Renovations to Consider for Micro or Small Apartments

Ben Jacobsen/Northeast Collaborative Architects

Ben Jacobsen/Northeast Collaborative Architects

Often times, apartments in metro areas may be a little more compact than suburban options. Location, location, location right? Just because your units may be small in square footage doesn’t mean that they can’t have mass appeal. With a little creativity, you can optimize the space so your residents can still have everything they desire. Here are some suggestions for renovations you can make to maximize the space available and help keep your property at max capacity.

Multi-Purpose Uses

When you’re living in a small space, often rooms take on multiple purposes. Something you can do to maximize the space is offer flexible design elements like a rolling kitchen island or dining table or a murphy bed. By utilizing these options, tenants can turn the kitchen island into a work area when the bed is put away or use it for other uses. The key is to create a space that is flexible and easy to adjust based on your tenant’s needs at the time.

Smart Storage Options

Storage options can be really tricky when you’re upgrading a small space. This is often a major concern for people when it comes to a small space. When thinking about upgrades that will appeal to tenants, consider smart storage options like built-in shelving and cabinets. By showing them the options that have been built-in, you will be able to help them visualize where they could keep all of their belongings.

Another option to consider for your property is offering communal options like a storage room or bike room. These are other features that will immediately relieve any stress over not having enough room for belongings.

Compact Appliances

Compact appliances can be a great way to maximize the kitchen space available. By cutting down on full size refrigerators or ovens, you may also be able to upgrade the spaces to include modern amenities like dishwashers that are more standard in suburban rentals. Another great option is designing a kitchen space with a built-in microwave. In small kitchens, finding space for a microwave can be tricky since countertop space is often small and you also don’t want to block off one of the few cabinets.

Smart Privacy Options

Another way to maximize space for smaller units is by integrating features like pocket doors into rooms. This can help provide privacy options in between rooms without taking up precious space or worrying about a door blocking part of the room.

More than anything, the thing to keep in mind when it comes to upgrading small rental units is to do so thoughtfully. By creating a space that serves the needs of your tenants plus provides upgraded amenities not only will you have better luck filling vacancies at your property but your tenants will also be more likely to continue to rent with you. If you need help remodeling or making the most out of your units contact us today!

Using Social Media to Market your Multi-Family Property

Modern Gem Design :: Using Social Media to Market Your Multi-Family Property

In our last blog we talked all about how tech can help make your multi-family property more accessible in a digitally-driven world and today we’re going to take that a step further. Not only does having a strong web presence allow you to reach a wider audience and streamline your renter process, but you also have the opportunity to seek out your target audience directly! When you think about your website, people are generally landing on it from search results, your social media channels or word of mouth -- generally they’re coming to you. On the flipside, social media actually allows you to flip that concept on its side and allow you to seek out and engage directly with your target audience. Social media is so much more than just posting an update here or there and it has a lot of potential when it comes to targeting your audience when done strategically. Here are some tips to make it work for you.

Using Social Media to Network with Your Target Audience

As we mentioned, posting content that is relevant is one part of your social media strategy (and an important one too) but that’s not it! Something a lot of people miss out on with their strategies is actually engaging with others and if you’re just talking to yourself then social media isn’t all that social. So what should you do?

  • Join local Facebook groups: A great way to get in touch with people you think would be interested in renting at your property is going where they are active on social media. One great place to connect is Facebook Groups. There are groups for just about everything and a lot created around local communities. You’ll have to join these from a personal account, so before you start make sure your account is professional and representative of your property. Once you join, you’ll be able to engage with others posts and in conversation around local happenings. Plus, when people post that they are looking for a new place to live or recommendations, you will be able to chime in and let them know about your property.
  • Explore Instagram Hashtags: When you’re looking to network with locals, another way you can seek them out is by monitoring local hashtags. Instagram offers a great feature where you can also follow hashtags now too. Select a handful that are relevant to your audience and then take some time each day to look through them, engage on others’ content and follow others when you’d like to make a connection.

The thing to remember when using social media as a networking tool is that this component is focused on creating relationships. These efforts are more focused on being informational and engaging with others rather than spamming others with ads for your property. This is all about long-term success and increasing your awareness from all angles.

Creating Approachable Content

When it comes to the content on your social media, strive to create content that is educational, interesting and approachable. As we talked about above, when it comes to monitoring hashtags, make sure you’re also optimizing your content by using applicable hashtags that people might use to find your account. People want to connect with other people on social media so make sure your posts are personable! When you highlight new upgrades, don’t just post a photo of them. Showcase someone enjoying them or provide a real-life example on why the feature is so great in the caption. You can also use video content to your benefit by:

  • Doing full walkthroughs of new units available
  • Interviewing the lease managers on the process or their favorite things about the property
  • Showcasing community events
  • Highlighting new amenities and upgrades

We’ve talked about how important it is to showcase that your property provides more than just a home, but a community and your social media is the perfect place to do so.

Give Them a Reason to Follow You

Another important thing to consider when it comes to your networking or content strategy is to make sure you give others an ongoing reason to follow you. You want more than just people to find your accounts when they are looking for a new place to live. Instead, you want appeal to people who are looking for a new place to live, your current tenants, plus those who may want to live at your property in the future. It’s all about finding a balance and a great way to do that is mix up your content. Instead of just posting about your property, try showcasing different articles about things going on in your city, top picks for restaurants and bars, or even local history. By mixing up your content your social media footprint will be more than just a marketing tool, it will be about being an influential voice and valued part of the community. As you increase your community and influence, you also expand the awareness of your property which can also benefit your bottom line which is a win win if you ask us.

3 Improvements To Help With Renter Retention

Whether you’re at full capacity at your multifamily property or not, the age old question is always how do you keep your residents happy so they continually renew their lease? This isn’t something to start thinking about right before the renewal process either. This should be an ongoing process that starts with the initial lease signing and should be on the forefront of the management staff’s mind. Here are three improvements you can focus on to help with renter retention:

Tailor Amenities to Renters’ Needs

Each property in your portfolio is different and most likely requires different amenities to cater to your residents’ needs. A lot of this will depend on your property’s location, resident demographics, and culture but adding niche amenities could be key to not only attracting new residents but maintaining renter retention. When the amenities satisfy your tenant’s needs, then they are less likely to look elsewhere when their leases end. Some examples of niche amenities you might want to consider include:

Modern Gem Design :: 3 Improvements to Help With Renter Retention
  • Pet washing and grooming stations
  • Community garden
  • Bike share or bike room
  • Rooftop lounge
  • Yoga space

Build a Community

Your community is just that… a community. Helping to build that community for your residents will make their apartments feel more like homes instead of just a temporary rental. When residents feel at home and like they belong in your community, they will tend to stay much longer. You can provide this sense of community both in-person and online for your residents.

A great way to do this is by utilizing your social media accounts. By doing so, you can share property information, provide customer service for residents, and give your current and potential tenants a sense of what is happening around the community in real time. It also provides the opportunity for residents to share their own photos, stories, and experiences which helps them connect with other residents and provides valuable feedback for you and future residents.

Hosting monthly events for your residents is also a great idea to help cultivate community in-person as well. You can host holiday gatherings, bring a food truck or another activity to your property to show your appreciation, and invite your residents to bring their friends and family members along to these activities. This not only welcomes your residents to the community and shows your appreciation but it also gives them an opportunity to meet others in the community.

Maintain Your Property

This may seem like a no brainer but your residents want to live in a community that is well cared for all year. This helps provide them with a beautiful, enjoyable environment to live in, which improves their overall quality of life.

If your property is located somewhere with different seasons, make sure the walkways, streets and parking areas are free of ice and snow during the winter months. In the summer, maintain the lawn and other landscaping. This will allow residents to enjoy the shared outdoor spaces as well as their own private patios and balconies if your property has them.

Most importantly, make sure you respond to any maintenance requests in a timely fashion. This is one of the best ways to keep your residents happy with your property. If something breaks or isn’t working properly in a unit, the last thing a resident wants is to wait for it to be fixed. Your residents will be appreciative of a timely response and help set you apart from other properties.

These improvements are fairly easy to start implementing in your community if you haven’t already but the biggest thing to remember is to ask for and listen to any feedback you receive from residents. If there is a continued trend in feedback it might be time to really consider some changes to keep residents happy.

If you need help implementing these changes or renovating your property, contact us today!

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Design Renovation Firm

Renovating or rebranding can be a major undertaking but hiring a design renovation firm can make the process much easier. They can help by taking the lead on the project, managing the logistics and coming to you only when they need feedback or final decisions on the design and other details. Not only will they handle creating the design for you, but they’ll also help with the coordination of contractors and vendors and keeping the project on time and on budget. Everything you need to make sure your renovation runs smoothly! But not all design renovation firms are created equal.

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when it comes to choose the design renovation firm you hire:

Their Design Style

Every designer has a different design style so you want to make sure you find a firm that either matches your style or matches the vision you have for your property. Their portfolio will highlight the past work they’ve done so you can see what their style is and if it fits with your overall vision for your property.

The next step you’d take is having a conversation with potential firms. This is your opportunity to share what you are looking for and then you’ll be able to see if they’re a good fit. Do you mesh well with their team? Do they understand your vision? This conversation will give you a really good idea if they’re the right fit for your property.

Their Capabilities/Role

So you know their design style matches what you’re looking for, but do they offer the services you need? When it comes to renovations for a multifamily property, there are a multitude of projects that can be done. Some properties just need a fresh coat of exterior paint while some need staging for a model unit and others need a full renovation of the rental units. Most firms will offer all of these but make sure they actually have experience with each facet of your renovation.

Connections with Contractors and Vendors

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a design renovation firm is their connections. Design renovation firms often have a list of trusted contractors and vendors they work with on a regular basis. We suggest asking about the contractors and vendors they work with in your area. This way you can start to get a better idea of how this process will work and you can do a little research into these connections prior to hiring a firm. This way you can ensure that your property is in the best hands possible throughout the entire renovation process.

References

Always ask for references. Their portfolio should not be enough in selling you on any given firm. Their work may be beautiful but it may be very difficult to work with him or they may have gone over the timeline, etc. Digging into references can help offset any of these concerns. You can ask for references from past properties and/or contractors or vendors to get a well-rounded idea of what it would be like to work with that firm.

And there you have it! Four things to consider in your search for a renovation design firm for your multifamily property. Taking your time to vet prospective firms and building a trusting relationship will help ensure a successful renovation process for your property.

Looking for some assistance with your renovations? Contact us today to learn more.

Tips for a Smooth Multifamily Property Renovation

Renovating your multifamily property can not only allow you to increase the value of your property but can also increase your rental rates, which is always an attractive idea for property owners. Not only that but it can also help you attract your ideal tenants, and improve renter retention. That being said, renovation projects are not a small feat and it can be easy to get in over your head quickly with projects if you aren’t careful. There is a lot of planning involved and you want to make sure your project goes as smoothly as possible. This will not only help stay on budget but will also keep from disturbing current residents. Here is some advice to consider:

Focus on Renovations with High Return on Investment

When it comes to renovations, getting a high return on your investment is often top of mind. Depending on your per unit renovation budget, you will want to be selective of the upgrades that you make. For example, gut-renovations and changing the layout of apartments is much more costly than changing paint colors and upgrading the finishes throughout. It’s important to identify renovations that will have a high impact for your tenants while staying within your budget.

Another important piece of advice is to make sure that you don’t over-renovate. Before you begin any renovation project it is very important to be aware of your market and comparable units in the area. A costly mistake can be investing more into a property than you will be able to get back through rental rates.

Plan for the Unexpected

As with any renovation project, when you begin construction there is always the chance that something will go wrong. Whether that is unexpected expenses or a drawn-out timeline, it’s best to have a plan in effect to account for different scenarios. It is also very important that you do your research on the contractors and companies you work with on the renovation so that you are very clear on who is responsible if any issues should come up.

Don’t Forget Amenities, Curb Appeal, and Model Unit Renovations

Beyond unit renovations, don’t forget about renovations to your leasing office, clubhouse, property maintenance and amenities. This is especially important if you will be doing your renovations in phases while tenants are living on property. During construction, it is important to try and keep current tenants happy and excited about the improvements, while also capturing the interest of new tenants. Improving the curb appeal of your property with exterior paint and landscaping can be a great way to improve your property. Upgrading the amenities you offer or adding new ones can also be a big selling point for tenants.

Hire a Professional

Renovation projects can easily become overwhelming and hiring an expert, like Modern Gem, who specializes in multifamily properties can put your mind at ease. They can take most of the project off your plate coming to you when decisions and details need to be made. They’ll also handle coordination with trusted-contractors so you know your property is in good hands. This way you can make sure your project goes smoothly from beginning to end.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact us.