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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

CUSTOMER LOYALTY: I Am the Complaint Department? Now what?

Welcome back! In last week’s blog, Go Ahead…Encourage Your Residents to Complain, I shared some examples of how encouraging customer complaints can improve their experience and increase customer loyalty.  While it is important that employees make it clear that they welcome complaints, all too often they are not given the tools they need to handle complaints effectively. So, before you pin your employees with the “I am the complaint department” button, teach them how to respond, and effectively handle resident complaints.  1. Shut Up and File Your Nails! My first leasing job was at a community located in South Florida. The Property Manager always had a drawer full of finger nail files and polish at her desk. I found it odd that she frequently gave herself a manicure while at work—but did not dare ask why.  One day as I was walking by her office I saw her filing and painting her nails—again! I was really busy and a little irritated. How dare she look so relaxed while I was running around like a crazy woman trying to help residents! When I finally got my nerve up to ask her about this odd behavior, she openly revealed her secret to me.  Each time I saw her filing and painting she was on the phone with an unhappy resident.  She told me that it helped her to stay calm and listen intently to the angry residents that were screaming at her over the telephone. Genius! If resident retention and loyalty is the......
Continue reading
6163 Hits
8 Comments

What NOT to do with Social Media in Multifamily Marketing

Ever heard the saying, “What goes on in this house stays in this house?” Well there’s a reason it has been and will always be a favorite quote. Personal issues are just that…. PERSONAL. Involving outsiders in things that could and should be resolved within is a recipe for disaster and as successful property managers a disaster of any kind is the last thing you desire.   The other day I found myself scrolling through facebook and I stumbled upon a status posted by a property employee announcing that flyers would be put out soon regarding an upcoming pool party.   While I get the point that they were targeting their marketing initiative from both perspectives…paper and internet, I saw an opportunity for more clear and most importantly private communication. I instantly thought to myself, they need to get their residents signed up for My Virtual Neighbor www.myvirtualneighbor.com.   As I continued to scroll I noticed that they also used the page to post announcements about rent being late and the water system being down. I freaked! Yes, if you know me by now you know that I get quite dramatic about things like this.   I immediately sent them a message letting them know what I’d observed…no I didn’t approach them like I was freaked out, I calmed down first and kept in mind that the reason most opportunities are missed is the fact that we often times don’t see things for what they are when we are in the......
Continue reading
3746 Hits
5 Comments

Using Facebook to Capture and Understand Resident Feedback

Christina LakesA big benefit of Facebook – arguably THE biggest benefit for property managers – is the ability to capture, understand and leverage resident feedback. Traditionally, gathering customer feedback was difficult and often expensive. With channels like Facebook, this is simply no longer the case as your residents can easily interact with your property on your Facebook page. Now, keeping in mind that comments can swing both ways – positively and negatively – you need to ensure that you have the tools in place to respond to and understand resident feedback.   Engaging with residents is critical since Facebook has become such an influential part of your prospective residents’ research process. A community that has a vibrant Facebook page and interacts well with residents makes a great impression on future residents. So what’s the best way to analyze and utilize resident feedback? Read on to learn about some helpful tools and tactics. Make a good first impression At this point you should be well versed in the features and benefits of Facebook Timeline for business pages (if not, read this). Your Timeline Wall is much like a brick and mortar retail store’s showroom – it’s where customers get a sense of your product, and it’s often the first place they interact with your brand. As such, it can have a huge impact on a resident’s opinion of your property. To keep your Timeline in ‘showroom shape’ and showcasing positive resident comments, we recommend the following best practices: • Review your Timeline often.......
Continue reading
4163 Hits
1 Comment

CUSTOMER LOYALTY: Are Your Satisfied Residents Defecting?

Resident SatisfactionYes, they probably are—but don’t take their defection too personally. It is not always related to you, your community, product, or the quality of the service delivered. There are many good companies and products that have customers defecting in large numbers. In fact, a consistent research finding is that 60-80 percent of lost customers reported being “very satisfied” or “satisfied” just prior to defecting. Surprised? The good news is that 98% of businesses today are satisfying customers’ wants and needs. The bad news is that good service is not good enough. There was a time when service was the economic value but today it is no longer a competitive position. We are now living in an experience economy. Don’t get me wrong…customer service IS necessary but no longer sufficient by itself. Your residents need something that will clearly distinguish you from being just another apartment community—one that can easily be exchanged for the competitor down the street. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? I often hear the words customer service, customer satisfaction, customer experience, and customer loyalty thrown around and even used interchangeably. I believe there is a difference and “attempted” to draw it out for you on a napkin. Please stop laughing and focus on the content. At the end of the day customer loyalty is built from the bottom up. It is the icing on the cake…the cherry on top! · Customer Service is supplying your residents with their wants and needs. · Customer Satisfaction is a measure of their expectations. H......
Continue reading
3913 Hits
8 Comments

If you got it FLAUNT it!

I remember once living in an apartment community where my unit had a view of the pool right outside of my window. I loved it. It was one of the things that aided me in making my decision to rent there.   I’d sit out on my deck often times and listen to the waterfall that was attached; it gave me feelings of peace and serenity.   I’ll never forget the night I happened to take a glimpse out my window and the pool surprisingly looked like a Miami resort! They had completely redone it and it was absolutely beautiful! I instantly wanted to grab a date and go hang out in it, and yes it had to be at night! I’d never gone out there at night and probably never would have desired to had they not added such amazing flashing light work that literally lit up the sky above. Between me and you it was a very sexy scene. I said to myself, “No kids allowed after 8 p.m.” Lol!   A few weeks later I got a notice on my door that said Pool Party. I immediately thought great, they are showing off the nifty new night features in the pool and I can finally go down and hang out with some of my neighbors. Boy was I wrong! I kept reading and realized they were hosting a two hour “pizza party” down at the pool in the middle of the day. It did not take me long......
Continue reading
2972 Hits
6 Comments

Words of Wisdom from One Community Manager to Another

It takes one to know one… a community manager that is! The task of community and Facebook humanitarian is sure to keep one on his or her toes. It’s always good to know what others in a peer group have to say. Mashable recently shared great insight from community managers of notable brands. Take it from these guys, they know how you feel!  1. Don’t be a one-hit wonder: Teresa Wu, community manager at Google Docs, says rather than sporadically connecting with users, establish a humanistic connection to create a long lasting relationship. Invite them to a community event and take the time to get to know your residents. Valuing them as individuals rather than renters makes a huge difference. 2. Set up meet and greets: Etsy Community Strategist, Morgan Evans, has found success by encouraging members of a community to meet with one another and form groups that draw out commonalities that would otherwise remain dormant. Promoting peer networks is a great way to jumpstart engagement and makes your residents feel supported. Setting up Facebook events for your residents is a great way to get the ball rolling. 3. Seeing is believing: Use photos to connect to your residents. McKee Floyd, director of brand development at Sweetgreen, uses photos to do a lot of the work for him. Knowing the power of image association, he says his Facebook fans see the image and make the connection to head to Sweetgreen’s Instagram page. Instagram photos can be shared on Facebook. By pairing the creativity of Instagram with the viral quality of Facebook, you double the power of your......
Continue reading
1583 Hits
0 Comments

Ten Ways to Make People Feel Like They Matter

What Three ThingsWhat can you do to show you appreciate someone, your residents, your family, your friends, or the person on the street you just passed?  As we learn and use the wonderful features of technology and social media, we tend to not interrelate like we once did.  We have all emailed the person in the next cubicle or office, and texted someone when we could have called them. What three things can you do on a daily basis that makes a difference in how people connect and react to you? Everyone has three things they can do to let others know they matter.  I recently sent an email about this to my fellow teams. Incidentally, I received more replies than normal and I would like to share some of the unedited feedback. Smile and compliment them. Make them feel welcome; tell them they have been approved for their new home. Ask them “How can we help”? Tell them you appreciate them, maybe bring them a coffee and tell them one nice thing! Or just give them a big hug.  Listen, people want to be heard and know that what they have to say matters, and it shows you value them, as well as what they have to say.  Speak directly to them, look in their eyes, and be attentive.  Use their name when you talk to them, it makes them feel important and gets their  attention.  A simple acknowledgement, “Great Job”.  To a stranger driving and trying to get in your lane, “Just wave......
Continue reading
8273 Hits
3 Comments

Hola! Aquí estamos. Are you ready, or not?

  Hola! Aquí estamos. Are you ready, or not?   We are an assortment of cultures and ethnicities in America. Savvy multifamily marketers know they must learn “who” their audience, or target market, is in order to effectively lease more apartments.   One of every four Americans is ethnic or foreign born.  The largest cultural groups found in the US today are Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and European.  With numbers totaling 50.5 million, Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US, representing 16.3 % of the total population.  The buying power of Hispanics, which are an ethnic group but not a racial group, will rise from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion in 2015, accounting for nearly 11 percent of the nation’s total buying power. The Hispanic market alone, at $1 trillion, is larger than the entire economies of all but 14 countries in the world–smaller than the GDP of Canada but larger than the GDP of Indonesia. Nearly half of all Hispanics in the US – nearly 25 million people – rent their homes. Apartment owners and managers in the South and the West should take note as the 2010 Census indicated more than three-quarters of the Hispanic population lived in the West or South.  That does not mean Northern or Eastern property management professionals should forgo bonding with this group.  Larger MSA’s such as Chicago, New York, New York and others should seek to connect with Latinos as well.  So how Multicultural are YOU?  What are you......
Continue reading
3119 Hits
3 Comments

Do You Really Please Your Customers?

By Linda Day Harrison, theBrokerList, Chicago, IL In the history of property ownership and property management, as far back as the Stone Age (maybe not that far back), we have always called our customers “tenants” and for some reason it just stuck like glue. We can try to shake the term, but no matter how we spin it, turn it, or twist it the relationship comes back full circle to calling them “tenants” and not customers. It is rather maddening to say the least. Even though I preach this and believe it, I catch myself using the term because nobody understands who I am speaking about when I say “customer!” What drives me batty is that when you consider all of the blood, sweat, and tears we put into marketing, promotions, “tenant” retention, newsletters, “tenant” parties, and “tenant” appreciation, why do we not refer to our “tenants” as customers? It just does not make logical sense. If you go to Disney World, the tourists are called “guests” NOT “tourists”! Disney had a good idea and they pushed that idea so hard that it is ingrained in everybody, including the “guests!” If you have ever been to Disney World or Disney Land you know what I mean. The point is Disney believed that each person who entered “the property” was a guest and NOT a tourist or even a customer. Disney wants everyone to feel special and privileged, just like a guest. So back to my original point, why in our industry......
Continue reading
1543 Hits
1 Comment

Failure to Inspect or Repair = Trouble

By Colin McCarthy, J.D., Robinson & Wood, San Jose, CA I once lived in house in downtown San Jose that was next to an abandoned "historic" house. The house was abandoned because it was "historic." The city had an ordinance that prevented the owner from demolishing the building and rebuilding it, or selling it. Because the house was built before a certain time, the city ordinance prohibited him from doing anything with the property other than fixing it up. Rather than doing that, in protest, he did nothing with the property. And I mean nothing, other than board it up. Mistake! You see it was downtown San Jose. It was right in the middle of urban, night time activities. The abandoned home soon became a sort of an attractive spot for the seedier and less fortunate souls. We frequently had to call the police. There were the typical late night guests, drinking, broken glass, and other non-printable activities going on in there. After enough of these visits, the neighbors reported the landlord to the city, and hearings were held. Fines were levied. Landlords got mad. Fences were put up. Pulling the restrictive ordinance and the obstinacy of the landlord out of the equation, the landlord had a duty to know what was going on at his property. He should have inspected it, even if he did not have tenants. What kinds of things can happen, from a legal perspective, if you do not inspect and repair? What will happen if the......
Continue reading
1356 Hits
0 Comments