Multifamily Apartment Marketing: Occam Razor Revisited

Occam Razor states that; The simplest explanation is usually the right explanation. Example: Why is the grass brown? Likely because of limited or no water, right? Here’s a bigger question: why do we have vacancy of X? Is this a more difficult question than determining why the grass is brown?  Usually no. Very often, as professionals in this business, we can identify the cause or reason behind vacancy; the difficulty is implementing positive solutions in a timely manner.

Occam’s Razor is a problem-solving principle devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian. The principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but—in the absence of differences in predictive ability—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. 

The fewer assumptions made the better…what a concept!  Provided with the analytical tools we have today, many property manager’s will delve into analysis, analytic’s and creating reports that draw conclusions based on- too much information.  This is our world.  What about, just for starters, walking the property.

Following are a few examples I have found in my travels that severely detracted from leasing that no computer program can address:

Locked gate – no one could get to the leasing office from the street because access was denied.

Trash. Lots of trash, everywhere, every day with no one in charge of lot cleaning.

Office Hours– office hours posted but never adhered to so anyone that could find a leasing agent had basically won the daily leasing agent lottery.

Parking for future residents – non-existent.  If a potential new resident cannot park, they cannot enter the leasing office.

These are just a few examples of items I have experienced that impact leasing; things easy to remedy but requiring “boots on the ground” by staff paying attention to property specific details.  Simple stuff.  No computing power required.

This article is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. See Multifamily Insight.

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