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Tips On Handling Your Inherited Tenant

As a new Investor you will find that most of the time you will inherit a tenant from the previous owner and you think this is a great thing; you won’t have to pay for advertising and you have a built in rental stream already coming in. This could be true however it is your responsibility to make sure this tenant is someone that you want to keep or legally have to keep.  Like everything else in a new acquisition, DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE. Estoppel Certificate Make sure that you receive an estoppel certificate signed by the tenant.  An estoppel certificate is a document that outlines that everything is the way you were informed.  The certificate refers to the current lease and the terms of the existing lease (if there were any changes). The tenant signs off that they agree everything in the lease is as it seems and there are no additional terms agreed upon, nothing else is owed by either the landlord or the tenant. It should at the very minimum include the below: 1)      The lease dates (commencement and expiration) 2)      The date when rent is due 3)      The amount of rent 4)      Any deposit amounts 5)      If any modifications have been made to the lease 6)      If additional agreements have been made, a list of what those agreements are 7)      That no party to the lease is currently in default Follow the Lease C......
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Social Media and Review Responses: Do you know your audience?

Social Media and Review Responses: Do you know your audience?
During your day to day tasks do you treat social media posts and responding to reviews the same? Both are equally important in a community’s marketing strategy, however each have a different target audience. Imagine you are checking out a new restaurant for dinner, if you have never been there before, reviews will be the most important aspect of looking for a quality restaurant.  Once you have dined at the restaurant, you can now contribute to the restaurant’s online story through social media by posting videos or photos of your food and experience. Reviews are most valuable before you’re a part of the experience, social media is most important once you’ve become part of the experience. Renters view their experience through the same lens, turning to ApartmentRatings among other review sites to thoroughly understand the resident experience as well as other aspects of life at the community. Once a renter chooses to lease, they can now contribute to the community’s online story via social media.  A renter’s journey is extremely important no matter if it is before or after a lease is signed.   Our 2018 Social Media Study shows only 14% of renters consider a community’s social media presence, ranking it at 46 of 48 when it comes to the impact of the prospects leasing decision. What does this mean in regards to a community’s social media efforts? “Do social the resident’s way” Social media has become an avenue for residents to connect and engage with the community team. Residents can sense the authenticit......
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Your Resident Has Started to Shop Around! Can We Stop It?

Your Resident Has Started to Shop Around!  Can We Stop It?

In Donald Davidoff's excellent webinar a few weeks ago, he discussed how aggressive a community should be with their renewal rates.  (Seriously, check out that video - that one strategy will pay for the webinar several times over).  What he said had some pretty dramatic ramifications to how we see the renewal process over all, and possibly avoiding having our residents start shopping the competition.  (If you haven’t read my previous blog about avoiding the Buying Cycle, I recommend reading this.) In general, we are used to prospects coming into our communities in the middle of their Buying Cycle – they are actively shopping communities to find their new home.  But with our existing residents, there is a possibility they never actually start shopping around.  If there is no rent increase, for example, they may just renew their lease without much of a second thought, where the decision is to simply continue as is.  However, once we start increasing rents further and further, then they have a decision to make on whether they want to look elsewhere.  That, right there, is the first decision they make – do they want to actually shop around.  It’s a simple decision, but it has far reaching complications for your sales process! Prefer to watch the video blog instead?  Check this out: So the question is:  Can we avoid our renewing residents entering the Buying Cycle, but still raise rents at the same time?  In Donald’s webinar, he mentioned that the data showed that the higher th......
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When a Resident Starts Shopping Around, You Lose Control Of The Renewal


When it comes to a renewing resident, nobody would want that person out shopping the competition, learning about all the great bells and whistles that they offer and putting them in the hands of our competitor's trained sales force.  So in that sense, although it may sound callous, your biggest advantage in renewing that resident is their ignorance of what else is out there!  Unfortunately, in our business, we often increase rents, which ends up driving our residents to do just that.  And once they start shopping around, they enter the dreaded Buying Cycle. Prefer to watch the video blog instead?  Check this out: What is the Buying Cycle?  I'm sure many of you have gone through the phenomenon where you never really notice car commercials, billboards, etc until you finally decide you are ready to buy a car, and then suddenly they are everywhere!  Of course, that's a silly thought - it's not as if a billboard was suddenly thrown up because you decided you wanted a car - the reality is that they were always there, but you just didn't notice because you were not in the Buying Cycle.  Once you start shopping, however, then suddenly you are inundated with information about potential car purchases - models, reviews, prices, you name it.  And even more importantly, once you enter the Buying Cycle, it almost always wins.  In other words, once someone has started that process, seeing all the other shiny, new options, their current car/home/etc always seems lackluster in......
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5 Ideas for Throwing a Game of Thrones Party at Your Apartment Community

Who's excited for Game of Thrones' final season premier this Sunday? Everyone, that's who. Actually, I was a little late to the game, but finally came around (thanks to an extremely patient husband who would pause the show to explain who each character was and who they are related to). I'm in the middle of season seven now, so I will hopefully be all caught up be the premier. So no spoilers, please! Also, if you haven't seen it at all, there are probably (definitely) spoilers in this blog. Sorry.

But, since a good portion of your community is probably watching the show, why not take advantage of the excitement and throw a Game of Thrones theme party for your residents? 

Here are some ideas.

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One of "Those Days"

There are people I get to meet in this industry of ours that have such an impact; they shape how I look at things or make decisions. The opportunity to meet such people make up the the little surprises that make me feel so grateful for what I get to do for a living. One such person is Danette Kammeyer, a community manager in Indiana. I connected with her at NAA Apartmentalize a few years ago, and she has been kind enough to send me some of her writings during that time. As many in her position know, managing a senior apartment building in small town, mid-America is hardly glamorous. Benefits and pay can be modest, and the only travel can seem to be to the nursing home or funeral home. The work can be overwhelming, with a variety of challenges. However, Danette and so many community managers across the nation see their work as a blessing and a gift and wouldn't want it any other way. With her permission, I've published her past work on the ManagInc blog page, but when she sent this to me recently, I asked if I could publish it for a larger audience, and I'm so happy she said yes.  This is what is so beautiful about the multifamily housing industry. It's the people like Danette who make our world a better place and teach others (like me) what "Good" looks like.    One of “those days” It had been one of “those days.” You know th......
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The Impact of Company Culture

Throughout virtually every industry, companies regularly tout the merits of a strong company culture. While it’s true that the presence of a flourishing culture is a common facet of many successful businesses, precisely what that label entails is somewhat abstract.   Without context, the term “culture” can seem a bit generic. But those who work amidst that dynamic undoubtedly understand that a positive workplace vibe can strengthen the daily performance of team members and increase the efficiency of the company as a whole. According to Gallup, companies with above-average levels of employee engagement enjoy 147 percent more earnings per share.   On the surface, a strong company culture refers to a happy workplace where the employees like one another and little disconnect can be found between departments. But it’s a lot more than that, and it’s built over time. Various methods can be utilized to enhance company culture – offsite team-builder events, fostering team collaboration in the workplace, empowering and trusting team members, incentives, etc. – and if a company is able to achieve it, the benefits are widespread.   Better Morale There are people who love their job and those who go to work to collect a paycheck. Those working alongside a healthy, thriving company culture generally fall into the former category. The workday is much more brisk and fulfilling when you’re happy, and equally importantly, around happy people. A negative company culture can drain the life from employees while an upbeat vibe creates higher-performing associates. Fortune regularly ranks the 100 best compa......
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Your 'No Excuses' Guide to Welcoming New Residents. Each one. All the time. Without Fail.

The Roomba Revelation     The Roomba is one of our favorite autonomous inventions. There are a lot of ways people can spend their time, and vacuuming doesn’t have to be one of them. All you need to do is tell it what time of day to vacuum and you have one less chore to do every week. It is such a simple concept, yet it has been insanely popular. iRobot ships over one million units every year. The Roomba isn’t successful because vacuuming is a difficult task. It’s successful because it eliminates the need for individuals to complete a monotonous, time-consuming task. Let’s be honest, a lot of us would love to say we vacuum every week, but that isn’t the case. Yes, vacuuming is essential, but skipping it for the week isn’t going to stop your household from running like laundry and dishes. We are busy. Finding time to squeeze in vacuuming doesn’t always happen. Stories of innovation like Roomba inspire us to make improvements for multifamily. Multifamily agents and marketers are overwhelmed with ‘chores’ that are repetitive and quickly forgotten.  One example: Resident Welcome.   What does a Resident Welcome email campaign entail? Welcoming residents helps set the tone for the resident’s experience. It is the first interaction with your prospects after they sign a lease. The resident welcome emails help you show your customers that you care about them, not just making a sale. Unfortunately, agents are swamped with nurturing prospects, handling resident’s needs, hosting events and about a hundred other......
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More Than a Score: 5 Tips to Protect Your Brand

More Than a Score: 5 Tips to Protect Your Brand
I’m often asked for tips and tricks on how to improve a community’s online reputation.  Over the last year or so these requests have become more frequent, as companies are realizing a positive online presence can directly impact leasing and renewal decisions.  I think it’s great we have an expanded awareness throughout our industry and I’m happy to offer any insight and support as needed.  “Reputation Management” is now a commonplace term within our industry, so much so that it is in jeopardy of becoming “white noise”; falling into the same lane as topics such as Fair Housing.  While teams know it’s important, they also feel as though they’ve learned all there is to know.  One Community Manager once told me “Unless something ground breaking happens, or it’s mandatory, I really don’t want to go to another reputation management class.”   Wow, harsh words, but I get it – I live and breathe this stuff daily so I’m not surprised that once standing room only crowds have dwindled to half-empty rooms.  Such was the case a few months ago when I presented at a conference. My first question to the audience was “Okay, let’s be honest…how many of you drew the short stick?” While many chuckled, many more nodded.  For our industry, reputation management tends to center around percentages and ratings.  Fixation over scores is a slippery slope because in reality, scores are low on the totem pole for renters.  We surveyed visitors to ApartmentRatings, hoping to determine which components of a community’s page was most valuable.&nbs......
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Raising Rents While Getting Resident Buy-In: Key Takeaways from Netflix

What are you binging these days on Netflix?

I ask because I totally know you're watching something. The streaming service currently has 118 million subscribers globally. Odds are, you're one of them. Oh, also, I'm always on the lookout for more shows to watch. Currently I'm watching You (and really considering changing the passwords on all my devices), as well as giving Tidying Up with Marie Kondo a shot (while getting anxiety sweats over whether an old 5K t-shirt is really sparking joy or not) and throwing in some Parks and Recreation for good measure (Chris Pratt).

So, assuming you're a subscriber, what did you think about the news that Netflix is going to be raising prices—its largest increase since launching the streaming service? Annoying, but you're going to keep using the platform, right? 

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