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Is Your Face Costing You Leases?

I often listen to a local radio show on the way to work.  Today, the host was talking about his recent trip to Europe and something called "face control".  This sparked one of those dangerous brainstorming sessions...you know the ones you come out of wondering how you got from point A to point B without crashing.  Then, because that wasn't bad enough, I called a good friend of mine for some input.  She had never heard the term either so I looked it up.  To my surprise, it wasn't at all related to any of my brainstorm tangents. From "feis kontrol", a Russian klub colloquialism of the English words "face control." Your "face" is your level of wealth, beauty, power, social standing, and overall desirability. - Urban Dictionary Deep right?  Here's how I see it... How does this apply to the multifamily industry, specifically your leasing office?  You might...no should be...familiar with the importance of body language and its effect on prospect buying tendencies.  So what about your face?  Could your facial expressions be losing you leases?  Are your facial expressions a violation of fair housing?  Very possibly yes. We have gut reactions to many things and people are no exception.  The way someone smells, the clothes they wear, piercings or tattoos they have, something they say or just their overall appearance can cause gut reactions - very visible ones at that.  This is not to say that you should become desensitized to appearance, but just gain control of your reactions.......
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How Search Engines View Subdomains

We've been getting questions about the potential search engine optimization (SEO) impact of putting blogs in a subdomain (e.g. blog.mysite.com) vs. a subfolder (e.g. mysite.com/blog). We've also had questions about how search engines (Google) treat subdomains that are on different IP addresses. Unfortunately, Google doesn't have an official statement about these issues, but here are our latest thoughts on the matter.   Subdomains link additional pages on your site. Years ago, spammers figured out that they could set up subdomains and generate inbound links by linking from pages on the subdomains back to pages on the main domain. Google figured this out and plugged that hole in late 2007. Matt Cutts confirms this change in a blog post in December 2007, which also states that it's a “wash” whether you use folders or subdomains. The original post is here: www.mattcutts.com/blog/subdomains-and-subdirectories. Of course, this is information from 25 years ago in search engine years, but a modern day test confirms that this still holds true. Look at the first page search results for apartments.com—it's all subdomains. It seems reasonable to conclude those results wouldn't be there if Google thought those pages were part of another site.   It's okay if your blog subdomain is located on a server with a different IP address. The next question to tackle is, is it okay for a blog to be hosted separately from the main website. I was able to find absolutely nothing that directly addresses this from Matt Cutts or any other reliable Google......
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Choosing the Right Business Entity for Your Property Management Business

The business entity you choose for your property management company will affect you in very real ways—especially when it comes to taxation and financial and legal liability. This is a big decision and one that you may want to make with the assistance of your accountant or attorney. Following are the four business entities most commonly used by property management companies and some basic information about each. Sole Proprietor The title of this business designation pretty much says it all—a sole proprietorship is a business owned by one individual. Unlike more complex options, sole proprietorships do not have to be legally registered with the state you do business in. Rather, a sole proprietorship’s existence is solely based on the fact that you’ve gone into business. In other words, it’s simple and free to set up. Sounds too easy, right? Well, there is a drawback. Because you are one and the same with your business, business gains and losses are filed on your personal tax forms and, most notably, you are liable for the business, both financially and legally. Partnership A partnership is much like a sole proprietorship, but it involves two or more owners. As with a sole proprietorship, no paperwork or registration is required—you are simply in business. Again, partners claim their share of business income on personal tax forms and are held liable for the business’ financial and legal claims. Limited Liability Company (LLC) LLCs are a bit more complex to set up than sole proprietorships or partnerships, with......
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First Quarter Goal Adjustments Should Be Made Now!

Well, here we are almost to the end of the first quarter of 2011.  Many of you made your usual New Year resolutions and two weeks into it, found that it was not at all what it was cracked up to be.  This is most likely because we make idealistic goals for ourselves.  Resolutions should be sensible and attainable, with reach.  So let’s look at where we are now and make adjustments before we move into the second quarter: ·         Be realistic by setting achievable goals.  Winning the lottery, for example, is out of your grasp!   ·         Stop trying to be perfect.  Nobody is perfect, so stop trying so hard. Begin the New Year by allowing yourself the luxury of imperfection.  Perfection is the worst enemy of success. Consider completion to be your goal - not perfection.   ·         Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "I want to be more active," opt for "I will walk every night after dinner" or "I will cut down on watching television.”   ·         Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits.   ·         Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit smoking, but you smoked to relax yourself? What other forms of relaxation are available to you?   ·         Write down your resolutions and set action plans to keep you......
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The Value of a Mistake

     Have you made a mistake lately?  What did you do with that?  Did you hide it, or were you forthcoming and go to your boss and say, hey, I made a mistake, and it cost us X amount of dollars.  If you hide it, how much do you think that cost is?  The cost is horrendous, not only in time, but possibly in your integrity. How about your personal character?  Lots of cost there.  Last I checked we are all human, with the propensity to make mistakes and fall very short of doing everything right. But, I haven’t met a mistake yet, that I haven’t learned a great deal from.      Mistakes are learning opportunities for all of us.  Yes, we make mistakes, and yes, we correct mistakes all the time.  When you make a mistake, as a leader it is important to own up to it and learn from it. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the possibility of creating an even larger error.       Who has needed a property manager and there wasn’t anyone really qualified to hire? Or their personality wasn’t quite right for the existing team onsite. If you hire someone that doesn’t fit or isn’t qualified, you run the risk of setting them up for failure and worse, having to let them go and find another to take their place.  Again, it’s the cost of making the mistake of hiring the wrong person.      When you learn from a mistake and admit to making it......
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Inspiring

For years I've surrounded myself with people I like (most of us do this, it's pretty natural), but also people that have gifts.  Everyone has some kind of unique gift, but we make choices in who we gravitate toward.  The people I gravitate toward, to me, are inspiring.  Not just the fact that I like them, but how their unique gift, as a human being, sticks with me.  With the way the Internet has evolved with social media I'm exposed to even more inspiring people than ever before, and what I find is that technology also allows me to memorialize interactions with these people.  Whether we follow each other on Twitter, interact on Facebook, or even if I just subscribe to their daily blog, we're connected and I have a log of our interactions and ideas. Hugh MacLeod has a little cartoon about inspiration I shared in a post last week.  Today, even more than ever, I think we have the opportunity to inspire and be inspired.  We have the opportunity to share our unique gifts, and we also have the opportunity to soak in and seek out the unique gifts of others.  I know I will continue to share my thoughts and ideas here, and I truly look forward to connecting with more of you along the way. To try to kick start the idea of inspiring one another, I'd like to share some inspiration with you.   Yesterday, Gary Vaynerchuk's new book, The Thank You Economy, came out.  Gary has been an inspiration ......
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Property Management Blogs

Industry-related blogs are a great way to pick up expert tips, tricks, and insider knowledge quickly and for free. But, of course, there are a lot of blogs out there. Since you only have so much time in the day to surf the web, here’s a quick run-down of five property management-related blogs you should be reading. Marketing and More Property management veteran Mike Brewer, who runs the M Brewer Group blog, is one of the most seasoned and consistent bloggers in the industry. While his blog focuses in large part on marketing, you’ll also find various additional industry topics included as well. Brewer has his fingers on the pulse of current industry conversations, so this blog is a great place to stop by to get a quick gauge of what’s currently being discussed by industry professionals. Cyber Consultant With Behind the Leasing Desk, Seattle-based property management consultant Heather Blume provides readers with musings on the industry and insights on how to up your property management game.  On her blog, Heather writes about everything from staff-related training class excerpts to tips for greening up your property. With quick, snappy reads, this blog is a great place to pick up a mish-mash of ideas to help you better your own business, including everything from tenant retention to customer service. Property Renovations Though Brownstoner.com’s Renovation Blog is Brooklyn-based, property managers from everywhere can learn a lot from the site’s home renovation section. If you’re the type that likes to take on projects—or if......
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Snow Removal Done Right

If you live east of Nebraska, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about snow lately. As cozy and idyllic as it can be to watch flutter to the ground when you’re safely tucked away by the fire in your living room, snow is a very different beast when you’re forced to contend with it. Particularly this winter, when a new blizzard seems to be blowing in on a weekly basis. As a property manager, contending with mother nature is part of the job description. Some cities even have laws mandating that you are legally responsible for removing snow and ice from the public sidewalks in front of your property. Even if your town doesn’t have such laws, it’s still in your best interest to get rid of that snow. Should someone happen to slip and fall in front of your property—which is all too easy to do right now—you may be legally and financially responsible. Let’s begin by looking at the areas you’ll want to shovel: A clear path leading from the sidewalk to your property’s entry door. A clear path leading from the driveway/parking lot to the closest door. The driveway. The sidewalk area around/on your property. In addition to shoveling these areas, you will also want to scatter salt and/or sand to ensure people don’t slip on any remaining ice. With that in mind, what are your options for removing snow and ice? Do it yourself. If you opt to remove snow yourself, remember, it can......
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How do I love my residents? Let me count the ways.

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day of love and courtship with the bonding of relationships through the gifts of flowers and candy. Husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, sons and daughters, neighbors and property management are celebrating this Hallmark holiday all across our great land. Did I just say neighbors and property management?  Yes, I did, is there a more important relationship with those of us in multifamily communities? Not if we want to keep working there isn’t. Below are 10 of my thoughts on how to love your residents in your community and maintain the relationships because without those wonderful relationships, well, who knows where we would all be. Giving treats, coffee and donuts, at least a couple times a year, stand outside where they are leaving for the day, usually at the entrance and provide a donut and a cup of coffee as they are leaving for work. Chocolate in any size shape or form given at the mail kiosk declaring your love and gratitude that they call your property home. Excellent communication, question, your staff, the residents, everyone, find out what is going on in the community, stay current, talk with your residents, walk the property and make yourself available. You will hear all the gossip and probably more than you want to know, but at least you will be current and know who loves who. Keeping the pool clean and the property litter free is a no brainer. Nothing says I love you more than a properly maintained......
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Property Managers – Tips to Make Your Rental Property Energy Efficient

Property Managers – Tips to Make Your Rental Property Energy Efficient

Property management companies, landlords and property managers - Make energy efficient upgrades whenever you can. Such upgrades will make your rental property less expensive to maintain while you and your tenants live in it as well as contribute to market value of the property.  

Property Managers – Tips to Make Your Rental Property Energy Efficient


1. Make sure your rental property is well insulated and equipped with heating and cooling systems that work properly. Buy energy-efficient appliances or revamp heating and cooling systems to save energy if you have the money. Less expensive steps, like insulating doors and windows, will also save you money and help conserve energy.

2. Utility companies, agencies, nonprofit organizations provide advice and information through publications and sometimes even provide subsidies to help property management companies, landlords and property managers make their properties more energy efficient.

3. Property management companies, landlords and property managers who rent to low- and moderate-income tenants may participate in a site assistance program that includes an energy-efficiency audit and financial help for making a home weather-tight. Call your local electric company to find out more about resources of this type in your neighborhood.

4. Contact your state or local energy office for other helpful publications on subjects like buying energy-efficient appliances, improving the efficiency of oil and gas heating systems, or insulating homes against cold air.

5. You also can hire energy-efficiency consultants to inspect your property and suggest long-term energy- saving measures. Their prfoessional fees maybe tax deductible.

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