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

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Your People Are Your Brand! Are They Prepared?

Your People Are Your Brand! Are They Prepared?
  Until they merged with United Airlines I made a decision that I would NEVER again fly Continental Airlines. Ever. This was all because of one bad experience I had with a member of the Continental flight crew while traveling. After this experience whenever I saw a commercial or marketing piece for Continental, I thought of this crew member and how she treated me. No amount of colorful airline livery or fancy marketing would ever replace the fact that to me that flight attendant was Continental Airlines. And since I didn’t like my experience with her, I didn’t like the company. Period. End of story. What does this have to do with your company? I don’t care if your CEO has degrees from Harvard, Yale and Oxford; or if your executives have every certification given in the multi-family universe; or if your regional managers are the most intelligent and articulate groups of regionals the industry has ever seen . . . to the average customer, they are not your ‘brand.’ The people sitting behind the leasing desks are your brand. The people answering the phones at your community, responding to emails, monitoring your social media spaces and taking clients on tour are the face of your company to the average customer. Remember your first day? My very first property was an ultra-luxury community in Newport Beach, California. Rents for a one-bedroom home started at $1,860 and went all the way up to over $4,000 per month. Now how much time and effort do ......
Continue reading
4299 Hits
2 Comments

When Baristas Attack! The Price of Making the Wrong Decision

When Baristas Attack! The Price of Making the Wrong Decision
How do you help the people on your team make decisions to “do the right thing” even when they don’t want to? Here’s a story that you may want to share. ______________________ A few years ago I was assigned the task to pick up coffee for everyone in the department. I ordered five of them and after the fifth coffee was given to me, I asked the associate behind the counter for a drink tray. She gave me the, “You are the 50th person who has asked me for a tray and now I’m really irritated!!” look. Obviously since I wasn’t born with five arms I figured that any reasonable person would agree that a tray would be a good idea. Unfortunately I discovered that the barista was not in the “reasonable” category when she grabbed a tray and tossed it at me. Listen, this was not a case of her placing a tray on the counter that had accidentally gone too far. Oh no! She pretty much tossed the tray at me.  Unfortunately a cup of hot coffee was in the flight path of the tray that she tossed!  The tray hit the cup of coffee (which was one of those mucho machupichu mochalatte grande deals) and the hot coffee spilled everywhere! Fortunately, I was able to jump out of the way before the coffee spilled all over me and only my left hand really got the brunt of the hot coffee.  The associate looked at me, and immediately her “I’m too good to he......
Continue reading
3070 Hits
0 Comments

The First Date Principle

If you’re reading this article I know that you know the importance of seeing things from a customer’s or resident's point of view. But have you ever found yourself frustrated with the people on your team who don’t ever seem to “get it?” During my property management career I tried a lot of different ways to help the people that I managed and trained to see things from the customer’s point of view. Using what I call the “First Date Principle” has been the most effective method I’ve found to do this. The First Date Aren't first dates stressful? We’ve all been there right? You try outfits until you find the perfect one. You experiment with different hairstyles, make up and accessories to look your best. Perhaps you’ve made reservations at a restaurant whose name you can’t pronounce and whose appetizers alone cost more than your monthly car payment.  During the date don’t you find that you try to avoid anything that could make you look bad, or be taken the wrong way? If you can’t afford what your date ordered for dinner, you don’t say a word. If you think the waiter is really cute you resist the temptation to take another look. If you feel like you need to burp, or anything else, you make sure that you are far away from the table before it happens, right? Why do you do this? Because you know that the person sitting across from you is watching everything you do! ......
Continue reading
3207 Hits
0 Comments

How to Keep Your Rockstar Employees

 You’ve just hired a rockstar employee, now you start to wonder, how long I will keep her.  Wage and benefits are not enough to promise that your best and brightest rockstars will remain engaged. I bet you will find that when you interview your employees about what they value most at work, that none or few say salary. Instead, employees are most likely to say something like even-keeled bosses who made time for me, who helped me riddle through work issues by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who are attentive in employees’ lives and careers. Tangibles like salary and benefits are not enough to guarantee that your best and brightest rockstars will remain engaged. Take new hire rockstar Jill, for example an outstanding, experienced Property Manager whom Property Management Company X recently drafted at considerable expense from one of its main competitors. Despite her outward success and the success of her newly acquired property, she’s unsure how she’s performing, where she stands in the company, and how she fits into the overall goals of the agency. Her pay is great, she loves the autonomy of not being micro managed, but over time, she finds herself feeling dispirited by the lack of communication, and checks out. The loss of rockstar performers like Jill doesn’t just leave a talent vacuum to seal; it also leaves a wide hole in the bottom line. So how can your company keep its rockstars engaged? It comes down to creating a culture of communication — one......
Continue reading
9223 Hits
4 Comments

Not All “Equal” Animals are Truly Equal

The gap between animal lovers and non-animal lovers can be as difficult to bridge as many of the differences between our two major political parties. But just as the issues that divide our nation have nuances, so do the pro- and anti-animal advocates in the multifamily industry. Some of us can remember the day when apartment owners could hold the line on pets. Markets were strong and the bar could be raised to preclude all un-caged pets to avoid all the issues pets can create. But markets became soft and the need to take pets became commonplace and market driven. Now demand is stronger and some operators would like to return to the “no pets allowed” days. But even if the markets will support that policy, not all pets are equal. No, pets, per se, are not a protected class. However, “assistance animals” must be allowed as a “reasonable accommodation” under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act.  This probably trumps reasonable weight limits as well. The question as to whether an “assistance animal” qualifies comes down to “whether or not the animal performs the disability-related assistance or provides the disability-related benefit needed by the person with the disability”. For an excellent discussion of this topic, see Jennifer L. Owen’s feature in Briefcase in the February 2012 issue of Rooflines.  The fair-housing laws can be a minefield and it is important that, at a minimum, we provide whoever is responsible for compliance in our organizations with ample......
Continue reading
3916 Hits
0 Comments

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
6176 Hits
8 Comments