Donald, I have not seen a histogram like that - do you know where it is so I can see? That would be...
Brent, Apropos of my initial response, have you ever looked at a histogram of residents vs their le...

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A recovered drug addict is protected under the Handicap Status section of the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

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Social Media

- Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Posted by on in Property Management
One of the pre-conference workshops at the NMHC Tech Conference I recently attended featured a panel of leaders from the leading Internet Listing Service players.One of the questions was about the impact of social media on their businesses. I think we ran out of time before we got to the juicy stuff, so here is what I would have said if I were on the panel: you're ambivalent about us, but you're really going to hate it when social media puts some of us out of business. And I'm not talking about Facebook and Twitter.1. Video sites - Search for your property on YouTube.com and chances are you'll find more than one video that has been placed by you or an ILS on your behalf. You'll see tracking numbers in many of the ads. YouTube videos are starting to appear in the search engine rankings. Some users will click through to your website, but others will just pick up the phone and call you. There's not enough information in these videos for prospects to properly qualify themselves. You're going to hate the drop in lead quality you'll experience as traffic from YouTube grows.2. Review sites - You already hate apartmentratings.com, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Today, you also need to contend with apartmentreviews.net, shouldirentit.com, ratemyapartments.com, 247apartments.com - and that's just what I found on the first page of Google results for my search for apartment ratings and review sites. Google favors sites where content changes frequently. What...

Posted by on in Property Management
OK, so now that we've established that facebook does have a positive ROI, that we SHOULD be "doing it," the question naturally becomes, how/what should we be "doing" on facebook?This is PART III of a 3-part series. You can read the intro here:Intro: 3 facebook questions everyone asks when starting out... OR Part I: The ROI of Facebook - the Value of Creating CommunityOR Part II: Facebook-itis: Addressing the Fear of Facebook head-on!This is a loaded question, as many times, in our industy, we are focused on leasing apartments. We naturally want to tout our advatanges and post our specials - the way our traditional marketing avenues with print advertising and ILS's have allowed us to do. Please keep in mind that for our industry (as we have now discussed on the ROI of facebook - the Value of Creating Community), facebook CAN be a marketing tool, however, it is first and foremost a connecting and communications tool to creating and fostering community. Facebook is NOT traditional, so to be able to use it as a marketing tool, we will need to think about it non-traditionally. Throw away those ideas of just blasting what your community is about, "advertising" specials, or listing prices. To better help you determine what you should be "doing" on facebook, let's address a couple of basic questions:Who do you think your community's "friend" or "fan" is?Why do you think they are would accept a "friend" or "fan" request from you?What do you think your "friends" or "fans" are there...

Posted by on in Property Management
We all have a love/hate relationship with our apartment ILS's. We love them for everything they do, and we hate them for everything they do. Yes, I'm talking about Rent.com, ForRent.com, Apartments.com, Move.com, ApartmentFinder.com - those are my big ones, but I'm sure I'm not mentioning dozens of other ones. I'm talking about ALL of them! Don't get me wrong, I love all my providers! They bring me traffic. Traffic is king these days. The provider's sales agents are great - friendly, helpful, a HUGE resource to apartment communities. But, the actual services all lack something EXTREMELY important - make it easy for the prospect! KISS! (Keep-It-Simple-Silly!*) (*I hate calling anyone stupid, so have replaced stupid with silly)A recent blog post I did and two recent discussions on Multi-Family Insiders got me to thinking:Give the prospect what they want. In the end, they are our customer.To read the recent RENT SODA blogpost and discussions on MFI that got me to thinking, click below:There's a MARKET for THAT! (my RENT SODA marketing blogpost)Advertising on Yours (and Others') Good Names : an MFI discussion started by Mike WhalingThe ILS Conundrum - an MFI blogpost by Mark JuleenWhy can't the ILS model be more simple, and cater to the prospect? Make it easier?If they get THEY want, you get more traffic, and you drive more traffix to US, and we get WE want...everyone's happy!I've been a renter before, and as a renter, or anyone looking for a service for that matter, I love it when:...someone else has aggregated all the...

Posted by on in Property Management
Maximize your marketing efforts and reach more prospective residents with a community video. Highlighted below are the top eight ways to generate even more exposure through various social networking avenues using your community video. 1.      Email Signature: Including a hyperlink to your video in your signature allows prospective residents easy access to virtual contact with your property. 2.      Facebook® Status Updates: Posting the YouTubeTM link in your status update provides a measurable distribution channel allowing syndication of your video through fans' newsfeeds. It affords residents the opportunity to showcase their apartment community to family and friends who are potentially searching for apartments, leading to increased views and positive sentiment. 3.      MySpaceTM Status Updates: Posting the YouTube link or MySpace video link to community video in status updates creates consistency across platforms and encourages employees and residents to post. It affords residents the opportunity to showcase their apartment community to family and friends who are potentially searching for apartments, leading to increased views and positive sentiment. 4.      LinkedIn® Status Updates: Posting a YouTube link to statuses allows for exposure among influencers and other contacts and encourages employees and residents to post, increasing relevant viewership. 5.      TwitterTM Status Updates: Tweet your video through work and encourage residents to tweet. This affords followers the ability to resend to their followers, allowing promotion of the community and increasing the probability of your video going viral. 6.      Embed Video on Blog: Embedded code to your blog coupled with written and video content provides prospective residents...

Posted by on in Property Management
This is PART I of a 3-part series. You can read the intro here:3 facebook questions everyone asks when starting out... OK, so the million dollar question is:What is the ROI (Return on Investment) of facebook for my site? Usually followed up by - how many leases can I get from facebook? Serious questions, and just like an owner/investor/upper management to get to the point - eh?Well, short answer is your ROI is either 0% (yes you read it right, ZERO) or 100% depending on how you look at it. Intrigued? Read on...Facebook is all about creating community.  It's all about people connecting with other people because they have at least one thing in common. There is a group for just about anything and everything, from politics, to sports, to music. Some as broad as "I Love Music" fan page which has over 2.4million fans, to the more specific, like "Sting" fan page that has over 300,000 fans, to your local band, who may have 100 fans.Your apartment/site IS a community - whether you are 30 units or 300 units or 968 units, your apartment IS a community. Your #1 person on site - their title is "COMMUNITY MANAGER." hmmmm....Before facebook, and it wasn't so long ago, most sites had a bulletin board of some sort. The community manager &  staff would decorate this board, organize it, and make sure it fit within the guidelines of your community in appearance and postings. You allowed residents to post random things on there, like...

Posted by on in Property Management
People ask me all the time about facebook. Some people are just confused, some are scared, some are excited, some are clueless, still others hesitant, and then there are those who FAKE it! (You know who I'm talking about!) Why all the confusion? Why all the ruckus? I just don't get it, and if you have been reading my posts and know my tagline, well, I GET IT. But all this confusion is...confusing!So, let's talk it out, or should I say, blog it out. I've narrowed down the top three questions I get asked most often:1.) What is my ROI when using facebook as a marketing tool? - This is usually asked by various levels of upper management - your CEO's/COO's/VP's/Director's. Occasionally a very business-minded manager also ponders this out loud.2.) Should my site(s) "do" facebook? - This is usually asked by someone who realizes that they NEED to be on Facebook - because everyone ELSE is thinking about it or already "DOING IT."3.) What should we (as sites) be "doing" on facebook? - This is usually asked by someone who has just opened up a facebook account and realizes they don't know what to say or "do." Their friend list consists of 22 people - 10 of whom are vendors, 8 are competitors, 1 is their mother, and the last 3, they *hope* are residents or prospects of their apartment community. OUCH.Don't get me wrong, there are a TON of other questions, but these are the ones I get asked most often. AND, very relevant questions for beginning users, intermediate users, and...

Posted by on in Property Management
How are you writing your apartment community craigslist ad titles? Are you using rent concessions to drive traffic to your property? What if you don’t have any promotions? What content are you posting to your Facebook and Twitter pages? Are you just posting your rental rates and promotions? Did you know that more than half of American adults are attempting to save money?A new Harris Poll shows interesting statistics regarding ways adults are trying to save money: 36% have switched to tap water and refillable bottles instead of bottled water.21% have cancelled or cut back on their cable TV service.20% have stopped buying coffee in the morning.14% have been carpooling or using mass transit.Let’s face it, not every community can compete with ever-increasing rent promotions and concessions. Sometimes, the rent cannot get ANY lower. How do you differentiate your ads and your content from competitors when the properties are so similar? Try this: if your community offers something of value, highlight that feature in your ads, in your Facebook Page content, and occasionally in your Twitter feed. Please understand: I don’t mean use a long list of amenities. Frankly, that’s boring and exactly what everyone else is doing. Use the statistics above to create ad titles/headlines that are unique for your community.Below are a few examples of ways you can turn your apartment community features into a call-to-action. Your community offers -Free water and trash services.“Save $50 a month with our FREE water and garbage service!”Free cable.“Thinking of canceling cable to save money? If you...

Posted by on in Property Management
This may come as a shock, but I've been thinking. After the Rent.com debacle, I started thinking about the ILS models in general. I've shared some of my thoughts about ILS's in a MFI discussion (click here) before, but here are some more ideas and I want yours please. Tell us what you want to see. How do you want to see the ILS's change? [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMXtv5SG-7U 444x350]As seen @ Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd ...

Posted by on in Property Management
How did we get from search engines to social media? It's been a long journey.We know that the fastest way to improve your search engine rankings is to pay a couple of thousands of dollars to a Search Engine Optimization consultant to tell you how to clean up the title and description tags and content on your page and to get your webmaster to follow through. The second investment you make is to build unique and compelling content. That's what we did for customers in 2005.We know that getting inbound links helps search engine rankings. We used to write press releases and put them on sites like prweb.com, or if we had the budget, prnewswire.com. We also wrote unique content and put them on sites like articlecity.com. This was called PR and article marketing, respectively, and that was so 2006.We believed that providing information about moving resources and local business information would be a great amenity for residents. We launched cartandhorse.com and then followed up with a property-specific version with 5000 business reviews, called eRetriever, in 2007. We got 160 properties to sign on in the Philadelphia metro area, but it didn't take off nationally... and the service was free.cart/horseAnd now, we're doing exactly the same things with Respage, only this time the content management system is called a blog and we're syndicating through sites like Twitter and Facebook. In 2009, we call it Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing. But has the concept really changed?Back then, the cart was...

Posted by on in Property Management
Do you ever wonder what your high school sweetheart, quarterback, class clown, cheerleading captain, class nerd, and valedictorian are up to these days? You may have lost touch with these people over the years but all is not lost. Baby boomers and beyond are finding social networking sites appealing for the same reasons most people do - to stay in touch with people. They are interested in reconnecting with old friends and classmates whom they haven't talked to in more than 30 years.  Currently, 16.5 million adults age 55 and older engage in social networking, according to Internet monitoring site comScore. A consumer survey of U.S. consumers from the NPD group, Inc., a leading provider of reliable consumer research, shows that 61% of baby boomer Internet users (age 44 to 61) had visited sites that offer streaming or downloadable video, while 41% had visited social networks. There are helpful, even enjoyable and easy-to-use, Web sites that offer social benefits such as networking opportunities, research tools, and helpful articles on everything from retirement to long term care. These sites allow you to sign up and join, meet others, post articles etc, while others provide access to useful information regarding life after 55. The industry experts at After 55TM Housing and Resource Guide and SeniorOutlook.com continue to stay abreast of new media trends and want to provide you with a list of social networking sites that can benefit you. Facebook Facebook is a place to connect online with your friends and family...