Property Management Tips for the Zombie Apocalypse

Image of man being attacked by people dressed as zombiesIt’s finally happened. The dead are walking the Earth. The Zombie Apocalypse has arrived.

All is not gloom and doom, however. With countless movies, books, and television shows on the topic, we all pretty much know what to do to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, right? There is one exception: All those “reference materials” never tell you how to effectively and successfully manage your apartment properties in this dangerous climate. Well, your worries are over.

I’ve put together list of valuable property management and leasing tips to ensure maximum occupancy, increased revenue, and high levels of resident satisfaction for when the Zombie Apocalypse finally happens.

I understand that my zombie scenario requires a few assumptions. For the purposes of this article, think Shaun of the Dead rather than The Walking Dead. There is power, access to the Internet, and cell phone reception, along with plenty of snappy dialogue and witty one-liners.

Leasing Tips

You think it’s a competitive environment now for leasing apartments? Try doing it during the Zombie Apocalypse. Here are a few leasing tips:

  • Online leasing is a must. It’s dangerous to drive from property to property so make sure you have an SEO-optimized, multifunctional website designed to engage potential renters.
  • Real-time pricing and availability. At any given moment, an apartment unit can become available. I know that’s a gruesome thought but it’s a reality of the Zombie Apocalypse. Employing real-time availability and pricing ensures you can fill those units as quickly as possible at a fair market value.
  • Speaking of fair market value, use a revenue management system to make sure you don’t over price your upper-level units. Any apartment unit not at ground level is sure to fetch a premium but charge too much and you’ll lose out to the property down the street.
  • FYI, zombies are not a protected class. Feel free to not only discriminate against them, but eliminate them all together. Aim for the head, people.

Property Management Tips

Managing your residents isn’t the only concern during the Zombie Apocalypse. You need to ensure the property itself is properly managed and defended. Try these tips:

  • Add defensive landscaping to beef up security around ground-level units, such as dense shrubbery, prickly bushes, and tiger pits.
  • Speaking of pits, during off-season times turn your swimming pools into zombie traps.
  • Zombies do not do well with stairs. Or treadmills. Consider adding them…everywhere.
  • Adjust your pet policy to allow a wide variety of animals, not just dogs and cats. In addition to providing early warnings for approaching zombies, they make excellent live bait to facilitate a hasty escape.
  • Utilize a document management system. You don’t need excess paper cluttering up the leasing office or blocking key exits. File all those documents electronically then use all that paper as part of your zombie defense and disposal plans (for example, to dispose of any zombies caught in one of your traps).

Resident Retention Tips

You might think that retaining residents would be the easy. So long as you offer them a highly secure place to live at a reasonable price, why would anybody take the chance to move? Yet, even during the Zombie Apocalypse, customer service and resident satisfaction are areas you do not want to take for granted.

  • Cross-train your facilities maintenance team. Pipe wrenches aren’t just for plumbing, you know? Proper combat training will ensure your maintenance professionals will be efficient with their head shots, reducing the likelihood of battle fatigue. Remember: A tired maintenance team is a vulnerable maintenance team.
  • Make sure you have a culture of responsiveness. Residents will expect a prompt response to all zombie-related service calls. Unanswered phone calls could leave residents with a feeling that something bad happened to your property management team. I strongly suggest employing a contact center to pick up the phone in your absence.
  • During the renewal process, offer valuable amenity upgrades such as replacing carpet with tile floors (makes it easier for cleaning up zombie residue) and peepholes with “peeptubes” (for poking a zombie in the head with sharp sticks).
  • And don’t forget the opportunity to up sell your upper units. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are powerful marketing tools in the age of zombies.

Make Sure Your Property Management Teams are Prepared for Any Disaster

While this post was written with the spirit of fun, being prepared for any kind of disaster is a serious matter. Make sure your on-site property management team is prepared for any kind of disaster, not just the Zombie Apocalypse. Sometimes during a disaster, first responders cannot get to your apartment property in a timely manner and your apartment property personnel need to be properly trained and ready to hold down the fort until the professionals arrive.

What tips do you have for leasing and managing apartments during the Zombie Apocalypse? Share them in the comments below.

And have a happy Halloween.

Image of man being attacked people dressed as zombies
The author on his wedding night (Halloween) in Las Vegas encounters the early signs of the Zombie Apocalypse. Photo taken October 31, 2009.

 

 


Contributor, Property Management Insider

author photo two

Michael Cunningham is Content Marketing Manager at ProofHQ, and the former Managing Editor of PropertyManagementInsider.com. He worked as a social media manager for RealPage, Inc., a provider of on-demand software solutions that integrate and streamline single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property management business functions. He is responsible for promoting the company through various media channels, including editorial, print and online advertising, and social media. Michael received his education at Indiana University where he majored in English.

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