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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Vendor and Supplier Topics
Property management professionals have to maintain successful relationships with a variety of people: fiduciary relationships with owners, tenant relations, and vendor relations. Relationships with vendors are arguably as important as having a good relationship with one’s owners because we rely on vendors so heavily during the course of our business. Instead of writing a ‘self-help’ article geared for the property management professional (which there are plenty), I decided to focus on that vendor who is trying to gain my business. During my decade of property management experience, I have noted several pitfalls for vendors, as well as ways they can earn “brownie points”.  Vendors take note! This article should be particularly useful as it is coming not from another vendor, but an actual property manager. Vendor Drop Ins. I get it. Instead of the cold call in which you will be immediately dismissed by a site manager, you want to meet him/her face to face and make a good impression and introduce your business. You plan several communities to visit over the weekend and on Monday you make your visits. Bad move. Why? On any given Monday property managers are dealing with issues that occurred over the weekend, following up on emails, and reporting for their owners. I for one have major reports due on Mondays, as well as payroll. The vendor that makes an unannounced visit at 9:30am Monday morning has immediately made a poor impression. My advice to you, the vendor: Mondays are the absolute worst day for you...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   I guess I’m getting old. My daughter just had to show me how to download an app on my new smart phone. Technology is advancing so rapidly, and I’m having a hard time keeping up, especially when it comes to smart home technology.   All of the young property managers are talking about it and I feel out of the loop. What should I be focusing on when it comes to new technology at my multifamily housing community?   - #NotTheNextSteveJobs     Dear #NotTheNextSteveJobs,   It’s okay, I think my teenage son knows more about technology than me too. Kids these days! The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to understand how technology works in order to start capitalizing on the benefits it can provide to your apartment.   Smart home tech is one of the hottest trends in the multifamily industry right now. Why? Smart-home features such as smartphone-managed lighting and security are giving renters a greater sense of control.   Millennial renters aren’t going to be scared off by technology -- they already know how it works… and they like it. In fact, according to a new study from Bailey Brand Consulting, 74% of them believe technology makes their lives easier. And since millennials currently make up the largest group of renters, it’s a good idea to focus your efforts on appealing to them.   Okay, now that you understand the “whys” of smart technology, let’s focus on the “what.” Here’s a list of...

Posted by on in Property Management
A recent post online:   “I’d love to show up to a tenant’s job and cause a scene like they do in the leasing office. Show up at your Walmart and yell at you because my eggs were cracked. Hit other people’s buggies and say it wasn’t me. Threaten to throw away my reward card Litter. EVERYWHERE! Get to the front of the line at check out and only pay half the bill. Complain about how overpriced the groceries where (misspelled) and terrible store is … Ask to “speak to the Manager” And respond with, “Well I’m only paying half the bill because my eggs were cracked.” We deal with so much”   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   Out of 62 comments (and there may be even more by this point), I don’t think there was one response that disagreed with the Poster. Many commiserated with her and joined in with agreement in earnest. I know the post was meant to relieve stress and validate her feeling of frustration. I get it.   The thing is though – we work where our Residents LIVE, in their homes, not the other way around. What are we doing to help our onsite teams feel better, feel less bullied by some Residents, and relieve the stress as we move into high leasing season? Venting online cannot possibly be the best way to ensure our teams are cared for, being heard, and assisted in strengthening their relationship management skills.  ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   Parking. It’s every property manager’s worst nightmare. So many problems arise between us and our residents because of it. Trying to having enough spots, regulating who parks where, I can’t seem to keep everyone happy. Please help!   Sincerely,   #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne     Dear #IGot99ProblemsAndParkingIsOne,     Ah yes, parking is a perennial problem property managers face. It seems like every multifamily community just turns into parking lot tetris (not as fun as it sounds).   Unfortunately, property managers are responsible for dealing with the neverending parking struggle. Adequate parking at rental properties is one of the most important amenities for residents and can be the make or break for some when it comes to signing or renewing their lease. After all, parking is what cars do most of the time. In fact, the average automobile spends 95 percent of its time sitting in place. People buy cars because they need to move around, but the amount of time they actually do move around is tiny.   Providing parking is important. Luckily, you have me to help you navigate the treacherous roads (pun intended) of multifamily parking.   Property managers who want to keep their residents happy and reduce conflict between neighbors should have a clearly defined parking plan for their property. Here are some things to consider:   Assigned Parking Spaces: To make sure that all residents in your multifamily housing community have plenty of parking for their own vehicles, there should be assigned parking spaces. Many...

Posted by on in Property Management
December is a busy month. There are office parties. End-of-year sales. Holidays. (Plus don’t forget December birthdays! Although everyone always does anyway. Sigh. I’m going to pour one out for my homies, my fellow forgotten Sagittariuses.) And, of course, all of the tips and presents.   Read on for the full blog....

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby, I knew being a property manager isn’t easy, but it’s proving to be a lot harder than I imagined. There are so many responsibilities to balance, but I’m still determined to be the best in the biz. Any tips? Sincerely, #IWannaBeTheVeryBest     Dear #IWannaBeTheVeryBest, So you want to be a perfect property manager eh? The property management world can be highly rewarding one, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. I’ve been working in the industry long enough to know what personalities and skill sets are better suited for this line of work. Just call me the Mr. Miyagi of property management. Learn how to focus on your goals and start with the basics. The rest will follow. Afterall, someone who can catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks can accomplish anything (note: this is not an official requirement of being a good property manager, but it would make for a killer party trick). It may seem like you have a long path ahead of you, but have patience young grasshopper. Let’s start with some of the imperative qualities of today’s successful property managers: 1. Communication A property manager must have excellent communication skills. Residents must be able to reach the property manager for emergency and non-emergency related issues. Keeping the lines of communication open can be challenging when the phones are ringing, your email inbox is full, and residents and potential residents alike are lined up at your desk, but it’s important to do so if...

Posted by on in Property Management
In the classic show I Love Lucy, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo couldn't swing a Vitameatavegamin in their swanky Manhattan apartment without hitting their best friends—and landlords—Fred and Ethel Mertz. Wackiness and hilarity ensued, of course, mainly because this was a scripted TV show and nowhere near what reality is like (see also: twin beds in the bedroom and the ability to play the conga drums non-stop without the neighbors complaining). If you're a property manager or landlord in real life and you're best friends with your residents, then you have some 'splaining to do. Read on for the whole blog....

Posted by on in Property Management
Dear Gabby,   I am on the brink of moving somewhere where the weather is warm year-round! Snow might create a pretty winter wonderland, but it’s not as pretty when you need to get rid of it on a regular basis.   I manage a community in an area that’s prone to heavy snowfall every winter. Removing snow seems never-ending! I’m wondering if you can give me some tips for making sure my walkways are always safe this time of year. The last thing I want is for my residents to get snow in their shoes, or even worse, fall and hurt themselves.   #DreamingOfSunshine     Dear #DreamingOfSunshine,   I feel your pain. As that cool winter breeze makes its way in and pushes out the crisp autumn air, only one thought comes to my mind: Winter is coming...and it’s the worst!   Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season. But I could do without the winter weather that comes along with it entirely. For someone like me who wasn’t necessarily gifted with good coordination, winter is my worst enemy. Black ice… UGH, that stuff is always trying to sneak up on me and ruin my day!   Snow is inevitable in many places, so coming up with a plan for snow removal is something multifamily managers need to seriously prepare for well before a storm rolls in. Here are some important things to consider before old man winter shows his face:   Know the Local Laws To...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Multifamily Leasing Concessions - MiamiAny followers of the multifamily industry will doubtless be aware of the column inches currently being devoted to the subject of changing market conditions.  This week National Real Estate Investor announced that Manhattan renters are currently receiving record incentives as the market is flooded with new supply.  Last month the Wall Street Journal published an article about recent rent declines in Houston, New York, San Francisco and San Jose. That article noted that the drops, as well as slowing rental growth rates in other areas, could be the first indication that the multifamily sector's historic, six-year bull market may finally be coming to an end. A significant drop in demand often corresponds to an increase in concessions in the marketplace. Operators typically react to softening market conditions by offering concessions to new residents, usually in the form of free rent. With the multifamily sector performing so strongly over the past half-decade, concessions have been relatively scarce. (It is worth noting that even in some markets that are still exhibiting exceptionally strong fundamentals, such as Denver, operators will begin to offer concessions ahead of a wave of new supply).   Determining Leasing Concessions: The Methodology We recently partnered with ALN Apartment Data Inc., the largest collector of apartment data in the United States, to study this phenomenon.  We developed a methodology for identifying the presence of concessions in apartment markets. The methodology examines the difference between asking rents (gathered from Rainmaker’s comprehensive internet listing data) and effective rents (gathered through ALN’s property surveys) in various markets across the US. ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Although I’ve been reading about this for over a year, I was still scratching my head about the #NewFederalOvertimeRules even a week or so ago!  Four important basics follow.   The first thing you need to know is it takes effect December 1, 2016.  The second thing you want to know is whether your salaried exempt employees are still exempt from overtime, or if they will now be eligible for overtime.  To be paid as salaried exempt (no overtime), they MUST meet ALL of these rules: •As of December 1, 2016 the employee must make $47,476 or more per year.  ANYONE making less than that is automatically non-exempt (not exempt from overtime, i.e., they are eligible for overtime).   Prior to that, the threshold was $23,660. •The employee must be paid a set amount each week, not varying based on how many hours worked. •Their duties must include “managerial” decisions, such as supervising others, with the authority to hire and fire or greatly impact personnel decisions. For the complete list, go to https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/general-guidance.pdf Best Practice: Perform an audit of all your existing employees and if an employee doesn’t meet any one of these, that employee is non-exempt, meaning they are eligible for overtime pay. The third thing you’ll want to consider are the several options to “stay legal.” A few are listed here:  •Raise pay: You can increase the person’s pay to minimum $47,500, and if you meet the other 2 requirements you may still pay the employee as salaried-exempt (from...