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How Technology Can Be Used to Build a Sense of Community in Your Multifamily Properties

How Technology Can Be Used to Build a Sense of Community in Your Multifamily Properties
As a property manager, you probably feel in your business how big the rental market has become. But do you know how big, exactly? A Pew Research Center report built with Census Bureau data indicates that 36.6 percent of household heads were renting their property in 2016 — the highest number in over 50 years and close to the 37 percent peak in 1965.   The booming rental market is no doubt good news for property managers, but it also means more competitors are entering the space. Developers are in an amenities arms race as they rapidly install poolside cabanas, indoor basketball courts, and the latest golf simulators in an effort to differentiate their offerings. With rising interest rates and limited new home supply likely to continue into the foreseeable future, a strong and growing rental market is likely here to stay.   It's no shock to a property manager that improving retention is great for the bottom line — but how? As competition heats up, a clear trend is emerging — half of the top 10 most popular amenities added since 2014 revolve around bringing people together. But you don’t need to spend thousands on new swimming pools or outdoor kitchens to entice new residents to call your property home. Instead, smart use of technology can do the trick.   It’s Not Just Technology — It’s How You Use It   There’s a common misconception surrounding our use of technology — namely, that it isolates us and reduces the quantity and quality of our human interactions. Fro......
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What an Interesting Move-In Gift!

This comes from the world of single family, but I thought it was too interesting not to share!  This person’s realtor gave them a Christmas ornament of their new house! 

To be clear, not everybody celebrates Christmas, so a Christmas ornament wouldn’t fly in multifamily.  That said, it was so unique and personal that I had to share!  I don’t know if there is a spin-off idea that can be used in multifamily, but hopefully this gets someone’s wheels turning this morning. 

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Pet-Friendly Apartment Marketing Ideas

The American Pet Products Association's 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey found that 68% of U.S. households own a pet. Last year, RentPath revealed research claiming that 66% of renters are pet owners. In an effort to cater to this growing renter base, many communities have adopted pet-friendly pet policies. Most of these policies allow renters to have up to two pets and they require additional pet rent and a pet deposit.  While much of the pet market is pet-tolerant, not as many communities encompass the true definition of pet-friendly. If your community embraces this pet demographic, there are many ways you can signal to pet owners that your community is a good fit for them. Here are some pet-friendly apartment marketing ideas your community can use to get the attention of pet owners. Search Engine Marketing We know that there is a demand for pet-friendly apartments, but are renters actually searching for apartments this way in Google? Emphatically, the answer is yes. Over the last five years searches for “pet-friendly apartments near me” has grown significantly in popularity. This Google Trends report nicely illustrates this growth.   The popularity for this search term was the highest among the following regions.   Popularity for pet-friendly apartment searches was the greatest among metros in the Midwest, New England and Los Angeles. If you happen to be marketing a community in one of these areas, this is a rental segment you don’t want to miss out on! How can communities capitalize on the rising demand for pet-fr......
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Pros and Cons of Leasing a Fully Furnished Flat

Property owners usually face a dilemma – to lease a fully furnished suite or an unfurnished one? Which one is better? There’s no easy answer here. We’ve found that it’s best to consider the merits of one of the two – the fully furnished one. It’s always best to decide whether something is good or not by making a list of its good and bad sides. We will give you all the pros and cons of leasing a fully furnished residence, so you can get a clearer picture and decide if that’s the way you should go. The Price Some might think that the price is a negative for fully furnished apartments – as it’s expensive to equip an entire rental for your tenants. However, they are not looking at the bigger picture: fully furnished rooms will yield a higher rent making it a better long-term investment. Naturally, the price will differ from city to city, but the overall picture is clear – fully furnished always bring higher rent. Changing Tenants More Often Furnished units are usually rented by people who are only looking to stay somewhere temporarily. It usually means that your tenant turnover will be high. However, this is not necessarily the case. Some people are looking for long-term furnished rentals. Although, changing your tenants often is good for some landlords, as they get the chance to make upgrades to modify the price before getting a new tenant. Higher Deposits It depends on the state, but based on whether or not an apartment......
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Working Your Business Strategy

Working Your Business Strategy
In my blog post "What Is Your Business Strategy?" I mentioned that there are three basic elements of business: price, service and quality. In my experience businesses that succeed compete well in two of the three categories. You may be wondering, "Shouldn't successful businesses compete on all three?" While I think that would be great, it's often not economically sustainable to try and have the lowest pricing and high quality and amazing service.  How this worksOne of the communities I worked at was ultra high-end luxury apartments with stunning ocean views in a very affluent area. When I started at the community we offered great service (we had a lot of staff on-site to cater to our residents) but we were undergoing a massive renovation at the time which meant that the majority of our amenities (a huge reason to rent there) were not able to be used for a while and we were doing renovation work in our apartments as well. All of this work affected the quality of what we offered to our residents and made our community less attractive to potential renters and to our current residents. We marketed this community as ultra-luxury but that was not the reality of the experience during this season. However we did NOT compensate for the temporary drop in quality with a decrease in our overall pricing strategy. There was a disconnect between what we offered and what we delivered. We were only competing in one of the three main areas and we suffered......
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4 Ways to Determine the Rental Fee of Your Property

image3.jpgTrying to make a profit on your investment property is one thing; setting the price for it is another. With the competition as strong as it is, you need to make yours stand out and make it a desirable option for the tenants. It means pairing a high-quality offer with the right rental price. With a little market know-how, research and math, you can determine the suitable rental amount for your investment property. Take these four tips into consideration when determining the rental fee of your property: Consider the Market Depending on the market where your property is located, the formula to figuring out a proper rental price is pretty simple: the higher the competition, the lower is the price. However, if you want to have the advantage compared to other properties, survey the market, see what the general prices of those properties are, then find the middle ground that appears ideal for your property. Research Rental Prices for Units Similar to Yours It may be a little hard to find this out yourself, as all information of this type usually is confidential (unless you are a buyer.) You can always try to find out how much rent others are charging for their units to determine the starting point of yours. You can also consult sites like Zillow, Craigslist and Trulia. Start with practical things a rental unit should have: those that resemble yours by age, square footage, amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, etc. Make a list of ......
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The Resident Email Strategy Guidebook

Introduction Resident retention is a hot topic in Multifamily these days. It is cheaper and easier to have a resident renew than find a new renter--- $2,811 cheaper to be exact. So why does multifamily still have a turnover rate of 53%? Most agents don’t have enough time to check in with residents regularly. We identified the five best times to connect with residents. Now, this can seem like more than your agents have time to do, but there are a lot of email schedulers that can make this a breeze for your team.   Settling the Pre-Move Jitters Before any big change in life, there seems to be a frenzy of emotions. Over the course of one minute, a soon-to-be resident can go from ecstatic to stressed to sad. With all that going on, it’s hard to remember things like when to pick up their keys or how to reserve an elevator. The last thing they want is to do is realize they needed a money order to pay the first month’s rent and all they have is a credit card. And to top it off, its a Sunday so the bank is closed. The worst part is that the leasing agent told them about the money order three weeks ago when the lease was signed. So, they only have themselves to blame. Let’s be real, nobody wants to blame themselves. So, they are going to blame you, the property management, instead. This is not how you want to start off a relat......
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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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Seven Steps To Increase Resident Retention

time-to-renewMany property management reports focus on occupancy. Every week, how many move ins will you have? What do you have as preleases? The number of lease renewals is equally important. Renewal is a Satisfaction Indicator Securing a move in is only the first step toward building a relationship with a new resident. As time goes by, one of the true indicators of property success is the number of residents that renew their leases. Residents demonstrate their satisfaction at a property when they make the decision to continue living in their apartment home.  Residents who are frustrated with poor maintenance, lack of follow up, poor communication and yes, sometimes rent increases, may never call the leasing office to ask questions or voice concerns.  They simply turn in a move out notice and move away. Renewals Reduce Turnover, Reduce Expenses Reducing turnover has the potential to save a property thousands of dollars in expenses. In addition to the rent loss from a vacant apartment and advertising costs, consider the time for the maintenance team to complete the turnover process  preparing the apartment for the new move in. The combination of labor, supplies and lost rent can quickly total $1000 or more for each move out. Imagine if each month you were able to convert one move out notice to a lease renewal. This could save $12,000 in maintenance expenses! The decision to renew or move is strongly influenced by the performance of the leasing and maintenance staff, not the potential increase in ......
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Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?

Success Tip: Why Do Cokes Taste Better at McDonald's?
Have you noticed that Cokes just taste DIFFERENT at McDonald’s? (Now for you more health conscious individuals I feel the need to mention that I don’t frequent McDonald’s much any more. Apparently the older I get the more my body tells me, “You can’t eat like a teenager anymore!”) Well, I did some research and it really is a thing that McDonald’s Cokes (and Diet Cokes) do taste different and there is a reason why. This excerpt is from the McDonald’s website: There are many reasons the Coca-Cola tastes so great at McDonald’s. We simply follow the guidelines set by Coca-Cola and take steps to ensure it tastes the same as when you buy it in a bottle.  The water and Coca-Cola syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt. We also keep our fountain beverage system cold so your drink can always be at the peak of refreshing. In order to ensure our drinks are always meeting a gold standard, we have proper filtration methods in place.  There’s also our straw – it’s slightly wider than a typical straw, so all that Coke taste can hit all your tastebuds.  ____ My first takeaway is how intentional McDonald’s is in making sure that a soda from their fountain tastes just as it would as if it came from a bottle. Stephen Covey famously described this strategy as, “Begin with the end in mind.” By knowing where they wanted to end (making sure a Coke in their ......
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