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How To Improve Your Property's "Green" Standard

How To Improve Your Property's "Green" Standard
Whether managing a large multifamily property or quarantining in a compact apartment, utilizing our money, time and resources well in such unpredictable circumstances is of utmost importance to many of us right now. From a property owning perspective, more people at home means more maintenance calls and trash volume in the dumpsters. From an apartment living perspective, staying home means more home-cooked meals and coordinating food and product deliveries. The Future of Food As food supply chains suffer due to recent restaurant shutdowns and drastic decreases in production, meat-packing plant outbreaks and closures, farms overproducing and underselling product and many more challenges faced from farm to table, it’s crucial to think ahead to a time when food may not be as plentiful and accessible as it is now. We’re fortunate in this day and age to have the technology of refrigeration and freezing to maintain food longer and keep it from reaching vulnerable spoiling temperatures, and now is a better time than any to take food storage seriously. The majority of apartments today include basic or upgraded appliances like a stove and oven, refrigerator and freezer. It’s a time for residents to take full advantage of these included amenities, and for property management to increase their focus on keeping these items in working order.   This article applies to anyone and everyone trying to isolate and stay safe at home, preparing meals for themselves or their families. Limiting trips to the stores keeps employees, families and communities safer as we try to co......
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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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Appeasing the Anti-Pet and Pet-Free Resident

Admittedly, pet owners can sometimes look through a narrow lens. Their pets are everything to them, and they often can’t fathom how anyone could see it differently.  But at a rental property, some residents are between pets, some choose not to own them and others simply don’t like them. Perhaps they experienced a dog bite when they were younger, have allergies to certain animals or have other reasons as to why they’d rather avoid them.  While pet enthusiasts might not be overwhelmingly sympathetic to these individuals, they are not vastly unlike any other resident. Like anyone else, they want a comfortable home, but finding one that doesn’t allow pets is becoming more challenging. After all, 60 to 65 percent of residents own a pet and there are an average of 1.3 pets per household.  As a property manager, ways exist to strike a balance. Although you probably allow pets at your community, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to create harmony between your pet residents and those who would rather not interact with them.  You have to screen each pet and its owner to make sure it complies with your community regulations. Additionally, you should consistently enforce your pet policies to ensure an undisruptive living experience for all residents, pet owners or otherwise.   Part of creating a welcoming environment for anti-pet or pet-free residents involves understanding the factors most important to them. PetScreening data has confirmed the top three apartment-related concerns from non-pet owners. Here’s a look at each and what can ......
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10 eBlasts your Residents Actually Want

Chances are your residents have email inboxes filled to the brim with eBlasts from well-meaning companies trying to make a sale. Don’t add to their pile of digital junk mail. Instead, send them the content they care about. We have created a list of the top ten eBlasts your residents actually want!   Happenings around the community Let your residents know what fun and exciting things are happening around your property! Upcoming Events. Let your residents know about the cool activities you have planned. New Amenity. Tell your residents when your new amenities are open for business. New Features. Clue your residents in about your new features. Whether it is a new piece of gym equipment, ride-sharing stop, delivery lockers, or whatever else, your residents would be happy to hear about it. Opening Day at the Pool. Nothing says summer is here like the first day at the pool! This is one grand opening your residents aren’t going to want to miss.   From your Team While every eBlast comes from your leasing team, the emails in this category are used to make your residents feel respected by and connected to your leasing team. Holiday Greetings. Send your residents well-wishes during the holidays to show them you care and create an opportunity to connect with them. Resident Survey. Give your residents a chance to voice their opinions by sending them a resident survey. Office Closing. Keep your residents up-to-date by letting them know if you aren’t going to be around during regul......
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Multifamily, We Have a Scaling Problem

Introduction First off, we need to explain what ‘scaling operations’ means. Operations are ‘scalable’ if they can use a small increase in costs to generate a large increase in growth. Let’s break it down further. Currently, when a property management company (PMC) gets more properties, it has to invest in more staff. This added cost of hiring new employees cuts into profits. But, with scaled operations, that’s not the case. An employee will can create a system for how to do things and then scale it.   Imagine you have a property management company with 5 marketers managing 50 properties. Now, what will happen if they get 50 more properties? With the standard operating system, the company has to double the amount of marketers. But, in a scaled operating system, the company may only need to add one more marketer.     So, we learned that scaling operations reduces the amount of capital needed for growth. Without scaling operations you are missing out on a few buck on the bottom line. No big deal, right? Wrong.    Let's take a look at the problems that arise when you are not scaling operations.       Symptoms of an Unscaled PMC Property management companies know they have inefficiencies in their lead-to-lease process. We know agents don’t have the tools or resources to spend their time efficiently. Their lead follow-up is weak, systems are not consistent, and scalability is difficult to achieve. Jake Meador, director of content strategy at Rentping, echoes our thoughts stating, “…leasing efficiency improves by improving the overall marketing and leasing system.”    Clerical Work Fills the Day Everyone in bus......
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Hey Property Managers — Branding isn’t just for Apple and Google

BrandingResidentLoyalty Most companies think branding is for giants like Apple and Google. After all, these tech monsters yield a combined $270 billion in value from their efforts. All the result of a well-coordinated branding effort that includes frequently focused messaging and a consistent visual presence at every touch point.However, just because you’re a smaller property management company, don’t think for a moment that branding isn’t just as important for you.Branding maintains consistency with messaging, emails, and other regularly used outreach tools that over time leaves with the consumer a lasting impression of the quality of your company. Done properly, branding can also influence the reactions and thoughts prospective residents, current residents and first-timers have when they interact with your property. First impressions last a lifetime - and with so many other choices out there for your potential residents, it's important that you're building trust and brand loyalty every step of the way - whether they're still a potential lead or an active member of your community.Think about it—a potential resident is evaluating whether or not they want to live at your property (or continue living at your property.) If they walk away feeling like your company is “cheap”, lackluster and disorganized, they’re going to pass you over and set their sights on somewhere else. Having a strong and consistent internet presence is more important than ever - resident communities have become a world full of choices. Properties are a dime a dozen in the mind of the resident, so it’s your job to present y......
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Is it time for a new way to say, "My pleasure!"?

Is it time for a new way to say, "My pleasure!"?
A few years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “My Pleasure-What Chick Fil-A Teaches us About the Power of Elevated Language” that was one of my most popular posts on www.MultifamilyInsiders.com. Here is a snippet of what I wrote about Chick Fil-A in that blog post, “…Besides the food, I love the level of service that they provide, which is unlike most other fast food restaurants. Let me give you an example: at my local restaurant in Huntington Beach, California associates frequently check on all the diners and ask how things are going and if we’d like them to “refresh” our beverage. Notice, they don’t ask if you want a “refill?”  If you say “thank you” they will always respond with “my pleasure!” Not, “no problem.” Not even, “you’re welcome.” Always, “my pleasure…” In the years that have passed since I wrote this post I’ve noticed many more people saying, “My pleasure!” It seems that everywhere I go the baristas, the sales people, the customer service people, the wait staff etc. are all saying, “My pleasure.” Now, while I love the higher level of service that this denotes, I wonder now if it’s time to at least find other phrases to use, since now, instead of sounding different and unique, it may sound “canned.” (Especially from people who may have been trained to say it, but don’t really sound like they mean it!) Here are some suggestions… Of course! Here is why I love this phrase: it shows the customer that your being helpful, friendly, going the extra mile (or whatever it was you did to have the customer......
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3… 2… 1… Cook Off!

3… 2… 1… Cook Off!
It’s that time of year! Cook-offs everywhere are starting their initial planning stages. In this industry, cook-offs are a great way to engage your residents and to get your whole community involved in something yummy. ‘Tis the season for chili. If you do a quick Google search, millions of results appear for award winning chili recipes. Since they are not in short supply, this is the perfect fall cook-off theme. Whether your community has participated in chili cook-offs in the past or you are a first-timer, here are five tips that will spice up your community’s cooking event.  1.       Request Sign-Ups You don’t want to launch a chili cook-off without having an idea of how many cooks and how many tasters will be in showing. Have a sign-up sheet in your main office. To receive higher visibility, start promoting your event around the same time rent checks are due. That way, you will get plenty of traffic coming into your office. Also, you can promote the event on your social media sites using hashtags (ex. #CuppCookOff2015) for tracking purposes. Make sure that is unique for your community to avoid any confusion. 2.       Assign Judges and Prizes What’s a chili cook-off without a little friendly competition? Judges are a great way to keep the competition fair. Assign three to five people to be on the judge’s panel, preferably non-residents. From management to maintenance, this is a great opportunity to get more face time with your residents. Bragging rights are great and all, but nothing......
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Share a Cup of Joy This Season

Share a Cup of Joy This Season
One of the best ways to spread holiday cheer in your community is through hospitality. Setting up a hot cocoa bar in your leasing office or clubhouse is a great way to provide a festive treat for both prospective renters coming in for a tour or waiting to sign their lease to residents who might want to grab a warm drink before braving the cold during the winter season.   Getting started is easy to do! You can either set up a large thermos full of hot water and provide packets of hot cocoa, or you can make a large amount of cocoa and keep in warm in the thermos all day for renters and prospective residents to enjoy. If you’re feeling particularly festive, set out holiday-themed cups to pour the cocoa in!   To add some seasonal fun, place candy canes, flavored marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, caramel pieces, whipped cream and other fun toppings in containers for everyone to customize their cocoa. Don’t forget to set out a few sweet treats, also – cookies or brownies would make a great accompaniment to a steaming cup of hot cocoa!   The best part about having a hot cocoa bar is that you can make it as simple or fancy as you’d like to! If you intend to have it available all season, you can stick to a more simple set-up, or if you’d prefer it to be a special weekend treat, you can make things a little more elaborate. Either way, it’s sure to be ......
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Bring Your Community Together with Sweet Treats

Bring Your Community Together with Sweet Treats

What’s better than a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies? Well, a plate filled to the brim with an assortment of homemade cookies, of course!

 

Hosting a cookie swap in your community is a fantastic way to bring your residents together to get to know one another and enjoy the holiday season. It’s easy to do: simply invite your residents to bring their best, favorite sweet treat – enough to share, of course! You can either request that they also bring an empty plate or container to hold treats, or you can provide a treat bag for each participant to use to collect their sweets.

 

Set up tables in your clubhouse or gathering place for participants to place their cookies. Consider providing notecards and markers, so each person can put the recipe title (and their name!) in front of their cookies. Once all of the treats are in place, each participant can pick several of each type of cookie to take home with them. Yum!

 

Encourage your residents to share their recipes and photos of their treats socially, and tag your community’s social channels. You can even create a custom hashtag for them to use when posting, which will allow you to easily track conversations and engage with them!

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