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3 Reasons To Master All of Your Claims to Fame and Stop Jacking Around

I find it difficult to watch people fail at something they are supposed to be an ‘expert’ in.  If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.  You CAN do ANYTHING.  Shoot for perfection EVERY time! Do you claim to be proficient in something, but you really just know enough to fake it? Stop doing that! Look at your resume.  Are you pretending to be someone you’re not?  How many things do you claim to be proficient in, but just know the basics?  I’d be willing to bet at least one. So why shouldn’t you exaggerate even a little?  I’ll give you 3 reasons. Prove it:  The phone interview went great, you met with the corporate office and finally you have to take a skills test based on the claims to fame you included on your resume.  What do you think the test scores are going to reveal?  Do you see the offer letter slipping away?  Be true to yourself and the company you are trying to become a part of. I need this at 9am:  So you faked it well enough to pass the skills test and fool your new boss.  Now comes the real test.  A huge project is due at 9am.  Your boss comes to you at end of business and says ‘I heard you know ______ really well.  I need you to finish this project so I can present it in the morning.  Thanks Jones, you’re a real life saver!’  Fortunately, you’ve got all night to figure out what yo......
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Why Property Management Is A Great Career Path For You

I started in Property Management thinking it would just be “employment to pay the bills until I found a real job.”  Twenty eight years later, I owned a property management company and then became a consultant, trainer and speaker.   If you look on the Web for a definition of property management, this is what you will find:  The range of functions concerned with looking after buildings, including collection of rents, payment of outgoings, maintenance including repair, provision of services, insurance and supervision of staff employed for services, together with negotiations with residents or prospective residents. The extent of and responsibility for management between landlord and resident depend on terms of the lease(s). The landlord may delegate some or all of these functions to managing agents.  However, it is so much more!   There are many reasons property management might be the right career for you too.  To start, if you are a people person, like sales and customer service, you will use these skills in this industry.  You also have the opportunity of working in an office and outdoors.  No cubicle jungle here!   I started in leasing and found that I really had a knack for helping people.  I was able to draw out of them things that would help me, help them find the right home.  When they rented, moved in and continued their stay, I found it very rewarding.   As a manager I learned that leadership is doing the right thing and management is doing things......
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Tips for Finding the Right Realtor

Getting ready to purchase or sell property? The first step to a smooth real estate transaction is finding the right real estate agent. Throughout the property selling and purchasing processes, your real estate agent will be your eyes, your sounding board, and your advocate. Here are some things to consider when selecting your real estate agent. Referrals from Trusted Sources Nothing is a better testament to a realtors ability than a proven track record. Ask friends and associates for agent referrals. It’s particularly helpful to speak with trusted sources whose situations are similar to your own. For example, if you are looking to purchase a multi-unit investment property, seeking referrals from other multi-unit investors may lead you toward a better match than asking someone who used a realtor to sell a single-family dwelling. Trust yourself too. Try visiting some open houses and meeting agents one-on-one. Open houses will give you the opportunity to meet a variety of agents and to get a feel for them, the properties they work with, and how your personalities mesh. Online Resources You can further narrow your search by doing some online research on sites like Yelp and Realtor.com to identify local realty companies and specific agents respectively. Also be sure to check out ActiveRain, a social networking platform for real estate agents that provides consumers with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with agents through professional blogs, profiles, and other online resources. Finally, keep an eye on relevant real estate transactions in your area (vis-a-vis local......
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Success Stories: Two Apartment Managers Who Started Small & Making A BIG Splash!

This is the first blog in a series of blogs that takes a closer look at success in the multi-family apartment industry - Who's successful? Who's Being promoted? How did they do it? and most importantly to YOU as the reader - can their stories help YOU become successful in your apartment industry career? This blog examines: Two SUCCESS Stories of Apartment Managers Who Started Small and Currently Making a BIG Splash! I interviewed Kate Heitzman of Greco Properties - General Manager at BLUE in Uptown Minneapolis, a 242 unit luxury market rate property and Toni Powell of Bigos Management - Community Manager at Calhoun Greenway also in Uptown Minneapolis, a 350 unit market rate property. Both management companies operate in Minnesota. Q: How did you get your start in the apartment industry? Above: Toni Powell of Bigos Management Toni: By accident! I moved to the twin cities from St. Cloud. The apartment building I moved into didn't have my apartment ready - they needed a manager, and there I was. It was a 40 unit 1st tier Minneapolis suburb, class A property. Eventually, they asked me to take over a different 38 unit luxury townhouse project. I did. When my manager left, I asked to take over both properties. I was bored and I needed MORE. They didn't think I would be able to handle both properties, but they gave it to me, and I made it work.     Above: Kate Heitzman of Greco Properties Kate: I had always worked in retail man......
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Making Time for "Me Time"

It’s a well documented fact that Americans take less vacation time than business professionals in any other culture. According to a disturbing analysis in a May 2007 Businessweek article, “Americans take even less vacation than the Japanese, the people who gave rise to karoshi—the phenomenon of being worked to death.” While it’s certainly admirable to be a hard worker, there’s also a fine line between dedication and over-doing it. The truth of the matter is, taking time off work is important—not only does it give you the chance to attend to the rest of your life, but it also provides the opportunity to mentally rejuvenate and the distance to remain excited about your job over the long haul. Both of these, after all, are ultimately integral to your business success. Even if you’re already sold on taking time off work, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Many property managers simply don’t have support staff. In other words, if you’re not doing the job, who is? When you’re dealing with tenants, work can come at any time on any day–it’s just not always as simple as a weekend or scheduling vacation time. So how do you take time off? Here are our five favorite tips to help make that “me” time more easily obtainable. Tip #1: Plan Ahead If you’re one of those personality types that has a difficult time relaxing when important deadlines are on the horizon, make sure you plan your relaxation ahead of time. Yeah, yeah—we know it sounds a bit counter-intuitive. But......
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Value What You Do

Are you working for the best company? Do you feel appreciated by your current employer? A frequent comment I receive is how people wish their company would acknowledge their efforts more often and feel valued as well. That is, being a vital part of the whole is one way employees feel valued by the company. The first step in getting this done is to tell the employer we enjoy our apartment jobs and how thankful we are to work there. Initiating a conversation will show the boss we do believe we have value in the company not just in the fact we have a job. Truthfulness and not being disingenuous is absolutely something the employer will be able to sense, so you must come across as sincere.  After a conversation like this takes place, you will not only see the positive aspects of your company more readily, but your employer will see that you do see the value in the workplace as well. A challenge I have for you is to begin to recognize how you do appreciate your job. In seeing this appreciation, the love for your job will grow because you will see you do add value to the company. Here are some ideas to show the company you value working there: ·         Send a thank you note to your boss and his/her boss. ·         Write a letter of recommendation for your company. i.e. linkedin ·         Start a “Thankful email” and ask others to add and pass within the......
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Resident Retention When A Leasing Consultant Leaves

They say that an apartment prospect leases just as much because of the leasing consultant as the apartment itself.  In other words, the leasing consultant plays a pivotal role beyond simply getting the sale – they are actually part of the sale!  One of the biggest aspects in that relationship is trust.  While leasing apartments may be a business to us, it is a decision about their home for our residents.  There are a lot of feelings of comfort and safety tied up in their decision, which comes back to their comfort level with their leasing consultant.  The resident leased with that leasing consultant because he or she trusted that leasing consultant!  And many times, their only point of contact may be that particular leasing consultant during the entire move-in process.  So what happens when that leasing consultant leaves your property? Let’s say you have three leasing consultants on your on-site staff.  Although the assistant manager and property manager likely do some leasing, as well, the bulk goes to your leasing consultants, which means that one leasing consultant acts as the community “representative” for almost a third of all your residents!  So if that leasing consultant quits or gets fired, a third of your residents now potentially have no representative they have ever done business with at the apartment community.  Yes, they might have stopped in to pick up a package or give a maintenance request, but it is likely that didn’t provide an amazing amount of rapport.  So now that......
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TOP 3 Qualities of Successful Multi-Family Apartment Careers

Here at RENT SODA, we've been talking about success A LOT. From our recent article (Build on Your Strengths: Build Success by Jim Baumgartner) to our Profiling Your Way to MORE Success sales classes, to every day conversations with our clients ("We want our manager to be more successful,"), it seems everyone is talking about "SUCCESS." It begs the question: Do You Have What it Takes To Be Successful in the Multi-family (Apartment) Industry? or better yet: What DOES it Take To Be Successful in the Multi-Family (Apartment) Industry? We have been pondering this over the last few weeks. We've decided to do a series of articles on individual SUCCESS in the Multi-Family Apartment Industry. We've started researching and interviewing successful people - you'll want to read what they have to say - so check back weekly as we post those articles! First, we looked for individuals who were successful in the following categories: Someone who has had multiple career advancements and now holds one of the top positions in their company. (i.e. someone who started at the bottom and worked their way up to VP, CEO/COO/CFO or founder of a company in the Multi-family industry.) Someone who started in property management and has made a successful transition into a vendor role. Someone who started in a vendor role and has made a successful transition into a property management/development company. Someone who started at the corporate-side of the multi-family apartment business and has successfully transition into an on-site (at the apartment community) position. Someone who......
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Building Your Property Management Company Culture

Just as with any other business, the success of your property management company is inextricably tied to staff morale. The more content your staff is, the more effort they will put into their jobs and the more invested in your company they will become. And the better they do at their jobs, the better your company will do as a whole. Good staff morale can be bred through many avenues, but one of the biggest overarching ways to ensure a good culture is to show your employees that you appreciate them. Following are some of our favorite ways to let your staff know you’re thankful for them. Weekly Gatherings During the dot-com boom, beer hours (usually around 4:00 p.m. on Friday) were all the rage. Since the bubble busted, these have largely gone out of vogue, but the idea is still solid. Sure, you may not want to serve alcohol to your employees on company time, but having some sort of unwinding time together at the end of the work day over snacks can pay off in a number of ways. It sends staff the message that you appreciate them and it allows people to mingle—this can result in idea generation and in a greater attachment to/investment in co-workers and your company in general. If you don’t like the idea of sacrificing an hour of work-time, consider providing some sort of lunch for everyone to enjoy together a few times a month. Monthly Rewards Recognize your employees’ efforts on a regular......
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Realtors Turned Property Managers

Anyone who has made a career in real estate knows that the market is always changing. There’s no arguing the fact that real estate professionals must have the ability to accept that while there are times of feast, there are also times of famine. But even when buyers are hard to come by, opportunities for income generation exist. And one of those opportunities is property management. Adapting to change. It’s not news at this point: Over the past couple of years, the real estate market has taken a huge hit. With foreclosures running rampant, loan qualification processes that can be difficult at best, and severe job losses across the nation, successful real estate transactions have been hard to come by. Even successful transactions now require far more time and effort than they once did. While things are slowly beginning to turn around, the real estate market is cyclical — we will at some point see it dip again. This is why it’s so important for real estate agents to have a back-up plan when times get rough. Property management offers realtors a great way to remain in the field and put their skills to use, even when the market is down. Steady income. No matter what, people will always need shelter. Particularly during economic climates like that of the past couple years, home sales may go down, but renting goes up, with all of the displaced former home owners looking for new places to lay their heads. No matter what field......
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