The Golden Rule works both ways.....because one manager is you really want to stop sh...

Training Trivia

What percentage can a resident save on heating costs by lowering their thermostat setting from 70 degrees to 68 degrees?

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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Property Management
Text-A-ResidentThe mobile market is booming, and while you may have joined the latest trend with a mobile phone purchase of your own,  this technology can now be incorporated into your community by reaching residents and prospects in the way they most prefer—text messaging.  In return, your community can save time and resources with just a quick trip to the computer.  With an easy log in to your chosen texting platform, designated employees can type in a short text message and with a simple click, your message is in the hands of your subscribed residents, prospects or both. Imagine reaching your residents quickly with notifications like: “Your lease is almost up. Stop by the leasing office to check out our latest specials to renew!” “Just a friendly reminder, rent is due Monday.” “Sorry we missed you. You have a package waiting in the leasing office.” “Powerwashing this Thursday.” “The next resident social is April 15th. See you at the pool at 2pm.” Want to take your text campaign even further? Utilize cross-promotion partnerships, as shown in the former post "Attract New Residents with Cross-Promotion on Facebook" to offer local deals and discounts in your text messages like, “Have you tried the new fitness center across the street? Show this text and receive a membership for 1 month free!”   Data released in February 2011 from SatisFacts, a national apartment-resident survey firm, shows that cell phone (53.9 percent) and email (55.7 percent) are neck and neck as residents’ number one preferred method of communication.  In addition, you...

Posted by on in Property Management
For the bulk of my childhood (from 1980-2001, in fact), the slogan of the United States Army was, “Be All You Can Be!” It was a tremendously successful marketing campaign created by E. N. J. Carter while at the advertising firm N. W. Ayer & Son. I remember seeing posters in malls and on college campuses. There were television commercials—tons of them— radio spots, t-shirts, and even action figures of unnaturally endowed men proudly sporting the sexy slogan. What contributed to its success was that the phrase mirrored a greater societal trend emerging in the late 80s: one that affected every child born in that era and still continues to resonate today. It’s what I like to call “The American Idol Syndrome,” or basically the idea that for whatever reason, our society has gotten it in its head that simply by trying, you too can “be all you can be:” get famous, find happiness, and die rich…just because you want to.             But something happened in 2001 that challenged this idea that had shaped an entire generation; the Towers fell, and people changed. For a while, people were colder, darker, and more nervous about what the future had in store for them.             Suddenly “being all you can be” wasn’t good enough. After all, what if all I can be falls drastically short of ending the war on terror or bringing the nation out of a recession, let alone running two consecutive miles or doing fifty push-ups? And so the slogan...

Posted by on in Property Management
Resident Social Media meets Outreach Marketing Pick a box…Do you like me? Yes, No or Maybe.  Remember when getting important information was as easy as passing a note in gym class, checking a box and passing it back?  It still is!  The beauty of the internet and social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) allows us to find out all kinds of pertinent information on our current residents and potential new residents too!  This is a perfect marketing marriage!  This strategy, much like this post, is quick and easy to apply. As they friend and like your community, become a fan or follow you, you can delve into their interests, their likes, where they spend their time and the activities they enjoy – viola!  Almost an instant resident/prospect target market survey.   This will streamline your outreach marketing efforts for your community!  You will know the locations where your residents go; which restaurants, entertainment venues, parks, etc.  It will provide you with both resident knowledge to aid in resident retention and help in creating a great effective outreach marketing outline!  This information is only valuable if we get it and use it.  Kind of like watching that workout video from the couch…just sitting there doesn’t do much!  So, it’s easier than ever, to work smarter, not harder!  Use the fantastic social media tools at your fingertips to enhance your knowledge about your target market, simplify your market research and implement a successful outreach marketing plan for your community!...

Posted by on in Property Management
We all have our existing market.  The demographic (age, income level, etc) that exists, currently lives at, and already (by means of word of mouth) visits our communities.  But, we always are searching for the extended market, the next step up from those who are already here and walking in the door.  This is how to do just that. If your current market is working, but could just use that little extra oomph to take you to the next level, then your job is quite simple.  Don't fight it, thrive with it.  Base your brand around it.  If your current market is young business professionals, give your community that vibe.  Then go after the extended market that would work in.  In this instance your extended market would be longer standing residents, as these would generally have an average  lease turn of 3 years, after which they would mostly be leaving for home ownership or job transfer.  Be sure to keep them until that happens.  Your extended market is the niche that clicks with your existing crowd.  This crowd will most likely end up being 40-50, recently single, business professionals.  The great news is, the marketing campaign to follow will still apply.   If your current market isn't working, and you need a change of scene, then change your scene first, and work one your extended market second.  This generally applies to new community purchases, looking to sink their teeth into a C+ or B community, turn it into an A, increase...

Posted by on in Property Management
What Three ThingsWhat can you do to show you appreciate someone, your residents, your family, your friends, or the person on the street you just passed?  As we learn and use the wonderful features of technology and social media, we tend to not interrelate like we once did.  We have all emailed the person in the next cubicle or office, and texted someone when we could have called them. What three things can you do on a daily basis that makes a difference in how people connect and react to you? Everyone has three things they can do to let others know they matter.  I recently sent an email about this to my fellow teams. Incidentally, I received more replies than normal and I would like to share some of the unedited feedback. Smile and compliment them. Make them feel welcome; tell them they have been approved for their new home. Ask them “How can we help”? Tell them you appreciate them, maybe bring them a coffee and tell them one nice thing! Or just give them a big hug.  Listen, people want to be heard and know that what they have to say matters, and it shows you value them, as well as what they have to say.  Speak directly to them, look in their eyes, and be attentive.  Use their name when you talk to them, it makes them feel important and gets their  attention.  A simple acknowledgement, “Great Job”.  To a stranger driving and trying to get in your lane, “Just wave...

Posted by on in Property Management
By Justin Sherin In documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in advance of its initial public offering, Facebook revealed that it now has 901 million monthly active users, compared with 680 million just a year ago. The documents also state that over 500 million users engage with the site on mobile devices. By any measure, this is an astonishing rate of growth. To put it in perspective, the current population of the United States is about 311,600,000 people. For now, the world really does live on Facebook, making the site an essential component of any social media marketing campaign. However, Facebook's SEC filing was compiled before the switch to Timeline, which re-opened questions about user privacy and changed how advertisers interact with the site. [links] We'll let you know if the change affects Facebook habits....

Posted by on in Property Management
  Hola! Aquí estamos. Are you ready, or not?   We are an assortment of cultures and ethnicities in America. Savvy multifamily marketers know they must learn “who” their audience, or target market, is in order to effectively lease more apartments.   One of every four Americans is ethnic or foreign born.  The largest cultural groups found in the US today are Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and European.  With numbers totaling 50.5 million, Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US, representing 16.3 % of the total population.  The buying power of Hispanics, which are an ethnic group but not a racial group, will rise from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion in 2015, accounting for nearly 11 percent of the nation’s total buying power. The Hispanic market alone, at $1 trillion, is larger than the entire economies of all but 14 countries in the world–smaller than the GDP of Canada but larger than the GDP of Indonesia. Nearly half of all Hispanics in the US – nearly 25 million people – rent their homes. Apartment owners and managers in the South and the West should take note as the 2010 Census indicated more than three-quarters of the Hispanic population lived in the West or South.  That does not mean Northern or Eastern property management professionals should forgo bonding with this group.  Larger MSA’s such as Chicago, New York, New York and others should seek to connect with Latinos as well.  So how Multicultural are YOU?  What are you...

Posted by on in Property Management
So who contributes to the on-site strategic marketing plan?The recent tough multifamily years in the Houston area brought a certain focus back to the industry for many of us.  With job losses, cut work-week hours and reduced benefits for many renters, the need to get back to the basics was dreadfully apparent.  There existed a segment of leasing personnel who had only worked during the golden years just before the downturn.  Essentially, you could offer an apartment in a take it or leave it attitude.  Follow-up and effective closing techniques were not stressed nearly enough in many communities (especially at class A communities).  Emerging from the many ill-effects caused by the recession was a re-energized focus on leasing fundamentals. This need to make it through the concession period was highlighted in many of the marketing plans being used on-site.  Admittedly, I started in the business when print shop flyers were king and raising locator fees constituted marketing for the week.  Alas, with a few years under my belt and countless hours studying the subject, I have a true respect for the intricacies of multifamily strategic marketing.  It is easy for a disconnect to exist between the various role players inside a management team.  All too often, the corporate management executives, corporate marketing personnel, owners, property manager and leasing team will each have various views and feelings about creating and executing a good marketing plan.  While my future blogs will cover some of the many aspects of a strategic marketing plan, I wanted to take this...

Posted by on in Property Management
Craigslist is certainly no new marketing tool for property managers, but the ways that property managers currently use it is a bit surprising. Keeping in mind that Craigslist is, in fact, a free tool (except for licensed brokers in NYC), there seems to be a lot of under-optimization of its purpose. Given the popularity of Craigslist for prospective tenants, optimizing your rental property ad is a valuable thing, saving money in advertising over time and attracting valuable tenants.  So what defines a winning versus losing Craigslist ad? I talked to a handful of property managers who shared their experiences with the marketing tool to define the best strategies in listing an ad.  Experts agree there are three main components to a 'winning' Craigslist ad: creative and effective titles, writing good copy, and including actual images or multimedia of the available property.  They also agree in three main components that are typical of 'losing' Craigslist ads: posting spam listings, writing generic copy that doesn't include images, and having unconventional rules that are unattractive to prospective tenants.  Some of the expert insights include:  Winning: Jacob Young, Online Reputation Specialist, brings up a great point: "Put yourself in their shoes. The renter is looking for a place to call home. What does it look like in spring and winter? What will their images look like when they send them home for the holidays?" Losing: Andrew Schrage, Co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance, provides one extreme example, "One ad had a list of additional rules...

Posted by on in Property Management
"Ohhhh…what’s love got to do, got to do with it?" You’re probably singing that iconic Tina Turner song in your head right now, aren’t you?  I am!  I just love that song!  And what exactly does love “got to do, got to do, with it”?  If you’re talking about great apartment leasing…just about everything, ’bout everything, to do with it! As a professional leasing agent, we do so much more than ‘just’ leasing.  Resident services, market surveys, marketing, walking apartments, traffic reports, and so much more.  But it’s all related to leasing – and you either love it or leave it.  I’ve had the pleasure working with, hiring and training many leasing agents over the years.  And there’s one basic fundamental that the agents that stay and succeed in the industry all have in common – they love leasing!  Yes, I said love.  Love the craziness, the variety of tasks; love the residents, prospects, the weird and wonderful stories; the whole kit and caboodle of leasing.  If you don’t love it, it shows.  Eventually it shows in your performance, in your closing ratio, the property occupancy and may lead to an alternate career path - even if not your choice. Like a great love affair, there are ups and downs, better days than others, but at the heart and soul of it, there is love.   Is it work to keep the love alive?  Absolutely.  Empower yourself to stay fresh and enthused with your leasing.  Do simple things like driving to the property...