Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Overcoming Objections that are really not Objections at all.

Training directors, leasing experts, property managers and even owners ask me how they can overcome a particular objection on their community.  I want to say this up front though, I do not try and jam a circle prospect into a square apartment.  Yes, you may close them, but many of them cancel and many more will be unhappy after they move in, as they have been sold not guided.  On the other hand, let’s say a prospect said she needs a balcony and you do not have one.  Ask a qualifying question.  For example, I was doing a lease up at a community that did not have balconies, and everyone told me they lost a ton of leases because of this.  I said, really?  At the end of the lease up I only lost one because of this.   Many people are in love with the idea of having this or that, but let’s be honest, many times we never use it.  I had personally rented a 7th floor apartment south west exposure with a huge balcony in brand new luxury high rise located in Atlanta, GA.  I rented that particular apartment because of this balcony and in the two years I lived there I walked out on the balcony a couple of times for a few minutes, never put any furniture out there either.    So when the lack of a balcony at our lease-up came up as an objection, I asked them if they were in love with the idea......
Continue reading
2930 Hits
3 Comments

Resident Retention: 1-2-3 Not It!

What is it about those certain residents (and let's be honest, we've all dealt with them) that causes a roomful of otherwise mature professionals to suddenly revert to  8-year-olds on the playground? "1-2-3 Not It!" everyone declares, in their own way - whether averting their eyes from the approaching resident, answering a non-ringing phone, or suddenly deciding the printer urgently needs new toner. The leasing agent who has not found an occupying task quickly enough is now "It" and must assist That Resident. 'Tis true, these interactions can feel draining and less-than-productive. Here are a few tips to fall back on to make lemonade out of lemons, or at least add a twist of lime to your crushed tortilla chips: - Listen. Really listen. Too often, we can believe we are listening, when in reality we are forming our next response. By carefully listening to the issue, you may be surprised to discover there is a misperception at work or a simple clarification that can resolve the issue quickly and easily. - Stick to the current issue at hand. It is easy to drag up past confrontations and wrongs to use as illustration, but that typically only adds fuel to the fire. By focusing on the here and now, there is a greater likelihood of identifying a resolution for this particular topic. - Be polite. Whoever came up with “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” must not have ever worked with customers... or had a sibling. Name-calling and insults can......
Continue reading
1869 Hits
3 Comments

Property Management Blogs

Industry-related blogs are a great way to pick up expert tips, tricks, and insider knowledge quickly and for free. But, of course, there are a lot of blogs out there. Since you only have so much time in the day to surf the web, here’s a quick run-down of five property management-related blogs you should be reading. Marketing and More Property management veteran Mike Brewer, who runs the M Brewer Group blog, is one of the most seasoned and consistent bloggers in the industry. While his blog focuses in large part on marketing, you’ll also find various additional industry topics included as well. Brewer has his fingers on the pulse of current industry conversations, so this blog is a great place to stop by to get a quick gauge of what’s currently being discussed by industry professionals. Cyber Consultant With Behind the Leasing Desk, Seattle-based property management consultant Heather Blume provides readers with musings on the industry and insights on how to up your property management game.  On her blog, Heather writes about everything from staff-related training class excerpts to tips for greening up your property. With quick, snappy reads, this blog is a great place to pick up a mish-mash of ideas to help you better your own business, including everything from tenant retention to customer service. Property Renovations Though Brownstoner.com’s Renovation Blog is Brooklyn-based, property managers from everywhere can learn a lot from the site’s home renovation section. If you’re the type that likes to take on projects—or if......
Continue reading
3337 Hits
0 Comments

Having excellent customer service skills can increase your closing ratio!

      Have you ever been excited to go shopping only to leave disappointed? That's how I felt today after leaving a department store where I was looking for a new television. From the moment I stepped into the store I was greeted by a sales associate who assured me that all of the associates had over 200 hours of product training. The problem was not with how I was greeted or how knowledgeable the sales associates were. The problem was when I went to look at all the new HD televisions.  Now picture this, you walk into the electronics section ready to drool over all the different size televisions an crystal clear picture quality of all the latest an greatest goodies that modern technology has to offer, finding only to your disappointment that all of the televisions are all showing the same Non-High Definition broadcast, Which roughly translates into the formal wear section of the Miss America pageant being down-graded to T-shirts an jeans. None of the TV's were showing off their true potential. The sales associate wasn't even interested in trying to sell, or even acknowledging the presents of anyone other than a rather affluent looking gentleman who was clearly annoyed by him. Needless to say the only thing I left with was disappointment.    This got me to thinking how can I make sure no one ever leaves my community feeling this way. Even the thought of one of my prospective residents leaving feeling as neglected an unappreciated as I did upsets me, considering we are here to provide quality homes and make our communities prosper. No one cares how knowledgeable you are......
Continue reading
2644 Hits
0 Comments

The Value of Tenant Forums

As a property manager, you have a great resource that shouldn’t go untapped right at your fingertips: your tenants. For as well as you know your property, most property managers don’t actually live on-site. Because of this, your tenants are more qualified than anyone else to provide insights into potentially beneficial changes, improvements, and upgrades that can make your property more appealing—and perhaps even more valuable. You can solicit information from tenants in a number of ways: through an old-fashioned suggestion box either on-site or at your property management office, through an online form, or through a questionnaire for tenants to fill out upon move-out (or at any other point during their residency at your property, for that matter). In addition to all this, when it comes to encouraging tenants to share their thoughts and suggestions, property managers may want to consider taking a cue from condo associations. Hosting forums on an annual or bi-annual basis for tenants to submit ideas for changes and/or to vote on potential changes you are considering rolling out at your property is a great way to not only receive important feedback, but also to bring tenants together to brainstorm and share ideas that you may have never even considered. Though you have the ultimate say about what does or does not happen at your rental property, receiving this sort of organic feedback can lead you in the right direction, providing a lot of insight into what tenants do and do not want to see happen......
Continue reading
2535 Hits
1 Comment

Resident Retention: Ready, Set, RENEW!

The spring lease expiration season is fast approaching, and that means you have a prime opportunity to maximize your lease renewals. It's time to invest a little time, love and tenderness (Sorry, sometimes Michael Bolton lyrics say it best). According to the newly released 2010 SatisFacts Insite Pre-Renewal Index, 27% of residents whose leases are expiring in the next 90-120 days indicate they have a maintenance problem that still exists. That means more than 1 in 4 residents has a maintenance problem that you have not solved.Some of those issues may be capital expenditures that are not budgeted (like replacing drafty windows), and can't be resolved in the way the resident would like. But some issues may be due to a repair that didn't fully take care of the problem, or a new, related problem that just occurred. And some may be issues that you don't even know about. Yet. Pick up that phone. Call your residents. Ask them how everything is in their home. Whether you call it a warm call, a resident wellness call, or some other title  - it doesn't matter. Just call! "But asking them about what's wrong in their home will open a can of worms," you may say. It may, indeed. However, I would much rather ask my maintenance team to address the half dozen little issues in Mrs. Smith's home this week rather than have to ask my maintenance team to incure thousands of dollars in time and materials in turning the apartment because she was......
Continue reading
2614 Hits
4 Comments

How Bright is the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

“Area Rents Up, Vacancies Down” can be heard across the land as the new census statistics come out. Vacancies are down and rents are on the rise HOORAY! For a moment the excitement is heard across our industry as the communities that have suffered immensely from the recession see a light at the end of their long journey. Suffice it to say, rents are up and vacancies are probably down, but what have we all sacrificed in the past few years to get us through the dark days. During this time of struggle our industry strengthened a trend that we were hoping to make extinct which were the rent concessions, the lavish giveaways, and in some cases lower rents. Our industry as a whole has opened a door that cannot be easily shut. Due to the fear of high vacancies we have allowed the prospective residents to take control of an industry that was once controlled by quality apartments, great curb appeal, and luxurious amenities and turned it upside down to an industry that thinks it needs to survive by "outgiving" other communities. We have all seen the enticing ads in the newspapers, Craigslist, or Apartment Guide, “First Month Free Rent” or “Rent today and receive a $100.00 off your rent”. The oversaturation of these deals has changed the way prospective renters think about leasing. Five years ago, it was highly uncommon for a prospect to call an apartment community and ask for something free but today it is the norm.......
Continue reading
2966 Hits
3 Comments

Tips for Finding the Right Realtor

Getting ready to purchase or sell property? The first step to a smooth real estate transaction is finding the right real estate agent. Throughout the property selling and purchasing processes, your real estate agent will be your eyes, your sounding board, and your advocate. Here are some things to consider when selecting your real estate agent. Referrals from Trusted Sources Nothing is a better testament to a realtors ability than a proven track record. Ask friends and associates for agent referrals. It’s particularly helpful to speak with trusted sources whose situations are similar to your own. For example, if you are looking to purchase a multi-unit investment property, seeking referrals from other multi-unit investors may lead you toward a better match than asking someone who used a realtor to sell a single-family dwelling. Trust yourself too. Try visiting some open houses and meeting agents one-on-one. Open houses will give you the opportunity to meet a variety of agents and to get a feel for them, the properties they work with, and how your personalities mesh. Online Resources You can further narrow your search by doing some online research on sites like Yelp and Realtor.com to identify local realty companies and specific agents respectively. Also be sure to check out ActiveRain, a social networking platform for real estate agents that provides consumers with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with agents through professional blogs, profiles, and other online resources. Finally, keep an eye on relevant real estate transactions in your area (vis-a-vis local......
Continue reading
1311 Hits
0 Comments

How do I love my residents? Let me count the ways.

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day of love and courtship with the bonding of relationships through the gifts of flowers and candy. Husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, sons and daughters, neighbors and property management are celebrating this Hallmark holiday all across our great land. Did I just say neighbors and property management?  Yes, I did, is there a more important relationship with those of us in multifamily communities? Not if we want to keep working there isn’t. Below are 10 of my thoughts on how to love your residents in your community and maintain the relationships because without those wonderful relationships, well, who knows where we would all be. Giving treats, coffee and donuts, at least a couple times a year, stand outside where they are leaving for the day, usually at the entrance and provide a donut and a cup of coffee as they are leaving for work. Chocolate in any size shape or form given at the mail kiosk declaring your love and gratitude that they call your property home. Excellent communication, question, your staff, the residents, everyone, find out what is going on in the community, stay current, talk with your residents, walk the property and make yourself available. You will hear all the gossip and probably more than you want to know, but at least you will be current and know who loves who. Keeping the pool clean and the property litter free is a no brainer. Nothing says I love you more than a properly maintained......
Continue reading
1825 Hits
0 Comments

Finding That Special Someone

With Valentine's Day right around the corner as well as the early signs of leasing season, it's time to talk about how to find that "Special Someone".Whether you're looking for long term committment (12-18 months to start), or just someone for short-term fun, there are some key points of advice on how to get the right match for you!*On the prowl:  Where to look for and meet is always the hardest starting point.  Step outside of your comfort zone and don't wait for that new prospect to look for you!  Outreach is an underrated and overlooked option!  Don't just go to what's around you - find that special someone(s) in places you have in common and places you aspire to be.  Have fun with it, be brave and go for what you want!  Introduce yourself, dress to impress and sell you product with confidence!  If you sell it, they will come.  Hopefully in droves!*Quality and Quantity:  Don't settle for just one option... have multiple!  Focus on who you want and go get them.  Create a list of places, venues, employers that meet your needs and attack.  Cast your net a little wider and deeper to get a greater number of the qualified applicants you're seeking.  Quality is everything when you're looking to start a new relationship, especially one whose committment you hope to reaffirm and renew year after year.  However, quantity is just as important.   Despite social norms, having several prospects going at one time is a beautiful thing.  Create a......
Continue reading
3599 Hits
1 Comment