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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!


"Difficult Residents Strike Again" by Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions

11/7/2016

Difficult residents seem to come with the territory of running an apartment complex, yet not many people talk about how to approach and create success with them. EPMS knows there are effective tools to help you listen to customers, respond to their feedback and understand and enhance overall customer experience and we are eager to share them with you.

The goal is to understand feedback through the eyes of your customers and to manage their expectations, especially online. It is easier and more or a resident to post a “bad” review than a good review. Let’s change that today by focusing on these areas:

Your state of mind – In order to change your interaction with difficult residents, you must change how you react to them. You and your staff must ask yourselves two questions: Is the resident really the problem? and Are you overreacting to THEIR reaction? When you become open and switch your state of mind, you create empathy. Here’s an example:

Scenario: A resident was overcharged and it will take your office a week to return the funds.

Problem: A small error needs to be corrected and the manager downplays it as an error when, for the resident as an individual, it is a huge problem; after all, we are talking about money here.

Goal: Look at it from the resident’s perspective. How you handle the situation can make a huge difference with the resident and how they respond. READ MORE

How To Effectively Communicate With Your Boss.

9/8/2016
FREE WEBINAR
Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions

September 8, 2016, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

In this free webinar, we will discuss the 5 things they didn’t teach you in school:
1.    Knowing how and when to communicate with your boss.
2.    Being prepared. Making a business case and stating what you need.
3.    Staying calm and keeping your emotions in check. Don’t cause drama.
4.    Asking for feedback and actively listening.
5.    Showing your value

To Register, CLICK HERE! Webinar starts at 1:00 PM CT
(11:00 AM PT, 12:00 PM MT, 2:00 PM ET)

Create a Great Customer Experience In a Digital World

6/8/2016

FREE WEBINAR
Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
June 9, 2016, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

In this webinar, we will discuss how the customer experience has changed with the ever growing presence and preference of online communication.

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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

CBREs Senior Managing Director Talks Multifamily Investing in 2016

6/7/2016
As managing director of the Multi-Family Group for CBRE Investors, Stephen Zaleski leads the firm’s multifamily and investment business, and he has a strong pulse on what’s going on in the industry.

A 25-year vet of the commercial real estate industry, Zaleski has served as a partner, head of acquisitions, investment committee member and portfolio management committee member for Berkshire Property Advisors, and spent time as a principal and multifamily acquisitions director with Lend Lease Real Estate and Boston Financial Group.

Over his career, he has completed more than $10 billion in transactions, representing over 150,000 units on behalf of eight institutional funds and various separate accounts. READ ARTICLE

How important are Attribution, Segmentation and Retargeting in your lead generation campaigns? by Spherexx.com

4/7/2016

Billions of dollars are spent on Internet advertising every day and the trend continues to grow and expand because Internet advertising delivers customers and sales to retailers and service providers with the certainty of a sunrise.


Whether your Internet advertising budget is in the hundreds or the millions of dollars, an understanding of the lead journey from launch to conversion is essential to continually optimize your advertising investment return.  

ATTRIBUTION – WHERE TO INVEST ADVERTISING DOLLARS

Attribution is defining the source of your lead result.  Whether the lead arrives from an organic search of your website, Internet Listing Service or a paid advertisement, a good lead tracking system will have the functionality to identify more than one advertising source.  The first response to a call to action will register the prime source. Identifying a secondary source is useful in determining how prospects interact with your content and how they react to the “bread crumb” trail that results in response to an ad.  

This multilevel tracking method is made possible by inserting a Dynamic Number Identifier and referral tracking scripts.  For example, a prospect visits an ad source and clicks a link that redirects them to a website; next, the prospect interacts with the main website by filling out a form, purchasing, or requesting information.  When the tracking code from the advertising source hands off the lead to the website, the Dynamic Number Identifier populates as a telephone number that identifies the original advertising source.

SEGMENTATION – WHAT PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO TARGET         

A good lead management system will have the functionality to deliver advertising responses specifically to targeted products and services.  Leads can be filtered and retrievable through advanced search options by demand and preference. This creates a prospect pool that can be contacted by email, text or telephone.

RETARGETING – WHAT PROSPECTS TO INVITE BACK TO YOUR WEBSITE

One of the most sophisticated methods of advertising tracking and optimization is retargeting website visitors whose search behavior indicates they have real interest in what you have to offer.   There are many retargeting advertisers available today to deliver your ads specifically to guests who have exited your website and are shopping for the kinds of products and services you have available.

This method is accomplished by algorithmic calculations that take many factors into consideration: what items the visitors linger on, how often they return to a topic, what areas of the website they view and other criteria.


You will need to have a gallery of text and banner advertisements available that are sized to popular ad dimensions so your retargeting provider can optimize available advertising space on the fly.  Your ads can be coded for segmentation to deliver responses directly to exact locations on your website.


Retargeting can also be accomplished with Facebook advertising, email contact lists, and emails of website guests who have provided their email address in the past.
For best results, creative content and advertising expertise, hire Spherexx as your Internet advertising provider.  Call 866.491.7500 or email SALES@SPHEREXX.COM

Selling & Communicating with Different Generations

2/9/2016

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
February 11, 2016, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

Your sales success depends on understanding your different consumer groups. Learn how to succeed in today’s market with the challenge of generational complexities.

In this webinar, we will learn:
- The unique demands of each generation of resident
- What each generation values
- Preferences of each of the 4 generations of renters

To Register, CLICK HERE!

Webinar starts at 1:00 PM CT

(11:00 AM PT, 12:00 PM MT, 2:00 PM ET)

Speed Hiring! 8 Tips for Finding the Right People Fast!

10/18/2016

By: Mary Gwyn, CPM

A recent tweet from GraceHill said that our industry is slow to hire.  It reminded me of why I try to be PASSIONATE about hiring.  When you have a vacant or about-to-be-vacant position, nothing is really more important.  If you’re a “MAN DOWN”

You can’t get your work done as well, working to see the other person’s job is done
Everyone else has to work harder too
You are torn between time to recruit, interview, vet and hire, and time to do what’s not being done by the “missing person”
And that doesn’t even consider the impact of the learning curve on co-workers’ time and keeping results up.  The best solution: REHIRE FAST!

Here are 8 Tips to Speed Hiring:


1. Post ads before the ink dries on your outgoing employee’s notice!  Post the position on any site you think will draw qualified industry professionals: Apartment Association job sites, Craigslist, LinkedIn, MultifamilyInsiders, Indeed, and more!

2. Call your “Employment Pool.”  Think of people who have “WOWed” you, or who have sent you a resume in the past.  Call them now!  If they aren’t interested, ask if they know anyone else.  

3. Network!  I was excited to get 2 great referrals from a business friend I messaged on LinkedIn!  Call your network and let them know what you’re looking for, and contact everyone they suggest.  Even if that person isn’t “the one,” they may give you a name!  READ MORE...

Move Over Millennials, Here Comes Gen Z

6/16/2016

FREE WEBINAR
Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
July 14, 2016, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!


In this free webinar, we will discuss how to prepare for Gen Z prospects and renters. We will cover everything from personality traits to preferred communication methods.  

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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

Grace Hill Announces the Launch of Visto^

6/8/2016
All the Credentials and Continuing Education Your Career Needs.
All in One Place.


Visto^
is a new online resource for property management professionals from the best in the industry—Grace Hill and the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI).

Visto^ gives you desktop/mobile access to industry-leading credential programs and continuing education courses as well as the latest trends and hot topics in the business. Train and learn course-by-course or on a subscription basis—and boost your career to the next level.

See a demo of Visto^ at the 2016 NAA Conference in San Francisco. Visit the Grace Hill booth #3411 or the NAAEI Let's Talk About It Lounge in the south lobby. Ready? Set? Ignite your career!

Ellis Partners 1st Qtr 2016 Benchmark Results Executive Summary

5/4/2016
Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions is your source for an integrated solution to your sales, marketing, resident retention and business process improvement needs. For 32 years, we have been helping apartment management companies and owners evaluate employee performance and effectiveness, and we remain committed to the growing needs of our customers. We strive to deliver the most modern and effective tools to help you monitor and evaluate onsite leasing engagement and marketing effectiveness, as well as compare your team’s performance to others in the industry from the prospect experience throughout the resident lifecycle, via our Mystery Shopping and Resident Survey programs.

Our theme for the 2016 Ellis Benchmark is “Think Differently and Take Action”. This year we will be highlighting four selling areas that speak to both potential customers and existing residents: Lead Conversion, First Impressions, Selling Value, and Closing. We will share customer feedback data from Ellis Shopping Reports and Ellis Resident Surveys conducted for the calendar quarter to present a complete picture of the customer experience inside and out.

At Ellis, we believe that ACTION changes everything, so we are paving the way with the release of our combined Benchmark results. To this end, we will also employ the help of ‘Anna Leaser’ and ‘Franc Buyer’, who will share practical ideas that your team can implement via our Ellis Training Video (ETV) series. We hope you will join us each quarter as we convey Benchmark results for mystery shops and resident surveys and offer performance improvement ideas designed to inspire and ignite your team to action.

Ellis’ First Quarter 2016 Benchmark:  Overall Results

Mystery Shops
Since 2000, the Ellis Shopping Report Multifamily Industry Benchmark quarterly ranking and comparison has been our way of identifying and recognizing the leasing performance for the prospect experience. For mystery shops, Ellis benchmarks performance on the 10 key Benchmark questions and the Customer Experience. Companies can qualify for platinum, gold, silver, or bronze level based on their company’s overall Benchmark score for the quarter. READ MORE

"Who is Gen Z?" from Ellis Partners in Management Solutions

3/9/2016

 Are you thinking about Gen Z yet? Millennials are about to be old news, and the generation following them has a completely different set of needs and values. This new group is going to be our target renters before we know it. For some properties, they already are.

So who is Gen Z? They were born after 1995, which means the oldest of the group is already 21. While we don’t know much about Gen Z yet, we do know a lot about the environment they are growing up in.

READ ARTICLE

 

 

Managing Negative Feedback and Online Trolls

2/25/2016

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
February 25, 2016, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

Negative feedback and trolls put the fear in reputation management! They are much easier than you think!

In this webinar, we will discuss:

How to identify a troll

How to handle a troll

How to prevent trolls.

To Register, CLICK HERE! Webinar starts at 1:00 PM CT

(11:00 AM PT, 12:00 PM MT, 2:00 PM ET)

Ellis Shopping Report Multifamily Industry Benchmark 4th Quarter 2015

1/19/2016
Happy New Year! Welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2015 Quarterly Shopping Report Performance Comparison. Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions is your source for an integrated solution to your sales, marketing, resident retention and business process improvement needs. For 32 years, we have been helping apartment management companies and owners evaluate employee performance and effectiveness, and we remain committed to the growing needs of our customers. We continue to strive to deliver the most modern and effective tools to help you monitor and evaluate on-site leasing engagement and marketing effectiveness, as well as compare your team’s performance to others in the industry. Thank you for partnering with us as together we seek out opportunities which will stimulate employees to dig deeper into the leasing conversation and enrich the experience with their customers.

The 2015 Benchmark theme was designed to foster internal conversations about training the multi-generational front-line leasing team. We hope you gain some new understanding as a result. Fostering a diverse workplace continues to be a high priority for many companies today. In this final letter of 2015, we explore some trends in Training Delivery which speak best to Generation Y.

Changing Trends


It has been said, “The best predictor of future performance is past behavior.” Trends give us an opportunity for improvement when it comes to serving the customer. Where have your employees ranked among your competitors over the last 16 years? These invaluable trending graphs provide a quick glimpse of benchmark averages since 2000. What does your company trend look like? READ MORE

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