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Greystar Finds Smart-Home Tech a 'Must Have' for Residents

Greystar Finds Smart-Home Tech a 'Must Have' for Residents
Largest national third-party operator testing more affordable solution that doesn’t require a dedicated IoT Wi-Fi community network; is controlled through the unit’s thermostat. By Paul Bergeron Smart-home technology is generating greater efficiencies for apartment residents and their communities’ onsite teams alike. Innovation in this space has created a surplus of providers with a variety of solutions and price points. Given all the options, multifamily C-suites wonder: If only the decision on which provider to choose was made more efficient. Greystar has both recognized the necessity of offering competent smart-home technology and has discovered an interesting option in a growing field of emerging providers, said Andrew Livingstone, its Executive Managing Director. “The pandemic created a large shift in how we operate, and it moved us forward a decade,” Livingstone said. “It changed how we think about operating apartments. It forced us, out of necessity, to think more futuristically, given the circumstances. “It firmly created opportunities in apartment access technology, making how we enter our apartment homes a fundamental cornerstone. We’re seeing unprecedented changes with access given recent transactions involving companies that offer this and their valuations.” Livingstone said access and smart-home technology are now an “absolute must have” not a “nice to have” – “it won’t just be in some apartment buildings; it has to be in all the buildings.” There are several players in smart-home tech technology – but there is not a clear winner, he said. “It’s an exciting time as brands continue to innovate their services to establish themselves as leaders in this space,” he said. Gre......
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Making Craigslist Less Painful


Across multifamily, 72% of communities currently use Craigslist.  Unfortunately, Craigslist tends to be a time-consuming and tricky platform, taking precious time that leasing consultants could be spending elsewhere.  Therefore, we asked Kitty Callaghan, Vice President of Marketing at Wasatch Property Management, to share how they tackled Craigslist!  Below, she shares how they went from managing Craigslist for 50 properties using an Excel spreadsheet to automating the process using Rooof’s PostEngine tool.

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Why Virtual Tours Should Be Part of Your In-Person Leasing Strategy

You likely have your in-person touring strategy and your virtual touring strategy. However, have you considered how virtual tours can help with your in-person strategy? Today’s prospective residents are looking for a community to give them the best possible leasing experience. For some, that means a 100% in-person leasing experience. For others, 100% virtual is the way to go. Or, it may mean a combination of the two. From the first tour and even signing the lease – the entire leasing process can be done virtually or in person. But, some prospects need a hybrid leasing approach. Leasing teams should be prepared to provide leasing options that tailor to prospective residents’ preferences. They need to be equipped to provide in-person tours, virtual tours, and a combination of both. So, that is where virtual leasing software comes into play if it’s not already in use. I’ll explain. Before a Prospect Visits Your Community Before a prospect even sets foot on your property, you can use virtual tours to help set them up for success and save yourself some time. In many cases, prospective residents have only seen 360 or 3D virtual tours of your community before coming in for an in-person tour. Don’t get me wrong; these tours certainly have their place at the top of the leasing funnel. Marketing tools like 3D model home tours are great for sparking a prospect’s interest. But, if you want to accelerate the lead-to-lease process, you may want to take things a step further. Before you have a pr......
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Stop the Virtual Leasing…Enough Already!

Stop the Virtual Leasing…Enough Already! Virtual Leasing is Just One of the Many Options in Your Leasing Toolbox.   Are you ready for another blog about the power of virtual leasing?  How about a step-by-step method for creating an array of virtual leasing choices and mediums?  Sorry, but there are already too many such articles - some darn good ones - floating around our industry.  Enough!   The past 14 months of COVID inflicted social distancing has taught as the importance and impact of various types of virtual leasing.  Pre-packaged, professional videos on our websites are standard website fare.  Homemade videos from your iPhone have become a mainstay.  Live property tours and apartment walk-thrus via FaceTime, Messenger,  and other apps has helped seal thousands of leasing deals that past year.     Has Virtual Leasing Become an Inappropriate Crutch?   Virtual Leasing is no longer new or surprising to our rental prospects; it is an accepted norm.  Often some form of virtual leasing is the default choice first offered to ALL rental prospects.  Caution!  It is too easy and unwise to assume that your online or phone prospect prefers this type of leasing experience.     Consider these questions when choosing your prospect tour strategy: Can I schedule a live, face-to-face tour with this prospect?  And if yes, why wouldn’t I do this first? If we are still not meeting prospects in the office due to social distancing, would an onsite “self-tour” be more impactful than an offsite virtual tour? Do our vir......
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Setting the Record Straight: Short-term Rentals Here to Stay

Setting the Record Straight: Short-term Rentals Here to Stay
Apartment owners might be skeptical of short-term rental companies—after all, several of them went belly-up during the pandemic. But the reality is that while the short-term rental providers operating under master lease agreements struggled, others developed uniquely sustainable business models that proved their resiliency under the most difficult conditions in a century. These providers are now thriving, offering tremendous revenue potential for owners and operators.   Here are a few reasons why:    Working from home is here to stay Many companies have announced plans to increase employee access to remote work or make remote work permanent. As a result, employees increasingly feel unconstricted by geography. They are blurring the distinctions between work and travel and seeking ways to live with more geographic flexibility over the long-term. Spending a couple of months in Denver in the winter, spring in Austin, and summer in Chicago, for instance, might be a kind of planful nomadism that people increasingly embrace. Multifamily communities need to adapt their offerings to this accelerating base of demand. Apartment communities that don’t offer a flexible, furnished option could be left behind.   The revenue-sharing short-term rental model offers upside while protecting the downside    Pre-pandemic, several short-term rental companies operated on a master lease model, which seemed low-risk to many multifamily companies. But those master leases proved to be toxic financial instruments for both parties once demand and revenue plummeted in every market simultaneously. Owners were left with units that were vacant and not monetizable for months on end. Sho......
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The Power of "And"

The Power of "And"
Google the phrase “the power of ‘and,’” and you’ll see that it’s the title of a TEDx Talk, a book about responsible businesses and even the slogan of a university.    Over the years, I’ve come to believe that it is a perfect description of how to achieve real success in lead management.    By this I mean operators too often think of implementing solutions as an either/or scenario: should we offer guided tours or self-guided tours? Should we have prospects interact with chatbots or leasing agents over the phone? The answer in these situations is almost always “both.”   You should offer agent-led tours AND self-guided ones. You should have chatbots AND associates available by phone. What you really want is to offer leads a real choice in the way they interact with your communities - don’t make the choice for them. Allow prospects to trade in their currency and you will see your conversion take off.   Case in point: While self-guided and agent-led tours convert fairly similarly on their own, lease conversion increases by 38% for communities offering both options. That’s because you’re allowing prospects to shop the way they want to shop. And with self-guided tours, you make it a breeze for prospects to make return visits or take their first tours during hours when there are no leasing associates onsite. You are outperforming your competition by allowing prospects to engage by the method of their choosing.   Similarly, one NMHC Top 50 operator saw its conversion from tour to lease jump......
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4 Ideas to Improve Resident Retention in Your Multifamily Community

In today’s ultra-competitive multifamily industry, it’s impossible to keep every resident living in your apartment community forever. Some move out of the area, some decide it’s time to buy a home, and others just have their circumstances change. But, even with all of those variables, apartment resident retention is still a critical part of property management because there are still people looking for a place to call home long-term. And it’s typically the people that are most informed, most comfortable, and feel most at home that do end up renewing and staying for more than just one lease term. As many may know, but it's always good to refresh your memory --- the definition of resident retention is an effort made by the apartment property management group or company to reduce resident turnover. It involves keeping current residents happy and satisfied. How do you keep them happy and satisfied? Well, it's important to ensure they are getting what they desire and need from the property and feeling that they have been treated right by the management company and staff. When done well, a resident retention program can increase apartment resident retention by improving the overall resident satisfaction and bringing the community together in important ways. Even with the best property management groups, looking at new and better ways to increase resident retention will only pay dividends in the long run. Here are four apartment resident retention ideas that multifamily managers can use to lessen resident turnover and increase their overall retention rates in the ......
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4 Easy Ways to Use Social Media Marketing to Find and Retain Residents

social media marketing for property managers  As a property manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Between managing maintenance issues, responding to residents’ requests, and coordinating tours of vacant units, you might feel like you don’t have a second to spare for social media. But social media marketing is a powerful and effective way to promote your property and acquire new residents.  If you’re interested in developing a social media marketing strategy, read on to learn how to effectively market multifamily properties on social media and which platforms you should be using.   Four steps to developing your social media marketing strategy If you’re new to social media marketing, you might not know where to start. To maximize your success, it’s best to go into it with a plan.  Follow these four steps to start marketing your property on social media: Set a goal Determine who you’re targeting Develop a content and posting plan Examine results and adjust accordingly   1. Set a goal Rather than just creating content and posting at your leisure, you need to first develop a goal. Do you want to increase your followers? Or are you more focused on improving engagement? Having a goal in mind will give your strategy purpose and serve as a roadmap for your marketing efforts.  Here are some examples of good goals to set: Gain 100 new followers in one month Generate 10 leads through social media in three months Post every day for at least three months   2. Determine who you’re targeting With your goal i......
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How To Make A Virtual Tour Video To Engage With Residents

As multifamily leasing professionals, you’re constantly looking for new and different ways to engage with your residents. Well, if you know how to make a virtual tour video, you can open up a whole new arena of ideas. Video is by far the best way to engage with residents, and if you have the right virtual tour software, you’re halfway there! Whether you’re sending announcements, community updates or trying to engage with your residents, video is your best bet. Here are a few ideas of how to make a virtual tour video to engage with residents. Announcement and News When we say video works, we aren’t making that up. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. Video keeps your residents’ attention, and it helps communicate whatever news or updates you need for them to hear. Video is also much more likely to get residents to pay attention than flyers under doors or just text-based emails. When you slip a flyer under the door, you have no way of tracking if a resident reads it. With video, you’re able to track your engagement! Email faces a similar struggle. Did the resident actually read the email or did they just click “marked as read” or just moved to junk? True, you can track if the email is open, but are residents reading it? Embedding video helps tremendously. Video can increase open rates by 19% and click rates by 65% while reducing unsubscribe rates......
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New Construction Marketing Experience

Introduction So you've broken ground on your new property...Now what? Traditionally, construction is completed and then marketing begins. Often, this leaves nearly a year (or more in some cases) with zero outreach. In a perfect world, you would collect and nurture leads, blast emails, and market your property while it's being built! Not to worry, this world is not a Stranger Things parallel universe; it exists right here, right now.   New Construction Marketing NCM - New Construction Marketing - is marketing that allows you to market your property before the roof is even on. With New Construction Marketing you can: Collect & Store Leads Engage & Nurture Leads Distinguish Leads Outreach Quickly & Easily Migrate Leads to Your CRM   Collect & Store Leads Instead of your regionals and marketing directors dealing with leads they don't have time for, a good NCM experience collects and stores leads throughout construction so you never miss an opportunity. Make a Splash...Page Consider this, a good NCM experience starts with a splash page to direct and engage prospects to your property website. This allows you to showcase your future property and begin collecting leads.   Engage & Nurture Leads Engagement, tracking, and nurturing is time-consuming especially with no established staff during construction. NCM experiences automate these processes allowing you and your team to simply set it and forget it! Starter/Full Marketing Drip After your splash page is up and running, a good NCM experience offers a series of blast emails and drip campaigns. These emails feature your......
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