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4 Keys to Multifamily Budgeting

Excellent budgeting and forecasting are not only predictive but also provide means for evaluating and improving performance going forward. With our experience creating bespoke models in both “commercial tools” and Excel for several different multifamily companies at various points in our careers, we’ve identified four key items that make for great budgeting: Purpose-built by industry professionals Dr ...

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Hey everyone! I’m speaking on a panel at an upcoming BTR conference and was wondering what everyone’s feedback was on current demands they’re noticing for interior/design, amenities, finishes, etc. I’m especially curious about BTR communities, but would also love to hear feedback on apartments. Thanks in advance!!!

Guest Insider Fenced in yards in my community in SC. We have retainer ponds and while they love the view, want to keep a guard up from possible alligators the million geese and keeps pets and children safe.
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Guest Insider I have several BTR communities I’m working on in Florida. Biggest challenge we are facing in the initial planning is navigating risk with contractor selection. The GC’s that we would typically use on our larger new build communities are not competitive in the BTR marketplace.
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I have been the manager at "My" property for 12 1/2 years. I supervised a major renovation and leased most of the residents their apartments. I have always enjoyed a great relationship with "Our" residents. I know every resident's name, their children's names, and their pets. To make a long story short, our residents are very open and comfortable when speaking to me. I have always been in pretty decent shape. I am 6'3" and try to stay around... Show more

Guest Insider I'm sorry to laugh, but the elders know they are on the way out and do NOT care about anyone's feelings!
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Kathy Porter Not sure why old people have no filter! Children, I understand, but old people?!
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Stewart Beal 6’3 and 202 lbs or 217 lbs, trust me, you are looking good.
6’1 and 240 over here (and also looking good)
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Sheila Singer I’m pretty sure in TX the appropriate response is “bless your heart.”
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Guest Insider Sheila Singer bless your heart is the soft "FU"... love it
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Guest Insider This sounds like the residents I used to have at my senior property!
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Guest Insider Same!! I had a resident tell me after I have been at my property for over 4 years.. you need to go to the gym..seems like your putting on the pounds..and he out weighs me by at least 60 pounds…I’m 5’9 and weigh 180 
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Guest Insider “Congratulations! Omg! You’re pregnant!” Ummmm i work multi-demographic apartment (s) and I’m just fat!!! I just ate!!! I bloat when I eat, have irritable bowel… yeah not pregnant but thanks for the reminder to suck it in!!! (I’ll also add I was 135 when comments were made and now 125 and haven’t had a comment!) People are weird and unfiltered!!!
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Guest Insider She must be Filipina. My MIL complains about "getting fat" when she stays in the US because she doesn't walk like she does in he Philippines. And she straight says FAT like it's the color pink.
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Guest Insider I think I was 25-26 dealing with cystic acne out of no where. I was an AM at a property, one of our older regulars came into my office and goes “oh you need to get the cream for the zits”. I wanted to die.
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Guest Insider I worked a site when pregnant with my first. I was about 7 or 8 months along and a resident said "Oh Girl, you are big and pregnant!" I had to laugh...and just said yeah "I'm getting close to earning my own gravitational pull." While on maternity leave with same kid, we received a $50 payment for her from an organization, made out directly to me. It was sent back and reissued to the site. She moved to avoid eviction, taking the refrigerator with her and called leaving voicemails saying I stole money from a church and so on....I dont think I will ever forget her lol
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Kathi Marie seniors and lack of filters...i miss those days sometimes lol...they really do pay attention dont' they
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Guest Insider Too funny! Working at a 55+ community was never dull that’s for sure! At least they can’t ask you “when are you due?”
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I see it as a well seasoned kitchen.

I see it as a well seasoned kitchen.
Miles Scruggs It’s not everyday that tenants buy you a new kitchen. Generous!
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Guest Insider A little over done in my opinion lol
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Karen Pepper Goodbye!
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Guest Insider Geez. That’s awful.
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Guest Insider What the hell is in that bowl?  🤢
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Rafael Benavides No worries, what ever it was, it will never fly again.
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Looking for suggestions for long-range tracking devices for the safety of our staff when escorting new prospects. I'd rather them not use their phone as a device, but instead consider something like Tile, which they can keep with their keys. Any advice is appreciated.

Dave Holland Apple air tag
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Guest Insider And you can get all kinds of holders for them - lanyards, keychains, bracelets, something that goes on a belt, etc.
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Dave Holland Keep in mind, staff may not want to put an air tag on their personal keys. This would allow you to track them even when they are off the job.
I would say you’d be okay putting it on work keys that stay at the office overnight
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Josh McKibben Dave Holland Agree 100%. I actually wouldn’t require them to use it at all. But I’d like to let them know the importance of their safety and let them know they have an option .
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Mike Powers Tile and AirTag both rely on adjacent phone.
You are still using phone.
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Guest Insider Get one of those and put it on a vacant key or a master.
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Guest Insider Just saw this at the Arizona trade show
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Guest Insider Just saw this at the Arizona trade show
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Social Media. It's a love-hate relationship for most people, and many marketers as well. Things change fast and every couple of years there seems to be a 'new kid in town' competing for our screen time. In the post below, we're taking a dive into a handful of common questions we get asked at Brindle regarding multifamily social media marketing and apartment Facebook ads, including: What platforms should my apartment be on? Do I have to advertise ...

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 Is your property pet-friendly? If you're one of the 70-80% of market rate rental housing operators who accept pets, you've probably just answered that question with a resounding 'yes.' But from whose perspective? Yours? The family with a 95-pound golden retriever? The single parent with two kids and a cat, struggling to make ends meet? A seemingly innocuous question – 'is your property pet-friendly?' – becomes quite provocative when v ...

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Rant-
A company with a high employee turn over is a company who does not care to give employees a Life Balance, mentorship, development and believes they can always find someone else who will allow their bad management. READ BELOW! I want to work for her.

Rant- A company with a high employee turn over is a company who does not care to give employees a Life Balance, mentorship, development and believes they can always find someone else who will allow their bad management. READ BELOW! I want to work for her.
Guest Insider Totally agree!!!
I wish more people had this mindset
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Guest Insider I love this however we have to understand that not all people we hire have this type of worth ethic.
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Guest Insider This is a great mindset and works well when you don’t have office hours and people facing customers. Working from home, leaving early and coming in late is just not feasible in our industry. With that said… we shouldn’t be skipping lunches, staying after and taking work home. But I see people in this industry do it all the time and then look at the management company for their burnout
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Guest Insider I am flexible with my staff. Im a regional over 6 properties and as long as the office is manned I work with people. You need to have happy employees to have an employees that work hard and care.
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Guest Insider That’s great! Yes of course work with people. I always have as well 🌻 I think your key statement ‘as long as the office is manned’ says it all. We don’t have the capacity to just let team members choose when and where they work as that shared post suggests.
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Guest Insider I totally agree. Unfortunately, there are residents who want to see a person. This is where some may take advantage of it and mess up for the staff that ethics and morals.
I love this mentality.
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Guest Insider I totally agree. Unfortunately, there are residents who want to see a person. This is where some may take advantage of it and mess up for the staff that ethics and morals.
I love this mentality.
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Guest Insider This is how my team operates too!
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Jomar Rager This doesn’t exist in our industry
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Guest Insider Jomar Rager what industry are you in? I’m in multifamily and I’ve used this and it works. Don’t be afraid of trying new things unless you are not on the position to make that happen - find your joy
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Guest Insider Wish more employees or managers were like this.
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Karen Mallinger A little leeway goes a long way toward keeping your staff happy & engaged. 2 examples just this week: 1) I have a painter who I know has been having transportation problems. The part he ordered to fix his truck came in, but the place was only open until 4pm. It was an easy decision to let him duck out an hour early so he could make sure he has reliable transportation to get to work. 2) a new maintenance tech had to take a bit longer lunch yesterday because he is responsible for dropping off his daughter at school in the AM and didn’t realize he needed to make arrangements if he doesn’t walk her all the way inside. For and extra 1/2 hour, he got peace of mind and an employer that cares about his family so he can be present and get the job done.
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Melanie Thompson Good leadership 
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Guest Insider Can’t love this post enough!!!!!
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Miles Scruggs It’s a bit out of place to not realize this is a two way street. They seems to completely not understand employee handbooks, company policies etc all exist because everyone has different work ethics, goals etc. No one woke up one day and said: “You know what would be fun to do? Write a bunch of policy stuff. No we don’t actually need it but I just going to write it anyway.”
If you stack your roster with rock stars, that is how I have to operate as I hate micro managing people, then it works great. Unless this is your second day in the workforce and heading into month three of your life, then you know the world is also filled with piles of people that without parameters will show up for 2 hours every second Monday. So you either completely excluded them from the workforce entirely or you provide them the structure to thrive in.
It’s a naive to think that all people will just inherently do their job, some need the handholding and babysitting. Then if those people exist and you aren’t...
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Misty White Im the worst about taking vacation sometimes. I will sometimes take a long weekend, but other than when I was sick with Covid, I haven’t been away from the office longer than five days in a row. Granted, we are a very small family owned company and I do the majority/all of the leasing and marketing, but I know that for my sake, I need to take a break when I need one. Not that I’m overwhelmed or stressed out because I’m not.
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Guest Insider I feel this….I have created a name for myself in the area I’m in. My resume speaks for itself. So, when you hire me, you are hiring someone who knows how to do their job and do it well. I don’t need someone breathing down my neck micromanaging me. Trust that I’m doing my job well and give me a chance to show you that.
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Kelley Martin We are in a people business which means we must be available to our people. Is work / life balance important along with healthy boundaries… absolutely! Those people include “our people” and flexibility is so important but that flexibility should be accessed in needed situations not the norm.
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Guest Insider I say this regularly "I am not a clock watcher" if your job is done... You know what you need to do. LOVE IT
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When you hear the words "search engine," most people immediately think of Google. However, Gen Z and millennials may be utilizing another search engine when hunting for their next apartment — TikTok. TikTok and other short-form video platforms are now a vital ingredient in your marketing mix and one of the most important ways to attract prospects.Multifamily marketers are leveraging TikTok to showcase their properties creatively. From virtual tou ...

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Intelligent pricing inputs ensure we're reacting to the right things. After two decades of legacy system use, the industry has learned lessons about what should and should not be part of any contemporary PRM system. For example: 1. Comp DataUsers should have the option of whether, and how much, comp data is included in their pricing algorithm. Where they can collect accurate data and, as a matter of corporate strategy, want to include that d ...

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Does your maintenance supervisor complete actual work orders or does he/she just delegate them all?
Our large property (600+ units) is way behind on work orders dating back to 60 days or more due to a number of emergency calls over the summer and being short staffed. Typically, we are rarely behind....

Guest Insider All hands on deck. Regardless of the title.
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Guest Insider 100%! Just jumping in to say that. A lot of a large building maintenance supervisors job is admin. There is no reason the office staff cannot lean in on these tasks.
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Guest Insider There's not enough info here to answer your question, but it sounds like you don't trust them. Being short handed and overwhelmed saps your motivation and an office employee telling them how maintenance works, instead of exhibiting leadership and helping is counterproductive.
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Guest Insider My supervisor does work orders
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Guest Insider Look at all the easiest work orders ie: replace air filter, new key made, weatherstripping and etc. maybe you and the office staff could help them out and make it happen. The maintenance guys are overwhelmed with the work they already have.
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Guest Insider Ummm. He needs to get his hands dirty. One team
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Guest Insider My BEST supervisor was on 400 units in FTW, TX. He elected to be the one to do the maint part of the make ready units (he knew he wouldn’t have callbacks after move ins) One of the office staff was responsible to order the painters and carpet cleaners. This way he could help the guys when they were stumped or behind. He had a meeting every morning with his team. They knew their job for the day and always knew where he was. The mgr at this site would not allow the office staff to radio any of the maint other than for fire, flood or blood. The supervisor would check into the office mid morning and again mid afternoon. The office would help by going to units w/upset residents, they knew how to make keys and they clearly knew they were a team! After a year this team had all work orders completed within 24 hours. Every member of that team was trained and ready for their own supervisor positions.
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Jason Mallette Absolutely.. have everyone work where they're strongest, and then build the missing or diminished skills over time
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Guest Insider All supervisors are “working supervisors “.. we do what needs to be done! As a property manager, I my job doesn’t stop at admin duties.. would jump in and lease or clean grounds if that is what the team needed. 1000 percent the same for a maintenance supervisor.. lead by example
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Guest Insider I'm a maintenance supervisor and I have always done work orders in between doing my dutys
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Aleisha Parongao Ours always helps out...
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Susan Sherfield The property manager should ask the maintenance supervisor to develop a plan, with timeline, to catch up on work orders and then the two of them sit down to discuss it.
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Guest Insider I'm a multi-site supervisor and I'm the 1st to paint, do work orders, handle emergency situations, goes on emegency on-call, schedules all carpets cleans and replacements, scheldules the cleaners, inspectors if needed, ordering all parts, making sure mutiple sites are fully stocked, all maintenance personnel know what they have to do daily and letting the mangers know also what maintenence is doing daily. I update the make ready boards evey Monday and Friday to account for leases / notices to vacate over the weekend and throughout the week. TRUST Me you must lead by example or other maintenance personnel which are leaned on heavily will not reach their full potential. If the boss doesnt give 100% no way you can expect or assume they will give 100%.
We also do all turns in house with full paints and maintenance with high turn over rate and high work order rate. The supervisor should be a mentor or they are just acting the part instead of fulfilling the part as a Leader.
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Dave Scruggs I've been a supervisor for the past 23 years. I do just as many, if not more work orders than my tech does. GIT-R-DONE!
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Guest Insider I feel you’re running the ship and just need to have an honest conversation with empathy with your lead. Dig into what tools could help them to achieve at least a 50% close out of work orders each day…people, teams need iPads, golf carts, are work order descriptions not clear when entering, etc ~ this isn’t about titles, it’s about what I call pivoting and moving but it’s all in how you present it.
Being reassuring that you want to help and achieve the goals if it means going to bat for them and getting them the extra tools speaks volumes to them. I’ve been a manager of a 500 unit property with an outside team of 5 and it never seemed to be enough man power so we had to figure out systems to get the flow right. It won’t happen over night but as long as they feel you’re trying to support them as the captain it will happen. Feel free to message me to help ping some ideas together, you’re not alone. You got this!
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Guest Insider Our Service Manager (386 units) does most of the service requests. We've got a 3 man team; one for service requests, one for turns, and one for both wherever he is most needed. Contacted day porter for grounds.
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Jason Mallette Idc who you are, that's some bs.. if the supervisor doesn't get in and get dirty, then a that work falls on the next tech and that's not fair to do at all.. if i can do 2-3 turns per week and 8-15 wo's per day, that supervisor has 0 excuse.. the only way a person should have that title is bcuz they've clearly demonstrated that they have the skills and abilities to do the job.. anyone can sit behind a computer and call vendors.. on that note, we shouldn't have to come in behind these vendors and fix the stuff they were hired to do.. be the example of what you expect..
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Guest Insider It's a working position in my book.
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Guest Insider All our Maintenance Leads do whatever is needed, turns, grounds, work orders
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Guest Insider They are working supervisors, just like the PM. If we have to tour a prospect or handle a move in because it is busy, that is what a working manager does.
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Amanda Buyalos I feel that leaders should lead by example…it’s time for him to get his hands dirty and help out. As a manager of about 12 years I have cleaned apartments, I have picked up trash, I have watered flowers, shoveled snow, emptied pet stations….and so on.
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Megan Goodmundson If they arent already jumping in to help get them done and they are behind this much im going to make the assumption the MS is the problem in this scenario.
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Stacey Pichette Sounds like it’s time for the PM to go through the work orders and assign them to the appropriate team members. I also hope that someone from the office has been communicating with these residents to apologize for the delay and inconvenience. Being short staffed isn’t a viable excuse.
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Guest Insider All hands on deck regardless of title!!! I am a property manager, we have been short staffed so I have been scheduling punches, doing work orders & having on call, etc. Team work makes dream work!
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Just repaired my own 5 ton- 1 year old Coleman hvac unit😎 my maintenance teams taught me well❤️

Brent Williams Awesome!! What was wrong with it?
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Staci Ruis Brent Williams It was the main wire from the furnace to the outside unit.. it had a raw spot on the wire that my ex had installed over a water value outside… it was grounding out. I pulled the main exterior AC breaker and wrapped the wire in electrical tape. Restated the unit😎
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 By Whitney FraserAs soon as I stepped into the bustling conference center, it was clear that this event was more than just another industry gathering. It was a celebration of women who are not only thriving in, but reshaping, the multifamily housing sector. The speakers and conference focused on the importance of AI. AI plays a pivotal role in the multifamily space by revolutionizing property management and tenant experiences. Through predi ...

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I have recently taken on a property that has a lot of homeless people coming into the building. I am looking for suggestions for automatic locks to go on the exterior doors to keep them out. I have been told that people give out the codes to the key pad and key fobs get lost. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Guest Insider I’d start by changing the codes to the key pads and not telling any of the residents what it is. They need to use their fobs.
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Brandy Blazen I did exactly this at my community.
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Mike Powers Fobs/badges are best choice if locations have access to power/network. Those are programmable, easy to activated deactivate.
Remote entry points are problematic for anything network or electronic.
Also, lose it, no entry or $100 rekey charge.
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Guest Insider I killed our garage gate codes that were "#" followed by 4 numbers. The only code they get now is a 3- digit code that calls their cell phones. The resident must press 9 to allow access. For delivery food services they use a different code for the pedestrian gate. This eliminates the ability for someone to show up and just start pressing numbers to gain access. More work but it works like a charm. Good luck!
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Guest Insider We have the same program and if they loose their fobs, they are charged and the fob is then disconnected. They get their new one during normal business hours.
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How do you all clean your condenser unit grills, and how often do you do it?

Megan Orser Hey Brent! We are in Michigan and we schedule for every other year for most units but some are in areas that require annual clean outs.
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Guest Insider it should be annual to keep it breathing good
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Dave Scruggs Yearly, coil cleaner and hose.
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Angel Davila Once a year is good! Coil cleaner is best and rinsing afterwards from the inside out. More photos to follow. This is a before one.
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Some communities don't have to worry about parking. The funny thing is, parking isn't "a thing" until you don't have it…and then it's a "big thing!" No one wants to arrive home at the end of their day only to be confronted with parking inconveniences. Any hiccups in the process can lead to frustration, complaints to onsite teams and friction between neighbors. The reality is that about 1.7% of residents are responsible for almost all parking hass ...

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