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Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily

Tattoo Stigma in Multifamily
We’ve all heard the banter between folks when discussing their tattoos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said, “I was young and dumb” in reference to tattoos. I sometimes feel this way about mine, as they’re quite visible on my hands and arms. I had them done during my stint as a world traveler, not thinking I’d find myself in the corporate world, wearing long sleeves and rings to cover my teenage rebellion’s lasting mistakes. I’ve been lucky enough to develop business relationships without my tattoos acting as a barrier, however this isn’t the case for some. We all know that millennials are changing the game by promoting a more casual approach to work and with their take-over of nearly 40% of the job force, I foresee big changes in corporate standards. Considering that 40% of millennials carry body art, it’s hard to imagine that this 40% would also carry with them an employment disadvantage, right? A friend of mine thinks differently. She argues that visible tattoos are unprofessional and that their stigma will last much longer than my hopeful fantasy suggests. Recently, we toured a downtown Las Vegas community, where our leasing consultant was heavily tattooed. She was dressed casually and had facial piercings. I connected with her and admired her artwork and style, but my friend resented her choice of dress and visible tattoos and our consultant had “lost all credibility” as far as she was concerned. This incident showed the difference in our perception of what’s acceptable in t......
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Residents Have Leftover Halloween Candy? Here's What to Do With It

Candy is the best. On Halloween, you get candy. Ergo, Halloween is the best. 

But, can there ever be too much of a good thing?

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Seven Steps To Increase Resident Retention

time-to-renewMany property management reports focus on occupancy. Every week, how many move ins will you have? What do you have as preleases? The number of lease renewals is equally important. Renewal is a Satisfaction Indicator Securing a move in is only the first step toward building a relationship with a new resident. As time goes by, one of the true indicators of property success is the number of residents that renew their leases. Residents demonstrate their satisfaction at a property when they make the decision to continue living in their apartment home.  Residents who are frustrated with poor maintenance, lack of follow up, poor communication and yes, sometimes rent increases, may never call the leasing office to ask questions or voice concerns.  They simply turn in a move out notice and move away. Renewals Reduce Turnover, Reduce Expenses Reducing turnover has the potential to save a property thousands of dollars in expenses. In addition to the rent loss from a vacant apartment and advertising costs, consider the time for the maintenance team to complete the turnover process  preparing the apartment for the new move in. The combination of labor, supplies and lost rent can quickly total $1000 or more for each move out. Imagine if each month you were able to convert one move out notice to a lease renewal. This could save $12,000 in maintenance expenses! The decision to renew or move is strongly influenced by the performance of the leasing and maintenance staff, not the potential increase in ......
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Revitalize Cold Leads, Effortlessly.

Lead Win-back for Multifamily  Most CRM’s for multifamily ignore cold leads after a few months. The idea is that these leads have decided to rent elsewhere and aren’t viable prospects anymore. However, what these systems are ignoring is the high resident turnover rate for multifamily. 53% of residents do not renew their leases. Which mean 53% of the leads you ignore are going to be actively searching for a new apartment within the next 10 months. Call us old fashioned, but we don’t see why anyone would throw away perfectly good leads. Think about wine for a second. There are two approaches to drinking wine: There are the Barefoot wines that are ready-to-go. This is a popular choice for novice wine drinkers. Similar to how an basic marketing plan is only concerned with prospects who lease with you the first time around. Then there are true wine connoisseurs. They tend to be more experienced and patient individuals. They understand the value of waiting for a desired outcome. This reflects how a mature marketing plan is willing to invest in revitalizing cold leads. Before you get the wrong impression, we aren’t wine snobs. We see merit in both options. Which is why we suggest using an email marketing strategy that manages both warm and cold leads. This approach gives you more opportunities to turn leads into leases. Plus, gives you more money to buy more wine: Win - Win 🙂   How to Win-Back Cold Leads We recommend automating the cold lead communications. That way, ......
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What Do These Millennial Insights Mean For Your Business?

iStock-862717438A couple of weeks ago we posted the latest in a series of blogs about the tastes of the millennial generation and how to appeal to them. It's always interesting to lift the lid on this much-discussed generation, especially when it gives us insight into the kinds of experiences that they like - and more to the point, don't. But it isn't always clear what multifamily operators should do to cater to these tastes. Below we relate some of the findings of the previous post to some actionable recommendations. First, let's remind ourselves of the main points that we addressed in our last post, which focused on three main themes that resonated with our researcher: Transparency - where we saw examples of companies going to impressive lengths to disclose everything that a consumer could want to know about the production, ingredients and profits associated with their products. Experience Over Things - where examples like Airbnb are effectively reducing the price of room accommodation and building experience-orientated packages.   Flexibility - in choices, including, for example, communication options which appeal to the desire among millennials to avoid having to use the phone (at least for speaking to people). Transparency and the Renewals Conversation   Since apartment sales and marketing migrated to the web, the flow of information between the buyer and the seller has become transparent in most regards. Look at any well-run property website or ILS and you should expect to see exhaustive detail on the attributes of a community and the unit ......
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Leadership Tip: Press "Pause"

Leadership Tip: Press "Pause"
When someone asks you, "How are you doing?" How do you respond? Is it, "Good" "Great" "I'm doing well" OR "I'm busy!!" If you're like many of us the default answer is "busy!" There is something in American culture that views busy-ness as the ultimate virtue; almost as if those who are busy are achievers and those who are not as busy are not! Many years ago I worked for a boss that required most of us to stay in the office until 8pm. The problem is much of our business shut down after 6pm. The theory was that if we remained in the office until 8pm we would use that time to "cold call" clients (I worked for a mortgage company) and develop new business. In reality the cold calls would probably last about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your list, leaving you with one and a half hours to do administrative work, push paper around, make copies and most importantly LOOK BUSY! Pressure? If you're a leader you have probably felt the pressure to be busy because of the things you need to accomplish in a day, because of the things you need to take care of tomorrow and the day after, the need to oversee the people you lead and manage, and sometimes you may feel the pressure to be busy (or to look busy) because you know everyone is watching you! (Admit it, you know it's true!) The unfortunate thing about our "busy, busy, busy"......
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All I Really Need to Know for Sales Success I Learned in Grade School! Part 3 of 3

  Continuing on from Part 1 of 3 and Part 2 of 3,  now for the final lessons!   Lessons I learned from my 1st-8th grade teachers set me up for sales success, albeit indirectly, sometimes hilariously (and embarrassingly....)!  7th grade: Mrs. Cline  Lesson: Know what you are talking about!   This story isn't specifically about my 7th grade teacher, but a 7th grade boy I had a huge crush on, Aaron.  Mrs. Cline had chosen Aaron and I to each lead a trivia team in a contest to help us prep for an upcoming test.  I was excited because this meant we would be at the front of the class together, side by side. He had to notice me!  And as we were competing against each other, I wanted to try to impress him with my brilliance! This backfired spectacularly!  We each wrote our team name on the board.  I wrote, "NKOTB" (New Kids on the Block for those not as familiar with 1989's hottest boy band!).  He wrote, "Cavs".  I snickered and erased that and "corrected" it to be "Calves" because he clearly spelled it wrong!  Well, for anyone familiar with SPORTS AT ALL, "Cavs" are the Cleveland Cavaliers, an NBA basketball team. He took the eraser and chalk back and re-wrote, "Cavs", while giving me a look that indicated he definitely noticed me but NOT in a good way. In the sales world, you never want your prospect's to notice you in that not-so-good way. So know what......
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Is Your Sales Process Creating a "Buyer-Beware" Environment?

iStock-499094444Fall is upon us. As usual for multifamily operators, Halloween preparations and pumpkin spice treats provide the backdrop to the main event - next year’s budget. As we grind through the seemingly endless iterations of revenue and cost numbers and reconciliation between properties and central teams, at some point the light will appear at the end of the tunnel. At that point, we will get to turn our attention not merely to the goals, but how we will achieve them. We will bring 2018 to a close with a decade of growth behind us. We will enter 2019 facing what is now an annual question "is this going to be the year when things slow down?"  Of course, nobody knows the answer to that question, but there are good reasons to take our preparations for next year as an opportunity to revisit sales. A decade when demand has outstripped supply more often than not has delivered spectacular returns but in many cases, less-than-spectacular sales performance. Why Multifamily Sales is Different The challenges with multifamily sales are manifold and well-documented: it's the only industry that I know of where sales reports to operations. The cutting edge of sales - the leasing associate - attracts a transient workforce, creating a need for high-volume training of associates to deliver consistent sales processes. However, in delivering a consistent process, we overlook one of the most critical considerations in sales performance: prospects are unique. While it's no surprise that prospects aren't all created equal, our industry has ......
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Do You Know the Most Common Types of Depreciation?

Depreciation expense is used in accounting to allocate the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. In other words, it is the reduction of value in an asset over time due to usage, wear and tear, or obsolescence.  By depreciating an asset an investor can offset their income by the annual amount they depreciate the asset, thus increasing their “in pocket” cashflow. Straight-line Straight-line depreciation is a very common and simple method of calculating the expense. In straight-line depreciation, the expense amount is the same every year over the useful life of the asset.  Under new IRS guidelines, an investor can now depreciate an asset over a 25 year period. Depreciation Expense = (Cost – Salvage value) / Useful life Double declining balance Compared to other depreciation methods, double-declining-balance results in larger expense in the earlier years as opposed to the later years of an asset’s useful life. The method reflects the fact that assets are more productive in its early years than in its later years. With the double-declining-balance method, the depreciation factor is 2x that of a straight line expense method. Periodic Depreciation Expense = Beginning book value x Rate of depreciation Units of production This method provides for depreciation by means of a fixed rate per unit of production. Under this method, one must first determine the cost per one production unit and then multiply that cost per unit with the total number of units the company produced within an accounting period to determine its depreciation expense......
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Ultimate Inspiration – Apartment Community Photography

Ultimate Inspiration – Apartment Community Photography
As many of you may know, one of my biggest pet peeves is boring apartment community pictures.  Especially when we think about trying to compete for eyeballs on an ILS, is the picture worth a thousand words or just worth one:  DULL. I ran across an Instagram profile recently which I personally think is the ultimate inspiration album for what an apartment community photo album could be.  She actually isn't in our industry, and all she does is take pictures of her dog, apartment, and life, and yet those pictures do a masterful job of conveying emotion and telling a story through the images.  One of the most important aspects is that because she is not trying to "sell" the room, her pictures are never just a showcase of the apartment – they are pictures of life that exists within that apartment.  That is a key distinction to what normally happens with apartment community photography, in that we get so caught up with showing the features of the apartment or beautiful decorations that we don’t work to show what it could be like to actually live there. Let me share some of my favorite examples, and please share your thoughts in the comments below! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brittany & Stella (@brittanyshmyr) on Aug 5, 2018 at 7:39pm PDT This one is actually probably closest to "standard" photography normally used in our space. It is a wide shot of a nicely-prepared room. It's perfectly nice, but as ......
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