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!

6 Upgrades to Welcome Summer at Your Multifamily Property

Not only are the Summer months made for long vacations, cookouts, and days spent outside in the sun but they’re also peak rental season! Make sure your property is prepared for all of the summer fun so both your current residents have outdoor spaces to enjoy and your future residents will be jumping at the chance to rent from you. Here are some upgrades to consider for your outdoor spaces:

Fire Pit or Fireplace

Adding a fire pit or building an outdoor fireplace can be a great way to add a cozy feel to your outdoor space for residents. It’s a great way for families to come together for a smores night or it allows for a romantic evening by the fire for couples. A little fun for everyone!  Not only will residents enjoy this during the summer months but since it acts as a heating unit, they can enjoy the feature beyond the season when the evenings are cooler.

Grilling Area or Outdoor Kitchen

Summer is all about cookouts and get togethers and since it’s against fire codes to allow residents to have grills on balconies, making sure they have a community cooking area is a great addition to your outdoor space. This cooking area can be simple with a built-in grill or two with some comfortable patio seating, or you can take it to the next level by including other features like a sink for food prep, burners for additional cooking, or even a pizza oven!

Pool Area

If you have a pool area, an easy and affordable way to give this area a fresh look is by updating the furniture. New lounge chairs, tables, and even umbrellas can give this area an instant facelift!

Looking to bring a more resort-style vibe to your property? Consider adding cabanas and hammocks for residents to lounge in. This gives residents a more relaxed environment to lounge during the day or evening with a book or cocktail. Residents will feel like they’ve been whisked away on a mini vacation!

Sports Area

Not all residents want to lounge around during the summer months. For your more active residents, consider installing some sports areas like a beach volleyball pit or a tennis court. These areas will add value to your property whether your community is primarily families with children, young adults or even older adults. Be sure to also have some seating and shaded areas for resting between activities!

Patio Heaters

Patio heaters are a great addition to your outside community areas, especially if your property is located in an area that tends to get cooler in the evenings. With plenty of heating options available, you can easily find one or more to fit your property’s needs. This will allow your residents to enjoy your outdoor community areas into the evenings and long after Summer has passed.

Outdoor Cinema

Is there anything better than an outdoor movie in the summer? With portable pull-down screen options, you can easily set up an outdoor movie on a lawn, near the cabanas, or on the beach volleyball pit! If you’re looking for a more permanent option, consider adding an outdoor TV with some comfortable seating for residents to use at any time.

The longer summer days are the perfect opportunity to showcase these new amenities to your residents. They’ll be inviting guests to your property in no time, giving you the opportunity to woo their friends and family members as well.

If you’re interested in adding some new outdoor amenities this summer and need some help, contact us today!

How Your Finishes Can Help Elevate Your Property

When renovating your multifamily property, no detail is too small including your finishes! Upgrading sink fixtures, drawer or cabinet pulls, and backsplash tiles can help elevate your property further during your renovation. Today we’re exploring trends and finish upgrade options that you can incorporate into your design to elevate your property that will allow you to charge a premium price.

When making renovations, the kitchen and bathroom are two places renters look for updated features and where they see the value in the unit. Here are some features you may want to consider updating:

  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Backsplash
  • Hardware Finishes
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Lighting Fixtures


While having granite or quartz countertops can attract renters willing to pay a high premium for your units, an inexpensive way to get the “wow” factor without replacing your countertops is by resurfacing them. You can opt for a smooth single color glossy finish, pick from several predesigned or design your own tri or quad colored speckled finish in gloss or matte.

Looking for a countertop specialist? In the DFW area, we use “The Option Company” based in Carrolton, TX. They have the best quality products with the best warranties on their products at competitive pricing. They are super easy to work with and we can’t recommend them enough! Contact David Pimenta at (972) 466-4116.


Consider installing a hard floor option for the wet areas and the living/dining room areas and only installing carpet for the bedrooms. This helps open up the space when you do this. However, in apartments, this can be loud for downstairs neighbors in older buildings so in those cases, you may want to only do hard floors for the first floor apartments only.

If you opt for hard floors, you may want to consider one of these trendy options:

  • Wood laminate plank: This is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product that is specifically designed to give the appearance of real wood at a fraction of a cost.
  • Luxury vinyl: This is a new category of flooring that combines the high-end look of hardwood with the durability of vinyl while still looking like real wood.


Updating the backsplash in your units is a great way to quickly elevate your property’s unit. While subway tiles and other simple patterns are looked at as timeless designs, you might want to consider trying something different. You can do this by trying a unique pattern or by using a different material -- such as metal or wood. By trying something a little outside of the box, you will give your residents something to consider that is different than your competition. Some backsplash ideas you may want to consider include:

Plumbing & Hardware Fixtures

Changing the hardware on your cabinetry and plumbing fixtures can really add the finishing touch on your bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Consider skipping the usual nickel or brass and opt for something more on-trend like gold, copper or an updated finish. Hammered finishes are set to be popular for 2017 continuing the trend of modern industrial and could be a great touch for your design. Another desired feature renters find value in that you may want to consider for your cabinets and drawers are soft-close options.

Lighting Fixtures

Another feature you should take into consideration while making renovations is your lighting fixtures. Lighting is often a feature that can date a multifamily property so if you are renovating an older property this is one area that can help bring a modern touch. Residents are attracted to well-lit spaces so it’s important that your finishes and fixtures provide this whenever possible.

No matter how big or small the renovation you are planning for your property, attention to detail during your project can have lasting effects. If you are considering a project and would like to maximize your ROI in the New Year, contact us today!

2017 Multifamily Property Trends

As we come to the end of 2016, it’s time to say goodbye to some outdated trends and hello to some exciting new advancements in the multifamily property industry. It’s also a great time to take a look at your property to see where you can make improvements, analyze your renovations budget, and decide where you’d like to invest your efforts. Part of this is looking to the future to see if there are new trends you should consider implementing in your property. So let’s talk about some trends to consider for the New Year!

Color Trends

While you may not want to change your paint colors every year, a fresh coat of paint when needed is one of the easiest ways to keep your property updated. Keeping the color scheme in a more neutral palette is always a great idea to create an inviting atmosphere that future residents can imagine themselves in. However, consider adding a bolder accent wall to provide some dimension to the room as well.

Modern Gem Design Blog :: 2017 Multifamily Property Trends

If you’re in the market for a fresh coat of paint, we’d suggest looking at Sherwin Williams’ 2017 Color of the Year, Poised Taupe. The neutral color offers a cozy, welcoming environment that both your current and future residents will love. In addition to this warm neutral, Sherwin Williams also sees a number of other color combinations to be used along with a taupe palette. Check out their color combination predictions and let us know which is your favorite. (Ours is the Yellow POP combo!) 

Green Property

Another improvement you may want to consider for your property is going green. A new report by Freddie Mac found that more renters were concerned with rising utility costs than rising rents. According to the report, 88% of participants agreed that multifamily properties with energy- and water-saving features would help reduce their utility bills, with 84% saying green properties are generally better places to live. Nearly half of those said they would actually be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly rental. 

Considering these findings, it may be a perfect time to start implementing more environmentally friendly options into your property in 2017 if you haven’t already. Not only will it provide energy-savings for your residents but also for you as a property owner. You will also be giving your property a competitive advantage over other multifamily properties in your area that have not yet implemented green technology allowing you to charge a premium.


Bike rooms are quickly becoming a must-have amenity for multifamily properties. As U.S. cities become more bike friendly and people become more health-conscious and environmentally friendly, properties are starting to carve out space to create bike rooms to fit their residents interests and needs. This allows residents a safe place to store their bikes so they don’t have to get creative with their storage solutions in their own homes. If you want to step it up a notch, you may want to outfit the room with security cameras, secure access, tire pumps, and equipment lockers.

Modern Gem Design Blog :: 2017 Multifamily Property Trends

Bike rooms may not be the only amenity you’d like to integrate into your property but it is definitely something to consider for 2017 and beyond!

While you may not implement all of these trends in 2017, they are important to consider for your future renovations. These will help increase your occupancy and your bottom line, which is exactly what we want!

If you’re interesting in discussing how to implement any of these or other trends, 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!


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.