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5 Tips To Help You Prepare For Budget Season

5 Tips To Help You Prepare For Budget Season
As a residential property manager, you’re likely already gearing up for the 2017 budget season. As busy as property managers are with the many hats they wear — marketing and sales, screening prospective residents, assisting with all manner of residents requests, and more — most understand that putting together a solid budget is critical for financial performance all year long. A budget tells you where you are and where you’re going, and it helps you measure your progress along the way. It provides an organized and easily understood look at money coming in and going out for anyone who might need the information, including your staff, community investors, and financial professionals. It’s also an invaluable tool for you in assessing how your community is performing, identifying any fat to be trimmed, and adapting as situations change. As you prepare your 2017 budget, take a look at the tips below to help make the process as painless as possible. Review industry dataVisit the library, use an online database, or search online to review standard income, expenditures, profit margins, and other metrics for your industry. You can find lots of free information simply by searching online for various keywords, and you can also find annual reports from market research firms that give away some information for free and include others for a fee. Generate methods for increasing revenueIf your community isn’t at full occupancy, create a marketing, sales, and communications plan before working on your budget. Does your website need work? Should you be focusing......
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Summer Move-In Success

Summer Move-In Success
Warm Up To New Residents On Move-In Day As we all know, summer is upon us. The season filled with barbeques, vacations and shorts is also known for something else: moving. According to moving and storage company U-Haul: "17 to 20 million people may move this summer" and "Nearly 45 percent of all moves occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day." That's a lot of people relocating during the warmest time of the year. Reasons vary on why many commit to a summertime move and many of them may be moving into your community. If this is the case, many in multifamily have an opportunity to make a good first impression. Just because a resident signed the lease doesn't mean they feel comfortable and welcome in the community yet. We have a few ideas on how to break through this barrier to make a lasting impression. Prepare the Property - If you're about to see an influx of new residents, have the property ready. Will moving trucks be able to easily navigate once on site? Are there any obstructions in the hallways, breezeways or stairwells? Don't forget that residents may have only seen the property a handful of times before moving in, so they may get confused. Is there any way to help this? These small fixes will make moving in a smoother experience for everyone. Even just being there to assure and answer questions will stand out to new residents. Have Water Ready - Summer is hot. Moving heavy objects in the summer is even hotter. A great way to maintain the rapport you've established is to......
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4 Things Apartment Maintenance Know That Property Managers Don’t

Archstone Apartment in GainesvilleWhenever something happens in a tenant’s apartment, they put in a service request or contact the maintenance department. Access to a professional, experienced maintenance team is one of the primary benefits of renting an apartment. Many renters have great relationships with the leasing team and property managers at the apartment complexes where they live, but they often have an even better relationship with the maintenance technicians that come into their apartments to make repairs and perform preventative maintenance. The conversations that occur while the maintenance tech is within the apartment can directly and indirectly give the tech a lot of information that the leasing team might never know— but might really need. Maintenance techs often see things that the leasing team does not, and these things can make a big impact on the success of your team. Here are four things maintenance techs often know from visiting apartments: 1. Which Apartments Have Unauthorized Pets Some apartment complexes have a no pet policy due to possible damages, allergy concerns, and noise problems. In other cases, pets might be allowed with a pet deposit. In both cases, tenants may attempt to have an unauthorized dog or cat in the unit without signing the required paperwork or paying the required fees. It may seem easy to sneak in a pet since the apartment managers aren’t in the apartments, but as soon as a maintenance tech is needed, they’ll be sure to be the first to notice that there is a pet. At Ashton Lane apartment......
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7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September

7 Things Student Housing Landlords Should Do Before The End of September
September is without a doubt one of the most hectic and stressful months for student housing landlords and operators. We previously talked about how to prepare for the student housing turn season and what to do once it’s arrived.   Here are several things landlords should aim to tackle sometime in September.   1.    Take New Photos of each Rental and Document its Condition: The beginning of September is a perfect time to take new property photos before the new tenants move in. There are two reasons why September is an ideal time for new photos: The unit will be vacant, allowing for photo staging. These photos will provide photo documentation of the condition each unit was in, prior to the new tenants arriving.  2.    Talk Lease Renewals: Is it too early to talk lease renewals in September? Definitely not! Tenant retention is a process that begins the second tenants sign the lease. It never hurts to simply mention that if they like the place and wish to extend their lease, it can be done anytime. Offer incentives or discounts to encourage early lease renewals.   3.    Discuss Renter’s Insurance: In most cases, renter’s insurance is not a mandatory requirement for tenants; but it’s something that should be discussed. Student tenants are often unaware that their possessions are not covered by the landlord’s property insurance or that the cost of renter’s insurance is quite reasonable.   4.     Transfer Utilities into the Tenant’s Name OR Talk All-Inclusive Limitations: If a rental unit is non-inclus......
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Blood Muffins And Other Social Media Disasters To Avoid

Social media is a powerful force. Most of the time that's a good thing. For some of you, it's the lifeblood of your brand's voice. But sometimes, social media can turn against you and in one trending hashtag, your brand is destroyed. Here are 5 such examples and how to avoid them.   5. J.P. Morgan AMA (Ask Me Anything) J.P. Morgan, the firm that helped underwrite Twitter’s IPO, decided to do an AMA with the hashtag #ASKJPM. For those that do not know what an AMA is, think interview but with the entire internet. The problem was, J.P. has been accused of everything from embezzling money for the Mexican drug cartels to involvement in the highly publicized Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Obviously, regardless of guilt or innocence, these were not topics that could be discussed over a Twitter hashtag. When thousands of tweets came in asking about scandals the company couldn’t answer, J.P. Morgan was forced to cancel the AMA the following day. The lesson: If you’re not prepared to answer tough questions, do not engage in an interview style that is literally titled "Ask Me Anything". If you want to have an open conversation with your customers, nothing can be off the table. Anything short of complete transparency and candor will be met with hostility and ultimately lead to a public relations nightmare.    4. Marriot #BloodMuffins For 9/11’s 14 year anniversary a Marriott hotel decided to offer free muffins and coffee “in remembrance of those we lost on 9/11”. Wa......
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How To Keep Student Tenants For Their Entire Academic Career

How To Keep Student Tenants For Their Entire Academic Career
Finding new tenants each academic year can be a real burden on landlords and property managers. Tenant retention is an important issue which sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to student housing. Generally speaking, most college and university programs last between 2 to 4 years.   Many student renters will change up their accommodation each passing year, making landlords constantly on the hunt for new tenants. The process of replacing student tenants each year can be both time-consuming and costly. This process often involves a full cleaning of the rental, extensive planning and marketing, responding to email and phone inquiries, screening applicants and finally selecting the tenants.   But what if a landlord could keep student tenants for their entire academic career? Here are some tips on how to accomplish that!   Incentivize longer leases: One method to encourage an extended lease is to offer a discounted rental rate if a longer lease is signed. For example, a 1-year lease would have a rental price of $1,000 per month, 2-year would be $950 per month, 3-year would be $900 per month and so forth. A tenant could save quite a bit of money if they are willing to commit to a longer lease.  Offer discounted rent during months they aren’t occupying the rental:Most academic programs only last 8-9 months and typically students will be locked into a 12-month lease, where they pay for a few months when they aren’t occupying the unit. One option to help student tenants is to allow subletting. Ano......
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Do you list your Pet Policy in your ads? It matters - a lot!

Do you list your Pet Policy in your ads? It matters - a lot!

Do you list your Pet Policy in your online ads? If not, you're missing out on valuable traffic and leads!

RentLinx completed a study of 78,000 leads and uncovered a startling fact: Renters prefer ads that state a Pet Policy - 5 times to 1! Ads with a stated Pet Policy get FIVE times as many leads as ads without any mention of a Pet Policy. So, include your Pet Policy in your ads -- even if it's 'No Pets Allowed'. Inquiring renters want to know!

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