Author John Wilhoit, Jr.

Property Management: Amplifying the Positive

by John Wilhoit Jr. on

Name three things that are outstanding about your real estate assets.  The three things that came to mind first, were they benefits or features?  People like features but they buy benefits.  Consider I seldom write “fluff”.  This is a sincere question- what are the benefits to the end user derived from your asset?  Ok, shelter.  Check.  Every competitor offers this benefit.  What else?  Are you amplifying the positives? Are you communicating your competitive advantages?

Did you have to think hard on this or were these positive attributes just flowing automatically?  How about the on-site staff- can they name (at least) three impressive attributes with only a few mis-placed um’s?   As advocates for our assets there is no better person to accentuate the positives.  If we are slow to respond to this question, who will answer for us?

Think beyond carpet and paint.  Even the oldest, smallest quarters have some positives.  Bay windows, perhaps.  Close proximity to public transit and a good deli within walking distance.  Trees, plants, flowers!  Landscaping can really contribute to the feel of a place.

Also, note that in any organization your biggest asset is people.  Who is picking up the phone?  Are they a help or hindrance to solving tenant request?  I recall reading that one of the most startling phone calls the President of Hertz Rental Car ever made was to his own office and the ensuing treatment he received.  When was the last time you called your properties?

The positives can be something other than physical attributes that make your property great.  For example, consistent service is a real attribute.  Things like immediate responses to maintenance issues or that grounds and common areas are always spotless.

Perhaps your multifamily property offers flexible lease terms of 6, 9,12 and 15 months with price differentials based on term of commitment.   Benefits can be something other than new carpet (although that never hurts).  My point is to think inside the box (about what is in the actual unit) and outside the box (everything else; from ambiance to proximity of medical services).

Can you add to this list?  What are some of the “not so obvious” benefits we offer our customers that usually miss being on the glossy brochure?

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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.  For more information, visit:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Wilhoit November 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

Think like your customers! That’s a great tag line Drew… I’m using that as a future title.

Drew DeMasters November 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

You have some great posts on your blog. And this is anther good one. The more that rental owners and managers think like their customers, the better.

One way to do that is become a renter yourself. Rent a vacation home for a week and notice all of the things you like and don’t like about the place. What little ‘nice-to-haves’ stand out? Any major inconveniences?

Then think how this could apply to your own rental properties. Are we doing everything we can to attract and keep great residents?
– Drew

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