Monthly Archives: March 2012

Landscaping may seem like a tiresome, tedious and expensive burden for property managers, especially when nature brings drought and other challenges. Factor in organic, all-natural and green landscaping, and it becomes even more daunting. But, environmental issues are at the … Continue reading

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Today’s real estate professionals feel the need to be everywhere online in order to generate more leads–third party listing aggregator sites, Craigslist, social media, you name it. What’s more important than having your listings in as many places as possible … Continue reading

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Landscaping is important.  In the property management business spring is when we set up for the summer pool season. Winter is the time to think about the spring growing season and how to best address grounds maintenance. Addressing landscaping, ground cover, plantings and soils seems like such a simple question.  At the very least it takes pre-planning to assure fixed price contracts in advance of service. If a plant scientist were to survey the grounds of your income property assets their report would say some like: there are  55 “species” of plants and three invasive varietals that are negatively impacting sustainability.  And your comment would be; “I only want my property to look good- neat and clean with green grass and pretty flowers.  What’s all this talk about invasive species!”.   Like farmers, property management requires having a well rounded skill set.  Alas, we must rely on our subject matter experts to get us through the necessary gory details.  For example, using the wrong seed in shady areas can be a flat out waste of money.  The use of plants that require high maintenance should be avoided when a suitable substitute with lower carry costs is appropriate.  Factor in water conservation.  Some plants truly drink like elephants.  The importance of ground cover in landscaping really comes into play when the conversation includes any word similar to soils erosion or basement leaks.  When it comes to soil conservation, preservation and removing or re-directing run off we want ground cover to be our friend.  This requires planning. Continue reading

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Research has shown that a person who resigns from your property management company is leaving for one of three possible reasons: a new career opportunity, an unsolicited job offer or for a grievance that has not been handled correctly.  Whenever a person resigns from your property management company for voluntary reasons it’s normally a surprise and it can be expensive to replace a valuable team member.  This article will outline three important steps for conducting exit interviews, a process which will reduce employee turnover and improve profitability at the same time. Continue reading

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Best service, especially in the property management industry, can be deceiving because the needs and expectations of your residents are changing and evolving rapidly.  In addition, your residents are comparing your apartment communities to both your competition and to best service with every company, product or service they experience.  By reading this article, you will learn the steps for developing a system so your residents can tell you exactly what best service means to them! Developing resident surveys:  Start by gathering the leasing teams at the properties you manage and discuss the current level of resident service being given.  Also, ask for any feedback or suggestions they have heard or received from their residents.  Next, prepare a resident survey that might include some of the following questions:  Tell us about the best service you have ever received while living in any apartment community.  Tell us about the best service you have ever received from any company or individual and why this was the best.  Tell us how we can improve your living experience with our apartment community.  Lastly, ask your leasing teams for suggestions on how these surveys might best be presented to their residents.  Many of our property management clients ask their leasing teams to hand deliver these surveys to their residents on Saturday morning for a personalized touch while others give out small prizes to the first 25 survey responses.       Tip From The Coach:  Do you want to experience best service?  Take a few hours and visit a high-end retail location like Nordstrom, a Ritz-Carlton hotel or Tiffany’s.  When visiting these world-class locations, observe how they greet you, the words they select when assisting you, the types and variety of products or services they provide, the colors and fabrics they use and the quality of their brochures and printed materials.  As a side note, any employee of a Ritz-Carlton can fix a guest service problem instantly, for up to $2,000!  Implementing resident surveys:  Once you and your leasing teams have received the responses to these resident surveys you can now set your service standards at or above the level of your resident’ expectations.  As a next step, summarize the results from these resident surveys and look for any repeated suggestions or recommendations.  Then, design an action-plan with your leasing teams based on the suggestions they are going to implement over the next 30-60 days. Continue reading

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