Receive news, updates and special deals by Joining AOA's Online Newsletter. Click now to sign up!

Archive for August, 2012

The Pace of Property Management¦Does It Matter? © – by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

If you were a farmer, would the spring season be more important than fall?  For your crops to grow strong, will the sunshine or the rain make them grow faster?  Does it matter if some crops are ready to be harvested in one month and other crops are ready in six months?  Like a farmer, realize that each person on your property management team will grow and thrive best if you match the pace and structure of their work responsibilities with their unique behavioral styles. This article will address how a person’s steadiness impacts performance and future articles will discuss interaction, drive, and compliance¦all key components of the behavioral styles of those on your team. [...]

Continue Reading

Fair Housing Is As Easy As ABC, Let’s Do It With Some Poetry! – By Nadeen Green

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

We are taking the alphabet, letter by letter,
So perhaps you can do things a little bit better;
To make your apartments open to all,
And not take an unexpected fair housing fall! [...]

Continue Reading

Should an Eviction Always Disqualify an Applicant? – By Robert Cain

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

The following article, shared by a colleague offers a different viewpoint than the typical landlording advice, and may even stir a bit of controversy.  Most landlords answer the question serving as the title of this article with an empathetic, YES!  There is no way you should ever rent to a resident who has been evicted.  Those landlords have a legitimate case and point. [...]

Continue Reading

Shoptalk Service Evaluations: How to Handle Prospective Applicants – By Joyce Kirby

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

Life is full of interruptions.  Yet we must find a way to strike a balance so that all the URGENT things coming at us do not pull us away from the most important tasks at hand.  In the property management industry, there are urgent owner requests, resident complaints, maintenance emergencies and employee disputes; just to name a few.  While all of these issues must be handled in a prompt, professional manner, the business of renting apartments must still remain a priority of the leasing office.  Since interruptions are so common in this industry, I am often asked for advice on how to handle these situations.  I would like to respond by sharing the story of two entirely different shopping experiences.

When I placed my first call, I was just getting ready to hang up when the phone was answered on the seventh ring.   The consultant spoke so quickly that I could only make out the name of the community before she said, Please hold.  When she came back on the line, she said, Sorry about that.  I’m working alone and the phone is ringing off the hook!  She asked how she could help me and I inquired about the apartment availability. She said there were a couple of two bedrooms open and then said, Hang on and I’ll grab my book.  She set the phone down, without putting me on hold, and I overheard how she raised her voice to someone in the background.  When she came back on the line, she apologized for the delay and immediately began to quote pricing.  She asked if I would like to come by, and I agreed to meet with her in an hour.  The consultant offered directions and then asked for my name and telephone number in case something comes up.

At the second place I called, the phone was picked up on the second ring.  The consultant clearly identified the community by name and introduced herself.  She asked for my name early in the conversation and used it to establish a rapport with me.  I could hear a telephone ringing in the background and said, I don’t mind holding if you need to get that.  She replied, Thanks, but that’s what I have voice mail for.  I felt like I was the reason she got out of bed that morning, as she made me feel like I was her most important business for the day!  She took the time to inquire about my needs and then described an apartment that would best meet my specific requirements.  The consultant invited me to come by to see the apartment and let me pick a time that was most convenient for me.

I arrived on time, within an hour at the first community that I called.  There was a sign on the door stating that someone would be back in approximately 10 minutes.  I tried the door and it was unlocked, so I went inside and began to tour the cabana while I was waiting.  The leasing consultant returned shortly and seemed surprised to see someone waiting.  She did not remember our appointment until after I reminded her of our recent phone contact.  She apologized and offered me a seat, stating that there had been several maintenance emergencies earlier that day.  In fact, she was waiting for a water heater to be delivered at any moment.  The consultant did not obtain any further information from me, but recalled we had discussed a two bedroom.  She pulled out a couple of floor plans to go over with me but during this process, the phone kept ringing and she repeatedly answered it.  She did not excuse herself when picking up the phone and each time, I was left sitting there to wait until she finished each call.  Just as we were heading out to view the apartment, the contractor with the water heater showed up.  For a moment, the consultant seemed unsure as to what she should do.  She asked the contractor to wait a second, and then turned to me and explained that she was going to have to let this man into an apartment to replace a leaky water heater.  She said, ‘ll only take a minute.  She offered me a seat in the cabana while I waited and told me there were soft drinks in the refrigerator and I should help myself.  I waited over 10 minutes and then figured that I had come at a bad time.  I decided to leave and showed myself out.

At my next stop, the consultant greeted me warmly and invited me to have a seat at her desk.  She pulled out a guest card she had started and handed me a packet of literature.  This packet included everything from floor plans to area information.  She said she had also enclosed the address and phone number of the elementary school since I had mentioned my son would be starting kindergarten.
As she began to ask more specific questions about my needs, the telephone rang several times.  The consultant let voice mail pick up the calls, but then she finally reached over and turned the ringer off.  She said, I don’t know about you, but that’s really distracting for me.
After we completed the guest card, she asked if I would like to see the clubhouse area before we headed out to take a look at the model.  As we stood, a mail carrier came in with several packages and stated that they were missing apartment numbers.  The leasing consultant was very kind as she explained that she was just going out to show an apartment.  She invited him to come back in about 20 minutes or said he was welcome to slave the parcels and she would look up the apartment numbers when we were done.

As we were walking the grounds on the way to the model apartment, she was approached by two maintenance workers who had questions about a problem.   She was very professional as she graciously asked them to wait and prevented them from discussing the problem in front of me.  Once we reached the model apartment, the consultant gave a flawless presentation of its many unique features and advantages.  She was able to relate specific features as personal benefits because she had stayed focused during the qualifying portion of our visit.  She remembers AND noted things that were most important to me.  The consultant was able to make strong, confident closing attempts since she had sought to satisfy my needs by giving me her undivided attention.
How do you make a prospective resident feel important, when you have a multitude of urgent interruptions crying out for your attention?  Are you able to focus on the prospective resident and make their needs a priority?  If not, you have probably lost the sale.  It would be better to phone your appointment prior to their arrival and reschedule, rather than have them come out when you know you can’t give them your undivided attention.  Of course this will probably cause some inconvenience.  However, in the long run, they will appreciate your consideration and long remember your thoughtfulness.  If you were looking for a new home, how would you like to be treated?

Reprinted with permission of Ask the Secret Shopper; provided by Shoptalk Service Evaluations.  For more information visit www.shoptalkservice.com.

Continue Reading

Keep Your Residents Longer – Plug Them in to Your Property – By Jeffrey Taylor, Mr. Landlord

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

Smart landlords know that the more you make residents feel plugged into their property, the neighborhood, or your management system, the longer they’ll stay.  Long-term residents drastically reduce turnover costs that can negate your positive cash flow efforts while adding thousands to your bottom line.  The following procedures help keep residents plugged in: [...]

Continue Reading

Dunaway’s Dirt-Cheap NYC Apartment Highlights Abuse of Rent Control! – By Gideon Kramer

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

Actress Faye Dunaway, with a net worth estimated at $40 million, recently vacated her cheap Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, but only after the threat of an eviction lawsuit.
The owner argued that Dunaway’s permanent residence was, in fact, in California and that she was therefore not entitled to her rent-stabilized Manhattan lease. [...]

Continue Reading

Apartment Market Shifting Focus to New Supply – By Randyl Drummer

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

The ongoing recovery of the U.S. apartment market is entering a new phase, one marked by an increasing level of permits and construction starts for multifamily development projects. The upwelling in new development is expected to increase supply across many markets starting in 2013 after years of almost zero growth. [...]

Continue Reading

Is it Illegal to Require Residents to Supervise Their Children? – By Howard Bookstaff

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

On occasion in the apartment industry, we run into conflicts between safety concerns and Fair Housing issues.  While you want to be sure that children and others are safe, at what point are you protecting them at the risk of a Fair Housing violation? [...]

Continue Reading

Timely Rent Collection: Can It Be Done Better? – By E. Emmanuel del Casal

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

Are your rent collections as efficient as you would like?  Do your tenants pay the rent at the first of the month or right before the late charges kick in?  At what point of the month are all your rents collected?  Speaking with several property managers on this subject, I find that rent collection is one of the less than gratifying aspects of their job.  In fact, it can become their biggest headache. [...]

Continue Reading

Common Living Trust and Estate Planning Mistakes – By, Michael K. Elson, Attorney

Posted on 12. Aug, 2012 by .

0
Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Digg

Nearly all those owning real property and other assets can benefit from a quality estate plan.  With proper guidance, drafting, and implementation, your estate plan will be effective to avoid probate, unnecessary taxes, and court control of your assets at your death or in the event of incapacity.  Proper implementation of your estate plan is not a difficult task however, it is easy to make mistakes.  Other than simply delaying the creation of a Living Trust and waiting until it is too late, the following is a list of the most common estate planning mistakes. [...]

Continue Reading