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Apartment Marketing; Free Shuttle Service for Residents

We have been talking about Partnership Marketing and the effects it will have in 2010 here at the Urbane Lab and want to provide our readers and following with examples of how it can work and the benefit it can provide to your apartment marketing program.

We just finalized a deal at Urbane Apartments with The Night Moves. The Night Move is a bus that runs on B20 biodiesel and is partnered withcarbonfund.org to balance out the remainder of their carbon footprint.

The bus runs every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm to 3am, and will make custom stops at (8) Urbane Apartment locations that are outside of the city of Royal Oak, and take Urbane Residents and their guests to Downtown Detroit, Downtown Royal Oak and Downtown Ferndale. As you can imagine, Urbane Residents are thrilled to be able to head to dinner, bars and nightlife entertainment and not have to drive.

Shoulder Your Marketing Costs
Custom pick up like this add a ton of value to the individual properties, however the costs associated are completely out of reach, right, well actually no. Partnership Marketing works because two or more businesses each have something of value for each other. Urbane, like lots of other apartment operators have something that restaurants and bar owners are looking for, customers.

When we made the link and connection between the bus operator, the apartment operator and the restaurant and bar operator, and leveraged our Urbane VIP relationships, we were able to provide a significant service to our residents, at NO Cost to the property.

It Has To Work For Everyone
The dedicated Urbane Bus, which will be completely wrapped with our logo and brand, will also include the logos of our Urbane VIP Sponsors of this program.

What bar owner wouldn't want a bus load of young professionals going out for the night dropped off in front of their venue? Win/Win

What apartment operator wouldn't want a fully wrapped bus with their logo all over it pulling up in front of the busiest bars and restaurants in town every weekend? Win/Win

Make Free Work For You
And, when coupled with several venues we were able to achieve an agreement satisfactory to all parties. We expect to have the program fully launched by March, and did we mention at no cost to the properties, or the residents!

Think Outside the Box
This is just one example of how Partnership Marketing can work for you and your apartment community, but you need to shed old ways of thinking. The marketing dollars of yesterday have evaporated from most operating budgets.

We will keep you posted on the results of this Urbane Lab Apartment Marketing initiative. We would love to hear your feedback and any new ideas you are trying.
Eric has over (30) years in the Multifamily Apartment Business having built and developed over 14,000 apartment units. Eric is Available for Social Media Marketing Projects for your Apartment Community or Property Management Company. You can read more about The Urbane Way of Apartment Marketing from his articles on his blog the ApartmentVeteran.com 
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very cool, innovative idea Eric! Keep us posted!

  Amanda Schneider
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Eric this is great. But what's in it for the bus operator? I can't figure that one out.


  Lisa Trosien
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@Amanda, Thanks, Much Appreciated

@LisaT, Sorry I was clear on that point. The bus operator added a another vehicle, route and driver to his bus line. In this case it is a (15) passenger van, to add to his (2) larger bus fleet. The Thurs-Sat schedule pays for the additional van, plus he has another van for Sun-Thurs services that is paid for from our deal. We obviously benefit Sun-Thurs from a wrapped Urbane van running around town.

  Eric Brown
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Okay,Eric, I didn't eat my Wheaties today so I am a bit unclear.

They are just adding stops for Urbane on their usual route? Is that it? And they are paying for the wrap?


  Lisa Trosien
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@Lisa, Think of it like this, the Bus Operator wants to add a van to his fleet. His cost to add the van is say, $3,000 per month. We/Urbane go out and get (6) ad sponsors (bars and restaurants) that will pay $500 per month for their logo on the van, along with our logo on the van, which covers the cost. The ad vendor also gets direct advertising to our residents, via bus route collateral material at every community. The vendor thinks this is very targeted, economical advertising

The bus operator makes his profit from using the van for other services Sun through Thurs, and we get lots of exposure. Make sense now?

  Eric Brown
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I can see this as something that can be shared with a Senior property to take their residents during the week to medical appointments and local shopping. I would find a local property and have 2 wraps (like you see on city buses); one made for each propety (put one on both sides). It is an amenity for residents, and a rolling billboard for marketing..... I am sure you can find a small school bus in good condition to buy. You can offset the costs of this by selling the space on the rear of the bus/van on a monthly basis for an ad.

  Johnny Karnofsky
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Yep, that totally makes sense. Now I get it! I didn't realize the bars, restaurants, etc. also had their logo on the wrap. Thanks for clarifying!


  Lisa Trosien
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Eric, this is a fabulous idea. Years ago I was a marketing director at a community that had its own shuttle bus, and it was the most beloved amenity offered. Not to mention, the bus driver was adored by the residents. The big challenge was always how to keep the bus in service, as it is incredibly expensive. Looks like you have found a solution!


  Lori Snider
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@Johnny, Good Morning, Thanks for stopping by. The program could be adapted for all different applications, as long as their is value for all parties.

  Eric Brown
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@Lori, Hello, Thank you for your comment,
You hit on a significant issue, in that in this case, everyone is staying in their line of business, meaning Urbane isn't in the bus business, the bus operator is, We can continue to rent apartments and operate our business.

This works because everyone gets some value add,

  Eric Brown
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