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Revenue and Retention Myths

As I write this, I'm sitting inside an air-conditioned coffee shop watching people melt as they walk from their car to the adjacent shopping center.  It's 113 degrees outside and the mere fact that I'm writing about moving is giving me a small panic attack.  If my lease were up for renewal this month I would much prefer to stay put than start trekking boxes from one community to another in brain-shrinking heat.  According to recent statistics, I'm not alone.  While heat is not the primary reason for this trend, retention rates are consistently up around the country. But (and this is a big but), increased retention is not necessarily connected to higher revenue.  This probably doesn't come as a surprise to you, but it's data that backs up your intuition.  According to a recent blog on Property Manager Insider, one reason may be that many managers are under pricing renewals.

So, is the solution simply to increase renewal rents beyond current expectations?  You may have lower renewals, but you will hopefully gain some higher paying new residents.  But, what if you could increase revenues even more with higher renewal rates for current residents?  The savings of no turnover costs and the stability of proven residents.

Our CARES program helps enhance a sense of community so residents don't want to leave--even when renewal means increased rent.  We would love to partner with you to discuss how we might partner with your team to foster a community of happy, healthy, involved residents as you enjoy steady revenue growth.


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Concert In The Park

Remember our post about the Cooper River Bridge Run? Well, we've got another team highlight and event idea like it! Kristen & Brent are our CARES Team at Parks at Nexton in Charleston, SC. They learned of a concert that was going on across the street from their community and saw a great event opportunity. It was a Concert In The Park event that was part of the Spoleto Arts Festival, a local community event. They didn't have to organize the big event or set up/tear down a thing! They used their budget to purchase tickets and drinks for their residents, and ordered hundreds of koozies with their apartment community's logo, hashtag, and website on them for marketing. They had such a blast at this low budget, low maintenance, high community involvement event!

Wondering what's going on in your area this summer? We've got pinterest boards for each of our regions with CARES Teams. They're full of links to local event calendars and resources!


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

CARES Team Event Highlight {The Cooper River Bridge Run}

Here's just a little peek at the awesome things our CARES Teams are doing!

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We're excited to highlight Kristen & Brent, our CARES Team at The Boulevard in Charleston, SC! They recently hosted a couple of really neat events centered around a big, annual race that goes on in their community: The Cooper River Bridge Run. Here's the lowdown:

They hosted a morning event and an evening event!

The morning event included handing out water bottles, bananas, headbands, and shirts with their property's logo on them. It was a great marketing opportunity for their Greystar property because they handed out thousands of items with the property's logo. They also hired an '80s band (a big hit that scored the property some time on the 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. news) to play while the runners were waiting for the race to start.

6:00 a.m. '80s dance party anyone?

Then, Kristen and Brent hosted a relaxing evening event on race day for runners and their families to enjoy on The Boulevard property. They had a low-country boil for dinner, complete with a small acoustic band. This was also another great marketing opportunity for the property because people could come in, see the property, and experience first-hand what CARES and the property have to offer.

Who knows how many people in attendance are looking for a new place to lease or know of someone looking!

How could you get more involved in your city's community? Is there an annual event that happens in your backyard or one that you could easily set up a tent/station at?

This Greystar Property Manager, Regional Manager, Senior Managing Director of Real Estate, and more "high-ups" really enjoyed this event. They gave public kudos for it and have asked that it happen more often!

What about marketing for your property? CARES is an incredible program that partners with you to be an extension of your hands and feet: marketability, caring for residents, and improving your resident retention. We're all about redefining the resident experience through relationships. Contact us for more information about partnering with CARES today.

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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: Small Business Mixer

A networking event is a great way to attract residents who might not normally attend your events. Whether you host a mixer for small businesses or open it up to everybody, there are several ways to make it fun.

1. Business Cards & Bubbly – check out our ideas from a previous blog.

2. Pop Up Shops – Invite local vendors to set up pop up shops at your location. Offer prime spots to your residents first.

3. Read over this list of tips before planning.

4. If your community is a member of a chamber of commerce, ask them to take part in your event.

5. Ask local vendors to provide your food, decorations, name tags, and signage. Small businesses love to sponsor in exchange for featured publicity.

6. Consider using an ice breaker or game to help people mingle.

Whatever you do, make it FUN!


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

New Year's Resolutions - Take Two

Although data varies, most sources tell us that nearly half of us (49%) make New Year's resolutions. This should create a culture of new and improved people every January--and it does. For about two weeks tops. Only 7-8% of those who make resolutions have not broken that same resolution after just two weeks of the new behavior. That's a very low rate of success. What about you? Did you make a resolution? Are you still 'on the wagon'?

One of the problems with resolutions is that they often seem more like wishful thinking than anything resembling an actual goal, like magic dust will fall on us at midnight and change the very core of our character.

For those of you who don't make resolutions--I don't blame you.With such low success rates,the process definitely seems to be flawed.But maybe there's another way.In an ever-changing role in an ever-changing world, there has to be space for evaluation and course correction. The start of a new year is just another day of the year, but humans are ritual beings and we remember and change more effectively when it is tied to natural rhythms (like the calendar).

So, for those of you who have tried and failed and those of you who haven't tried at all, it's not too late.But do the work to increase your odds of success--make your goals meaningful, achievable, specific and measurable.And don't try to change everything.One thing at a time.And this is the kind of thing that works best in community.

How might you involve your community in committing or recommitting to some healthy improvements?

Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

10 Things To Add To Your Good Ol' Pigskin Bash

Lots of people love it, some hate it, and most love any excuse to throw or attend a party!

I'm talking about good ol' North American Football. It's a culture in and of itself. And regardless of how one may feel about the grand sport, lots of people love it and it's a great tool to foster community. AKA: a great excuse to throw a party, eat some free food, and have a great time with neighbors!

We've come up with some things you can add to your pigskin shin-dig to try and successfully mingle the "I'm obsessed with football" crowd with the "Don't ever say that word around me" crowd - while having a great time and hanging out with neighbors.

  1. Add a Photo booth. Who doesn't love taking fun pictures with fun props? Depending on your budget, you can hire a company to come in and do it, or you can throw together a backdrop with some props and take fun photos on phones. Check out our Half A Dozen Ways To Photo Booth post for some idea starters and throw in some footballs if you want to keep with the pigskin theme.
  2. Host a Baggo tournament.
  3. Have some things for the kids. Parents may want to watch the game, but are concerned about their kiddos. So, provide some fun football crafts or competitive kids games while the game is on so everyone can have a great time. Check out our Pinterest board for some ideas.
  4. Vote on the best commercials. I know some people who only watch the Superbowl for the commercials - so have people vote and give away some gift cards! You could even do some voting before to see which company everyone thinks is going to have the best spot.
  5. Pair the game watching with a chili-cook off and award prizes for the best chili. Check out our Chili Pinterest board for recipes, fixins, & ideas.
  6. Pair a pigskin party with a {DIY} corner - something for the guys (or gals that love football) and something for the girls (or guys that love crafts). Some football bashes I've been to end up with all the guys in front of the TV and all the girls chatting in the other room. Why not provide an opportunity to finish that DIY project that's been looming?
  7. Add a philanthropic twist and encourage people to bring a donation to "enter" the party! You could do a Soles4Souls shoe drive, a toys for tots drive, or just have people bring their gently used items for donating to the local homeless/women's shelter. Check out our giving-back post here for some more ideas.
  8. Vendors, vendors, vendors. Invite some. Maybe a local brewery, a local wings place, a food truck, or a local bakery. You can give this food any theme you want. Wherever you're located, check out our local blog posts for places to get started locally.
  9. Add any sort of "bar" or "build your own..." to this event to spruce it up: baked potato bar, popcorn bar, s'mores building, hot chocolate bar, build your own nachos, chili bar, soup bar, or build your own hotdog with fun toppings. Anything that you can put "toppings" on, could be turned into a "build your own...".
  10. Do score predictions and award prizes for the winning spread/score.

Happy pigskin-ing!


Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The holidays have come and gone and we are often left with a sense of relief.  Finally.  Now we can get back to business as usual. Ugly sweaters are backin storage, Aunt Rose's fruit cake discarded and a number of the more ridiculous gifts have successfully been re-gifted through White Elephant gift exchanges. But before you throw out everything, perhaps there are some gifts with lasting value--to you and to your residents.

Often the holiday season is a time of increased community involvement.Fromtoy drives, to soup kitchens to adopt-a-family initiatives, giving seems a natural part of the time of year.Increasingly, consumers are looking for companies that give back and apartment residents are no different.They often desire to be contributing to the larger community--and not just once a year. But figuring out where to get involved can be time consuming and overwhelming.

But with just a little nudge in the right direction, your residents could find themselves engaging with their fellow residents to care for others in meaningful ways.What if you spent just a little time and energy on connecting your community with a worthwhile charity. Nothing huge to start--maybe just engagement 3-4 times a year.This is what we call a win-win-win.People in need receive necessary resources, your residents receive yet another highly valued amenity from you (a high priority on giving back) and you get greater resident satisfaction and connections leading to increased retention and a culture of giving.

For some ideas, start here.


Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: Milk & Cookies

Treat your residents to some good old comfort food and create an environment where they can't help but mingle with their neighbors. You could partner with a local bakery to get cookie donations in exchange for free marketing, or make them yourself.

Click here to buy these vintage milk bottles

It's all about the presentation. Box or package your cookies in a fun way, display them on a beautiful tray, or use a chalkboard to identify the kinds of cookies. For your milk, use real glassware, or serve it up in old-fashioned milk bottles with paper straws. We found some on Amazon for about $1 each or we've seen them at the Target Dollar Spot!

Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Property Manager For Mayor

I often fear for my kids' future. Not just the state of the world and their job outlooks, but for the increasing disconnectedness of our culture. Loneliness and depression are rapidly becoming the most common maladies in our society. How can this be with all our "social" media? But we all know it's true. Making friends is hard. Especially when you live alone. And, apartment communities are rife with isolated people living in transition with limited connectedness to others in the community.

So I have an idea. What if, as a property manager, you saw yourself as the Mayor? What if your role included, not just the economic health, but the social health of your village? When I was working with leadership guru, Tim Sanders, one principle he taught was particularly transforming to my leadership. He knew that men and women in positions of leadership usually had more stability in their relationships, living arrangements and financial status. Those who worked for them were much more likely to have few close relationships, little continuity in their living arrangements and plenty of financial insecurity. Depression was much more rampant in the general workforce than in those in leadership. Sanders contended that good leadership required that we lead by caring for the whole person, not just the part of them that performs at work. I think that principle might apply to property managers as well. But someone needs to step up and lead.

The goal of the CARES program is to foster thriving communities by caring for and connecting residents to each other. Thriving communities make good fiscal sense, but they also make good social sense. With the mounting evidence of the harmful effects of loneliness on our physical and emotional health, we can't keep looking the other way. We need more leaders who will leverage their own strength to create thriving communities.

So how about it? You're elected. Will you be the Mayor?


Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: Unwanted Gift Exchange

Once Christmas is over, the resolutions have been made (and probably broken), and life is back to normal, we’ve got a creative way to get rid of those random Christmas gifts you don’t really know what to do with.

It’s an Unwanted Gift Exchange! We got the idea from David and Nikki, our CARES Team at Cameron Creek in Fort Worth, who hosted a big soiree last January. They gave a prize for the worst gift, donated unwanted gifts to Goodwill, and served pizza and desserts.

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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.