Make a Lasting Impression for Potential Renters Touring Your Property

When it comes to leasing a new apartment, there are a lot of things renters have to consider -- location, size, amenities, and what will be best for their lifestyles. In today’s world, a lot of potential tenants have already formed a first impression on your property based on your marketing materials online or in-print. Often that impression can change though based on their experience in-person so it’s important to pay attention to things that could impact that. Today we’re sharing some advice to make sure the experience a positive one.

Make It Easy To Find The Leasing Office

When you arrive at a new place for the first time, everything is unfamiliar. As a renter it can sometimes be confusing of where to go when you are looking at different rental properties -- especially when you have a large property. You can put that issue to rest by having adequate signage that directs potential renters from the street, to your property and right to the leasing office. Having dedicated parking outside the leasing office is another way to make the process easy, and let future tenants know you are paying attention to their needs right from the beginning.

Friendly And Organized Leasing Staff

The experience with your leasing staff can have a lasting effect on if potential renters decide to move forward with your property or not, so it is important to make sure that your staff is both friendly and organized. Are they upfront with property information? Can they answer all of the potential renters questions? Do they make the leasing process and next steps easy to understand? All are important questions you should consider about your leasing staff.

This will translate into whether or not staff will be helpful with maintenance requests or any other questions residents have after they move in. This is often a concern for renters so you want to make sure they know upfront they are a priority at your property.

Make Sure Your Model Unit Best Represents Your Property

We’ve talked before about how important model unit renovations are and we’ll say it again. They are so important! You’ve put in the hard work of marketing your property to get potential renters in the door and now is your time to sell why they should live at your property. Your model unit allows you to showcase the upgrades you’ve made and create a vision for potential tenants on what it would be like to live there. Make it count! It is also important to note that the available apartments should also be in as good of shape as the model unit.

Upkeep Of Property And Amenities

Another important thing to consider, is making sure amenities and property features are well-maintained. There’s nothing worse than a potential tenant getting a tour of the property and finding out the real-life version doesn’t live up to advertised photos. Marketing your property is one thing, but making sure everything is well taken care of is another. If amenities are out of order or closed for other reasons, it could have a negative effect on their first impression.

First impressions matter, especially when tenants are often looking at multiple properties, which is why it’s so important to consider potential tenant’s experiences while viewing your property. If you need help refreshing your property to improve its first impression, contact us today!

How Creating a Positive Environment is Key to Renter Retention

It often doesn’t take much for renters to decide to look for another place to live. It can be anything from wanting an upgraded apartment to dissatisfaction with the staff to wanting a new location. This makes maintaining your property and creating a welcoming environment for residents critical for renter retention. We often focus on the design renovation aspect which is essential to getting residents into your property and retaining them after they have signed the lease but if you’re residents aren’t happy with the staff, communication and accommodations, they’ll look for another property. Let’s take a look at how you can help create a positive environment to keep renter retention!

Staff

Having proper staffing is essential! These are the people residents will be interacting with on a regular basis. Your staff should not only be friendly but fully educated on the property and neighborhood and capable of handling resident requests, questions and any issues that may arise. This includes everyone on your staff from:

  • Your call center (if you have one)
  • Leasing agents
  • Maintenance professionals
  • Courtesy officers

Communication Strategy

According to a panel discussion at the Multifamily Executive Conference, developing a staffwide communication strategy was deemed crucial to renter retention.

  • How does your property welcome future residents? Is there a specific process you walk them through to provide a welcoming experience?
  • How do you process maintenance requests? Do you have a timeframe you complete these in?
  • How do you manage resident complaints and requests?

These are often the most common times staff interacts with residents so you want to make sure you have a communication strategy in place to ensure residents have the best experience possible. This could be anything from creating sparking conversation to learn more about residents and what they would like to see at the property to creating a policy around addressing maintenance requests within 24 hours for example.

Modern Gem Design: How Creating a Positive Environment is Key to Renter Retention
Modern Gem Design: How Creating a Positive Environment is Key to Renter Retention

Resident Events

One of the great things about living in a multifamily property is getting to know your community. Resident events are a great way to give your residents a space to meet their neighbors and the property’s staff as well as feel appreciated by community. From a staff point of view, you can get to know your residents much better in an informal setting which will ultimately allow you to communicate more easily with them in the future. This all equals happy residents!

Need some ideas for resident events? We have you covered!

  • Pizza party
  • Food trucks
  • Game/trivia night
  • Barbeque
  • Happy Hour
  • Fitness class
  • Kids crafts for families
  • Holiday parties

Another ways to keep your residents happy? Consider implementing an online portal for residents to pay their rent and submit maintenance requests. This makes life just a little easier for residents, which they will appreciate in the long run.

While updating your property is essential to getting new residents into your door, providing a welcoming community is essential to renter retention. Listening to residents and adjusting your strategy/policies to accommodate your residents will help keep them happy and in your community!

If you’re in need of some help with renovations and property updates, contact us today. 

Easy Ways to Decorate Your Clubhouse for the Holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to talk about how getting in the holiday spirit can make an impression on your current and future residents. How can you do that? We’re talking about adding some cheer and happiness to your clubhouse! You don’t need to go all out and spend a huge chunk of cash either. A little decorating can go a long way making your clubhouse feel fun and festive throughout the holiday season. Let's take a look at how you can achieve this in a simple, tailored and cost effective way.

Touches of nature always look cozy and inviting. I love blending natural elements with a clean monochromatic color scheme of white, black, silver and gold metallic. This way, you can have some fun with bolder colors by adding décor pieces with vibrant tones. This will help create an overall balance that combines minimalism with a certain depth and sophistication. It’s important to keep it looking clean and fresh yet festive without creating a cluttered environment. Get inspired with these standard, inexpensive items that can be styled in a variety of ways:

  • Natural wood accessories
  • Magnolia or Fir tree wreaths. Keep it natural or spray paint it to add some pizzazz
  • Rustic lanterns
  • White candles – tapered, votive or standard sized
  • A white colored fir tree garland or a pre-lit spruce tree garland
  • A bright message banner in metallic colors
  • Pine cones, tree branches, bright berries, and/or mistletoe
  • A variety of fun ornaments – vintage, modern, fabric, glass – mix it up! As long as they are colorful and unique
  • A variety of glass jars, vases, and votives
  • Decorative natural or metallic bowls, cake stands, and decorative platters

An easy way to add a touch of the season is by filling the vases, jars, bowls, or platters with different decorative elements that reflect the holidays. For Thanksgiving, consider filling them with unshelled nuts, dried wheat, small gourds, ornamental corn, and even bundles of twigs. For Christmas/Hanukkah, you can fill these with anything from ornaments, pinecones, holly or berries, and other greenery (use plastic greenery that you can use year after year to save on cost too!) to candy such as candy canes or ribbon candy.

Placing these around the clubhouse on various tables and on your mantel (if you have one) will add a touch of the holidays and create a warm and inviting space, which is what the holidays are all about! It is important while decorating for the holidays to also keep your colors and tones in mind. Selecting neutral tones for decorative pieces that are metallic, white, or neutral wood tones can be a great option for creating an inclusive feeling no matter which holiday your residents celebrate!

A wreath is another easy decorative element that can be changed for each holiday. You can easily change the ribbon or add ornaments, pinecones, burlap, faux berry branches, or greenery to take your wreath from holiday to holiday. Hang it on the front door to your clubhouse to welcome residents and future residents in a festive and easy way!

A few other fun, cost effective ideas?

  • Line any doorway with a pre-lit Spruce or Pine garland to create a welcoming walkthrough
  • Fill a cornucopia with small pumpkins, gourds, and dried wheat
  • Line the front door with piles of pumpkins and gourds
  • Add Mums and potted croton to fill in the color at the entrance
  • Dress up your fireplace with greenery and festive votives
  • Tie ribbon around pillows to transform them into presents

Not only is changing up your decor an easy way to get in the holiday spirit, but it may even inspire you to host a resident event! You could host anything from a gift exchange to cookie decorating to a cocktail hour. Hosting an event is not only a great way to show your appreciation for your residents but it is a great opportunity to get to know your community members in a fun and informal way.

If you are looking for some help transforming your clubhouse for the holiday season and beyond, contact us today for a consultation.

Why You Might Want to Consider Rebranding Your Multifamily Property

While rebranding your property or properties may be a large undertaking with several moving pieces including the coordination of the marketing and management teams, it is also a great opportunity for you to create a fresh new look for your property that will not only help boost your bottom line but also gain trust with current residents. Why you might want to rebrand your multifamily property may vary, but the process and the factors to consider prior to starting this project are all similar. So we’re diving in to help you take a look at the entire process and where to start!

Real Life Scenario

You are a real estate investment company or a property management company that has just acquired a one off multifamily property or a portfolio of multifamily properties with a value add strategy in mind. The properties have been severely neglected. They have deferred maintenance and poor reputations within the submarket along with a negative online presence. The property has cannibalized units, poor management staff and previous owners that only had a budget to merely maintain the properties in decent condition.

This is a great scenario that illustrates the time when it may be a good idea to give your property an overall facelift. Rebranding can give you the opportunity to create a fresh perspective and provide more effective marketing opportunities while boosting your bottom line.

With a value added approach in mind, you must have adequate funds budgeted for capital improvements. Doing so should allow you to spend allocated dollars towards improving curb appeal, improving and/or adding key amenity areas and renovating the unit interiors. Being able to focus on getting the property properly staffed is key in getting the property back up and running smoothly, gaining trust from the residents while achieving and maintaining a consistent occupancy of 94-96%.

Define your Target Market

First and foremost, knowing your target market is key to determining the direction of our rebrand. Are they young professionals, families, students, seniors, pet-lovers?

Your target market will influence everything from your new property name to your logo to the color schemes and amenities you incorporate into your property.

Know your Community’s Strengths

Where is you community located? In the heart of the city? Near great schools or close to parks? You’ll want to make sure you highlight these strengths of your property’s location and community when marketing your rebranded property.

You’ll also want to highlight the key amenities you offer that will appeal to your target market. Do you have a rooftop pool? State of the art fitness center? Pet wash station and bark park?

Knowing your community’s strengths will help you highlight these key offerings in your new marketing strategy to appeal to your target market.

Create a New Community Name and New Logo

After determining your target market and your community’s strengths that will appeal to that market, you’ll want to create a new community name and logo. While this may seem daunting, it can actually be turned into a fun crowd-sourcing contest!  

For example, host a contest asking either current residents, property management staff or even both for their suggestions on a new property name with a prize of $200 cash or gift card. This will allow your community to get involved and invested in the new property identity so they are as excited as you for the new brand.

Encourage those brainstorming names to keep it simple and easy for most people to spell. Anything too complicated will make it hard for your target market to remember. You’ll also want to research the area for main street names or natural attractions that may coincide with the new community name.

Once you have names narrowed down, you’ll want to do a city search to make sure that name isn’t already take by another community in the area or there’s not another community with a similar name.

After finalizing the new community name, you’ll want to create a new logo to reflect the name and property identity. It all should flow and make sense for the property location, target market, and community strengths.

Update Marketing Materials

You’ll next want to update all your marketing materials to reflect the new branding. This includes all your brochures, letterhead, floor plans and even your online presence. This includes updating your website as well as your social media accounts.

When it comes to your website, you’ll want to make sure there is no overlap between your new URL and your old URL.

Update Signage with New Logo Design

Along with updating all your marketing materials, you’ll need to update your signage! This includes your monument sign(s), building signs, parking signs, exterior amenity signs, as well as any other signs on your property.

Two of our go-to firms to help with both your new logo and your signage are Fource Communications and Dodd Creative. Both of these are nationwide creative firms based in Dallas, TX and we’ve worked with both on several projects.

Dodd Creative actually created the Modern Gem Design logo and Fource Communications help with new logos and signage packages for most of the properties in our portfolio. Needless to say, we’d highly recommend them for any rebranding and signage needs.

Update your Community’s Amenities

And last but not least, you’ll want to finish off the property rebrand by updating your community’s amenities to reflect the new brand. This will include:

  • Exterior Paint
  • Clubhouse/Leasing Center
  • Business Center
  • Model Unit Furnishings/Artwork/Décor/Paint
  • Fitness Center
  • Pool Furniture

It’s important to note that while it is important to consider a rebrand if your property or properties need it, it is a long-term commitment that requires patience and perseverance. It requires a lot of coordination between various teams and moving pieces that need to work and flow together. It often takes about 12 – 18 months before the total transformation comes to fruition. However, at the completion of the property rebranding, you will have a fresh new look to help attract your target market and boost your bottom line.

If you are interested in rebranding your property or portfolio of properties and need some assistance, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

Part 2: How to Select an Exterior Paint Scheme for Your Multifamily Property

Choosing the right exterior paint color scheme not only provides an updated, fresh look to your property but will also help drive traffic to your leasing office by enhancing the curb appeal and giving your property a pop that competitors may not have.  In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the essential factors to consider when painting the exterior of your multifamily property (like your demographic, competitors and building types to name a few), now we’re exploring how to go about choosing the right color scheme for your property.

Consider the Surface that will be Painted  

The type of surface you plan to paint will determine the type of paint you will need to use. Is the surface wood? Masonite? Vinyl? Aluminum? Brick? Depending on what material the surface is made up of, you will have to choose accordingly to enhance the appearance of the paint color on that surface, and also to avoid any deterioration of the paint or materials over time. The same exact paint color will look very different on different surface types.

Make sure to refer to your contractors and paint suppliers as experts in choosing the correct paint type for each specific surface.

Factor in Other Property Elements  

When choosing paint colors, factor in existing or new landscaping in your color palette.  You will want to choose colors that complement the landscaping rather than clash to create a cohesive, harmonious look.

If you have vibrant, bright colored flowers, you will want to choose a more neutral paint scheme with complimentary colors. A palette like our Pebbles & Ash color scheme would work well.

For a more natural setting of green, you can pick something with a little more pop to it like our Perfect Oasis color scheme

Your roof, chimneys, and parking lot are all areas that will not be painted but should definitely play a role in your color choices. For exteriors that are partial stone, choose a color that will enhance this feature and create harmony. 

For exteriors that are partial brick, you may want to consider painting the brick depending on the current condition and color of the brick. If you decide to not paint the brick, you will need to choose a color scheme that compliments the brick exterior as well.

Canyon Grove is a good example of a property where we had to tie in the existing brick siding as well as existing natural stone architectural accents with the new exterior color scheme. As you can see, the existing brick siding is a cool toned reddish brick with accent speckles of white and gray tones. The exterior of the leasing office/clubhouse has natural stone that is more warm toned but also has white and grays that we were able to enhance by choosing the right exterior color scheme. Being able to pull out the same hidden color tones in both the brick and the stone allowed us the tie everything together.

We decided to color block the paint job by alternating two different main siding colors by building. Color blocking is a great way to give some additional depth to an exterior paint scheme on a large property while showcasing two separate main body colors. I like to mix it up by alternating a bolder color with a more neutral color but with similar strength and intensity of color.

Fade Resistant Colors

Make sure you choose exterior paint colors that will fair well through weather and sun exposure. Dark colors, like red, may fade to pink and blacks to grays. Choosing the right colors as well as the type of paint used will allow for longer times between exterior paint jobs.

Mockups

Always test the colors on the buildings before making a decision. I always create 3 color schemes and test 3 color schemes. Once they are approved, I have the contractors do “mockups” where they put the colors up on a large span of a building with each of the 3 schemes next to each other. This area of the building must have good lighting in order to properly view the colors and visualize the finished product. After the first round of mockups, it’s easier to make a decision on which color scheme(s) will look best for your property or make any necessary changes to the schemes if needed.

Brand Recommendation

When choosing exterior paint, I personally prefer to have our contractors purchase from Sherwin Williams. They have excellent customer service with responsive representatives in every city no matter how small the market, which many other paint suppliers like Glidden do not have. Sherwin Williams will also create paint renderings of the selected colors on the buildings at no additional cost. Another factor other suppliers like Benjamin Moore do not offer is an “affordable” line of paint that is conducive to larger exterior multifamily paint projects. Because of these factors, Sherwin Williams is always our go-to for exterior paints.

Taking the time to consider all the factors in choosing the right exterior color scheme is essential in successfully updating the exterior of your multifamily property. When done properly, a fresh, new look will help keep current residents longer as well as fill any vacant units much more quickly. If you are ready to update your color scheme but feel like you need a little help in choosing the right color palette for your property, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.