Randi R
Sounds great. Would love to see in a low income community. Lol. Maybe they could influence the wa...
Thanks Terry, Let me know when your article is published. I want to share it with our community as ...
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Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Dear Gabby,   Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.   Sincerely, #ReluctantGrammer   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #ReluctantGrammer,   First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.   As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.   Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!   You should use Instagram as a place...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
  Here is a thought exercise:  Do you think your community would be positively impacted if Chris Pratt or Jennifer Lawrence lived there?  What if you could advertise that?   Here is my take:  Just like how famous stars get goodie bags of tons of free stuff, with companies hoping they will use (and showcase) their product, it would be an absolute boon to have a celebrity live at one of our properties.  Of course, the challenge is that they often own their own home, so the opportunities are not that plentiful.  But if it did happen, and it was publicized, then the value to that community would be absolutely huge.  (Let's not worry about privacy concerns quite yet)  And just like giving away a goodie bag, it would make sense to incentivize the celebrity to live at the community, with discounted rent to some degree. But since inspiring Chris Pratt or Jennifer Lawrence to live at one of our communities is likely off the table, what if we looked at the idea, just notched down a few pegs?  In the social media world, we talk about finding out who the "influencers" are, and engaging with them.  And it's true, everyday people are now using social media, youtube, etc to create VAST audiences of millions of people, even turning that fame into book deals.  Taking it to a local level, there are surely people who are influencers in that particular market who have a valuable audience.  So you have these people,...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Depending on who you ask, somewhere between 80 and 95% of all renters will go online to research potential options over the course of their search. And when you talk to those renters, many of them start their search with a search — usually on Google. (Most U.S. properties we work with today receive about 65-90% of their search traffic from Google, with the rest coming from Bing, Yahoo, and smaller search engines like DuckDuckGo.) The search engine is the modern day Yellow Pages. It’s where people go to look for … pretty much everything. So if you want to be considered as an option for those renters who are in shopping mode, you first need to be as visible as possible where they’re looking. This is why you’re should be considering or already doing some kind of search engine optimization (SEO) on your website. SEO is all about positively impacting how Google sees you site, so you’ll rank higher in the results, and presumably this will lead to more website traffic and more customers. The best way to be discovered in search is to deliver the best, most relevant answer to the question the prospect is typing (or saying) into Google. At this point, let’s pause and take a huge step back. The most important part of any marketing strategy is understanding the customer, and being able to deliver what they want when they need it. Now apply that to your search strategy: The best way to be discovered in...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
The New Year has arrived. And with it, a new set of apartment marketing challenges to face and overcome. For regional managers and people on the front lines of apartment marketing, these challenges mostly revolve around advertising costs and their respective ROIs. But with so many different apartment marketing strategies available, the first challenge is determining which ideas are worth the time. So with that in mind, we put together this list of the three strategies apartment marketers should focus on in order to sign the most leases and maximize their ROI in 2017. #1: Reputation Management Towards the end of December 2016, participants in the weekly #AptChat conversation on Twitter were asked about their main marketing resolution for 2017. The top response? Reputation! @AptChat Q1-A1: reputation! — Tara Marks (Smiley) (@tarasmiley) December 20, 2016   Unlike other methods on this list, it’s hard to really gauge the ROI of your online reputation management efforts. Sure, you know it pays to have a great reputation. But quantifying how well it pays is something else entirely. There’s no way to find out if a single 4.5 Star review directly resulted in a website visit or a lease signing. But when you look long-term, the macro trends speak for themselves. Consider, for example, that 87% of rental prospects will not rent an apartment from a community that holds less than a 3-Star rating. That’s an alarming statistic, one that should make boosting your community’s rating above the 3-Star mark a top priority. And...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
a1sx2_Cupcake marketing_Kate-Good-Marketing-Slide---Cupcakes.jpgKate Good presented her 2017 Marketing Playbook yesterday, and there were loads of great ideas shared.  One of my absolute favorites was a mix of resident appreciation, social media awareness, and outreach marketing, all in one program!  Kate's team sent out cupcakes to residents at their place of work as a way to show the residents how much they were appreciated, as well as hopefully gain some great social media mentions!  Sure enough, Sandra took a picture of herself with the cupcakes and posted the picture back to Vargos' fan page!  Mission 1 and Mission 2 accomplished! What Kate said next really struck me: See how we popped in tri-fold brochures in there too - that's also great for outreach, because you know Sandra isn't going to eat all 12 of these cupcakes.  She's going to share them with her coworkers, and we want them to know where the cupcakes came from. Mission 3 accomplished!  How great is that - resident appreciation, social media awareness, AND outreach marketing all in one program!      If you liked that tip, you can still catch Kate's full webinar with loads more ideas by going here:  Kate Good's 2017 Marketing Playbook  ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
One thing is clear about individuals looking for space to rent today: online research. Google has become the go-to solution for most renters today and it’s become increasingly difficult for multifamily communities to stand out. So the question becomes, “what do we have to do differently to stand out? What else can we offer individuals making decisions before they ever visit the property?” The answer is: Create a virtual experience. Google understood the benefit of that experience when it created the Street-View program. Although you’re probably familiar, the Street-View program maps out most of the areas google covers on Google maps. This would allow us to walk down Hollywood Blvd. without being in Hollywood, or scope out the area around a community I’m considering moving into. It changed the way we imagined the world by virtually teleporting us to almost any location.   Now Google has begun bringing that experience indoors, allowing potential customers to experience the inside of certain spaces to experience what a real-life walk-through would be like. Potential customers can explore the interiors of buildings across residential, commercial, hospitality, and even healthcare facilities. The most popular choice is using photography, while other locations are amplifying by providing virtual tours.  Accurate listings on Google have become the standard. Simply managing your Google Business listing, although important, is not enough to compete with every other community out there. Appealing Photography and engaging Virtual Tours will help you stand apart from your competition. Experience for yourself: Live at Runway...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Dear Gabby,  I keep hearing all of these young people talk about Snapchat. It’s hard enough for me to remember to monitor my community Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account, and Pinterest. Phew.  Am I expected to understand Snapchat too? If so, how do I use it at my multifamily community? Please help!  #SnapchatNovice Dear #SnapchatNovice,  I could barely pry my son away from his phone before, but now that Snapchat is so popular, he rarely puts it down at all! That’s great news for you though -- Snapchat is huge! There are currently millions of users who use it daily. Most Snapchat users are 34 and younger, which if you recall, is currently the most popular renter age group. I’m betting that a lot of your renters fall into this age bracket. Snapchat isn’t just for sending photos of your food, it’s also a great place to focus your marketing efforts. One of the most valuable features of Snapchat is that users are able to create 24-hour stories that house photos and short videos. This means your residents will be able to engage with content that you’re posting in real time.  So, you’ve downloaded the app, now what? It’s time to start posting content that millennials will engage with. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to take selfies like all your millennial renters. There are plenty fun ways to naturally incorporate Snapchat into your marketing tactics, all while cultivating a more engaged community: Apartment Tours Let prospective residents take...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Stacy Bouchard from D2 Demand Solutions posed the question “Is your Sales Process Prospect-Centered?” a few weeks ago. While it’s a great question that the apartment industry needs to strongly consider, looking at the sales-cycle is only half the battle. Making the sales cycle prospect-centric can only be so effective if apartment marketing is still delivering sub-par leads.   For example, most multifamily websites provide a feast of choices and assume that the online prospect will take a self-guided tour through the site, consuming whatever content they feel like. Having options like video tours, vibrant site maps, and online leasing is good. But, in some instances, it may be too much of a good thing. You wouldn’t give a prospect a brochure and a sitemap then tell them to go look at whichever parts of the property they felt like. So why are we doing it online? In most cases, the answer is “because we want qualified leads.” And that’s not a bad answer. It’s just not a prospect-oriented answer.   According to some sources, the average prospect looks at more than 20 communities online prior leasing. That’s 20+ self-guided tours of pool photos and amenity lists for every prospect that contacts your community. Crafting a prospect’s experience through the marketing funnel provides opportunities to customize their journey and shorten the path to leasing.   Making the marketing experience prospect-focused doesn’t have to be a forced process and for some, a self-guided experience is just how they like it. Exactly how...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
You’ve officially made it past the hard part of getting residents to visit your website. They’re so impressed with the high-quality photographs of the properties on your user-friendly website along with the listed amenities and benefits of living there that they’ve requested information! You have the potential resident’s full attention, and now is the most important time to clinch the lease by sending them an effective, straightforward series of emails that is guaranteed to seal the deal.   The best way to do this is to automate the email process in a way that will simplify transactions for you, but still give possible leasees the feeling that they have received a personalized message that will leave them both informed and excited to sign a lease at your property. At Trimark Properties in Gainesville, Florida, we use email strategies to broaden the reach of the persuasive marketing of our website and to communicate with prospective tenants who have indicated interested in our properties. We have found that the following four guidelines have made it simple for property management firms to implement effective email marketing campaigns to convince potential residents to lease at their property. 1.) Add a simple “Request Information” form on your website that will notify you immediately when someone has asked for additional information about one of your properties. Including the ability on your website for potential residents to request information through email by submitting their contact information and any questions they might have has two major advantages. First...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Immersive Youth Marketing recently released the results of its thought-provoking study on the best ways to capture the attention of Millennials. In it, the agency identifies many ways marketers can best reach this demographic. It’s a report written about Millennials, most likely by a Millennial, in Millennial-speak. So, we’re taking the liberty here to break it down and show just how applicable these recommendations are, even for the multifamily industry.  Do something eye-catching. This is a visual demographic. They are techno-savvy and digitally-minded. Your marketing efforts should take this into consideration. Make sure your content fits the media environment. Simply put: make sure your marketing can reach your target audience on any device, anywhere. Don’t put out a video that’s so large, most devices can’t process it. Make your ideas easy to navigate. Running a contest for your tenants? Want to grab the attention of Millennials with a new promotional offer? Don’t get caught up in the details. Make it straightforward, easy to understand, and, more importantly, easy to join in on. Remember: people are processing hundreds, if not thousands, of details being fed to them digitally, every day. Make your message simple, yet memorable. Find a Trojan horse. Sometimes, the best way to get your message out to the public is to have help carrying it to them. Is there a well-loved local band that can sing your jingle in a commercial? How about a partnership with a beloved local charity with which you can partner with for in-community promotions,...