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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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Are You Trying to Control What You Can't Control?

Are You Trying to Control What You Can't Control?
Wouldn't it be great if there was remote control that you could use on people?? I mean, there are some people in your life that the MUTE button would be awesome for, right? (Admit it!) There are some conversations you'd love to be able to "fast forward" through, others you'd love to rewind and play again and again and times you'd love to be able to hit the pause button (just like Zack Morris in "Saved by the Bell") when you find yourself in an awkward or difficult situation.  Unfortunately, the remote control for people doesn't exist, and much as I have tried (believe me I have tried!!) I cannot control the people in my life and/or places and things around me. Yet, I have spent much of my lifetime trying to do just that, with lousy results!  Why am I sharing this with you? A few years ago I found myself in a crossroads point of my life and a wise sage who became one of my mentors drilled in me the idea that "You can only control what you have control over-so stop trying to control the things that you have no control over and focus on the things that you do have control over." The day I fully embraced this piece of advice is the day I started experiencing a true "comeback" in my life, because instead of focusing my energies on trying to change... My spouse My friends My family My clients The economy Taxes How people drive (although that......
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How to Build a Future-Proof Marketing Technology Stack

Renters rely on internet listing services (ILSs), social media, online reviews, community websites and in-person tours during their search for a new home. In this real-time digital age, multifamily marketers must allocate resources to software and tech tools that can help them manage the entire renter lifecycle, not just the acquisition of leads.   This starts with building a future-proof marketing technology stack.   A Customer Relationship Management System A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the first, and arguably most important, type of software that apartment communities should implement. A CRM creates a comprehensive database of renter data, including lifestyle, demographic, preference and past rental data.   Managing your customer information with a robust CRM can lead to more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. Targeting based on these insights can help you better resonate with your audience and increase your closing ratios. For example, rather than sending a mass-marketing email about the pet-friendly features of your community to someone who doesn’t own a pet, your team can target only those who have shown interest in pet amenities.   A Marketing Automation System Once you’ve got a centralized CRM in place, you’ll want to integrate it with a marketing automation system.   Marketing automation software is a necessary tool within modern marketing organizations. It provides a centralized way for marketers to manage renter communications for their entire portfolio and across a multitude of online and offline channels. It also tracks online behavioral data. Marketers can use this data as an additional layer......
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5 Things Leasing Associates Can Do to Be Top Performers

5 Things Leasing Associates Do to Be Top PerformersOver the last few months I’ve had a number of conversations with multifamily executives about important areas of focus for their operations. It doesn’t take long for the subject of sales to come up in conversation. As we’ve shared over the last few years on this blog, sales in multifamily represents a unique challenge. Traditional approaches to improving sales are neither appropriate or effective. While it’s an important focus, I’ve seen first hand how operators, managers and leasing associates struggle to uncover and understand what it means to improve sales performance in this industry. Several years ago we shared the seminal research study on sales performance done by CEB, that became the bestselling book The Challenger Sale. We’ve highlighted the study as the model to apply to leasing when designing and implementing a leasing sales performance improvement program. In the challenger model, CEB highlights three things that top performers do continuously, that average and bottom performers either only do occasionally or don’t do at all. The study showed that top performers teach, tailor their presentation and take control of the process. When I explain this to executives, a common question I get is how this applies to leasing associates. Top leasing associates, or “challenger” associates, regularly do these five things: 1. They Ask Questions and Understand Before Advocating or "Selling" While all leasing associates have been taught the importance of asking questions, most associates behave in what we call the ask - answer - tell - ask - answer - tell mode. What this means is that when they......
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Putting A Name With The Face, Team Recognition

All too often, the preparation teams at our properties aren’t recognized for their efforts to clean the common areas, care for the grounds and prepare apartment homes for new residents.  Team recognition to colleagues, prospects or vendors can be as valuable to employee retention as wage adjustments. Housekeeping and Maintenance teams are the backbone of every Property Management staff.  Emphasizing and recognizing the efforts of staff through out the community creates ownership. The Hospitality Model The hospitality industry incorporates this recognition with comment cards  left in guest rooms and signed by the housekeeper.  For apartment communities a welcome letter signed by maintenance, housekeepers and any contractors who participated in the turnover preparation of the apartment home can initiate this recognition. Included in the Welcome Move In Package should be a Team Introduction Letter.  The letter including pictures of the entire team must be revised with any staff changes.  With pictures of the team listing names, years of service and a tip or quote offers a personalized note. Posting a photo card in each hallway with the tag line, “This hallway is professionally cleaned for you by ….”  Offers another opportunity to recognize the housekeeping crew. Knowing Who To Expect I recently experienced the inconvenience of having my luggage delayed on a flight.  When my luggage was located, I received an email telling me the plans to deliver my luggage with photos of the delivery person and the vehicle.  Wouldn’t this be an awesome customer service tool when residents request after hours service! Including ......
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Tiny housing making big impact on combating homelessness in America

The fight to end homelessness in this country is a massive undertaking. About 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Alleviating this problem in a meaningful way will surely require a multi-faceted effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Here's one possible component of the solution to this giant issue: tiny homes. Across the U.S., organizations are using tiny houses and apartment homes, which typically range from 100 square feet to 500 square feet, to provide shelter for the homeless. For instance, the nonprofit American Family Housing recently opened Potter's Lane, a 16-unit community in Midway City, Calif., to house homeless vets. The property features 480-square-foot apartment homes made from energy-efficient shipping containers. Across the country, in Newfield, N.Y., the nonprofit Second Wind Cottages, relying heavily on donated materials and volunteer labor, built a community of 12 tiny homes that house homeless men. Residents pay rent as they are able to help defray the community's operating expenses. Other examples of similar communities include the Tiny House Village in Seattle and the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Advocates of these developments note that they are comparatively cheap to build, and constructions costs often are further mitigated through the use of materials and labor supplied for free by area businesses and residents. Can the multifamily industry incorporate tiny apartment homes for the homeless into their communities? It's certainly something to think about. With its ample resources and......
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