Are You an Excel Power User?


If not, no worries….with a few basic tricks in your back pocket, you will be ready to amaze your colleagues in no time!  The various applications for Excel are endless and can be useful in many business settings.  I, like many in the business world, use Excel daily and just when I think I have a good grasp on the functionality I discover something new.  PC World recently posted an article, “Real Excel power users know these 11 tricks” and I have to admit, I found a new feature that I have never explored.  There is always something different to learn about Excel, which is one of the many reasons why I love this program!

Are you using Excel to its full potential?



Marketing to Millennials

milI recently saw this article on my Multifamily Insiders blog on LinkedIn, and while it was broadly written for the multifamily housing market, I believe it has an extreme amount of relevance to campus student housing as well.

For instance – how many campuses have their Housing web page optimized for use by their residents with cell phones? This could be helpful both in the realm of learning more about what  housing options are offered for a potential new freshmen as well as turning in a work order for an existing housing resident.

Also, how many Housing Departments allow and even encourage the posting of reviews and comments from their residents? These “reviews” are out there in some form of social media anyway, whether formal or informal, so isn’t it better to “embrace” them as the article mentions so that the feedback can be received (good or bad…)? This allows the message back from Housing to be intentional.

It is truly a whole new world out there when it comes to what services we offer, how we listen, and how we respond as a profession.

Three Ways to Market to Millennials 

Feb 18 Posted by Faith Hinz in Apartment Marketing

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last few years about the coming of age of Millennials – people born in the 1980s and 1990s.  This group, also referred to as Generation Y, grew up in the age of technology.  In fact, many probably don’t remember what life was like without computers, the internet and mobile phones.  They shop differently than previous generations, and because of this, marketers must approach them differently. 

Why is this demographic especially important to multifamily professionals? Well, as Millennials enter the workforce and move out of their parents’ homes, the majority of them are choosing to rent rather than buy.  A study from the Urban Land Institute found that only 40% of the Millennial generation owned their residence in 2013, compare to 66% of all respondents.  And it doesn’t look like many of these current renters are interested in buying a home in the near future.  Of the Millennials who said they would likely move in the next five years, 69% expect to rent.


Looking for ways to successfully market to this growing group of Millennial renters? Read on for three ways to better reach this demographic.

#1: Optimize for mobile

Millennials are turning to smartphones and tablets to stay connected while on the go.  According to eMarketer, 92% of Millennials used a mobile phone in 2012, and 63% used those phones to surf the mobile web.  For that reason, multifamily professionals must ensure their websites are optimized for mobile viewing.  If visitors have trouble viewing your site on their smartphones or tablets, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave. In fact, according to Google, 61% of people said they’d quickly move onto another site if they didn’t find what they are looking for right away on a mobile site.  The same goes for email marketing. If your recipients can’t easily view your emails on their mobile devices, those emails will quickly be deleted.

#2: Engage on social media

Not surprisingly, eMarketer found that Millennials have the highest social networking penetration of any generation.  This digital-savvy group is turning to social media for a variety of reasons – and one of these reasons is to do research before making a purchase.  According to a study from Bazaarvoice and the Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials are three times as likely as Baby Boomers to turn to social media to get opinions on products prior to a purchase.  In order to effectively reach Millennials, then, it’s key to have a presence on popular social media channels and actively engage with renters and potential renters via these channels.

#3: Embrace reviews

A growing number of consumers of all ages are turning to the internet to research products prior to making a purchase.  This is especially true for Millennials, many of whom are unlikely to make a major purchase without getting the opinion of others.  And these “others” aren’t just family and friends – often they are complete strangers!  In fact, 51% of Millennials are more influenced by recommendations from strangers than recommendations from family and friends and 64% feel that companies should offer more ways for them to share their opinions online.

Tell us, what is your community doing to appeal to the growing number of Millennial renters?



Playing to Your Strengths and Overcoming Adversity

KarenWhitneyClarion University President, Karen Whitney, spoke with us on adversity, utilizing your strengths, and the role of student housing on a university campus.  A fascinating interview, Dr. Whitney tells interesting stories and gives practical advice to student affairs professionals everywhere.

Since assuming the presidency, Dr. Whitney has led the university to articulate a mission to provide transformative, lifelong learning opportunities through innovative, nationally recognized programs delivered in inclusive, student-centered environments.

Dr. Whitney has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Houston. She presents, teaches, researches, and writes in the areas of higher education finance, administration, law, student development, and student facilities.

Hiring the Right Candidate


As we move into the hiring season, it is always important to remember what positions we are hiring for, as well as what positions someone is applying for. As someone who has been on both sides of the hiring process, one of the most important lessons I have learned throughout the years is the importance of finding the right fit. This is important for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Making sure someone has the right skill set for a job is necessary, but so is determining how they will fit in with your existing team. And when looking for a position, it’s important to apply for jobs that you can excel at, but also to find an office environment where you are going to be comfortable and get along with your fellow employees.

This article recently published in Inc. breaks down workers into four categories; thinkers, builders, improvers, and producers. It goes on to discuss the importance of hiring the right type of worker for where the organization is at that moment. I think it’s an interesting concept to take into account when doing your own search or when searching for someone to fill a position in your organization.

Let us know what you think about Thinker. Builder. Improver. Producer. Which One Is the Right Hire?

Seth formal

The Importance of Effective Storytelling in Communication

nickmorganWhen speaking in public forums there is no better way to illustrate a point than to tell a story.  Dr. Nick Morgan spoke with us on the importance of effective storytelling when communicating.

Dr. Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. A passionate teacher, he is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and then delivering them with panache.  He has been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents.  He has coached people to give Congressional testimony, to appear on the Today Show, and to take on the investment community.  He has worked widely with political and educational leaders.  And he has himself spoken, led conferences, and moderated panels at venues around the world.

powercuesIf you’re interested in more from Dr. Morgan, his book Power Cues is due out in May.  You can pre-order it HERE.

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