Business plan

Management by Example: The AFI “Air Mattress” Policy

Leadership is commonly defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. However, commonly published leadership author, Warren G. Bennis, ventures that being a “Leader” is more complex than simply having “Followers.” “Leadership is having the capacity to translate vision into reality” (Forbes, 2013).

Who then, by Bennis’ definition, can qualify as a leader? Someone who simply barks orders and demands that his or will is implemented without a second thought? Or perhaps it is the individual that aligns their subordinates under the common goal or mission of that person/organization? Forbes.com identifies the following traits that almost all successful leaders possess in one capacity or another (Forbes, 2017):

  1. Effective Communication – Leaders can clearly and succinctly explain to their teams everything from an organization’s long-term goals, to specific tasks or duties.
  2. Accountability & Responsibility – An effective leader must take responsibility for their own mistakes/shortcomings and encourage team members to do the same while driving towards constant improvement.
  3. Team Building – Successful leadership is dependent upon the people a leader can bring around them and align in the direction of a mutually beneficial goal.

AFI is responsible for the onsite operations of thousands of units across the country and effectively manages these assets through the implementation of a lean manufacturing model. Therefore, ensuring that the skills/resources necessary to effectively manage hundreds of individuals remotely are readily available is of the utmost importance. Often, one-on-one, in-person, and individualized instruction/guidance has no substitute.  

Some advantages of onsite, in-person mentorship are:

  1. Outside Perspective – Without being physically present onsite at the asset from time to time, it can be easy to misunderstand or underestimate the magnitude of work onsite teams may be completing or issues they may be facing.
  2. Task Importance – By spending a few days (or even a few weeks) to work with the management team at the property, we assure our onsite staff that their work is not just important, but critical to the continued realization of our company’s Mission, Prospering All Stakeholders.
  3. SUPPORT – Sometimes onsite teams just need help. An extra set of hands a few days a month has proven to make a big difference to team morale and performance.

We believe the willingness to physically travel and be present where needed, when needed, is an obligation of AFI as the property operator and should not result in a significant addition to incurred expenses at the asset. To that end, AFI REFUSES to incur hotel charges and instead lodges onsite in a vacant unit whenever visiting (often sleeping on air mattresses). Everyone from our Interns, to company Leaders/Executives understands the importance of providing support and leadership to onsite teams whenever needed and minimizing costs all along the way.

References:

Kruse, Kevin. “What is Leadership?” Forbes, 9 Apr. 2013,                www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/#1b31f0395b90

Patel, Deep. “11 Powerful Traits of Successful Leaders.” Forbes, 22 Mar. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/deeppatel/2017/03/22/11-powerful-traits-of-successful-leaders/#5e2b412a469f

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Preparing for Winter in Apartment Communities.

Warm fires, cozy sweaters, fast-approaching holidays, and delicious baked treats may all be things that come to mind when you think of the Winter season! However, for apartment complex Managers and Property Owners alike, the change to chillier weather can also bring about some seasonal issues that can prove catastrophic if not adequately prepared for. While heavy snowfall and severe Winter storms may top the list, items such as slip and fall hazards and frozen pipes need to be taken just as seriously.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average hospital cost of a slip and fall accident is more than $30,000. (Kutner, 2016). The Snow and Ice Management Association goes on to state that snow-related slip and fall accidents can cost between $33,000 and $48,000 on average (Melchior, 2016). Labor for repairing or thawing a frozen pipe can easily amount to a few hundred dollars with totals reaching as much as $15,000 when/if damages are severe enough to result in the need for a new plumbing system (Fixr.com, 2020).

PropertyWare.com has provided the following tips to help all operators prepare communities for Winter weather which will hopefully help avoid these types of issues all together (PropertyWare.com, 2020):

  1. Prepare for Snow & Ice Removal – It is CRITICAL to regularly check weather forecasts during winter months to appropriately prepare for any imminent/severe snowfall.
    • Are you and your Maintenance Team appropriately equipped with the necessary tools for shoveling/scrapping sidewalks?
    • Has your snow removal vendor been contacted in advance to ensure your community is on schedule for service as early in the morning as possible?
  2. APPROPRIATELY Apply Ice-Melt – Ice-melt is a must-have during Winter and is one of the easiest ways to try and prevent slip and fall accidents
    • Biggest Mistake, NOT USING IT! Applying ice-melt regardless of whether the property has been cleared/shoveled allows for ice that exists underneath the snow to be rendered obsolete.
    • Second Biggest Mistake, USING TOO MUCH! Overusing ice melt can lead to the product being unnecessarily tracked into various facilities which can also result in slip and fall accidents. Ice-melt can also burn vegetation beneath or around where the product is used.
  3. Watch Your Pipes – Outdoor pipes/sprinkler systems should have the water shut-off and be completed drained prior to the first freeze of the season.
    • Vacant units should be set to 55F with all faucets left dripping to avoid any build-up.
    • Tenants should be encouraged to leave cabinets with piping underneath (kitchen sink, bathroom vanity, etc.) open to allow for improved airflow.

Now is the right time to prepare for the possibility of severe Winter weather. DO NOT WAIT! Let us keep the well-being of our residents, staff, families, and onsite contractors at the forefront of our minds and have a safe holiday season!

References:

“11 Ways to Get Your Rental Properties Ready for Winter.” www.PropertyWare.com, PropertyWare, www.propertyware.com/blog/11-ways-to-get-your-rental-properties-ready-for-winter/

“2020 Burst Pipe Repair Cost .” www.fixr.com, FIXr.com, www.fixr.com/costs/burst-pipe-repair

Kutner, Adam S. “10 Facts & Statistics About Slip & Fall Accidents.” www.askadamskutner.com, Adam S. Kutner – Attorney At Law, www.askadamskutner.com/slip-and-fall/10-facts-statistics-slip-fall-           accidents/

Melchior, George. “Snow Bias.” www.sima.org, Snow & Ice Management Association, 29 Apr. 2016, www.sima.org/news2/2016/04/29/snow-bias

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AFI Curb Appeal Standards: Lawn Aeration & Over-Seeding

What are a few things that come to mind when someone first thinks of “Winter?” Chilly weather, warm fireplaces, or possibly more forward-looking to the start of the holiday season? How about ensuring that your lawn receives proper aeration and over-seeding before the end of September?

While not necessarily the first thing on someone’s mind, this process may in fact be one of the most important things that any Homeowner (or Property Manager) has completed prior to the first frost of the year. Aeration and over-seeding can help ensure that a community’s landscaping survives the harshest of Winters and is adequately prepared to look better than ever in the Spring and Summer months.

So, if such a critical component to a robust landscaping schedule, then what exactly IS aeration and over-seeding?

Aeration is a process that mechanically removes plugs of soil and deposits them on the top of the surface. As these cores break down, the surrounding soil, now relieved of compaction, will allow oxygen to fill in the holes. At this time, it is most beneficial to over-seed your lawn with the most desirable blends of turf grass (Spring-Green.com). According to the Kansas State University Research and Extension Center, “The arrival of September with the milder conditions helps revive the summer stressed turf which naturally wants to grow and thrive. Therefore, it is important we give the grass what it needs to fully recover from the stress of summer (johnson.k-state.edu).

LawnCare.org provides five benefits Residential Property Owners and Managers alike should see immediately as a result of properly aerating and over-seeding (lawncare.org).

  1. Reduction in the compact nature of the soil underlay in the lawn
  2. Improved drainage along with a decreased amount of runoff
  3. Alleviation in damages caused by droughts
  4. Limits the development of thatch (loose and intermingled organic layer of dead shoots, stems, and roots)
  5. Allows for improved flow of air, water, and other nutrients directly into the roots’ system

Who does not love the feeling of soft grass between their toes or the sight of families enjoying a lush yard? AFI recommends consulting with your property’s preferred landscaper to discuss the best aeration and over-seeding schedule before outside temperatures drop too low!

References:

“Aeration & Overseeding.” Spring-Green.com, Spring-Green, www.spring-green.com/service/aeration-and-overseeding/#:~:text=Aeration%20is%20a%20process%20that,will%20fill%0in%20the%20holes

“September: Time to Core Aerate Cool Season Lawn.” Johnson.k-state.edu, Kansas State University Research and Extension, www.johnson.k-state.edu/lawn-garden/agent-articles/lawns/september-core-aerate.html#:~:text=September%20is%20a%20good%20time,of%20a%20healthy%20maintenance%20program.&text=Core%20aeration%20is

“Lawn Aerating.” LawnCare.org, www.lawncare.org, 24 Sept. 2011, www.lawncare.org/lawn-aerating/

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SPLASH! Pool Safety & Opening Guidelines.

The sun is starting to shine and many cities and states across the country are beginning to loosen restrictions put in place following the outbreak of COVID-19. A hot topic on many renters’ minds post Memorial Day weekend may be, “when will my community pool be open?” According to ApartmentGuide.com, a swimming pool is one of the top three community amenities prospective renters look for when considering a new apartment complex (Lloyd, 2019).

However, improper maintenance of a property’s pool on a consistent basis throughout the year can turn a community oasis, into an area of concern for Property Owners. Through years of experience and utilization of various resources, AFI is proud to maintain lively pool areas to the delight of our onsite teams and residents!

  • Preparing the Pool:
    • In the offseason, the pool should always be drained, scrubbed clean, and covered with a tight-fitting pool tarp.
    • Once ready to open, the tarp should be removed and stored in a dry location before draining any remaining water from the empty pool, cleaning again, and repainting if needed.
    • With the area clean and debris-free, we are now ready to fill the pool!
  • Checking Chemical Levels:
    • With the pool now filled, it is important to make sure the following chemicals are added and balanced appropriately.
      • pH Level
      • Alkalinity
      • Available Chlorine
      • Calcium Hardness
    • In most areas, a sample of the pool water can be brought to you local water department for a quick test and advisement on how to improve the quality of your pool water.
    • Once all chemical levels are within appropriate margins, city inspector will need to examine the pool area and sign off that it is ready for use.
  • Final Steps:
    • Before opening the pool, Property Manager should ensure that the pool rules are prominently displayed and that the pool phone is operational.
    • Manager/Maintenance Team should continue to inspect chemical levels at least once per week.
    • ENJOY!

Whether you enjoy lounging around at your local swimming hole, or prefer another form of relaxation, AFI hopes all our stakeholders enjoy these summer months and remain safe!

References:

How to Open Your Pool in Spring (2020). In www.lesliespool.com. Retrieved from https://www.lesliespool.com/blog/how-to-open-your-pool-in-the-spring/

Lloyd, K. (2019, August 27). Most Popular Apartment Amenities List. In www.apartmentguide.com. Retrieved from https://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/apartment-amenities-list-2017/

V, A. (2015, May 26). How to Open Your Swimming Pool. In www.inyopools.com. Retrieved from http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/how_to_open_your_swimming_pool_spring_start_up_in_ground_.aspx

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Safety: Reality or Perception?

The mission of Alexander Forrest is to Prosper All Stakeholders. “Prosperity” is defined as, “the condition of being successful or thriving.” While clearly defined, “prosperity” differs from person to person. Some may feel a sense of success from being promoted at work, receiving praise from a friend or loved one, or maybe even simply making it through a challenging day. The AFI team believes that in order to prosper, in order to feel successful, one must first feel safe.

AFI acknowledges that the tenants residing at complexes we manage are in fact our stakeholders; therefore, it is our mission to ensure both their prosperity and safety. Thankfully, we are currently living in one of the safest times in our country’s history. An individual’s chances of being involved in a random crime are as low as they can be for a large, diverse society (Grohol, 2019).

Despite statistics, safety is more abstract and can be heavily influenced by one’s background and previous life experiences. What feels unsafe for one, may feel perfectly safe for another. Dr. Anita Zuberi notes perceptions of a lack of safety have an adverse effect on adolescents. “Feeling unsafe can lead to limited personal freedom, social isolation, and a lack of trust, while feeling safe is linked with positive general well-being (Zuberi, 2018).

AFI believes that our trained/certified Property Managers living on site at the property they manage instantly provides comfort to our tenants, and ensures that the community is a safe place for all who want a quiet location to enjoy their lives.

By living on site, AFI Managers have a greater sense of ownership for the property which they are responsible for and can quickly respond to serious issues. In addition to the benefits listed below from Appfolio.com that Owners experience, our Managers themselves also realize several advantages that living off site would not otherwise allow them (Miller, 2012):

Property Owners:

  • Interest in the Investment – Like Owners, On-site Managers are heavily invested in the community as any improvements or deficiencies also effect where they live.
  • On-The-Spot Service – Owners and residents alike should recognize the benefit of extra security/service that comes with a 24-hour On-site Manager.
  • Selling to Prospective Residents
    On-site Managers can best communicate the benefits of their property because they live there themselves!

Property Managers:

  • Increased Efficiency – AFI Managers save both time and money with full rent concession for living on site in addition to zero daily commute.
  • Increased Urgency – On site emergencies can be addressed quicker by AFI teams that are intimate with any issues.
  • Increased Trust – Have you ever had to try selling something you would not buy yourself? AFI Managers have not!

Owners, residents, and our Managers themselves all realize substantial benefits from living on site. Because trained, accountable staff are placed at the asset, AFI believes we are growing one step closer to realizing our mission of Prospering All Stakeholders.

  References:

Grohol, John M. “Feeling Unsafe in a Very Safe World.” www.psychcentral.com, Psych Central, 11 July, 2019, psychcentral.com/blog/feeling-unsafe-in-a-very-safe-world/.

Miller, Aimee. “Explaining the Advantages of On-Site Management To Owners.” www.appfolio.com, Appfolio Property Manager, www.appfolio.com/blog/2012/10/explaining-the-advantages-of-on-site-management-to-owners/.

Zuberi, Anita. “Feeling Safe in a Dangerous Place: Exploring the Neighborhood Safety Perceptions of Low-Income African American Youth.” Journal of Adolescnet Research, vol. 33, no. 1, 2018, pp. 90-116, doi:10.1177/0743558416684948.

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Forming Better Habits in 2020.

With 2020 officially underway, this is the time of year where we see various posts and news articles about, “New Year’s Resolutions.” For many, the start of a New Year can mean a blank slate or an opportunity to start over. However, did you know that fewer than one in every 10 million “resolutioners” will actually stick to their goal by year end (Knapton, 2019)?

The Harvard Business Review suggests that this is because too many people focus on big goals without considering the small steps that need to be taken along the way in order to make that goal a reality (Beard, 2019). For AFI, our goal remains the same as it has always been, “To Prosper All Stakeholders.” Some small steps AFI and our managed assets can take to achieve this goal may be things like:

  1. Collect rent faster on average each month than last year
  2. Continue to raise rents by a minimum of 3% Year-Over-Year
  3. Continue to decrease crime across the entire portfolio

What are your goals for 2020? What milestones are you going to set to ensure that you are not amongst the crowd that losses sight of their goals? AFI Onsite Managers are the tip of the spear when it comes to achieving the new year goals we have set for ourselves. Our role, and why so many individuals enjoy working with us, is to provide a strong support system for our Managers.

Showing support for someone can mean many different things. Forbes identifies one way of showing support as giving feedback in an honest and constructive way. It can be tempting to dance around issues rather than confront them in order to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation. As a leader or supervisor, this is a disservice to your employee as you are not allowing them the opportunity to learn and further develop themselves from the situation (Anderson, 2016).

Continuing to provide support for our onsite teams, no matter how many miles away from headquarters the asset may be, is how AFI will ensure we achieve our 2020 goals.

Anderson, Amy. “The Fastest Way to Achieve Success Is To First Help Others Succeed.”    www.Forbes.com, Forbes, 6 Jan. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2016/01/06/the-fastest-way-to-achieve-success-is-to-first-help-others-succeed/#288950ee79f9.

Beard, Alison. “The Right Way to Form New Habits.” www.harvardbusinessreview.org, Harvard Business Review, 31 Dec. 2019, hbr.org/ideacast/2019/12/the-right-way-to-form-new-habits.

Knapton, Sarah. “The science of how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.” www.telegraph.co.uk, The Telegraph, 2 Jan. 2020, www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/12/31/science-stick-new-years-resolutions/.

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Hiring Practices in Multifamily Housing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the US is currently 3.6%, the lowest it has been since 1969. Qualified job seekers will likely look at this news favorably, as it means many employers are having to increase wage offerings in order to attract top talent. However, to Property Owners, news of a thriving economy can be detrimental to an already struggling asset.

In terms of maximizing the profitability of an asset, the Property Manager plays one of the largest roles in implementing solutions to improve performance and effectuate change onsite. When a reliable and on-purpose individual is placed to oversee the property, Owners can feel more at ease with taking a step back and relying on their team to achieve the desired results. Unfortunately, when Owners find themselves working with an under-performing Manager, making a transition can be a difficult process.

Continuing to work with an underperforming Manager can appear to be a more appealing solution as various factors can make the search for a replacement quite difficult:

  1. Unqualified Candidates – Unemployment is at an all-time low meaning many employers are considering candidates that may not have the qualifications necessary to be successful in the position.
  2. High Competition – Again, unemployment is LOW; therefore, the candidates that are well-qualified are likely being sought after by many companies within the same industry.
  3. Hiring Budgets – As unemployment rates continue to drop, employers begin to face higher wage demands for qualified candidates that may simply not be able to be met.

Alexander Forrest Investments has designed and implemented a robust, transparent, and high yield hiring process that results in quick turn-around a placement of qualified Managers onto a property in our nationwide portfolio. This process consists of seven steps (sometimes more) that utilizes several filters ultimately resulting in a final decision matrix.

Should an applicant survive all filters, he or she will receive a full-time job offer to work for the owning entity of an AFI-Managed asset. This process is easily replicated across any role AFI could need to hire for and has given our team confidence in the ability to quickly identify high-quality candidates. 

Gipson, Jeff. “Hiring In 2019: The Struggles And The Solutions.” www.jamesallenco.com, JamesAllenCO.com, 3 May 2019, jamesallenco.com/hiring-in-2019-the-struggles-and-the-   solutions/.

Irwin, Neil. “The Good News: The Job Market Is Solid. The Bad News: The Job Market Is   Solid.” www.NYTimes.com, NY Times, 5 July 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/07/05/upshot/jobs-report-analysis.html.

Le Phan, Linda. “The biggest hiring challenges we’re all facing today, according to 15 hiring experts.” www.TheLadders.com, The Ladders, 13 Sept. 2019, www.theladders.com/career-advice/the-biggest-hiring-challenges-were-all-facing-today-according-to-15-hiring-experts.

“News Release – November 2019.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, vol. 19, no. 1868, Nov. 2019.

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How to Retain Happy Tenants:

How to Retain Happy Tenants:

Renewing a happy tenant has a lot of potential to be a win-win situation for both the tenant themselves, and the property where he or she is living:

Tenant:

  1. Does not have to incur additional expenses involved with moving
  2. Does not need to restart the “apartment hunt”
  3. No interruptions to routine or unintended consequences

Property:

  1. Does not need to incur additional expenses to turn/renovate the unit
  2. No need to spend time searching for a new tenant to fill upcoming vacancy
  3. Retention of a rent-paying, happy tenant on the property!

According to Rent.com, tenants who decide NOT to renew their lease can spend up to 60 days searching for a new community (Rent Editorial Team, 2018). This means that if you are a tenant considering moving out and have also waited to make that decision until receiving your 60-Day Notice to Vacate, you have likely waited too long.

A recent Avail.com survey reported that finding a new tenant or, losing a renewal, could cost as much as $2,500 per vacancy (Manolas, 2019). Avail provides the following helpful tips to encourage happy tenants to sign their renewals:

  • Speak with the tenant sooner, rather than later – Avail recommends beginning renewal conversations with tenants as early as 90 days in advance.
  • Maintain a relationship with all tenants, current and past – Arguably the number one tool a Manager can use to encourage a renewal is their level of service. Treating everyone with courtesy and respect can go a long way when these conversations begin to take place.
  • Make the renewal process as easy as possible – Overcomplicating the process can lead to unintended frustration. Avail recommends an online process where terms can be changed if needed, adjusting lease dates, and sending to the tenant for signature.

“How Long Does it Take to Find an Apartment?” www.Rent.com, 6 Dec. 2018, www.rent.com/blog/how-long-find-an-apartment/

Manolas, Kasia. “Lease Renewals: Are You Going to Lose Your Best Tenants This Year?” www.avail.com/education, 27 Aug. 2019, www.avail.co/education/articles/lease-renewals-are-you-going-to-lose-your-best-tenants-this-year

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Property CAPEX: Friend or Foe?

Property CAPEX: Friend or Foe?

The goal of capital expenditure (CAPEX) is to improve a property to both attract and retain tenants. Why then would any Owner not agree to completing CAPEX projects? The answer, high costs.

One item considered a necessity is general maintenance and upkeep of the roofs. Because flat roofs are associated with lower costs, it is easy to find an apartment complex where all of the buildings’ roofs are flat. However, according to BRAX Roofing, the flat roof that was installed during construction will likely end up costing new Owners in the long run due to:

Before:

After:

  1. Ponding Water – Standing water leads to serious problems such as leaks and algae growth.
  2. Debris – Remnants of leaves, branches, and other items result in blocked drains.
  3. “Alligatoring” – Roofs that have begun to crack and bubble leading to further damage to the building’s structure if not treated properly.
  4. Buckling – Because a flat roof’s membrane is one continuous sheet, shifting of the structure over time can cause the roof to buckle.
  5. Wind – Flat roofs offer less protection to the entirety of the structure from severe winds.
  6. Leaks – All of the issues above can cause flat roofs to begin leaking.
  7. Shorter Lifespan – In general, a flat roof should last at least 15 years; however, this time frame can diminish based on inclement weather or quality of materials used.

The average apartment is reportedly 861 square feet with the average price to repair the roof of that apartment varying from $1.50 – $10.00/sq. ft. Using $5 on average, it would cost $4,305 to repair or replace a single roof. If the roof in this example belongs to a community of 100 units, it is likely not the only roof requiring repair or replacement. Suddenly, a simple job has turned into a major expense.

Before:

After:

The example above paints a clear picture of why Owners approach property improvements with hesitation. Whether the work proposed is cosmetic, or an emergency, the following tips can help Owners and the operating team manage CAPEX projects effectively:

  1. Align yourself with the correct person to do the work – Collect multiple bids on the same scope of work, interview contractors, and compare/contrast the proposals.
  2. Assemble the team – All parties involved should have a clear understanding of their role and responsibility in the project.
  3. Overcommunicate – Establishing an updated schedule holds team members accountable to ensure work is progressing and gets completed on time.
  4. Establish a clear budget – All team members and contractors should understand that the budget is not a goal, butrather a necessity.
  5. Allocate time – Take time to assess work as it is completed, and what work remains.
  6. Analyze the process – If all goes well, this may be the first improvement project of many! Once the current project is completed, take time to reflect on the process and how certain aspects could have been better implemented.

References:

“Build Apartment Cost.” www.Fixr.com, www.fixr.com/costs/build-apartment

“How Much Does a Flat Roof Cost?” www.CostOwl.com, www.costowl.com/home-improvement/roof-flat-cost.html.

Matthews, Ben. “Watch Out for 7 Common Flat Roofing Problems.” www.BraxRoofing.com, 28 Dec. 2017, www.braxroofing.com/blog/watch-out-for-7-common-flat-roofing-problems.

Sullivan, Megan. “Six Keys to Effective CapEx Project Management.” www.LodgingMagazine.com, 22 July 2015, lodgingmagazine.com/six-keys-to-effective-capex-project-management/

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The Importance of Curb Appeal

From the moment an individual decides to become a renter, to the moment they officially sign their lease, there are several first impressions that occur which can potentially derail a great lead. Think about it:

  1. Advertising – How do potential renters learn about your community? Do you have a website? Is it current with up to date information? How about visuals and functionality? Does your customer service/sales team remain responsive to new inquiries?
  2. The Leasing Office – Is your office easy to find? Clean and professional? Are there handouts about property amenities for tenants? How are they greeted when they enter the office? Is the staff alert and well-mannered?
  3. The Showing – Do you have a designated show unit? If yes, what are you doing to ensure the highest level of cleanliness? Do you have air fresheners to create an inviting smell? Is the unit well-lit? Ultimately, would you be excited about the unit if you were a potential tenant?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, it is possible that you or your team are not making as great of a first impression as possible. However, possibly one of the most important first impressions (and often most overlooked) is a property’s curb appeal.

Before
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After

Curb appeal is, “the attractiveness of a property for sale and its surroundings when viewed from the street.” Before a potential tenant sets foot on the property, a message is being resonated to them from the street level. This message could be welcoming if there is a

well-lit exterior, ample signage, and colorful plants; it can also derail your property’s leasing efforts if management ignores items such as overflowing dumpsters, peeling paint, and overgrown greenery.

Forbes.com identified three specific areas on properties where excellent curb appeal standards should not be overlooked (Greer, 2018):

  1. The Front Door – While the article refers to the front door of a residential home, the same should be expected of the front entrance to the Leasing Office or show unit:
    • Freshly painted
    • No remnants of any clutter
    • Colorful plants to draw attention
  2. Landscaping
    • Mowed yard with trimmed bushes
    • Planted flower beds
    • Clear of weeds
    • Décor inside of the unit should also be addressed
  3. Exterior Materials
    • Consistent, monochromatic paint colors
    • Clean brick or siding
    • Power wash buildings regularly/as needed
Before
After

References:

Greer, R. (2018, April 11). Curb Appeal Counts: Three Steps To Increasing Interest In A Property For Sale. In www.Forbes.com. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/04/11/curb-appeal-counts-three-steps-to-increasing-interest-in-a-property-for-sale/#5b921e863d8b

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