Brent, I think we make the assumption that people need to know everything. Sure, we need some filte...
Question about the spilling candy video: Are you getting more people because you made it simpler to...

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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

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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Posted by on in Property Management
Apartment Marketing for Qualified TrafficI absolutely love targeted apartment marketing ideas, as long as they are within the confines of Fair Housing rules.  I recently found this conversation about a marketing approach that catered towards professionals versus students. I want to note that the point of sharing this is not to advocate against students by saying they are bad renters, but rather highlight how property managers use targeting strategies to fit their particular goals.  It just happened that these property managers favored professionals rather than students, but there are obviously countless strategies that would work in the opposite way to attract students.  It appears that the fear of Fair Housing often leads property managers to water down their apartment marketing to appeal to every single person possible, but I think this is a brilliant approach to using the wants/needs of their target demographic to drive interest from a particular group.  (Although their use of "young" is probably not appropriate from a Fair Housing perspective)  Anything that (legally) gets us out of the one size fits all mode I think is a step forward, in my opinion. (To some property managers who have been in this industry a long time, targeted marketing like this is nothing new, but please keep in mind that we always have a fresh group of new, inspired property management professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge!) Brent Williams is Chief Insider of Multifamily Insiders.  You can connect with him on LinkedIn or on Facebook....

Posted by on in Property Management
I’ll admit it. One of the most exciting parts of my life as a Property Manager on a Section 8 property was getting involved in the drug busts. It was an adrenaline rush like no other, no pun intended. Part of being a Manager on any property in any community is to provide decent, safe and sanitary apartment homes for our Residents. And, yes, I call the people who live in my communities “Residents” and not Tenants simply because everyone deserves to be treated respectfully. It is also a mindset. We must adopt the notion that people want to live long term, or at least as long as necessary, willingly in our apartment communities. This will reduce turnover costs and promote a more harmonious living environment for our Residents. We must believe that there is value in creating a warm, nurturing home atmosphere for our Residents. If we are successful, they will stay longer; they will take better care of their apartment homes, and thus the property.   You never want someone to feel bad about where they came from or what their current circumstances in life may be. You want to uplift your Residents’ spirits and promote a better lifestyle. If we can impart this mindset to our Residents, they in turn will believe in themselves more and become contributing members of our communities. At least this is my personal motto.   This is why I take illegal drug activity so personally and seriously. Many people assume it is normal...

Posted by on in Property Management
Many communities have some sort of maintenance guarantee at their properties, such as a 24 hour maintenance guarantee.  But for those that have comps that also provide the same maintenance guarantee, here is a good option to go a step beyond and trump them, all with a simple poster.  If you think about it, if you have a 24 hour maintenance guarantee, that actually represents the maximum time (theoretically) for maintenance to address the problem.  So the average maintenance time will always be less than that number, sometimes much less.  So consider creating a poster for the community that details out the 24 hour maintenance guarantee, and then below that, list out the 12 months of the year.  For each month, record the actual average maintenance time so prospects can see that although the guaranteed time was 24 hours, the actual times being achieved are closer to 9, for example.  This leaves you the flexibility of your 24 hour guarantee with the marketing benefit of a much lower number. What do you think?...

Posted by on in Property Management
Outreach Marketing 101 Outreach marketing allows us to connect with other businesses on a more personal level. It allows us to market our community in unique ways to get people to start talking about us. Outreach marketing will not bring mass traffic to your door but will help bring awareness to your community. The key to outreach marketing is to target areas that have your demographics and to make your presentation memorable, hopefully inspiring conversation about your community when they are talking to a friend about places to live or when they research apartments online. Remember to be consistent with your outreach marketing and build a relationship with local businesses. Here are a few easy & affordable outreach marketing tips you can use for your community outreach marketing. 1) Choose a local business in the area that many people visit to be your community’s “Business of the Week/Month”. Make sure to let the owner or general manager know that you have chosen them as your business of the week or month, and ask if they have any coupons or special discounts they can give you for your residents and prospects. In exchange, feature them on all your social media sites, community blog and property website. Bring the business a present for being your local business of the week or month. Make sure you have a sign printed for them to display that can say “We are ABC Apartments Business of the ____________”. 2) Pumpkin Patches are just around the corner and...

Posted by on 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!...