Apartment Marketing - Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing
I love to study all things marketing and in the past 13 months I have been taking notes about marketing that gets my attention in an age where traditional marketing channels no longer work. Based on my notes, here are three things I am doing in my marketing plans and activities today:1. Simplify Your Message - Today's consumer is on advertising overload. The days of busy ads selling all things to all people no longer exist. Today, the message the reaches and resonates with the customer is a simplfied one. Stay on target and be clear.2. Keep it Positive - Everyone likes good news. Fun, happy, positive messages are memorable and welcome in all worlds. Celebrate and enjoy. Pass this along to your target customer and it is contagious.
3. Don't tell people what you sell, tell them why they should buy it. 'Nough said!...
So maybe you heard about this: Earlier this year, rapper Armando Christian Perez, or “Pitbull”, partnered with Walmart and Energy Sheets in a social media campaign which took a turn for the worst. In June the trio announced a Facebook contest, in which the local Walmart store that received the most page “likes” would receive a personal visit from Pitbull so he could “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with [his] fans.”
That’s when David Thorpe, writer for The Boston Phoenix and the off-color comedy site Something Awful, got wind of the promotion and hijacked the campaign by encouraging people to #ExilePitbull to a remote Walmart location on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The prank spread like wildfire season in the interior arctic, and by the conclusion of the contest, a city with a population of 6,000 incinerated the efforts of 4,000 other U.S. locations, achieving over 70,000 Facebook “likes.”
Whew! We’re now coming through another heavy leasing season for those of us in the multifamily industry, anyway. We’ve grabbed and garnered leases left and right. We’ve been able to hold onto a lot of current residents. We’ve gotten leasing bonuses and everyone is finishing up vacation time, even though we are secretly trying to harbor a couple of days to use at Thanksgiving for Black Friday or the holidays.
For me, I have noticed that the hardest “sells” have been those families with school age children. Honestly, it brought me back to the time when my husband was rapidly moving up the corporate ladder, which necessitated many different moves all across the country. I remembered that apparently my husband’s preferred method of informing his family that we were moving was to take us to a restaurant and make the announcement. It seemed his favorite restaurant to do this in was Pizza Hut. Probably because the kids loved the pizza there (and he did, too.) However, after the fourth time it happened, it kind of ruined the idea of going to Pizza Hut for me and the kids.
It has occurred to me that the actual moving experience does not have to be horrendous. It’s the fact that, if you are not the decision-maker, it can be very stressful. After all, if you’re the child, you really get very little input in the decision. Most of the time, your parents make the announcement and start discussing all kinds of...
The NEW Generation of RentersNow that the baby boomer generation has begun entering retirement we are starting to see the impact on property behavior. This is the NEW generation of renters. This generation - those born between the end of World War 2 and the early years of the 1960s - are a very large group in our society; 76 million strong. This means that we are facing a large and growing demographic that is getting increasingly older with corresponding life needs.
While some may continue to live in the family home as they age, others will look for new housing, especially if it offers smaller, more manageable, more comfortable space. It is fairly common for older people to sell larger, family homes because the bigger space is no longer needed and the maintenance requirements have become inconvenient.
Growing customer base
According to the U.S. Census, there are 35 million seniors in the U. S. today—12.4% of the population. Over the next decade that percentage is projected to increase to 16.5% (53.7 million people). Considering this as a customer segment, it has the potential to become one of the best sales pipelines in the market today. So, how do we attract this population to our community?
Attitude is key. Remember to whom you are marketing. Yes, of course to the senior prospect - but also to their children and influencers. Don’t approach your customer as ‘old’ - studies show that we routinely think ‘old’ means ten years older...
“Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and "virtual word-of-mouth" to boost a company's reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier's gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human.” ~ Reference to the social media explosion after the manager of a Panera Bread restaurant who made a bowl of clam chowder for a young man’s dying grandmother in article written by Bill Taylor, HBR Blogs (Harvard Business Review)
Maybe it is more important to be kind, rather than offering Specials and concessions to our Prospects and to our renewing Residents to entice them to live in our communities.. There are sure to be some cynics out there that will disagree with this, that Gen Y and X will choose price over any other offering when apartment shopping, that our current Residents only want to maintain a status quo without enduring the dreaded rent increase, that our Team members only want raises – that the almighty dollar trumps our ability to offer a connection to one another.
I posted a comment to one of Maria Lawson’s Blogs on Multifamily Insiders regarding loyalty recently. I wrote of how during...
As a long-time renter, I have been through many apartment showings in various countries throughout my life. Despite the fact that I have never been a leasing agent, I have a good feel for what works and what doesn't. For the most part, a rental unit will sell itself. The renter usually has an idea of what they like and what they don't. The goal of the leasing agent should be to determine a potential client's requirements and then provide options that meet or exceed those expectations. Personally, I don't like a heavy sales pitch, and from my experience, good leasing agents avoid the hard sell tactics.
Over the years, I have encountered a fair number of agents that really push a property to the point of appearing almost desperate. It made me wonder what might be wrong with the unit or the complex as a whole. To be fair, some properties are just easier to sell than others. Buildings in great locations and newly constructed apartments with quality amenities can attract renters by word-of-mouth, or, by curb appeal alone. For older, less maintained buildings and complexes that are in less-desirable neighborhoods, it can be a more difficult process to get the units leased.
Listen in on the conversations of today’s multifamily housing industry marketers and you’re bound to be blitzed by buzz words such as “lead generation,” “social engagement,” “mobile marketing,” “website conversion” and “protecting my brand.”
Multifamily housing marketing is at the forefront of the technological revolution happening in the world today because it is relies heavily on all forms of communication—the more people reached the better. Today’s fragmentation and proliferation of communication channels is mind-boggling at times. There is a virtual explosion of options to reach your target audience that allow you to engage socially, generate leads and convert those leads to leases while building your community brand.
So how do we keep pace with this marketing revolution and not fall behind? How do we make sure we are not wasting money on tactics that don’t work? And most importantly, how do we measure the effectiveness of our marketing strategies?
A vital element to answering these questions is the process of tracking marketing sources. Simple tracking efforts are a quick and easy way to continuously gauge marketing effectiveness through snapshot measurements. The encouraging news is that there are a host of unbiased resources available that make this important effort manageable. This includes assigning a unique tracking phone number to all your marketing sources, which allows you to review, without bias, the volume of marketing leads generated by each source. You can also contact a third-party company that will manage this process for you. If you are not quite ready to...
Call them what you will—Millennials, Gen Y, Generation Next or Echo Boomers—they are all descriptors for the next generation of renters hitting the multifamily housing industry. A key characteristic of this demographic (who were born between 1982 and 1995 and are either the children or grandchildren of Baby Boomers) is that they are the most informed prospects that you have likely ever encountered. These potential renters are approximately 80 million strong, range in age from 16-29 and are highly educated as well as technologically savvy.
Before stepping foot on your actual property, they will already have a good idea of what it looks like from photos and videos online—some of which have been posted by prior or current renters, some of them possibly posted by your company. Members of this next generation know the amenities your community offers, how much rent will cost them each month and they have unprecedented access to communication with your past and present residents via various social media avenues like Facebook and Twitter. They will most likely find out about your property through the Internet by using a laptop, iPad or Android, Web-enabled mobile device like an iPhone, and even more likely, a combination of all of the above. When they come to visit, they will have specific questions based on all of the information they have gathered, and they will want amenities and features that are quite a departure from your current, standard apartment fare like Wi-Fi, cathedral ceilings, limited floor plan options and possibly...
Up until a few weeks ago, we had no competition in social. Our community dominated the Twittersphere. Enter our biggest competitor. A recent change of management brought forth a more social staff. Tweets are now going out and, this time, they’re not just recycled from Facebook. After almost 2 years of research, I’ve discovered that most of our residents are using Twitter regularly so we’ve scaled back the Facebook and beefed up the Twitter. Increasing Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control starts with three ‘R’s. This post offers insight into new mind control methods you can use in both conventional and student focused housing markets.
Part 1 of the 'Increase Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control' series (seen here) will show how to search for relevant posts in your area, but it doesn’t quite go deep enough. To maintain our position as top dog, we’ve had to think outside the box. Now included in our daily searches are local events such as New Student Orientations.
You may be asking – OK, so what do I do with them once I find them?
A careful balance of engagable posts, that’s what.
Retweets - A ‘Retweet’ is Twitter’s version of the share button. Clicking ‘Retweet’ directly copies a user post and sends it out to your followers. It also generates a notification to the user you quoted, but the text is small so while this type of engagement is sought after by many, it’s not the most effective.
Replies - Replying to a Tweet will also...
If you’re an admin of a brand’s Facebook Business Page, you are relied upon to be the social media “wizard” behind the curtain that is your brand. Some brands promote transparency between their Business Page and their admins’ Facebook Profiles, while others want a clean line of separation between the two. Here are five privacy features that will help you set boundaries to achieve your desired level of privacy and how Facebook is empowering page administrators.
1. Lists: This is a great feature for community managers who interact with residents on a regular basis and who, from time to time, develop friendships. Lists allow you to control and separate what acquaintances and colleagues see vs. what your close friends and family will see. By creating a list for each of the important groups in your life — family, teammates, coworkers, etc. — you decide who sees what you share.
2. Photos: Photos are the bread and butter of Facebook. Marketers and community managers know that a great post with an engaging photo is often times a home run. Even if you choose to allow transparency, the last thing a community manager wants is to have his or her brand’s audience member or work associates come across photos of family members or other people who have not authorized that level of visibility. To prevent this from happening, you should make a bee line to your photo settings!
3. Tagging: Not only can your friends tag you in photos, they can also tag you at...