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Property Management, Starbucks Style - "Good Enough" is OK

Property Management “Starbucks Style”

Starbucks Coffee ain’t the VERY best…but it is way above average!

 
I’m a frequent, VERY frequent, Starbucks visitor.  This company’s coffee, friendly baristas, and pleasant environment is predictable and typically well above average.  Yet, I do like checking out other coffee venues.  I travel a lot and drink coffee even more so I get a chance to visit many top notch independent coffee houses.  Several that are a lot better than Starbucks.  
 
More often, these “other” coffee shops have some unique and memorable differences that stand out, but they can’t put together the whole package…like Starbucks does.  Even though I have found a few GREAT coffee houses, I am always concerned about stopping at a new coffee place because they usually fall short.  I choose Starbucks who consistently does coffee in an “above average” style.  
 
Good to Great?  How ‘bout  “Good to Good Enough.”  Here’s the deal.  You are most likely NOT the best apartment community in your market and will never be the “best”…whatever that means!  But you can be above average, maybe even, “well above average”, and do just fine for your supervisor and property owner.  Your management goal is NOT the be the best apartment community in your market, city, or even company portfolio.  That is a crazy goal that you can’t afford to pursue.  Rather, you strive to be the best rental option for your residents…the people who choose to call your community “home”.  
 
What makes Starbucks my long term choice for java is not that they are the best.  It is because Starbucks is Predictable and Consistent.  I can walk into a Starbucks most anywhere and anytime and know that I will get a predictable product, service, and value.  Even in my hometown I know a place that has better coffee…but the WIFI is weak and the tables too small.  I love the atmosphere at another coffee specialty shop but the staff is rude and makes me feel like an idiot if I ask them to modify my order.  Starbucks loves my complicated and particular coffee order requests and the WIFI is always strong.  
 
Consider this.  Before you try to take your apartment community to an academy award winning level - best in show - first hustle and strive to be above average.  Well above average.  The way to start that challenging endeavor is to be more like Starbucks; Predictable and ConsistentOffer a clean and competitive apartment home, friendly service, and an above average living environment that is predictable and consistent.  Frankly, that is enough.  Really.  

 

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When I joined the industry, I remember people lamenting that too many communities haven't mastered the basics, always chasing the shiny new marketing strategy or fun thing that pops up. Years later, I find that many communities would still benefit by simply mastering the basics.

  Brent Williams
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Brent, so true! Some readers may think we are out of touch but my team is actively doing onsite lease ups in Penn, NJ Ohio, and Texas. All the new community amenities and extras are really cool and help the leasing presentation to be memorable, but they are not enough if the community does not provide these basics:
1. Immaculate Environment.
2. Fast Efficient and Professional (friendly) Service.
3. Good Neighbors (translation: Safety and Security).
4. Fair and Equal treatment.

If you can't provide this, all the other bells and whistles will not ring true. And i continue to be appalled at the way the onsite office teams treat residents. Cray cray!

  Rick Ellis, CPM

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