Homes my clients rented

Homes my clients rented

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Conversion Reversion

Its finally hitting the mainstream, Saturday's (Nov.10th)Sun Sentinel reported that since '06 over 6,000 units have been switched back to rental from condo. Whew! not an Earth Shattering figure but definently a sign of serious changes to come. Full story

Yes the rumors are true and this is probably the reason paparazzi are beginning to follow me..... I was recently elected to the South East Florida Apartment Association's (SEFAA -pronounced and more commonly known as C-FAH) Board of Directors. This is an organization I have been a member of for over 8 years and I'm ecstatic about my new role!!! So far I've had the pleasure of brainstorming and discussing the state of our industry with some of the most dynamic, interesting and not to mention great looking leaders.

As everyone knows the market is still trying to find itself and as more changes occur so will the skills necessary to keep a handle on things. So keep a look out for upcoming events on the SEFAA calendar, newsletter or check here I'll post events as often as possible!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Super- This American Life

I've listened to this radio show for years and it never dissapoints! Earlier this year the program's creator Ira Glass produced a t.v. version airing on Showtime. This particular episode speaks to the secret life of a maintenance supervisor and the moral dilemma of a property manager. Enjoy! Click Here!

Monday, October 29, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth inspires an inconvenient prediction: Property Managers as Green leaders

Originally posted August 2007

I have yet to see the award winning documentary An Inconvenient truth. Of course I've seen the trailers, promos, debates and heard an unbelievable amount of references to the film. But, I just haven't been able to talk myself into renting a DVD that warns of impending disaster. Besides, it’s nearing the end of hurricane season and I’d like to fully realize the peace brought from such an uneventful season.
I recently watched an episode of Oprah with Al Gore, a rerun, no doubt inspired by Mr. Gore’s winning of a Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month. The episode featured the producer and narrator of An Inconvenient Truth and basically recapped the documentary. The most memorable segment of the show exhibited a scene that featured an adorable polar bear clinging for life as each iceberg that it grasped snaps like sheets of glass, causing the bear to eventually drown. A graphic prediction of global warming is obviously what the animation was implying and yes it got my attention. Which is probably why I don't feel the need to rent the DVD . . .Oprah and Al provided the cliffs notes.

Multi-family developments are obviously one of the largest consumers of natural resources. The vast majority of rental units in this region were not constructed with a focus on conservation and as a result any attempt to create a ‘green’ oriented community will likely be implemented through education of its residents. This notion puts the spotlight directly on property managers. As we coordinate new leases, secure renewals and host resident functions you can bet that managers will be confronted with questions about green living, the answers will undoubtedly be linked directly to the property’s bottom line.
Leadership efforts can range from resident functions doubling as ‘green’ workshops to the use of emailed newsletters in place of the traditional paper types. Ultimately, the most effective way for S. Florida’s multifamily communities to develop a ‘green’ consciousness will be through its managers and their ability to lead the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Think Of It As "TiVo Interviewing"

Hiremenow!.com and other similar sites posts video resumes for the brave and hopefully photogenic job seeker. I love the idea of face to face or more appropriately video to face format for the image conscious S. Florida apartment industry. If we were to embrace this tool it could revolutionize our hiring process.
For example, putting a face, or in this case facial expressions to a resume would allow more freedom to evaluate an applicant without the risk of an interviewer revealing subtle hints. This video to face interview format creates tremendous benefits for the interviewer, allowing the ability to pause, rewind or fast forward, think of it as “ TIVO interviewing”. Colleagues can even participate in the evaluation without overwhelming the candidate.
There of course will be negative side effects, just as there are with most technological advances. Age, race and gender discrimination can likely trend upward, on the other hand the video resume can result in the overall improvement of quality recruiting in property management.

Maintaining The Fairest Housing of Them All


I recently read a case about a Philadelphia landlord that refused to rent to a couple after learning that they were in the process of adopting a child. According to the couple, the landlord’s explanation for refusing to rent the unit was that it was too small for a family. Ouch! Actual court filing

Fair housing compliance on any multifamily property is a continuous work in progress. As managers recruit new staff and retrain existing staff, maintaining the clearest understanding of Fair housing policies is paramount. I find that a vigilant attitude towards professionalism is the most effective approach when training my team on conducting tours and everyday resident interaction.

The most obvious methods to maintain Fair Housing law awareness are in house workshops, regular dissemination of literature and case scenarios, as well as mandating attendance to NAA/ FAA/SEEFA seminars are a must. But, there is nothing that will have a greater impact than the example demonstrated by leadership. My expectation is that the relationships I maintain with my uber diverse staff will mirror or reflect how they treat our equally diverse current and perspective residents.

Ikea's Connection To S. Florida Multihousing Industry


Ikea’s grand opening in Sunrise offers a silver lining to S. Florida’s apartment industry increasing storm cloud. . .occupancy. Ikea's expected success in Broward the "middle" county, suggests that a paradigm shift towards the rental market is occurring in our region. This shift despite the years of relentless campaigning by real estate brokers to shame renters into buying inflated condos and single-family homes.

I’m a fan of Ikea, I spent a substantial amount of the last decade furnishing my NYC one bedroom apartment with Ikea's “do it yourself” pieces and Wal-Mart priced accessories. Its furniture style for the most part appeals to our industry’s core demographic: contemporary tastes on a budget. Translation- college students, young urban professionals, military personnel and downsizing empty nesters will be Ikea’s lifeblood. That makes South Florida’s apartment Industry and this mega furniture retailer blood relatives. This connection is promising, because if Ikea’s is expecting great success in affordable home furnishings, it’s a safe bet that our industry will experience comparable success in providing the affordable homes for the daunting assembly of those furnishings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clash of The Consultants:Cannon vs McCabe

Jack McCabe is a rock star! Not the modern day punky copycat types, but more like the old school Mick Jagar iconic trend setter type. I've followed his analysis over the past couple years as the S. Florida housing market shape shifted and consequently re-difened the apartment rental industry. Each commentary I read, listened to or watched delivered valuable insight that was surprisingly prudent without the overtly biased predictions that became so common from other consultants in the region.

I don't know much about Michael Cannon, so my opinion of him is only based on his attempt to challenge McCabe. Ultimately, as I continue to watch the ongoing debate between the two consultants, I will keep an open mind an appreciate that this region is beginning to foster a climate that allows debate about the future of the housing and especially the multifamily market. Read more about Michael Cannon vs. Jack McCabe

Below is an older video of McCabe providing a simple outlook on condos:

Every Property Manager's Fantasy. . .

Take A Peek

Killer Concessions

The Palm Beach County rental market is without a doubt at a crossroad. A recent market survey of several rental communities indicates that generous concessions continue to maintain a firm grip on occupancy with no sign of retracting. My suspicion after several conversations with industry colleagues in the area is that we have fallen victim to a good ol' fashion case of "you first then I'll follow"! If I'm half right then it just might be time to call on our marketing gurus to help facilitate a consensus that will help roll back concessions uniformly resulting in less risk.

If we can't develop a unified market initiative, how long will we allow our budgets to be affected by a "psych out" induced insecurity? I was once told by a progressive mentor never be afraid to lead the market, its a notion I believe in whole heartedly, but should we also be brave enough to let the market lead us?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Looking West To Predict East: What San Francisco Can Tell S. Florida

Tainted Love: Are managers forced to defend their properties reputations at apartment rating sites?

First let me began by stating emphatically that I have never done with the title of this post suggests. With that said, I certainly understand it and I clearly recognize the motivation. The postings can be particularly brutal for us property managers. This is mainly because the vast majority of criticisms are from disgruntled, axe grinding renters that too often use the forum for what reads less like constructive recommendations and more like defamation.

So, is it simply inexcusable dishonesty to offset a negative post with a creatively developed positive rating? Or in such a highly competitive industry, can we classify it as marketing self defense at its best?

Mortgage Turmoil Hits Renters

Tenants Face Eviction
When Their Buildings
Go Into Foreclosure

By KELLY EVANS Wall Street Journal
October 11, 2007

The mortgage mess is claiming a new group of victims: renters.

Across the country, a rising number of landlords are falling behind on mortgage payments, sending their properties into foreclosure, according to legal-services attorneys, local officials and financial experts -- and in many cases, their tenants are being forced out of their homes. Often, the tenants' first inkling of trouble occurs when they get a letter from the bank directing them to leave the premises.

read more

One Word . . . Backup !

Real estate has its mantra about location x3. Well, I recently learned that blogging has its own haiku: backup backup backup! There was a technical glitch on my site's main page I adjusted-- and. . . presto! Post dating back to August instantly disappeared. The good news is that I'm neurotic about backing up so I was able to quickly retrieve it, even the crucial & ever popular "A Ninja Pays Half My Rent".