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The Best Employee You’ll Never Hire


I went to get my oil changed the other day. My husband had been taking my car in for this lately, so I hadn’t bothered to do it myself in quite a while. I looked for the little tag in the driver’s side corner of the windshield so I could make sure I was going to the correct place. It looked like my husband had switched up oil change facilities since the last time I had to do this. I searched through our kitchen coupon box (actually the front of the refrigerator, underneath a magnet that says “I love dogs”) for a discount flyer, and hit the road.

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“Wowing” Your Residents With the Planned Surprise


As an industry, we work hard to keep our residents happy.  We turn work orders around quickly, we host resident events, we are always on the look-out for ways to make the lives of our residents easier, and so much more. All of these are things that our residents expect from us. But sometimes, what is not expected can make a bigger impact on how our customers view us. Think about a time when somebody did something for you that you weren’t anticipating. How did that make you feel? Now imagine doing something that makes your residents experience a similar emotion, and how powerful that could be. The lasting effects will also be powerful as your residents become bigger advocates of your community and will express that in many different, beneficial ways.

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5 Reasons Different is Better


Exciting and new cutting-edge developments are rising in nearly every market and seem to be on every corner. The increased competition entering markets are giving established properties obstacles and hurdles to overcome. The success of today’s older communities will lie in focusing on their strengths as well as the unique qualities that give them the edge over the new guys on the block. Newer may be a choice for some; however, many prospective renters are searching for a unique value that fits their needs. Different can be better and “quirky” angles can stand out against the newer cookie cutter standards. Consider the below ideas and strategies to maximize your “different” factor:

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Industry Trends Spring 2016



Upcycling is taking an old object and turning it into something new and use-ful — like cutting a t-shirt into strips of fabric — and then making a wreath or blanket out of the fabric.  The upcycled item is normally better than the original… thus, the UP in upcycle.

Host a Chalk Painting Party where residents bring old pieces of furniture and paint them “new” with chalk paint. Wood pallets are really great materials for upcycling.  Google “Wood pallet projects” to get literally 2 million ideas.

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Rub-A-Dub-Dub There’s a Dog In the Tub

Dog in the Tub

Among the newest amenities for residents is a Dog Washing Station (or area) at your community. Many of us don’t have the space for it. But if you like the idea, ask your local Petco if they have a Self Serve Dog Wash. For just $10, they supply the shampoo, conditioner, towels and aprons. The tub height is designed for your ergonomic comfort and the tubs hold pint-size to super-size pups.

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What’s Up In Apps!


Management: Evernote

Evernote dons an adorable elephant logo and packs a big punch to managing all of the little bits and pieces of information that cannot be lost. This app shines when it’s linked to its desktop and mobile capabilities: a web clipper for online notes, notebooks for organizing recipes and receipts, tags for searching, and more.

Simply create a notebook for any project and begin filling the pages with all of the information you need (without using a single piece of paper)! Planning resident events has never been easier.

Cost: Free

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Merchandising Marketer – Give Your Model Appeal


One of the biggest mistakes this merchandising marketer sees in her travels is a lack of target market appeal in model merchandising. It’s pretty. It’s nice. And it’s oh so boring. In an attempt to appeal to everyone, the “safe” model ends up being memorable to no one. Instead of focusing on making sure we don’t turn anyone off, it’s time to start thinking about turning people on. We’ll start with the Generation Y.

To appeal to Gen Y, (for anyone that has been residing in cave, they’re about 18 to 33 right now), it’s important to understand and speak to what they value in a brand.

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Challenge Idea: Resident Interactions


This quarter’s Message Mission was all about ideas that center on resident interactions, either during the sale or during the residency. Here are a few great ideas that we’ve seen to bring these vintage ideas back to vogue.

Cards, Post-its, Magnets in the model unit highlighting the best features
■ We love the vinyl clings that can be found everywhere from Amazon to Etsy. They’re great for drawing attention to the best your floor plan has to offer.
■ Chalk surface coated clings are also fantastic for giving a nice, handwritten, organic feel to your highlights.
■ Rotating slideshow digital picture frames in each large area can be a fun way to showcase your property’s best assets. Even better – they’ve dropped dramatically in price over the last few years and you can even buy them second hand for a larger savings.

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The Multi-Family Balancing Act

article-multi-family-balancing-act In every city and at every apartment community I visit, everyone is working harder than ever. Stop and think about it: do you know anyone who is not rushing to work, feeling stressed by their workload, and then rushing home to get to their child’s ball game or other event? It seems that everyone in this country is over-worked due to economic challenges, but the stress levels have reached alarming highs in the multi-family industry. When times got tough, we scaled back our staff and increased the workloads for both managers and employees. However, now that occupancy has recovered, our employees are asked to maintain their burgeoning workloads without extra help. Continue Reading →

Building Your Digital Message

article-building-digital-messageURL, ISL, Company websites, printed brochures and business cards on paper — these are all standard operating procedures for apartment community collateral. It’s time to step out of the print world and re-present your community digitally to fit into the new world of our mobile consumer.

Mobile will be the first screen for web access with the majority of your future residents. 66% of mobile downloads are video and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute. How much of it features your property? According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than TV/cable network. Today Netflix allows you to surf YouTube on your TV!

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