Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scare tactics

And now for something completely different.  Today I decided to extend my apartment lease for another year, but something about how the property manager went about it left a bad taste in my mouth. The first 18 residents were given the opportunity to renew at a special, discounted rate. The concept was obvious: to have all tentants rushing against the clock to get the offer before it's taken away. It's limited, it's one day only, you gotta get it now before it's taken away! Pitting residents against each other, to be the first one to get it. If you don't, prices will go up. On a Thursday, on a weekday, inviting tenants over for a pizza lunch. Middle of a workday.  Now, I'm sure if this doesn't sell, there will be an all new, better and improved renewal offer of the century. And then those that already signed feel like they got the shorter end of the stick.  Yes, a lease is a product and they want to sell it.

At the core, this set up feels like one of those sale events after Thankgiving where people stand in lines for hours just to get a cheaper toaster, trampling other people to get in.  I'm in a wheelchair, I'm not as fast as others in getting places and I would never elbow anyone metaphorically or otherwise to be the first one at the gate. Also, I think there is something about deciding on a home that makes it essentially different than a shoesale. Talk to your residents, offer them stable and fair conditions. No rushing, no haste decisions. This isn't a lottery. They need to feel safe here, they should feel good here. I would be even  willing to sign a five year lease if I didn't feel like I was played with. I'm really not interested in staking outside of an office to catch a deal of some kind every year, before it's gone. Arlington Square is a premium property within Paradigm Properties portfolio and for that price residents should at least be offered a peace of mind. Not gambling with how much they would pay and where they would live every year.A little more humanity in dealing would be nice. I chose that location for a reason- and it it's not only physical. I was hoping I'd be treated with a little more consideration than if I chose some budget student living. I'm not sure the new property manager understands that.

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