Expert Roundtable Series – Best Practices for Lead Management

Written by jordan on . Posted in Blog

By: Houston Neal

In the latest of our Expert Roundtable Series, we report on best practices for managing leads. We interviewed three experts in the multifamily housing market to learn about the technologies and procedures they use for successful lead management. Among our experts are executives from Gables Residential and Archstone – both are ranked in the Top 50 Apartment Managers report from the National Multifamily Housing Council. Let’s meet our experts:

Donald Davidoff is Group Vice President, Strategic Systems for Archstone, a large privately held multi-family housing developer and operator. His teams manage Archstone’s entire marketing platform, which includes ecommerce, field marketing, creative services and corporate communication. He also pioneered Archstone’s industry-leading business process management solution to automate key forms and processes resulting in a “less paper-full” office.

Lynette Hegeman is Vice President of Marketing for Gables Residential. In this role, Hegeman oversees the development and execution of general marketing, internet marketing, public relations and advertising. With 19 years of experience in marketing, sales management and real estate development with companies such as Intrawest, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, she leverages her experience to further establish Gables as a leader in the multi-family industry.

Tracy Guillen is the owner of Esquire Property Management. She has many years of experience providing Ventura County property management services to real estate investors in Ventura County. Tracy is passionate about the real estate business and takes a personal interest in this field as she actively owns, sells, buys, and manages her own property management portfolio in Ventura, Oxnard, & Camarillo. Her affiliations include: California Broker’s License, California State Bar Association and the California Apartment Association.

Lead management is a critical component for any property management company serious about marketing. In a study from the Aberdeen Group, 90% of companies using automated lead management had average yearly revenue growth of 59%. So without a strategic and organized process for vetting prospective tenants, you may be leaving money at the curb.

Should You Buy Terrorism Insurance?

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By: Eric Paulos

Should you buy terrorism insurance or save your money? The answer may depend on how you perceive your building(s) will be affected, at all, in the foreseeable future.

Following the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, damage was estimated at $40 billion dollars. Other than the first attempt to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993, which was limited to the parking garage, and did $300 million damage, 9-11 is the first foreign attack of its kind that has taken place on U.S. soil.  Following the 9-11 attacks, the insurance companies were obliged to pay for the damage to property and had no exclusions for terrorism. Similarly to the way that homeowners company previously had no exclusions for earthquake damage prior to the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, after which homeowners’ policies carried earthquake exclusions thereafter, the commercial insurance industry saw the enormous losses they stood to take and moved to draft terrorism exclusions while they worked with the government to find a solution against this new problem.

10 Inexpensive Ways To Spruce Up Your Rental Or Rehab Property

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By: Bill Bronchick

It’s easy to fix up your properties if you have unlimited cash. However, you need to keep your repairs to a Related Information: “Flipping Properties Course” minimum to stay profitable. You also need to keep your properties in good shape to attract tenants or buyers. There are the basic improvements, such as carpet and paint, but these can still costs thousands of dollars. The following are some inexpensive ways to improve your properties with very little cash.

#1) New Electrical Switch Plates

This is such a minor, yet overlooked improvement. Most rental owners and rehabbers paint a unit and leave the old, ugly switch plates. Even worse, some even paint over them.

New switch plates cost about 50 cents each. You can replace the entire house with new switch plates for about $20. For the foyer, living room and other obvious areas, spring for nice brass plates. They run about $5 each – not much for added class.

Don’t Make Long-Term Decisions Based on Short-Term Problems

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By: Chris Miller

I have seen countless investors, countries, and even major corporations make permanent, long-term decisions based on short term problems.  My investors are well aware that real estate works best when it is held for five to ten years, or perhaps longer.  Such an investment needs to be made based on long-term trends; not “fads.”

Mistake One  – Cutting Necessary Costs to Save Money

An excellent example is a company that, in an effort to cut costs, fires a majority of its’ salespeople.  Less salespeople equals less sales, and severe financial hardship follows.  This may seem like an extreme example, but I’ve seen it happen twice!

In real estate terms, we can make this mistake by; skimping on maintenance – using lower quality replacement appliances that just break sooner, or on management.  (Hiring a cheaper property manager, and seeing vacancies increase by 5%.)  We can avoid these mistakes by looking at the “big picture;”  How can spending a little bit less today affect me in the future?  Keeping costs low is an essential part of successful real estate management; but it needs to be done wisely.

What Changes Do The Tax Laws Have In Store For Us?

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By Chris Miller

With an expanding budget deficit, the addition of fantastically expensive social programs, a skyrocketing national debt and a “tax-friendly” presidential administration at the helm, many of my investors are wondering what their taxes will look like in the future.  This month’s article takes a look at what’s in store for us in 2011 – and beyond.

On May 28, 2003, President Bush signed the third-largest tax cut in U.S. history, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.  Those tax cuts, unless renewed, are set to expire on December 31, 2010.  And we can be pretty sure they won’t be renewed.

Roof Leak – Ten Most Common Leak Locations

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By Tim Carter

Summary: A roof leak is a major nuisance for most homeowners. Finding a leak can be frustrating or relatively simple, depending on location and weather conditions. Leak detection may go easier with these tips for locating a water leak and roof leak repair.

Ten Most Common Roof Leak Locations

Roof leaks are a nuisance for many homeowners. They can be difficult to diagnose – that is a fact. To make matters worse, different weather conditions will produce leaks in different locations.

The vast majority of roof coverings operate using the principal of gravity. This can be a big help in locating a leak source. However, horizontal roof boards can trick you. A leak may actually be eight to 10 feet sideways from where you see the wet ceiling or spot in the attic.

Finding the source of some leaks is easy. Others will require detective work and possibly a garden hose and an inside spotter. If you don’t feel comfortable on a roof, you will have to find an honest roofer to assist you. Sometimes this can be as hard as finding the smallest leak! Here are some tips that may help you find a pesky roof leak:

The Art of Negotiation: How To Get What You Want And More By Giving The Other Party What They Need.

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By Karim Juade

“The art of negotiation is, practiced by everyone, But the craft of negotiation is, practiced by a few.”
— Anonymous

“12 Keys to Negotiate the Best Deal Ever”
The following keys will unlock how to negotiate the best deals.
In this article, we will tackle the first three keys and in future articles we will tackle the remaining keys.

1. Everyone Negotiates
Every day, we negotiate with our spouses, children, bosses, employees, colleagues, bankers, or even our pets. We all negotiate all the time, every hour of every day whether we want to or not, over loans, projects, raises, dinners, dates, privileges, even the holiday leftovers. Some of us just do it better than others.

Buying A Vacation Home With Friends

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By Stephen B. Fainsbert, Esq.

You and your spouse decide to purchase a vacation home with a couple who are your best friends.  You have always had a wonderful relationship with them.  How do you protect yourself if for some reason having this couple as friends is not the same as having them as co-owners of a vacation home where you have to decide on how you determine schedules on use of the vacation home, furnishings, cost of upkeep and maintenance?  A well written tenancy in common agreement (“TIC Agreement”) agreed to by you, your spouse and the other couple is essential.  To an extent this may protect you legally, but may not prevent the emotional differences which may be encountered in this sharing arrangement.  The case of LEG Investments versus Thomas and Donalee Boxler (the “LEG-Boxler case”) decided by the California Court of Appeal on April 1, 2010, illustrates these difficulties.

The State Of The Rental Market And What To Do About It

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By Justin Elliot

There are fundamental reasons why your apartment may not be renting as quickly this year as it may have in previous years. The first of which is the job market, which is no secret, but its effects have been hard felt. National studies have now revealed that only 1 out of 5 graduating seniors had received a job offer in 2009. In 2008, that number was better than half. This dynamic change has drastically reduced the number of new “renters” looking for an apartment.

The sour job market has also made people more apprehensive about moving in general. There is that underlying feeling, “will I even have my job next month or will there be more layoffs?” In fact, another national survey reflected that 25% less people moved last year than 2008. This again is eating into our pool of renters.

Fix A Leaking Faucet And Save Some Green At The Same Time

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How long have you been ignoring that pitter-patter coming from the shower or jiggling the handle on that running toilet? Well, you may as well be pouring money down the drain. Fixing easily corrected leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on water bills, and it’s good for the environment.

While leaks may sometimes seem like small problems, they waste valuable resources and money over time. On average, a U.S. household leaks more than 11,000 gallons of water per year—enough to fill a backyard swimming pool. Common leaks, such as dripping faucets and aging toilet flappers, are easily correctable. WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is encouraging residents to fix household leaks: