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  • Run your property like a chess board.
    By admin on July 1, 2005 | 76 Comments76 Comments  Comments

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    Welcome to the property management blog, our diary of the property management business.

    I had the chance to tour a self storage facility yesterday that has a site manager who likes to know his property and run it efficiently. This is not always the case with property managers. Some let the properties run them.

    One thing this manager, Jim, does that helps him run his property is to look at his units as inventory. I know this is not news to any of you… that rental units are inventory. But Jim also manages the flow of inventory. He segments his units a few steps further than most people, so he has a better handle of when units will be ready to lease, how challenging it will be to rent them, who he should put in them and how long he expects the renters to stay.

    We all hope that our management software helps us manage and massage our inventory to understand it and direct it better. But do your site managers have this information in their heads? Do they visualize their property has a flowing inventory stream?

    There is some power in this point of view that helps you use your units like chess pieces, knowing what pieces move in which directions at which times. In this way, if you have a unit that moves like a rook, you can use it like a rook and make it work well for you. If you try to move that rook like a horesman, your plan will be frustrated.

    This also allows your site managers to be proactive and look several moves ahead in the game. There is a lot of power in that. Look at how your staff visualizes their properties. Do they have the best pictures in their heads?

    bye for now, Tron

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  • We fax and email leads whenever possible
    By admin on May 25, 2005 | 81 Comments81 Comments  Comments

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    Thank you for looking at the property managment blog, where we keep a diary of our involvement in property management. We tried to only email leads and appointments to our clients, but we are changing how we do that. here is the story.

    Changes in how we send leads, appointments and reservations.

    In order to help you with conversion rates and make sure all leads get to you, we will now be faxing and emailing all leads, appointments and reservations whenever possible.

    There will be no additional charge to clients to do this.

    Here are our reasons:

    1. Email is becoming less reliable as spamming, viruses and email scams become more prevalent. The more filters and firewalls in use, the greater the instance of emails not getting through. Our system makes sure that emails leave our site correctly, but once they get into cyber space, we have no guarantee that they arrive. We are seeing more instances of emails evaporating than we have in the past.
    2. The faster you can follow up on our leads and reservations, the more you will rent. We want to make sure that leads are jumping up in front of your staff, twice if needed, to make sure quick follow-up happens. If you are just getting email, your staff might wait to check email. If you are just getting fax, they might wait to check the fax machine. If they get both, it will be hard to miss both.
    3. If there is a problem with either email or fax at your location or ours, you have a back-up copy in addition to the listings on the site. Back-ups are good.

    We also post leads, reservations and appointments on your property’s page on the site for you to use as a log and as a triple check.

    We continue to take steps to make sure our systems are completely reliable. We recently added additional servers on our email queue to make sure emails leave our site in a timely and reliable fashion.

    We ask that you make sure your email security settings allow for emails from us to pass through. Our emails can be picked up as spam because we send so many and because some firewalls look at the text set-up and identify it as suspicious. We also ask that you check for the “simple” fixes, such as changes in your email address, settings on your PC and user error.

    Not every issue is an external one. We recently did some reprogramming in how our emails are re-queued in the event that an email fails to send. Because we are committed to being the best “profit partner” for our clients we can be, we are always looking for ways to improve our technologies and systems. The programming had an error in it and under certain circumstances a failed email did not re-queue and failed to resend. We think we found where the problem was and should have it resolved.

    There are too many good reasons to use faxes and emails together.

    Thank you for your understanding. We had hoped that using email meant we could eliminate faxing altogether. But the reality is that until further advances are made in email privacy and email integrity, we will have to use faxes as well.

    Thank you and best regards,

    Tron Jordheim, PhoneSmart Director

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  • rent while you are out
    By admin on May 3, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

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    How do you keep from over-staffing your leasing and management office without missing important phone calls? You never know when someone is calling to lease space, whether you are managing apartments or commercial space, the potential lost revenue that a missed phone call represents could be enormous.

    An off-site leasing service like PhoneSmart answers your “money” calls when you can’t. We help qualify the caller and sell your property. Then we set an appointment or start an application for the caller. Our goal is to get the caller to come and visit you first, before they look at any other properties. I just talked to the property manager at a retail/office center that we service. He got five leads from us last week and he will rent to four of them. These calls came while he was out of the office at lunch at taking care of business. Not bad, wouldn’t you say?
    bye for now, Tron

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