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Feedback and Constructive Criticism

I have always taught my children about the value and importance of feedback. We talk about it often. We talk about it so often that it’s second nature for me. I’d never realized what an impact it had made until my youngest began tackle football recently. The photo below is an interaction of feedback. Since beginning football workouts and practices, my youngest has left the field after 2 long hours, with a one word question when he approaches us. “Feedback?” He understands the value of feedback and constructive criticism. He avoids getting defensive. He trusts the individuals giving him the feedback. He receives feedback with an open mind and an open heart. Most of all, he knows, listening to the feedback is going to make him a better football player. [insert your passion here] So often in property management we receive feedback in different channels. Allow me to give you a few: reviews, complaints, emails. The WAY we get this feedback, the nature, tone and attitude of this feedback is not always one that provides us the ability to be receptive. I am begging you now, change your outlook. I’ll even go so far as to remove the resident perspective from this and use team interactions as an example for those leaders and future leaders in the room. Picture this…..you’ve made a procedural change on site. Nothing huge that requires policy, just tweaking the way the move-out process gets completed to ensure all information is being gathered for assistant manager (doing deposit accou......
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Use Your Words….Know Your Audience. The Importance of Communication.

I have had a lot of opportunity lately to observe the role of communication and how important it is to perform it correctly, to residents, to leaders and to team members. There are so many different variables in which we communicate daily, and the truth is, I am not going to touch on all of them in this one post. (Or maybe you’ll be lucky and this will turn into a ranting sort of post and you’ll get all my recent experience wisdom thrown at you). Let’s go….. You have your different channels of communication to choose from…face to face, email, telephone, video conferencing, texting. You have your communication barriers to consider…….filtering, selective perception, information overload (ugh, stop talking already), emotional disconnects, lack of credibility, semantics/jargon, poor listening skills. You have your audience to consider….what’s that saying?? “KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE”. Let’s begin with communicating during a problem, issue, crisis. It’s important to learn how to communicate during these volatile times with less emotion, to communicate facts diplomatically and eloquently. This provides the opportunity for those receiving the information to make educated decisions quickly and not knee jerk reactions to hearing/feeling/reacting to emotions. (Yes, you are right, it is also the receiver’s job to decipher emotion vs facts and to weed through that. Make it easier for them. The messenger is vital to the role of communication.) TIPS: If time is not of importance, step away for a bit to calm down, make a list, or write/journal your emotions out, re-evaluate the list/writing after emotions......
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Covid-19 How Your Apartment Leasing Strategy Can Stay Ahead of the Next Potential Lockdown

  If 2020 taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. In 2020 Covid-19 took the entire world by storm. Life and business as we knew them were completely changed (and in some areas lost forever). The "out-of-nowhere" nature of the pandemic left everybody scrambling to simply survive. While we have made significant strides in terms of understanding the virus and taking the necessary safety precautions, there is still so much unknown about the virus and life as a whole.   Take the last week of July for instance. The CDC estimated that there was nearly a 44% increase in daily COVID cases reported. This in combination with the new variant makes the potential for another lockdown not just a possibility, but reality.   As an apartment marketing professional or property manager, you understand how vital in-person interactions with future renters are. Whether your specific state, city, or county decides to issue a "lockdown" mandate or not future renters will ultimately make their own decisions. So, The question becomes, "If people are on lockdown how will they be able to see what our community and units have to offer?" Virtual tours and photorealistic renderings are both great ways to continue connecting with renters when face-to-face interactions are extremely limited or not possible.   Here are a few ways virtual tours and renderings can help your community withstand another potential lockdown.   Don't Leave Anything to Chance   With the total weekly number of cases rising at a rate we ......
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Top Destroyer of Real Estate Deals for Investors


There is a silent destroyer of real estate deals for an investor out there that is costing them millions of dollars in opportunities and they have no idea it’s happening.  SPAM BLOCKERS.  As a real estate broker in modern times, most new listings are pushed out through email and world servers are blocking those emails from ever getting to an investor's computer.  The multifamily real estate investors that buy more deals are the ones that see more deals than other investors.  If a server has flagged a real estate agent's email domain as a spammer, none of their new listings will ever make it to an investor's inbox. Watch this video for exactly how this works.

Almost Everyone’s email has spam blocker technology.  Some are more aggressive than others, but the point is, it is just a software, or artificial intelligence, deciding which email to allow in to your inbox.  There’s no human being watching over the spam blocker technology.

Multifamily brokers send a lot of emails in the ordinary course of a day.  Listings, closings, market reports, correspondence, relationship building, etc.  Everyone’s email is run off of one of just a few main servers in the world.  Sometimes those server’s spam blocking technology will decide that the server holding a broker's email is spam.  Because brokers email so much servers will label it spam and block it from ever going thru their server to get to any of the email addresses they serve.

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Why You Should Market for Your Property

All too often I receive inquiries from a potential seller that is looking to “Get the Highest Price” for their property, but does not want to list it, or market the property.  This seems counter intuitive as the basic law of economics is supply and demand.    Although there is not much an average seller can do to affect the supply line, they can create demand by using a good agent.  I started my career in real estate auctions in the late 80’s through the mid 90’s.  During that time, I was at first surprised when properties we took to auction (a method that was deemed as a “fire sale”) consistently sold for higher prices than neighboring properties, and in many cases sold at higher prices than what they were previously listed before going to auction.  As I thought about it, it really did make sense, my economics classes in college explained exactly what was going on.  The supply chain didn’t change, but by marketing the property, and creating a pent up demand the chances for a sale greatly increased.  We’ve seen this over and over the last few years in this current “Sellers” market.  Almost to the point where we now receive as many calls from investors saying they only want to look at “off market” deals, believing they will get a better price without other competing investors.  So it seems pretty easy… If a seller wants the highest price, they need to make sure the property is actively exposed to as many people as might be intere......
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Don’t lose your marbles!

Don’t lose your marbles!



Marble looks are crushing it. These look-a-likes are the highest form of design flattery. This style has been on-trend for years with no end in sight.  I just can’t stop spec’ing it. Have you utilized it yet? Did you know it ranges from uber affordable in sheet vinyl for baths, wet areas and kitchens? Get this look as well in ceramic and porcelain tiles too for kitchen backsplashes, showers and floors. 

 

(It’s in my own cloffice/zoom room.)

 

 Classic marble styles are gorgeous and versatile. These only look like the real thing!  And they can go almost anywhere! Here are a few reasons we love it.  The veining. The polished or matte sheen. The variation of sizes. The colorations ranging from Carrara to Calacatta. Super low maintenance, so easy to sanitize and no high end marble to seal.

In addition, many floating marble “tiles” have the ease of install. Bonus! These resilient tiles are waterproof (from the top down) and have integrated realistic looking grout lines. It’s only mimicking tile. No more scrubbing grout. Game changer!

 

 

New innovative shower systems boast these floating waterproof “tiles” on the shower walls! It only looks like the real thing. It’s quicker to install (as in one day) with no second trip charges saving time and money. 

 



Talk to your trusted flooring specialist today. It won’t be in VEIN!

 

Keeping it real,  (well almost)

Tracy

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The Dangers of Residential Application Fraud

The demands of digital transformation have impacted our lives and businesses in many ways. For the residential rental industry, this means more and more applications being processed online. An improvement from an efficiency standpoint, however, as the credit industry is already too aware, online applications' anonymity has opened the floodgates for fraud.  The reality is that some potential renters will never pass a background check or meet employment or income requirements, but this doesn't mean they will stop trying. The reality is, the apartment industry is now, more than ever, at a higher risk.   Applicant fraud opens the door to liability  Fraud cases are about faking one’s identity as a prospective tenant. Fraudsters use someone else's personal information – i.e. a driver's license, social security number or other information to invent a new identity. This is referred to as “synthetic fraud”. This type of fraud - “synthetic fraud” involves combining stolen information and building a credit profile for a person who doesn't exist. This new profile is then used to open credit cards, buy merchandise and do other illegal things….like applying for residential apartment applications. Rental homes become a part of their crime, where they work to validate fake profiles. Eventually these fraudsters use these profiles as a final drop for all of their spending, then skip out in the middle of the night.More often than not, these residents – i.e. fraudsters -- become an “eviction” for residential renters within the first year of becoming a resident. Because they applied using a synthetic I......
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How to Identify and Utilize True Leasing Automation

As everyone knows, the property management industry is constantly shifting and evolving to accommodate new technologies helping to make the lives of property managers a lot easier. Over the last few years, leasing automation has quickly become one of the most valuable additions to the industry, specifically within the multi-family community.    For those who haven’t yet experienced true leasing automation, it gives your prospective residents what they want - real-time responses and tour scheduling at their convenience. It gives your leasing staff what they need - dramatically less time on the phone and responding to e-mails, tours efficiently scheduled based on their real availability, and high-touch automated follow-ups throughout the leasing process. Multi-family property managers wear so many hats that the more time that can be saved, the better. Leasing automation is re-envisioning how prospects and management companies interact and it’s time to get on board.   It is important to understand that not every company that offers what they consider to be “leasing automation” actually has true end-to-end leasing automation. True end-to-end leasing automation doesn’t need to be regularly touched or fed information. A fully automated platform empowers the individual prospect to self-conduct the entire leasing process within constraints and guidelines pre-set by the property manager or owner. On the management side, a fully automated platform allows for tremendous cost savings, serious growth without additional staff, a significantly better experience for prospective renters, reduced on-market times, and a happier leasing staff who is more likely to stay with the company. ......
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One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Employee Turnover

Pay increases. Referral incentives. Expanded benefits. Apprentice programs. Signing bonuses. Our managers and human resources teams have been working so hard to find, entice, and secure applicants and new hires. The labor shortage is being felt in every market, and short-staffed teams are doing their best to carry on. While it’s important to continue to be creative and support the hiring process, it’s equally important to be mindful of your current team and all that they are doing to manage your business. According to the Q2 2021 Swift Bunny Turnover Report, the average overall employee turnover was 47%, with some maintenance and leasing positions exceeding 50%. While all employee categories represented by the Swift Bunny Index agreed they would like to see improvement in compensation, incentives, and advancement opportunities, there were some differences in what mattered most to Maintenance Team Members and Leasing Team Members. Maintenance: What Matters Most Service team members shared that they generally enjoy good relationships with their co-workers and feel like they know who to reach out to when and if they need assistance. However, a consistent source of frustration is a sense that their contributions are taken for granted and are not recognized or appreciated. This lack of perceived value is reinforced when they are left out of internal company communication or when they have to wait days or weeks for a response to a question or request. What you can do: Say thank you. Acknowledge the critical contribution the maintenance team provides in their serv......
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Why Designing Modern Properties Requires Thoughtful Access Control

Why Designing Modern Properties Requires Thoughtful Access Control
Why Designing Modern Properties Requires Thoughtful Access Control   Until recently, access control into and around rental properties was considered a basic necessity, a line item that didn’t need any in-depth thought or design work. As long as locks took keys, intercoms buzzed people in, and keypads worked with codes or fobs, access control remained an integral — if not unremarkable — property design element.   But technology is changing all that with connected solutions that enable modern necessities like keyless curb-to-couch entry, secure package delivery, and unattended showings. These indicate that rental property management staff and owners should expect access control to be both a necessity and an amenity. The good news is that it’s relatively simple and cost-effective to implement new connected access systems into new construction and existing buildings.   How to Think About Access as Part of a Property’s Natural, Unique Layout   Below are some of the most common use cases we saw in 2020 that we think will continue to grow in 2021, along with insights around feasibility and ROI.   1. Resident doors: Keyless locks at resident doors not only enable a smart property experience for residents, but also provide major conveniences for both residents and property staff. For one, connected keyless entry makes easy-to-lose physical keys unnecessary. This eliminates the costs for key management systems and the time and money spent managing keys — which can take upward of 20 minutes per work order. It also removes the liability, safety, and cost issues that come up whe......
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