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Room to Grow: Multifamily Operators Have Opportunities to Become More Pet-Inclusive

Room to Grow: Multifamily Operators Have Opportunities to Become More Pet-Inclusive
Over the past decade or so, the multifamily industry has undeniably become more pet-friendly. Go to industry conferences, and you'll see pet-focused sessions with panelists who have reaped the benefits of relaxing or even eliminating weight and breed restrictions. Visit apartment communities, and you'll likely see an array of amenities – such as fenced dog parks and pet-washing stations – designed to attract and retain pet-owning residents. New data validates these general observations. According to the 2021 Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative Report, 76% of owner/operators identify their properties as allowing some pets, which reflects a willingness to accommodate pets by a large majority of property owners and operators. But the same report also shows that residents often don't find rental housing as pet-inclusive as they'd like it to be. For example, according to the PIHI report: 72% of surveyed residents say pet-friendly housing is hard to find. 59% say pet-friendly housing is too expensive. 24% say their pet has been a reason for needing to move. 14% have surrendered their pet as a result of their housing situation. Clearly, apartment owners and operators have to be careful and strategic when crafting their pet policies. They have to strike the right balance of welcoming pet-owning residents with  helping non pet-owners feel comfortable, as well as protecting the community’s assets. However, the PIHI report provides a solid general blueprint for how multifamily communities can become more pet inclusive in ways that drive good business results. Among its recommendations for operators: Consider reducing or eliminating dog w......
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6 Strategies to Maximize the Value of Pinterest for Your Property

To use Pinterest or not to use Pinterest? That is a big question on many of our clients' minds.   While yes, Pinterest can be a profitable social media platform to invest your ad dollars into, it really depends on your industry and product or service.   With more than 150 million monthly users, Pinterest provides a refreshing way to maintain and enhance your SEO efforts and reach a wider audience.   The pinning platform spurs more than 2 billion searches each month. Additionally, more than 250 million of those monthly searches are visual searches — opening the door for a lot of multifamily marketing potential.   So, for those who do want to dive into Pinterest and give it a shot — the next question is, how can I maintain a strong presence on this platform? Below, we explore a few ways to make the most bang  for your buck.  1. Start a Business Account The first step is ensuring you create a business account and not personal as this will give you access to the Pinterest ads manager and analytics tracking. Use your property’s full name in your account, and be sure to include all necessary descriptive information in your bio sections, including contact information, apartment logos, and any community amenities or features you would like to highlight. 2. Create Your Boards Pinterest boards are the topics by which you organize your content. You should create boards that showcase your property (rooms, amenities, events), as well as boards that provi......
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How to Use Digital Communication to Keep On-Site Teams Successful, Residents Informed, and Traffic Volume High During Times of Crises

All industries are increasingly embracing and investing in crisis management planning in case of emergencies (i.e. disasters, crimes, health issues, etc.). It can be hard for on-site teams to know what to do for residents during a crisis. It’s challenging not to get caught up in the what-ifs and what to-dos. While I’m sure you have a crisis communication plan in place, think about the overall tone, flow, and timing for how each message will be perceived and delivered. How can you emphasize and ensure your message is communicated properly? One way is to double down on digital communication efforts - it's the safest, most convenient way to keep on-site staff, current and prospective residents informed and safe. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before that in times of crisis, leasing teams should over-communicate updates to residents. And, video, email, resident portals and a wide range of other CRM/marketing technologies can help communicate information quickly and safely to employees, prospective and current residents so they can fully grasp your message when you need it to be heard. How to Incorporate Video and Email Into Your Crisis Management Plan When preparing how to provide updates and instructions to employees and residents, below are suggestions to make your communication efforts more efficient through video. Communication efforts should be transparent: While preparing communication efforts, be honest with employees and your residents about the situation. This ensures everyone has the most up-to-date information regarding the crisis and what protocols should be followed. Leasing teams can create a video saying ......
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Instagram for Apartments: How to Stop the Scroll in Instagram and Engage Your Residents

Do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling for way too much time on Instagram without ever really stopping to absorb any of the content you’re seeing?   If you’re doing it, you can bet your residents are doing it. And, they’re missing your posts.    A quick way to tell if your audience is passing your posts is if there is a huge disparity between your follower number and the average likes per post you’re receiving. If you have 1,000 followers and are getting eight likes per post, your audience is frequently scrolling by you.    While how active your followers are, the time you post, and how much you post are factors when it comes to engagement, there is still a good number of people who see every post.   So, how do you stop your residents from mindlessly scrolling past your posts and get them to engage with them, or at least read them?   I’ve got some recommendations for you:   1. Lean into your industry + being an apartment.  It’s likely your residents aren’t following many apartments on Instagram; you might be the only one.    So while the majority of their feed is filled with posts from brands and influencers, you have the chance to stand out with apartment-centered images. This includes pictures of apartment units, community amenities, and event announcements as well as tips and tricks for renters. This might seem obvious but it can be easy to try to copy what is trendy or popular at the moment......
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How to Utilize Apartment Marketing’s Newest Weapon: TikTok

“Weapon” might sound a little medieval for multifamily, but when you look at the power of TikTok and the impact it can have on your lead generation, it feels like an appropriate descriptor.    Before we jump in, if your target renter is above the age of 40, then you likely don’t need to worry about learning and using TikTok for your apartment marketing. 60% of TikTok users are between the ages 16-24 and 26% are 25-44.   So, if your target renter is a Gen Z or a Millennial on the younger side, then your apartment needs to be on TikTok (even more so if your direct competitors aren’t yet).    The platform is video only, so it definitely takes some time and effort to make content for your apartment but it’s well worth it. As the current most popular app, many young adults are using TikTok to find apartments. Plus, unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, TikTok users watch videos with the sound ON. This means your message will actually be heard and you don’t only have to rely on visuals.    Here are three ways to utilize TikTok for your apartment marketing:   1. Make original content in bulk. Publishing consistent original content seems much less daunting when you create it in bulk. Try to set aside a few hours one day each week to create multiple videos.    The great thing about TikTok is it’s all about trends. There’s nothing wrong with starting out your TikTok journey by simply recreati......
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More Tenants, Less Effort: 5 Ways an AI Leasing Assistant Increases Conversions

No longer a far-fetched concept reserved to sci-fi movie plots, artificial intelligence is now an indispensable tool in your prospects’ daily routines. Think about it: Chances are you’ve posed a question or two to your favorite AI assistant today, whether that’s Google, Siri, Alexa, or else. Maybe you needed directions to a meeting, store hours for the nearest pharmacy, or a rundown of your calendar appointments — and you had no time or desire to read through a website, call customer support, or click through a handful of dashboards. You wanted answers in seconds, and AI delivered it.  Likewise, the tenants you’re trying to attract have a serious digital addiction and craving for instant answers. It’s why AI leasing assistants are no-brainers in delivering measurable improvements in conversions, engagement, and revenue.     Below are five ways an AI Leasing Assistant will bring more tenants to your properties: 1. Satisfy consumers’ craving for easy self-service and instant gratification Today’s consumers expect the same ease, immediacy, and anytime/anywhere access they enjoy from online retailers and media platforms. Fail to deliver those experiences and they’ll jump ship to a more responsive website, sinking your profits. Astute multifamily property marketers understand that to remain relevant and profitable, they must compete on the battlefield of user experiences, often measured against the ease and speed of Siri or Google. AI Leasing Assistants make that possible.   Speaking of speed and ease, todays’ consumers also don’t want to talk to a sales rep until they’ve completed some basic research, narrowed thei......
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3D Floor Plans, Virtual Tours, & Renderings- A look at how virtual tours can increase pre-leases.

    Pre-leasing can make or break the success of a new apartment community, especially in today’s competitive multi-family market. Adding assets like 3D modeling, virtual tours, and interior renderings allow developers, property managers, and real estate marketing leaders to create more interest in their properties before the construction process is complete.   By using these tools in your marketing plans and content you are able to connect with future renters and give them the visual information they need to make a decision on whether or not your property is the right fit for them at an extremely pivotal time in their buying journey.    1) Why Would I Want a Virtual Tour or Interior Rendering? The obvious answer here is that it is literally impossible to showcase what your spaces will look like without these assets while your property is being built.  3D floor plans, virtual tours, and interior renderings give you access to digital assets that can accurately and effectively present your property's key features when it is physically impossible to show them.   2) What Makes a Good Virtual Tour or Interior Rendering? Accuracy. The purpose behind creating these assets while your property is still in the construction or developmental phase is to accurately present what the interiors and exteriors of your spaces and units will look like. The idea here is to be as close to a real photo or video as possible. Having photo-realistic visuals ensures that what future renters are seeing matches what they wil......
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Covid-19 How Your Apartment Leasing Strategy Can Stay Ahead of the Next Potential Lockdown

  If 2020 taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. In 2020 Covid-19 took the entire world by storm. Life and business as we knew them were completely changed (and in some areas lost forever). The "out-of-nowhere" nature of the pandemic left everybody scrambling to simply survive. While we have made significant strides in terms of understanding the virus and taking the necessary safety precautions, there is still so much unknown about the virus and life as a whole.   Take the last week of July for instance. The CDC estimated that there was nearly a 44% increase in daily COVID cases reported. This in combination with the new variant makes the potential for another lockdown not just a possibility, but reality.   As an apartment marketing professional or property manager, you understand how vital in-person interactions with future renters are. Whether your specific state, city, or county decides to issue a "lockdown" mandate or not future renters will ultimately make their own decisions. So, The question becomes, "If people are on lockdown how will they be able to see what our community and units have to offer?" Virtual tours and photorealistic renderings are both great ways to continue connecting with renters when face-to-face interactions are extremely limited or not possible.   Here are a few ways virtual tours and renderings can help your community withstand another potential lockdown.   Don't Leave Anything to Chance   With the total weekly number of cases rising at a rate we ......
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Why You Should Market for Your Property

All too often I receive inquiries from a potential seller that is looking to “Get the Highest Price” for their property, but does not want to list it, or market the property.  This seems counter intuitive as the basic law of economics is supply and demand.    Although there is not much an average seller can do to affect the supply line, they can create demand by using a good agent.  I started my career in real estate auctions in the late 80’s through the mid 90’s.  During that time, I was at first surprised when properties we took to auction (a method that was deemed as a “fire sale”) consistently sold for higher prices than neighboring properties, and in many cases sold at higher prices than what they were previously listed before going to auction.  As I thought about it, it really did make sense, my economics classes in college explained exactly what was going on.  The supply chain didn’t change, but by marketing the property, and creating a pent up demand the chances for a sale greatly increased.  We’ve seen this over and over the last few years in this current “Sellers” market.  Almost to the point where we now receive as many calls from investors saying they only want to look at “off market” deals, believing they will get a better price without other competing investors.  So it seems pretty easy… If a seller wants the highest price, they need to make sure the property is actively exposed to as many people as might be intere......
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Demystifying Machine Learning and AI in Multifamily Marketing Analytics

Demystifying Machine Learning and AI in Multifamily Marketing Analytics
Overview Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are oft-cited buzzwords in our contemporary conversations about property operations and analytics -- but what are their meanings and, more importantly, how can their application benefit multifamily business operations?  If you are encountering these concepts in internal meetings, vendor presentations, and sessions at conferences -- but wish to take a deeper dive, you've come to the right place.  This article aims to demystify the concepts of Machine Learning and discuss their role in the broader context of Marketing Analytics.  So, first, the terminology..... What is Machine Learning?  How is it different from Artificial Intelligence?  Machine learning is a method of data analysis used in computer software to identify patterns in data and make recommendations for optimization based on those patterns.  Artificial Intelligence is a broader discipline, that includes Machine Learning -- but also represents a higher level of cognition. An example of Artificial Intelligence technology would be in certain types of robotics, where a more human-like sense of reasoning would be applied -- such as with self driving cars -- whereas Machine Learning is more focused on analysis and logic.  In this article, we will focus on Machine Learning, as a fundamental concept for building Marketing Analytics systems.  How does Machine Learning work?  The basic principle of Machine Learning is that it takes a set of assigned data; finds patterns within that data; builds a model around those patterns; then tests and refines that model to make recommendations based on the patterns in that data.  What are......
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