6 Ways to Have a ‘Keanussance’ at Your Property
- Jun 27, 2019
We are currently in the middle of a Keanussance.
Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I didn’t even make up the term! Keanu Reeves, star of The Matrix, Speed, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and many of my teenage dreams is everywhere right now: another John Wick, Always Be My Maybe, Toy Story 4, my adult dreams…
Some say Keanu never left. But doesn’t that make his sudden super-popularity even more interesting? It’s not like he came out of nowhere and did something completely crazy for attention like save orphans and puppies from a burning building (although, reportedly he is a very nice guy in real life) or date Taylor Swift or something. He just kept on being Keanu. As a property manager, you can do the same for your apartment community. Here are some tips.
Never settle for “The Replacements.” Don’t cut corners when it comes to your amenities, outdoor spaces, etc. If might be appealing to use a cheaper tile in a unit, or go for mid-range gym equipment instead of top-of-the-the line pieces in the fitness center. But residents will notice. You get what you pay for. And if you want to raise rents in the future, you’re going to have to justify why, or why new renters should be willing to pay more.
“Something’s Gotta Give.” You can’t do everything and expect it all to go well (you’re not Keanu Reeves, after all). If you’re focused on running resident events, and marketing vacant units, and taking care of payroll, and handling resident complaints, and doing community tours…it might just be a Tuesday. But you’ll also get spread too thin, and ultimately areas will suffer. Focus on what the residents care about. And also, delegate to your very competent staff. You hired them for a reason, so show them that you trust them.
Know kung fu. You have a skill that makes you great at your job, or you wouldn’t have been hired. Maybe you’re great at keeping track of which apartments need renovations, or you’re a people person and great at settling arguments between residents. Lean in to your skill, and you’ll become the go-to person for that. As mentioned, it’s important to delegate, but take ownership in what you do well. Also, maybe have some resident events with karate. That could be fun.
Work with “Speed,” but not on “Cruise Control.” Respond to resident requests or complaints quickly and efficiently. This should be something you automatically do, rather than waiting and letting a lot of time go by. This will just make the renter frustrated. And always put thought into what you do. It might be satisfying to tell a resident to keep their dog’s barking down or you won’t allow the pet to stay or whatever terms you have on the lease. But maybe that’s an emotional support animal, and then you just violated a law. Do your homework, and be thoughtful.
Use a “Johnny Mnemonic” device. [Editor’s note: I’m so, so sorry. This pun is bad even for me.] It’s important to try to remember your residents’ name, maybe even a fact or two about them. They’ll feel more at home if they’re greeted with a, “Hi, Johnny, how were surf lessons today?” instead of just the usual nod. And if they feel their apartment community is more like a home, they’re more likely to renew when their lease is up.
Be excellent to each other. Treat your residents with respect. They’ll return the favor.