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Share Your Expertise With Multifamily Insiders!

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Multifamily Insiders is growing incredibly fast, and we are looking for adventurous property management (and related) professionals to begin blogging in a few new areas to expand our member expertise.  A few general areas we are looking for additional blog posts are:

  • Multifamily Investing
  • Multifamily Development & Construction
  • Apartment Maintenance
  • Financial Analysis
  • Human Resources (Employee Hiring and Management)
  • Small Company Series (Challenges, Struggles, and Opportunities specific to small investors and property management companies)
  • Onsite Musings (We all know there are plenty of stories that come out of an apartment community – This is your opportunity to share them!)

If you would like to blog about one of these topics, or know somebody great in mind that we should talk to, please contact us!

(Also, if you have a great idea for a blog post or series that we haven't listed and want to run it by us, let us know!  We can easily guide you through the process of writing your first blog.)
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Apartment Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Interview with Jennifer Cyphers

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Thanks for joining us, Jennifer.  So let’s start at the very beginning – Can you tell us what exactly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and why it is important?

Thanks for having me! I’m a big nerd and love talking about this stuff. Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing the backend text and format of a site so that the search engines will choose that site to serve up to users doing a search. Google wants users to find information that is important to them, and so do you. But if you don’t optimize your site, the search engines may not even know it is there. So you should start with great content people are searching for; then you can implement straight-forward tactics that help the search engines better understand your content. Review and enhance your plan overtime, and you’ll see your site positioned higher and higher in the search engine results and, more importantly, you’ll see an increase in traffic of your target market, be it prospective residents, current residents, investors, and/or owners. Almost everyone who searches for an apartment uses a search engine. If you have the opportunity to capture those people with your unique message and turn them into leases, you can create a return on the investment that you put into your website.

When creating an SEO plan, will the same plan work for all search engines?  And if not, which ones are the most important?

Read more: Apartment Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Interview with Jennifer Cyphers

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A Few Moments With Industry Legend, Toni Blake

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Multifamily Insiders is proud to share that Toni Blake recently was given the “Industry Legends Award” by MultifamilyPro.  A veteran of the multifamily industry for over 30 years, Toni travels to over 60 cities a year speaking to thousands of industry professionals.  We were fortunate enough to pick Toni’s brain about her achievement and her experiences in the multifamily industry.

What was your reaction when your family surprised you on stage as you were receiving your Legends award?
I was so excited once the program started. What a thrill to be honored by your peers. I had been a part of orchestrating this award for others, so I don’t know why I didn’t put it together – but when the doors opened and I saw my father – Then, behind him came my mother, and only two siblings and the love of my life Doug. WOW – the love was so strong and that moment was so rich – I will cherish the memory forever. Standing on the stage during the standing ovation and waiting for people to stop applauding was the most love I have ever felt in my life. Seeing my family’s faces so full of love and pride, it was overwhelming. When I tried say “Thank you that is enough” someone cried out “We love you Toni” and they just kept on! My heart was so full I almost exploded. I will never forget those powerful moments created for me by my industry friends and fellow Brainstormers. I am truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing industry.


Toni Blake and Family


How did you first get into the apartment industry?
I couldn’t pay my rent and got a letter to come into the office. When I went, I took my “LadyLove” cosmetics sales kit and sold the manager make-up. I left the office with a hot check and took the last $60 the manager had to her name... By lunch, she had lined up an interview for me in the main office and I was on staff three days later when my check bounced. They took my rent from my check from that day forward. I loved it from the first day I walked into a leasing office in 1978, and love it even more today 31 years later.

Of the programs you have implemented for your clients, which one have you been most proud of?
I get so frustrated at our city, state and national reputation. The only time you see an apartment community on TV is if it is on fire or a fugitive is hiding out.  I have helped companies create positive PR stories including a campaign in my hometown of Denver called “Love Letter from America”. We had the communities create hand made valentine cards for the troops in Bosnia. They were mailed from Loveland, Colorado and we got tons of great press. I was even featured by the morning NBC affiliate to ask for help to meet our goal. I have gone after the geniuses book of world records for kite flying, and auctioned off a division of Marines at a Toys-for-Tots Christmas party. I love to see a positive story about apartment people. We need to have a PR committee on each city association working to show the world what a fantastic industry we are!

What areas in the apartment industry do you see growing the most in 2009?
I believe that more companies will be looking for older product for rehab. The people who make mistakes up are going to be bought by the people who know how to do. right I get calls everyday from properties in trouble and most the time they are the largest part of the problem. We have to start implementing our “best practices”. It is like dieting, we all know what to do, we just don’t do it! This year, it’s about discipline and paying attention to details.

For those just starting in the apartment industry, what advice can you give them?
Watch, listen, learn, find great mentors, go the extra mile and make friends!! This is the most incredible group of people I have ever known and I am so grateful for the amazing friendships I have made through the years. My industry friends are my greatest accomplishment and bring me the greatest joy!

 

Now that you are a Legend - how do you maintain your expertise in Multifamily Housing?
After 30 years and becoming Legend I have never been more excited by what is NEW! I research and read everyday. I am blogging at Multifamily Insiders, touring with the All Stars and just yesterday we added FREE MP3 audio files to TotallyToni. We constantly update new services for our clients and audiences to use. The FREE MP3's are  8 - 14 minutes of LIVE recorded seminar they can listen into anytime. Train a new leasing agent, get a refresher, reminder and quick renewal for their team. No matter what success you have had - the future requires us to be diligent to STAY on top!!! We are also finalizing our first bi-lingual closing tools in English/Spanish that will also be available for FREE at TotallyToni.com next week.


If you would like to read more of Toni’s experiences in shaping our industry, you can read her blog right here!  Read Toni Blake's Blog

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Welcome to Multifamily Insiders, Your Networking Hub for the Apartment Industry

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Welcome to Multifamily Insiders!  We are the social networking hub for the apartment industry, providing ways to network with other professionals, brainstorm new ideas for the industry, and share knowledge with each other.  On the left side of the page, you will see links to all the main areas of the site, including our Expert Blogs, the Discussion Board, Member Search, Jobline, and more, or take a look at this guide to getting involved and earning points:  Beginner's Guide.

At the least, we encourage all of our members to add a picture to make a more friendly and inviting atmosphere.  But even better, feel free to not just read articles, blogs, and discussion posts, but actively participate, as well!  If you like a particular blog, then comment on it!  If you have an idea on a discussion post, then share!  Every opinion has value, so we don't want you to just be a wallflower, we want to hear what you have to say!
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Welcome Back!

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We hope everybody had a great holiday break and a Happy New Year!  For those of you that didn't know, Multifamily Insiders got the "flu" and was laid up in bed for most of the break.  In fact, our database server crashed, taking our backup along with it.  That's why we unfortunately had to ask our members to make a new profile.  We have, however, taken steps so that the problem won't happen again!

We also want to take a moment to thank several members of our "Relaunch Team", as they took the time to make the site habitable again.  For that, we are truly thankful.  Feel free to send them a note telling them how great they are!  Here they are, in no particular order:

Valerie Sargent (Yvette Poole & Associates)     Mike Brewer (The M Group)
Mark Juleen (J.C. Hart Company)Heather Blume (Career Strategies)
Gerry Hunt (Full House Marketing)Abby Hopkins (Sunchase American)
Charity Hisle (Benson Media)
Curtis Duffin (Fix-It Buddy)
Eric Brown (Urbane Apartments)
Crystal Schroeder
Jessica Simmermon (The Breeden Company)
 


Finally, I want to let everybody know that we should hopefully have a new feature in the next month or two that will be a HUGE addition to the site!  No details yet, but we'll keep you updated!  Until then, let's start this year off with a bang and get things rolling!

In the spirit of getting the conversation going, share with the group what New Years Resolutions do you have for your company!

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Beginner's Guide to Multifamily Insiders

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Getting involved in Multifamily Insiders is incredibly easy, with the more involvement you put into it, the more you get out of it!  The site has many ways to network, get information, brainstorm with others, and share your knowledge with the group.  Even better, you get rewarded by participating!  Here are many of the things you can do with the amount of points you get for each (this can and will change as we get a better balance):

Post a Blog
 20 Points
Through Multifamily Insiders, we encourage our members to start blogging about any topic you wish!  Many people use blogging for SEO purposes, which means they use keywords to get better rankings in search results like Google!
  
Join a DiscussionNew Topic: 3 Points;  New Reply: 2 Points
Multifamily Insiders has a great place to talk about all the different aspects of the apartment industry, from contruction and development to onsite leasing, there is a place for everything!
  
Commenting3 Points
Throughout the site, we have many pieces of content, whether it be a news item, a blog, or even a poll, which people can comment on!  The site is one big interactive conversation, and you get points for participating in that conversation!
  
Property Management Jobs
Post New Job:  50 Points;  Apply For Job:  25 Points
Although still in its infancy, the Multifamily Insiders jobline will be a quick and easy way to post new jobs, as well as search for jobs and even apply through the site! 
  
Poll Voting3 Points
Polls aren't worth anything unless you have enough people to make it relevant!  So vote on our polls and get points for doing so!
  
Share Documents15 Points
Ever looking for a good noise complaint form or pet addendum?  Or how about investing tools and worksheets?  So feel free to share documents with the group or download a few yourself!
  
Invite Friends and Colleagues 5 Points per Invite + 15 Points for Successful Signup
We need your help to grow, so spread the word to your circle to help get the ball rolling!
  
Shop for Suppliers Points Net Yet Available 
Communities often do not know where to find a qualified supplier or contractor, especially one that specializes in the apartment industry.  So create a FREE basic listing to get the word out!
  
Multifamily Calendar of Events
 
See what events are happening throughout the industry and which ones you might be interested in going to!


So you may be wondering what the points are good for anyway.  Honestly, we don't have a clue yet!  (how's that for transparency?)  Actually once we get our user base up we will work with suppliers, conferences, and other multifamily organizations to "donate" products and services to distribute for points!  If your company would like to participate for free exposure on the website, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

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Multifamily Insiders Launches!

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Welcome to Multifamily Insiders, the most powerful networking site for multifamily professionals!  We want to help connect professionals in our industry and give opportunities to share knowledge, ideas, and expertise within our sphere of influence.  Through Multifamily Insiders, you can find apartment-related answers in our Discussions forum, list multifamily jobs on our Jobline, find qualified Vendors, read Expert Blogs, and much more!  Still not sure what to do?  Check out our beginners' guide to Multifamily Insiders!

 Have fun, and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

Read more: Multifamily Insiders Launches!

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