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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Tips to Respond to Coronavirus Related Online Reviews

Tips to Respond to Coronavirus Related Online Reviews
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with stay-at-home orders in 31 states and counting, an increased number of families are confined to their homes. During such times, the on-site property teams and resources are likely to be tested. Reviewers are complaining about the property teams not doing enough to combat Coronavirus or lack of accommodations by the management when it comes to rent payment. On the bright side, residents are quick to point out positive actions such as the “manager handing out pizza and sanitizers.”  As you work frenetically to manage this crisis and the effect it may have on your online reputation, how can you effectively respond to some of the criticism stemming from your property’s handling of Coronavirus in online reviews?  Here are some tips to respond to reviews around this fluid situation. Be empathetic: The situation today is an anomaly, and many people are extremely anxious. Be empathetic while reading and responding to reviews, and reassure residents that the management is making every effort to follow guidelines from trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand the local, state and federal government to ensure the well-being of everyone connected to the community. It is critical to reflect sympathy and understanding particularly with complaints related to rent collection during this time of “economic vulnerability.” Monitor your reviews: Get your teams to diligently monitor reviews for any conversation related to this crisis. Nip any apprehensions and further gossip in the bud by reaching out to the resident directly ......
Continue reading
1948 Hits
2 Comments

Operational Struggles: Call Abandonment for First-Time Callers Doubles During Outbreak

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the apartment industry has been closely monitoring its effects on leasing behavior. One unfortunate trend we are seeing right now is the rise of call abandonment. This trend means apartment communities are missing valuable leads and, as a result, operators may need to revamp their leasing processes. Answer Rates Have Materially Shifted First, let’s dig into some data. For analysis purposes, let’s compare the leasing call volume data of Anyone Home customers from February 25 to March 14 against March 15 to March 25. The analysis below looked at calls made to apartment community customers that don’t use our contact center; the calls met the following criteria: •Only leasing calls to multifamily properties •First-time callers only; any repeat or follow-up calls from prospects were excluded Since March 15, leasing call answer rates dropped by nearly half, presumably because apartment communities have scaled back their onsite staffs in the wake of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. What does this decline mean? If a community isn’t using a contact center to answer calls missed by the onsite team, those calls are being abandoned by the prospect. In the analysis above, the difference between a 65% and 33% leasing call answer rate means the properties are now losing an additional one-third of all leads, whereas prior to the outbreak, those leads were receiving some immediate level of engagement. To make matters worse, we did not see any material change to the number of prospects leaving voicemails,......
Continue reading
3047 Hits
0 Comments

Three Ways to Eliminate the Pet Loophole

Three Ways to Eliminate the Pet Loophole
Pets contribute to the aura of a rental community just as much as the rooftop deck, club-quality fitness center, resident lounge or any other amenity—perhaps more so, in the eyes of many. But managing the increasing number of furry family members is no small task for onsite teams.  Today, leasing teams are keeping track of pets that arrive when a new resident moves in, but it’s more challenging to track pets that were acquired during a resident’s stay. Convincing residents to properly register their pets with the community is another challenge.  Tech tools can help with that, and also can provide onsite teams with a snapshot of previous pet and pet owner behavior when they apply at a rental community. Here are some of the ways to close the pet loophole and create the most pet-responsible and pet-friendly experience for residents: Proper pet audits Many apartment communities believe they have their pet population fully accounted for, but oftentimes, that’s like believing there are no bears in the forest just because you don’t immediately see them. Odds are, there are more than a few unregistered pets on your property, particularly because no comprehensive screening methods were available until recently. Taking inventory of all pets at the property can be a tricky task without being invasive, but an audit has immeasurable value.  Blowing a dog whistle and seeing which apartments have barkers isn’t a good strategy, but a few ways exist to help with a pet audit. These include revisiting a resident’s pet situation at ......
Continue reading
942 Hits
0 Comments

Using Data to Create a Personalized Leasing Experience

It can be argued that the primary focus for multifamily organizations over the past five years has been to find ways to streamline the leasing process. It has proven to be a valuable pursuit, but that objective in itself leaves something on the table.  Modernized leasing processes provide immeasurable benefits for leasing teams by automating laborious procedures, but these processes don’t truly move the needle unless they allow the capability to customize for each prospect. Fortunately, the same technology that can simplify the leasing process can also be utilized to enhance the prospect experience.  In an instant-gratification consumer landscape, prospects will quickly move along if the application process—and leasing process, in general—becomes too painstaking. Here is a look at some of the ways the industry can apply technology to help individualize the prospect journey.  Digitally remember them  The need to fill out multiple forms largely consisting of the same information should be a thing of the past. Bidirectional integration technology is available that can digitally remember the prospect, allowing much of the information from the original lead form or leasing application to be auto populated into other channels. A prospect should not have to fill out multiple lead forms to get information from a community and then re-register from scratch for a self-tour. If a prospect is seeking a quick transition to a new home—and most likely they are—surrounding them with too much red tape might be a deal breaker.  Use data to drive the customer experience Multifamily organizations have data but often......
Continue reading
918 Hits
0 Comments

How to Manage the People Side of the Coronavirus Emergency

How to Manage the People Side of the Coronavirus Emergency
I know. I know. If you're like me you may be tired of hearing about the coronavirus or COVID 19 emergency. You may just want to quarantine yourself for the next 14 days with a case of wine (or your favorite beverage), great food, lots of toilet paper and binge watch ALL of your shows for the next two weeks.  However, if you still have to work in this temporary new normal fueled by COVID 19, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on how to effective manage yourself, your people (if you're in a leadership position) and your residents during this crisis.  Fear Is Driving the Bus Right Now The first thing to understand is that for most people, fear is really driving the bus right now. Fear of getting the virus. Fear of gathering together. Fear of losing income. Fear of not being able to pay rent. Fear of not being able to find childcare while their kids are home and parents still have to go to work. Fear of going to the bathroom only to find there is no toilet paper! And yes, the fear of dying.  So, if you're dealing with fear from your residents and/or from your people here are some tips: Don't Minimize-Empathize We are all dealing with this crisis in many different ways. On my social media feeds this morning I have friends telling all of us to RELAX and have not changed any of their plans, while I have other friends who......
Continue reading
3415 Hits
1 Comment

Value Over Risk: Increase Revenue By Evaluating Pets on an Individual Basis

Value Over Risk: Increase Revenue By Evaluating Pets on an Individual Basis
As a property manager, it’s only natural to think of things in terms of risk. Whether it's the new diving board at the resort-style pool, the transition to a keyless entry system or a modification to the types of pets allowed at the community, you can bet the associated risks don’t easily evade the property manager’s mind. But while considering risk is part of the property management ecosystem, sometimes a modified approach can yield better results. For instance, viewing pets on the basis of value rather than risk can serve the dual purpose of generating revenue while enhancing the resident experience. Tech advancements have made it possible to evaluate each pet with a household-related risk score based on its individual behavior history and that of its owner, as pet owners sometimes play a significant part of the pet-risk problem in housing. The risk score creates a much more sophisticated way to determine which pets can be allowed at the property. Rather than restrict based upon breed, weight or any other preexisting characteristic, communities can establish a value-benefit analysis of the pet based upon its all-encompassing individual risk assessment. Here are some ways this can benefit onsite teams:  Sliding-scale pet rent The riskier pet scores on the risk-scale, the higher premium for it to live at the community. Low-risk pets receive benefits in the other direction in the form of baseline pet rent. This is not only a plausible concept—it is already practiced at numerous communities across the nation. Revenue management teams have cr......
Continue reading
1104 Hits
0 Comments

Data is the Key to any Successful Multifamily Relationship

Data is the Key to any Successful Multifamily Relationship
As the technology revolution reshapes the multifamily landscape—and that of virtually every other industry, as well—one old-school concept remains intact: Information is power. Twenty years into the new decade, that concept contains a bit of a twist. The majority of relevant and potentially game-changing information comes in the form of data, so it’s not only a matter of having it. It’s also a matter of properly analyzing it and converting the metrics into something actionable for your teams to utilize. In the past, it wasn’t a common practice for interdepartmental teams to share data-related information. It was essentially kept in silos for each team to utilize on its own. That shortsighted approach is beginning to shift. Here's a look at a few of the ways teams can utilize information for the greater good of the organization. Use data to provide context for certain metrics Marketing teams can provide a cost per lead, cost per click and other similar metrics, but it doesn’t tell the entire story or how effective those channels have been. For context, imagine learning that an athlete is paid $2 million per year, which sounds hefty. But when metrics are introduced that show the average salary for his or her position is $8.4 million, the context shifts. Likewise, when marketing teams also provide benchmark data points, month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons to accompany their cost metrics, it gives a true indication of how the channels are performing. Establish KPIs from the beginning for all departments Key performance indicators—most often referenced as......
Continue reading
1614 Hits
0 Comments

The Unexpected Connection Between Reputation and Key Control

Finger leaving review on smartphoneWe all know that reputation management is important for your multifamily community. As much as 98 percent of prospective residents look at reviews before leasing an apartment. If you were looking for a new place to call home, would you think twice about a specific community if you read the following 1-star reviews? OUR IDENTITY WAS STOLEN. Great job for not safeguarding tenant credit information. My apartment was entered at least 3 different times when I was not home and my front door left unlocked. Key fob access inoperable during power outage on stairwell and possibly all building fob access doors (except individual units) (Service request took 6 months). You have to admit that these reviews don’t make each property sound inviting. There’s an underlying lesson here: Reputation management starts offline — and a critical part of that has to do with having an effective key and access control policy. If you don’t take the right steps to control access to residents’ homes, you're leaving them vulnerable to potential thefts and violent crimes and your property vulnerable to legal and reputation risks. Here are three steps you can take to protect your residents and your reputation. 1.    Keep Accurate Access Logs Whenever someone accesses a resident’s home, you need to have an accurate, verifiable record of it. This rule applies regardless of if your community uses traditional metal keys or smart locks — no exceptions. If your key and access records are inaccurate or incomplete, it’ll be difficult, if not impossible, ......
Continue reading
720 Hits
0 Comments

Responsible Pet Owners Month: Encourage Your Residents to Make a Positive Impact in February

Responsible Pet Owners Month: Encourage Your Residents to Make a Positive Impact in February
Being a responsible pet owner is undoubtedly a yearlong objective. But that doesn’t mean pet owners can’t occasionally take inventory of just how well they’re doing on the accountability scale. February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, which creates a prime opportunity for community managers to encourage their residents to take part. Odds are your community is largely full of responsible pet owners, but even the most stellar of the bunch sometimes aren’t 100% compliant with your pet policies. One idea for property managers during Responsible Pet Owners Month is to pass along a quick checklist for residents that outlines and refreshes the necessary steps to be an ideal pet owner. Items on the list can include: Vaccinations  Sometimes animals are so healthy and vibrant that it’s easy to forget that their vaccinations are overdue. Many indoor cat owners opt not to vaccinate their cats because the rationale is, after all, they’re indoor cats. However, many states require core vaccines by law—such as rabies and distemper for dogs and calicivirus for cats—and all pet owners should be acutely aware when they are due. While regular veterinarians will offer reminders, it’s possible that many of your residents are transplants from a different part of the country and haven’t yet acquired a local vet. A simple vaccination reminder could make the difference in meeting the deadline and lead to healthier and safer pets. Proper registration Many communities have recently added a platform for residents to register their pets at the property. This ensures that all pets at the com......
Continue reading
749 Hits
0 Comments

Real Estate Markets In This New Decade

We at the Calstatecompanies’ Center for Real Estate Studies (CRES) are encouraged by most of the developments at the start of the new decade for the prospect of the real estate markets.      The deal between the US and China to resolve their trade disputes leads us to believe that our economy will regain some strength in 2020, after suffering in 2019. Uncertainty about future trade arrangements was one of the major drivers for restrained real estate investment spending and the main reason why our economy lost so much steam in the past year.      In addition, the parliamentary elections in the UK in December 2019 and the overwhelming vote to leave the European Union (EU) at the end of January 2020 are also sent clear signals, which have reduced uncertainty for the real estate investment markets. The UK left the EU on 31 January.     The uncertainty about a potential escalation of the US-Iran conflict also started to abate as Iran decided to avoid direct military with a token retaliation after the assassination of General Soleimani by a US drone.       A development that may have an immediate negative impact on our economy is discovery of the coronavirus in China and the spread of this disease to other parts of the world.  Real estate equities have posted losses since the discovery of the disease mid-January, with values down by around 3%.  So far, at the time of writing, 14,557 people have been infected by the n......
Continue reading
714 Hits
0 Comments