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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
In the past, the world of online reviews was like the Wild West.  It was a no holds barred, every man for himself kind of environment – truly survival of the fittest.  It wasn’t surprising to see responses just as shocking as the reviews themselves. I was one of those managers who loved negative reviews.  Want to gripe about your apartment, the management team, or post an outright lie?  I'm all about it Mr. Resident.  Let's do this.  I responded point by point for each resident grievance until I realized defending my team and our honor was not the answer.  Most reviewers were either one foot out the door or already gone.  And those who weren’t simply needed an avenue to vent or finally get the management team’s attention. 5 techniques for tackling the bad and the ugly. 1. ICYMI – In Case You Missed It.  Some residents have simply misinterpreted the terms of the lease which can lead to a review that misinforms potential future residents.  Reviews about unreturned security deposits (“They stole my deposit”), additional fees (“Why is there a pet fee and deposit”) and the like are perfect opportunities to clarify your policies and educate those possibly considering your community. 2. RBTL – Read Between The Lines.  A review which spans the entire length of a resident’s 5 year stay, documenting in great detail every negative event (resolved and unresolved), almost begs for a lengthy response in return.  Don’t take the bait - it’s important to ignore such...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
In our internet-driven society, having a website is now not only strongly advised, but a necessity for property management firms. A company’s website needs to have visual appeal, be easy for visitors to navigate, be optimized for search engines, and also have that “wow” factor that gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. No pressure! Whether you are a new property management business who needs to develop a website, or you already have one but it needs some serious updating, you’ll have to make the choice between designing the site in-house or outsourcing the project to an advertising or web design agency. There are plus-sides and disadvantageous to both, and a lot of it depends on the current structure of your company.   At my property management firm, Trimark Properties, we’ve used both an outside agency and an in-house developer over the years to design the website for our apartments near UF. We ultimately realized which course of action was best for us, but which one should you choose – an in-house developer, or an outside ad agency? An easy-to-navigate, visually striking webpage is critical for property management companies. Benefits of Designing a Website In-House  You know more about your company culture and what will attract tenants Nobody knows more about your apartments, company culture, typical tenant profile, and marketing vision more than you do. While you can relay this information to an outside agency, it can be difficult for them to develop a website that fits your specific vision....

Posted by on in Property Management
Remember back in the day when stand-up comedians all used to do bits about how terrible airline food was? “What’s the deal with airplane food?” etc. So cute. Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, security at United Airlines recently forcibly dragged a passenger off a full flight—bloodying him in the process—to make room for United employees. Of course, someone pulled out their smart phone and recorded the incident. Not only has the whole mess gone viral, but United’s stock has plummeted in the process, losing a billion dollars of value in one day. United’s CEO Oscar Munoz pretty much offered a halfhearted #sorrynotsorry. Which…well, didn’t really do much to help. Let’s not talk about whether or not this was legal. (It was.) But the incident clearly provides a “What Not to Do” situation when dealing with customers. Property managers, take note: There is a right way, and a United way, to deal with PR crises at a community. Read on for 4 Reputation Management Lessons from United Airlines' Latest PR Disaster....

Posted by on in Property Management
Fire is a property owner’s worst nightmare, but advances in technology could help lower the risk of apartment fires using web-connected appliances. It’s a feature that many tech-savvy young renters are looking for, and it could pay dividends in reducing kitchen fires. Getting Smart from the Inside, Out Smart technology allows renters to control appliances and thermostats, set alerts, and control security systems inside the home with a smartphone app. Most apartment fires are started by stoves left on and unattended. If a renter sets up an alert that notifies them when they leave home and forget to turn off the stove, they can quickly turn the stove off with the app. These same apps can adjust a thermostat like Nest to help a tenant save money on heating and cooling, and they can be linked to smart smoke alarms so the tenant is immediately notified when an alarm is triggered. But, it’s not only what’s inside the apartment that counts. New door lock technology might make keys a thing of the past, connecting smartphones to locks via access code. That could also lower costs for landlords, since physical locks don’t need to be changed when a renter moves out. A new access code for the new renter, and their security is covered. A Customizable, Step-Wise Approach Little by little, technology is gaining a foothold in multifamily property management. The good news is that the investor can also incorporate that tech in baby steps. A Nest thermostat and smart door locks...

Posted by on in Property Management
With the advent of WELL Building Certification, sustainable building practices in multifamily are about to get whole lot healthier for tenants. The WELL Building Standard combines green building concepts with living standards that promote a healthy and holistic lifestyle approach for residents. Its standards are: Air Quality: Remove all contaminants, prevent air-quality issues, and purify the air tenants breathe. Water Quality: Strategic placement for optimal efficiency, onsite filtration and treatment. Nourishment: Access to healthy eating options and behavioral education. Light: Window and lighting systems that support natural circadian rhythm. Fitness: Accommodate movement and exercise integrated into daily routines. Comfort: Acoustic and environmental controls that reduce excess noise, and even smells. Mind: Programs that support mental health and education. The standards require things like specific air and water filtration systems, dual sinks with swiveling faucets to minimize food contamination, close-proximity farmers’ markets (or transportation to them), blackout shades, timed lighting that simulates sunrise, and even acoustical panels that reduce excess noise. Developed by the International Well Building Institute, the WELL Building Standards outlined for multifamily development are a collaborate effort with the Green Building Certification Institute. The pilot program was first launched in 2014 to address worker health inside commercial office buildings, but expanded this year to include the pilot program for multifamily. The lessons learned during the initial certification phase of 54 properties could be used to upgrade residential building standards, across the board....

Posted by on in Construction and Development
At this point, property managers know the drill when it comes to millennials: they rent more than any other generation and high-tech amenities play a significant role in their decision of where to live during their apartment search.   While it is undeniably true that the younger generation of renters desires cutting-edge electronic features in their apartments, it is important that multifamily managers and developers avoid neglecting other important millennial lifestyle trends which have an impact on non-technological aspects of apartment design. At Trimark Properties, we specialize in selling Gainesville apartments to millennial student renters attending the University of Florida and have familiarity with the younger generation’s preferred choices of apartment design and amenities. Below are 4 recent movements in millennial living that have impacted features other than technological amenities in apartments. 1.) Millennials’ healthier lifestyles and participation in eco-friendly movements have led to more outdoor amenities. Millennials have been leaders of the pro-health, environmentally-friendly campaign, which has ultimately directed property developers to add more exterior amenities than in previous years. Millennials are increasingly valuing outdoor amenity space, spending 5% more of their time outdoors today than in 2015. They are also now frequently choosing to bike, walk, and ride the bus instead of driving cars. The average millennial drove 23% less in 2009 than in 2001, the biggest drop for any age group. Property developers targeting this audience have taken note of this trend, and they are now beginning to build properties close to central locations such as universities and major business...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Sheri Killingsworth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Lincoln, was kind enough to share her thoughts recently on how this industry giant goes about creating a sense of community with residents. A 17-year veteran of the company, Sheri began on site, working her way through the ranks into the corporate office.     According to Sheri, to talk about anything Lincoln you have to start where they do when it comes to residents: ‘Where comfort meets convenience you find home.’   “Here at Lincoln, we talk about the three key places; work, home, and the third place. That’s the place that isn’t home or work, a place where you feel welcome and at ease. It’s a place where you can have a change of environment to get some work done, hang out with friends, or be around other people…and not be so alone,” says Killingsworth. “We want our residents to be able to activate our amenity areas and program it as if it’s their own space.”  As you might expect, Lincoln also engages residents in a robust calendar of events “customized to each community and based on who the residents are.” From Stroller Saturdays for new moms, to Wine-down Wednesdays for those needing a mid-week break, getting residents to come together and connect is part of the Lincoln way.  It’s obvious that culture plays an enormous role both within Lincoln and with their residents. “Our culture truly follows our tagline, we are a company for people and about people,” Killingsworth offered, “Everything...

Posted by on in Property Management
I sat at the dinner table quietly seething with rage. The first time my husband and I were able to eat together in a week, and there he sat, the chicken getting cold and the white wine getting warm, mid anecdote, as he answered a “quick” work email on his iPhone. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. “Can’t this wait until after dinner? Plus, it’s after hours! You can answer it later! Don’t you think you’re being…” Buzzzzzzz. It was my own phone ringing, indicating I had a message. “Go on, answer the email,” my husband laughed. I tried to resist. I was, after all, in the middle of proving a very important point. But my eyes were already drifting to the screen. I couldn’t stop myself. I had to answer that email. Read the entire blog....

Posted by on in Apartment Investment
You’re probably reading this because you’re as addicted to click-bait quizzes as most people on social media. In real estate, however, all those investor personality quizzes won’t do you much good. Spoiler alert: there are two investor personality types, and you can be both at any given moment. Personality A: The Wealth-Builder Property investors who play it smart earn 12-30 percent ROI, depending on risks and market timing. That’s a sizable advantage over stock market investment returns, which average about 3-9 percent annually. Real estate investing builds wealth, and more risky strategies like flipping can build it more quickly. Investors who are risk-averse, however, might stay more in the second personality type most of the time. Personality B: The Retirement Plan Long-term investors are those who are focused on building wealth for the long-term, specifically, for retirement. Creating a portfolio that will make ends meet after going on a fixed income is a naturally risk-averse venture—no one wants to bet their future on something that might result in a loss. Retirement Planners opt more often to buy and hold safer investments, staying out of the property trading arena as much as possible. How To Be Both A and B Different seasons and goals may require diversification of an investment portfolio. Just like when investing in the stock market, it’s a good idea to periodically re-evaluate your goals, portfolio growth, and income potential and take a multi-faceted approach to real estate investing. As long as you stick with the tenets of smart...

Posted by on in Property Management
Even Google understands how frustrating parking can be in urban markets. By now, nearly everyone has utilized the Google Maps features that shows how congested the highways and side streets are on a particular route, and offers the most expedient routes given the real-time traffic. Now Google Maps is taking it a step further with a similar feature for parking. According to a recent article in TechCrunch, Google is using historical parking data to calculate a parking difficulty score, which will be presented in the app’s direction card as “Limited,” “Medium,” or “Easy.” This feature was first spotted in January when users of Google Maps’ beta on Android had access to the addition. The benefits to commuters are clear, as now they can mentally prepare themselves not only for the forthcoming drive, but also the parking situation when they arrive. For apartment communities in those urban cores that possess a fair amount of extra parking space, the ancillary revenue opportunities are tremendous. Apartment communities in those congested markets can transform their empty spaces into cheaper and more efficient parking options for the local businesses and their employees and visitors. To be clear, the Google Maps parking feature is still a work in progress. It relies on historical data (such as: this area is usually popular in November) rather than the real-time data, but its anticipated that the feature will quickly gain traction and improve as time passes. For now, Google is launching the feature in the top 25 metros of the...