a company have become so influential in a brand’s publicity strategy that an entirely new branch of marketing has developed to account for it. User-generated content marketing (UGC), or consumer-generated content...

Posted by on in Apartment Maintenance
Polybutylene or “poly” for short was a plastic resin used in domestic water pipes and fittings between 1978-1995.  This gray plastic pipe was installed in up to 10 million garden style apartments, condominiums and single-family homes throughout North America.   Unfortunately, common municipal water additives like chlorine attack poly pipes and fittings, leading to stress fractures and catastrophic failure, suddenly and without warning. In 1995, polybutylene manufacturers paid out a billion dollar settlement, but the timeline for making a claim has expired. For owners and property managers, only a small percentage of polybutylene properties were repiped during the settlement period, leaving millions of feet of defective piping unaddressed.  As a result, the prevalence of poly is still considerably high across the country. The longer polybutylene is in use, the greater the risk of serious complications.  Left unaddressed, polybutylene cracks can result in severe property damage from flooding, mold infestation from undetected leaks, higher insurance premiums or even cancelled coverage, and not to mention – unhappy residents. In recent years, the presence of polybutylene has impacted real estate transactions, both from the buyer side (unable to secure financing or insurance) and the seller side (decreased valuation and increased risk).  Currently, if you buy, sell or refinance a property, most insurers require polybutylene pipe replacement as a condition of the transaction....

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  Millennials are getting all the attention. Often ignored to this point has been their younger sibling—the aspiring, involved, and more technologically mature child. And most multifamily companies aren’t spending enough time looking at and analyzing Generation Z. Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Plurals or the Homeland Generation) has quickly become the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. Although Generation Z has not yet been defined precisely, they are generally known as those individuals born between the mid-1990s and 2010. That makes this generation particularly important to the rental market as many are just now reaching the age to seek and obtain housing independent of their parents. (Side-by-side comparison of adult population by generation)   As these young adults become a bigger force in the rental economy, what do multifamily professionals need to know about them? Better yet, what should we expect? Delivering on this unique generation’s demands and expectations early on will be critical. And with an ever-growing saturation in multifamily communities across the nation, customer experience differentiators will be key.   Gen Z Renters are Tech Savvy More than any generation before them, Generation Z is at home with technology. They are the first generation to live their entire lives in a world of smart phones, internet connectivity and social media platforms. Most in fact, have never even experienced the “annoyances” of dial-up or wired internet access. Remember the AOL yellow figurine that was frozen on your screen while all those funky noises were coming out of your computer’s speakers? How about the guy’s...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Dear Gabby,  I’ve been hearing more and more about this “All-Inclusive Living” trend as of late. All I can think about when I hear the words “all-inclusive” is a resort where people are lazy, being waited on hand and foot without paying extra. I’m sure there is something more to it since it is becoming more popular but can you explain?   -#ALoyalOfficeFan _________________________________________________________________________ Dear #ALoyalOfficeFan,   Gabby here! And I am going to help you understand all of the details to the new “All-Inclusive Living” trend! It’s less about being lazy and more about residents being busy. They want convenience built into their lives by having everything they need included in their multifamily community.  It’s becoming more and more common for American workers to work long hours. A lot of companies have meals, coffee, nap rooms, employee outings all provided at workplaces such as Google, Yelp, and more! People with this lifestyle are used to having everything in one place and want those conveniences to continue once they come home.  Work life balance is always important when it comes to looking for jobs but what if that balance is becoming more about making work feel like home and home feeling like a hotel. “All Inclusive Living” helps make this balance possible.   Okay, so are some examples of what could be included in “All Inclusive Living”?   Fully Furnished Apartment This one isn’t a new option but space-saving transformable furniture is. With this new furniture, residents can have smaller rooms...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
For multifamily operators, there are few more important responsibilities than pinpointing the applicants most likely to become residents who pay their rent on time and in full every month. Failure to do so can lead to a cascade of negative effects: increased vacancy rates, lost revenue and even lengthy collection processes, all of which pack a nasty wallop to an apartment community’s net operating income and bottom line. With so much at stake, it is absolutely imperative that the resident screening process be as thorough as possible — and it can’t be truly thorough unless it includes an applicant’s rental payment history. Traditionally, resident screening revolved solely around an applicant’s credit score, which provides past payment history on credit obligations, such as credit cards, auto loans and mortgages. Generally speaking, an applicant’s credit score is highly predictive of his or her likelihood to default on rental payments. However, in certain cases, a high credit score doesn’t equate with a likelihood to pay rent on time and in full. By the same token, a lower score doesn’t always translate into a propensity to default. And for a vast number of apartment operators, simply approving only applicants with high scores and rejecting ones with low or no scores is unrealistic, given the surrounding demographics and occupancy and revenue requirements. Simply put, a screening process that includes both an applicant’s rental payment history and credit score, regardless of how high that score may be, provides a much more comprehensive understanding of that applicant’s risk...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
We all know that great resident retention depends largely on factors like timely maintenance response, friendly staff, unique amenities and beautiful curb appeal. But how much thought is given to the importance of social connectedness relative to resident satisfaction and renewal rates? There is a great deal of evidence of late on the impact of being socially connected (or not) on physical health and psychological well-being. You can read an outstanding article on the subject citing several related studies here. Witten Advisors presented some interesting industry data on connectedness at the recent NMHC Annual Meeting in a session titled "Hanging onto Residents by Cultivating Real Community and Relationships." Take a look at the following graphs:     Surprising, no? Such a small percentage of residents have more than a couple of friends within the community, and the majority have none. And yet, look at the correlation of number of friends to intent to renew! It seems like a no-brainer that efforts to increase social connectedness among residents are well worth the investment, time and energy. All those great activities you spend hours planning are so very worth it! Anything you can do enhance or facilitate interaction between your residents will pay off in a big way; community apps and portals that make it easy for residents to communicate with you and each other, a consistent and creative schedule of events designed to get people talking and playing together, pet play dates and sitting connections, carpool-to-work opportunities, book clubs and bulletin boards...

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 Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Multifamily occupants nowadays are becoming more concerned about cutting down their house energy footprint and save on electricity bills and therefore look for energy-efficient units for rent. In an effort to attract as many prospective tenants as possible, rental property owners hire professional renovation and construction services provider to convert their rental property  into energy-efficient housing units. As roofing system plays a key role in maintaining energy efficiency of a building, this post discusses top three solutions to make your existing roofing system more energy efficient. 1. Light-colored Shingles Dark roof can significantly increase the temperature of your multifamily or commercial property. On an average summer noon, a dark-colored asphalt roof may reach the temperatures between 150-175 degrees fahrenheit. This coerces the air conditioner installed in the building to consume more energy and provide cooling. Asking your multifamily renovation general contractor to use light-colored shingles along with white roof coating can help reduce the temperature of the roof by 50 to 60 degrees, thereby reducing the energy consumption by air conditioner to maintain the temperature. 2. Roof Insulation Due to poor roof insulation your multifamily property is forced to consume more electricity by air conditioner during summer season. During winters, it will take more energy to keep the thermostat working and keep the house warm. You must, therefore, get your multifamily renovation general contractor to insulate the roof, because a well-insulated roof keeps the air intact inside the room, thereby reducing energy consumption during both winter and summer season. 3. Highly...

Posted by on in Multifamily Training and Career Development
There are tons of ways to meet someone. On dating apps, through friends, “other.” According to a survey on Mic.com, the third-most popular place people meet is at work. (And shockingly not by meeting at a party and having a misunderstanding and one thinks the other is arrogant and the other is a ditz but then realizing you love each other just as you are, or by researching how to get guys to dump you for a magazine article you’re writing and falling for the guy who is secretly trying to trick you into falling in love with him but actually does love you as well, or by being a hooker with a heart of gold. I’ll have what she’s having!) It makes sense—this is where most people spend their time and have a lot of their social interactions. So, property managers, there are lots of employees at a community. What do you do when some inevitably start dating or seeing each other casually? It’s awkward to talk about, but it’s important to have some rules and guidelines in place. Here are some suggestions. Read the whole blog....