Policies & Procedures

The RAM Partners, LLC, Policies and Procedures provide a step-by-step guide regarding core management procedures, as well as direction in handling unique situations and emergencies. Hard copies are maintained at each property and are accessible online. In addition, our Employee (Associates) Handbook, which provides a detailed summary of all of our employee-related policies, is available to all associates. The Manager’s Property Activity Log (PAL) Book covering goals and assigned tasks provides assistance with property activities, goal setting and scheduling, and task management.

Bi-monthly property inspections are completed by the AVP and are designed to regularly measure curb appeal, property condition and presentation, product/marketing readiness, and rental office environment, among other areas. Property inspections also are conducted by the Maintenance and Construction department members for compliance in maintenance areas, such as HVAC, pools, and capital replacements.

Compliance with RAM Policies and Procedures is monitored through a qualitative analysis of our efforts through a series of on-site inspections and mystery “shops.” These are conducted in person, by telephone or via the Internet by a third-party service each quarter (or as-requested by our clients). A detailed shopper report and recorded telephone conversation are provided to the Training Director and Area Vice President for review and action.

New associates are required to attend a half-day New Hire Orientation class, which familiarizes them with the RAM corporate team, RAM management philosophy, Human Resource-related information (including a review of the Associate Handbook, benefit summary and specific policies) and Fair Housing training.

RAM’s Fair Housing training reviews what is, and what isn’t, permitted in property management. Examples of prohibited practices and general rules required of employees to ensure compliance are reviewed in depth. RAM’s training department also offers Fair Housing training and refresher courses regularly throughout the year to enable employees to stay current on all Fair Housing laws.

Apartment Management

The RAM Apartment Management Manual provides team members a step-by-step process for the following areas:

  • Application Processing
  • Lease Administration
  • Renewal Program and Process
  • Office Structure
  • Office Hours and Procedures
  • Audits and Property Inspections
  • Fair Housing Guidelines
Sales and Marketing

At RAM Partners, we are a recognized leader in professionally training our leasing consultants. Our leasing teams are carefully chosen to work together with a singular goal in mind: rent and retain. Effective training results in employees who not only lease well, but are able to "keep" residents.

To keep their skills sharp and their capabilities up-to-date, employees participate in Smart TALK conferences and attend quarterly training events, sales seminars and marketing workshops. Classes emphasize everything from the "basics" of leasing, to the current and future trends in marketing and service.

 

Marketing

We take a proactive approach to attracting new residents to your community. This process begins with an overall marketing plan designed exclusively for your property. A solid marketing plan is the basis for a successful property. It is our experience that with a good marketing plan in place, our communities can outperform others in the marketplace.

An ongoing, flexible tool for the on-site team, these marketing plans will assist in providing focus for the entire team to meet the marketing goals set for the property. They encourage creativity and can easily be adjusted as market conditions change. It is recommended that the plans are customized and monitored regularly for changes and additions.

Marketing efforts large and small are performed with one common goal: getting the community name “out there” by creating and maintaining a positive profile in the marketplace. Utilizing varying techniques, our marketing activities include:

  • Preferred Employer Programs (PEP)
  • PEP tours and open house luncheons
  • Referral programs with area merchants and businesses
  • Locator service or broker incentives
  • Resident referral incentives
  • Marketing to and through Residents, creating positive word-of-mouth

We believe the effective use of the tried-and-true methods always will be a staple of outreach marketing; however, your leasing teams also will be aggressive in the latest trends and tools of today’s virtual market. Targeted avenues that yield positive results (new or established) include:

  • Ever-increasing arrays of free posting websites, such as Craigslist and Kijiji
  • Networking on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Free ad design sites (V-Flyer, Postlets) for creating web flyers
  • High-traffic websites
  • Local apartments guides
  • In-person visits to local businesses, schools and government offices
  • Regular attendance to area associations and chamber events
  • Billboards/Signage

Your leasing teams will not simply post advertisements randomly. They are trained to take a more strategic, results-oriented approach to posting:

  • Target days that yield the most results
  • Time of day to post ads that will guarantee "first look"
  • Ads/flyers that carry a call-to-action from the viewer

The RAM Leasing Process

Smart Talk phone conferences are conducted twice a month so that teams in every region are able to join discussions on topical issues within the industry. Examples include, "Overcoming Objections," "Customer Service: the RAM Way" and "Staying Up in Down Times." Smart Talk is an open forum environment, conducted by our training team or Area Vice Presidents, with lively conversation and great question-and-answer sessions.

Every leasing visit to a RAM Partners' property follows the same powerful sequence:

  • A spotless and comfortable leasing office welcomes each resident (current and future). All Guests receive a warm and genuine greeting from our leasing consultant.
  • A professional and friendly rapport-building interview process indentifies each guest's needs.
  • Our presentation tour exemplifies what we have to offer. We tour each area in the following order:
    • Available Apartment
    • Professionally designed model apartment
    • Amenities (while discussing the community's premier services)
    • Closing techniques are used throughout the presentation by listening to and addressing any concerns.
    • "Team leasing" encourages the entire staff to welcome and assist in closing the lease decision.
    • Because follow-up is critical, phone calls begin within 24 hours of the visit, and a thank you note is mailed. Other communication avenues, such as email and texting, are encouraged where appropriate.
Human Resources

We place our success in the skill and devotion of all associates. Good work is recognized, encouraged and rewarded in every practical way.

We believe in equality in employment for all associates. We expect our Managers to respect our employees’ rights, including the right to timely and accurate performance reviews, the right not to be harassed or to be made to feel uncomfortable from the standpoint of age, sex, race, religion creed, national origin, citizenship status, veteran status or disability. We believe in offering our employees opportunities for growth from within the company whenever possible.

Our teamwork approach and “flattened” management approach provides the foundation for our Human Resources policies and procedures. The Human Resources Manual is designed to provide all managers with guidelines for RAM’s basic policies and procedures, as well as an explanation of managers’ responsibilities. In addition, information is included regarding the following disciplines:

  • Employment Process
  • Associate Standards
  • Payroll Processing
  • Benefits
Accounting/Reporting

RAM employs Generally Accepted Accounting Principles on a modified cash basis unless directed otherwise by our clients. Our accounting and reporting systems continually pass audits by our institutional clients and their independent auditors. RAM’s accounting team is efficient and effective in making sure your accounting is always accurate and up-to-date.

Accounting Procedures

Our accounting reporting procedures are as follows:

  • We typically perform monthly accounting close-out procedures at the end of each month (or any other day, as specified by our clients), beginning with an on-site review and reconciliation of various system reports.
  • Close-out packages are reviewed by the appropriate Area Vice President and forwarded to our accounting department for review by the Property Accountant before being entered into our home office general ledger system.
  • Preliminary statements are reviewed by the Property Accountant, Controller and Area Vice President prior to finalization.
  • The completed reports are sent to our clients for receipt on, or before, the 15th of each month or per client agreement. The policy and procedures manual covers all aspects of our accounting and reporting and additionally, specific guidelines regarding our strict policies on money management.

Budget Policies and Procedures

A budget helps everyone understand goals and expectations. Our process for establishing your property’s budget involves a review of all contracts to monitor for excellence in service, cost effectiveness and upcoming expiration dates. We review contracted services continually and obtain bids as needed to make smart use of funds within our budget. Among the areas we evaluate include:

  • A review of administrative operations to plan for purchase of any needed office equipment, uniforms, payment of business licenses, pool permits and apartment association dues, as well as general administrative expenses for quality of service and cost effectiveness.
  • An inspection of landscaping and grounds to identify any drainage concerns and plan for installation of mulch, seasonal color and additional plant material.
  • A payroll review to forecast changes in benefits or taxes, including annual pay increases.
  • A consultation with insurance specialists and the tax appeal service to forecast any increases, including verification of the months that payments are due.
  • An inspection of all apartment interiors (unit-by-unit) to identify any structural or preventative maintenance, as well as to predict any needed repairs or changes involving carpet, cabinets, wallpaper, appliances and countertops.
  • An inspection of all building exteriors (including roofs and gutters) to identify any structural, life/safety issues and any preventative maintenance that may be needed.

Your on-site Manager and Area Vice President (Property Supervisor) work together to make sure the budget is an aggressive, but workable guide for maximizing income and minimizing expenses. A completed budget with detailed schedules, copies of bids, photographs and other supporting documents is provided for your review and feedback.

Once approved, the finalized budget is distributed to all appropriate corporate office personnel and on-site Managers. A monthly review is conducted to make sure we stay within budget and are reaching agreed-upon goals. Those results are provided in your owner’s report.

Maintenance Services

Staying abreast of trends and technology helps RAM’s Maintenance teams provide pro-active systems – resulting in utility conservation, resident satisfaction and increased safety. In fact, our worker’s compensation claims and insurance premium rates are among the lowest in the industry.

Our Maintenance teams are centrally supervised by our Director of Maintenance and Construction. He is responsible for negotiating and administering all construction contracts, as well as providing recommendations on, and supervision of, all capital improvement projects. Among our maintenance policies:

  • Comprehensive Preventative Maintenance Programs are initiated within 90 days of a management takeover.
  • Maintenance requests are monitored weekly, with 95% completed within a 24-hour time period. Resident response cards and resident call-backs help monitor the quality of each service call, with outstanding performance rewarded promptly.
  • We have in-house technical support and expertise readily available to help reduce maintenance repair expenses.
  • Maintenance shops are inspected quarterly for cleanliness.
  • Maintenance teams dress in company uniforms including photo and company identification.
  • Weekly security and exterior light inspections are strictly enforced.

Our maintenance manual and emergency procedures manual follow the requirements of IREM MSDS specifications and procedures.

Emergency/Security Procedures

Although we can not control or predict when an emergency or security breach may occur, we can prepare our teams to deal effectively with such an event. Our emergency and security procedures equip our on-site associates with valuable knowledge and tools, so they will be ready when an incident occurs.

As a company, we send out updates before each storm season to re-familiarize our teams with the necessary preparation steps for dealing with such issues as hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, snow storms, floods and wild fires. In addition, we have complete checklists to make sure each site has the necessary equipment and supplies on hand.

We also provide – at no cost to our clients – a risk management program, assisting with incident reports, acting as a liaison to the insurance company. In addition, all incident reports are tracked and followed up on until resolution.

The RAM risk management manual offers additional guidelines on such items as:

  • Key Control/Inventory
  • Locks
  • Security Services
  • Courtesy Officers
  • Entry Gates
  • Liability/Risk Management
  • Safety
  • Crime Awareness
  • Incident Reports
  • Emergency Plan/Awareness