Make your Apartment Property Insanely Great in 2008

I wanted to start the year of with a quote and this is the one I chose…

must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your
eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and
look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other
life but this.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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Changing the name of maintenace supervisors, technicians and make ready guys

I hear the word apartment maintenance and I think of maintain. Not really the proactive environment I am looking for. I like the phrase preventive maintenance but it is just not sexy enough.

What about introducing our apartment service teams as our solution officers or proactive personnel? Or, our bias for action team. I mean if The Secret is true then the more we use this kind of language then eventually the biases will imbue on the minds and hearts of the team. The byproduct would be enhanced real time actions, right?

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Apartment Management Accountability

Subordinates need to be willing to be held accountable and managers need to be willing to hold them accountable.” –Mark Goulston

I ran across the above quote while reading this morning and it really got me thinking about employee reviews. I have seen this equation work both ways meaning that sometimes the “subordinate” is thirsty to be held accountable but the manager is unwilling or unable. Conversely I have seen managers who are great at holding people accountable yet the “subordinate” makes no effort to amend destructive behaviors.

It truly is when both are willing and able that teamwork manifests. And, when that happens the natural byproducts are more apartment leases and amplified retention.

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Prometheus Real Estate Group takes the leap to Non-Smoking apartments

Bay Area Owner/Developer Takes No-Smoking Stand to Eliminate Fire, Health Dangers
Published: December 24, 2007

By Teresa O’Dea Hein, Managing Editor

San Mateo, Calif. — Prometheus Real Estate Group, which has over 18,000 housing units planned or underway in California and the Pacific Northwest, has implemented a no-smoking policy for all its new multifamily communities. The company is said to be among the first leading apartment owners to implement the policy in the San Francisco Bay Area. [see

  full story here]



Beyond Credit and Background Checks: Real time reputation determination

Dave Chiu and Didier Hilhorst devised a tool called RentAThing that allows you to take your reputation with you wherever you go. [Check it out here].

I could see this working both ways in the apartment leasing world. It takes the renters resume to a whole new level. Not only that it would take an apartment management company (brand) to a whole new level. Be that good or bad.

Taking their broom example and applying it to the apartment space, a manager or a prospective resident could consult RentAThing in order to determine one’s nature of paying rent on time and or being a nuisance to the community. Likewise, the consumer could consult RentAThing to determine the nature of a property management company to get service requests done in a timely manner and or otherwise respond to the various needs of a resident.

Exciting stuff to say the least.

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In the apartment business the front line is the face of the business

As we enter into a transparent world, a world that includes the likes of blogs and websites like, it will become critical that the front line embraces and edifies the values of your business. The front line is the face of the company not the David Neithercuts or Scott Sellers of the world but John and Jane service persons’ of the world. We have to make certain we all understand the gravity of this perspective. Your companies reputation depends on it. If you don’t believe me read the case study in the December 07′ issue of the Harvard Business Review.

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Thank You

I was thinking about the words “thank you” today. It made me think of the last time I said it to one of my associates. Luckily it didn’t take to long to think of an occasion and at the same time it gave cause for me to ask myself, “do I say it enough?”

That being said, I am making it a point to say it more often and for the right reasons. As we know the property management business is difficult and taxing at times and we often miss the little things like saying thank you. Think about it this week and find ways to say it to someone who deserves it.

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