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There's No Place Like Home: What Delights Residents During COVID-19?

There's No Place Like Home: What Delights Residents During COVID-19?
  As property teams and residents learn to operate in the new "normal," exceptional service by the office and maintenance staff is getting a huge round of applause from residents in online reviews. In analyzing hundreds of 4 and 5-star reviews which mention the pandemic, it is evident that property teams’ efforts with regards to increased cleanliness, clear communication, and practicing social distancing are getting generously acknowledged in reviews. But what really stands out is “amazing,” “friendly,” “caring,” “attentive,” and “professional” service. Bottom line, a little more kindness and understanding during this unprecedented time will go a long way in cementing strong relationships with residents in the future.  “I love living here, even during a pandemic! The staff is amazing. Very professional, friendly and caring." What are the top compliments by residents in online reviews? What can you do to delight your residents as you navigate through this crisis? Below are insights from positive reviews to excel at resident engagement and earn their appreciation.   Go the extra mile When the staff has gone the extra mile or checked in personally with residents, residents are quick to thank the staff for showing care and concern. Some actions acknowledged in reviews include: Staff members handed out pizza and hand sanitizer. When a resident was laid off, a staff member provided leads on jobs. Maintenance team was quick to fix the garbage disposal when a husband ran the disposal with a baby spoon in it. The property was complimented for being a family-friendly community. The manager ......
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The Resident Package Dilemma

The Resident Package Dilemma
Resident packages are problem, specifically for the Apartment Industry. As reported recently by NBC, Camden made a controversial decision to not accept resident packages across its entire portfolio. This sparked heavy discussion as to whether or not accepting packages is a luxury amenity or an expected utility. Opponents of this controversial decision claim that as Millennial tenants continue to claim reign over the apartment industry, accepting packages will be expected, almost without question. Speculators believe that the market will force Camden to rethink its current strategy or risk slipping from its current position in the multifamily market. The alternative seems unlikely: Apartment communities across the nation refusing to accept parcels on site? Not likely. In this age of online shopping and convenience, it doesn’t seem feasible to just not accept resident packages. Millennial tenants have high expectations and are only loyal to the best option in the moment. Even some Gen X and Y tenants are likely to make similar changes to their living arrangements for the sake of convenience, especially considering how often these folks shop online.  Power players like Morgan Properties from the east coast to GHP Management from the west coast and others all over the country are seeing this as an opportunity to stand out from Camden’s stance on resident packages and are announcing with fervor, their willingness to accept packages on their apartment listings. Property owners and property managers alike would like to get out of the package management business, but it’s not clear that it’s an opti......
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What is the Value of a Departing Resident?

This is meant to be a conversational blog post, so please chime in with your thoughts in the comments below! When a resident decides to turn in their notice to vacate, does that mean they suddenly don’t have any value to their community?  For most communities, once they receive that NTV, that resident isn’t really a primary concern anymore, as they fall through the cracks between the status of a prospect who needs to be sold, and a resident who needs to be retained.  But even though they are moving out, they are still a dedicated audience, and my question to you is this:  Are you getting any residual value from that relationship? I met someone about two weeks ago who worked in the home buying sector, where his company helped home buyers get a discounted rate for their real estate agent.  Although we are not in the exact same space, our industries deal with the same clients, just at different points in their timelines.  Oftentimes, our residents become their prospects, so the question came up about whether multifamily properties, who had received a notice to vacate, could actually be a referral source.  For many of us, the idea doesn’t sound quite right – it’s like breaking up with someone and then introducing your ex to a future boyfriend/girlfriend.  Although we would like to feel we are all mature adults, the idea doesn’t necessarily sit well.  But if we could get away from that feeling and look at things in a completely ......
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Resident Retention: Pardon That Turkey

b2ap3_thumbnail_Turkey.jpgWe've all been guilty of it: "One-two-three-not-it!" the office team groupthinks as THAT resident comes in for the 5th time this week. Who will be the poor sucker who gets stuck this time? I'm not going to pretend that we're gonna absolutely love every person who moves into our community, but we've got to remember that each person is a customer, which makes them a VIP. And we need to treat them as such. Reality Check: Now more than ever residents are looking for a "sense of community." But according to our most recent study conducted with Ball State university this summer, "sense of community" begins with the resident's connection with the community staff, not with the other residents! So, with that reality in mind and with Thanksgiving in sight, it is entirely appropriate to discuss how to deal with those Turkeys (the people, not the birds). 1. Give a warm welcome and a fond farewell. This come straight out of the Ritz-Carlton handbook, folks. Think about when you arrive at a friend's house for dinner and how good it makes you feel when you walk in the door and your host/hostess lights up and seems thrilled to see you. While we don't need to greet each resident with a hug, we can make them feel important by being happy to see them. Often times, this one action (showing genuine warmth) can take the wind out of a complainer's sails. They may be more reluctant to demand attention on their p......
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Full Employment Act

Lady JusticeBy Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA There's been an awful lot of discussion around this blog regarding a landlord's liability for personal injuries and property damage occasioned to tenants and third parties. It would seem like the landlord is exposed in all manner of fronts for all manner of different circumstances. Appearances notwithstanding, the blog readers will know that the issue of notice, control, and an opportunity to remedy are all important in California in determining whether a landlord owes a duty to protect someone from injury. If they do, more forward-planning readers might be thinking: "Well I'll just protect myself by inserting a clause in my lease agreement that waives the tenant's rights against me." There are two problems with that. The first is that in California, any such language is prohibited by statute (Civil Code §1953) and public policy. The statute provides that unless the lease is presented to the lessee before she takes possession of the property, any provision in a lease which purports to waive the lessor's liability to the landlord for breach of a duty which leads to personal injury or property damage is void. This might suggest that if you show the lease agreement before the tenant takes possession, you might be able to work around it. Not so. Case law takes this exception away in the case of residential leases. The public policy behind it is that housing is important and difficult to come by, so a person should not be forced to waive these rights just to get a great a......
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What Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Can Teach Us About Property Management

By Steve Boudreault, Buildium, Boston, MA It’s about time that Buildium’s top wordsmith started writing blogs for All Things Property Management. So here I am and here we go! I’m going to use my first ATPM blog to connect property management to my number-one passion: Star Trek. Specifically, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9). Deep Space Nine focused on the space station of the same name, in orbit around a planet called Bajor. Originally an outpost of the evil Cardassians, it was built using Bajoran slave labor during The Occupation, which lasted nearly 50 years. When the Bajorans finally ousted the Cardassians, Starfleet sent officers to take over administration of the station, and try to help Bajor and the Bajorans get back on their feet. The wrinkle comes in with the discovery of a stable wormhole that connects the area of space right around Bajor to the distant and completely unexplored Gamma Quadrant. Now instead of being at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in space, Deep Space Nine is at the crossroads of a major interstellar highway. That’s progress for you. So what connections does Deep Space Nine herself have to property management? I’m glad you asked: Responsibility. The station was built by Bajorans for the Cardassians but is administrated by Starfleet. So one of the first questions was this: Whose responsibility is it to clean up and repair the station, which the Cardassians were so kind to trash before they left? Is it the owner’s responsibility or the manager’s?......
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