Category: Blog Roll

Edge2Learn Launches Artificial Intelligence Training for Multifamily Industry

New platform provides virtual one-on-one instruction

Irving, Texas (August 11, 2020) – Edge2Learn, an e-learning company specializing in the multifamily industry, today announced the introduction of artificial intelligence to its learning platform. The AI platform provides role playing opportunities for one-on-one instruction without a need for an in-person trainer. It is one of several cutting-edge e-learning programs Edge2Learn offers.

“The AI platform is a video-based practice training tool.  It provides quick, specific feedback and an avenue to tweak sales presentations until they are perfect and ultimately result in better sales performances,” said Joanna Ellis, co-founder and chief executive officer of Edge2Learn. “Several property management companies are rushing to adopt this technology, especially in the wake of COVID-19.  We understand firsthand, through my mystery shopping company, Ellis Partners in Management Solutions, the onsite teams are struggling to acclimate in this new leasing environment.  Now, thanks to our AI technology, Edge2Learn provides a tool for the onsite teams to adapt to new leasing strategies by practicing their selling and communication skills in a safe environment.  This is just one example of how we will be utilizing AI in the Edge2Learn platform.”

Edge2Learn’s AI platform features ease-of-use for both the learner and administrator. Administrators can seamlessly set-up a video assessment training module for employees, enter a question or summary of the content to be addressed, and select keywords to be included or avoided by the learner.  The keyword feature helps users learn what content is expected.

Learners, in turn, upload a video in response to the scenario.  Learners are provided a transcript of the video lesson and can quickly identify which keywords they are expected to use and avoid. The learner receives a video analysis within moments and can make corrections before submitting the content for review to the administrator. This AI analysis provides learners an overall score for each video lesson based on rate of speech, keywords avoided, and keywords included. Once a video is submitted for review, it will appear on the dashboard where the administrator can view and rate it by a star rating. Administrators can also provide feedback and monitor employee progress without the arduous task of manually reviewing these video assessments.

“Edge2Learn’s AI platform was developed by professionals with first-hand, real-world experience. The result is a powerful, interactive learning tool that will engage users and elevate their learning experience to a whole new level resulting in better leasing and customer service interactions and overall professional growth,” said Ellis.

In addition to providing the tools necessary for operators to manage their internal property management e-learning and training programs, Edge2Learn also offers complimentary tips, consultation, and shared community resources to help improve compliance, sales, and customer and employee retention.

About Edge2Learn
Edge2Learn is a property management e-learning company. With more than 35 years of experience and a commitment to increase industry performance, Edge2Learn is passionate about delivering education that maximizes benefits for both companies and employees. Edge2Learn’s programs engage learners and prepare them to deliver a superior customer experience. For more information, please visit

Contact Information
Pam Roberts Pederson
Director of Communications

Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment

Diversity is a multi-faceted topic and an important aspect of that topic is inclusion. Working towards understanding diversity and promoting inclusion is an active process and requires a real commitment to change. To genuinely understand, it is essential to invite input from people with many different experiences and backgrounds. So what do we mean when we refer to diversity and inclusion? Basically, diversity represents all the ways people are both similar and different whereas inclusion primarily speaks to access and opportunity. A diverse and inclusive work environment includes one where:

  • Every employee is respected and empowered
  • Everyone contributes equally
  • Every team member is supported with access to the same resources and opportunities

These conditions should apply regardless of individual demographics or differences which create diversity within an organization or group. There are several factors which contribute to diversity and these can be broken down into the following elements:

  • Personality. This is the foundation for all other elements of diversity and encompasses characteristics, traits, behaviors, extroversion/introversion, values, communication style, decision-making process and approach to life.
  • Static. These conditions are not by choice and are transpiring, such as age, generation, race, abled/disabled, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry and gender identity/expression.
  • Dynamic. These are matters of choices, circumstances and opportunities including family, marital status, education, personal habits, kids/no kids, income, religion, career, union, politics, social habits, military, appearance, places lived and skills/abilities.
  • Organization. This is with respect to business aspects such as title/role, location, department, tenure and experience.

All of these factors contribute not only to how we each see the world but how the world may see us and this may impact opportunity. Access to opportunity and resources can fall under three different scenarios:

  1. Inequality. Inequality exists when there are people who seem the same, but because of diversity have different access, meaning some are competing at a disadvantage. In cases of inequality, those in positions with advantage either do not see or refuse to acknowledge the imbalance.
  2. Equality. Equality occurs when imbalance is noticed and resources are distributed equally to everyone. This improves the position of the person who is disadvantaged but does nothing to solve the imbalance that exists.
  3. Equity. Unlike equality, equity is attained when resources are distributed in such a way that everyone has equal access to opportunity. This usually means the resources are not distributed evenly but instead those who are most disadvantaged receive more resources than those who have the greatest advantage.

Ideally, we can work to remove the barriers to opportunity to give everyone full access. To do this, we need to recognize the systemic inequality that has existed historically and still has influence today. In this country, systemic inequalities have caused black households to be impacted disproportionately by the following:

  • Wealth Gaps
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Education
  • Lack of Medical Insurance
  • Home Ownership

It is important to be aware of these inequities so we can move towards making change and eliminating inequalities. The journey towards inclusion occurs along a continuum. With any issue, you can identify where you are on the continuum and easily measure your progress. The continuum follows these steps:

  1. Unacceptance. Disagreeing with an issue you do not understand. You are unmoving and will not accept or allow for this issue.
  2. Tolerance. You’ve learned more about the issue you disagree with and you’ve decided you will allow for its existence while maintaining your discomfort with the issue.
  3. Acceptance.  You may still not understand or agree, but you know enough to give credence or respect to the issue.
  4. Appreciation. You begin to understand, and you extend recognition and value to the issue.
  5. Inclusion. You allow yourself to become involved and empower discussion and resolution of the issue.

The first place to start on this journey is a commitment to action. You can become introspective and look for opportunities to work towards inclusion, especially in the workplace. To do this, you can contribute a diverse and inclusive work environment by:

  • Identifying employees who may be underrepresented
  • Enlisting supporters
  • Opening lines of communication
  • Broadening the talent pool
  • Becoming more adaptable to change
  • Being an ally and advocate

Remember it is not your job to speak for others but instead to open the door to opportunities and empower people to speak for themselves. Recognizing key elements for a diverse and inclusive work environment and working to resolve and overcome inequalities is a goal we must work together to achieve.

Click here to access additional COVID-19 Multifamily Training Resources

Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Contributed by:

Kathy Vance
Property Management Content Strategist – Ellis Partners in Management Solutions, Edge2Learn

Kathy is an independent coach and consultant. Her career spans over 37 years in the apartment industry where she held roles onsite in leasing and management, as a regional manager with a portfolio of over 2300 apartment homes in 4 states, and in human resources supporting learning and development for over 1000 employees. Kathy has been a CAM instructor both in the classroom and online since 1999. She has a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton and is a graduate of Accomplishment Coaching, an affiliate of the International Coach Federation. She currently works with Edge2Learn as the Content Curator – providing insights to make course content relevant to the industry. 

Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With over 30 years of experience and a commitment to increase industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and also reduce corporate liability risks and overall employee turnover.

Tips for Successful Leasing Presentations in Unprecedented Times

Recent times have brought about unprecedented change in the multifamily housing industry! Many of us are finding ourselves “relearning” the job we thought we knew so well. From virtual tours to self-guided tours and back around to reintroducing guided tours, we’ve had to get outside our comfortable routines and adapt to frequent change. This can really prove to be a challenge, so let’s discuss some ways to stay on the ball and successfully roll with our evolving professional world.

A great starting place is to be aware of your thoughts first thing in the morning as this can set your tone for the rest of the day. You may find yourself helping other people (residents, teammates or employees) work through problems each day and that can negatively impact your state of mind unless you deliberately change your way of thinking. How do you do that? Here are some tips:

· Avoid Blame – Instead of looking for reasons you can’t be successful, look for ways to operate within your current circumstances. Focus on solutions.

· Choose Positivity – When you start your day and also when you encounter challenges during the day, take a moment to stop and CHOOSE to approach with positivity.

· Seek Resources – There are some great resources available for changing your way of thinking, including two books by Dr. Joe Dispenza titled Becoming Supernatural and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.

· Create a Vision Board – A vision board creates a good visual of what you want your future to look like. It can help you stay focused on your end goal.

Another effective area to work for change is in how you approach your competition. Instead of trying to actually compete with your competition, push past and set yourself apart. It’s helpful to know what communities in your area are offering, but don’t use a direct comparison as a sales pitch with prospects. Instead, understand what your competition is offering and then determine how your community can innovate and set yourselves apart. What do you have that makes you unique? Focus on that in your leasing presentation.

The process of apartment rentals is changing. Right now, more and more consumers are looking to find out about products, including apartments, online and with video. Most consumers would rather watch a video than read a brochure. Keep this in mind as you create and modify your online marketing. When it comes to taking prospect calls, avoid sticking to a script and instead engage in a real conversation. This will allow you to get more useful information as well as make the rental prospect feel genuinely heard. Once your prospects come to visit, remember that there’s no reason to rush the leasing presentation! Allow the prospect to take all the time they need to see everything they need to see to make a confident leasing decision.

Creating video marketing content and providing video tours may still feel very new for many leasing professionals. Take some time to look at the video content of other apartment communities for inspiration, not just in your area but across the country as well. When you have the opportunity to provide a live video tour or webinar/online meeting, remember you are making a connection with another person. Don’t approach the interaction in a disconnected way just because the rental prospect is not right in front of you. Here are some techniques to help you give a great virtual presentation:

· Treat any virtual leasing presentation in the same way you would handle an in-person tour.

· Make sure to turn the camera around to yourself periodically to allow for face-to-face interaction to keep that connection.

· Give a full tour and show all the areas of the apartment, even the hallways, laundry room, cabinets, etc. to help the rental prospect fully visualize the space. Don’t forget about the community amenities!

· Remember to engage the prospect and ask questions along the way to encourage participation by them in the leasing presentation.

· Allow yourself to have fun with it!

· Always keep in mind Fair Housing.

Maybe your community has decided to introduce self-guided tours. These provide unique benefits. You may decide to ask the prospect to give you a call when the arrive so that you can go open the door for them to allow for some human interaction. Maybe you’ll ask them to speak with you by phone as they tour so you will be available to answer questions that come up as they take their time to look around. The best procedures will depend on your specific community.

No matter which leasing presentation format you use, don’t forget to close! Below are various closing techniques you can use, depending on the overall presentation:

1. The Assumptive Close – This type of close assumes the prospect will complete the application. You’ve spent time setting up the leasing presentation and you’ve engaged the prospect through visualizing furniture placement or other community living scenarios, and you close out the tour with an assumptive statement rather than asking if they want to apply. “You’re going to love it here!”

2. The Summary Close – Remind the prospect of all the ways the community meets their needs and then follow up with an assumptive closing statement.

3. If I Could, Would You Close – This close entices the prospect with an incentive, asking if you could provide that incentive, would they lease today.

4. Overcoming Objection Close – Practice ways to address objections and turn them into benefits or minimize into palatable pieces. For example, price objections can be broken down to the costs per day.

5. Creating a Shortage Close – Remind the rental prospect that there are only a limited number of that floorplan or only one on their desired floor level, etc.

6. Look & Lease Close – This offers a discount or other incentive if the prospect applies during that visit.

7. The Bandwagon Close – This technique implies the prospect should lease because everyone else is doing it. This creates a fear of being “left out”.

8. The Ben Franklin Close – This lists out benefits versus cost for the prospect to help them make a decision.

What happens when everything has gone great in the leasing presentation, you’ve made a strong close, but the prospect isn’t ready to lease today. The presentation isn’t over! You have to make time to follow up to close that deal. Follow-up is often one of the more uncomfortable parts of the leasing game, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some suggestions to make it easy:

· Ask Permission – During the initial presentation, be sure to ask for permission to follow up later.

· Become a Better Storyteller – Look at your community and create a story! Sometimes you’ll find a prospect will fall in love with the story and choose to live there.

· Stop Using the Same Words – Try new words like “This just in”, “Guess what?”, “You’re not going to believe this”. Using better, more compelling words will more strongly engage your prospect in follow-up.

The most important thing to remember is that change can be a major asset! Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same old routine for your leasing presentations. Work to innovate and give your rental prospects something new and different and that will give you the edge over your competition.

Click here to access additional COVID-19 Multifamily Training Resources

Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Contributed by:

Donna Hickey
Donna Hickey Presents | Inspirational Speaker

Donna began her career in property management in 1979 and has since built a full-service consulting firm providing training and seminars, keynotes and guidance for new constructions, renovations, and marketing. She is a successful inspirational speaker and has graced stages all around the globe. On top of all that, Donna is a published author with works including Stepping Stones to Your Leasing Success, Confessions of a Leasing Consultant, Masters of Success and From Fear to Fabulous…Harnessing the Power of the Universe as well as blogs and other publications.

Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With over 30 years of experience and a commitment to increase industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and also reduce corporate liability risks and overall employee turnover.