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Turning the Tide on Bad Resident Reviews

Turning the Tide on Bad Resident Reviews

When a community’s ratings and reputation is struggling, it can be incredibly challenging to pull those ratings back from the brink, all while not having the team get discouraged along the way. And for those communities that are already doing well on that front, how are they proactive about getting resident feedback before that feedback turns into negative reviews?

These are two of my favorite parts of my interview with Danielle Johnson, Vice President of Marketing and Training at Bridge Property Management. She dives into how they impact Google reviews, measure the results, and how they implemented touchpoints for feedback after tours, move-ins, work orders, move-outs, and other key points along the resident and prospect journey. Plus, she shares the most common reasons for bad reviews, and how her partnership with Opiniion helped gauge impact in her efforts!

By the way, if you like this type of content where we talk with different property management pros, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell icon!

How do we pick companies to talk to?

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My POV as a Renter: The Dilemma of Looking in an Active Market

As a renter who falls into the category of looking over 6 months out, I can confidently say that it’s the properties that stay in touch with me that end up being the ones I tour at. Here’s my story as a renter and I hope you’ll take the time to read it.   Surprising data collected by PERQ shows an interesting and growing trend in renter behavior: 20% of rental prospects are much like me and looking to move 6+ months out from when they begin their search for their next apartment. From the perspective of the leasing agent, that’s a lot of people who might be considered what many call “looky lous”, or casual online shoppers.  But, they are actually high intent shoppers that are qualified leads. These shoppers are more organized with their search process and have a better understanding of what they want and what they don’t want. These renters will be the perfect lead in just a few months. There are several reasons why we are looking now instead of closer to their move-in date. First is increased rental volume. With COVID-19 causing us to spend more time in our homes and living spaces, we felt the shortcomings of the spaces we were living in and a desperate need to start fresh in a new space caused a shift in rental activity. In fact, data collected by USPS shows that 27% of temporary movers moved in the first six months of the pandemic. That’s a lot of rental activ......
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Improving Lead Capture and Leasing Automation


Today we are looking at capturing leads. One of the biggest challenges properties face is that transition from marketing to leasing, where we are reaching prospects through our marketing, but then they slip through our fingers before we can move them to that next step in the leasing process. Many companies are automating as much as this process as possible. So this series is about looking at challenges that communities often face, and then talking with different property management companies to understand how they approach that problem and what supplier partners they used to overcome the challenge.

So today I’m talking with Mark Ainley, Partner at GC Realty & Development, to talk about how they tackled the marketing and leasing process to convert more leads, such as working with ShowMojo.

By the way, if you like this type of content where we talk with different property management pros, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell icon!

How do we pick companies to talk to?

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From Browser to Resident: Attracting Multifamily Property Tenants on Social Media

It’s safe to say the tenants you’re targeting have scrolled through social media channels as they woke up this morning, then again at lunch time, traffic stops, drive-thru lines, and more. They’ll continue to shift their attention back to social platforms while taking a break from work, standing in line at the grocery store, watching the news, or brushing their teeth as they prepare for bedtime. For multifamily property managers, social media channels present a can’t-miss opportunity to attract and sway your ideal tenants — if you get the tone and content mix right.   Below you’ll find six ways to make prospects feel seen, educated, inspired or entertained by your social media presence. Mix and match them often to see engagement rise.   1. Humanize your property   You may have heard the adage that people prefer to do business with people, not faceless corporations. When marketing your property, putting a human face and personality on your brick and mortar is an instant rapport builder that helps you stand out from competing properties.   Balance sterile snapshots of empty kitchens or pristine landscapes with warm faces and personal stories, featuring residents, local staff, and more.   A few ideas: Featuring a pet of the month. Resident stories or testimonials, conveying their experiences in their own words. Staff spotlight including personal quirks that make them relatable to readers (e.g., hobbies, favorite spots in the neighborhood, favorite part of their job). Light-hearted content borrowed with permission from tenants (e.g., TikToks, videos or photos shot......
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Are You Paying Too Much for Your Website?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.    Yes, a multifamily website can be expensive, but you don't always need to break the bank to have a beautiful and responsive web design.   Since a website is a service rather than a product, it can be difficult to put a price on it. What is the price you are willing to pay for something that will help you attract new leads, retain current residents, and ultimately add to your bottom line?    Priceless, right? But no one really wants to give their first-born child just to have a great website.   Also, just because something has a high price tag doesn’t mean that it’s better either. Does a name brand watch tell time better than a $10 one from Wal-Mart? While one may look nicer than the other (and will not turn your wrist green), it still functions the same as the other.   Of course, I am not saying you need to only buy off-brand products or that you can find a Rolex watch for $10. What I am saying is that you need to do your research when looking for a web design firm or developer to work with, because some companies will promise you the world (but will turn your wrist green) while others promise too little and charge too much.   Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when researching a new web design for your property:   Is the site ......
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Tips to Plan Your Property's Content Marketing Campaign

When it comes to your content marketing campaign, the strategy seems straightforward enough. The implementation? Not so much.  Everyone knows the first steps — develop your buyer personas, identify industry pain points, know what your remarkables are, then develop content. But content development isn’t, or certainly shouldn’t be writing blogs and other content at random. Instead, content should be planned carefully and with great intent.  Knowing where to start with your content planning can be difficult. Thankfully, my team and I have a methodology that we hope you’ll find useful. Planning Your Content Marketing Campaign Everybody plans content differently. For my team, we start by identifying our focus for the quarter. Is there an industry the client wants to focus on? Is there a topic that we can touch on effectively to reach our target customers? These questions dictate our focus, buyer persona, and pain point.  From there, we identify both the keywords someone might use to search for information at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and also what campaign offers would resonate best. Remember your personas when planning content. While this seems simple enough, this is probably one of the longest points in the process. This section is your foundation, and if your keywords are not accurate, or your content doesn’t speak to the persona, your content marketing campaign won’t be successful. That’s certainly a lot of pressure, but there are ways to find security in your campaign plan — namely, user testing. User Testing and Developing SMART Goals It can be easy to......
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Room to Grow: Multifamily Operators Have Opportunities to Become More Pet-Inclusive

Room to Grow: Multifamily Operators Have Opportunities to Become More Pet-Inclusive
Over the past decade or so, the multifamily industry has undeniably become more pet-friendly. Go to industry conferences, and you'll see pet-focused sessions with panelists who have reaped the benefits of relaxing or even eliminating weight and breed restrictions. Visit apartment communities, and you'll likely see an array of amenities – such as fenced dog parks and pet-washing stations – designed to attract and retain pet-owning residents. New data validates these general observations. According to the 2021 Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative Report, 76% of owner/operators identify their properties as allowing some pets, which reflects a willingness to accommodate pets by a large majority of property owners and operators. But the same report also shows that residents often don't find rental housing as pet-inclusive as they'd like it to be. For example, according to the PIHI report: 72% of surveyed residents say pet-friendly housing is hard to find. 59% say pet-friendly housing is too expensive. 24% say their pet has been a reason for needing to move. 14% have surrendered their pet as a result of their housing situation. Clearly, apartment owners and operators have to be careful and strategic when crafting their pet policies. They have to strike the right balance of welcoming pet-owning residents with  helping non pet-owners feel comfortable, as well as protecting the community’s assets. However, the PIHI report provides a solid general blueprint for how multifamily communities can become more pet inclusive in ways that drive good business results. Among its recommendations for operators: Consider reducing or eliminating dog w......
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6 Strategies to Maximize the Value of Pinterest for Your Property

To use Pinterest or not to use Pinterest? That is a big question on many of our clients' minds.   While yes, Pinterest can be a profitable social media platform to invest your ad dollars into, it really depends on your industry and product or service.   With more than 150 million monthly users, Pinterest provides a refreshing way to maintain and enhance your SEO efforts and reach a wider audience.   The pinning platform spurs more than 2 billion searches each month. Additionally, more than 250 million of those monthly searches are visual searches — opening the door for a lot of multifamily marketing potential.   So, for those who do want to dive into Pinterest and give it a shot — the next question is, how can I maintain a strong presence on this platform? Below, we explore a few ways to make the most bang  for your buck.  1. Start a Business Account The first step is ensuring you create a business account and not personal as this will give you access to the Pinterest ads manager and analytics tracking. Use your property’s full name in your account, and be sure to include all necessary descriptive information in your bio sections, including contact information, apartment logos, and any community amenities or features you would like to highlight. 2. Create Your Boards Pinterest boards are the topics by which you organize your content. You should create boards that showcase your property (rooms, amenities, events), as well as boards that provi......
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How to Use Digital Communication to Keep On-Site Teams Successful, Residents Informed, and Traffic Volume High During Times of Crises

All industries are increasingly embracing and investing in crisis management planning in case of emergencies (i.e. disasters, crimes, health issues, etc.). It can be hard for on-site teams to know what to do for residents during a crisis. It’s challenging not to get caught up in the what-ifs and what to-dos. While I’m sure you have a crisis communication plan in place, think about the overall tone, flow, and timing for how each message will be perceived and delivered. How can you emphasize and ensure your message is communicated properly? One way is to double down on digital communication efforts - it's the safest, most convenient way to keep on-site staff, current and prospective residents informed and safe. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before that in times of crisis, leasing teams should over-communicate updates to residents. And, video, email, resident portals and a wide range of other CRM/marketing technologies can help communicate information quickly and safely to employees, prospective and current residents so they can fully grasp your message when you need it to be heard. How to Incorporate Video and Email Into Your Crisis Management Plan When preparing how to provide updates and instructions to employees and residents, below are suggestions to make your communication efforts more efficient through video. Communication efforts should be transparent: While preparing communication efforts, be honest with employees and your residents about the situation. This ensures everyone has the most up-to-date information regarding the crisis and what protocols should be followed. Leasing teams can create a video saying ......
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Instagram for Apartments: How to Stop the Scroll in Instagram and Engage Your Residents

Do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling for way too much time on Instagram without ever really stopping to absorb any of the content you’re seeing?   If you’re doing it, you can bet your residents are doing it. And, they’re missing your posts.    A quick way to tell if your audience is passing your posts is if there is a huge disparity between your follower number and the average likes per post you’re receiving. If you have 1,000 followers and are getting eight likes per post, your audience is frequently scrolling by you.    While how active your followers are, the time you post, and how much you post are factors when it comes to engagement, there is still a good number of people who see every post.   So, how do you stop your residents from mindlessly scrolling past your posts and get them to engage with them, or at least read them?   I’ve got some recommendations for you:   1. Lean into your industry + being an apartment.  It’s likely your residents aren’t following many apartments on Instagram; you might be the only one.    So while the majority of their feed is filled with posts from brands and influencers, you have the chance to stand out with apartment-centered images. This includes pictures of apartment units, community amenities, and event announcements as well as tips and tricks for renters. This might seem obvious but it can be easy to try to copy what is trendy or popular at the moment......
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