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Best Practices

How to renew more residents, project occupancy, and navigate uncertainty - Renewal Series, Part 1

by Christin D. on 5/27/2020 12:18:00 PM

How do you project future rent trends with the pandemic’s anomaly influence on the multifamily industry? Can you properly budget for your future turn expenses and maintenance costs associated with turnover without a clear picture or access to the soon vacant unit? Delinquencies nationwide are higher than typical and recapturing funds is important, but other conversations will support future planning efforts if navigated with intent. Below we will uncover some other components of how renewal follow up strategy can help reveal a more accurate forecast amid pandemic imposed uncertainty.

Re-evaluate everything
120 - 90 days in advance, renewal offers are sent to current residents. Offers are generated by market rent suggestions based on market survey rent reporting statistics, technology driven, or by hand. Whatever the case may be, those offers generated and sent in early February are a great way to drive residents away from you community and increase move outs. So, how can you navigate the unexpected downturn and preserve your property from plummeting in occupancy? Renewal follow up strategy is the answer. Strategic action is the way to future stability, and it starts with the residents you already have.
ACTION 1: “Save” residents on notice-to-vacate
Urgency matters!
Without urgency, nothing will come from the act of saving notices. Urgency as represented here is not outward, it’s inward, and the intention behind the effort. Every day you wait that resident is looking for a home. Start now and work backwards listing all residents on notice in good standing and delinquent, and identify the “keepers”. Targeting the less risky renewals in good standing is the priority.
Set goals and work towards them.
How many do you think you can save? Now, add 20%-30% and set the bar high. Know your competition’s standing and develop some ideas on negotiations that could help seal the deal. Go to the respective person who would grant approval of your negotiation presenting the goal and how you intend to get there. See what negotiation tools you can use at your discretion. People act on emotion and change their mind, so time doesn’t work in favor of these efforts. Once you have that “Yes”, send the lease instantly for execution and follow up within 24 hours. Maybe put a time limit on negotiation offers for an “act now” influence to create urgency. Then close it as fast as possible.
If they don't cancel, get details.
If they don’t cancel the notice, ask them why? Get specific but don’t get defensive. Listen, but also find ways to sell the future today. Empathize, and overcome objections with a solution to concerns. Finally, if they go anywhere else find out how you could improve things for other residents. Getting the most out of a resident who has given notice to live somewhere else lies in the questions you ask, then in how you respond. If you know your market and your property weaknesses and shortcomings, you can develop ways to offer solutions as a response to others.
ACTION 2: The pre-pandemic “Yes” who still hasn’t signed the renewal
Calling the “Yes, we want to renew we just haven’t signed our renewal” residents requires the same level of urgency used when saving the notice-to-vacates. They could be shopping around! Prepare any re-negotiations or incentives before picking up the phone. Knowing what tools are available eliminates delay that will give renewing residents time to change their mind.
If they aren’t sure if they want to renew, take the same approach in trying to get a resident who already gave notice to stay. Ask the leading questions, listen, and use any negotiation tools you have to win them over. Once they sound the slightest bit engaged, set expectations for your next actions with narrow timeframes, but come across as  concerned, not pushy.
What if they now aren’t sure about renewing or have a past due balance?
What if they are now delinquent on rent because they lost their job? There is a difference between a hardship imposed by pandemic, and one imposed by habitual late rent. The clues to the cause lie in the payment history. If a resident has been in their home for over 6-8 months with only one late payment, it’s possible the pandemic has cost them their job.
Management companies who are willing to consider an alternative to the conventional best practices in pre-pandemic times will be more likely to save on the cost of turning the unit and finding a new lease later. An example of non-conventional in this case? Trial utilizing shorter terms, or month-to-month can minimize the risk if things don’t improve soon and minimize the chance of being stuck with a non-paying resident.
What ideas can you generate?
There is no doubt that the pandemic imposed economic shifts were unexpected. For multifamily and many other industries, outside the box strategies are crucial to preparing for the next wave of uncertainty. Stay ahead navigating the current climate and have a plan.
We hope you look forward to our next chapters in renewal strategies, which will include articles on delinquency strategy, maintenance turnkey scheduling and realistic spend forecasts.

 




Company News

Asset Renovation Supply Group (ARSG) Announces Partnership with Buyers Access

by Christin D. on 5/19/2020 11:02:43 AM

 

For immediate release:

Asset Renovation Supply Group (ARSG) Announces Partnership with Buyers Access

DENVER, CO (May 19, 2020) – Asset Renovation Supply Group, LLC (ARSG), a leading renovation supply and logistics company for the multifamily and hospitality industry, today announced it has partnered with Buyers Access, a leading provider of purchasing optimization services and customized purchasing solutions to the multifamily industry.

“We are thrilled to partner with ARSG and bring a new innovative approach to the renovation platform for our Members,” says Dan Haefner, CEO and president of Buyers Access. “ARSG’s approach helps owners and operators streamline the renovation process, while providing turnkey logistic and supply chain solutions critical to success.”

ARSG’s innovative approach helps owners increase their competitive advantage and win more acquisition contracts. By reducing typical renovation costs 20% - 40% through just in time supply chain management, ARSG provides superior purchasing power. In addition, they provide owners and operators with a differentiated service offering including impartial and independent market studies, interior and exterior improvement recommendations, detailed comprehensive pro formas and turnkey services. This allows a company to be much more price competitive relative to acquisition efforts and success.

“Our goal at ARSG is to provide owners with a “one-stop solution” by providing renovation scopes and products chosen for a property that become a significant factor in overall success,” said David Heitzman, President and CEO of ARSG. “When working with our team at ARSG, an owner will have a partner to provide details most important, while maintaining a competitive advantage by keeping costs under control. ARSG’s and a property’s success is built on greater transparency, communication and control of the products being utilized. Our bulk ordering process substantially decreases the impact of price increases and increases economies of scale, allowing your company to project with a high degree of certainty actual renovation costs and returns over the long term.”


About ARSG:

With over 50 combined years of ownership, management, construction and renovation experience, ARSG knows what it takes for properties to be successful. We understand all aspects of a buyer’s needs, from start to finish, including management operations, construction management, renovation implementation/project management, investment management and dispositions. We can help increase your competitive advantage and win more acquisition contracts by decreasing typical rehab costs from 20% to 40%, significantly increasing your return on investment, providing superior quality for less, while noticeably improving leasing and retention.

For more information contact:
David Heitzman, President & CEO
312-823-9626
davidheitzman@arsg.global


About Buyers Access: 

Buyers Access (BA) is the United States’ leading provider of customized purchasing solutions, serving more than 750,000 housing units in the multifamily space.

For more information visit www.buyersaccess.com or contact:
Dan Haefner, CEO
303-991-5577
dhaefner@buyersaccess.com

 

 




Best Practices

Communicating in socially distant times featuring Courtesy Connection

by Christin D. on 5/4/2020 6:44:00 PM

Social distancing has become a familiar concept as the recent pandemic threat continues to effect communities world-wide. Defined by the CDC as, “keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home”, the 6-foot recommendation is strongly encouraged to prevent further spread of illness. This and other health and safety recommendations have created an immediate need to adjust operational protocols to ensure the safety of residents and team members, while continuing property operations. But how do you continue to operate without being able to physically connect with prospects and residents on-site?

Onsite teams immediately responded to new restrictions imposed by the pandemic, coming up with ways to still connect with communities despite absence of physical presence. Smartphone and video conferencing technologies have allowed teams to create new virtual solutions helping to continue “business as usual”, when it is anything but. Eager to support these efforts, multifamily suppliers have quickly launched changes to create streamlined operations and efficient practices, pandemic or not. Below are some new innovative ways to address social distancing and keep residents engaged in socially distanced times.

Courtesy Connection launches the ultimate solution to off-site phone follow up and there's an "app"!

On-site multifamily teams have traditionally reported in person to their respective communities daily and have been a consistent presence residents and prospects could rely on. The phone and ability to “call the office” has always been a vital part of on-site operations, and when calls go unanswered service and resident retention can suffer. With many teams and personnel repositioned off-site after the Covid-19 outbreak, Courtesy Connection, developed a new remote-friendly call solution to help bridge the gap. Now available via app on both iOS and Android devices, Courtesy Connection can provide owners and operators with a “call-masking” platform that allows remote telecommunications without revealing staff phone numbers. This new solution is fully integrated with most property management software systems and all calls are recorded and reported for record keeping and increased visibility. Ryan Nigro, the owner of Courtesy Connection introduced us to this new innovative solution and commented:

“When I was putting together Courtesy Connection's 2020 feature roadmap, a worldwide pandemic was not a contingency for which I had planned. When it started to become apparent that Coronavirus would dramatically change how we do business, we immediately changed course so we could focus on helping our clients remain effective, safe, and productive during this challenging time”.  

This is one of many, brilliant solutions Courtesy Connection offers which are fully able to integrate with multifamily management software. For more information about Courtesy Connection visit www.courtesyconnection.com or contact Buyers Access for more information.

Mobile Doorman: your socially distanced "sense of community"  

Mobile Doorman is a multifamily communication tool that makes it easier for property management teams to share messages with their residents. This software solution has an app available for residents to download on both iOS and Android devices. The app offers easy access to a variety of conveniences and activities, and improved communications with the property staff. Work orders can be submitted by residents, and management personnel can send messages, post announcements communicate more effectively with residents via the app.  A win-win for everyone.

But the benefits don’t stop at the management team or business to consumer levels. Residents can also communicate with each other via the “virtual bulletin” feature, while staying sheltered in place. Reaching even further is the ability to support local providers through the Mobile Doorman Marketplace, where businesses can advertise specials in the area viewable to Mobile Doorman users. Who doesn’t want to support restaurants and grab a to-go order? Additionally, with many amenities closed, virtual resident events are gaining popularity. Mobile Doorman has an invitation and RSVP feature to schedule events, provide details and encourage participation. Work orders, amenity rentals, and other features exist, and the system is updated automatically through integration available with most major property management software platforms. For more information on Mobile Doorman visit www.mobiledoorman.com and email our friend Mikel Persky for more information at mikel@mobiledoorman.com.

Please share your pandemic new and innovative strategies with us!

Service and communication are at the core of multifamily community success. Without it, the sense of purpose and belonging is difficult to maintain. The multifamily industry, whether owner, operator or supplier, have all had to dramatically adjust to “socially distancing” times. Innovative solutions at all levels have not only made operating under new challenges easier but offer new efficiencies long-term. Buyers Access has over 50 supplier partners and leverages over 750K units, helping companies and properties to optimize purchasing, forecasting, best practices, processes and technology solutions. Please feel free to ask how we can help you! For more information visit www.buyersaccess.com or email us at salesteam@buyersaccess.com.




Best Practices

Smart purchasing practices can save BIG money! As featured in Colorado Real Estate Journal's Q1 Multifmaily Properties Quarterly edition

by Christin D. on 4/21/2020 11:03:48 AM

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 




Company News

CDC offers guidance on cloth face coverings

by Christin D. on 4/7/2020 4:13:02 PM

The CDC has recommended that people wear a protective face mask while in public to help protect against COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is a current shortage of masks, and many are unable to source them for use. As a result, the CDC has indicated on its website that a substitute mask exists and can be made at home. We invite you to use the video they released below to access the steps involved in making the cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC. You can also read more on their website by clicking HERE. 

 




Industry Trends

Get SMART with us! Where do you begin?

by Christin D. on 4/2/2020 1:41:40 PM

SMART technology selection: what do renters want?
"Smart" technology is quickly gaining popularity as part of the "On-Demand" lifestyle, and as a preferred feature when residents are weighing rental housing options. Recently, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Kingsley and Associates released a 2020 survey of resident preference results, in which 70% of renters surveyed indicated a preference to see "smart" tech that saves money and increases their ability to control their homes remotely. With the rapid change of technology, decision overload can easily confuse investment strategy decision making when weighing in on what features to add to current rental investments. But are these innovative additions sound investments to generate income and or reduce expenses, or are they just necessary to keep up with the competition?

 



Top 3 "smart" features
Data from the 2020 Resident Preferences Report supports the adoption of “smart” home features in multifamily housing, and the top 3 features residents want are “smart” thermostats, “smart” lighting, and “smart” locks. 70% of respondents indicated they want to see at least one of the 3 features present in their new homes, and 5% even report it as a requirement. Buyers Access has partnered with industry specific suppliers who specialize in “smart” home upgrades and have numerous offerings and solutions available. But first, let's look at the 3 top categories revealed by renters starting with number 1 contender, “smart” thermostats.



Smart thermostats
The most desired "smart" home feature and ranked number one by residents is the "smart" thermostat. The increased visibility and control residents gain through this innovative solution allows them to control and adjust temperatures on demand and remotely. Money-saving benefits associated thermostatwith "smart" tech features is a primary reason why residents ranked it number one on their list.



Smart Lighting
Smart lighting ranked second by residents in the 2020 report in desirability, and has many similar features and benefits to the "smart" thermostat. Increased control over lighting on demand and remotely, or even automatically decreases wasted money on electricity. Being able to control lighting remotely can offer increased peace of mind when it comes to electricity bills resulting from forgetting to turn off the lights. Another benefit is the deterrence of crime. Adjusting lighting at any time from anywhere makes it look someone is present in the house when it is unoccupied. That extra peace of mind these two benefits can bring can be compelling with some people.



Smart Access Control
Ranked number three, "smart" locks, are continuing to gain traction and increasing in demand to residents and property management teams. Smart locks compliment "on-demand" services and eliminate the need for property management teams to validate entry permissions, potentially removing liability if guests or vendors need access when a resident is away. Property management team can change locks remotely, grant access to vendors, and aid in resident lockouts through the ability to lock, unlock and change access programming on demand and remotely. Common area controlled access through smart lock features also save landlords time and money by eliminating physical requirements to complete the task, and also track usage for liability purposes.



Buyers Access is Smart, and ahead of the curve
RemoteLock– cloud-based access control

One of the newest supplier partners to join Buyers Access offers a high caliber, seamless smart home technology for access controls. Remotelock specializes in cloud-based access point technology crafted explicitly around the needs of residential, business, and commercial properties. This technology solves many of the most significant access management and scheduling issues that property management faces daily. The RemoteLock solution is cloud-based and can be controlled from anywhere, eliminating dependence on a server or hardware that demands presence on-site. 

 

SmartRent – advanced smart tech operating solutions

SmartRent, another new Buyers Access supplier partner, creates multifamily technology solutions that provide property owners and managers a platform to better monitor and protect assets and create operational efficiencies, all while driving ancillary income. Some of the SmartRent technology options include vacant unit management, advanced leak detection, vendor access, common area, and building access, and predictive maintenance reports. In addition, residents of SmartRent communities can use the mobile app to control their smart home devices (thermostat, keyless credentials, lights) from anywhere. SmartRent will help develop a customizable plan that fits the level you are looking to invest in smart building operations.



Get smart with us

Both Buyers Access partners undoubtedly offer a robust amount of options to meet the Smart Home Tech results shown in the preferences survey. Contact your Buyers Access account manager or sales team for more information on SmartRent and RemoteLock.

 




Company News

Press Release: Buyers Access and AMC Announce Partnership

by Christin D. on 4/2/2020 10:00:00 AM

For immediate release:
Buyers Access® and AMC Announce Partnership


Denver, CO, April 1st 2020
–Buyers Access® (BA) and Apartment Management Consultants, LLC (AMC) today announced a strategic partnership, which will provide AMC properties purchasing optimization benefits through Buyers Access. As a Member of Buyers Access, the AMC properties and organization will realize additional opportunities for cost savings through purchasing standardization, spend consolidation, outsourced services, data analytics, reporting visibility, compliance education, and training.


Dan Haefner, President & CEO of Buyers Access® commented, “Our entire team is both thrilled and honored to be entering into this strategic relationship. We sincerely welcome the opportunity to provide value add services and support to AMC properties and owners, and the ability to positively impact their day-to-day operations. We look forward to working closely with AMC and their Associates.”


Brenda Barrett, President of Property Management Operations at AMC said, “We are constantly looking at ways to perfect how we do business, and how we can improve the experience for our residents, team members and owners. At AMC, every detail matters, and that includes providing efficient and effective purchasing processes. We look forward to our purchasing optimization partnership with Buyers Access and driving additional NOI to the bottom line.”


About Buyers Access
As the nation's leading Purchasing and Cost Control specialist for the multifamily housing industry, Buyers Access provides real estate owners and operators with full service purchasing solutions to help maximize the value of their real estate assets. Since 1986, Buyers Access has helped thousands of properties and hundreds of companies to reduce operating costs and drive improved cash flow, while leveraging substantial personnel time savings. For more information, visit http://www.buyersaccess.com or call 1.800.445.9169


About AMC
AMC is a full-service property/asset management company that was founded in 2000. Since its founding, AMC has grown to be one of the premier management companies in the country. AMC is dedicated to meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of owners and asset managers. AMC strives to make each of the properties it manages perform to their highest potential by giving its staff the tools they need to succeed, by intelligently responding to the industry's market changes, and by overcoming any obstacles that might be presented along the way. AMC is dedicated to continued excellence by establishing, maintaining, and promoting the highest standards of property management.




Best Practices- Maintenance

Pet-Friendly Upgrades!

by Christin D. on 3/19/2020 1:52:00 PM

Earlier this year, the National Multifamily Housing Council released it’s “2020 Apartment Resident Preferences Report,” and the results solidified what has become a known fact: our residents LOVE their pets!
That’s right, just as suspected, residents will often compare properties pet-friendly perks when searching for their new home, and it could make or break their renting decision at your community!  
Know what makes them tick
Successful community teams are actively prioritizing how well their property features cater to the needs of four-legged residents. They are up to date on their competitor’s pet-friendly offerings and constantly strategize ways to engage the community with their next-level features. That “little something extra” separates the pet-friendly features from serving just as an amenity and skyrocket it up a level to a full-blown experience. Perhaps you could incorporate the same at your property with Buyers Access and Pets and Playground this year?
It pays to love pet’s
The love of four-legged family members doesn’t come without its benefits to property teams. Herein lies the perfect opportunity for properties to capitalize on the prioritization of pets and making leasing and retention a breeze! Renter’s will often place their pet’s comfort before their own when weighing rental decisions, and they will pay for it too! According to the 2020 preferences report, these additional features can generate an additional $28 - $34 per month per apartment! Partner with a purchasing consultant like Buyers Access, and you can utilize our team of supplier partners like

 Pets and Playgrounds to source your upcoming amenity projects. Saving with us and streamlining the process while using the expertise of our partners, you will recoup the cost in no-time!
What’s hot right now
So how can you upgrade or begin attracting these dedicated pet owners to your community? Easy! Here are some ideas to get you going:
  1. Turn the old computer lab or package room into a “paw spa” fully equipped with grooming supplies, state of the art air-dryers’, and local pet confection’s like gourmet treats, shampoos, and other fun grabs that give that extra charm.
  2. Create a pet of the month club and have local pet food and supply vendors participate in a monthly winner awarding them with treats of choice through their business. It’s a way to get their name out and partner with the local community while praising furry residents. Don’t forget about cats!!!
  3. Are your community tennis courts not getting used? Maybe upgrading them into an outdoor agility course with faux turf and people-friendly fire pits would be a better pull. This way, your residents can interact regardless of whether they have pets or not and be in the same space within the community. This interaction will build an amenity that residents won’t want to leave, and prospects will want to know.
 
 
 
Personalize the experience
Catering to the love of residents and their pets can not only help secure leases and renewals but also will promote an overall sense of community depending on how you leverage the additions. Hosting that monthly “Yappy Hour” isn’t a bad idea and pet’s or no pet’s, wine, and apps are always welcome!
The conversation will attract a crowd, and before you know it, the “Yappy Hour” is awaited by all residents alike.
 
 
 
 
Let’s do this for the pets!
It’s heating up, and the weather will generate demand for pet-friendly features. Why not capitalize on the opportunity, have some fun, and add value to your
 asset in the meantime?
Contact Buyers Access to see how our solutions and partnerships can help make your amenity upgrades a breeze. The savings and efficiency will create a profitable ROI in record time, and it’s likely one of the easiest projects you will ever do. Click to contact us or reach out to your Account Manager for more information.
 
 



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