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Ms. Lujan, your rule to not allow skateboarding, roller skating and loitering for everyone is OK. Y...
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In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Property Management
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. Changing 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...

Posted by on in Property Management
“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...

Posted by on in Property Management

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.

Posted by on in Property Management
Where are your leads coming from?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...

Posted by on in Property Management
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...

Posted by on in Property Management
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...

Posted by on in Property Management
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...

Posted by on in Property Management
Father’s Day is around the corner and it’s a great opportunity to do something special for the Dads in your community.  Most people will want to spend the day with their children, so try one of these fun activities in the days leading up to Father’s Day. Tie Drive  It can be easy for Dads to roll their eyes at another tie for Father’s Day, but not all Dads are so lucky.  Host a Tie Drive at your apartment community to collect work clothes for those who are less fortunate.  Something as simple as a dress shirt and tie can give someone the confidence they need to go into a job interview.  Bring the entire community together by inviting other local businesses to participate and really make a difference this Father’s Day. You’re the Best, Pop Thanks to my Pinterest addiction, I have found lots of great Father’s Day crafts, including this one.  Put together gift tags that say You’re the Best, Pop!  You can get really creative with the tags and cut them into shapes like ties, basketballs or briefcases.  Then fasten the tags onto pop bottles and bags of popcorn.  Hand the snacks and drinks out for free to all of the Dads in your community this week.  Check out other fun craft ideas on my Father’s Day Pinterest board. Card Making Although gifts from your community are much appreciated, every Dad really looks forward to the homemade presents from their children.  Organize a Father’s Day card making activity...

Posted by on in Property Management
The other day, I overheard an apartment manager say, “Have you read your lease?” in answer to what, apparently, was a ridiculous request, and I thought, “This is not going to end well for the resident.  Manager wins.” Then I thought of some of the other impulsive, condescending and “shut-em down” statements routinely used to keep residents in line and get them to go away.  “Your lease clearly states…” “It’s not our policy.” And my favorite… “If I did it for you, I would have to do it for everyone, or I would be violating Fair Housing.” (Admit it, you joined me in reciting that one as you read it, didn’t you?) What?  Violating Fair Housing?  Really? I cannot think of one way any of these statements could leave a positive impact or increase resident value perception.  Please, if anyone does, do not hesitate to share.   But wait, there’s more.  “I’m sorry but,”  (you know something bad is coming the minute they say, “but”). “If it were up to me, I would do it, but I could lose my job.”  And a maintenance favorite… “Yeah, they’re all like that, and I told them we needed to replace them but it wasn’t in the budget.”  When your words and tone can be translated to, “You should know better,” or “I’m really not sorry, I’m just saying that to soften what I am about to tell you” or “This place stinks and it isn’t run well because the company is too cheap to...

Posted by on in Property Management
New Google+ Local PageThis week, Google announced the release of Google+ Local. You may have already seen how this change will affect Google+ users in general, but what does this mean for your apartment community? The change means that all Google Place pages have been replaced by new Google+ Local Pages. Additionally, Google has indicated that you'll soon have the ability to link your new Google+ Local Pages with your existing(?) Google+ Pages, resulting in one combined page that is integrated across multiple Google services (Search, Maps, Google+, etc.). Here's a look at what a Google+ Local page will look like when the transition is completed: A Richer User Experience Notice the strong emphasis on reviews, as well as the ability to "follow" the brand by adding it to your Circles. Also note the new Local search option in the left sidebar. (With a richer experience in terms of the results provided, this update arguably makes Google+ a better local search experience than Google or Google Maps.) Even if the user clicks on the business page from Google Maps, they'll be taken to the Google+ Local page now. So? Like it or not, your Google Place page just got social.  It's probably best to start considering a Google+ strategy (if you haven't already). Businesses have always had the ability to post status updates to Google Places, but the feature was buried and few businesses used it. Now, you'll have the opportunity to have your updates show up on your page, directly in the streams...