Drive Revenue By Eliminating Pet Restrictions

Drive Revenue By Eliminating Pet Restrictions

Apartment operators who have taken steps to responsibly lessen pet-related restrictions are experiencing more than just the positive benefit of an increase in demand at their communities. Many are experiencing an increase in pet-related revenue, as well. 
This additional revenue, naturally, is particularly timely as operators aim to recover lost revenue due to the pandemic. The ever-growing segment of pet owners comprises a large share of the apartment market, yet many communities have pet policies that do not accommodate some of their unique needs. 
Whether they possess a larger pet, a young one, a perceived dangerous breed or simply more than the community will allow, pet-owners face an abundance of challenges when searching for a home that will accommodate their furry friends. While not advocating that communities allow residents to have nine large dogs, six cats and a miniature donkey in their homes, some subtle adjustments to pet policies can lead to a pronounced uptick in revenue. 
Camden, for instance, helped establish an emerging standard in 2019 by eliminating weight restrictions. Leon Capital is among the many that has worked to reduce or eliminate breed restrictions. Here is a look at four common restrictions and cases for the multifamily world to responsibly reduce them:
Weight/size restrictions
The prevailing conception is that larger animals cause more damage. That is not always the case, and in fact, no significant data exists to support that assertion. Great Danes, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds, for instance, are generally great house pets and often cause……

Identifying the Barriers, Benefits and Solutions to Diversity in Multifamily

Identifying the Barriers, Benefits and Solutions to Diversity in Multifamily

The multifamily industry universally espouses support for diversity and inclusion in its workforce, but that effort is often not reflected within the leadership teams of real estate organizations. 
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, women make up 47% of the total U.S. labor force, yet they represent only 5% of the 100 richest tech billionaires, 6% of S&P 500 CEOs and 20% of the Fortune 500 board. 
The numbers tell a similar story in real estate. 
A 2020 CREW Network benchmark study revealed that the percentage of women in senior VP, managing director and partner level positions in commercial real estate dropped from 27% to 22% in the past five years. Women in the industry on average still make only 90 cents to every dollar men earn in fixed salaries, while Hispanic/Latinx women earn only 80 cents, comparatively.
The recent NAA webinar, Women, Diversity, Growth and Leadership in Rental Housing, took a closer look at this disparity, as well as the barriers that still exist on the path to the executive suite. Panelists fielded difficult questions and also presented avenues for advancement and better representation across all levels of the apartment industry. 
Dru Armstrong, CEO of Grace Hill, said that current social movements in the U.S. have placed a spotlight on the topic of inequality following decades with little to no progress in the real estate industry.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the conversation of equality forward,” Armstrong said. “But there has been no improvement in real ……

5 Changes to Increase Your Business’s Overall Profitability

Increase Your Business’sProfitability is essential to businesses. It’s a marker of success and it can always be improved. The more profits your property management company can drive, the more flexibility your business is capable of and the more opportunities for expansion you will encounter. Knowing where you can make small tweaks or big changes to your operation can help you derive a strategy that will help keep your company not just financially stable but profitable and booming.

Here are 5 tips and tricks for increasing your business’s profitability:
Raise Rates
Customers looking to increase their profitability often consider raising their rates as their first option. Typically, this is a sure-fire way to ensure your income or revenue is not only covering business expenses but increasing cashflow to enable growth. Account managers should negotiate management fees that truly reflect their value but increasing those fees too drastically, frequently, or suddenly can cause customers to churn ultimately costing businesses more money in the long run. So, what else can property management companies do?
Cut Costs
Your revenue doesn’t determine your profitability. Your costs account for significant chunk of your revenue impacting your overall productivity. Run reports continuously that track your waste in terms of energy, supplies, staff, and vendors and evaluate regularly if spending in those areas are offering the full payout. Consider introducing technology to compensate for costly services, often can cameras help monitor your properties better than large patrol teams. Also, salary is one the highest costs to a business, its often far more ……

The most pressing workforce management issues of 2020

Smart workforce management professionals pay attention to what trends impact their organization and workforce and plan ahead.

Andie Burjek ~ May. 22, 2020

While the buzzword “the future of work” is often thrown around as if it’s the new, exciting, sexy thing, it just refers to a reality that’s always been true. The economy changes, technology changes, and social trends impact the way people want work. Workforce management — as a field that relates to employees’ wages, schedules, promotability and more — can be impacted by large economic and social trends as well as technology.

Smart workforce management professionals pay attention to what trends impact their organization and workforce and plan ahead. Some trends relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and others relate to forces that existed much before that. 

Based on information from various reports and expert interviews, these workforce management issues are some of the most immediate for 2020 and what practitioners should be thinking about.  

Employee safety

In environments like factories, workplace safety has always been a point of focus, while the same could not be said for the average retailer or office setting. “All of a sudden, that’s changed,” said Matt Stevenson, partner and leader of Mercer’s Workforce Strategy and Analytics practice. Due to COVID-19, employers are concerned with how the work environment must change to ensure employee safety.

Also read: COVID-19 and workers’ compensation

Currently, this is one of the most significant workforce management issues, he said. I’s impossible to predict how long this hyper-focus on employee safety will last. He surmised this depends on whether a COVID-19 vaccine is developed and when. 

Stevenson gave the example of polio. Before the vaccine it was a serious threat, and there were polio epidemics globally. After the vaccine was created, safety issues related to polio stopped being a concern. On the other hand, he added, viruses like HIV still don’t have a vaccine decades after being identified in 1981.

Also read: When employees return to work, consider these guidelines

Shifts in the way work is done 

One outcome of COVID-19 is that certain jobs are  done differently, Stevenson said, especially with remote work. Some organizations did not change their operating models because they didn’t have to, and the pandemic made it so they did not have a choice. 

For example, the use of telemedicine has grown since the pandemic started, Stevenson said. Telemedicine has existed for years, but there was some resistance to it, and it was often underutilized. With a pandemic that limits physical contact, people began embracing telemedicine. It’s possible this trend could continue after the pandemic ends. 

That’s what happened with retail stores, Stevenson noted. Online shopping for goods of all types is the norm these days, although consumers still can visit brick-and-mortar locations.  

Industries like hospitality, leisure and travel have been especially impacted by the pandemic, he added. It’s difficult to imagine how a shift to something more online-friendly would look for these organizations. 

The future of the physical workplace

Whether remote work will be as accepted after the pandemic ends is still unknown, but there’s a possibility that organizations will be more open to a largely remote workforce. 

As employers think about their return-to-work plan, they may start with only bringing people in they have to, Stevenson said. From there, a large portion of the workforce may remain remote. This could lead to a big picture question of, “Do I need this big, expensive office space if I can just have employees work from home instead?” 

This is already happening in the tech sector. Twitter recently announced that staff can work from home permanently. 

Not enough flexibility for employees 

Deloitte’s “2020 Global Human Capital Trends” report highlighted organizations that took employee-friendly approaches — giving employees more jurisdiction over their work schedules and  offering them new flexible time off programs. These approaches are designed to allow employees to “live and work at their best” ultimately had positive impacts for companies. Company culture was improved, and teams saw better communication and collaboration. 

You’re Only as Valuable as Your Data

You’re Only as Valuable as Your Data

You most likely have detailed information about the vehicles owned by your residents. It helps your team control your parking garage, parking lot, understand the nuances of lot utilization and add revenue through monthly parking fees. It also helps the community monitor authorized and unauthorized vehicles.
Because the majority of your residents have cars, it’s intuitive that you should track and maintain this data. It’s an expectation across the industry, as data pertaining to occupancy numbers, premiums, concessions and ancillary fees is typically the most sought after.
Seeing that nearly 70% of residents are pet owners—that’s more than two-thirds of a community’s population—it makes sense that pet data would be tracked in the same way. Yet this is often an afterthought, and those who do aim to track pet data often do so in haphazard fashion. 
This is where a streamlined pet process that requires no in-person contact and is entirely digital can be a significant game changer. 
Comprehensive and reliable data isn’t readily accessible through manual and paper-based document gathering, which makes it nearly impossible to track the number of pets actually living at the property as opposed to those actually registered and paying pet rent. To investors scouring community-wide data, the incomplete or ambiguous pet data will stand out. Inaccurate data usually is glaring, and those reviewing it will certainly see red flags. 
The integrity and clarity of operations data plays a critical role in driving asset value. The cleaner and more actionable the data, the more value it holds. Th……

How Can Property Managers Measure Profitability?

There are many metrics property management companies can use to pinpoint the value of their business, increase the profitability of their service, and decrease costs to their operation. Leveraging software that facilitate these measurements or regularly run property management reports allow organizations to actively improve or maintain profitability and increase cashflow to continue to grow their business. Collecting and analyzing data are key element of planning so businesses can stay financially healthy. If you operate a property management company and intend on growing, here are some strategies to effectively measure your profitability.
Margin Ratios
Margin ratios also known as profitability ratios are an effective way to determine whether your business is profitable. The margin ratio is a percentage calculated by dividing net incomes by net sales. The margin ratio gives determines how a business’s profitability is changing as they implement new products, services, and marketing campaigns. Typically, this is measured in quarters so businesses can monitor their progress then adjust their strategy for the following fiscal year.
Gross Profit vs Net Profit Margin
Both gross and net profit margin ratios are used to assess the financial stability of a business by calculating how much they earn for ever dollar in sales. Net profit margins offer a more clear and definitive representation of profitability than gross profit margins because net profit margins take all expenses into account unlike gross profitability margins.
Operating Profit Margin
The operating profit margin is a ratio or percentage that tells a company how much they’ve earned this yea……

Multifamily Package Volume Approaching Breaking Point

What are we supposed to do with all of these packages? It’s a sentiment that has echoed through leasing offices across the country since the emergence of Covid-19. 
Package volume at multifamily communities has skyrocketed in recent months. In an effort to avoid public spaces including brick-and-mortar retailers, renters are increasingly turning to e-commerce for almost all of their shopping needs. As a result, online orders are piling up at apartment buildings, and finding storage space has become a constant and often unfeasible task for property managers. 
To understand what unprecedented package volume has meant at the property level, Fetch conducted a study of its internal data to gain a better understanding of the actual impact facing multifamily.
Here are the findings: 
From June of 2019 to June 2020, package volume per unit at multifamily communities increased by 59%. In May, renters at those properties averaged more than 10 package deliveries per apartment home, surpassing online holiday shopping levels from 2019. The average for July and August 2020 has been hovering around the 10 packages mark as well, at 9.53 and 9.83 packages, respectively.
Volume, Oversized Packages Push Storage Limitations
It only takes one couch or king-sized mattress to clog a package room.
While the percentage of all packages that qualify as oversized – those measuring more than 4 cubic feet – remained consistent during the first six months of the pandemic, the overall volume increase means that oversized package volume has gone up at a similar rate. 
Oversized packages make up on……

Using Email Reporting to Improve Multifamily Email Performance

Email Reporting Overview
Finally, to improve email performance you need the right data. There are 3 metrics you should measure on every email:

Open Rate
Click-Through Rate

These features allow you to optimize:

Subject lines
Email variety
Send Frequency

In this post, we will review email reports and use that data to inform and enhance the performance of the 3 email metrics.
Optimizing Open Rate
Reporting at both the Regional and Property level can inform and improve Open Rate (OR) performance. Starting with the first report type, Property A has an OR of 8.99% – this is very low. Property B has an OR of 31.83% – this is quite high. The OR range between these properties is very drastic. Let’s look a little deeper at Property A and Property B.

When looking at Report Type 2, you see Property A sent a total of 9 emails in the month of June while Property B sent 6 emails. Property A’s average OR was 8.95%. Property B’s average OR was 31.01%. Both properties primarily sent Offers.

Below you see the individual email campaign reports from Property A and Property B. Note the subject lines and OR for both.
Property A’s subject line: ‘Hello from Property A’ and an OR of 7.79%.

Property B’s subject line: ‘July 4th Special Offers Inside!’ and an OR of 25.55%.

Undoubtedly, subject lines impacted the OR of these two campaigns. Property A’s subject line is generic. It does not indicate……

Diversity and Inclusion is More Than an HR Initiative


Over the past several months, there have been many articles, forums, discussions, focus groups, and webinars on the need for more diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business. And while there have been many valuable points made and practices shared, there are three themes that have particularly stood out to me.
1. Diversity and Inclusion is not an HR initiative.
I really appreciate hearing the clear stance that diversity, equity, and inclusion is NOT simply an HR initiative. I absolutely agree that it’s not. It’s a company value that can only be successful when it begins with executive leadership, whether that means the owner, CEO, president, or leadership team – it starts squarely with them.
Based on a recent Swift Bunny Employee Engagement Study, out of the Top 10 things that matter most to employees, the 3 common topics that are shared between Corporate, Regional and On-Site employees are:

Senior management creates a positive work environment
I respect senior management
Senior management has communicated a clear vision for the company

How executive leadership talks to, talks about, includes, encourages, promotes, challenges, and values each employee is noticed and emulated. Diversity and inclusion begins with them. Human resources certainly manages many key aspects, but their work will never achieve real and enduring change without action from the top.
2. The Importance of a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Survey
I’ve been very impressed and heartened at the number of multifamily companies who are considering or have already rolled out a Diversity……