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Can Netflix Influence Multifamily?

How many Netflix movies or shows have you binged that would have never been on your radar if it weren’t for the personalized recommendations that show up every time you log in? Or, what about Amazon and the recommendations they serve you every time you visit their website based on a previous order? The point is, that other verticals can help influence the multifamily industry and how we market, lease, and engage with prospective and current residents. So, what sparked this idea? In case you missed it—Kristi Fickert, VP of Enterprise Growth, and Angie Lombardi, VP of Marketing at The Franklin Johnston Group hosted a webinar where they discussed why teams need to stop leasing new apartments with old strategies. Impressed by the number of takeaways, below are three of my favorite takeaways! 1. Use Personal Experiences and Apply It To Multifamily Look outside of multifamily and follow other industry leaders or companies who are creating great personalized experiences, such as Netflix or Amazon. It doesn’t cost you anything to hit the “Follow” button. Other industry leaders, even outside of multifamily, may help you spark up an idea. 2. Automation is Important, but Personalization is More Important Personalization is not just saying “Hi, [name].” You need to customize your automation to fit each prospect’s needs based on their behavior. Website heatmaps are known to help identify that! 3. Video Is Powerful Customers want options, and incorporating personalized videos into the leasing process creates a more authentic and efficient process for the prospect – even......
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New Construction Marketing Experience

Introduction So you've broken ground on your new property...Now what? Traditionally, construction is completed and then marketing begins. Often, this leaves nearly a year (or more in some cases) with zero outreach. In a perfect world, you would collect and nurture leads, blast emails, and market your property while it's being built! Not to worry, this world is not a Stranger Things parallel universe; it exists right here, right now.   New Construction Marketing NCM - New Construction Marketing - is marketing that allows you to market your property before the roof is even on. With New Construction Marketing you can: Collect & Store Leads Engage & Nurture Leads Distinguish Leads Outreach Quickly & Easily Migrate Leads to Your CRM   Collect & Store Leads Instead of your regionals and marketing directors dealing with leads they don't have time for, a good NCM experience collects and stores leads throughout construction so you never miss an opportunity. Make a Splash...Page Consider this, a good NCM experience starts with a splash page to direct and engage prospects to your property website. This allows you to showcase your future property and begin collecting leads.   Engage & Nurture Leads Engagement, tracking, and nurturing is time-consuming especially with no established staff during construction. NCM experiences automate these processes allowing you and your team to simply set it and forget it! Starter/Full Marketing Drip After your splash page is up and running, a good NCM experience offers a series of blast emails and drip campaigns. These emails feature your......
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Why You Still Need Virtual Tour Software in 2021

Why You Still Need Virtual Tour Software in 2021
By now, you’ve had to have heard of virtual touring. Many know virtual touring software became a must have for multifamily real estate in 2020. Yes, technology made its way through the industry in years prior, but wow — 2020 saw the demand skyrocket for virtual touring. While things certainly exploded in 2020, it’s not time to change course. Virtual touring, and the need to adopt technology to support it, isn’t going anywhere in 2021 and here’s why. Safety and Security In 2020, COVID-19 and the accompanying shelter-in-place, social distancing, closed leasing offices, and other restrictions made leasing agents everywhere realize they needed to know how to create a virtual tour. Prospective residents weren’t able to be there in-person to see the space, but leasing agents still had a job to do. Well, unfortunately, COVID-19 and all that comes with it are still impacting how we run our businesses and how we live our daily lives. For many Americans, COVID restrictions are still very much in place. While it varies state-by-state, some citizens aren’t allowed or don’t feel safe venturing to too many places. And that can include touring a potential new apartment community. It’s key to provide these prospects with a quick and efficient way to tour your community in a safe and secure way — that is in their own homes. They can take a tour through a personalized pre-recorded video library or a virtual live tour and get the experience they are looking for without a mask or worrying about what......
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2020’s Impact on Multifamily Housing

  It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a roller coaster ride. This year has drastically impacted businesses across industries, including all sectors of real estate.  Though multifamily housing is no stranger to change, it is rare to see change at the accelerated rate we’ve experienced during 2020. In response to COVID-19, multifamily property managers, owners, and developers have had to adapt to social distancing, health concerns, and a demand for safer, contactless experiences. Here’s an overview of how 2020 has changed multifamily housing and what you can do to adapt to the circumstances, retain residents, and continue signing top-dollar leases.   Once amenities, now necessities Up until 2020, multifamily buildings set themselves apart from the competition with amenities. Once reliant on high-touch amenities — like 24/7 concierge and house cleaning services — multifamily housing eventually shifted to high-tech amenities. These amenities capitalized on technological advances and focused on adding convenience to residents’ daily lives. Now, in 2020, residents prioritize safety over convenience.    As COVID-19 remains a public safety threat, renters are more concerned with: How to avoid touching high-risk surfaces Who is entering their building How communal spaces are shared   Real estate professionals must step up and make an effort to adapt to residents’ shifting demands. This effort starts with adopting property technology (proptech) solutions to boost resident safety.   Using proptech to create safer buildings Technology has the power to keep your building secure and give residents the peace of mind they deserve. Property managers, owners, and developer......
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Stressed, uncertain, and overworked: This is how the onsite team feels

Stressed, uncertain, and overworked: This is how the onsite team feels
The pandemic has adversely affected both renters and personnel working in the multifamily industry. In a recent survey exploring team morale, J Turner Research found a 24% differential between the onsite teams and executives’ rating of their satisfaction with their company's handling of the pandemic.   The onsite teams were asked what their company could have done better to handle the pandemic, how the company had succeeded, and what ongoing challenges exist. In the open-ended comments, one recurring sentiment was that as essential, front-line workers, onsite team members felt disappointed with management’s lack of support, flexibility, and monetary compensation.   In analyzing the open-ended comments by onsite team members, the following themes emerged:   Lack of adequate compensation/hazard pay Many respondents from the onsite group said they were inadequately compensated or should receive hazard pay for working additional hours and putting their lives in danger. They highlighted the effect of the pandemic on income in reduced bonuses and expressed the need for more paid time off.  Despite some associates achieving leasing renewal rates between 70 and 85%, many reported receiving no commission, as there was no rent increase.   Unfair treatment of staff with children There was a general feeling of resentment and disappointment, particularly among staff members with young children. Many echoed that management had treated onsite team members with children unfairly — they did not offer flexible work schedules or childcare for such employees. Some reported an ongoing fear of losing their job, despite having young children to look after......
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Impact of Payment Chargebacks on Rental Applications

When accepting online rental applications, property managers typically allow a prospect to pay their application fee or holding deposit using a credit card as a convenience. However, with online payments comes chargeback risk which can plague property managers and can create financial loss for the properties. There are steps that properties can take to reduce the number of chargebacks and streamline the process, however only a few ways to protect themselves from this risk completely. But first, what is a “chargeback?” Chargebacks happen when a consumer submits a payment, but then later contacts their credit card company to dispute the transaction and get their money back. The cumulative effect of chargebacks is significant. A reported $7 Billion was lost to chargebacks in 2016 and the Nilson Report predicts chargebacks will rise significantly costing merchants $31 billion by 2020. The chargeback rules exist to protect consumers, and valid chargebacks help protect cardholders against defective purchases, or cases of fraud/theft when the credit card was not authorized for use. However chargeback rules get frequently abused, and up 81% of chargebacks are simply fraudulent attempts to not pay for valid transactions. In the case of rental application fees, property managers often see chargebacks when a rental application is denied, despite clear communication that rental applications fees are non-refundable. Property managers also sometimes run into chargebacks when payments are made from a joint account and one of the account holders does not recognise the payment, or when a resident moves out and neglects to cancel their autopay. No matter what the reason is behind the......
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Vendors are People Too!

Vendors are People Too!
Yep, I said it. Vendors are people too, and deserve to be treated . . . well, the way you would like to be treated.  Don't get me wrong. Your suppliers must earn your continued business and your trust, and when they give you less than satisfactory service you have every right to demand better or replace them. Managing your supplier relationships well is a critical component of a successful business; and companies who treat their suppliers as well as they treat their customers are way ahead of the game as a result. But this blog isn't about how to manage your supplier relationships; you can get some great information on that much-written-about topic on the web, including these quick reads from the Atlanta Small Business Network and Inc. This blog post is about remembering that your supplier reps have a job to do, a quota to meet, bills to pay and all variety of other obligations, including to their family and friends and other customers. It's about keeping in mind that they are not simply a salesperson, a customer service specialist, a landscaper, a technical support rep . . . you get the picture. They are real people with a demanding job that requires internal and external management of expectations, who deal with a myriad of life challenges and job challenges. So, where am I going with this? Let me give you a few examples. Recently I saw a post in which an multifamily executive was complaining about the number......
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Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily

Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily
We’ve all heard the banter between folks when discussing their tattoos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said, “I was young and dumb” in reference to tattoos. I sometimes feel this way about mine, as they’re quite visible on my hands and arms. I had them done during my stint as a world traveler, not thinking I’d find myself in the corporate world, wearing long sleeves and rings to cover my teenage rebellion’s lasting mistakes. I’ve been lucky enough to develop business relationships without my tattoos acting as a barrier, however this isn’t the case for some. We all know that millennials are changing the game by promoting a more casual approach to work and with their take-over of nearly 40% of the job force, I foresee big changes in corporate standards. Considering that 40% of millennials carry body art, it’s hard to imagine that this 40% would also carry with them an employment disadvantage, right? A friend of mine thinks differently. She argues that visible tattoos are unprofessional and that their stigma will last much longer than my hopeful fantasy suggests. Recently, we toured a downtown Las Vegas community, where our leasing consultant was heavily tattooed. She was dressed casually and had facial piercings. I connected with her and admired her artwork and style, but my friend resented her choice of dress and visible tattoos and our consultant had “lost all credibility” as far as she was concerned. This incident showed the difference in our perception of what’s acceptable in t......
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3 Tips to Make Your Property Improvements Pay for Themselves

  Multifamily housing is a competitive market, whether you manage new Class A's or performing Class B's and C's. This is as true now as it has ever been, especially when it comes to multifamily rental properties. Consider where market conditions are today — high demand, limited supply, relatively low interest rates, and a strong job market — along with how quickly new technologies are presenting different amenities and solutions to problems. And the biggest dilemma facing anyone who owns or manages multifamily properties is how to properly invest today in order to stay ahead of the competition now and into the future. Unless you have a crystal ball, this is no easy task.   One of my favorite professors once told me that understanding value is simple, as value is simply a function of the utility provided by a product or service divided by its cost. In recent years, market conditions have allowed market forces to drive up the price part of this equation. However, the strong economics that have been a tailwind to rate increases have also spurred new supply investments — both traditional and new asset classes like professionally managed single-family rentals — that are coming online over the next couple of years. Whether you serve rent-by-choice or rent-by-necessity residents, the right amenities are the tools that can differentiate an asset and attract and retain tenants, regardless of the economic cycle.   Most of the amenities that drove differentiation in the past cycle are now considered table stakes. ......
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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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