Energy Efficiency Renovations to Consider for Your Multifamily Property

Photo: Best Buy

Photo: Best Buy

Now that we are in the middle of the summer, there is one thing that is on a lot of our minds… the summer heat! Depending on where you live in the country the summer temperatures can take a toll -- not only on your tenants but on your budgets and HVAC systems. If you live somewhere with a warmer climate all year, this may not be just a seasonal issue either. No matter where you live though, the heat is top of mind for many property owners so today we’re going to share some tips for renovations you can implement that will end up saving energy and ultimately money.

Making Sure Your Property has Proper Sealing and Insulation

If your property isn’t insulated or sealed properly you’re throwing money right out the window! One of the best ways to save energy expenses is by making sure everything is sealed so that when tenants use their air conditioners the air doesn’t just escape. Something to consider is having your maintenance crew inspect your property and units prior to the summer to make sure doors, windows, siding and any attic spaces are insulated and free of gaps. You can fill any spaces with weather stripping, caulking or expanding foam sealants. This is an easy and generally inexpensive fix that will make a big difference.

Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances

A sure way to reduce energy expenses at your property is to upgrade in energy efficient appliances. This is a more costly investment upfront, but newer appliances can save you upwards of 15% on your cooling bills -- giving you a big ROI over the long-term. Another option to consider are smart and programmable thermostats. This will allow your tenants to have more control over when their units will be cooled instead of leaving it on while they are not home.

Use LED Lighting

This isn’t necessarily just an issue in the summer, but switching your lighting to LED lighting can also make a dramatic difference on your electricity bill. In fact, did you know LEDs use 84% less energy per bulb than traditional incandescent bulbs? Not only that but they also last up to 25 times longer that traditional light bulbs which can help relieve pressure on your HVAC systems. Doing so is another upfront investment, but one that will help decrease maintenance requests as well.

As you can see, there are several upgrades you can make to your property that will not only keep tenants happy but will also reduce your costs. Always a great combination if you ask us! Interested in including any of these options into renovations for your multifamily property? Contact us today and we can help you create a plan.

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!

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.