President's Pen May/June 2018
Spring has finally sprung! And with spring comes longer days, blooming flowers, allergies, and singing birds. In our industry, the onset of sunny skies also means peak leasing season is about to arrive. The Triangle is an exceptionally seasonal market, and a large portion of our market is comprised of colleges and the transient population that occupy these higher education institutions. As a result, the majority of apartment communities structure their lease expirations around the summer months. And if you are part of a proactive team, the summer months can be some of the most successful in the calendar, yielding significant income growth for your company.
So how can you prepare for the busy and extremely important next few months ahead? Well, everyone knows that the answer is spring cleaning! Before the arrival of this seasonal influx of would-be renters, it is essential to make sure your teams are trained and have all the necessary tools they need. Be sure to brush up your team on these items: understanding what your community or business has to offer that separates you from the rest, how to tailor a presentation to a prospect that dispels any doubts about why they should choose you, and finally, closing the sale. In the daily bustle of multifamily management, we sometimes lose track of the impact that these basics steps can have on success. And one of those back-to-basics steps is simply cleaning. Check that your curb appeal is immaculate, your amenities pristine, and confirm that your show units are stocked with memorable gifts for potential residents.
Your service team members are an integral part of the success of the primary leasing season too. Take steps to make sure they are equipped with a variety of vendors that can help them turn vacant apartments quickly. (Vendors that meet the necessary insurance and contractual terms of your company.) If you are a vendor, now is the time to assess if you have additional teams ready to install flooring and paint units, should a last-minute request arise. The vendor that can yield impeccable results on the fly will always be the one that the team calls.
With your spring cleaning completed, you are ready for the busy summer days. Your focus should now turn to
Ultimately, the optimal thing you can do to ensure that your residents and customers are happy, and don’t want to consider moving or finding another vendor, is to provide a sense of community. When a community or business offers outstanding customer service and makes people feel like they are part of something, everything else will fall into place. Encourage your team members to know the residents’ names, and maybe even the names of their pets; this adds a personal touch to every interaction. Take the time to write birthday cards, organize group events that bring together people, and be proud of the community you work for. These small touches result in renewal retention and rent increases that will make you and your company pleased.
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In the meantime, happy spring cleaning!
Claire Michael, CAM
Fairfield Residential, LLC
This article was originally published in the 2018 May/June issue of the ApartMentor magazine.