Advertise on Leasing Cafe

Sit down, relax, and browse through The Café Blog—your source for apartment industry news.

We're constantly scouring the Internet for the most relevant, informative multifamily industry articles and tips we can find to share with our readers. In addition, we're home to exclusive essays and helpful hints from our own Leasing Cafe baristas.

Got an article you think we should post or a topic you think we should cover? We'd love to hear from you! Just click the "CONTACT" link at the top right corner of the page and send us your ideas. And don't forget the Coffee Talk Forum -- post your thoughts and get the discussion flowing with other apartment professionals!

Best Online Reputations of Top 50 Management Companies Announced

The Online Reputation of the 2018 NMHC 50 Managers: Who Ranks in the Top 10?
The Bozzuto Group takes top honors for the fourth year in a row, with an ORA of 80.76.
By Joseph Batdorf
In the recently released 2018 NMHC 50 Largest Apartment Managers ranking, we learn which property management companies have grown in terms of size, but how have these firms performed with regard to their online reputation?

The April ORA Power Ranking features the top 10 of the NMHC 50 managers by online reputation. (To view last year’s ORA list, visit 2017 Top 10 Managers of NMHC Top 50.) READ ARTICLE

2018 Multifamily Trends: Learning from Homeownership Demand

In a candid exchange with MHN, Jay Lybik, vice president of research services for IPA, a division of Marcus & Millichap, detailed what’s driving the sector’s growth.
Jay Lybik—vice president of Research Services for IPA, a division of Marcus & Millichap—advises institutional and major private real estate investors. Recently, Lybik held the following exclusive interview with Multi-Housing News to discuss 2018 multifamily trends. In this candid exchange, Lybik details the driving forces behind the U.S. multifamily sector and the changes that will impact the market in coming months.

Many of the headlines in the multifamily sector focus on coastal and gateway cities. Are there regions or markets with additional growth potential that are under the radar? READ ARTICLE

5 Steps to Overcoming Objections

By EPMSOnline

Objections are a fact of life.  Working in the apartment industry, it’s completely normal to hear “no” more than “yes”. When you encounter an objection, avoid either pushing too hard or running away. Neither works if your ultimate objective is to sign a new resident lease. Learn to be assertive without being aggressive or pushy. Your future residents will appreciate this.

Address Objections Now; It’s Crucial
Within 24 hours, most people will forget up to 75% of what you said to them during their apartment and community tour and within 30 days, that figure jumps up to 90%! Although not all lease sales are made during the first visit, it is important to try and address any major objections right away, while everything is still fresh in the prospect’s mind.  This can help boost the number of first-visit leases you earn.

Dealing with Objections in 5 Steps...CLICK HERE to read more.

"Custom And Software-As-A-Service Applications Are Now Within Reach Of Smaller Businesses" by Becca Wilson, Forbes Agency Council

Have you ever heard yourself say, “If only my application would do this,” “I have to get back to the office to access my computer to resolve this,” or “I need a totally different method to facilitate this product line”? With the volume of solutions that compound daily, it can be overwhelming to search for a software application that is completely capable of performing your unique business workflows.

Since launching my advertising software development company in 2000, I have seen an explosion in the availability of custom applications that once would have been financially out of reach for small and mid-sized businesses.

Software-As-A-Service Applications

“Application,” in our vernacular, can refer to many different genres of digital platforms. A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application is a subscription-based, internet-driven software whereby users can adapt the program with some customization opportunities to meet workflow requirements. READ ARTICLE

"How to Trim Work Orders During Holiday Season" from National Apartment Association (NAA)


'Tis the season for more resident work-orders related to the holidays.

* Maintenance technicians are recommended to check each stove and oven for proper operation. Many residents use their ovens only during this time of year. Blown-out pilot lights are often the cause for a non-working stove. Have tips for working a self-cleaning oven handy—or pass them out ahead of the season.  READ ARTICLE

"Five Ways to Prep Your Community for the Fall" by Paul Rhodes


Follow these five steps and your community will be ready for cold weather.

After the heat of summer is over, it is important to get ready for the next extreme season. Preparation for cooler weather can be simple and still take some time. Here’s a list of five tasks to have “fall” into place before winter starts:  READ ARTICLE

"Secrets for Managing Renewals" by Les Shaver


Renewals are as much art as science, especially in a changing market. Managing residents’ expectations is a key part of the process.

If the market is really in the past-peak rent-growth stage, as Sandi Dumas, Director of Operations at Cardinal Management Group, said at Maximize in Austin, renewals will take on even greater importance in the coming years.

Dumas says one way apartment operators can get ahead of a declining market is by proactively offering lease extensions with no rent increases.

“We have found success where we negotiate on lease term rather than rate, especially in softer markets,” she says.  READ ARTICLE


"Don’t Let Your Rails Fail" from Buildings


Inspect railings to maximize safety and minimize legal risk
It’s easy to assume your railings are in good shape until proven wrong, but just like any building material, they can fail – and if someone gets hurt as a result, your organization will be held responsible. Look for these six important elements to make sure your railing can stand the test of time, suggests railing manufacturer Fairway Architectural Railing Solutions.  READ ARTICLE

For more help go to


"Be Empowerful" from Mizerak Executive Coaching

The moment we enter a room, others begin making snap judgments about our credibility, trustworthiness, and more. In order to make the best impact on first meeting, it is necessary to examine how others perceive us. The ability to project an aura of competence and position one’s self as a leader has been named executive presence. In a series of studies on about 300 leaders, the Center for Talent Innovation sought to understand what executive presence is and how it is acquired. The studies determined that the three main components of executive presence in order of importance are gravitas, communication, and appearance. In depth details on this research are available in Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book Executive Presence.  READ ARTICLE

"Oregon city approves permit for US' 1st all-wood high-rise" by Gillian Flaccus, AP


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials in Oregon have approved construction permits for the first all-wood high-rise building in the nation.

Construction on the 12-story building, called Framework, will break ground this fall in Portland's trendy and rapidly growing Pearl District and is expected to be completed by the following winter.

The decision by state and local authorities to allow construction comes after months of painstaking testing of the emerging technologies that will be used to build it, including a product called cross-laminated timber, or CLT.  READ ARTICLE


"What Happens When a Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint is Filed Against You?" from Grace Hill


Download Grace Hill’s step-by-step guide to the Fair Housing discrimination complaint process. In 2016 alone, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received 8,385 fair housing discrimination complaints against property owners/managers. HUD investigates the majority of those complaints and will sanction entities and individuals not in compliance with the FHA.

This guide walks you through the HUD enforcement process step-by-step, including important deadlines and penalties. DOWNLOAD GUIDE

"Rebranding's Impact goes Beyond the Consumer Experience" by Chad Christensen at MFE

There’s a misconception that a product rebrand is done solely for the purposes of transforming your public persona. In actuality, it can also be about empowering your team.

At Cottonwood Residential, we’re in the process of rebranding many of our communities as we transition our portfolio from primarily Class B assets to Class A. Part of the rebrand, naturally, has included discussions about the name we planned to attach to our communities.

We can poke a little fun at ourselves, because we considered several esoteric names that had nothing to do with us. We went through so many different words, names, and brainstorms before realizing the answer was right in front of us: “Why don’t we just use ‘Cottonwood’?” READ ARTICLE

Time Management Leadership for Pros by Tara Carter


VISIT INFUSE INTERVIEWS and hear Tara Carter, President of Dodson Properties speak on time management techniques, hosted by Leslie Mizerak, Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator.

Time management can still be a challenge for many managers, even in light of sophisticated software tools. Ms. Carter shares helpful insights gained through a history of management expertise on how to manage your time and help those around you manage theirs. 



IREM: Your Four-Legged Friends and The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits landlords from discriminating based on disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex and familial status. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and state and local government activities.

Both laws contain provisions which address the use of service or companion animals by people with disabilities. While the FHA covers nearly all types of housing, some types of housing, such as public housing, are covered by both laws. Landlords and property managers are required to make a “reasonable accommodation” for both service and emotional support animals. READ ARTICLE

Encore Presentation of Leasemakers Part I - Telephone

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
March 22, 2018, 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm CT
*10 AM PT, 11 AM MT, 1 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

Join nationally acclaimed speaker and trainer, Rick Ellis CAM, CPM, for four weeks of leasing training with LEASEMAKERS!

Week 1 - The Telephone Call – POWERFUL Telephone Techniques (45 in-your-face minutes!)
Turn your telephone into your most powerful leasing tool.

To Register, CLICK HERE!

Webinar starts at 12:00 pm CT

How to Have a Great Relationship With Your Boss

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
December 14, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

A Gallup survey indicates that approximately 75% of people quit their jobs because of their bosses. Employees are very aware of the impact their bosses have on them; but have you ever thought of the impact you have on your boss? In this Webinar you'll discover the importance of having a great relationship with your boss and how to be the employee your boss really wants and needs you to be!

To Register, CLICK HERE!

Webinar starts at 1:00 pm CT
(11:00 am PT, 12:00 pm MT, 2:00 pm ET)

“The Greatest Contributing Factor in Increasing the Value of a Multifamily Asset”


Listen to’s new Infuse Interview with real estate professionals at Hosted by Leslie Mizerak, PCC, SPHR, with Autumn Sorrow Stout, Director of Asset Management for Abacus Capital Group LLC. LISTEN TO INTERVIEW


"Deadweight or Superstar?: The Secrets of Developing High-Performance Employees" By Ellis Partners in Managment Solutions


You are Responsible for Your Own Success!

The challenge leaders face is getting the right people in the right seats at the right times to move everything forward. Having engaged, high-performing employees is essential to the success of your business.  READ ARTICLE

"A Tenant Signs the Lease and then Vanishes. What do you do?" by Joe Killinger

The prospective tenant passed your background check, they were very welcoming in the showing, and really everything looked great when you signed the lease.  But then when move-in day comes, nothing happens.  The tenant is nowhere to be found.  Plans can change on a dime.  Below are suggestions on handling and preventing cases like these.  READ ARTICLE

"Customize Your Units to Make Renters Feel at Home—and Renew Their Leases" by Lauren Shanesy


Industry experts say allowing residents to add personal design touches to their units increases the likelihood of lease renewal, often at little or no extra cost to either party. 

While the average resident may not be spending a large sum of money on extravagant home features, Stephanie Williams, president at Bozzuto Management Co., says there is a regular demand for small changes that tenants want to make to their space. Often this includes small tweaks to elements such as the wall color or light fixtures, but it can include requests for the addition of a ceiling fan, rearranged cabinet storage, different flooring materials, or the repositioning of movable kitchen islands.  READ ARTICLE

"Aston Martin Residences Break Ground in Miami" by Bill Springer

Iconic British automotive brand Aston Martin and global property developer G&G Business Developments have broken ground on the new  Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Miami. The announcement shows the British sports car brand is continuing to bring its design and performance expertise to a wide range of projects including the brand’s recently launched AM37 high performance powerboat built by Quintessence Yachts and there’s even talk of a very James Bond-esque Aston Martin branded submarine.
But it’s obvious that the company is really going for it by expanding into luxury residential design. The Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way will be in a brand-new building of curved glass and steel that will rise on one of the last parcels of developable land on the Downtown Miami waterfront.  READ ARTICLE

"Market Pulse for October 2017" by Jing Fu


According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, starts of buildings with five or more units, measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, declined by 17.1 percent in July 2017 to 287,000, following the 8.1 percent increase in June. Over the past 12 months, starts of five or more unit buildings declined 35.2 percent in July, the fifth consecutive decline.

NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI) bounced back to trend in the second quarter of 2017. The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the multifamily market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index is scaled so that a number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse. The MPI climbed eight points to 56 in the second quarter of 2017. This quarter’s reading is the highest since the third quarter of 2015.



"KTGY Designs LA Container-Based Homeless Housing" by Jeffrey Steele


Aedis Real Estate Group's Hope on Alvarado is the first in a series of area developments using shipping containers as a primary building material. The community will provide support services for people transitioning from homelessness.

KTGY Architecture + Planning has introduced designs for the first in a series of Los Angeles homeless developments using shipping containers as a primary building material. Hope on Alvarado will provide support services for people transitioning from homelessness.

Located at 166 S. Alvarado Street in the Westlake district west of downtown Los Angeles, the structure is moving rapidly through development and will be constructed in a six-month period early in 2018. The building combines architectural character with accelerated construction due to its leverage of the unique shipping container design.  READ ARTICLE

"Co-living goes mainstream, but this is not roommate roulette" by Diana Olick with CNBC


The "social" generation is poised to disrupt another industry. The same way that the car scene changed with Uber and NYC offices started going virtual, co-living is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Co-living basically means that strangers move in together, sight unseen, each signing their own lease for a private bedroom and bathroom but sharing common spaces. As rents soar, younger renters are proving they're willing to upend the old find-a-roommate-on-Craigslist model that has served millions.

Among the common spaces the building offers is a kitchen space, which includes a kitchen area, seating and a work table for residents to use.

The concept is the brainchild of millennials Ryan Shear and Noah Gottlieb, both principals at PMG. Their company has been around for a quarter century, but the idea is entirely new, born of today's sky-high rents and new social realities. READ ARTICLE

"Amazon launches 'The Hub', parcel delivery lockers for apartment buildings" from TechCrunch

The Hub, lockers designed to be installed in multi-tenant dwellings so that residents can receive bulky packages and pick them up at flexible times. Key to the service is that Amazon is offering it as a delivery option for packages from anyone, not just Amazon and its affiliates.

“You can pick up any package, from any sender, any retailer, at any time,” a promotional video on the site notes as the video scrolls through packages not just from Amazon and Zappos (owned by Amazon), but also unnamed retailers, and maybe your granny.  READ MORE