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Apartment Communities Awaiting Total Eclipse, Chance to Party

Apartment Communities Awaiting Total Eclipse, Chance to Party
Monday’s total solar eclipse promises to provide both awe and anxiety for apartment communities located within or near the so-called “path of totality,” where its effects are the most pronounced. The event will begin on the Oregon coast as a partial eclipse at 9:06 a.m. PDT and will end later that day as a partial eclipse along the South Carolina coast at about 4:06 p.m. EDT.   Locally, the most exhilarating moments for those gathering within the 14 states where the 70-mile wide path of totality will pass will last only a couple of minutes. But the build-up to the event, its occurrence and resolution are giving apartment communities reason to party before and after that mid-day moment of near total darkness. Stars will become visible if skies are clear, and fooled wildlife could respond erratically. This will be more exciting than a Y2K-like event.   Domesticated cats and dogs will not react with severity, experts say, because they are mostly conditioned to behave based on human activity. Nonetheless, they do risk the chance of going blind, according to some veterinarians, who suggest these animals wear preventive glasses. Good luck with that.   Most of the country is excited about this rare event—the last time a total solar eclipse path of totality crossed the Pacificand Atlantic coastsof the United States was in 1918. Given that it falls during weekday work hours, the level of festiveness probably won’t match that of the Super Bowl or a Kentucky Derby party. Observers in this case will......
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Marketing Automation Crucial to Increasing Revenue for Multifamily Communities

Asking an onsite team to track, nurture and follow up on leads without the use of technology is an exercise in futility. Staff simply do not have the time or resources for efficient lead management.   This is particularly true in the digital age. Renters expect immediate engagement through digital, mobile-based mediums. In fact, 88% of renters want to be reached via email, and 50% want to be texted.   The role of marketing automation in effective lead management. Many view marketing automation as a tool that only benefits marketers. In actuality, marketing automation is critical in the implementation of effective, best-in-class lead management. As such, it benefits leasing teams just as much as marketers.   Because marketing automation helps align leasing and marketing teams around a centralized database of renter information and integrated processes, both teams can work together to attract, engage and convert leads to leases. Leasing agents can spend more time on prequalified leads, closing leases instead of following up on leads that are premature. Then, not-yet-ready leads can instead be funneled into an automated marketing program designed to nurture renter interest until they’re further along in their search process and ready to engage with leasing. This approach creates efficiency across the entire funnel, accelerating demand and conversion.   Marketers who leverage marketing automation are more successful at generating a steadier stream of active leads for leasing. Additionally, this approach can improve conversion ratios by two to three times. Higher conversion rates mean greater spend efficiency and revenue c......
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Airbnb is Banning White Supremacists - Should Multifamily Operators Follow Suit?

Airbnb is Banning White Supremacists - Should Multifamily Operators Follow Suit?

Following the protests, counter protests, and violence in Charlottesville, Airbnb has begun purging people associated with the Unite the Right Free Speech Rally.  Specifically, Airbnb asks their users to sign a commitment to "accept people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age", which applies to guests, as well as those renting their property on Airbnb.  It is unclear what the threshold for being banned might be, whether it is merely participating in a rally or involved in actual violence, and it is also unclear how Airbnb will monitor those who abuse their terms of service in that regard.

On Bloomberg TV, the co-founder of Airbnb, Nathan Blecharczyk, said that "hate displayed this week has been shocking".  He continued, " We make every one of our users sign a pledge when they sign up that they will not discriminate and exhibit hatred.  Whenever we become aware of such examples they are permanently banned from platform."

Considering that Airbnb already has begun to tie in with multifamily operators, this already affects the multifamily sector.  But even beyond that, I'm curious as to what you all think: 

Do you think that Airbnb should have taken this stance?

Do you think multifamily properties should be following suit and take a more active role in restricting renting to those who are part of these types of groups?

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Free Parking Means More Traffic, but the Sharing Economy Can Help

Image result for free parkingTraffic jams are an inconvenient reality of urban life. But one of the culprits of this congestion is something all drivers revel in: free parking. If people know they can park for free, why wouldn’t they opt to drive? As drivers cruise around looking for spots to park, they crowd the roads. Much of the traffic clutter we experience, particularly in downtown sectors, is simply from other drivers figuring out where to put their cars. One way of alleviating traffic clutter is not letting people park for free. The International Energy Agency forecasted the number of vehicles on the road worldwide would double between 2012 and 2035 to 1.7 billion. That’s a lot of vehicles that need to go somewhere when they’re not being used. And they’ll probably be unused most of the time. As the number of cars on the road increases, so do parking minimum requirements.  A “parking minimum” is the amount of parking spaces businesses must provide for their customers. Cities with parking requirements try to set the minimum to satisfy the demand for free parking, and that includes during peak times. The issue parking minimums create is that they increase the supply beyond the market demand. The more free parking available the more drivers will be out seeking it – and the more traffic clutter they will create. This is the case with underpriced street parking as well. As the sharing economy continues to expand, the resulting impacts become more pervasive in society. From experience within the industry it’s......
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Could A Thank You Every Day, Keep The Move Outs Away?

How often are residents thanked for the choice to live at our community?  Demonstrating resident appreciation in the smallest ways, can have surprising and rewarding returns. Most choices for housing involve long-term commitments, buying a house or a condo, requires a mortgage. Individuals who rent can make a change in an instant.  Granted breaking a lease has financial consequences. However, an unsatisfied resident has the ability to make a change with little notice and limited financial implications. Acknowledge Resident Loyalty Taking the time to acknowledge the length of time a resident has lived at a property demonstrates an awareness about the resident household.  When we thank them for their continued loyalty, it can reinforce that commitment. Over the top efforts demonstrating customer service secure publicity and industry comparisons, but simple acts of appreciation, offered with sincerity hold more value than crazy promotions. Creating Resident Appreciation Generally speaking, the staff at a property doesn’t have much contact with a resident after move in.  It’s usually limited to lease renewal, late rent notices and requests for maintenance. Taking the time to ensure every contact ends on a positive note will build a stronger relationship with a resident. Offering the comment, “Thank you for choosing our property for your home,” can go a long way in building this relationship. 80/20 Rule The on site team at an apartment community often has anecdotal stories about demanding residents.  For most communities, the 80/20 rule typifies our residents.  Twenty percent of the residents use 80% of the staff......
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Interesting Facts!

• Studies showed the longest term residents found their apartment through a referral

• Communication Skills are: 7% Verbal, 93% Listening

• 80% of Sales are lost because the salesperson does not ask for the sale!

• YOU HAVE SECONDS TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!

• Studies showed the highest turnover referral source was a Locator

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Fair Housing from A to Z

We are taking the alphabet, letter by letter, so perhaps you can do things a little bit better To make your community open to all, and not take an unexpected fair housing fall! And, because Fair Housing covers a lot, we’ve created a resource to print out on the spot!     A is for Animals, and you can say no To my dog, cat, or birdie, unless I can show That this critter is truly needed by me To manage better with my disability. Then dog, cat or birdie is not a pet, So accepting my assistance animal is a wise bet.   B is for Boa, as in the large snake, So that you understand that you might have to take, This reptile, or the monkey or even the horse (The latter is a miniature one, of course), Because these can be assistance animals, too. And when appropriate they move in with you.   C is for Children, they will live with you, Unless your residents are older – 55 to 62. Be careful how you restrict them with your community rules, Since perhaps except for your gyms, your spas and your pools, Your policies should reflect the behaviors you desire, From both the young and those with ages much higher.   D is for Damages, and oh, what the cost, If yours is the legal position that’s lost. From punitive damages to penalties civil, The amount you might pay could make you snivel. Communities have lost millions in some of their cases, Where fair housing violations have been the basis.   E is for Everyone, the messa......
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A Strong Office Culture: It's Critical to Multifamily Success

A Strong Office Culture: It's Critical to Multifamily Success
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Attributed to the renowned business consultant Peter Drucker, this famous quote underscores how a company must have a healthy corporate culture in order to thrive. But you don't need to take just Mr. Drucker's word for it. More and more, the business world is filled with leaders and executives who have realized that to attract the best and brightest associates – particularly millennials and members of Generation Z – the right office culture must be in place.  Just consider the remarks of Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn: "Culture and values provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. They are arguably our most important competitive advantage, and something that has grown to define us." Also note that, according to one study, millennials would be willing to take a pay cut of $7,600 if their new employer provided a better work environment.  Simply, put a toxic office culture – one in which problems are allowed to fester and in which associates don't feel supported and listened to – can lead to a seriously unhappy and unproductive workforce. And that, in turn, can torpedo the performance of a multifamily company's portfolio. Unhappy leasing staffs are an express route to unhappy prospects and residents. So what does a first-rate office culture look like? Here are some characteristics: Open and compassionateWhen multifamily associates know they can go to company management with any problem – big or small – that helps foster an open, honest work environment, and lets your employees k......
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Parking still a necessity of foreseeable future, even with self-driving cars

Image result for self driving carsMany people who live in cities are electing to forego car ownership these days. But city dwellers aren’t hitting the brakes on vehicle custody so hard that it will render parking lots obsolete in the foreseeable future, despite claims to the contrary. With the increase in utilization of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and advanced technology ushering in the era of self-driving cars, some apartment developers in the U.S. have been preparing to revamp parking structures into other uses for when car ownership becomes sparse and parking places expendable. Whether it’s a private, shared or self-driving vehicle, it won’t be on the road 100 percent of the time, and parking will still be a necessity.  The International Energy Agency forecasted the number of cars on the roads worldwide would reach 1.7 billion by 2035 – which is doubled from 2012. But a recent LA Times article contends the magnitude at which people are renouncing car ownership is leading to extraneous parking lots that will soon be repurposed. Based on the increasing overall car ownership numbers, can things actually get to the point that parking garages are so unutilized they can be rehabilitated to serve as shops, gyms and movie theaters instead? Yes, some new apartment developments have reduced their parking space to as low as 0.6 spaces per unit in urban areas, but a further decrease doesn’t appear imminent for the foreseeable future. It’s true the world is amidst a transportation revolution. But cars aren’t going away altogether. Why should parking facil......
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Is Traditional Outreach Marketing Dead?

The subject of outreach marketing and the part it plays in common day marketing at the site level, came up in a group discussion during the 2017 NAA Education Conference and Expo.  There were many opinions and all agreed that things have changed. Delivering fliers to your surrounding businesses or taking pens to local businesses.  Are we gaining any leases from the same things that used to work so well to reach qualified prospects for our communities? Has social media, Google advertising and drip campaigns made traditional outreach marketing efforts pointless?  In our current advertising climates and the “Going Green” programs, does it make sense to keep bringing fliers or sending direct mailers any longer?  Digital marketing has taken the marketing industry by storm.  While print marketing still holds power within the industry, it’s the digital marketing trends that are proving to hold precedence.  Per Forbes, “Web Strategies reported that in 2016 the five digital channels that saw large gains were email marketing, social media, online display advertising, mobile marketing and search.’  You’re likely wondering what this year’s growing marketing trends will be.  After all, the internet and all its trends are constantly changing and what was a marketing powerhouse last year could very well be old news this year. Live Video Streaming will take off fully this year.  Facebook and Instagram have already integrated live video capabilities and other platforms are anticipated to follow suit.  Live Video, even when watching a previously recorded version, has the potential to draw in millions of p......
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