Starbucks: Beginning of the End

Is it the beggining of the end for Starbucks?

Starbucks Front DoorIt’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. I could tell you all the reasons why but none are really relevant to today’s thought.

Starbucks 

I am sitting at Starbucks this early evening busting out email and reading material I can never seem to get to at the office. As many of you know Starbucks is my absolute favorite brand/place in the world. And believe it or not, it’s not just about the coffee to me. It’s equally if not more about the place/space it offers me to be, think and produce. But today – I’m disappointed.

When I walked in I noticed months and months of debris built up along the curb lines in the parking lot. I also noticed the landscape is in need of pruning. I noticed the dust on the windows and doors is thick and peppered with bird poop. I noticed the address is sun-baked and wasting away and the number of decals and signage is overwhelming. The VP in me wanted to grab the Regional and Property Manager for an immediate property walk. I felt myself literally getting angry in the how-could-you-let-it-get-this-bad sort of way. It screams – I don’t care in a harsh way. Worse yet, it screams – you’re-going-to-buy-coffee-here-even-if-we-don’t-focus-on-the-small-stuff.

It doesn’t stop at the door. When I look up I see dropped decorative ceiling tiles and light fixtures that are full of dust. The window coverings are frayed on the sides and bottoms and the ledges are dusty. And to top it off, there is a bug hanging out on the window seal.

This is not the Starbucks I have come to love over the years. In fact, I feel sad. Sad to think that I give time, money and loyalty to this organization in exchange for a remarkable experience.

Is this the beginning of the end for Starbucks? I hope not.

Striking Realization

It strikes me that I am the exact customer that Starbucks needs, wants and desires. I’m a semi-over-the-top advocate for the brand. I once gave major grief to one of  my Area Managers for bringing a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee to our weekly 1:1 meeting. I have posted hundreds of personal pics that include a siren mug in the foreground on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and the like. I take Starbucks on vacation when I know I’ll be a good distance from a store. I only buy Starbucks coffee to brew at home. And the list goes on.

It also strikes me that I am exact customer that Starbucks doesn’t want to set adrift. This post is evidence of that.

All that in mind – Starbucks take this a my fair plea. Please get back to the level of quality every customer would demand and expect from the best place in the world. Please.

Your Details Matter Apartment Hacker,

M

Related Post – Open the Store

Reverse Apartment Reviews

We’ll be posting our Reverse Apartment Reviews [on our website].

Suffice it to say reviews are a two-way street. The Internet and Social Media enables the critic in all of us. We give ratings and reviews to food, coffee, authors along with goods and services across all industry. Nothing is immune. That is except the customer. That is until now.

Australian based Art Series Hotel Group is reviewing guests. Yes! You read it clearly. From their website:

We’ll be posting our Reverse Reviews [on our website] and finally revealing what goes on behind closed doors.

Reverse

Can you see it? Recall that recent move out. You know the one where the carpet has a perfect circle cut out in the living room area that served as fire pit. The ceiling that accommodated knives, forks, spoons and oil dip sticks. Yes – shoved in for decoration. Or, the one with the living room walls painted with life-sized psychedelic Alice in Wonderland landscape and characters – a true work of art. Or, the one with 20 years worth of collected newspapers stacked neatly from floor to ceiling covering nearly every square inch of the apartment to include the bathtub and kitchen sink.

How about posting these masterpieces for all to see – names included?

Playing the Game

Art Series Hotel’s Reverse Reviews is a game.

A promotion to fill hotel rooms.

A very cool promotion if you ask me.

Your sometimes wishing we could post reverse reviews Multifamily Maniac,

M

Employee Survey

Don’t reduce employee survey results to one more item on your “to-do” list.

Survey results are not worth the paper unless used to make meaningful change.

Don’t reduce results to one more item on your “to-do” list.

Do pick two or three meaningful things to act on.

Don’t pick the low-hanging fruit.

Do act quickly.

Your digging through employee survey results presently multifamily maniac,

M

Open the Store

I just read an Ellis Shopping Report that dropped my jaw.

My stepfather often tells the story of how he likes to open his farm supply store 30 to 45 minutes early every morning. His reason for doing so – preparation.

He likes to feel ready for the day.

He doesn’t want to get caught off guard by customers coming in the door with wants and needs while he is trying to get the store in order. His routine includes cleaning windows, dusting mats, sweeping the entry way, adjusting signage, sweeping isles, dusting fixtures, setting the sales counter in place, making sure he has property amounts of cash/coin in the register, sharpening pencils and making sure inventory is properly stocked.

Open the Store

I read an Ellis Shopping Report recently that dropped my jaw. It was brilliant up to the point of two apartments being toured – each included dead bugs.

I don’t write about this to discount the efforts of our team but rather to highlight how important it is to open your apartment store.

Every morning – without fail. Open the store for business.

Get in early or stay late the night before – it doesn’t matter.

Just Open the Store for business.

That means – walk the units you are going to lease. Walk them multiple times throughout the day.

“Mike – I just don’t have that kind of time. I can’t afford to walk them multiple times.”

The first year value of a customer is north of $10,000 in our market.

Multiple that times the ten friends that will hear about the dead bugs, dirty apartment, unpainted curb lines, dead landscape, etc.

Ten friends that will likely never lease an apartment at your community.

Mike Brewer

Apartment Hacker

Let’s put a little math to it and see if we can change the perspective. The first year value of a customer is north of $10,000 in our market. Multiple that times the ten friends that will hear about the dead bugs, dirty apartment, unpainted curb lines, dead landscape, etc. Ten friends that will likely never lease an apartment at your community.

We are in the fight of our life everyday. Everything matters. Everything is Marketing. All the time. OTS Matters!

Work is theater. And your theater includes curb to commode to lease contract.

Your production: Customers Mean The World to Us. #rfc

And you are the lead actor.

Being the lead actor requires world-class preparation every day.

Lead actors don’t wait for bugs to present themselves.

They avoid bugs by preparing their act.

They open their store everyday in every way.

Your encouraging you to open your store everyday Multifamily Maniac,

M

Free Application Fee

Offer a free application fee for one lap around the community?

Under the premise of good health, could you:

1. offer a free application fee for 10 squats?

2 offer a free application fee for 5 push-ups?

3 offer a free application fee for one lap around the community?

4 offer a free application fee for 10 jumping jacks

5 offer a free application fee for a 30 second plank?

Your innovative Multifamily Maniac,

M

Obit

The chief aim of the exercise is to uncover your core values/virtues.

Steven Covey challenged readers to sit down and write their obituaries in his book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

It’s a crazy enlightening exercise written from four perspectives.

The instruction is to choose four people who have some level of influence in your life.

A friend, family member, business person and spiritual/civic person.

The chief aim of the exercise is to uncover your core values/virtues.

The follow-up is to craft a personal creed that you repeat to yourself twice daily. An exercise equally if not more difficult that writing the obits.

Want to Freak Yourself Out?

Do the exercise that Covey outlines in his book. Craft the Creed and follow the 2x’s a day routine for 90 days plus or minus.

The mind will go to work making sure you live your Creed.

Your challenging you to commit to a 90 day window of awesomeness Multifamily Maniac,

M

 

Multifamily Innovation

Create a free maintenance training school using your community as the learning lab.

Read about a Paraguayan newspaper launching a free journalism school.

Made me think about some multifamily angles:

1. free maintenance training school using your community as the learning lab

2. free property management training school using your community as the learning lab

3. free leadership training school using your property management company as the learning lab

Maybe the pupil comes to work for you; maybe they don’t.

In the process – you have taken a step to enrich the world.

Your thinking about enriching the world Multifamily Maniac,

M

You are the Work

Figure out quickly that you are the work that needs to happen in the world. Face each day understanding that each experience presents itself in an effort to build your character.

Realize one thing quickly…

You are the work.

What you do for a living is the catalyst/stimulus for the person you become.

The real work is YOU.

When you get this truth straight in your head – job descriptions and titles and the need for validation, inspiration and motivation (external) goes away.

You become your own best self every time you step into the day.

You become alive in knowing you are not tied to the whims of other people.

You own your destiny.

You own choice.

You own will.

Your encouraging you to do the work of YOU Multifamily Maniac,

M

What Counts

What you become as a result of the work (not job) that you do?

What counts?

What you become as a result of the work (not job) that you do?

Work is art.

A job pays the bills.

Get straight on the work you do.

And, get ready for what counts.

Get ready to build your character.

The end goal is to come full circle in your life and see your start point anew.

Your challenging you to get your WORK straight Multifamily Maniac,

M

Validation

When you wake in the morning and stand in front of the mirror – ask yourself “Am I better person today than I was yesterday based on my experiences.

I am often struck by a person’s need for validation/recognition by people of authority.

In my head – the best measure of success and validation is the mirror test.

When you wake in the morning and stand in front of the mirror – ask yourself “Am I better person today than I was yesterday based on my experiences.

If the answer is yes – boom! If not, acknowledge it, make a new plan, execute it and check in the following morning.

Don’t look for your inspiration out there because the world has a funny way of letting you down.

Look for inspiration in there (inside your heart, mind, body and soul). This world has a funny way of kicking ass and taking names.

Your challenging you to look inside not outside Multifamily Maniac,

M