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Customer Service Aptitude- Associates

A few days ago I was on the receiving end of some particularly poor customer service. Know the feeling? Yuck! I have such a poor taste in my mouth I may not shop at Macy’s again for a whole month! But seriously, I was reading on MultiFamily Insiders and came across this interesting topic in their archived discussions relating to the Customer Service aptitude of Associates. The discussion was about the challenges with getting into contact with Owner Managers, beginning conversations and obtaining appointments. An associate felt he had a legitimate service or product to offer and that he was being disrespected by a particular Decision Maker that he was calling on. He did not know this customer. He wasn’t getting a return phone call. From what I could gather, this particular vendor did not seem to have any empathy for the person from whom he was attempting to gain business. It is Associates such as these that telephone every single day, refuse to take no for an answer, etc. that send Owner Manager’s seeking cover. You may not catch the Owner Manager today, next week or next month but if you do not operate with a Customer Service Aptitude you will never earn their business. I love what Jen Piccotti, an industry colleague on the west coast, had to say on the topic! “I guess it comes down to this - we can't control those around us, we can only control ourselves and our own interactions. I choose to approach......
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Property Management Career Building

One of the most commonly touted reasons property management professionals provide for working in this industry is diversity. Not only is each and every day different from the one before but, also, property managers have the unique opportunity to put a wide range of different skills and talents into practice. With this in mind, there are several different avenues that may lead one to a property management career. Perhaps your background is in real estate, finance, law, or marketing. You may apply any of the professional skills learned in these areas to property management. Or you may simply find yourself wanting to utilize certain qualities or characteristics, such as dealing with people on a consistent basis, problem solving, or multi-tasking. In the property management field elements of all of these professional areas and personal skill sets will come into play. While you don’t have to be a master of all of them (or any of them, for that matter), you do have to possess the willingness to learn certain specific tasks. For example, you don’t have to be a finance whiz to be a property manager, but you do have to perform accounting functions; likewise, you don’t have to have a law degree, but you must have a solid grasp on local, state, and federal laws and regulations to ensure your property is always in compliance. Do you know you want to get into property management but don’t know what your options are? Property management positions come in all shapes ......
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Building Managers and Owners: Lease Your Rooftop for Solar Energy and more!

If you have usable rooftop space, did you know that independent power producers, solar energy companies, urban agriculture companies, and more want to lease it from you? That is right, your rooftop space is a valuable part of your property now.  If you aren't listing it as a site for energy production or urban farming, you are missing out on getting a return from your unused rooftop space.  When your rooftop space is used as a site for energy production or food production, you get either a flat $/sq. foot lease rate, a split of the profits from the energy or food produced and sold, or a reduction in your energy bill with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). You can also get a combination, for example, a flat lease rate plus a PPA.  Site requirements for solar energy, wind energy and urban agriculture vary. Most flat (or up to 30 degree sloped) rooftop space may be useful for these purposes, as long as you have a 1,000 sq. foot or more building.    It's important to know that when they contact you, the interested power or food producers will request a site inspection to walk your property (with an Engineer) to determine if your rooftop has the structural capacity to handle additional weight.  This is a good and necessary step to ensure that your rooftop is a good fit for their projects. If all requirements pass, you can then begin negotiations of the lease rate, PPA, profit sharing, and other benefits you......
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Fergie & Will.I.Am were their personal coach...

I gotta feeling The BlackEyed Peas will be showing up flashing Camden Residential tattoos at the 2010 NAA Education Conference and in their next music videos.

You guys gotta see this. I've tweeted it and posted on the RentWikiHouse page. 

Camden Residential ROCKS. Easy to see why the company is included in Fortune 100's "Top Places to Work".

Come on Apartment Operators...let's see what YOU've got.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtFxQeJvdd0 433x300]

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Resident Oriented URLs are ABUNDANT - should you Go Daddy?

It seems that most companies are still buying URLs that promote themselves. Even though many of us have read "the cluetrain manifesto" and are working hard to use our "human voice" in business. Many of the best resident oriented URLs are still ripe for the picking. If we are going to be "found" in the new marketing world, the content must attracts renters when they are looking (Googling) for answers and information that mattes to them. While in Canada I searched for the availability of the follow URLs and found everything I could think of AVAILABLE!  I just heard that $200,000.00 was paid for Multifamily.com. How valuable will the best resident oriented  site names be once everyone begins moving in this direction? If I had a ton of cash laying around, I think I would pick up a few of these and see what happens.  Have you thought about how you are going to attract the public to your apartment community blog? What key words will move a renter's google search to land on a blog built by YOU? What can you share in the spirit of "pure giving" in a human voice that services the public? How can you create blog content that will build trust and loyalty in total strangers and inspire them to find out more about you? Is the URL stile available to share that message? Here is a list of blog names and content descriptions that I started and shared with my executive audience in Toronto.Before I close......
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ASKING FOR IT. "Bring it." Nuggets are out there.

Litmus Test - Ric Campo, CEO of Camden, national REIT based in Houston, BELIEVES in litmus tests. Camden is awaiting waves and raves. Multifamily Executives are asking for it. They're sticking their toes into the water...they just want Reviews and Communication through Social Media done RIGHT. They are seeking new ways to bridge the Consumer & Community Gap. Check out these recent Tweets; A national Apartment Management Company sent out this St. Paddy's Tweet..."My Lucky Day! I just turned my first negative Resident Tweet into a Positive!" And this one during March 19th's weekly Friday afternoon Twitter #AptChat. "Rented on of our apts recently? If so, let other renters know how you like it by rating it at http:..." In an ironic twist and despite the ever-growing frustration with various apartment ratings sites, several Multifamily executives are not only willing to put their properties up for review, but they are actually asking for it. “Regarding apartment reviews, it’s not that somebody has to do it, it’s that somebody has to do it right,” said Mark Juleen, VP of marketing for the JC Hart Company based in Carmel, Indiana. “Ratings and reviews have been out there for a long time in the form of ApartmentRatings.com and now Yelp.com. The problem is, these companies aren’t fostering open communication between the renting community and the apartment community.”  Companies eager to engage in the two-way dialogue taking action today include Camden, Mission Residential, Mills Properties, Gables Residential, Urbane Apartments, and the JC Hart Company.“We believe in......
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People change when the pain of changing is less than the pain of not changing... True or false?

leaky bucketThis statement was made on a call I was on and at first I agreed. Something did not ring right though... Here are my thoughts and I would love to hear yours. No doubt this economy is impacting all of us in some way and it is safe to say that many are now looking at change as a necessary evil. It is human nature to be content with status quo in most cases. So here is the question that came to mind; have we changed over the last 200 hundred years because we had to or because we felt we could make things better? I strongly believe that most changes have come from the possibility of a better way to do things and not from the pain that could be caused by not changing.   In fact most inventions may have been looked at unnecessary by many and are now "indispensable". Do you believe that Thomas Edison thought that electricity was a need or did he see opportunity for a better and more comfortable life? I know my great grandmother did not let electricity be connected to her home until 1974 because she was just fine that way it was... What does that have to do with you?... Everything! Today's challenges are tomorrow's opportunities. By embracing change as a new and better way to do things you will gain a source of excitement rather than a feeling of beating beaten up. The key word that I see tied to cha......
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Where do prospective tenants find you?

www.activsalesagent.com

With new technology and many ways to reach out to prospective tenants a question always come to mind; How do you stay focused on the right activities?

It seems like there are too many possible strategies to be able to do all of them well. The only way I can see being able to be efficient at managing both time and money invested into marketing efforts is to have accurate and constant measures to performance of each marketing strategy being used. i.e.: Number of leads, appointments and closed sales.

 So here are my 3 questions to you;

  • What have you found to be the most effective 2-3 marketing strategies to connect with new prospects?
  •  What is a the biggest trend over the past 3 years when it comes to creating more effective marketing solutions?
  • Do you believe the internet has now become the logical path for doing preliminary research for a prospecting tenant?

 let's chat about it!

www.activsalesagent.com

Frederic Guitton

www.activSalesAgent.com

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Career Advancement in the Apartment Industry: Speak the Language of Business! by Daisy Nguyen

In today's economy, for every job opening available, there are hundreds of applicants. In working with owners/investors/executive level management, their number one complaint is: there is a shortage of TOP level talent. Many, look outside their organizations to find TOP level talent. And yet, everyday, I hear from people in the industry that feel they are passed over for advancement opportunities and they WANT advancement opportunities. Why the discrepancy?There is a mis-conception that if you are the best at your what you do, it is only natural that you advance. While this is very true in the apartment industry, it is only HALF of the equation. If you want to double your chances of career advancement - the other half of that equation is this: You MUST learn to speak the language of business.(Picture provided by daviddmuir through creative commons license on Flickr.)Whether you are a leasing agent wanting to advance into National Sales Director, or a marketing intern with your eye on VP of Marketing, or a junior accountant wanting to advance to Controller, to Maintenance Technician looking for advancement to Maintenance Director, you must learn to speak the language of business.What is the language of business? It's not a foreign language - it's learning to communicate your contributions to your organization in terms they can understand AND appreciate. It comes down to 4 words: SHOW ME THE MONEY! Or more accurately, Show THEM the money.I have attended many "owner's/investor's" meetings. (Sometimes as an owner's representative, sometimes as a management company's representative.) I have been at the middle-management level as......
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UGLY ROOF STAINS

  Let's face it...you are tired of seeing them. Yes, I am talking about those ugly roof stains. Are the roofs in your complex covered with black streaks & stains? If so, then you may be surprised by what the staining you see actually is. It is a form of algae called "Gloeocapsa Magma" which feeds on crushed limestone used in common asphalt shingles. The good news is it can be removed using the right roof cleaners and cleaning technique. Many people don't realize what causes the stains on your roof. We have heard almost everything...from residue of jet fuel to the shingles rotting from the insideout.                                                                               The truth is shingle roofs are manufactured with different degrees of quality. Most roofs applied by builders and roofing contractors are in the low quality to at most mid quality range with few, if any, fungus fighting elements like zinc or copper.                                                                                                                   Contributing Factors: - Black fungus requires three things to grow: heat, moisture, and a nutrient. Nutrients can be found within the shingle themselves while other variables contribute to and hasten fungus growth. The algae develops an actual root system and lifts granules off the shingles. The north side of the roof is usually the first to exhibit staining because the moisture remains there longer. Add to that, the type, grade and manufacturer of the shingle, the age of the roof, the close proximity of trees, pools, or lakes, how hot and humid the weather is and if there are leaves accumulating on......
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