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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!

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)

"Property News Reports" new YouTube Channel Announced


Property News Reports provides you with the latest in Real Estate Investment Strategy, Market Analysis, Property Management Trends, Leasing Strategies & more for the Single Family, Multifamily & Commercial Real Estate Markets from leading industry experts and reliable sources. Visit PROPERTY NEWS REPORTS


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


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.

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


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

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

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...

"2017 Color of the Year" by Architectural Digest


Last week Benjamin Moore creative director Ellen O’Neill had a moment of panic. “I suddenly thought, Oh no, have we scheduled our Color of the Year party on the night of the final debate?” Each year, she and her team canvas the globe to pinpoint the single color that captures the contemporary mood, and like clockwork every October, the design world waits with bated breath for the big reveal. READ ARTICLE

What does the Consumer Review Fairness Act mean for consumers and online reviews?


The President approved House-bill 5111 on December 15, 2016 that limits businesses from  contractually restricting online reviews.

Columnist Sherry Bonelli discusses the impact that newly signed legislation may have on local business owners and review sites.

Online reviews have steadily become a part of our everyday online world and an integral part of consumers’ buying process. Whether you’re proactively seeking out reviews for a product/service or responding to a Facebook friend’s post asking for provider recommendations, online reviews surround us.


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


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


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^

All the Credentials and Continuing Education Your Career Needs.
All in One Place.

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

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