Randi R
Sounds great. Would love to see in a low income community. Lol. Maybe they could influence the wa...
Thanks Terry, Let me know when your article is published. I want to share it with our community as ...
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- Blog posts tagged in Technology

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 ForRent.com'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.     del.icio.us 9.     Digg 10.  Stumbleupon ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Did you know that Mike Whaling, Eric Brown, Duncan Alney, myself, and an occasional guest do a weekly podcast show? Check it out over on the right hand side of my blog or subscribe to it on iTunes.  [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7eP4DqwR4o 425x250]As seen @ Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd ...

Posted by on in Property Management

Augmented reality has made its way into the multi-housing industry. What is augmented reality, you ask? Combine the GPS and camera functions on your cell phone, feed in basic data about the landmarks in your area, and you will have pieced together the main tools needed to create augmented reality. If that still doesn't draw a good visual, just think about the yellow "first down" line in football. It is digitally imposed over the field to give you a better perspective of where first down is.

Augmented reality lets consumers view real-time digital information on top of reality through the camera of their cell phone. Layar, the world's first augmented reality application, is now available to potential renters. Using this innovative app, apartment seekers can view apartments for rent featured on ForRent.com through the camera of their iPhone® 3GS or Google Android mobile phone within a 10-mile radius of where they are standing.

Once the apartment seeker selects the property of their choice, phone and email contact information appears at the bottom of the screen. The Layar application makes it easy for potential renters to find their next apartment. This is beneficial to property managers because it gives real-time information and makes it easier for potential renters to find their listings. Simply point; then click.
The augmented reality application could change the mobile apartment searching process. Need more details? CNN created a great story about this new application here.

Download the Layar app directly from your iPhone 3GS or Google Android phone. To learn more about the ForRent.com augmented reality application, click here.

Posted by on in Property Management
caution(Preface: I hate Beware of Such and Such email forwards I get. As soon as I get one I check out its validity via my trusty friend Google, perhaps you've been acquainted. Ok, now that that's out of the way we can get on with this.) My responsibilities here at Ellipse are pretty broad. Any phone call that come into the office directed towards "a marketing person," "the PR person," "whoever handles your marketing", "your tradeshow coordinator", you get the idea, comes to my desk. Today I received a call from Dana calling from NAA* asking for "the person who coordinates your tradeshows." He was calling to let me know that there had been a few cancelations at The Headquarter hotel for the June NAA Conference in New Orleans. Since we were previous attendees it was a courtesy call to see if we'd like early booking rates at $50 per room/per night less than if we waited until closer to the time to book. He told me since we were exhibiting we'd probably want to have our rooms starting June 23rd (the night before the event) and "you're probably like everyone else who likes to do the tear down on the final day and head home." We discussed how many rooms we'd probably want - I told him we'd had 8 rooms at Brainstorming and I believed it was 6 at the previous NAA in Vegas. He asked me for names for each room letting me know I could change them...

Posted by on in Property Management
too many choicesI learned an interesting statistic this morning, there are more than 18,000 redbox kiosks and new kiosks are currently being installed at a rate of one per hour! My first reaction was "wow, we're in the wrong business!". But, I am of the school of thought that there are lesson to learn from every business. The case study that I read, essentially concluded that no matter what product, or even service, we are offering - we need to give our customers (residents) less choices. As product managers, we have somehow convinced ourselves that our customers both want and need more choices when it comes to our products. This thinking has allowed us to heap on more and more choices for our customers to make: colors, pricing plans, features, etc. However, it just may be the case that the one thing that our customers really don't want is to have to make more decisions in order to buy our products. So, here's my question for you – how many choices do your prospects have in the decision making process? How many floorplans are there to chose from? How many pages on your website give choices other than lease an apartment with us? One of our policies is that every website we build must provide access to decision making information (i.e. physical address, contact info, rental application, etc) with 3 clicks or less. From the home page of a website, a prospect should not have to click more than 3 pages "deep" to...

Posted by on in Property Management
The Dos and Don’ts of Twitter For apartment leasing and new home community sales By Jory Rozner Strosberg, ThePropertyDiva DO Find industry experts, local businesses and local people relevant to your propertyFollow themListen to themLearn from themConverse – Re-tweet interesting tweets, reply often, respond and ask questionsAdd value – Tweet good articles, good ideas and good answersBe transparent and somewhat personalLet us know who is tweeting for your communityKeep your brand message consistent DON’T Don’t try to rent or sell by spamming your twitter stream with your available unitsDon’t use twitter as a billboard to tell us about your specialsDon’t have different people tweeting for your community on different daysDon’t fail to respond to your @mentions or direct messagesDon’t direct message (DM) people with your specials or offerings.  Save that for your opt-in email lists Follow these simple steps and suggestions and you will automatically begin to get followers, learn a lot and increase your brand exposure for your community.  If you don’t, people will unfollow you or  just tune your noise out. Jory Rozner Strosberg is a Chicago Realtor and property marketing consultant.  When you want to boost your sales or rentals and want new, fresh ideas,  contact Jory Rozner Strosberg, ThePropertyDiva at 847.436.4752 or email me.  I specialize in innovated marketing ideas, internet and social media as well as Realtor outreach programs for the multifamily industry. You can also find me on TwitterVisit my website Jory Rozner Strosberg, THEpropertyDiva!   ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Many of the apartment communities that I'm connected to on Facebook are set up as profiles rather than fan pages. The problem is that having a profile for business is against Facebook's terms and conditions.  Lisa Trosien has pointed out that she gets regular calls from apartment communities whose profiles have disappeared because they went against Facebook rules. So all their work, contacts, etc are now down the tubes. Unfortunately, there is no easy converter to change your profile to a fan page. So instead, you have to spread that message to your network and inspire them to become fans. Here is a video that will help you do that.[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRbOiKLoVbY 444x250]  (In the video, I reference the Custom Profile Box.  You can find the app here:   http://apps.facebook.com/profile-box/.  If you are looking for a similar solution for your Fan Page, you can use the FBML app.  Changes to the Facebook Fan Page may impact how this application works, however.)  I am sure there are other great ideas to spread the word - What other suggestions can you all give?...

Posted by on in Property Management
Is your property website mobile-friendly?Nielson reports that the use of mobile devices to browse the web increased 34% from July 2008 to July 2009 (56.9 million). Are you alienating these users from viewing your website? If prospects pass your office and attempt to see more property information from their phones, will they be able to do so?Why is a mobile site so important?The rapid adaptation of the mobile web is leaving many companies behind.  Although Nielson projects that the majority of mobile phones by 2011 in the U.S. will be smartphones, many companies aren't making the investment in mobile websites.   eMarketer predicts that by 2013, nearly 50% of mobile phone users will access the mobile Internet at least monthly.All companies should consider making the effort to establish a mobile site that is easy-to-use on the go. Mobile research is not only used by Generations X and Y, even seniors are increasingly using the Internet. According to Focalyst over half of Americans ages 62-71 online. With the increase in smartphone sales, it won't be long before seniors start using mobile devices for browsing the Web. Why not make it as easy as possible for prospects to learn more about your property?From rent research, to maps and directions, there are many opportunities for you to engage your audience where your competitors do not.Here are some tips to make your website more mobile-friendly:Many people use their phones for finding directions, be sure this option is clearly visible and user-friendly so you don't miss a walk-in opportunity.Phone screens are small, space is a commodity....

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
Online or otherwise-automated rent collection has the potential of simplifying one major headache for on-site apartment teams. And even better, residents seemed to really want this new ability themselves, providing a nice benefit to them, as well. But somewhere along the line, the plan has broken down. According to a recent report by NMHC, an impressive 81 percent of apartment operators utilize online rent payment through either credit card, bank transfer, or both. But when the dust settled, only 18 percent of residents actually used the service. The report states that 76 percent of residents still make the walk to the leasing office each month, rent check in hand.  The report mentioned a few obstacles that online/automated rent payment had, including:Costly convenience fees for credit card transactionsIntegration problems with property management softwareAccounting and reconciliation issuesOf course, that does not explain the lack of bank transfer use. Was there a element of confusion with setting that type of transaction up? Or possibly a misguided lack of trust issue? If you offer these services, what are the reasons you have heard why residents don't participate in your online/automated rent payment options? (If you would like to see more statistics from the NMHC report or would like to view the entire report, click here.)...