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Smart Apartments Make Safe Apartments

Smart Apartments Make Safe Apartments
Fire is a property owner’s worst nightmare, but advances in technology could help lower the risk of apartment fires using web-connected appliances. It’s a feature that many tech-savvy young renters are looking for, and it could pay dividends in reducing kitchen fires. Getting Smart from the Inside, Out Smart technology allows renters to control appliances and thermostats, set alerts, and control security systems inside the home with a smartphone app. Most apartment fires are started by stoves left on and unattended. If a renter sets up an alert that notifies them when they leave home and forget to turn off the stove, they can quickly turn the stove off with the app. These same apps can adjust a thermostat like Nest to help a tenant save money on heating and cooling, and they can be linked to smart smoke alarms so the tenant is immediately notified when an alarm is triggered. But, it’s not only what’s inside the apartment that counts. New door lock technology might make keys a thing of the past, connecting smartphones to locks via access code. That could also lower costs for landlords, since physical locks don’t need to be changed when a renter moves out. A new access code for the new renter, and their security is covered. A Customizable, Step-Wise Approach Little by little, technology is gaining a foothold in multifamily property management. The good news is that the investor can also incorporate that tech in baby steps. A Nest thermostat and smart door locks might be ......
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Ann Matheis
Thanks for sharing! Your blog post offers great insight on smart technology, its benefits and how property managers can integrate ... Read More
Thursday, 13 April 2017 17:21
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7 Tenets of WELL Building Certification

7 Tenets of WELL Building Certification

With the advent of WELL Building Certification, sustainable building practices in multifamily are about to get whole lot healthier for tenants. The WELL Building Standard combines green building concepts with living standards that promote a healthy and holistic lifestyle approach for residents. Its standards are:

  1. Air Quality: Remove all contaminants, prevent air-quality issues, and purify the air tenants breathe.
  2. Water Quality: Strategic placement for optimal efficiency, onsite filtration and treatment.
  3. Nourishment: Access to healthy eating options and behavioral education.
  4. Light: Window and lighting systems that support natural circadian rhythm.
  5. Fitness: Accommodate movement and exercise integrated into daily routines.
  6. Comfort: Acoustic and environmental controls that reduce excess noise, and even smells.
  7. Mind: Programs that support mental health and education.

The standards require things like specific air and water filtration systems, dual sinks with swiveling faucets to minimize food contamination, close-proximity farmers’ markets (or transportation to them), blackout shades, timed lighting that simulates sunrise, and even acoustical panels that reduce excess noise.

Developed by the International Well Building Institute, the WELL Building Standards outlined for multifamily development are a collaborate effort with the Green Building Certification Institute. The pilot program was first launched in 2014 to address worker health inside commercial office buildings, but expanded this year to include the pilot program for multifamily. The lessons learned during the initial certification phase of 54 properties could be used to upgrade residential building standards, across the board.

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How to Generate Leads and Get Conversions

How to Generate Leads and Get Conversions
Property managers who rely on curb appeal and referral marketing may get some leads that way, but a better marketing strategy requires a multi-pronged approach. Capture the attention of prospective tenants with a tried-and-true strategy for generating more leads. Here are five components to a balanced and effective approach: Identify your target audience. Research community demographics, as well as those of your current tenants. Know your target market so you can choose marketing channels that will reach them. Market the features they want. Once you know who you’re talking to, you’ll better understand what they want in a rental property. Play up those features your prospective renters want in all your communications for more effective messaging. Ask web visitors for contact information. Any great website is only as effective as its calls to action. You can build conversion points into various elements of your site: a “contact us” form, a survey, a newsletter subscription, or even an online application. Ask for a prospect’s information, or they may just keep browsing. Maximize your message potential. After you’ve identified your audience and their preferred marketing channels, it may take some tweaking to find just the right mix for your property. While Baby Boomers need more face-to-face time, Gen Yers might prefer Facebook Live interactions. Diversify your mix to get the message across. Remain consistent and measure results. In order for a lead-generation strategy to work, you must commit and follow through. Monitor the results—ask people where they heard about your rental property—to see what’s working and what ......
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What is Your Investor Personality?

What is Your Investor Personality?
You’re probably reading this because you’re as addicted to click-bait quizzes as most people on social media. In real estate, however, all those investor personality quizzes won’t do you much good. Spoiler alert: there are two investor personality types, and you can be both at any given moment. Personality A: The Wealth-Builder Property investors who play it smart earn 12-30 percent ROI, depending on risks and market timing. That’s a sizable advantage over stock market investment returns, which average about 3-9 percent annually. Real estate investing builds wealth, and more risky strategies like flipping can build it more quickly. Investors who are risk-averse, however, might stay more in the second personality type most of the time. Personality B: The Retirement Plan Long-term investors are those who are focused on building wealth for the long-term, specifically, for retirement. Creating a portfolio that will make ends meet after going on a fixed income is a naturally risk-averse venture—no one wants to bet their future on something that might result in a loss. Retirement Planners opt more often to buy and hold safer investments, staying out of the property trading arena as much as possible. How To Be Both A and B Different seasons and goals may require diversification of an investment portfolio. Just like when investing in the stock market, it’s a good idea to periodically re-evaluate your goals, portfolio growth, and income potential and take a multi-faceted approach to real estate investing. As long as you stick with the tenets of smart purchasing—......
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Get to Know the Competition

Get to Know the Competition

By the time a prospective tenant visits your leasing office or even your website, it’s a good bet they’ve already done some research into what other properties nearby are offering. They’re asking friends for recommendations and taking video tours, and they’re compiling a list of pros and cons for your property—and your competitors. If you don’t know how you stack up, you’re living dangerously.

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Brent Williams
I love to share this story from Don Sanders. Basically, he shopped the competition around one particular property and found a lea... Read More
Friday, 10 March 2017 09:55
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A simple checklist for keeping occupancy rates high

A simple checklist for keeping occupancy rates high
Even as property owners add units to the national tally of rental properties, rents and occupancy rates are enjoying a steady climb. While filling vacant units might not seem like an issue at the moment, here’s a simple checklist for attracting and keeping those long-term tenants every landlord wants. Perform your due diligence before leasing. Get started on the right foot with every potential tenant by performing a thorough background and credit screening. Don’t ever go by what you see in just the face-to-face or solely by documentation presented by the applicant. Check references. Keep things running smoothly. When a complaint or request for repairs comes in, don’t let it sit unaddressed. Get it fixed in a reasonable amount of time. This will show your existing tenants respect and help keep the property maintained and looking its best for potential renters. Play fair. Don’t make special concessions for some tenants while not making the same for others. To avoid this situation all together, have rules and guidelines (such as when the rent is due) be the same for every tenant. Communicate your expectations clearly. This builds a good business foundation and retains consistency to avoid any misunderstandings. Focus on curb appeal. Keep the property clean and maintained, plain and simple. An unkempt property is only going to hurt chances of getting new, serious applicants in the door. It could also cause current tenants to begin their search for another complex. Show respect. Treat applicants and tenants with respect in every situation. Just as with......
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7 Ways Property Managers Increase Income Property Profitability

7 Ways Property Managers Increase Income Property Profitability
Paying a property management company might seem like a needless extra expense at first blush. But, before you dive into managing your own investment properties, consider a few ways property managers can use their resources and experience to actually boost your profits. Save time, save money. Some tenants are easy-going and can handle minor property maintenance and small repairs. Others are more high-maintenance. Spend time working or with family rather than hanging light bulbs, greasing squeaky hinges, and trimming bushes at the rental property. Save on maintenance and repair costs. Property managers regularly employ bonded and insured contractors and maintenance staff. The volume of maintenance and repair work that property managers handle means they pay less, understand the work, and can supervise effectively. Collect rent without a runaround. Property managers handle all collections and any legal issues that arise from nonpayment, including eviction. Keep properties rented. Management companies vet tenants to find the best ones, keep tenants longer than owner-managers do, and keep vacancies to a minimum. Managers set a fair rent for your property and market it effectively to attract the best tenants. Maximize property values. Management companies know all about the best improvements you can make for your money to improve its actual market value. They'll share that knowledge with clearly written, easy to understand proposals that are tailor-made to increase your profit margin. Simplify income taxes. Property management contract payments are actually tax-deductible expenses. A good property manager also keeps all your paperwork and receipts in one place,......
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The Modern Face of Multifamily Emergency Preparedness

The Modern Face of Multifamily Emergency Preparedness
Disaster is an efficient and devastating teacher, and the lessons property owners have learned from natural disasters in the past two decades are legion. The most important take-away is that failure to plan is a plan to fail. Responsible property owners have a responsibility for the health and safety of their tenants, and that’s why a thorough emergency preparedness plan has become an absolute necessity. Prepare for location-specific disasters Before you can adequately prepare for the unexpected, know what you might expect. Fire is the enemy of every property owner, so that’s a given. But, if your property is in a flood zone or Tornado Alley, you’ve got other potential problems to address. Seasonal weather disasters call for specific plans, timely communication with tenants, and well-trained staff who can launch into action at a moment’s notice to evacuate and secure your properties. Mentally prepare your renters Keep those lines of communication open, and send regular safety tips to your residents. Encourage them to keep up with weather warnings, and use social media and text alerts to get emergency messages to tenants. Make sure they know—in advance—where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Send them a list of things to pack in a “go bag” to reduce the time it would take to evacuate their family when time is of the essence. Also, address where they can find information about when it’s safe to return home. A little advance research can pay off big-time when disaster strikes. Having rock-solid......
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Residents demand saltwater pools

Residents demand saltwater pools
For many renters, the most appealing amenity an apartment community can offer is a fabulous outdoor gathering space. The crown jewel of any multifamily outdoor space is its swimming pool. More often than not these days, young renters expect that pool to be chlorine-free, and that means saltwater is the wave of the apartment pool future. Saltwater provides recipe for health Chlorine sanitation systems in swimming pools use chlorine bleach and other irritating toxins to purify the water and prevent the growth of algae and harmful bacteria. A saltwater system accomplishes those ends using salt and electrolysis to produce constant chlorine as a by-product, resulting in clean water that is less salty than seawater. Swimmers notice little or no eye or skin irritation—and no green hair—from swimming in saltwater pools. Initial investment worthwhile Converting an existing chlorinated swimming pool to a salt-chlorinating system requires an initial investment of as little as $2,000. But, it's an investment that may be recouped in chemical additive savings and lower maintenance costs over just one season. A forward-thinking apartment complex is one that holds the promise of cleanliness, responsiveness, and a well-maintained property overall. Those are qualities that attract and keep long-term renters. Get the word out: Saltwater brings in renters  Make sure to market your saltwater pool and other high-end amenities via social media and other digital marketing channels....
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Grabbing the Attention of Millennials

Grabbing the Attention of Millennials
Immersive Youth Marketing recently released the results of its thought-provoking study on the best ways to capture the attention of Millennials. In it, the agency identifies many ways marketers can best reach this demographic. It’s a report written about Millennials, most likely by a Millennial, in Millennial-speak. So, we’re taking the liberty here to break it down and show just how applicable these recommendations are, even for the multifamily industry.  Do something eye-catching. This is a visual demographic. They are techno-savvy and digitally-minded. Your marketing efforts should take this into consideration. Make sure your content fits the media environment. Simply put: make sure your marketing can reach your target audience on any device, anywhere. Don’t put out a video that’s so large, most devices can’t process it. Make your ideas easy to navigate. Running a contest for your tenants? Want to grab the attention of Millennials with a new promotional offer? Don’t get caught up in the details. Make it straightforward, easy to understand, and, more importantly, easy to join in on. Remember: people are processing hundreds, if not thousands, of details being fed to them digitally, every day. Make your message simple, yet memorable. Find a Trojan horse. Sometimes, the best way to get your message out to the public is to have help carrying it to them. Is there a well-loved local band that can sing your jingle in a commercial? How about a partnership with a beloved local charity with which you can partner with for in-community promotions, contests, a......
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