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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!

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

"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

"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

Overcoming Objections

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
April 26, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Presented by: Danielle Walker
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

Objections can feel like rejection, but they usually mean the prospect is interested. They are giving you a chance to respond because they want to live at your community. It is an opportunity for you to get to know your prospect better, identify their needs and help solve the problem. Join us for a spirited discussion on the most popular objections and how to overcome them.

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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

Companion Animal Guidelines Challenged in North Dakota, Elsewhere

Digested from the Jamestown Sun.

A controversial bill has been proposed in North Dakota that would allow apartment owners to evict renters and collect from them one months’ rent (not to exceed $1,000) if they find that fake disability documentation was used to enable people with a service or assistance animal to live in rental units with no-pet policies, reports media site The Jamestown Sun.

The bill also amends the North Dakota Century Code to say that the medical professional who provides documentation supporting the need for a service or assistance animal must not operate primarily to provide certification for service or assistance animals, according to the report.

House Bill 1272, introduced by Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, if passed, could be challenged by federal law through the Americans With Disabilities Act.

“There’s no problem with accommodating people who have a legitimate need for a service or assistance animal,” Koppelman tells The Jamestown Sun. “We have every intention of honoring that, but people who abuse it undermine that need.” READ FULL ARTICLE...

"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

"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

"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

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"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

How to Compete Differently and Effectively

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
August 10, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

Competition is getting tough again as your peers all strive to be the best.  In this webinar, we will discuss how to compete effectively and stand out to win with simple listening and observation techniques.

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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

Powerful Telephone Techniques

Ellis | Partners in Management Solutions
March 23, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm CT
*11 AM PT, 12 PM MT, 2 PM ET
Reserve your seat today. Space is limited!

This is a great opportunity to refine your approach and make 'Telephone Magic' on your next leasing presentation.

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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

Marketing Automation Mistakes

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

Email automation makes our lives much easier, but sometimes a personal touch is required. In this webinar, we will talk about the automated emails you should avoid!

To Register, CLICK HERE!

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