I am a Property Manager. I ran a student property - UCR - University of CA Riverside, for 5...
I believe using the right survey methodology and asking the right questions is the key to obtaining ...

Training Trivia

Which of the following practices is permissible and in accordance with Federal Fair Housing law when managing student housing communities?

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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
You've submitted your apartment ad to Craigslist, and the Craigslist dashboard says it's published. But even though it's listed as active, it might not be there. Go on, take a look. Can't find it? You've been 'ghosted,' and you need to figure out why. Ghosting is Craigslist's way of controlling spam. It's an automated process, and sometimes legitimate posts get caught in the ghosting filter. If you're getting consistently ghosted, though, consider re-thinking your posting strategy. Slow Down. Try to post only once or twice per day. Consider reposting ads less frequently. Get Creative. Create a set of completely different ads and substantially vary the images, text and title. Use One Good Account. Craigslist tracks your IP address, and multiple accounts make you look like a spammer. If you’ve over-posted in the past, you may need a new account to clean things up. Sticking to these rules won't make you ghost-proof, but it should help most of your ads go live....

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
There’s been plenty of talk about the Gen Y/millennial generation and their buying power...and you should be paying attention because they’re not kids anymore. Many studies place this generation in the 18-33 age range, which means they’re probably the bullseye for your target market, from college students to young parents and tech-savvy businesspeople. In fact, most of you reading this post probably either are a millennial (like me) or work with one.  But turning millennials—and the even more mobile Gen Z behind them—into loyal, satisfied residents may take more than a great location and wonderful community.  So What Does It Take?It’s probably what you’re thinking: mobile conveniences and fast responses. Technology defines millennials. They’ve almost grown up mobile, and it’s seeped into what appeals to them, influences them and how they communicate. A Forrester study calls it the “mobile mind shift”: “The expectation that any desired information or service is available on any appropriate device, in context, at a person’s moment of need.”  What happens if it’s hard to communicate with your staff or there are delays in responding? These consumers get frustrated and could move on to the next community. Mobile Steps to ConsiderHere are some ideas to better serve those millennial residents and prospects: They like digital communication - Texting is a great example. In a 2010 PEW study, millennials reported sending/receiving about 20 texts in 24 hours, which has only increased. So use it to communicate too. Answering prospects and residents via text can even make your staff...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
After a powerful weekend at the Georgia Apartment Association annual conference, I was compelled to share this repost from a Hubspot article that resonated with me. While reading this article, I found myself nodding my head and checking off a mental list of items that are so relevant to those who thirst for greater knowledge of marketing truths. These valuable lessons are apropos for marketers who have experienced an educational trial by fire. Business school will make you teachable, coachable and trainable, but real world experience will make you reliable and well versed in what your organization needs in their marketing arsenal. If you find yourself connecting with some of these "new school" versus "old school" tactics, I want to hear from you! What are some marketing lessons that you learned outside of traditional education? What Your Traditional Marketing Education Didn't Teach You About Marketing Today Happy Reading! Your Marketing Maven, ~M  ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Image Alt Tags have been the go-to method of optimization for images for quite some time now. After adding alt tags, many property management teams will simply call it good. That's not a critical error by any means, but it's like leaving proverbial money on the table. Google and other search engines are unable to interpret images on their own so they rely on signals from us. Image alt tags are one way webmasters let search engines know the kind of material that is contained in a picture, but why stop there if you don't have to? There are a few other things you can do to help the search engines understand the media on your apartment community website.   File Names How many pictures do you have in your computer with names like IMG_0666 or something? How helpful is that title in determining what the picture is about? If you, a member of the most intellectually advanced species on the planet, can't immediately determine what is in the picture that you most likely took yourself, then why would you expect a machine to be able to? As search engines crawl the code of your page, they read and analyze the file names your photos have. So tell Google what your webpage contains by incorporating strategic keywords into image file names.   Don't forget about G+ Now that you've changed the file names of all the photography on your apartment community website, go and do the same thing for pictures on your Google+ page. This serves the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
The Millennial Generation, otherwise known as Generation Y, is made up of those between the ages of 25-34. This group is known for having strong preferences and opinions, plenty of ambition, and a ‘sky's the limit’ mentality when it comes to their abilities. They are very tech-savvy, impatient at times, and are always ‘connected’ via their smartphones or tablets.   These days, millennials are more flexible than ever, seeking out careers across the country or even internationally. Partially due to the sluggish (but improving) economy, young people feel the need to take any good professional opportunity they can, even if it means packing up and moving away from their families. Because of this, millennials are choosing to rent apartments more than ever. It’s important that this group is able to pack up and move at a moment’s notice, so renting is more practical for this stage in their lives.   Making Your Community Millennial-Friendly   As a property manager, it is great news for you to know that there’s an entire generation that is actively seeking out a place to rent. Millennials are a unique group, though, so there are a few things you should know in order to appeal to them. They are dubbed the “Generation of Choice” because of their unrelenting demand for choice in all aspects of their lives. Here are the Four “C’s” that explain this Generation of Choice:   (Ad) Choice - You should advertise your community where this generation spends a lot of their time...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
It's that time of year again. Yes, football is back! (And now it's on your phone.) And so is budget season. When it comes to budgeting for your marketing spend, digital likely makes up a big part of your playbook. A vast majority of shoppers are starting their searches online, often checking 10 or more different sources before choosing to do business with you. So you better have a strong presence there, and it better be the kind of message you want your potential customers to see. With digital, it can be tough to know whether this year's tools and trends will still be hot -- and worth your investment -- next year. Do you need a mobile app? Is Facebook on its way out? Hasn't email been pronounced dead each of the past 14 years? What can we do to get more out of our website? Of course, I can't make any promises about what the future holds, but here are some of the places our team is looking at as the most important areas to focus on in the year ahead: 1. Mobile How would you feel if 30% or more of your customers received a poor customer experience the moment they walked through your door? Not good, right? Well, if your website isn't mobile-friendly, that's exactly what you're doing to your online customers. (Google prefers websites that implement responsive design, so I'd recommend starting there.) What about that mobile app? If you can find a way to deliver...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 48 hours, you know that Miley Cyrus was a featured performer on the VMA's and performed some unusual material. And while people all over the country - well, actually the world - are questioning her performance (myself included), let's take a moment to look at it solely from an apartment marketing perspective, okay? 1. Miley's like a property that is undergoing renovation. Her old reputation as Hannah Montana, a Walt Disney creation, wasn't about to continue to sell in today's pop music economy. She's outgrown the wig wearing, double life persona who sang such bubble gum pop as "The Hoedown Throwdown" and "Best of Both Worlds". She's got to tear down the clubhouse, throw out the white appliances and put in finishes that will SELL to the audience that buys today's pop music. Much like we are creating apartments that sell to the 25-34 demographic.  2. The old marketing campaign has to go. Just like many of us are tossing print in lots of markets (and no, this isn't a discussion of print -vs- online), Miley has to create a campaign that makes people TALK. She's gone totally social with her marketing. And her latest performance garnered 4.5 MILLION Twitter mentions, at a rate of 306,100 TWP (Tweets Per Minute). I'd say that's successful, wouldn't you? 3. She's got other people talking about her 'product'. Much like our beloved Resident Referral, Miley's got people talking. I just typed "Miley Cyrus VMA" into Google and received 449,000,000...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Craigslist is free, and more of your apartment marketing peers are using it than ever before. Successful Craigslist posts are easier than you might think -- they start with being comprehensive and correct. First, how's your title? Superlatives like SPECTACULAR APARTMENT! don't mean much unless they're accompanied by selling points like new kitchens, dogs welcome or free utilities. Next, get the most from Craigslist by filling in the extra data they ask for, like location, laundry, street parking and bed/bath information. Add photos manually, even if your posting tool includes them. This takes time, but it helps you highlight the features renters are looking for, and makes it easier for them to find you with Craigslist search tools. Proof your ad once. Twice. Then again. Are there spelling or formatting errors? Did you include a phone number? Finally, go to Craigslist and manually search for your post. Don't rely on your posting tool to tell you it's live -- that doesn't necessarily mean it's visible on the site. If it's there, great; check for stray spelling or html errors. But if you can't find it, delete your post and try again with a different ad or from a different account. If it still doesn't appear, you may need to re-think your posting strategy -- and that's the subject of next month's post....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Ask yourself, are you really marketing to your customer? Or are you like most of us and unknowingly marketing to yourself? It’s a tough distinction for some of us to grasp. All too often, our marketing pieces talk about our company, our brand. You might be wondering, what is wrong with that? The problem is that it doesn’t give your potential customer the WIFM in the few seconds that they’re looking at your advertising materials. The, “What’s In It For Me” factor. We often don’t really consider what our customers’ needs are when we are working on headlines, copy, emails, etc. Our advertising materials go on about the features of our product, not the benefits. The features, though important to us, definitely aren’t the focus of our customer. Think about your customer and what’s important to them. They want to know the benefits to them, the WIFM. “Our community is gated” “Our offices are spacious” “Our landscaping is remarkable.” These are the features of your property. Why not change the focus from features to the benefits to your customer? “Our community is gated” becomes “Controlled access for your convenience” “Our offices are spacious” becomes “Wow your clients with your huge office” “Our landscaping is remarkable” becomes “Enjoy nature as you walk around your beautiful new community” If you find it hard to change that way of thinking, sit down with a piece of paper and write down all the features of your property or your community. Then next to them, write...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
  Sometimes technology and the Internet can seem like a constantly morphing wild beast you just can’t seem to catch. You’re busy making sure apartments are occupied, accounts balanced, staff well-trained. Keeping up with the latest technology tweaks or Google’s latest algorithm changes isn’t at the top of your priority list. Nor should it be. However, when it comes to your websites, Responsive is a word you should know. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is still fairly new, only beginning to gain mainstream traction in late 2012. RWD is the solution to the ever-expanding arsenal of devices that are able to browse the Internet.  There are no longer standard screen sizes. It’s the exact opposite. A device seems to be created every day to fill the screen size gap between two existing devices! At its most basic, Responsive Web Design is what it sounds like: your website literally responds to the width of the browser. This means that if you resize your Firefox or Chrome browser window on your desktop, a RWD site will adapt, photos will resize, text and other blocks may change location to respond to the height and width change. In the very recent past, most sites had a desktop site and a mobile site, literally two different websites that had to be separately built and maintained. And then any screen sizes in between (smart phones, iPad and other tablets) were just left hanging, sometimes being served the desktop, sometimes the mobile, depending on the developer and the site...