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Dress Codes Remain Important in the Apartment Industry

Dress Codes Remain Important in the Apartment Industry
It seems almost impossible to imagine now, but there was a time when people dressed up to fly. During the 1950s and 60s, men donned suites and women wore dresses while traveling on airplanes. I bring this up not to grumble about the sweat pants and flip-flops you often see on today's airline passengers, but to point out how much more casual Americans are today about their attire. The work outfits that were once reserved for casual Fridays are now seen every day in some office environments. In such an era, property managers might be wondering if having a dress code for their onsite leasing teams is really important. In my view, the answer is, resoundingly, "yes." Dress codes remain essential to creating a professional environment. When team members dress in a professional manner, they are more likely to behave in a professional manner, and they are more likely to command the respect of prospects and visitors. At ROSS, we have a fairly strict and detailed dress code. For starters, no visible body piercings, except for earrings, and no visible body tattoos are allowed. In the leasing office, women are to wear navy blue, black or gray business suits or pantsuits; skirts must be of a conservative business length (not more than 2 inches above the knee). Men have to wear navy blue, black or gray business suits with buttoned dress shirts. This may seem old-fashioned to some, but our employees really respond to our dress code and recognize how important......
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Creating a Great First Impression at the Leasing Office

Creating a Great First Impression at the Leasing Office
You work hard to make sure your community’s exteriors and model units look great. But what about your leasing office? In most cases, the leasing office is the first indoor location a potential renter will see. If it leaves a bad first impression on renters, they’ll probably opt to rent elsewhere. Don't let a chaotic leasing office be a deal breaker for renters! Keep your leasing office in great shape with these four tips. Straighten Up A messy leasing office can be a big turnoff to potential renters. When Rachel the Renter walks your leasing office and is greeted by a disorganized mess, she’s probably thinking to herself, “my rent check and maintenance requests will probably get lost in one of those messy piles too.” Tidy up the leasing office at the end of each day, and remind your staff to clean up after themselves in common areas, like the printer and kitchen. Keep Things Fresh Potential renters don’t want to smell that tuna sandwich your leasing agent ate for lunch yesterday. Make sure your leasing office always smells fresh! For starters, be sure to take out the trash every day. Then, pick up an oil diffuser or, bring in a bouquet of fresh flowers to freshen up the office and bring a bit of springtime indoors. Offer a Treat In many cases, potential renters have been out and about touring apartments all day. Help them recharge with a small snack. Providing treats doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Bottled water and a b......
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5 Tips for Staying Healthy in the Office

5 Tips for Staying Healthy in the Office
Last week marked the official start of autumn, which means that cold and flu season will be here before we know it. Stay healthy in the leasing office this fall with these five tips. 1. Wash Your HandsAccording to the CDC, keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs and stay healthy. Be sure to lather up with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds several times a day, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after coughing or sneezing. Keep a bottle of waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer at your desk to use when you don’t have easy access to soap and water. 2. Adopt Healthy HabitsAdopting (or maintaining) healthy habits can prepare your immune system to better fight infections. Be sure to exercise regularly, eat healthy and get enough sleep. Plus, remember that stress can make you more susceptible to illness, so do your best to keep it in check. 3. Wipe down Your DeskKeep a container of disinfecting wipes handy and wipe down your desk, computer area and phone at the end of each day. Encourage everyone in your office to do the same. It’s also a good idea to regularly wipe down printers, door knobs and anything else that is frequently handled. 4. Keep Your DistanceGerms travel in coughs and sneezes, so if one of your coworkers is sick, be sure to keep your distance from him or her. 5. Call in SickIt’s no fun being sick.......
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Master Your Next Apartment Tour with These 6 Tips

Master Your Next Apartment Tour with These 6 Tips
After checking out your photos and  videos and reading your community reviews, a prospective renter is interested in learning more. So, he schedules an in-person tour of your apartment. This tour will play a big role in whether or not this renter chooses your apartment community. No pressure, right? Take a deep breath…and master your next apartment tour with these six tips.    1. Greet them WarmlyFirst impressions are lasting impressions. Greet prospective renters with a smile and a handshake to start things off on the right foot. 2. Let in the LightI don’t know many people who would want to live in an apartment that is dark and gloomy. Open the shades and turn on the lights so the perspective renter can see the unit in the best light possible – literally. 3. Tailor Your TourDon’t give the exact same tour to every prospective renter. Instead, ask the renter what he’s looking for in an apartment and what attracted him to your community. Then, tailor your tour to the prospective resident. For example, if Randy the Renter is a cooking enthusiast, highlight the features of the unit’s newly remodeled kitchen so he can imagine himself living (and cooking) in this apartment. 4. Keep your DistanceAfter you’ve given the prospective renter a tour, give them an opportunity to wander around the unit. Stay close enough that you’re available to answer questions, but not so close that you’re making him or her feel uncomfortable or pressured. 5. Ask for FeedbackWhat did the prospective renter like about......
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Motivate Your Leasing Team with These 7 Simple Tips

Motivate Your Leasing Team with These 7 Simple Tips
Your leasing staff plays a huge role in your community meeting its occupancy goals. After all, they’re the ones out on the front lines every day taking calls, giving tours and getting new leases signed. But a leasing consultant’s job isn’t always an easy one. Read on for six things you can start doing in your office today to help motivate your leasing team. Create a Pleasant AtmosphereIt seems simple, but something as simple as greeting your employees in the morning and wishing them a good evening at the end of the day can go a long way in making your office a place your leasing staff looks forward to coming to each day. Go the extra mile by taking a genuine interest in your employees’ lives. Did Lisa the Leasing Consultant just get back from a Caribbean cruise? Ask her how it was, and then stop to actually listen to her answer. Don’t Skimp on PraiseIs one of your leasing consultants a rock star on the phones? Don’t assume she knows it. Employees want to hear they’re doing a good job. So tell her in person or mention it during your next staff meeting! After all, there are few things more motivating than being told you’re great at what you do. Offer IncentivesJust about everyone enjoys some friendly competition. So consider organizing a contest to see who brings in the most leases during a given week or month. The reward doesn’t have to be big – it can be as simple as a gift card to a local res......
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The 3 S’s to Ensure Multifamily Resident Satisfaction

The 3 S’s to Ensure Multifamily Resident Satisfaction
Prospective renters that come to your multifamily property always have that set of requirements they make their decision on. Which properties they actually choose to tour depend on your online presence of the property (Yelp, photos, Google Maps) and most importantly, that call they make to a leasing agent. There’s always a chance, regardless of the quality of a property, that they may see something that worries them, whether it be a bad yelp review, not being budget friendly or weariness about the location of the property. Put your renters’ minds at ease by reminding them of the 3 S’s that stand out at your property: Safety A frequent question prospective renters have on the phone is whether or not the property is safe. If the renter is new to town and unfamiliar with the neighborhoods, they could make the mistake of getting fooled by the website without knowing community issues. You’re not in the business of fooling. No matter where your property is located, always make sure to take the time to explore every avenue of your property that could be a safety risk. Important safety features that many updated properties feature include gated parking with remote access and key fob access to buildings, pools and gyms. But it’s what your property is doing that no one else does that sets you apart, and makes the renter choose you. Offer them a number of an on-call security guard that can walk them to their car if they feel unsafe at night. An......
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How to Get Your Leasing Staff Off the Phone and Showing More Apartments

How to Get Your Leasing Staff Off the Phone and Showing More Apartments

As the managing broker and owner of a boutique apartment marketing company in downtown Chicago, Luxury Living Chicago, I spend a great deal of my time calling leasing offices scheduling showing appointments. In turn, I know as much time as I spend calling around, the leasing staff at the Chicago multifamily properties we work with spend even more time on the phone scheduling.

When I was tasked with running the lease-up of a student housing complex converting to market-rate apartments, I wanted a better, more efficient way to schedule showings. I wanted my leasing team to spend their time on tour with clients, not taking appointments via phone. Every aspect of my lease up would be done electronically, including scheduling showings.

After some research, I discovered ShowMojo, an online service enabling landlords, property managers, leasing agents and Realtors to schedule and confirm showings with renters and buyers online.

With ShowMojo I had the power to control the hours when prospective tenants could essentially sign-up to come in and tour.  This meant that I could allow for an hour or two throughout the day for my leasing agents to get paper work done around their showings.

I believe that utilizing this tool contributed to the quick lease up of this property - my leasing team rented 34 units in 45 days.

If you want your leasing staff to spend their time on tour, and ultimately rent more apartments, I highly recommend implementing an electronic scheduling strategy.

 

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