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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Leasingology 101: Learning Multifamily Lingo

Leasingology 101: Learning Multifamily Lingo
If you're new to the property management/multifamily housing industry, you might feel as if industry veterans speak a language all their own. And, they really do, don’t they? It reminds me of the scene in the movie Good Morning Vietnam where Adrian Cronauer remarks to his boss, who is fond of using military acronyms and jargon, “Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn’t we keep the PC on the QT? ‘Cause if it leaks to the VC he could end up MIA, and then we’d all be put on KP.” I remember in my early days my CM coming to me telling me, "Rommel, remember when you're filling out the MSR to get PTE...." WHAT????? So…if you are new to this whole thing, we wanted to give you a quick primer on the terms you’re likely to hear and what they mean, so that you can get up to speed quickly! And if you're an industry veteran please forward this to your new associates and add your own as well! Occupancy: This is a number, expressed in a percentage, that tells how full a community is. So, a 100 unit community with 95 apartments occupied is said to be 95% occupied. Availability/Exposure: This is a number, expressed in a percentage, that tells how many units are available for rent. This number is often confused with occupancy, but it is different! So, if a community has 100 units and there are 8 units available for rent (regardless of ......
Continue reading
6732 Hits
5 Comments

The Secrets of Dealing With "Cray-Cray" People

The Secrets of Dealing With "Cray-Cray" People
I was doing some work for a company not that long ago and took a few phone calls. Man, it must have been a full moon or something because I spoke with some crazy people that day. If you have worked onsite for any period of time, you know that the multifamily universe does have our share of “cray-cray” people! I had someone yell at me because the United States Postal Service didn’t deliver her package into the mailbox or package locker and instead kept it at the post office. The mail carrier left her a note letting her know of this and she was ticked off at me because USPS did this. (Let that sink in for a bit.) Now, of course, I wanted to say, “I don’t work for USPS! If you have a problem with the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE have you considered calling the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE???” Now, since I teach customer service for a living, and since I like this gig, I figured I better not say what I wanted to say. So, I tried to grit my teeth through it-and even though I did my best to help her, she still had a conniption, yelled at me one final time, said some things that I cannot print here and hung up on me. Incidentally, I don’t know if she ever called the United States Postal Service. So, how do you handle them?? One: Do not become the problem! One of the most important things you can do is to resolve......
Continue reading
2663 Hits
0 Comments

Asking for the review

Asking for the review
Have you ever left a review on your own, just because? Chances are you were either super happy or more likely, super upset about a particular incident. On the rare occasion, someone may ask you to. But that’s the exception, not the rule typically.   So my question is, are you asking for reviews? Or are you passively waiting for someone to be sufficiently upset or sufficiently over the moon happy to post something about your community on their own? If it’s the former, kudos to you, super star! If it’s the latter, you need to get busy! Like, yesterday.   This is a world where people rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions. Facts are facts, whether we like it or not, it's gonna happen. Are you leaving your property’s reputation and future revenue in the hands of just anyone? What you should be doing is controlling that message as much as possible.   Are you making it easy for your happy residents to review you? If not, why not? There are so many reputation management tools out there that can help you manage your message. Even if you don’t have anything budgeted for reputation management, there are plenty of things you can do that don’t cost a dime.   Invite your residents to review you. You know the residents who love you. You know them by name, you see them all the time, they hug you in the hallways. Why not send them an email with a link to your commun......
Continue reading
5410 Hits
1 Comment

Are you over-promising and under-performing?

Are you over-promising and under-performing?
Are you over-promising and under-performing? Not the best business plan ever. No one has ever gotten a job or a raise from over-promising and under-performing.   I get it. You want people to like you. You want people to admire you. You don’t want to give them bad news or be mad at you. You’re super optimistic about what you can get done. All sorts of reasons that we might over-promise. So what do you do? You soften the news. At home it’s, “Ok babe. I’ll be ready to go in five minute!.” As you’re standing there in your unmentionables still deciding what to wear and in desperate need of a shower. (Don’t judge me, you’ve all done this. I’ve done it three times this week already.)   In a work situation it’s, “I’ll have this project to you in…um…three days. Yes, three days. For sure.” Then when you get it to them in a week they’ve probably been blowing up your inbox or phone, have lost confidence in you and (the absolute WORST) are disappointed in you. UGH.   Unless three days is actually feasible, why not be honest? “Listen, I’d love to have this to you in three days, but it’s going to take two weeks.“ Sure, they might be a little disappointed that you’re not going to have it in three days. But watch their eyes light up when you get it to them in one week.   Wouldn’t you say that eye lighting up is SO much better than sighs of disappointment? Her......
Continue reading
472 Hits
0 Comments

The Southwest Airlines Secret to Success-And How You Can Make It Work For You!

The Southwest Airlines Secret to Success-And How You Can Make It Work For You!
As a corporate trainer and motivational speaker I travel a lot for my business. In fact I like to say that I "commute via airplane." It has gotten to the point where I can identify what restaurants I want to eat in and where they’re located in a particular airport. I have also found myself wandering the gates of airports looking for a restaurant that I cannot find, and then realizing that I wasn’t in the airport I thought I was in! And while I travel on a few different airlines, my favorite tends to be Southwest Airlines. At first glance this may sound weird to you, since Southwest is known as a “low-fare” carrier, they don’t offer you assigned seating, the seats are all the same; a flight attendant once told me, “It’s all first class here!” There is nothing fancy about what they do, yet Southwest consistently tops flier satisfaction surveys, and continues to do well in a highly competitive industry. Why? I think Southwest continues to succeed because of these factors: They know what their customers want They give it to them They allow their people to have fun Let’s look at all of these items. The first 2 they know what their customers want and they give it to them. Southwest customers want low fares, free check-in bags, decent snacks, points that are easy to earn and redeem, free in-flight entertainment and a friendly crew. (Well, at least this is what I want!) So, Southwest gives it to their customers. ......
Continue reading
3351 Hits
8 Comments

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Maintenance Supervisors

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Maintenance Supervisors
I have the honor of working with numerous Super Stars in apartment Maintenance.  They certainly had technical skills, but what made them successful were these 7 Habits I’ve observed consistently in the best of the best Maintenance Supervisors: 1.They pick up trash. When we walk a property, Juan stops if he sees that trash has fallen during the day.  I do it too. He’s not “too good” to take time for the small stuff. I admit the antenna go up when I walk with staff and they pass the trash and don’t reach down for it. I try to set an example, picking up as I go along, and respect those who do as well. 2.They do more than is on the service ticket. Mark has a couple of standard items that he and his team check every time they perform a service request. They check faucets for leaks, test the smoke detector, and check for running toilets, as well as spotting obvious problems, like worn weatherstripping.  There may be more, but these are standard items.  It saves the property money, keeps the resident safe, and demonstrates caring to the customer.  In the long run, Mark’s job is easier on the turn, since he’s taken care of problems each time he enters the apartment.   3.They communicate with residents. Marvin and his team speak to the residents they pass, leave behind information about repairs in their homes, and will make phone calls or home visits when a resident has a question about his or ......
Continue reading
7035 Hits
4 Comments

Turn of Phrase: 5 New Takes on Multifamily Lingo

Turn of Phrase: 5 New Takes on Multifamily Lingo
Every morning as I was growing up, my dad would put a single word on the refrigerator.  It was the family word of the day.  Before bedtime we had to give an example of how the word influenced our day.  Some words were easy such as “friend” and “smile”; over time they became more mature like “altruistic” and “fortitude”.  Early on I learned that words held the power to affect my actions and decisions.  I adopted the practice when I became a parent and now my daughter is in an eternal love affair with words. Interactions with residents and prospects are predominantly verbal and the words we use can help or hurt our efforts to lease and renew.  It may seem improbable that a single word could do all that but we know when it comes to multifamily, nothing is improbable.  Here are five words I believe we can work into daily conversations to win over prospects and residents. 1. Home – As an industry, we’ve moved away from sterile words such as “unit”.  Early on in my career, I was taught to use the term “apartment home” because it sounded warmer and gentler to the ears.  But what if we can soften things up even more and instill a little pride in ownership to boot?  Next tour, try your best not to use the word “apartment”, instead stick to saying “home” – a simple switch that relays a sense of comfort and dignity.  “Well John, I think I have the perfect home just for you.” “Hi Mary, ......
Continue reading
2205 Hits
2 Comments

Spreading Joy: Lessons from an Eighteen Month Old in a Parking Garage

When I was leaving work today, there was a girl, approximately 18 months old, standing on the bumper of a car with her mom in the parking lot. As each person passed by her, she would call out “Hi!” As grownups do, she was usually ignored on the first greeting, but that never slowed her down. She would repeatedly bellow, “Hi!” with increasing volume until the passerby engaged with her. To get a full understanding of the situation, at five o’clock there are droves of people getting into their cars in the parking lot, so there was a constant parade of people leaving and a chorus of “Hi” to each one. We are all born with an innate desire to be noticed by other people. I was observing the situation as I approached, and noting the responses she was getting. I was also noticing her mom’s reactions.Her mom seemed a little embarrassed and shy. She tried to quiet the little girl a couple times, but that little one was not going to be stopped. And I started thinking, we are all born with an innate desire to be noticed by other people. In yoga practices, and in some religions, it is customary to say, “Namaste”. Namaste loosely translates to, “the light in me recognizes the light in you”. I’m not a psychologist, and I could research this to give you all the data supporting my assertion regarding our need to be recognized, and I’m not going to. Instead, I’ll do this little experiment with you to prove ......
Continue reading
2156 Hits
4 Comments

Making Money is NOT Always About the Money

Making Money is NOT Always About the Money
I wanted to share with you a story of a great customer service experience I recently had with a man named Bill Moore of Softcomm Industries. I am a member of Civil Air Patrol, and as a aircrew member trainee, I wanted to stop using the aviation headsets that are in our planes and used by different people, and wanted to have a set of my own. (This thought came to me somewhere at 3,500 feet when I wondered “Who else has been using these? And did they clean them??”) I found a headset, that was perfect for my situation, on eBay at a good price and was very excited when it arrived in the mail. My excitement was tempered a little when I realized that there were no cushion pads on the ear covers, just the covers themselves. After wearing them for a bit it was clear that they could really use the foam cushions! Wah-wah.  I looked online at my usual sources and couldn't find an exact match for my headset…then I looked on the Softcomm website and saw that they head accessories (like the ear cushions) but the only indication on how to purchase them was verbiage that said, “Contact us to find the dealer near you.” So, I contacted them to find where I could purchase the cushions and I received an email from Bill that simply asked for my mailing address. I gave him my address and I assumed that he was sending the ear cushions to me, an......
Continue reading
881 Hits
0 Comments

Avoid the "Wal-Mart" Approach to Selling

Avoid the "Wal-Mart" Approach to Selling
I have to be honest with you, I am feeling rather uninspired with many of the leasing “professionals” in our industry lately. Over the past few months I have been doing work for and with a vendor company, which requires my being in touch with communities (and associates) all around the country…and the results have often been awful! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve called communities and the person on the other end of the line sounds like this … I UNDERSTAND! I DO! I worked onsite for many years, so I understand the feeling many of you have when the phone rings. Listen, after answering dozens of phone calls every day, when the phone rang AGAIN for the 30th time, I had my days when, all I wanted to do was this…   It wasn’t always easy to answer the phone and sound like I cared, but I knew it was important to my company, my career and my paycheck that I answered the phone like I really did care every time. So step one is to make a decision to be friendly on the phone. The second is to sound like it! Here is a tip that I learned a long time ago on how to sound friendly, engaging, happy and nice on the phone…. Learn From the Radio If you have a favorite DJ, haven’t you noticed that they all speak in a certain “DJ Voice?” They speak that way because on the radio they need to find some way to be e......
Continue reading
1284 Hits
0 Comments