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Maximizing Your CRM

Maximizing Your CRM
It seems that technology is evolving minute by minute, and the multifamily industry has a front-row seat to these ever-changing advancements.  This rapid acceleration of technology has brought about a wealth of innovative new tools and solutions – from resident referral platforms and text message marketing to AI and automation – that operators are utilizing to improve the customer experience. With apartment leasing and living becoming more tech-driven and digital-centric than ever before, operators must stay on the cutting edge of technology to find new ways of enhancing, optimizing and automating their leasing strategies.  Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) have become a key foundational element to successful leasing strategies and customer service within the industry’s new tech-focused environment. While CRMs can certainly help convert leads, they are really designed to capture data and only do so much when it comes to leasing and renewals. CRMs are not built to automate and optimize the lead-to-lease conversion process. However, the latest wave of multifamily technologies is maximizing the CRM by leveraging its data to convert leads to leases through automated lead development with an unmatched level of personalization. Too frequently, prospects have to reach out to leasing agents multiple times to get a response, and prospects will often contact five to seven different communities and hear back from only one or two. This generally means the first property to respond will land the lease, and the others left money on the table.  Adding a lease conversion automation tool to an existing CRM helps manag......
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Celebrate Team Recognition

Celebrate Team Recognition
Celebrate Team Recognition, and individual recognition is essential to employee retention. Team meetings are a great opportunity to celebrate team recognition.  We can make it more memorable by building the meeting around a theme. A fun theme to kick off the New Year is “The Team Toast.”  With the New Year’s Celebration fresh in our thoughts, having a theme with party hats and champagne flutes can make the first meeting of the year memorable. A toast, as used at weddings and celebrations is a public gesture of celebration.  Using toasts, we can celebrate the team accomplishments. This creates an opportunity for the team to experience recognition for their efforts. Celebration Meeting Theme With a “Toast” theme,  the team can be challenged to toast (not roast) their colleagues.  It can be an opportunity to recognize previous year accomplishments. Total Number of Move Ins Improved Safety Inspections Increased Occupancy Improved Rent Collections Inspection Scores Satisfaction Scores on Service Orders Sample toasts, giving suggestions can be helpful.  Cue cards can be prepared in advance.  Setting up cards with fill in the blank options.  This provides an opportunity for everyone to participate without experiencing frustration or embarrassment.  Offering advance preparation can make sure recognition is offered for all. The menu for the meeting includes juice or sparkling water served in plastic champagne style flutes; the entrée for the breakfast menu, french toast.  Of course! Meeting With Purpose The team meeting communicates the schedule for the week. Scheduled move ins, move outs, preventive maintenance, represent important items for every member of ......
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How to Help Your Property Management Office Streamline Their To-Do List

The property management industry in the United States generates $88.4 billion in annual revenue and it is only expected to grow (iPropertyManagement). Property managers seeking methods to streamline their growing To-Do lists have more capabilities at their fingertips than ever before. New real estate technology empowers property managers to streamline processes like rent collection, batch invoicing, security deposits, insurance, and more. On the flipside, tenants have the ability to pay their rent by text message, which opens the door to a quick and simple form of communication between the two parties via text message.   While managing payments and money is a big perk on its own, the ease that contactless technology brings to open communication is invaluable and can aid property managers in accomplishing tasks – even crossing items off their lists before it even becomes a To-Do. Eighty percent of property managers are involved in the coordination or performance of maintenance/repairs along with the struggle to collect rent and fees.   Platforms like Rentmoola easily integrate with contactless technology to make collecting property payments modern and efficient. It allows tenants to go paperless and property managers to step up their game when it comes to customer service.   Let’s look at some of the ways this option can greatly improve a property manager’s daily duties.   Pay By Text Tenants can pay from anywhere in the world using their mobile device and the property manager enjoys direct deposits without the need to collect and deposit checks.   Accounting Integration Busy ......
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2022 Best Practices in Leasing Apartments

We Have Been Spoiled in 2021 - Better Get Ready to Rumble! With over 400,000 new apartments projected nationwide in 2022, it looks like there will be some competition in most major markets.  Add a possible uptick in COVID (thanks to Mr. Omicron), and I predict a very competitive leasing environment this year.  Here are some MUST DO’S to keep your leasing efforts ahead of the guys next door! Answer the phone - DANG!  Why can’t we answer the phone at least some of the time?  Is our call center really better than the onsite team?  Possible, but hopefully not.  Look, when the prospect calls and you answer, YOU are the expert.  And you are talking to someone whose mindset is apartment hunting.  When you call back an hour (or day) later, now you are an interruption or a phone solicitor.  Gotta get those phone leads while they are hot! Greet prospects with FEP - Make every internet prospect, caller, and visitor know that you are exceptionally glad to see them.  Be FEP - Friendly • Enthusiastic • Professional.  Friendliness is one of the best attributes of the GREAT leasers. Show later in the day - You closing at 5 pm?  Really? Guess what, that is the time your prospect gets off work, too.  Make it easy and stay open till 6 at the earliest and add a few late days till 8 pm.  (Oh, it is dangerous to show after dark!  Really?  Got any proof?  I contend it is actually safer to show......
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Comprehensive Pet Policies are Difficult to Find Online

Comprehensive Pet Policies are Difficult to Find Online
The apartment world is doing a commendable job of moving away from antiquated pet policies in favor of those more fitting for the modern renter. Trouble is, sometimes those policies are impossible to find.   Imagine trying to enter your confirmation number for a flight and not being able to find the check-in page on the airline’s website. Frustrating, right? Well, that’s how pet-owning prospective renters can feel when they’re perusing a community site but can’t seem to access the pet policies online.  The problem of inaccessible online pet policies is two-fold. For the prospect, the choice becomes whether to interrupt the online search and call the community, or worse, move along to the next property. For already overburdened onsite teams, the need to spend time on the phone to relay information that should be readily available is inefficient and frustrating.  Essentially, it wastes time for everyone involved.  Some renters might not be a fit at your community because they have four pets and your limit is two, or they own a Hokkaido wolf and that’s among your restricted breeds. If comprehensive pet policies are online, they don’t have  to call the community and be disappointed or annoyed that they don’t qualify.  Those whose pets do qualify already know that up front, if the policies are clear and accessible online. Then when they contact the onsite team to learn more about the community, they can already be categorized as qualified traffic.  Keeping in mind that approximately 50% of digital leads generated in the industry ......
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Pet Waste: The Problem Is Bigger Than You Think – Potential Health Hazards for Not Picking Up Pet Waste

Pet Waste: The Problem Is Bigger Than You Think – Potential Health Hazards for Not Picking Up Pet Waste
It’s not just about diminishing curb appeal – unscooped pet waste also puts the health of entire apartment communities at risk. When pet owners don’t pick up their pet’s waste, there are massive health and environmental implications.  As more apartment communities allow pets and assistance animals onsite, the animal waste problem continues to grow. According to the latest Multifamily Pet Policies and Amenities survey conducted by PetScreening and J. Turner Research, 84% of respondents ranked pet waste as their No. 1 pet-related concern. And with more than 60% of renters owning a pet, it is not a concern to be taken lightly.  Pet waste is more than an inconvenience for residents and onsite teams. It poses tremendous health hazards and is known to cause various diseases such as Salmonella, E. Coli, and Ringworm. Some pet owners may not realize it, but leaving behind pet waste substantially increases the health risks that residents, onsite teams, guests and pets alike face.  In addition to health concerns, pet waste is a potent cause of environmental impact. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists pet waste as a significant source of nonpoint environmental contamination, meaning it comes from more than one source. When waste is left on lawns and sidewalks, it eventually washes into nearby bodies of water through storm sewers. Storm drains don’t connect to a treatment facility, so the waste inevitably ends up in local lakes, rivers and streams. The Georgia-based Clean Water Campaign estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 millio......
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The Not So Obvious Clause That Every PSA Needs


You must add this clause to your next purchase and sale agreement to avoid uncomfortable situations that threaten your reputation. Most of the time challenges that come up in a transaction are for the most part pretty common. You learn from them and are able to predict if it might happen again in another transaction.

Listen to a story of a recent deal that hammers home why you need to add this clause to all future PSAs. Definitely a lesson learned for all parties, and something I will be adding to my process as a normal course of a transaction.

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Things I Learned and Loved in 2021

2021 inscription on sand near the seaSome things that I learned and loved in 2021.    Excited for the new adventures coming our way, but here are some of my favorites from 2021.  But there has been much gained  with lessons learned, experiences and a ideas that fall short that either need a little more development, or maybe an idea for someone else to chase. Podcasts If I’m driving, flying, walking …I probably have a podcast in my ears.  There are influencers for the Property Management Industry, Marketing and Personal Growth Skills.  Some of my favorites are Michael Hyatt’s Lead to Win, and Focus on This …that ties into the Full Focus Planner, another Hyatt product.  Jon Acuff, as well as being an outstanding author is the host to “All It Takes Is A Goal.” Canva Love this tool, both the free and pro versions for social media ads and flyers.  Easy to use, although the premium features are somewhat crowding out the free options.  We live in a visual, world.  A little investment of time can bring big returns with the attention that graphics or animations will attract. Facebook Marketplace The latest and the greatest….the algorithms will probably find ways to complicate this process, but Facebook Marketing has proven to be an effective source of apartment advertising. We have found that some of our staffing positions that didn’t get much response from commercial recruiting efforts can achieve local interest with a Facebook Marketplace Employment Ad.  Auto generated responses are available for both for the “seller” and the “buyer” but ......
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Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing good heath, happiness and family time to all of the members of the Property Management Industry.

I always have a certain level of anxiousness approaching long, or extended holiday weekends.

With a career that started and survived many midwest winters, it seemed that the first storms selected Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years for their arrival.  Not only taking our teams away from the family time, but also putting them in the worst elements fighting snow and wind, and whatever.

So fingers crossed that the next few days will present “the Calm and Silent” Days and Nights so our teams are not deluged with on-call emergencies.

Merry Christmas to All
Merry Christmas

 

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The Importance of Gratitude

The Importance of Gratitude
Those of you who know me well know that I’m a fan of Daniel Ariely. He’s a behavioral economist and author of the seminal book, Predictably Irrational. If you haven’t read that book, get it now! I subscribe to his weekly email that sends me his Wall Street Journal column. It’s like a “Dear Abby” for decision makers and always entertaining (and usually informative). This past week had a question from someone who had recently been promoted to a position where she would now manage people who were formerly peers. She was worried that it would change her relationship with those people. This really resonated with me as this scenario frequently happens in our industry. My own experience is that it absolutely does change the relationship and we need to accept that. Dr. Ariely added some very useful advice based on behavioral studies that I think all of us can use. Specifically, he recommended to make sure that this person continues to express gratitude towards her colleagues. He noted: Sadly, research has shown that when people get more power, they tend to express less gratitude, even though more power might come with more to be grateful for, such as a higher salary. One study looked at the acknowledgement sections of academic papers and found that authors with high-ranking titles expressed less thanks than their junior counterparts did. A study of Wikipedia editors found the same effect: senior editors made fewer thankful comments than junior ones. We can’t rule out the possibility that more powerful authors and editors ex......
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