Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Budgeting for a Social Strategy

I was chatting with Mike Whaling yesterday, and we both agreed there are definitely some quick wins out there to help optimize your brand, stores, properties, etc. online.  It can be time consuming, but claiming your business's pages on Google, Bing, Yelp!, etc. can be quick ways to get some SEO juice for your websites and help promote your business on those additional channels.  Where I struggle from there is with a content strategy ongoing. Here’s the honest truth, you can’t half-ass it anymore.  Search as we know it today is changing, and if you aren’t trying to be part of or help create conversation then I will predict that drive-by may become your best lead source.  OK, that could be extreme, but the algorithm is changing from a keywords model and more value is being put on conversation and connections with real people to a brand.  Criticize Google+ all you want, but even if that doesn’t do exactly what they hoped it most definitely highlights how Google is giving more credit to social connections. If this really is the case then I believe it’s time to revisit your marketing spend.  Mike and I created an Apartment Marketing Checklist a couple months ago for people to really think about.  It highlights much more than Craigslist and ILSs when it comes to your marketing, and I hope it begins to help you think about the next steps in growing your online presence.  There are plenty of opportunities and strategies to consider, but what I will tell you is ......
Continue reading
2201 Hits
3 Comments

Who I am, Who I’m Not and Who I Want to Be!

I was listening to The Fray this morning and one of my favorite songs of theirs (though I really do like them all) is You Found Me. In that song is a verse that really speaks to me and inspired me to write today's blog, it is: “Who I am, Who I’m Not and Who I Want to Be” And it got me thinking about those things and how easy it is to not really know... especially in a business that WANTS YOU to be so many things… it’s easy to lose yourself. Sounds ominous, right? It really isn’t… it’s about self discovery and your true professional passion. Let me explain… Who I am… When was the last time you asked yourself who you were? Have you defined, YOU? In order to grow, in my opinion, you need self awareness and understanding. This means being totally honest with you too. Look in a mirror and see you… just you. Why is this important? Because in order to be who you want to be, you have to first understand all about who you’ve become and who you are today. Are you bubbly and outgoing naturally or because of your job? Are you analytical in life, or just because you’ve been doing your variance report all day? Are you someone who can easily talk to others and sell, or do you just have really solid product knowledge? Are you the kind of person who enjoys leading a team, or did you just ......
Continue reading
1141 Hits
0 Comments

Always Good Decisions To Be Made; The Apartment Developer's Dilemma

Not long ago, I toured an apartment complex with two friends; one was the architect who designed it and the other, the developer who built and owns it. The exterior was gorgeous and appropriate. The amenities were unique and clever. The units appeared to be attractive and reasonable for the market…that is until we entered the kitchen. This room was comprised of dark hardwood floors, rich wood cabinetry, stainless appliances and a builder-grade white laminate counter (that stuck out like a sore thumb). I winced. I looked to my architect friend- who gave me the ‘this isn’t the time’ slight head shake. We continued the tour.  Later, I took the architect aside and asked ‘What the [email protected]*k was that?’ He explained that there were originally granite counters spec’ed, but that they were lost in the V.E. process. To me, this was yet another example of the bad results of not training our young developers to know the difference between a good and a bad decision. It’s the problem of not teaching them that development happens in the real world- not on a spreadsheet. Which brings me to our theme; ‘Whenever there is a decision, there is always a good decision to be made.’ Now I’m not saying that every decision has an option which is ideal, just that there are always better and worse choices. When, as developers, we accept the opportunity to reshape the world around us, we also take on the responsibility to understand the ramifications of the decisions......
Continue reading
3287 Hits
4 Comments

Path to Partnership; The Apartment Developer's Dilemma

I have been fortunate to have the occasion to work with a group of promising young folks and get to hear their hopes and expectations. As I listen, I can’t help but think back to my own career path and chuckle at how little changes generationally. Their wants are no different than mine were at their age. Their frustrations that it all happens too slowly are the same. Their fundamental lack of understanding is heartwarming, as are their expectations.  Since early in our careers, those of us who are smart, hard-working and motivated have generally focused on the idea of ownership. We see the entrepreneurs who employ us and want to be similar. They embody a version of our concept of success. When we are young, being a partner means having a seat at the grown-ups table. It’s our opportunity to affect change or enable our visions. It’s the gateway to profit and security. There may even be a little pride in the title of ‘owner’ which we covet- if we’re confident enough to admit it. But because we are smart, hard-working and motivated; we also want things well before we’re ready for them, before we even understand what it is that we think we want. Of course we don’t recognize that we’re not ready; after all we have been told that we are bright and unique snowflakes since we were three years old. So I thought that I might offer some ‘tough love’ advice and words of wisdom to the......
Continue reading
2201 Hits
3 Comments

MISSING: Residents! REWARD: $$, Higher Occupancy, Better Word of Mouth!

Are your residents vanishing from your community at a rate that makes you consider putting up "missing" posters? If so, did you know that their disappearance was probably preventable? Before you contact the milk carton company, let me explain… We do an awful lot of training and spend so much money on advertising our communities to get them in the door…  but once they’re in, it’s like we change our focus to who’s next. To me, that’s utterly absurd and honestly… it’s quite expensive. ·         According to research data provided by Satisfacts, the average cost to “lose” a resident is around $4,000. Now, this can of course vary… but the least I’ve EVER seen is around $2,000… still a pretty good chunk of change and too much, in my opinion (and I'd wager that it's too much for any owner as well). What can we do differently? Well… how about providing the same level of service to current residents as we do to prospective ones? We wouldn’t dream of not following up after someone toured with us (called us, emailed us, etc…) so why are we so bad at following up after the move-in? Doing that allows us to temperature check (something I am very passionate about when I train sales) the now current resident; with regard to the move-in process, condition of the apartment, etc… setting us up, right off the bat, for a successful residency. BUT, it doesn’t stop there… inevitably; there will be a maintenance issue. How ......
Continue reading
1542 Hits
0 Comments

Slow or No Reaction Time… Costs Your Business!

For those of you who’ve met me or taken one of my classes, you know that I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I talk the talk and I walk the walk. I tell it like it is (professionally and with care, of course) but If it has to do with not sugar coating things, I’m your girl (of course, I’m not referring to using “visit us” or “live here” words during leasing… then a little fluff is just fine). But in normal every day dealings onsite and at the corporate office… I don’t see the point in wasting time beating around the bush, because TIME is MONEY! There have been numerous occasions that I am aware of, sadly, that a property manager has not filed an eviction on a resident who hasn’t paid rent by the time it’s due. Despite the action being spelled out, very clearly, in our policy and procedures manual (and common sense if you’ve spent any time in the business). The manager will have a wide range of reasons as to why they won’t… but the last time I heard the excuse, I nearly fell out of my chair (seriously). She said “Well… I needed the occupancy numbers”. WHAT? What good is a high occupancy percentage if you’re not collecting any rent? She didn’t know the answer. Turns out, this person was a habitual late-rent payer and eventually ended up skipping out… owning an absurd amount of money to the community. ......
Continue reading
2140 Hits
6 Comments

Structural Integrity; The Apartment Developer's Dilemma

Many of the topics that we discuss in this blog are related to three basic themes;   1.       The Industry is broken and in need of a major overhaul. 2.       As our product becomes increasingly complex, the skill set of the developer has diminished. 3.       It is within our power to reclaim the glory of our profession.   For those of us dedicated to the betterment of the profession, one of the major challenges that we face is that our firm’s lack integrity. Now by that I don’t mean that they are liars. Nor do I mean that they are out polluting our rivers and streams, etc. I use ‘integrity’ in a broader and more exact sense. Integrity is achieved when each of our members is working in concert with the whole. In other words, when our highest ideas and values can be witnessed in even the simplest of our work and projects, there is integrity.   Let’s begin with the following principles; Each of us is made up of three primary components; the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual. We, as individuals, operate more happily and effectively when those three aspects act in unison. Put another way, when our actions operate in concert with our values, we achieve harmony. There are also three primary aspects of our lives; work effort, personal effort and sleep. If we live in accordance with our values in only two of the three, then our quality of life and greatness of achievement will be lessened.......
Continue reading
1742 Hits
0 Comments

What Can Starbucks Teach Us About Social Media Engagement?

I spend a lot of time thinking about social media engagement. What’s it mean? How do we improve it? How can we use it to help our clients grow? One way to find out is to look at what other companies are doing. I’m currently reading Onward, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s memoir of returning to save the company he founded. Early in the book Schultz says that social media has always been a huge priority for Starbucks. On the face of it, he’s right. No matter what you feel about them, you can’t deny that Starbucks is a killer brand. On September 21, 2011, the company had almost 26 million Facebook likes, over 3 million check-ins and 1.7 million Twitter followers. In the previous 24 hours, Starbucks had logged 236 Facebook comments and 131 Twitter mentions. Perhaps it’s not the storm of chatter you might expect from a powerhouse, but the check-ins tell a different story. This leads me to an educated guess: as we examine other brands, I think we’ll find that small companies—with pages managed by principals at the firm—will have a higher proportion of social media comments. Customers respond to a personal touch, but they won’t cut ties with larger, more “faceless” brands, either. Starbucks has earned their loyalty, and savvy consumers won’t stray far. So what can Starbucks teach us? Likes and comments don’t always measure social media success. Sometimes even the world’s biggest brands have to judge their campaigns by a different standard....
2155 Hits
5 Comments

Multifamily Mommy: Apartments, Diapers and Work… OH MY!

I’m 30. There, I said it, I got it out there. I’m 30 and my husband and I just had our very first baby, 3 weeks ago. Up until now, we both favored college and then careers over family. We wanted to be established, be able to provide for a child before we committed to having one. For the last few years, thankfully, we’re at a point where we can provide the way we want to and so the “having a baby” journey, began. So why am I telling you this? Well… at 30, I’m established in my career and my husband and I are accustomed to having fun and traveling… and with a baby, well, a LOT of things will have to change… or will it? If you read any “mommy” books or blogs, many describe motherhood and caring for a child as the single hardest thing they’ve ever done… clearly they’ve never worked during budget season for a multifamily company, but I digress… Admittedly, I am no expert on the subject of being a working mom just yet, but I’ve learned a lot in the past 3 weeks. Many of you might assume that I am on maternity leave… and while I am, sort of, I’m still working about 25-30 hours a week (from home). So I’ve sort of gotten a crash course in this whole dual role thing and I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed with myself. Maybe I’m lucky and I have a good baby… ......
Continue reading
1565 Hits
4 Comments

The Mentorship Model; The Apartment Developer's Dilemma

Over the past few months we have discussed some of the underlying problems within the wonderful profession of real estate development. We have also bantered about individual solutions to prepare ourselves (as the next generation) which have ranged from education to understanding the key success traits for our own self-improvement. Hopefully these have been fairly logical. But, if so, then why hasn’t it just naturally happened? Sadly, ‘obvious’ and ‘easy’ don’t always go hand-in-hand. I would suggest that self-improvement is one of the most difficult things to achieve- especially on our own. Often we are just not equipped to step back and look at ourselves objectively. And, even if we are, we don’t necessarily have the tools to affect the changes that we need. And when it comes to creating a good developer- it really takes a village. It would be nice if we could learn everything that we need to know from our superiors or the more experienced folks within our firms, but unfortunately, my generation and the one before me has left our profession in shambles. The built world is an uglier, less urbanistically successful place for many of our incursions into it. The reason for this is that (statistically speaking) you likely work for a spreadsheet monkey who was never taught or didn’t embrace the romance of what we do. He can’t teach you because he doesn’t know himself. If you want to be great, you will need to actively seek out the folks who can develop in......
Continue reading
2514 Hits
7 Comments