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Top 3 Things to Budget for in 2022

Top 3 Things to Budget for in 2022
Fall is fast approaching and you know what that means. Budget season! As you carefully calculate your property management budget for 2022, it’s a perfect time to consider ways to improve your property and resident experience.   To help you be strategic with your finances, we’ve compiled a list of the top three things to budget for in your 2022 plan:  1. Amenities2. Resident Retention3. Property Technology   Amenities Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your residents are spending more time at home than ever before. As a result, residents are prioritizing different amenities for 2022. This is a unique opportunity for your property to stand out by including more of what today’s renter is looking for.  Desirable community amenities include: • Coworking space: Accommodate the growing work-from-home trend and foster community at your property by adding a coworking space. • Onsite storage: Over 31% of Americans say they wish they had more storage space. Capitalize on this by turning any underutilized space into storage for rent.• Outdoor amenities: Appeal to renters with upgraded outdoor amenities like rooftop patios, dog parks, and community gardens.• Guest parking: Improve the day-to-day lives of your residents by renovating or expanding your parking to accommodate visitors.    You can also increase your property value with in-unit amenities such as: • Onsite laundry: In-unit washers and dryers are a top priority to renters. Although it requires an upfront investment, your rent revenue can increase up to 20 percent!• Heating and cooling: Improvements to your units such as central air conditioning ......
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Multifamily Budget Busters: Hidden Line Items That Put You in The Red

Multifamily Budget Busters: Hidden Line Items That Put You in The Red
Budget season. It’s that joyous time of year when multifamily owners and operators break out in cold sweats, start obsessing over spreadsheets and settle in for some sleepless nights.  This year, budget planning could have been particularly painful. Thanks to the pandemic, property managers have seen revenues decline while simultaneously incurring unanticipated expenses. Generally speaking, 2020 has done a number on most companies’ financials.  Fortunately, 2021 doesn’t have to repeat the performance of its predecessor. By turning the lessons learned in 2020 into budget line items for 2021, apartment communities have the opportunity to streamline operations and pinch a few pennies in the process.  Erasing the Red The economic conditions created by the COVID-19 health crisis in 2020 forced management companies to accommodate residents and families facing lost or reduced wages. The widespread inability of renters to make monthly rent payments was a significant setback to the bottom line, and it was compounded by the necessity to implement enhanced cleaning and sanitization services, deploy virtual platforms for tours and leasing, and equip associates with the resources required to work remotely.  Those same budget costs won’t be surprises in 2021. While we don’t know how long the pandemic will last, the industry has found ways to push through it. Fortunately, many of the tech innovations that multifamily has turned to during the health crisis have established operating efficiencies that begin to offset any decrease in rental income and the expense of new services. That isn’t to say that everything has zeroed out at this poi......
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Multifamily Budgeting Tips During a Pandemic

    It’s that time of year again, budget season. In a normal year, budgeting comes with it’s own set of challenges, in a year with a global pandemic, it can seem nearly impossible.    I had the opportunity to sit down with 3 multifamily friends to chat how they were weathering the budget season in the middle of a pandemic.  Marcella Eppsteiner, Vice President of Marketing for Mission Rock Residential, Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing for Morgan Properties, and Savannah Wheeler, Vice President of Finance, Treasury and IT for Mission Rock Residential discussed next years budgeting strategy and how to adjust to an unpredictable world moving forward.    Embracing Nimbleness and Agility  Pivoting in the time of COVID requires nimble responses and openness to change. ”During a week in March where everything stopped, we realized 2020 was going to be an outlier,” Marcella says.    Mission Rock Residential, which typically does extensive performance evaluations for each of their communities when planning budgets, won’t just be comparing year over year, but several years to get a better idea of how far off they are from the norm due to the pandemic. Marcella shares that this year’s data alongside the five previous years should be a key factor for budgeting, along with prioritizing requests.   “Traditionally, we would share feedback and input for the strategy. This year, the real difference is seeing the granular data points that are strategy-determining factors for each department,” Marcella  says.   This year’s global economic upheaval propelled......
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4 Ways To Use Maintenance Data During Multifamily Budget Season

  For multifamily managers, budget season typically is not the highlight of their annual calendar. Off-sites, bootcamps, late nights, endless spreadsheets, stacks of reports for filter through...ugh. A thorough, well-crafted budget often requires us to step outside of our comfort zone and deal with personnel issues and other things that personally impact people we work with/for. If this isn't challenging enough, the budget proposal is just the first step. It is most often followed by upper management/C-level/board review and in many cases, the dreaded word - CUTS. Wash, Rinse, Repeat until you get to something that works.  OK, enough of the monotony - so how can maintenance data help? Data collected within your maintenance operations can be a hidden gem when it comes to the overall condition or staffing of your property from a maintenance perspective. Here are four of our favorite areas to dig in:   1. Maintenance Categories/Tags   Most property management software tools do a very good job of enabling categorization of requests. Analyzing and sorting work-orders/service-requests by maintenance category (some systems refer to this as "tagging") can provide a treasure-trove of information during the budget process. Based on multifamily industry data, the average 300-unit property generates average of 150 resident service requests per month. Add another ~50 on top of that if your sites track make-ready activities or preventative maintenance. Over the course of a year, or even just 6-months, there is a lot of harvest-able information when budget-time rolls around. Export them into a spreadsheet ......
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Top 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Budget Season

Top 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Budget Season
It’s that time of year: budget season. While it can certainly be a stressful time, there are plenty of steps you can take to ease the process and help you actually look forward to the year ahead! Survive budget planning with these tips:   Get Organized. Everyone’s method of organizing may be different, but the important thing is to set aside time to carefully and thoughtfully work on your 2015 budget. Take a look at the previous year’s budget to see what needs to be updated and what should stay the same.   Prioritize Your Spending. When taking a look at last year’s budget, you may realize that there are areas that can be reworked to minimize spending in the coming year. Before you fret about cutting your budget, though, think of ways to maximize those dollars that you ARE planning for 2015. For example, maybe you feel like your trade show spending was too pricey in the past – so consider cutting a show that is not as essential, or use local staff instead of flying out-of-town team members to the show.   Share the Duty. Let’s face it: planning a budget is a lot of work! With many other responsibilities to handle, you can’t devote all your time to crunching numbers. Consider asking your team to help out by tasking them with researching the areas that they are responsible for. After all, they would know their needs best!   Stay Focused. It’s easy to get distracted, especially since you’re also working on many other pro......
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Dos and Don’ts for Better Time Management This Budget Season

Dos and Don’ts for Better Time Management This Budget Season
“If only there was more time in the day!” Do you ever find yourself saying some variation of that statement? You’re definitely not alone. Time is a precious, limited resource…especially during budget season, when your to-do list seems to be endless. Unfortunately, there’s no way to add more hours to your day. But there are a few simple dos and don’ts for better managing the time you do have. Do: Get OrganizedDo you dive right into emails and voicemails first thing in the morning? Resist that temptation. Instead, spend the first 20 minutes of your day getting organized. Take a look at your to-do list, determine your priorities and set goals for the day. Then, take a deep breath and dive in! Don’t: Try to Do It All YourselfIf you try to take on everything yourself, you’ll quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Instead, ask for help when you need it and delegate tasks, when appropriate, to members of your team. Asking for help allows you to get a new perspective on a project, and it also opens up your time to take on other important tasks. Do: Tackle the Most Difficult Task FirstIf you’ve got a list of tasks a mile long, your instinct might be to knock of the easiest tasks first. Instead, try tackling the toughest task first, when your energy hasn’t been drained from other tasks. That way, you won’t spend the entire day dreading the difficult task, plus, the sense of accomplishment you get from accomplishing a difficult task will be a good motiva......
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7 Tips for More Effective Meetings

7 Tips for More Effective Meetings
Budget season is upon us, which means your calendar is most likely packed full of meetings. In-person meetings are an important part of running a successful business, but if those meetings are disorganized, they can be a drain on your time…time that’s already stretched thin as it is (especially during budget season!). Do you frequently lead meetings in your office? Here are five tips to help ensure your next meeting is effective and efficient. 1. Ask Yourself if a Meeting is NecessaryThere are many instances when a meeting is necessary, but sometimes, a phone call, email or quick stop at your coworker’s desk will suffice. 2. Determine the ObjectiveHave you ever left a meeting and thought to yourself, “What was the point of that?” It’s frustrating to attend unproductive meetings…especially when there are piles of work waiting for you at your desk. Make sure the meetings you organize have clear, concrete objectives. 3. Set (and Stick to) an AgendaWhenever possible, distribute an agenda in advance so attendees know what to expect and can come to the meeting prepared to get to work. And during the meeting, stick to the agenda! If something comes up that isn't relevant to the meeting’s objective, set it aside for later and bring things back on track. 4. Keep it ShortI don’t know about you, but most meetings on my calendar seem to be set for an hour. Do you have a meeting objective that can be achieved in 30 or 45 minutes? Then only book 30 or 45 minutes.......
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5 Tips for Less Stress This Budget Season

5 Tips for Less Stress This Budget Season
Do you cringe when you hear the words “budget season?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. Budget season is a busy time for multifamily professionals. With numbers to crunch and dollars to stretch, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and check out these 5 tips to help make this budget season a little less stressful in your office. 1. Stay OrganizedWalking in to the office each morning and being greeted by a messy, disorganized desk is a guaranteed way to start your day off on a stressful note. So, at the end of each day, take a few minutes to organize your desk so you can start the next day with your paperwork organized and easy to find.  2. Take a BreakStand up and stretch. Take 5 deep breaths. Take a quick walk around the block. Stepping away from your desk every now and then allows you to clear your head so you’re mentally prepared to take on your next task. 3. Ask for HelpYou don’t have to do everything yourself. Instead, delegate tasks to your team so you can all work together to ensure everything gets finished. 4. Make Your Health a PriorityDuring the busy budget season, it’s easy to put yourself last on your list of priorities. Don’t fall into that trap! Unhealthy habits like frequent trips to the vending machine and skimping on sleep can actually make you more stressed! Instead, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular exercise and clocking enough sleep each night so you wake up feeling rejuvenat......
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