Category - Apartments

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Why Multifamily apartment pricing is broken
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Executing Quick Marketing Wins
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In search of that shiny new penny
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What’s the true definition of value?
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The Feedback Dilemma
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The one thing about your residents you probably forgot today
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The Craigslist Changes Fallout Part Deux: Moving past Craigslist
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What RealPage will hopefully buy next
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The Craigslist Changes Fallout: Have posting tools become irrelevant?
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How to become a geeky apartment shopper

Why Multifamily apartment pricing is broken

Personally, if I’m ready to buy something, I need to know two basic things. First, what’s my excitement level for it and secondly, how much is it? That makes sense right? Overextending oneself is something one does right out of college when you think you have the world at your feet and assume that money grows on trees and so you run up your credit cards because you’re young and dumb. Not that I would know anything about that. Most people, though, are much smarter, whose thoughts are driven by the need to have what they want, balanced by how much they can afford. Fundamentally, at the end of the day, it’s really all about affordability – and at its[…]

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Executing Quick Marketing Wins

This is from a post on Apartminty in their ongoing “Quick Marketing Wins” series. The opinions expressed in here are mine. At first they called it the Now Generation, but I guess that had too many letters in it, so they officially named it the Y Generation but Google prefers you to call them the C Generation. Whew. Either way you look at it, these Millennial‘s want things NOW and are used to getting it that way. I speak as if this Generation is outside of my own. Err, let’s change the subject. If you’re under 35, you’re used to YouTube, getting things now, fast computers, and small devices you can hold. This generation makes up the majority of our new renters. This is who we[…]

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In search of that shiny new penny

Over the years, I’ve always felt that industry marketers have always been on the lookout for the shiny new penny. They lift rocks, scrape off the moss, roll it around in their hand, stare at it and hope it’s the next thing that will bring the new residents in. If you think I’m just being curmudgeonly by saying these things, think about the new concepts that have been discussed over the years: Should you go all in on the ILS’s? What about SEO? Are there any more acronyms we can make up? How do you utilize email drip campaigns? Is posting to Social Media the answer? Will I rent more apartments by using Facebook? What about reviews? Do they matter? Will[…]

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What’s the true definition of value?

Last week my wife decided that our ten year old purple couch, with the worn fabric and small baby vomit stains we’ve never been able to remove, needed to go. Besides the obvious failings, it didn’t seat enough people and guests in our home would often have to sit Indian style (or should that be criss cross applesauce?) on the floor in the living room. So, as husbands must do, I spent several days last weekend trying to make my wife happy. We shopped. We labored. (I labored and she directed) We improvised. We stressed. We re-did. The living room looks better because of it. While shopping on Saturday for the perfect coffee table, one of the stores we visited[…]

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The Feedback Dilemma

For years now, we’ve used a free tool called Kampyle to collect feedback on our website. After a minute or two of browsing our site, customers would get a popup widget that asked them to rate the site from 1-5 and give comments on what we could improve. The great comments we’ve received over the years have led to many changes that have improved its usability. A month ago, Kampyle released their own full site redesign – which totally broke it. Links don’t function. I can’t log in. I cannot get my feedback data. I cannot see my website reviews. I’ve sent emails to them. I’ve filled out their feedback form. I haven’t received a single response. The irony of[…]

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The one thing about your residents you probably forgot today

It was in the way she held her 4 year old son tightly against her chest, a crack of hallway light drifting into his dark bedroom. He was sobbing softly. She could feel his warm body through his Cars footy pajamas. “Honey, you are burning up. Let your mommy take your temperature.” It was in the way three generations of men lounged on the couch with the television blaring the football game. The moms and wives were sitting around the table in the other room talking and laughing and sharing. The fragrance from their open bottle of wine was filling their noses. It was in the way the newlyweds poured over their parsimonious bank statements in the dining room, his[…]

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The Craigslist Changes Fallout Part Deux: Moving past Craigslist

It’s been months now since Craigslist decided to give their user base a better search, user and mobile experience. Since my last article about the changes to Craigslist and the debate about posting tools, another major change was released. I think this latest change can put the debate to rest. If you watched the Webinar with Sarah Greenough on MFI, you know all about it. In December, Craigslist changed their Terms of Service and forced our users to agree to it. These terms mean that WE as Property Management Companies can be sued by Craigslist if we post ads using a posting tool. Here is the legal mumbo jumbo: [quote_box_center]USE. You agree not to use or provide software (except for[…]

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What RealPage will hopefully buy next

I still can’t believe ActiveBuilding’s owners were forced to accept millions of dollars to become part of a large conglomerate. Here’s a question for all of you. Is RealPage really a conglomerate or just a big corporation? Maybe they’re simply a company who collects other companies – like the way my grandmother used to collect stamps. I’m not real sure. Truth be told, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, especially when it comes to business law. What I do know was that watching RealPage pick up another unlucky company got my creative juices flowing. Why, you ask? Well, it sure seems that RealPage has been buying a lot of things lately. I thought that if I could come[…]

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The Craigslist Changes Fallout: Have posting tools become irrelevant?

At the end of September, we joked internally about the changes coming to Craigslist. We didn’t actually know what they were going to be, only that they were coming. October is the Craigslist month of doom. Last year it was the Great Ghosting Ruckus that caused leads to vanish into a black hole of ads. Our leads dropped by half. This year, Craig and his team worked hard on finding new ways to take their service back from us freeloaders. Surprised about the Craigslist changes? Don’t be Truth is, none of us should have been surprised. Over the years, we’ve violated the Craigslist Terms of Service like Miley violated our sense of decency. We’ve done it to improve our vacancy.[…]

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How to become a geeky apartment shopper

It certainly isn’t your grandmother’s apartment search experience anymore. Not even close. You can imagine how the process used to be. Cup of freshly brewed coffee, a donut, the Sunday paper, all while making wide circles over ads that looked interesting. You’d gather up your list and head out on Monday morning, hit the streets, drive to some of your favorites or maybe you’d even pick up the phone and call around. Trouble with that approach, as we now know, is the limited amount of information you had at your fingertips. Newspaper descriptions manipulated by marketing departments have a tendency to be predictable, loaded with too many descriptive phrases (an inordinately quaint living space!) and certainly doesn’t fill in the[…]

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