Apartment Marketing - Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing
Instagram, the remarkable app for sharing photos and video with clever and creative filters, just turned 3 years old. One surprising fact is that even though Instagram has built up a user base of more than 150 million people who have shared more than 16 billion photos(!), it has yet to make a single dime. All that is about to change as Instragram begins allow ads in photostreams before the end of the year. To compete with Twitter’s Vine, Instagram has also introduced the capability to record very short videos no more than 15 seconds long. The length and size of these videos makes them ideal for sharing. Here is a brief introduction to who is on Instagram now and how professionals in multi-family can take advantage of this valuable tool to generate new revenue.
Instagram is ideal for marketing apartment complexes for a number of reasons. It can deliver stunning photos of properties to a targeted segment with searchable keywords that capture their attention. According to the Pew Research Center, Instagram is popular with young urban professional women, age 18-29, and draws a significant base of African American and Latinos. Those characteristics matches extremely well with the demographics of renters as identified by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC). The NMHC reported that 57% of renters are under 30. In major urban centers in the US, apartments make up between 30 to 50% of the housing market. Single females are the most common household type for renters, representing 28% of renters of apartments...
That which isn't measured isn't managed.
Such is the case with Craigslist ads. Craigslist's recent decision to disallow html means that many of your posting tool's tracking capabilities won't work, so you're left to do it yourself. That's not a bad thing. Manual audits ensure that posts are done, and done properly.
Here's how it's done:
From the Craigslist city page, type the property name and search 'All Housing.' If your posts don't include your property name, search for the phone number in the ad.
Can you find the ads? Are your properties posting frequently enough? Are they posting correctly? That means completing all fields, including the correct location; appropriate photos; full, map-ready address, etc. For more tips on posting, review our previous posts here and here.
Keep your Craigslist posts consistent — they're good for 1-2 leases per month when done right. But the only way to be sure is to audit manually, of course. It's boring, but like many of the basics, it works....
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations can make texting with customers pretty spooky for any business. But that doesn’t mean it’s something you should avoid...not if it’s done in a TCPA-compliant way. With 97% of SMS text messages opened and read within 3 minutes (vs. 22% of emails), it’s a communication your community should embrace. Just do so carefully, ensuring you're in compliance even with the most recent regulations:
Include the ability to immediately opt out of messages. (Effective Jan. 14, 2013)
Get unambiguous written consent—even from people you have established business relationships with—before sending telemarketing calls or text messages via automatic telephone dialing systems. (Effective Oct. 16, 2013)
Do You Market or Simply Communicate?The TCPA is aimed at restricting telemarketers, but in the broadest sense, almost any business-to-consumer texts could fall under these regulations.* I don’t know about you, but I like to err on the side of caution! There are a number of resources to help you learn what (if any) changes you need to make, and consider talking with an attorney to make sure your specific needs are addressed no matter what kind of texting your community does:
SMS ShortCode programs - Used to send mass marketing messages (like specials or coupons) to a long list of numbers, these text programs are the most heavily regulated. They can be effective when used correctly, but hit pause until checking with your vendor and attorney for any additional steps you need to take.
One-to-one texting between property management personnel...
Google is at it again! Last month they released their brand-new ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm which is set to (again) further improve the accuracy and relevance of search results. Updates to Google’s algorithm are nothing new (remember all the buzz surrounding the Panda and Penguin updates?) but this one is a little different. If panda and penguin can be compared to replacing a ceiling fan or window in a rental unit, Hummingbird is more akin to a full blown remodel. Sure, the supporting walls remain but the paint, carpet, plumbing and electrical systems have been completely removed and replaced with more technologically advanced and effective alternatives. So too is the same with the Hummingbird algorithm. The look of Google search will largely remain the same but many of the nuts and bolts have been replaced allowing for what Google says will be “better [search] results.”
So what’s different about Hummingbird? Google, in typical fashion, hasn’t gone into a lot of detail about the specifics of the new algorithm but they did reveal two main points of interest:
Spoken language queries are becoming increasingly common with the prevalence of technology like Apple’s Siri.
In response to the ever increasing prevalence of smart phones with voice recognition like Apple’s Siri, Google has been focusing on expanding their conversational search technology. This refers to queries like, ‘where is the nearest ATM to my house?’ Here Google looks at each word contained in the query as well as the way they...
What do you think? Should you create a long title for your craigslist post - cramming in as much information as you can? Or, should you write a short and concise title?
RentLinx recently completed a study of 25 million views of 100,000 craigslist "Apts/Housing" posts. We found that most property managers are posting with long titles:
However, most renters are clicking on the shorter titles!
Faced with a wall of text -- would you rather read a short title, or a long one? Notice that the shortest title actually pops out on this List View:
When writing your craigslist titles: Less is More!
You've submitted your apartment ad to Craigslist, and the Craigslist dashboard says it's published. But even though it's listed as active, it might not be there. Go on, take a look.
Can't find it? You've been 'ghosted,' and you need to figure out why.
Ghosting is Craigslist's way of controlling spam. It's an automated process, and sometimes legitimate posts get caught in the ghosting filter. If you're getting consistently ghosted, though, consider re-thinking your posting strategy.
Slow Down. Try to post only once or twice per day. Consider reposting ads less frequently.
Get Creative. Create a set of completely different ads and substantially vary the images, text and title.
Use One Good Account. Craigslist tracks your IP address, and multiple accounts make you look like a spammer. If you’ve over-posted in the past, you may need a new account to clean things up.
Sticking to these rules won't make you ghost-proof, but it should help most of your ads go live....
There’s been plenty of talk about the Gen Y/millennial generation and their buying power...and you should be paying attention because they’re not kids anymore. Many studies place this generation in the 18-33 age range, which means they’re probably the bullseye for your target market, from college students to young parents and tech-savvy businesspeople. In fact, most of you reading this post probably either are a millennial (like me) or work with one.
But turning millennials—and the even more mobile Gen Z behind them—into loyal, satisfied residents may take more than a great location and wonderful community.
So What Does It Take?It’s probably what you’re thinking: mobile conveniences and fast responses. Technology defines millennials. They’ve almost grown up mobile, and it’s seeped into what appeals to them, influences them and how they communicate. A Forrester study calls it the “mobile mind shift”: “The expectation that any desired information or service is available on any appropriate device, in context, at a person’s moment of need.”
What happens if it’s hard to communicate with your staff or there are delays in responding? These consumers get frustrated and could move on to the next community.
Mobile Steps to ConsiderHere are some ideas to better serve those millennial residents and prospects:
They like digital communication - Texting is a great example. In a 2010 PEW study, millennials reported sending/receiving about 20 texts in 24 hours, which has only increased. So use it to communicate too. Answering prospects and residents via text can even make your staff...
After a powerful weekend at the Georgia Apartment Association annual conference, I was compelled to share this repost from a Hubspot article that resonated with me. While reading this article, I found myself nodding my head and checking off a mental list of items that are so relevant to those who thirst for greater knowledge of marketing truths. These valuable lessons are apropos for marketers who have experienced an educational trial by fire. Business school will make you teachable, coachable and trainable, but real world experience will make you reliable and well versed in what your organization needs in their marketing arsenal.
If you find yourself connecting with some of these "new school" versus "old school" tactics, I want to hear from you! What are some marketing lessons that you learned outside of traditional education?
What Your Traditional Marketing Education Didn't Teach You About Marketing Today
Happy Reading! Your Marketing Maven, ~M
Image Alt Tags have been the go-to method of optimization for images for quite some time now. After adding alt tags, many property management teams will simply call it good.
That's not a critical error by any means, but it's like leaving proverbial money on the table. Google and other search engines are unable to interpret images on their own so they rely on signals from us. Image alt tags are one way webmasters let search engines know the kind of material that is contained in a picture, but why stop there if you don't have to? There are a few other things you can do to help the search engines understand the media on your apartment community website.
How many pictures do you have in your computer with names like IMG_0666 or something? How helpful is that title in determining what the picture is about? If you, a member of the most intellectually advanced species on the planet, can't immediately determine what is in the picture that you most likely took yourself, then why would you expect a machine to be able to? As search engines crawl the code of your page, they read and analyze the file names your photos have. So tell Google what your webpage contains by incorporating strategic keywords into image file names.
Don't forget about G+
Now that you've changed the file names of all the photography on your apartment community website, go and do the same thing for pictures on your Google+ page. This serves the...
The Millennial Generation, otherwise known as Generation Y, is made up of those between the ages of 25-34. This group is known for having strong preferences and opinions, plenty of ambition, and a ‘sky's the limit’ mentality when it comes to their abilities. They are very tech-savvy, impatient at times, and are always ‘connected’ via their smartphones or tablets.
These days, millennials are more flexible than ever, seeking out careers across the country or even internationally. Partially due to the sluggish (but improving) economy, young people feel the need to take any good professional opportunity they can, even if it means packing up and moving away from their families. Because of this, millennials are choosing to rent apartments more than ever. It’s important that this group is able to pack up and move at a moment’s notice, so renting is more practical for this stage in their lives.
Making Your Community Millennial-Friendly
As a property manager, it is great news for you to know that there’s an entire generation that is actively seeking out a place to rent. Millennials are a unique group, though, so there are a few things you should know in order to appeal to them. They are dubbed the “Generation of Choice” because of their unrelenting demand for choice in all aspects of their lives. Here are the Four “C’s” that explain this Generation of Choice:
(Ad) Choice - You should advertise your community where this generation spends a lot of their time...