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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
In an earlier blog, SEO strategist Patrick T Mower explained how Google has no love for Facebook Likes and provided some great insight on Facebook's strengths and weakness for SEO marketing. But don’t get too discouraged about social media, because it can and will have varying levels of positive influence on your SEO rankings. There is one social medium, however, that has a major, direct influence, and that my friends is…*drum roll please*…Pinterest. As you've probably heard, this photo-powered online social sharing site can have a direct positive correlation toward improving your apartment community's SEO rankings. To help to make the most of Pinterest for SEO, here are the key strategies to remember with Pinterest marketing for apartment communities:   Associate Pinboards with Keyword Families Create a unique pinboard for each keyword family you want to focus on. And (this is crucial), you will want each pin within this pinboard to contain your targeted keyword(s). As the images on your pinboards are repinned, it broadens the reach and strengthens the association between your campaign and the repined keywords. This can be done much like any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, because in both respects you're creating different keyword strategies to develop and promote a spectrum of targeted campaigns.   Allow Online Visitors to Market Your Message Pinterest wants to supply users with high-quality, visually rich content; and they want to make everything as easy as possible. By adding the “pin it” button you allow your apartment website visitors to share your photos and increase your online presence. When you add a “pin it” button, make sure...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, SEO and PPC always seem to be competing for marketing budgets.   Many marketers in the multi-family industry often wonder, “Should I be using PPC, or SEO?” To help settle the debate, I invited Property Solutions' Ryan Hill (SEO Manager) and Ryan Mower (Sr. Paid Search Strategist) to share their thoughts on the strengths and weakness of each approach to determine which is a better fit for your apartment community website.   Which Strategy Brings Greater ROI? Ryan Hill - “SEO definitely brings greater ROI for the long term. It is all about your reputation. Renters will refer other residents and talk about your online reviews, or personal reference thus generating more traffic and increasing keyword rankings. “ Ryan Mower - “Depending on situation, short term PPC would bring ROI because the campaign will immediately begin. You get instant traffic. For long term, there might be keywords that are hard to claim the top spot for SEO; with PPC you can immediately get traffic from that keyword. Once SEO starts, PPC can then adjust strategy for keyword variations. " Which Strategy Brings More Site Traffic? Ryan H - “One big component of SEO is to leverage social media sites like Google +, Facebook, Twitter to gain traffic. With SEO you can gain traffic without having to pay the individuals sites for an ad campaign, which can be very costly. Thus bringing traffic from a mix of sources unlike PPC. “ Ryan M - “I am waving the white flag for this question. However, with PPC you are guaranteed traffic,...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
We have all heard that it is far cheaper (and easier for that matter) to retain a current customer or resident than it is to acquire a new one. How much simpler life would be for your leasing staff if every resident renewed their contract year after year? Actually, if that was the case, your leasing staff may be out of a job – bad example, but I think you’re picking up what I’m laying down. The big question then is – How do we convince our residents to renew their contract at our property year after year? Customer loyalty, of course! It is so simple – if you build loyalty with your residents, then they will never, ever leave, right? So how do you build this so-called “loyalty”? Let's say you get your staff together and start discussing all of the ways that they can go above and beyond for your residents, so they put out a candy jar and a plate of cookies in the leasing office for all of the residents to enjoy. Each resident is sent a birthday card on his or her big day. When a resident experiences a big inconvenience, you issue them a credit no-questions-asked. After seeing a resident take one of those delicious chocolate chip cookies from the counter after they made a trek down to the office to make a rent payment, the staff says to themselves, “He is really going to enjoy that cookie. I bet he will never want to live anywhere else.”...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
As a marketer I am a very visual person.  Images speak to me much faster than words.  I imagine that this is the same for many of you.  For example, what was the main reason that you clicked on this article?  Was it my subject line that we’ve read variants of for a hundred years, or was it the picture? I was recently reading a few articles that talked about the top online marketing trends for 2014 and I was shocked to find out that there was nothing really new or shocking.  The articles talked about tactics like content marketing, social media marketing, less is more marketing, and image-centric content.  All these ideas have been around for many years but are we using them as effectively as we could? The one tool that I feel like very few marketers are using to the full potential is imagery.  Not only does a great image help your websites and marketing collateral stand out, but it can really help you gain an edge in an increasingly difficult web marketing landscape.  Here are a few ideas to help you create and make the most of online visuals for multifamily marketing. Optimize images for SEO The craft of Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing art that requires creativity and continuous attention.  One area that SEO practitioners tend to overlook is how the metadata and url structure of the images can impact results with Google. A couple of things that you can do in order to make more out of...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Earlier this month was National Letter of Intent Day for college football. Top recruits around the country committed to schools by signing their acceptance of scholarship offers. As a big college football fan, I’m always curious to see which players my school has signed and to get a sneak peek at who I’ll be cheering for over the next few years. Football recruiting is a time-consuming process that involves creating interest, pitching benefits, fending off competition and finally securing a commitment. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to the process leasing professionals undertake as they try to reach qualified prospective renters. Let’s take a look at some of the tactics used by effective football recruiters and see how they can be applied to find and commit the best residents for your communities. Play by the rules Football coaches are expected to comply with a lengthy NCAA rule book that outlines the things they can and cannot do in recruiting. Failure to closely follow these rules may result in recruiting violations that can cost schools scholarships or even postseason eligibility. For leasing professionals, the rule book is the Fair Housing Act. It’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the Fair Housing Act and the considerations that need to be made throughout the leasing process. You can ensure that your staff is prepared by taking advantage of training offerings from NAA* or other industry sources. It may also be a good idea to have a designated on-site or corporate contact who acts as...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Since the dawn of the internet, the Multifamily Housing industry has been evolving to meet the changing behaviors of prospective residents. Gone are the days when signage, curb appeal and print ads were the primary focus for driving traffic. Today, curb appeal means much more than just making sure the bushes are trimmed and colorful flowers surround your signage. Curb appeal should now include your property’s internet visibility and presence, or in other words, your property’s "virtual curb appeal". Virtual curb appeal includes anything that a prospective resident can find online about your property. This includes your property’s website, online advertising, reviews of your property, and the property’s social media involvement. Virtual curb appeal is now the primary way that prospective residents get their first impression of your property. This means that managing your property’s virtual curb appeal is CRITICAL! In fact, you should consider your virtual curb appeal just as important as your physical curb appeal. So what can you do to manage your virtual curb appeal? The first area on which to focus is your overall online visibility. You need to know where your property is listed online including search engines, web directories, and review sites. You should regularly search your property’s name through the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.). Keep a list of all of the sites on which you find your property listed for future reference. You should review each website that includes your property’s information including your property website. Make sure the information is accurate, complete,...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Media and communication trends are growing by the minute and it’s affecting how people expect to receive information - quick and efficient. Consumers don’t want to be bombarded with too much information, just enough to make a decision on whether they would buy-in to the messages that brands and media are sending out. For apartment residents, the same mindset carries over to how they perceive multifamily email notifications. In a lot of ways, email remains the dominant channel. And if the email content displays responsive to a mobile device; even better. No more fliers on residents’ doors; save your time and money. Contact residents using a medium they rely on most for their on-the-go lifestyles. But with all of the messages consumers receive in one day, advertisements or emails, you want your messages to be the ones they remember. And not just remember, but that will add a positive perception of your property and site staff. When you can provide residents with positive interactions and experiences with your property, their beliefs and opinions change, they’ll be more likely to renew their lease and then provide you with referrals. Win-win. Here are 7 crucial components of effective multifamily email marketing: Catchy: 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. You have 3 seconds to grab the recipient's attention amongst all of their other messages in their inbox. Use buzz words and incentives to encourage more opens. Compelling: Pictures set the tone for your message. Place an image at the top of your message...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
    Throughout the year, we hear of absolutely amazing companies who are driving innovation within the multifamily industry.  So we are starting a new program to showcase some of these incredible companies once a month, and in the process, negotiate a special deal specifically for our Insider community.  This month's feature is Community Rewards by Modern Message. Company Showcase:  Community Rewards by Modern Message   (Important:  Don't forget to scroll to the bottom to see the discount we have negotiated for Insiders!)   Using social media is pretty easy, but using social media effectively is a whole different story.  We've seen a lot of communities try hard but ultimately miss the mark when it comes to getting prospects and residents engaged with their online locations, such as their Fan Page.  So this is what Modern Message attempts to tackle - they make it incredibly simple to get residents and prospects engaged with their apartment community, in exchange for prizes and fame within their community.  Each community has the potential to incentivize certain actions in exchange for earning points, which can lead to a selection of prizes for each resident or prospect who plays the Community Rewards "game".    For example, resident referrals are worth their weight in gold for apartment communities, and Community Rewards makes it incredibly easy and beneficial for residents to spread the word.  For apartment managers, the program automatically tracks resident referrals through their friends' social profiles:     Now, your residents are actively endorsing your community...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
It’s been months now since Craigslist decided to give their user base a better search, user and mobile experience. Since my last article about the changes to Craigslist and the debate about posting tools, another major change was released. I think this latest change can put the debate to rest. If you watched the Webinar with Sarah Greenough on MFI, you know all about it. In December, Craigslist changed their Terms of Service and forced our users to agree to it. These terms mean that WE as Property Management Companies can be sued by Craigslist if we post ads using a posting tool. Here is the legal mumbo jumbo: "USE. You agree not to use or provide software (except for general purpose web browsers and email clients, or software expressly licensed by us) or services that interact or interoperate with CL, e.g. for downloading, uploading, posting, flagging, emailing, search, or mobile use." "to pay us for breaching or inducing others to breach the “USE” section, not as a penalty, but as a reasonable estimate of our damages (actual damages are often hard to calculate): $0.10 per server request, $1 per post, email, flag, or account created, $1 per item of PI collected, and $1000 per software distribution, capped at $25,000 per day." Scary stuff huh? Some Craigslist tips In the webinar I mentioned, Sarah Greenough talked about some great ways to overcome the recent Craigslist debacle. Sarah gave some good pointers: Consider posting directly to Craigslist, and create Craigslist kits which...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Leasing is like a dating game…maybe a game of blind dates, more accurately, where you’re eager to find a match but you really don’t know the person you’re going to meet until they walk through the door. What would you give to drive the right kind of traffic to your communities?   Fifteen percent of your marketing budget?  Twenty percent?  More?  Or would you look for a pay-as-you-go formula that only cost you money when a qualified applicant shows up at your leasing office to get acquainted?    But wait, our industry is too decentralized with each and every property company and many a  regional manager setting their own acceptance terms.  This jungle of differences, albeit in compliance with Fair Housing, makes the possibility of a uniform utopia where applicants could be pre-qualified like a future dinner companion nearly impossible. But wait again, your future residents are trying to move in that  direction now in much the same way dating candidates put themselves out there online for potential matches.  We see services that enable people to share their rental and employment history online as a means to give a future community a glimpse of their desirability.  And we see ILS aggregaters trying to make it easier and easier for applicants to find the handful of rental units they want to visit as their possible new abodes just as Yelp and Zagat’s have become the directory of where to take a date. But wait once more, where in all this sea change does...