I'm a big believer that the way to the heart is through the stomach, at least it is for me! And whe...

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

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Social Media

- Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Posted by on in Property Management
TweetFor more than a year now, the marketing world has been abuzz with all things Twitter.  And while Twitter has yet to prove whether or not it will stand the test of time as a viable marketing tool, with more than 70 million registered users, there’s no doubt that all property managers should at least be considering exactly how Twitter can help them grow and promote their business. Why all the buzz over Twitter? Of all the social networking and electronic marketing tools out there, Twitter is the most easily maintained. Unlike Facebook or MySpace, Twitter doesn’t require users to invest large quantities of time into creating profiles or maintaining a web page. With Twitter it’s as easy as signing up, creating a profile of no more than 160 characters (keep in mind that creativity counts with this sort of word limitation) and then beginning to broadcast updates (or “tweets”) of 140 characters or less. Because of the character confines, Twitter offers a blogging alternative that does not require a lengthy brainstorming or writing process. These short updates are also known as micro-blogging. Essentially, you can think of it as a “mini-blog;” it’s as simple as writing a sentence or two update and you’re done. Twitter demographics Businesses are especially drawn to Twitter because of the application’s demographics. Unlike other social networking sites that are primarily driven by tweens or young adults, Twitter appeals to older demographics. According to an April 2009 comScore study, Twitter’s highest user demographics are in the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Village in the Park ApartmentsFollowing my post about making your Facebook Fan Page relevant enough to keep interest from your audience, I got this comment through Facebook from Danielle Jencks:I try to engage my residents on our page, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Any ideas? I am trying to get the residents used to going online for info from the office via our e-newsletter and facebook. I don't mind helping out and taking a look, but I thought a much more interesting and fun idea would be to open this up to the Multifamily Insiders community and use this as a learning experience for everybody! So here's the plan: Please take a look at her "Village in the Park Apartments" Fan PageCome back here and share your comments on what you think isn't quite working and what she might want to try in order to achieve her goals. All comments must be constructive! Although I don't anticipate anybody being disrespectful, not many people would be as open to criticism as Danielle has, and I don't want her to regret her decision!Danielle will then review all the comments and implement the ideas that fit with her existing community strategy. Afterwards, she will then write about her results for everybody to see!Here is a screenshot of her page - just click on it to see the live site. ...

Posted by on in Property Management
  I remember making my first Devil's Food Chocolate Cake .  I was around 12 years old and my wonderful mother was trying to teach me to bake.  This was no cake in a box method, it was all from scratch.  She outlined the necessary steps in order to be successful.  Read the recipe carefully.  Make sure I have all my ingredients.  Get out all my measuring instruments.  Then begin the step by step process as outlined in the recipe.  Thankfully I had my mother there while I painstakingly went through the steps.  There was very little room for error, so I needed to be precise.  She gave me some tips as I went along and Voila! I had my first cake.I was thinking about that this morning and applied it to the continuing debate on how to employ Social Media.  I imagined myself making that cake and not using the right ingredients, not measuring properly, and not reading through and applying the steps outlined in the recipe.  What would I have?  I would have a huge mess, failure, and something that would not represent my Mom very well.Social Media is no different.  You cannot just jump on the band wagon and throw a whole bunch of ingredients together and hope to have some sort of tangible results!  The recipe is research.  The ingredients are the right Social Media options that will suit your business plan and purpose.  The measuring instruments speak for themselves.  It is important to employ the right amount...

Posted by on in Property Management
Some companies are doing a great job with their social media endeavors, but unfortunately many more are floundering.  What content should I put up?  How often should I check/update my social media programs?  Who really is my audience?  And there are countless others.  And without understanding these questions, and having realistic solutions and answers, many social media strategies are missing one main thing:  a strategy.  And what happens at that point?  You get ignored.  If you are not providing interesting content to your audience (prospects, residents, surrounding community, shareholders, etc, then you are losing those eyeballs to the wealth of competition on the web.  Here is a great view of the competition to your audience's attention (link thanks to @30lines)     Compared to this, is your social media strategy compelling?...

Posted by on in Property Management
TurnSocial screenshot on UrbaneApts.comIf you're like a lot of us, you're working hard to extend your company's web presence beyond your website. You're probably using blogs, social networking sites, and more.By the time you're done (if that's even possible), you might have dozens of websites that house content and/or spark conversations about your company – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, etc. This is a good thing. Casting a wider net gives you more opportunities to get/stay in front of current and prospective customers, and content from peers is always more powerful than romance copy from marketers. However, while this might make your business easier to find, it creates another problem as your brand's online presence becomes increasingly decentralized. How can you show off your brand's personality and your social media prowess to someone who stumbles upon your website from one of your ILS ads? Many websites and blogs now feature that standard row of social media icons that seems to scream "We're one of the cool kids, too!" These aren't bad, but they don't really tell the visitor much, other than the fastest way to leave your site and play on Facebook. There is also a number of companies that want to aggregate the content of other brands (like yours) to give their users a full view of what people are saying about your brand. So what am I getting at? [Warning: Blatant sales pitch ahead.] We want to provide marketers with an easy way to share social media content with visitors to your website,...

Posted by on in Property Management
As renovations have slowed due to the current state of the economy and the reduction or elimination of the renovation departments in REITs and property management companies have ensued, the time is prime to start strategizing on how the industry should approach renovations when they do come back...... and they will......, probably even stronger than before. Although the past year or so has been very painful within the industry, the slowdown offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the past, evaluate and modify the renovation process. The owner or management company that does not take the time to do this will find themselves being left behind using yesterday's more expensive  methods and technologies, resulting in  being less competitive and experiencing lower revenue than is possible because of not performing the renovations in a strategic manner. Over the past 5 years or so, companies like HD Supply, Wilmar, GE and a multitude of contractors have been desperately attempting to determine and meet the needs of their multifamily clients during the renovation process. The main challenge these vendors have had is trying to get their arms around an industry that demands immediate execution and a high quality product.   When a company performs new construction they will spend months or even years in the planning process prior to the start of a project.  Their planning usually includes demographic studies, engineering, architecture and design.  Now let's compare that to the renovation process, wherein companies will often begin a renovation project costing millions of dollars within...

Posted by on in Property Management
Creating content is a beast. I wrote a guest post on the Firebelly Marketing blog a few weeks ago about how it is so challenging to create the content. What's it take? I have a few thoughts. This is part 4 to Building Your Online Brand and Episode 15 all in one.[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0w7vhwYvjY 400x300] as seen @ Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd ...

Posted by on in Property Management
 Less than 1% of all leases can be tracked to social media marketing efforts. Of course, those leases are signed by companies to actually do social media marketing. Yet, if you’re not talking about Twitter, Facebook, or “social media”, it’s hard to be heard. The marketing tool with the highest potential for property managers is mobile marketing, which seems to have suffered from the greatest buzz kill of all. For the point of this discussion, let’s just think of mobile marketing as the use of SMS (text messages) to deliver a message to your audience. Why does Mobile Marketing matter? According to Nielsen’s Mobile Advertising Report, over 78 million U.S. mobile subscribers have been exposed to mobile advertising. The report states that users send “an average of 357 text-messages per month, compared with 204 phone calls” and that text messaging alone has increased by 351%. Between the ages of 25-34, that translates to an average of 331 texts sent and received in one month. For teenagers, that number jumps to a whopping 1,742, in case you’re wondering what your 14-year-old is up to right now. The study also mentions the short code marketing to this audience, in which abbreviated phone numbers are used to offer services or information to anyone who texts to these numbers. So, how can the multifamily industry use Mobile Marketing? Here are a few ideas: Follow up with prospects. Get permission on your guest cards to follow up via text messages. Send coupons, such as a discount...

Posted by on in Property Management
Last week Google launched a new service they say will allow us to "help and learn from others as you browse the web." What if everyone, from a local expert to a renowned doctor, had an easy way of sharing their insights with you about any page on the web? What if you could add your own insights for others who are passing through? Now you can. We're launching Google Sidewiki, which allows you to contribute helpful information next to any webpage. Google Sidewiki appears as a browser sidebar, where you can read and write entries along the side of the page. What are people saying about Google Sidewiki? Jason Falls from Social Media Today says: It forced every company in the world with a website to get hip to social media and do it now. Essentially, anyone who downloads the toolbar can add comments and notes to a sidebar expansion of any website. Even yours. Without your permission or even knowledge. And remember what Google does best … serves up relevant advertising in search results. I would expect your competitors will have the opportunity to place their ads on your Sidewiki soon, too. What Google Sidewiki also allows for is insults, spam and other potentially damaging comments to be added to your website's experience. Without your permission. This software feature is the online equivalent of people suddenly being allowed to post graffiti, flyers and posters all over the front of your building. Web Strategist, Jeremiah Owyang, weighs in on the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Computer UseIn so many ways, property managers have it easier today than they did a few years ago. As opposed to earlier times when marketing vacancies generally consisted of taking an ad out in local newspapers and advertising on bulletin boards, today there are a variety of online mediums to utilize. This means more vehicles through which to market your properties and, subsequently, more visibility. Think, for example, how much easier it now is for potential tenants moving from out of town to find your properties. If there’s a downside to this increased technology, however, it’s that there are so many online rental marketing options, sometimes it’s hard to determine which ones are going to be the most advantageous to you and your business. Following are a few of our favorite online rental sites, how they work, and why you should use them. RentWiki.com What it is: Founded in January 2009, RentWiki may be a relative newcomer, but it has entered the online rental marketing scene with a bang. Co-founder Eric Wu attributes this site’s early success to building RentWiki around user-generated content. Wu explains, “Typical online rental sites’ information is supplied by property managers; we’re trying to build a rental search engine powered by renters.” With that in mind, RentWiki uses popular forms of online information sharing (such as wikis and social media) to provide information through peer review. Potential renters come here to find out not only about available units, but also about the things that really matter to them: a...