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.


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,


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,


Personal Apartment License

Here’s an idea for brand new lease-ups.

Sell personal apartment licenses. Make it very exclusive; sell 10.

What is a personal apartment license?

The license gives people the ability to be among the first 10 people to lease apartments in the new community.

It’s an exclusive group that will forever have the claim of ‘first’…

Your thinking about how to sell personal apartment licenses Multifamily Maniac,


People buy for the experience

I think it’s fair to say that people no longer buy things for the sole purpose of functional use. They don’t rent apartments just to occupy space.

They rather rent for the experience created in the leasing office or the perceived experience after they move in.

People want to experience something cool – something they can tell their friends and family about.

They need brag-a-log material.

Give it to Them

If you get nothing else out of this blog in 2014 – get this:

People who work in the multifamily space are in the experience making business.

Get busy creating compelling ones…

Your looking for compelling experiences Multifamily Maniac,


We Charge $125 to Tour an Apartment

Truth is we really do not charge $125 to tour an apartment. But what if we did it?

I wrote a piece earlier this year that ended with the question – what if you charged for touring an apartment? What would you do differently?

You’re not really thinking about charging for an apartment tour but wondering what we would do different if we did Multifamily Maniac,


Surprise instead of free rent

We are all accustomed to giving away discounts or concessions at time of move in or lease renewal. As an industry we have taught our customer to expect it. It’s time to change that.


Starting tomorrow take the money you would otherwise give away in concessions or rent discounts and create an equal number of surprise dollars. Deploy those surprise dollars through random acts of generosity:

Every 10th person that walks in the door to pay the rent gets to pay $50 less

Every 22nd resident gets tickets to a local professional sports event

Every 7th resident gets a gift card to a local restaurant. Partner with that restaurant in ordered to subsidize the surprise

Every 33rd resident gets a free fitbit

Every 25th resident gets a free gym membership. Partner with the local gym to subsidize the surprise

Every 54th resident gets to do their laundry free for an entire year

Every 100th resident gets their cable bill comped for one year

Every 4th person that turns in a service request for leaky faucet gets a gift card to a water park

Every 17th person that turns in a service request for a noisy refrigerator gets a freezer full of meat

If you run a business in Colorado every 420th person to call in a service request for a smoke alarm battery gets a fat one. Okay – maybe don’t do this one…

You get the point.

You’re looking to surprise the hell out of our residents this year Multifamily Maniac,


WebCam Turns

Big Brother

Question; can I use WebCams to study worker efficiency in a unit turn? Am I violating any sort of labor law? Privacy law? Weirdness law? Cultural law? Big Brother law? Am I crossing a moral divide? Am I crossing some sort of professional courtesy divide?

Renters watch their apartment being made ready

What about this – can we put our service professionals on stage while our customer takes on the role of audience member? Is that crossing the line? When I lease an apartment, can I offer up the opportunity to watch their apartment being made ready by our service team?

You’re thinking about placing a WebCam in an apartment turn Multifamily Maniac,



Stop competing on the basis of price.

Writing blogs has been a passion of mine for a long bit of time yet I have very little time to do it anymore.

That said, I’ve decided to recommit myself in 2014.

Most of my posts will be dictated by speech recognition and will follow no real rules of grammar. I will do my best to edit along the way but have no intentions of really getting deep into that. I am rather trying to capture my unadulterated and truly authentic thoughts about the property management industry.

The post will follow no preplanned schedule be it time or day of the week.

There could very well be multiple posts in a day and there will definitely be times where a lot of space happens in between.

I’m not writing with SEO in mind so there will be very few links and very little editing as it relates to search engine optimization.

The experience economy

This post is prompted by the book that I’m reading called the Experience economy. It’s written by Joseph Piening and James Gilmore and is Roughly three years old.


The above quote caught my eye in the sense that any time you get into a discussion about reducing prices you are in essence, commoditizing your product or offering.

In property management we inevitably end up competing on price. Admit it – if all else fails you drop the price. It’s that simple.

With that said I have a question for you.

What would you do differently if you charged for an apartment tour?

You’re getting back into blogging Multifamily maniac,


Bad Grammar No Hire

Property Managers that have bad grammar skills need not apply.

I typically see two camps when it comes to bad grammar. The call-you-out-on-twitter-in-front-of-the-world-grammar-masters-of-the-mike brewer grammar and property managementuniverse. And the people-who-couldn’t-care-less-on-Tuesday-after-5p-masters-of-fluidity. Count me in that group for the most part. It’s just not something that rings my bell. It doesn’t make me think more or less of you if you can use the word circumlocutory property in a sentence. Or if you misuse its where an it’s should be. I don’t judge your ability to be exact or precise based on your ability to put to words together in a sentence. But some people do.

I ran across a post over at Harvard Business Review titled I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. and it took my head spinning in a thousand directions. No offense to the author but I did hurl some insults. Not attacking him personally but rather self-remarking on his premise. A premise which is very sound by the way. At least as it relates to the line of work he hires people for. But the article is not the truly interesting part. The sum 3000+ comments  the article has loaded up is fascinating to me. They are all over the board grounded in both awesomeness and masterfully inane anti-brilliance. I really urge you to click over and read a few hundred of them if you have the time.

What Would You Do

I’m not the first to admit that grammar is important. More well put, it would likely rank very low on my list of qualifying attributes for deciding to hire someone. Call me crazy but some of the hardest (smartest) property management people I have ever worked with or for are grammatically challenged. That is up and down the chain of command if you believe in such a structure. And I would not deduce it to lack of attention to detail. They just have a challenge with the written word.

How about you? Would you take the hard-line approach that the author of the article takes:

On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right?

Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use “it’s,” then that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.

Or do you take a more relaxed all-encompassing approach in your hiring decisions?

Your really curious about the grammar conversation multifamily maniac,



Are you the kind of property management company that any client would demand to have you represent them?


Are you the kind of apartment community that people would go out of their way for? Would they demand to live there at any cost?

Are you the kind of property management company that any client would demand to have you represent them?


If you want that then be this – picky. Be picky about alignment. Be picky about who you align yourself with. Be picky about who allow your company to get align. Be picky about the ancillary service companies you align yourself with. It all matters.

Your being more mindful about who and what I align with Multifamily Maniac,