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 marketing

Posted by on in Property Management
I was enjoying lunch last week at Benihana with our awesome chef, Hori. He was great, flipping and flying food with the best of them. Sadly, Hori had to deal with two high maintenance and very unhappy people. (Not us, we were delightful-don’t be silly.)   “We don’t want sauce.” “Add this sauce.” “More garlic butter.” “More this, more that…” Complain, huff, deep sighs. I felt badly for Hori, as did my dining companion who heard more than I did. Hori, though, rolled with flow, stayed professional, dignified, and kept plugging away doing his job like the rockstar he clearly is.   As is the usual, once your onion-volcano-making, shrimp-tail-flipping, clickety-clacking, food-flying chef is done, he’s off to another table to wow those guests and add more shrimp tails to his hat. After he left, the two at our table (or for the fancy reader … hibachi) went on a rant with the server about Hori.   Because, as previously mentioned, we were delightful, we stayed after to tell the server how great Hori was. We found out the other guests had complained about Hori and his awful service, saying he was “too old and should retire.” Can you imagine? Apparently, they “get stuck with him all the time.” All I could think was thank goodness I’m not in a customer service role like that.   Then it occurred to me. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, everyone is in customer service. Everyone you deal with is a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Dear Gabby,   Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.   Sincerely, #ReluctantGrammer   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #ReluctantGrammer,   First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.   As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.   Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!   You should use Instagram as a place...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  Pre-leasing may be the most important phase of a new development. If you don’t have compelling marketing, you won’t be able to persuade leads to lock down their units early, and owners and operators won’t hit their occupancy numbers. You can overcome the challenges presented by a multifamily lease-up by taking these nine critical steps while planning and executing your marketing strategy.   1. Build marketing momentum   To build marketing momentum, establish an inviting, branded website or landing page. If you’re using a corporate site or an independent listing service, consider creating your own website. You want leads to focus solely on your property. At a minimum, your home or landing page should ask leads for contact information and provide them guidance on the next steps in the leasing process.   2. Watch lead indicators   It seems intuitive that a new development will always attract the most leads but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Go beyond focusing on your absorption rate. Make sure your leasing velocity is heading in the right direction and that you have taken seasonality into account. Adjust your marketing strategy as necessary, and always look for market opportunities to boost revenue, either by increasing rents or decreasing the concessions you’re offering.   3. Nurture renter leads   Don’t let your lead list gather dust. Invite leads to upcoming events and develop an email strategy that provides them information that's particularly useful to them at each stage of the sales funnel.  Use email and social media to drive traffic to...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
As we prepare to flip the calendar to 2017, the new year is accompanied by hints of a softening apartment market. That means you might have to find new ways to differentiate your communities from your comps as leasing season approaches. There are a host of new technology options hitting the market that you’ll need to drive success in the digital world. While some might not fit your particular portfolio or community, others might be just what you need to get a jump on your competition.  Here are a few innovative tech tools that might help: Customer relationship management systems (CRMs). These systems help you create a centralized database of prospective renters and residents. Not only can these systems capture important contact information, they can also help you capture additional data points that provide you the ability to more narrowly define and segment your audience later on. This makes email marketing infinitely easier and more effective as a leasing and retention tool. These systems are also set up to work with sophisticated marketing systems, such as marketing automation. Which leads us to our next tech tool. Marketing automation. This software can help you create scalable and much more strategic marketing campaigns. These systems integrate with CRMs and allow you to create dynamic lists (say goodbye to excel spreadsheets and list uploads!) as well as create triggered events based on how prospective renters or residents engage with your digital content. For example, if you send out a critical notice to residents at...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
One thing is clear about individuals looking for space to rent today: online research. Google has become the go-to solution for most renters today and it’s become increasingly difficult for multifamily communities to stand out. So the question becomes, “what do we have to do differently to stand out? What else can we offer individuals making decisions before they ever visit the property?” The answer is: Create a virtual experience. Google understood the benefit of that experience when it created the Street-View program. Although you’re probably familiar, the Street-View program maps out most of the areas google covers on Google maps. This would allow us to walk down Hollywood Blvd. without being in Hollywood, or scope out the area around a community I’m considering moving into. It changed the way we imagined the world by virtually teleporting us to almost any location.   Now Google has begun bringing that experience indoors, allowing potential customers to experience the inside of certain spaces to experience what a real-life walk-through would be like. Potential customers can explore the interiors of buildings across residential, commercial, hospitality, and even healthcare facilities. The most popular choice is using photography, while other locations are amplifying by providing virtual tours.  Accurate listings on Google have become the standard. Simply managing your Google Business listing, although important, is not enough to compete with every other community out there. Appealing Photography and engaging Virtual Tours will help you stand apart from your competition. Experience for yourself: Live at Runway...

Posted by on in Student Housing
In a media driven world that is oversaturated with marketing messages and advertising, it’s hard to stand out. Generally speaking, student housing providers don’t have massive marketing budgets to purchase primetime television spots or launch massive guerilla marketing campaigns. Having said that, you don’t necessarily need a huge budget or a world-class marketing team to launch some outstanding campaigns.  Here’s our favorite student housing marketing campaigns from the last few years.   1. Landlord Lou – Killam PropertiesKillam Properties set out to target student renters in the Halifax area and to position their company as a leading student housing provider that cared about its tenants. With the help of Colour.ca, Killam launched the Landlord Lou campaign which focused on a fictional character that went above and beyond with helping young student renters.  Killam set up a temporary website called LandlordLou.ca (no longer operational), ran a competition for free rent for a year, created several YouTube promotional videos (some netting over 100,000+ views!) and various other marketing initiatives. Killam was successful in generating full occupancy in its properties and received exposure from national business media. Also, Landlord Lou won an ICE Award for the best online campaign.   2. St. Patricks Day Snapchat Geofilters – Varsity PropertiesVarsity Properties  has excelled in their student housing marketing initiatives and were one of the first student housing players in Canada to leverage Snapchat as a leasing tool.  Varsity Properties utilized Snapchat Geofilters for St. Patrick's Day which ended up being used 651 times and yielded an estimated 43,000 impressions....

Posted by on in Property Management
With the year 2016 almost drawing its curtains, we can confidently declare that it was one hell of a ride for a bulk of property management firms. The real estate market scene in the US has indeed lived up to earlier predictions, as houses continue recording some of the highest rental rates and prices since before the economic downturn in 2007- fuelled by downright low mortgage rates and increased demand for property. And fortunately, it probably won’t end this year. Although a survey by Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers recorded a drop in positive sentiment at 69% down from 84%, a significant majority of the biggest research and reporting firms, including Trading Economics, Forisk and NAR, predict a continuous growth curve in 2017, all through to 2020 and beyond. The biggest beneficiaries of this boom, apart from property owners, of course, are property managers and real estate professionals. A majority of the 231,457 registered property management firms, however, going by figures reported by the U.S Small Business Administration, fall within the small-business bracket- managing a limited number of properties. This restricts the amount of profit such businesses make, with a bulk of the $74 billion annual revenue going to large firms with extensive property portfolios. Of course the only way to bounce into the big league of the most profitable management firms is growing your property portfolio. Unfortunately, going by the average annual property management firm growth rate of 4.6%, it would take you about 2 decades or so to climb from a 5 to a 10 unit...

Posted by on in Student Housing
September has come and gone; along with the majority of students seeking accommodations for the fall semester. In general, most colleges and universities have their largest intake of students during the fall term, which begins somewhere between mid-August to early September (some schools may operate on a different schedule such as a quarterly academic calendar).   Once October has hit, the amount of students seeking accommodations for fall has tapered off and the next major rush won’t happen until the winter intake. So what’s a landlord to do if they’ve still got vacancies after September?   Don’t panic! There is still a considerable amount of students who will need accommodations.     Students Who Did Not Get Into On-Campus Housing:Some colleges and universities have such competitive on-campus housing where there is more demand for assignments than available. Many students are put on a waiting list, while others are completely denied an on-campus accommodation. The students who are placed on a waiting list will sometimes hold off on securing other housing, hoping that someone drops out and they can take that spot. This waiting list can sometimes consist of hundreds of students vying for the last few on-campus housing spots. If they don’t get in, these students will be scrambling to find an off-campus accommodation during the first few weeks of school.  Exchange Students: It’s fairly common for most major colleges and universities to operate a study abroad program where students from different countries will come over to study for a few months....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Hey, how did you hear about us? It’s a question many businesses ask new customers in order to pinpoint which advertising channels are most effective. But renting an apartment home is much different than calling a cleaning service or trying out that new coffee shop. The apartment search process is much more involved. In turn, the way apartment operators attribute where their leads come from should be just as involved. Conventional wisdom suggests attributing leads to either the first or last website the prospective renter visited. The logic is either that the first touchpoint garnered the awareness or the last touchpoint closed the lease.  With the amount of information available in an increasingly digital world, that method leaves something on the table. An apartment search is an emotional journey for the prospective renter. With Internet Listing Services, community websites, social media, traditional media (TV, radio and print) and word of mouth, every lead can actually be attributed to several sources regardless of when the prospective renter saw the listing.  To pinpoint where the leads are coming from, a multi-touch attribution model is the most comprehensive solution. Multi-touch attribution is the act of determining the value of each customer touchpoint leading to a conversion. This helps determine which marketing channels should be credited with the conversion, and where you should allocate more budget.  Multi-touch attribution assigns a weight to each touchpoint in the search process to help determine which sources were most integral in closing the lead. For example, let’s say a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Developing a brand identity through popular social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook is one of the most important marketing strategies property management firms can implement to attract and engage with their target audience and advertise their multifamily properties. Instagram, the mobile online photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking app, has recently surpassed Facebook as the top marketing platform for businesses. Instagrammers are also the social networkers most likely to follow brands, with over 50% of users following accounts for businesses and products. Additionally, millennials ages 15 to 35 are the age group most likely to rent from a multifamily property, and over 73% of them have Instagram accounts. That being said, it is becoming increasingly imperative for multifamily firms to have an active Instagram account to be able to expand their brand and connect with both current and potential residents. Instagram’s platform is so interactive, in fact, that engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. Creating an aesthetically appealing, popular Instagram account that propels advertisement is a key secret to success in the multifamily property industry. Below are a few tips for building an Instagram that will increase brand awareness, improve resident relations, and successfully market your real estate development or property management firm. Simple, High-Resolution Photos are Key Instagram photos that are high-resolution, crisp, and not too intricate are the best for presenting a professional, aesthetically appealing account. While bright, vibrant colors are...