March 2018 E-Newsletter


What's New in the FAA

Considering a Smoke-Free Policy? Property Managers Share Top 5 Tips

Keynote Speakers Announced for 2018 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

FAA to Host Call on End of 2018 Legislative Session

APAC All Hands on Deck Tickets Selling Fast

FAA Members Travel to Washington to Advocate

Limited Number of Discounted Registrations for 2018 NAA Apartmentalize Still Available from FAA

Notice of Meeting

Did You Miss Something?

What's New Nationally

NAA Issues Advisory Regarding Suspicious Packages

States Lead Efforts to Curtail Rampant Abuse of Emotional Support Animal Requests

When To Walk Away from a Client

Supplier Updates

PSC to Host Education Seminars, Meeting, Reception

Lead Retrieval Now Offered at FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

Stand Out with an Enhanced Business Listing

Reach More Prospects with Year-Round Sponsorship Opportunities

Upcoming Events

2018 FAA Events Calendar




Considering a Smoke-Free Policy? Property Managers Share Top 5 Tips

By Randa Griffin

Multifamily communities across Florida have begun implementing smoke-free policies that prohibit smoking in apartment units and other indoor spaces, near buildings or amenities, or anywhere on the property. Property managers across the state have testified to the benefits of smoke-free policies, which help combat the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, bring turn costs down, and keep property grounds cleaner.

Transitioning a community to a smoke-free policy, however, can often feel like an overwhelming task for property managers. FAA has compiled the top five tips from property managers on how to implement a smoke-policy as seamlessly as possible.

Have a Plan. Before announcing any new policy, property managers and their entire team need to be on the same page with a clear plan. William Stearns is the property manager of Dwell Nona Place, a community that implemented a 100 percent smoke-free policy when it was built. Stearns said although his community had an advantage because it started as a brand-new, smoke-free property rather than transitioning, it’s still important to cover all your bases. Stearns suggest incorporating the policy into the resident’s leases or adding a smoke-free addendum, such as the one available with the FAA Lease.
If your community is making the transition to a completely smoke-free property, some resistance is expected from residents who smoke or have guests who smoke, so making sure your team has a firm understanding will show a unified approach to the new policy.

"Talk about it, incorporate it into your daily mantras, and condition your site team, maintenance included," Stearns advised.

Setting a date to begin enforcing the policy, planning informational meetings with residents and reaching out to resources such as Tobacco Free Florida are all ways to begin making a smooth transition.

Give Residents Time. Allison Granell, community manager of Costa del Sol, made the transition to 100 percent smoke-free with her community in 2017. One of her top tips was to give residents ample time before implementation to react to and accept the new changes.
"Definitely give more than a month’s notice. Give five or six months for this transition and for this to sink into people," she said. "Put it out there in a newsletter or a mass email early."

Communicating the change consistently with residents and future residents is key. Put the information about the new policy in multiple emails, newsletters, or resident updates so everyone is clear and frequently reminded of the coming changes. This will give residents time to wrap their heads around the change, adjust their lifestyles or living arrangements, and ask any questions they may have.

A major decision Granell said she made was to not hold residents to their lease if they wanted to break it as a result of the new smoke-free policy.

"We weren’t going to hold people back," she said. "If this was a decision we were making that was going to make them not want to live here anymore, because they still wanted to be able to smoke where they lived, we were going to allow them out of their lease."

Granell said she was prepared to accommodate a lot of upset residents, but only a couple asked to be let out of their lease. "It was really shocking! With 144 apartments we expected a lot more."

Take Advantage of Resources. Through a partnership with the Florida Department of Health and Tobacco Free Florida, the Florida Apartment Association provides resources for property managers looking to adopt smoke-free policies. FAA can connect communities with a local Tobacco Free Florida representative who can provide information and assistance throughout the entire process. These representatives can help plan Q&A meetings with residents, provide printed resources with information, connect interested residents with smoking cessation specialists, and provide free patches, nicotine gum, and other support. All of the assistance of Tobacco Free Florida is free for property managers and for the residents. Susan Jenkins from Tobacco Free Florida assisted Granell and her team when they went smoke-free.
"We had been talking with Susan Jenkins, and she was easing our minds," said Granell. "Susan said she would walk you through this and come and do a meeting with residents so they could ask her questions." At the meeting, Jenkins and a smoking cessation specialist were able to answer residents’ questions. j

These advocates from across the state are available to help educate property managers on how to implement their smoke-free policies and even lifestyles, so property managers don’t have to take on the burden of dealing with questions regarding smoking and health on their own.

"Susan was very friendly with everyone and made it clear that it's not about the smoker, it's about the smoke, and that kind of took the personal aspect out of it," said Granell.

Treat Smoke-Free Policies as an Amenity. Communities should stand by their policies and be proud of them, especially when presented to new potential residents. Making your community’s smoke-free policies front and center on your website and advertisements, communicates to residents a united and proud front.
Stearns says the way people react to the policy is all in how you sell it. "One of the things to think about is how you’re going to package it. You don’t sell it as a negative, you sell it as a positive," he said. "You sell it as an amenity."

Smoke-free policies are quickly becoming luxury accommodations and marketable amenities, especially since according to the state Department of Health, 84.5 percent of adults in Florida do not smoke. Signs informing the guests of residents of the smoke-free policy or pointing out designated smoking areas around the property help prevent misunderstandings.

FAA offers three levels of smoke-free certification for multifamily communities: blue, silver, and gold. These annual certifications allow properties to display an acrylic plaque and window decal front and center in their leasing office or club house, so anyone coming through the doors is made aware of the policy. Certified communities can use the FAA Smoke-Free Certified logo on their website or other promotional materials. The certification requires a lease or contract that prohibits residents and guests from smoking in the areas specified by the level of certification, a policy that prohibits employees from smoking in the areas specified by the level of certification, and a $95 annual fee.

Take Enforcement Seriously. A policy is only effective when enforced, so consistent and attentive follow-up is necessary — but not always easy.
"It takes effort," said Stearns. "It’s positive reinforcement, and being proud of what you’re doing."

Many communities opt to follow a three-strike policy, which gives residents documented warnings before they’re ultimately in jeopardy of having their lease terminated. Stearns says his community has had to evict two families who didn’t comply with the no-smoking rule. "We’re very strict about it," he said. "It’s a three-strike policy, and you have to be able to make that call when you’re a smoke-free property."

Make sure your whole team is on the same page and understands the procedure for documenting infractions. It’s important to stay consistent and not let things slide by without following-up. Implementing the policy is often easier than property managers anticipate, even dealing with unhappy residents.

"Residents understood why we were doing what we were doing, because it makes sense on so many levels. It was a lot easier process than I expected. I was sort of dreading it at first because I thought we’d get so much backlash at the beginning, but we didn’t," said Granell.

These tips can help make your smoke-free policy effective and keep residents happy by taking into consideration the needs of the community as a whole, as well as each individual.

"I've actually had some residents come to me, some of the ones who were angry when we told them we were doing this, and say, ‘you saved my life actually. You know my doctors have been telling me for months to quit smoking and then you forced us to do it where we live and that just really helped me transition to a smoke-free lifestyle,’" Granell said. "They actually thank me after and it's pretty amazing because that wasn't necessarily our goal, but if residents want to take this and run with it, that's great. I'm glad it benefited their health."

Learn more about FAA's Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing Certification.



FAA to Host Call on End of 2018 Legislative Session

All FAA members are invited to join a call Tuesday, March 27, at 11 a.m. regarding the end of Florida's 2018 Legislative Session. FAA government affairs director Courtney Barnard will update members on the status of FAA's 2018 Legislative Priorities as well as an overview of other legislation FAA monitored during the session.

This call is open to all members. Please feel free to share the invite. 

Dial-in: 1-866-613-5223 

Pass Code: 7647753  

You can add the event to your calendar here

APAC All Hands on Deck Tickets Selling Fast

Celebrate and support APAC while enjoying a private VIP cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway at Boca Raton. Half of the available tickets have already sold and only 250 remain. 
Guests will enjoy a full dinner, open bar, and opportunities to treat yourself to something at the silent auction. VIP private transportation will be provided from the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and the celebration begins at 7 p.m. This is the premier conference event you won't want to miss! This event is sponsored in part by House of Floors, RentPath, and Shaw Industries. 
Buy single or multiple tickets here, or purchase with your full conference registration on or after April 2.
View an event flier here.  

FAA Members Travel to Washington to Advocate

FAA members joined apartment owners and managers from across the nation and traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month for NAA's Advocate conference (formerly Capitol Conference). There, they met with U.S. senators, representatives, and congressional staffers regarding legislative issues that may impact the apartment industry, including: 
  • Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program
  • ADA Right-to-Cure legislation 
  • Creating federal standards for data security and breach notification
  • Infrastructure investment that drives new investment in housing, promotes transit-oriented and funds community-level infrastructure needs
More than 50 members from Florida attended the lobby day as well as various NAA committee meetings and the NAA Assembly of Delegates meeting. FAA attendees also enjoyed a private dinner briefing with U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9) and Brad Hower, deputy Chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-7).

 Read more about FAA's involvement at Advocate. 

Do you have photos of your team at Advocate? Share on social media and tag them with #Advocate2018


Limited Number of Discounted Registrations for 2018 NAA Apartmentalize Still Available from FAA

Management members of the Florida Apartment Association are eligible for a discounted registration fee of $700 to the 2018 NAA Apartmentalize, formerly the NAA Education Conference & Exposition. 
Learn more about the event here.
Download the registration form here.

Notice of Meeting 

The Florida Apartment Association Board of Directors shall meet on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 1 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel-Daytona Beach, 900 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118. For full schedule click here.

Did You Miss Something?

If you missed any issues of Florida APTitudes or Multifamily Florida, visit our website at or

After you catch up on back issues, tell FAA what your think by taking a brief survey. Respondents who provide contact information will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.  

If you missed the winter issue of Multifamily Florida, you may also view the entire digital version here

If you did not receive an e-newsletter or a print magazine and would like to in the future, please view your profile on our website and update your email and mailing addresses if needed. Read more about how to create a log-in and update your profile. 


NAA Issues Advisory Regarding Suspicious Packages

In the wake of recent package bomb incidents in Austin, NAA has issued an advisory to members.
Click here to learn more or view the entire NAA advisory below.




PSC to Host Education Seminars, Meeting, Reception

All supplier members of FAA are invited to a free educational program, followed by a networking reception with industry leaders, on Tuesday, May 8. The FAA Product/Service Council will have a brief meeting between educational sessions, which will begin 1 p.m. at  the Hard Rock Hotel-Daytona Beach, 900 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for any part of this program is mandatory. 

Lead Retrieval Now Offered at FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

New! Lead retrieval is available for exhibitors at the 2018 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show. The two options can be purchased at a pre-conference discount. On-site at the conference, rates will increase $50. 
BC600 Hand-Held Device Advance purchase: $200; On-site purchase: $250
KLEERLeads Mobile Advance purchase: $150; On-site purchase: $200
The versatile app enables trade show exhibitors to capture, qualify, and follow up on leads or surveys directly from their smartphones or tablets, and then securely access this data in real time from any location. With KleerLeads Mobile, it’s easy to add custom qualifiers such as "ready to purchase" or "follow up in two months" as well as personalized freeform notes.
Exhibitors can even attach the prospect’s photo, business card, or other information to use during follow-up. With KleerLeads, not only can exhibitors capture leads on the trade show floor, they can also use their mobile devices to capture leads anywhere they encounter attendees, such as at hotels, social functions, and more.
NOTE: Lead retrieval device rental/mobile app purchases are available to 2018 FAA trade show exhibitors only.
Learn more about both options at and then reserve yours today.

Stand Out with an Enhanced Business Listing

A more robust and comprehensive supplier directory has replaced the old PSC Buyer's Guide, which in many cases only included one company under a specific category. In the new digital directory, every supplier member will be offered a basic listing with contact information and will have the opportunity to purchase an enhanced listing for $250. The enhanced listing will include premium placement, a company description, contact information, a link to your website, and social media feeds.

Check out the new FAA Supplier Directory, a valuable resource for apartment communities and management companies seeking products and services.

To stand out with an enhanced business listing in FAA's supplier directory, purchase yours today.

Reach More Prospects with Year-Round Sponsorship Opportunities

FAA offers opportunities to reach prospects at events throughout the year. 

  • FAA Board of Directors Meetings, May 9, and October 3
  • Leadership Lyceum Luncheons or Dinners, May 8, and August 24
Visit for more information or email