That is a great question, but unfortunately, not an easy one! Elements like late rent payments and ...
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I'm currently working on a marketing plan for our community and really like this idea. Our referral...

Training Trivia

A recovered drug addict is protected under the Handicap Status section of the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Resident Retention
b2ap3_thumbnail_house-key.pngWelcome to a brand new year and brand new apartment marketing and resident retention ideas!  I think today's idea spans the gap between apartment marketing and resident retention, which I think is an interesting option.  It is also similar to a move-in gift in nature.  The general idea is having a unique key design for your residents when they move in.  It will obviously be more expensive than a standard key, but that's really a bad comparison, as it doesn't strictly serve the same purpose.  Yes, the keys both open the apartment door, but like I mentioned, the branded or unique key option is meant to make an impact like a move-in gift.  It is a conversation starter with their friends, and a reminder each time they unlock their door to the unique element of your community.  Here is an example of a uniquely-shaped key and a branded key: When thinking of it from a move-in gift concept, what do you think?...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I attended “Prioritizing Lead Channels and Maximizing on Marketing Spend” session at the NMHC OpTech Conference, and came away with many insights I thought you all would enjoy. Ø Virginia Love, Waterton Residential:  Growing importance of tracking the visit set ratio.  This is the percent of leads that turn into a visit.  With all the discussion on cost per lead versus cost per lease, it’s interesting to see Virginia placing emphasis on this midpoint metric. Ø Lynette Hegeman, Gables Residential:  Gables finds that prospects use 5 to 7 sources to find an apartment. Ø When discussing which lead source gets “credit”, Israel Carunungan of Greystar cares most about the lead source that ultimately converts, while Virginia and Josh McDonald of Holland Residential give credit to the first source of the lead. Ø Josh noted an industry survey that reported 37% of prospect leads were not even followed up on! Ø On the subject of effectiveness of different types of leads, Virginia said that phone leads were most effective in converting to a visit, followed by online chat, and lastly email.  However, email leads were the quickest to convert, and email leads converted 4 times better if the community called the prospect rather than emailing back. Ø Josh noted that 8% of visits were attributed to mobile lead sources in 2011, but jumped to 25% in 2012.  Additionally, mobile SEM is seeing extremely strong returns with 13% of spend resulting in 33% of results. Ø Virginia shared her strong results with RentMineOnline,...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
  In Part One of this series, I encouraged those looking at starting a social media program for their communities to see if they had the right people in place to do the job right. The next step to consider is whether you have the TIME to do the job right. In other words, simply creating a Facebook page, uploading pictures from your last resident event, and writing a post to let everyone know that rent is late after the third is NOT enough. Did you know that 42% of people who complain to a company via social media channels expect a response within one hour?* According to this same survey 32% of customers expected a response within 30 minutes! Finally, did you know that 57% of people who contacted a business expected the same response time even if the company was contacted after business hours or on the weekends. People view social media very differently than other channels of communication. Social media is seen as a more accessible, organic, vibrant and interactive form of communication with a company than email or writing a letter. Social media is, well, social, so people expect that it will be like an ongoing conversation. And for many people, it is! Think about it, do you ever see anyone standing in a line anymore (especially at Starbucks) who doesn’t have their phone in hand, texting, surfing, tweeting or posting? We love the technology because it is instant! We’re instant with friends and family . ....

Posted by on in Resident Retention
Keeping all of your residents happy is the goal of every property manager, but this realistically is impossible. Often residents end up going through negative experiences whether it is by mistakes made by employees, something wrong with their apartment, or sometimes just bad management decisions—yours or someone else’s. Upset residents are quite capable of rapidly spreading the word and tarnishing the reputation of a community. Regardless of the reason, the reputation of your community can go sour when something negative is posted on an apartment review site and it becomes instantly visible in search engine results. According to the 2012 Managing Customer Experience Survey, there is a correlation between actual delivery of customer experiences and impact on brand reputation and strength. I was inspired to write this blog while returning home from a recent trip to Branson, Missouri. This is a true story of a management team that is focused on turning around their bad  reputation and making lemonade out of sour lemons!  1. Sifting Through the Mess Our family decided to start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year. Our plan was to load up into our motorhome and head for Silver Dollar City, in Branson, Missouri. The kids were really excited about the idea of enjoying the rides and the attractions at the “Old Time Christmas” festival. I was charged with locating the “perfect” campground. We had a long list of “must haves,” such as an indoor pool, free shuttle to Silver Dollar City, playground, etc. After an hour of research, I realized we had one option that fit all of...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
  Driving to work this morning the dust bowl analogy popped into my head as I reflected on the last few years in this industry.  We all felt it in one way or another.  The question remains though is that has the dust settled for us and can we see our path or process clear enough to move forward? Social media hit us just like the dust bowl.  It kind of came out of nowhere and many of us were very unprepared.  We could not tell night from day.  It made many of our business decisions very hazy and confusing.  There was so much discussion (dust) flying all over the place that it left us searching for anyone or anything that would provide a solution and a process to get through the storm and to focus on our business in general. I do believe the dust is settling.  There are far less Twitter debates.  The blog article versus blog article approach has petered out.  I have not had an apartment community “friend” me in quite some time.  There are far less opinions and a lot more action from my perspective.  It appears that the apartment industry has a solid footing and really understands that we have just been provided tools that are there to facilitate what we all want….a solid business model. So that brings us to the next question.  What’s next?  I was reading an old prediction post I wrote from back in 2010 and it gave me some great...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Like a lot of other nerds, I watched the release of the new Microsoft Surface tablet with much interest. Being touted as an iPad killer, there was much hype behind Microsoft's reimagining of the tablet experience. The problem, of course, turned out to be Microsoft's failure in managing that experience correctly. The reviews haven't been good. Microsoft, it turns out, spent a ton of time making sure the device felt good in your hands. They wanted the right, curvy angles for the device. They wanted the screen to blast its high def-y goodness all over you and to create a better typing experience with its touch cover keyboard. All of those things turned out to be pretty cool. The problem? The overall experience associated with using the device stinks. Why? It's slow. The software is a cross between poor design and clumsy. Already, there are defects. The price tag is too high. All of these items overshadow its cool angles with touch keyboard. They focused on the wrong things and their oversights have been detrimental to the entire Surface Experience. Let Microsoft's Surface problems be a lesson for all of you. Make sure you are managing your leasing experience effectively. Think of every leasing opportunity as its own product launch. Everything a prospect sees is part of the experience. Your phone manner must be right. Make sure you're smiling, understanding the prospects needs and showing them the best apartment. A maintenance man addressing employees inappropriately in front of prospects takes away...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
Brent Williams from Multifamily Insiders recently wrote a thought-provoking piece on communities using Facebook as part of their marketing strategies. You can find Brent’s original post and the comments from readers here. While people differed on their opinions of whether Facebook and other social media was worth the time and effort, based on a variety of factors, the one thing that seemed to “pop up” consistently was the idea that if you have chosen to enter social media you need to make sure that you are doing it “right.” Author and social media expert Scott Stratten says that “social media is human.” The appeal of social media is that people can connect with companies in ways that are more engaging, interactive and natural. In short, social media has the power to “humanize” companies, when done right. How do you know you’re ready to do ‘social’ right? The first step is having the right people: If social media is human, then your social media strategy needs to begin with people...your people. In short, are they ready to do the job and are they the RIGHT people to do the job of connecting with your customers in a more personal and interactive way? While this is not a marketing example, it does give you an idea of the kind of talent you need to communicate on social media spaces. . . Major league baseball writer Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Miami Marlins needed a new centerfielder. Here is the tweet: Uh, by the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
There are many strategies for posting apartments on craigslist and I think your best tactic is to always be using more than one angle. It’s not rocket science to grasp that different demographics will be drawn to different content in a title. And although we all want to rent to employed, responsible humans – that still results in a wide range of demographics. In order to engage with as wide a range as possible, try posting for the same vacant unit with three entirely different titles. (Although I’m focusing on the title, remember that in order to avoid ‘ghosting,’ the content of the post cannot be exactly the same in all three.) One way to approach this is to give each title a specific focus. For example: One title could focus on the interior of the specific unit. One or two titles could focus on the location and/or community amenities. Another title can be almost random, intended to draw in anyone on craigslist tired of searching and looking at boring titles. If you are offering any concessions, that can be an additional title or combine with one of the tactics above. More specifically, the above suggestions might look like this: West Facing Balcony, Lots of Natural Light, Garage, D/W, A/C – PETS WELCOME This will appeal to the person who is scanning Craigslist almost exclusively interested in the interior details of a specific apartment home. They are less interested in the pool and fitness center because they are at first...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
We all love to give away an iPad at the housing fair. But at $500 a pop, it isn't the most economical gadget for a leasing incentive. Whether you're giving away a renewal concession or throwing a raffle, it's important that the item you offer has a high perceived value without breaking your marketing budget. Here are 5 awesome tech gifts, under $250, that your residents will love.   1. Nest Thermostat How Much? $249 Nest, designed by an ex Apple Executive, is the smartest (and coolest) thermostat around. Promising a quick 30 minute installation and compatibility with 95% of American homes, Nest will sure to put your old apartment thermostats to shame. Not only will it save you around 20% on your heating and cooling, it learns your habits as time goes on and automatically adjusts the temperature when you leave the house, go to bed, and wake up. Oh, and you can control it using your iPhone.   2. Nexus 7 How Much? $199 While the Nexus 7 may not be the long-awaited iPad killer, you can't deny its beauty and performance; and at a price point $130 less than the iPad Mini, it is the must-have Android tablet this year. Features include a stunning 7 inch, 1280 by 800 display, quad core processor (whoa, that's fast), and 10 hours of battery life. The N7 also gives you access to over 750,000 apps and runs the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2. 3. Jambox by Jawbone How Much?...

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
insta4.jpg   To add to the barrage of social media opportunities that professionals in our industry have been compelled to filter through over recent years, Instagram is another channel that is quickly transitioning from niche to mainstream, and proving itself a force to be reckoned with.   So if you’re looking to get started with Instragram at your property, or if you need some ideas to help diversify your photostream, here are are 40 photo subjects for your perusal. And feel free to comment with your ideas!   1. dishes from local restaurants - nothing is quite so enticing as local cuisine to give viewers a taste of the area.2. live pics from local events - concerts, gallery openings, block parties...3. cityscapes - if you offer rooms w/ a view, flaunt it.4. seasonal area attractions - carnivals, parades, festivals...5. resident events - that’s a no-brainer. 6. food - if you’re anything like us, treats around the office are never lacking. But only post it if you’re willing to share.7. the grounds8. repairs - show-off your maintenance skills9. food trucks - it doesn’t get any more hipster than that, and residents deserve to know. 10. cute animals - who can resist? And pet-friendliness can be a big factor for a lot of residents.11. foliage - nothing gives people the warm fuzzies like a autum leaves or cherry blossoms in spring.12. gifts & giveaways - show us the goods. 13. amenities - pool? gym? pristine laundry facilities?14. industry events - if your community...
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