Revisiting Fair Housing in the Technology World—It’s virtually (no pun intended!) impossible to conduct business these days without utilizing technology: We have websites that allow prospective residents to “visit” our properties, check availability, view apartment floorplans, request additional information, file a rental application, and initiate a live chat with the leasing professional – all without ever leaving the comfort of their homes or offices.  Read More

Playing the Numbers … a Fair Housing Gamble?—An interesting concept has been batted about by various fair housing experts in the past few months, and as is the case with most issues, there is no consensus as to just what is the right answer. The topic is the policy of landlords requiring a Social Security Number (SSN) from prospects in order for them to qualify as residents. Let’s look first at why a landlord would ask for an SSN to begin with. Read More

Using Apartment Concessions Wisely—Here’s a surprise…an article from me on how to offer concessions! You don’t see that very often, and most of you know why. As a long-time opponent, I’m convinced that they make absolutely no sense. In a battle of concessions, communities are essentially competing to see who can give away the most free rent. How counterproductive is that!? Read More

Revenue is the Key—We all look at Occupancy Rates and Rental Rates for a sign of how a market is doing.  But how is that market doing if the Occupancy Rate comes down a little and the Rental Rates go up a bit? By combining the Occupancy Rate and the Rental Rate into what we call “Revenue Performance” we can see how those two statistics work together. First, we need to take out all admitted concessions from the Rental Rates. Read More

Delegation: from D’oh! To OOHH!—“D’oh!” It’s what Homer Simpson says when something goes wrong. Why is delegation one big “D’oh!” for a lot of people? There can be some fear about delegating tasks or projects because without proper planning, a lot of things can go wrong. How often have you said something like this: “I can do it faster.” “I can do it better” “It will take too long to tell someone how to do it.” Read More

Better Business Cards?—For most of us, business cards are an indispensable way of providing our contact information to everyone we come into contact with in a professional capacity. It’s a “no brainer” that business cards are a fantastic way to help others get in touch with us when they need us.  Unfortunately, these valuable little tools are often overlooked as a means of advertising, and we rarely capitalize fully on them. Read More

Use Marketing Techniques on Every Voice Mail Message—During the follow-up process, it is often difficult to make personal contact with a Future Resident.  Many times we will reach someone’s voice mail.  The next time you get a recording instead of a living, breathing human being; don’t get frustrated and hang up.  As a Leasing Professional, you should leave a message on every call, if possible. Why?  This is FREE advertising folks!  Read More

7 Reasons Why Winners Win—Why do winners win? How do you become a self-made winner? Winners work hard at learning from other winners. It is up to you to learn from these examples and become a self-made winner. Here’s what I’ve learned from other winners. 1. Persistence:  “Keep on going and chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it.  Read More

Looking Like a Million on a Shoestring Budget—A great-looking wardrobe doesn’t necessarily require an expansive budget. In fact, good information and a trained eye for color and line can deliver twice the punch as that of a hefty wallet while ensuring that you leave the house with a million-dollar look every time. If budget’s a current consideration, follow these guidelines all the way to the bank. Buy quality rather than quantity. Read More

Fun Referral Gift Baskets—Our communities have a very aggressive resident referral program. We encourage our residents to refer friends, co-workers, etc.  Recently, at two of our Ohio communities, we started making up “Resident Referral Gift Baskets.” These baskets contain candy, Play-Doh, squirt guns, bubbles, gum, community brochures, and a resident referral flyer. Read More

Tips for Advertising Apartments on the Radio—When you create the script for a radio ad, keep in mind that you have to gain your listener’s attention within the first five seconds of the advertisement. One of the best ways to do this is to begin by asking the listener a question! Choose your question carefully – the ad should grab the attention of your target market by being relevant to your future residents’ lifestyle.

Resident Retention in Action—Here’s one from Kathy Cloutier, the Manager of Tantara Apartments, a Menomonie Properties community.  Kathy writes: “We allow local restaurants and other merchants to advertise in our newsletter; and in exchange, they provide certificates for dinners which I pass out to long term residents on their birthdays and gift certificates for our weekly bingo. Our Bingo pays for itself, and the residents love getting the extra bonus prize!

Keep Apartment Drive-By Traffic Looking—We are all, in some way or another, creatures of habit – we wake up at the same time, brush our teeth with the same brand of toothpaste we’ve used for years, read the same sections of the newspaper, take the same route to work, drive by the same billboards… We rarely notice the usual fixtures of our surroundings unless they’ve changed in a noticeable way. This is an important point to take note of.

Create Value Per Square Foot—Very often today’s future residents are interested to know the square footage or rent per square foot for our various floorplans. Think twice when you are leasing an apartment  before blurting out a number. Very often, pricing an apartment home by the Sq. Ft. is like pricing a car per pound. Think of it this way, a Geo weighs about the same as a Mercedes and the value isn’t nearly the same.

12 Ways to Increase Performance Anytime—With soft markets and shrinking budgets, the focus on retaining Residents and saving money is at an all-time high. Since our Service Team members are the key to achieving this goal, here’s 12 ways to make it happen! 1. Why most people don’t perform as expected: My basic premise is that 98% of all Employees REALLY WANT to do a good job.

Attract New Garage Rentals with Magnetic Signs—Here’s a GREAT marketing idea from Michael Zink. Michael writes:  “Tami, I was looking through your catalog and saw the Garage/Carport hanger and it reminded me of a great idea one of my managers came up with… a magnetic sign that reads: ‘AVAILABLE: Call the Office!’ She placed them on the garage doors or the framework above the empty carport stall (most are metal these days) and it worked wonderfully.

Marketing With Your Local Supermarket—Here’s a great idea from Stephanie Deprisco at SCG Realty Services that we’re certain you’re going to love! Thanks Stephanie – keep those great ideas coming!  Stephanie writes:  “Invite your local grocery store to participate in your monthly newsletter by advertising with flyers or coupons. In exchange, ask them to make your gift baskets for your new move-ins.

The Four C’s of Social Media—I was learning my way around on Quora and ran across a question that grabbed my attention. “Who originated the Four C’s of Social Media?” We may never know for certain but Colin Walker gave us the Five C’s of Social Media in June of 2008. 1.  Contribute – easy sharing of information. 2. Comment – your chance to have your say. 3. Conversation – getting involved in discussions with others. 4. Collaborate – work with your peers.