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Only you can prevent kitchen fires

Kitchen fires account for nearly half of all rental property fires each year. Tenants start cooking, get distracted, and unwittingly start dangerous and destructive fires. While it’s not realistic to remove kitchens from your properties, implement some preventive measures to minimize fire risk.

Start a conversation

Practice excellent customer service to keep the lines of communication open. Remind residents to never leave anything cooking on the stove, even for a minute. Share the latest statistics to highlight how unattended cooking is responsible for the most deaths. Ask for regular feedback on how cooking equipment is working, and share tips on cleaning and maintenance.

Establish an emergency plan

Allow for human mistakes, and walk new tenants through what to do in case of a kitchen fire. Provide a fire extinguisher, and teach them how to use it and when. Post metal signs on every stairwell and on every floor to help residents report fire and evacuate quickly.

Provide incentives for renters’ insurance

Encourage tenants to purchase renters’ insurance, and provide some resources at lease signing. Offer a discount on rent for those with an active renters’ insurance policy. After a fire, if investigators determine that a tenant’s negligence started a fire, the tenant’s insurance will pick up the bill. Just make sure their policy covers fire due to negligence. It will be worth a small monthly discount in the long run.

Make fire prevention and response a significant part of your maintenance and tenant communication plans to prevent catastrophic damage and loss of life. Also, bring employees into the planning and training efforts to keep tenants and staff on the same page and ensure rapid response in case of emergency.

Property managers can play a vital role in protecting your property investment. If you’re ready to have your property properly managed, contact the asset management experts at Class A Management. Call us today at 817-284-1411 or e-mail, .

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Why You’ll Never Reach Capacity without a Mobile Strategy

“If you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience, you will miss out compared to competitors who are.” This statement from Smart Insights is based on its research showing that 51% of Internet search activity is performed on mobile devices.

And, from RentPing, we find that:

  • 46% of website users will not return to a website that doesn’t load correctly on their smartphone
  • 61% have better opinions of brands that come with a good mobile experience
  • 91% of all apartment tenants are likely to use a mobile phone the next time they search for a property
  • 57% of users won’t recommend a brand that comes with a bad mobile experience
  • 53% of smartphone owners use their phones for price comparison
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action (conversions) within 1 (one) hour

While bad mobile experience is addressed, you can be sure you’re in an even worse position if you have no Internet presence at all.

Web-savvy tech companies know the score and are responding in kind, developing a plethora of apps that prospective tenants can use to find a property. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get included on those searches and ensure the mobile experience that accompanies your brand is excellent.

Here’s how:

  • Get a website. These days, this isn’t a hard task. Wix.com has easy and attractive drag and drop options, or WordPress is a great framework if you have a bit of help getting it going.
  • Make sure it’s mobile friendly. If you’re working with a site like Wix, you can almost be sure that all their site options are smartphone-ready. But if you’re choosing to go with a make-ready site like WordPress, you need to make sure the theme you choose is responsive. This means that it will be clearly visible in any browser and on any phone.
  • Setup online listings. If a prospective tenant is driving your neighborhood and sees your property, they are going to pull out their phone and search it by name. Along with your website, they should be able to fine your contact details and reviews in places like Google Places, Yelp, and FourSquare.
  • Check your listings. Your property and accurate profile needs to be included in all the popular search portals, at the very least. Apartments.com, Rent.com, and ApartmentFinder.com are examples.

Hire a professional. Need some assistance with your marketing strategy? It’s our specialty. Contact Class A Management today by calling 817-284-1411 or email us at .

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Infographic: How-to Guide for Reputation Management

You know me…I love to talk about reputation in the marketplace. I think it’s so important. I also think so few apartment owners get just how important it is, that if you ‘get it,’ you’ve got a competitive advantage.

I just recently wrote a blog on this topic in which I talk about why you should care just as much about your brand as the big boys (AKA Coke and similar companies) care about their own. So, Im so excited to be able to follow this up with an infographic that backs up the argument for making reputation management a priority and provides tips on tools that will help.

Enjoy!

esm_repmanagement_infographic

 

Need some reputation assistance? We’re your team! Contact the professionals at Class A Management today at or by calling 817-284-1411.

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Incentives That Work for Multifamily Property Managers

Money motivates. But it’s not the only resource out there that will move your multifamily property managers to action. And, in fact, you may be surprised to find that there are many other tools accessible to you that will motivate your managers just as much, if not more, than money.

Don’t believe it?

According to a recent article from Inc. Magazine, there are more than 20 incentives your employees would love to receive from you. According to research, 44% of employees say the #1 benefit they want to receive is flexible working arrangements. That’s right. Forty-four percent.

While flex work arrangements aren’t all that compatible with the job of a property manager, there are plenty of other alternatives, to include:

  • Benefits: Health, dental, pension. It’s a costly expense. Yet, it motivates, according to 36% of respondents. So, if providing benefits in one way or another is something you can do for your employees, it’s worth considering. If you think it’s way too much, consider something more along the lines of Liberty Share. You can pay as little as $400 a month to provide your employee and his/her family with a medical cost sharing plan. They have little/no out of pocket, yet are reimbursed for 70% of their medical expenses.
  • Career advancement. Property management, in some instances, is limited to a single property. Yet, you can grow a manager’s role by allowing them to earn great responsibility over time. And, if you have multiple properties, the incentive is the chance to have oversight for more than 1 property or to gain a shot at a more corporate role at ‘headquarters.’
  • Compensation: You knew money would come up quickly, didn’t you? But get creative with it. Don’t just give a raise. Tie monetary incentives to performance expectations. Give a 10% bonus when your property manager fills all vacancies or receives rave reviews.
  • Training and education. It’s hard to believe that people will work harder for the chance to go to school. Thirty-one percent of respondents, however, say they will have greater engagement and loyalty to a company that invests in them in this way. The National Association of Residential Property Managers has a great online resource of property management classes that can be leveraged for this purpose.
  • Corporate culture. What does it mean to provide a corporate culture to which your property manager will want to stay loyal?
    1. Know what you stand for
    2. Be an owner who walks the walk
    3. Encourage your managers and breed positivity
    4. Be open, honest and don’t talk bad about others
    5. Reward excellence
    6. Have fun!

Let us help! Contact the professionals at Class A Management today to learn more about our services and how we can help you reach your property’s full potential. Call 817-284-1411 or send an email to .

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Act Like Your Brand Matters

You don’t have to be a professional marketer to know that brand matters; and this isn’t true only for the big brands like Coke and Levi’s. It’s applicable to all brands, including that which belongs to your multifamily property.

I like best how brand expert, Jerry McLaughlin, speaks on the topic of brand. “I think “brand” is one of those words that is widely used but unevenly understood,” he says in a recent Forbes article. “Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.”

Because brand perception is something that lives only in one’s mind, it’s both difficult to control and to change. Making sure your first impression is awesome and that it stays that way is therefore an ongoing challenge for businesses everywhere.

Here’s some tips to make it easier:

  • Know thyself. This is a phrase often used when talking about the importance of knowing what’s important to you, what you stand for, and your personal goals. Take all that and apply it to your multifamily business. What do you stand for? What is important to you in the way you reach and provide for the families that call your property ‘home?’ What are your goals? These are critical questions go to the root of your brand.
  • Write it down. Putting it in writing often helps to materialize thoughts and motivate actions. Thinking that our brand stands for keeping families safe is one thing. Seeing it in writing helps us consider factors that may not be so safe and incite us to action on making changes.
  • Talk it up. Walking the walk is so much more important than talking the talk; but making sure you’re drawing attention to your strengths and those things you want your brand to be remembered for is a critical consideration in every marketing campaign.
  • Be consistent. No matter what, make sure your message is consistent. You can’t say that your brand stands for affordability and be one of the highest priced properties in the area. Or, you can’t say that you offer concessions, but not offer them equally across the board. Trust and brand go hand-in-hand.

At Class A Management, we have a passion for helping our clients create and tell the story of their brands. Let us help you. Contact us today at 817-284-1411 or send us an email to to learn more.