Jennifer Carter
We are missing number 9.. Trait #9....
Another great post Leasing Angles. Point #5 is very important. Personalization is so effective becau...

Training Trivia

Incorporating social media into your marketing and resident retention efforts is good practice for all student communities.

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Social Media

- Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Posted by on in Property Management
I know this is such a cliché title and perhaps the die hard Trekkie fans may only understand it.  Here are the two key words to explain it, Borg and the Federation.  The Borg were determined to make change on their terms no matter what got in their way and the Federation resisted this and hence the common expression the Borg would make is : Resistance is Futile.    We approach each day where words like change, shift, new, revolution, generation seem common in daily conversation, blogs, news etc.  There is no doubt that change is here and that a major shift in how daily business operations are accomplished is necessary due to the impact of things like social media and new generations of incoming employees and residents.  In general most of us by nature resist change and the main reason behind that is the delivery method.  If the Borg approach is used and change is forced on us, we automatically resist.  If change is delivered in a palatable way, with gradual implementation and education that is conducive to our personal way of adapting, then the transition is much easier.  My experience at the IREM Georgia Social Media workshop will illustrate this.   At one of the roundtable workgroups I was with, one of the ladies asked me a point blank question.  She asked, ``Should I go and purchase the XYZ for Dummies book to help me learn this?`` My response to her was an automatic one purely based on my personal...

Posted by on in Property Management
  The rating review sites are being read by tons of people trying to find an apartment! Unfortunately, People reading there are swimming in a slug of negative complaints, nasty attitudes and bad manners. How refreshing and Unexpected would it be to read a motivational quote, hear about a food drive on a property or see a funny riddle - compliments of the Management Team? How would they feel if they saw a link to the pictures of your residents at the "Race for the Cure" or had a chance to read about your teams "Random Acts of Kindness" campaign? I am not suggesting you ignore the negative, respond to it with diplomatic flair and THEN - share some of your GENEROSITY & HUMOR!!! Are you ready to STOP letting the rating review sites be a PAIN? Follow the link below to a discussion on the Fan page. This is a combination of a two-day conversation from my FB wall - about a series of new ideas! It's time to see the review sites as a social media tool and adopt new policies that generate quality leads & leases. This is a marketing opportunity - not just a review site. Reviews are not the only information you can post! In this discussion we review the TOS from the top sites with great input from Mike Whaling about what to put where!  It is time to surprise people and make this powerful online space work FOR US!  Here is the...

Posted by on in Property Management
 Once upon a time, I was a theatre major.  This was during the era in my life that my parents referred to as, "Heather making decisions that will not earn her a lucrative career."  As I took more art and theatre classes, and their hair grew grayer and, in the case of my dad, more sparse, I actually learned a ton of skills that have become invaluable to me in my day to day life.  As a theatre major, one of the elective courses I took was "Improvisational Acting."This class was amazing, and I saw funnier stuff come out of my classmates than I saw the rest of the time we were at college.  For the first month of the class, the teacher, Kate, let people pretty much go where the moment took them.  Inevitably, it always lead to liberal use of the F-word,sex or drugs or sex AND drugs while saying the F-word.Was it funny?  Sometimes.  We were in our early 20's, after all.After the first month, Kate made the rule that we couldn't go there anymore.  Her justification was that it was, "too easy," for a laugh, and it wasn't really taking a lot of thought.  We could go anywhere else, but we couldn't go to sex and drugs, and we started to limit the casual mega swears.It got a heck of a lot funnier after that.See, when you make the joke or get the laugh with bad language, sex, and drugs, what you're getting is the reactionary laugh. ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Social media tends to have some buzzwords that don't often make a lot of sense to the general public.  For example, we talk about improving "engagement" with our residents, or "joining the conversation".  These are terms I use all the time, but I realize that they are not exactly the most concrete of terms.  So oftentimes, instructions with these terms are quite vague and leaves the apartment community teams scratching their head.  So here is the first attempt at showing apartment communities how to create a content plan for their social media strategy, which can be used in their community blog, on their Fan Page, on their Twitter profile, or anywhere else they have set up shop.  This will be separated out into five different blogs: Plan Your Types of ContentIdentify Partners in Content CreationPlan the Timing of Your ContentWhere to Post Content and Content Types  (i.e., Links, Tweets, Videos, etc)Social Media Tools Most Helpful to Apartment Communities This blog post is going to focus first of the type of content that your apartment community should/could be considering.  Although I will do my best to give concrete examples, the best "take-aways" should be in the process itself.  Your Apartment Community's Service - Most of the time, from what I've seen, apartment communities jump on Facebook, Twitter, etc and have no real plan as to what they are actually going to say.  So they first look inward at their own community.  This is exactly right, but the vast majority of the...

Posted by on in Property Management
First off I would like to give a hat tip to Brent Williams, the chief at, for spurring this conversation and inspiring this post. We had an interesting conversation going on from one of my previous posts, and it came around to "managing one's expectations with social media." I've said all along that social media is a part to building your online brand. With building any brand we all know it takes time, and building an online brand can seem like you're doing it all over again. The good news is that if you already have a brand then it's not a complete rebuild, but it's taking a different view point for how your brand is going to present itself online. This doesn't happen overnight, and the "build it and they will come" concept just doesn't work. No longer can you just build a website and hope people find you. You need to continually build your presence online, you need a strategy, and you needed to start yesterday. For those of you that have started, GREAT! For those of you thinking about starting, it's time to get a move on.In my comments to Brent from that post I shared what I've helped J.C. Hart do over the last 2 years to build a better online brand. That's right 2 years. Here's what I shared:This is a challenge and a hurdle so many struggle with. The main issue really isn't where the resources are coming from, but how people are stuck...

Posted by on in Property Management
microscopeState the Problem- Why am I using social media?  How will I use it?  What benefits will it bring my company and community?  The purpose of social media is to reach a broader audience and connect with key people that are using these platforms   Form a Hypothesis- I predict that if I research this properly and use surveys to ascertain where and how my audience is using social media, I will then be able to reach certain marketing and retention goals.    Experiment- I will make a Facebook page for my community.  I know how many people in my community use Facebook, so I will reach out to them and invite them to become fans of my page.  I also know that local businesses use Facebook, so I will also reach out to them.  I will daily try different content on my page and use a recording method to track my results.  I am interested in statistics such as how many new fans I have, who are they and why are they fans, how many interactions did I have on my page, did my page result in clicks to my community website?  I will use Google and Facebook analytics to help track my progress.   Analysis- When experimenting with different content and posts, it had an impact on the interactions.  When content was not regular, this seemed to affect website traffic.  Reaching out to local businesses that have become fans has built up interactions on the page.  New fans are...

Posted by on in Property Management
I think this can apply to any social network, but I'll start with Facebook. The question is whether it's time to clean out the clutter on Facebook, and what to do when your "fans" start cleaning out their clutter. What's your plan/strategy?[video: 444x250]As seen @ Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Your community's facebook page should have a facebook username, also known as a vanity URL.Why? Being able to choose the URL for your facebook page is like a vanity license plate - it not only makes it easy to remember (and hence share with others), but helps you claim a little piece of facebook space as your own. Why let someone else (facebook) randomly set your URL, when you can control how people find you, remember you AND how google ranks you?(Photo provided by aprilzosia on flickr through creative commons license.)What am I talking about?Most facebook URL's are something like  - that's hard to remember!Now take for example, RENT SODA's facebook URL: - WAY easier!In terms of SEO, having a facebook vanity url will help your facebook page rank higher in google searches than pages without a vanity url.Follow these steps to claim your facebook vanity URL for your apartment community:1.) First, carefully think of a username you want to use. Once it's been selected, you won't be able to change or transfer it. Usernames need to be at least 5 characters made of only alphanumeric characters. A period (.) is also allowed.2.) Go to  . Follow the prompts for your profiles and each fan page administered by your profile. For fanpages, facebook requires that your page have a minimum of 25 fans.What's your facebook vanity URL?Don't get it? RENT SODA. GET IT! -Daisy Nguyen in Minneapolis, Minnesota MNDaisy Nguyen is owner and CEO of RENT SODA, a business and marketing consulting company. Become a FAN of RENTSODA, connect on LinkedIn, FOLLOW RENT...

Posted by on in Property Management
When I was actively marketing one of my companies that dealt with resident portals, I often was faced with one major dilemma:  Who is the best person to talk to?  My service dealt with resident retention, technology, and training, so often nobody was quite sure who was making the decision on my service.  Was it the IT department?  Was it the marketing director (I say "marketing" director because "resident retention" director is an MIA position)?  Was it someone on the training side of things?    As things progress into 2010 and beyond, it's become abundantly clear that this problem is only going to get worse, and that better coordination between business units will have to a top priority.  Here are a few examples (there are countless others!):   The IT Department and the Marketing Department:  This is the most obvious and needed element to cross-pollination within property management companies.  Although print advertising will never die (in my opinion), more and more marketing and resident retention efforts are going to be performed online.  Your IT department is going to have to become more savvy with marketing, and your marketing directors and on-site teams are going to have to increase their proficiency online.  But it goes beyond just operations - Imagine the brainstorming benefits of bringing these two teams together for planning out new features and programs on your existing website and abroad (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc)!   Marketing Department and Legal:  If you thought Fair Housing was scary before, add in...

Posted by on in Property Management
The Internet connects us like no other medium, and social networking sites are a great way to stay in touch and turn connections into business. Here are the top ten opportunities that social networking offers and why you should stay connected in 2010: 1.     Spread a consistent message/image to a large audience about your brand, identity, and products/services 2.     Meet people in your industry, find employees and employers, ask for referrals, and get/give advice 3.     Put a "face" on your business and show your corporate personality 4.     Help build your website's search engine ranking by cross-linking on all sites and optimizing media assets (the more quality links to your site, the better!) 5.     Compliment your existing online and offline presence (Do not replace them) 6.     Provide helpful, relevant information that is useful to the masses 7.       Turn your new and existing customers into repeat customers and fans 8.       Target specific demographics/industries/companies by using proper and consistent keywords/phrases for your audience 9.       Promote your events, promotion and specials to a wider audience 10.   Elevate your customer service to a new, transparent level Here are's Top 10 favorite social networking sites in 2009: 1.     Facebook 2.     MySpace 3.     Twitter 4.     YouTube 5.     LinkedIn 6.     Yahoo! Answers 7.     Flickr 8. 9.     Digg 10.  Stumbleupon ...