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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

You Signed A Lease; It’s A Contract.

  Every manager and leasing person has experienced the frustration when a new resident challenges a policy or clause in their lease. I didn’t know: The non-smoking policy would apply to my guests. I had to have management approval to have a pet. There would be a penalty if I moved out before my lease is over. Everyone in property management is well aware a lease is a legal binding contract.  Unfortunately, many residents want to overlook this minor detail. The Importance of the Lease The lack of respect for the lease as a legal document may start with the management team at the property.  The new resident rushes into the office to pick up their keys. The moving truck is right behind them, along with an entourage of families and friends to help move furniture.  “They don’t have time to sit down and review everything.  Afterall, they’ve signed leases before.  They’ve been working with our staff for weeks, surely if it’s important, we’ve probably already explained it to them, right? “. Sign here, initial, initial, sign and witness.  “Send me my copy by email, or I’ll pick it up later,” close out the lease signing appointment. Even if the leasing staff was able to point out a few key items in the lease, how much of the resident’s attention was focused on the explanation?  The new resident is thinking about where to place the furniture.  They are concerned if  the dining room table make the turn in the hallway.  And, of course, how......
Continue reading
1697 Hits
0 Comments

Lease Clauses That Generate More Revenue For Student Housing

Lease Clauses That Generate More Revenue For Student Housing
When it comes to student housing or even rental accommodations, investment properties are typically regarded as a relatively one-dimensional profit generator in which rental payments serve as the only revenue. However, there are a few lease clauses that could potentially be netting landlords additional income or saving them more money.Landlords are advised to review their local tenancy laws to ensure that these lease clauses or addendums are both applicable and legal in their jurisdictions.  1. Utility Cap Clause (For All-Inclusive Rentals)A popular option amongst student renters is all-inclusive accommodations. While this option is a great selling feature for student rentals, it can result in some large variable utility costs for landlords. To help minimize the variable costs, a utility cap can set specific quotas for what constitutes as “all-inclusive.” To set the utility cap, there are many resources online (typically through utility provider websites) which will show the average energy consumption for various household sizes. To read more about utility caps, check out this blog.   While this lease tactic isn’t necessarily going to generate more revenue, it will certainly encourage tenants to be more energy conscious so they avoid paying utility overages. Utility caps will often lead to lower utility bills when tenants are more cautious of their use.  2. Pet Rent or Pet FeeWith nearly 76% of millennials reporting they own pets, this lease clause is one that will apply to the bulk of student tenants. Instead of trying to enforce a no-pets policy which will end up turning away a sizable portion of stude......
Continue reading
1426 Hits
0 Comments

Dear Gabby: LEM best practices

Dear Gabby: LEM best practices
Dear Gabby,   I haven’t been getting much sleep recently. I am not sure if it was in anticipation for the premiere of the Walking Dead or because I am struggling with lease expirations at my community. Should I be looking at the market? At my units? Or just letting my residents (or soon to be residents) choose the lease term that they prefer?   ...HELP!   Sincerely, #AWalkingDeadFanWithAProblem   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear#AWalkingDeadFanWithAProblem,   Don’t worry, lease expiration management (LEM) is a tough thing for most property managers to get a grasp on. Similar to how I can’t get a grasp on the size of my closet...I keep buying shoes thinking I have room for them only to realize my closest is already full. If you or a friend happen to have some closet space available, help a sister out.   Anyways...Here is a quick list of best practices that I usually follow:   Limit/Expand Term End Dates: To ensure that your community/building doesn’t empty out at the same time, you should stagger end dates in your leases. You can stagger based on apartment type so that you always have a variety of layouts for people to choose from or you can stagger based on lease signing.   You can also include a month-to-month option. This will aid people during their decision process. If they don’t have to sign a lease right away, they may move in, only to think about their options and realize they want to sign a lease and stay.......
Continue reading
1156 Hits
0 Comments

10 Ways to Knock Out Lease-Up Growing Pains

10 Ways to Knock Out Lease-Up Growing Pains

As exciting and anticipated as new developments are, challenges exist. Construction delays, traffic struggles and selling prospective residents on a “work in progress” are just the tip of the iceberg. Some of these obstacles are unavoidable while others can be counterpunched with a strong right-hand of preparation. Here are ten tips specifically designed to help you through the lease-up process, minimizing the risk of the dreaded "terrible twos". 

Continue reading
3109 Hits
0 Comments

How and Why To Conduct Tenant Exit Interviews

How and Why To Conduct Tenant Exit Interviews
High turnover rates are an unfortunate reality when it comes to managing student rentals. We’ve discussed this phenomenon in the past and identified that student renters are often transient. Centurion Apartments reported that, “Student housing has a turnover rate of about 50% per year, and the average student will rent their unit for one to three years.”   With such a high turnover rate in student housing, landlords should employ strategies to increase tenant satisfaction and minimize turnover. One particular technique that landlords can employ to better understand why tenants are leaving or are unsatisfied is to conduct exit interviews.   Within the industry, it’s a common practice for landlords to interview tenants before signing a lease; but on the contrary, very few property managers conduct exit interviews. Exit interviews can be a treasure trove when it comes to valuable information about tenant retention.   Once a tenant has indicated they won’t be renewing their lease, try to arrange an exit interview. It’s important to schedule this interview as promptly as possible, as there is still a small window of opportunity to encourage the tenant to reconsider and stay. In some cases, the landlord may need to provide incentive for the tenant(s) to partake in an exit interview such as a small monetary reward, gift card or reference letter. The information provided will be worth the cost of a small gift.   Once the tenant has agreed to the interview, it’s time to begin preparing. Landlords and property managers should ask a specific set of questi......
Continue reading
5477 Hits
2 Comments

How To Write a Student Housing Lease Agreement

How To Write a Student Housing Lease Agreement
The lease agreement is the most important component of any rental arrangement, including student housing. The following template will give landlords a general idea of how to make a lease agreement.   Please note that this document is just a sample and landlords are advised to seek legal advice to modify or update their lease document in accordance with their rental accommodation(s) and local housing laws.  SAMPLE LEASE AGREEMENT:   This lease agreement is made this [ENTER NUMBER] day of [ENTER MONTH], [ENTER YEAR], between the following parties:   Landlord: ____________________________________________________________________ Address:   ____________________________________________________________________ Phone #:   ____________________________________________________________________   Tenant(s): ____________________________________________________________________ Address:    ____________________________________________________________________ Phone #:    ____________________________________________________________________  Rental Property: The property being leased by the landlord to the tenant(s) is located at [ENTER ADDRESS] and includes the following furnishing, appliances, etc. [ENTER EXACTLY WHAT IS INCLUDED]. These furnishings, appliances, etc. are expected to be returned in the same condition, minus normal wear and tear, at the end of the lease term.   Lease Term: The rental accommodations are leased for a term of [ENTER NUMBER OF MONTHS], beginning on[ENTER TERM START DATE] and concluding on [ENTER TERM END DATE]. The tenant(s) will take possession at[ENTER TIME] on the term start date and will surrender possession at [ENTER TIME] on the term end date.   Rental Rate: The monthly rental rate shall be [ENTER $ AMOUNT] per month, which is to be paid on the [ENTER DAY] of each month. Rent payments are to be made by [ENTER HOW TENANTS ARE EXPECTED TO PAY / THE OPTIONS OF PAYMENT]. In the event that rent payment(s) are not made in full upon the due date, a [ENTER $ AMOUNT] late charge will......
Continue reading
3180 Hits
0 Comments

Eliminate low self esteem and demand the lease (Part 3)

Eliminate low self esteem and demand the lease (Part 3)
When it comes to closing the deal and getting the lease, few things are more important than believing in yourself and your property. Not having self-esteem when talking to prospects will cost you the lease. It will cost you profits. It could even be the difference between the success and failure of your company. However, if you have self-esteem and believe in yourself, your prospects will pick up on it. They will find you more charming and engaging. They will be more interested in what you have to say, and they will take you seriously. Once you have their interest, you need to close the deal. You need to ask for their money. This guide is going to teach you the most vital concepts to keep in mind each time you interact with a prospect. ------------- This section is going to teach you about having the right mindset. It is critical to have the proper mindset. If you don't have the right mindset, you will unknowingly let interested prospects walk away. You will be leaving money on the table and you will never be as efficient as you could be. If you lack the proper mindset, you will never reach your full potential. Imagine that you have an old childhood friend. This friend has been looking for a specific apartment in a specific location for years now. You have finally found the apartment of his dreams. You know he will be overwhelmed with joy when he hears the good news. Take......
Continue reading
1160 Hits
0 Comments

How To Increase Lease Renewals By Using Renewal Incentives

How To Increase Lease Renewals By Using Renewal Incentives
Resident retention is a particularly challenging facet of student housing. This is largely due to the renting tendencies of students, who are often considered as transient renters. What we mean by transient renters is that they frequently change their living accommodations over the course of their academic careers. This can be rather taxing to landlords and property managers, as low renewal rates create the constant need to find replacement tenants. But what if there was a simple way to boost lease renewals? Renewal incentives are incredibly easy to implement and often aren’t particularly costly; yet surprisingly, they aren’t very common in the student housing sector. In many cases, renewal incentives can help boost lease renewal rates and can also increase tenant satisfaction.A survey was conducted by The Rent Roll, which contains valuable information about what types of incentives are preferred. Some of the key findings were: Rent discounts were the most widely preferred monetary incentive. Covered parking facilities and gym memberships were the most preferred non-monetary incentives. The best time to offer incentives was during the lease signing or right before a tenant’s lease expires. Furthermore, the survey listed four key types of incentives and asked respondents their preferred type: Monetary – 52% Unit Upgrade – 27% Free Service – 11% Household Item – 11% Without a doubt, monetary incentives hold the most weight. The survey went on to detail what types of monetary incentives were most preferred: Discount on rent – 58% Cash – 28% Security deposit rebate – 10% Gift card to a popular r......
Continue reading
3016 Hits
6 Comments

7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September

7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September
September is without a doubt one of the most hectic and stressful months for student housing landlords and operators. We previously talked about how to prepare for the student housing turn season and what to do once it’s arrived.   Here are several things landlords should aim to tackle sometime in September.   1.    Take New Photos of each Rental and Document its Condition: The beginning of September is a perfect time to take new property photos before the new tenants move in. There are two reasons why September is an ideal time for new photos: The unit will be vacant, allowing for photo staging. These photos will provide photo documentation of the condition each unit was in, prior to the new tenants arriving.  2.    Talk Lease Renewals: Is it too early to talk lease renewals in September? Definitely not! Tenant retention is a process that begins the second tenants sign the lease. It never hurts to simply mention that if they like the place and wish to extend their lease, it can be done anytime. Offer incentives or discounts to encourage early lease renewals.   3.    Discuss Renter’s Insurance: In most cases, renter’s insurance is not a mandatory requirement for tenants; but it’s something that should be discussed. Student tenants are often unaware that their possessions are not covered by the landlord’s property insurance or that the cost of renter’s insurance is quite reasonable.   4.     Transfer Utilities into the Tenant’s Name OR Talk All-Inclusive Limitations: If a rental unit is non-inclus......
Continue reading
2119 Hits
2 Comments

Three simple steps to landing a lease over the telephone

Three simple steps to landing a lease over the telephone

***Don't have time to read the entire blog? Click on the video to listen to it now!***  Three simple steps to landing a lease over the telephone Did you know that the telephone can be your greatest sales tool?  It is true!  Read the three easy steps below to ensure that you lock in a lease the next time a prospect calls you over the telephone. Step #1:  Listen, Question and Respond The first step is to simply listen to the caller’s inquiry.  It might not be enough to say, “Yes, we do have the perfect apartment for you to move into right now.”  But, from the first words that they speak,  be prepared to question the prospect further to get details; to determine precisely what they are planning to do, what they have in mind and why they are making the move.  In this manner, you’ll be able to provide the right apartment home.  It might result in a longer lease term or multiple signed lease agreements. It could also result in many more satisfied tenants. Step #2: Ask for the Lease The second step is to ask for the lease.  Don’t ever expect the prospect to close the deal themselves. Some will but most won’t. Don’t be shy about this. The prospect is the person who raised their hand in the first place.  Studies reveal that 60% of those who make pre-purchase inquiries go on to buy the product.  These are good odds.  Make the renter’s life a little bit easier by encouraging the......
Continue reading
961 Hits
0 Comments