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Apartments to Hot Sauce

Our articles that have garnered national media attention and feature stories in Entrepreneur, Business Week, NY Times, Harvard Business Review, Builder, BizNet and Multifamily Executive. We were named as a Voice of Innovation in Social Media in Business Week magazine,

Partnership Marketing with a Foursquare Summer Swarm!

We've talked about partnership marketing and our love affair with Foursquare here at The Urbane Way - it's not exactly new. But we The Urbane Way is kicking summer into full gear this month with it's next Urbane Summer Swarm party.On July 15 we're inviting Urbane Apartments residents – and anyone else with a serious sense of style – to stop by the Urbane Underground to participate in the Hot on Our Heels Contest.What's that? From 6-8 p.m. anyone willing to show off a fabulous pair of high heels – think Carrie Bradshaw a la Sex and The City – can compete for a chance to win some hefty gift certificates to Pink Pump, the shoe boutique headquartered right here in Royal Oak. We've got three tiers of prizes ranging from $550 to $300 to $150. Now that should get you some pretty pumps. The catch? We want all participants and visitors to check in on Foursquare at the Urbane Underground. Our fingers are crossed for a Swarm Badge, so tell your friends! Grab a free, cold Vitamin Waterwhile you're at it. We'll have a photograph shoot some photos, so look fabulous.Then the crew will head down to Blackfinn American Saloon where anyone who shows a Foursquare check-in at Urbane is granted VIP entrance to the party, complete with free appetizers and drink specials.We'll show off the contestants' photos, announce the winners, present the awards and choose a the recipient of a Pink Pump swag bag worth $100 in posh merchandise from the boutique, too. If you're around metro Detroit, we hope......
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Blog How Many Fans, Followers and Friends are Required to Self Rent Apartments

My partner at The Urbane Way, and best selling author of the eBoot Camp Book and Series, Corey Pearlman forward a pretty interesting article on Saturday. The post is titled 1,000 True Fans. The premise is that with enough, "True Fans" you can have a self sustained business model. 

Although the article is mostly aimed at creators, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

How Many Fans, Followers and Friends are Required to Self Rent Apartments

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Apartment Marketing with Foursquare

So Foursquare seems to be the new buzz. Local businesses are scrambling to figure out just how this new location based program can help drive more sales. As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare "Specials," which are discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue. Don't forget to show extra love to your venue's Mayor!  Additionally, if you offer Foursquare Specials to your residents, you will be able to track how your venue is performing over time thanks to their robust set of venue analytics — for free! How Can You Tie This to Your Apartment Community The Urbane Way our  Social Media Marketing and PR Laboratory are conducting a series of Foursquare Events to start to test what works best, starting with what we are dubbing the Summer Swarm Series. We are testing this first on our own apartment portfolio at Urbane Apartments  Our intent is to create a series of "Swarm Badges" at each event.  We have started to promote foursquare "Check Ins"at all of our Urbane Communities, with our most successful being the Urbane Co Work Space, that has logged over 250 Check Ins Laugh-Up You may have heard of or attended a Tweet-Up, well we are hosting a Laugh-Up! Be on the lookout for opportunity. By that, here is what we are referring to. One of the regulars that frequent the Urbane Co Work Space mentioned that a friend from Minneapolis, a traveling comedian, was coming to our town to perform at the local comedy club and needed a place to......
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Want to talk to the Top Dog at Yelp, Well now you can

Todays rave is all about Review Sites. They are here to stay, like them or not and even our beloved hide under the rock until it goes away multifamily space will no longer escape them. Apartment operators, there is no longer anywhere to hide, and it is time to pull your head out of the sand.Most apartment operators have more questions than answers about the Rating and Review Sites, and are scared stiff about "allowing" ratings on their web sites. As with many things that are not filly understood, or new, that fear is overrated. According to Yelp, “Yelpers have written over 8 million local reviews, over 85% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher” Seeking Validation  Rental Prospects are actively seeking the validation they feel from reading Ratings and Reviews. Prospects are retrieving this information with or without your help.  Making them run around to get it does not make sense. Yelp, in particular, does a good job of screening out the bogus reviews so that the review content is particularly useful. They can catch a competitor trying to seed bad sentiment and delete those posts. They can catch businesses that write “pretend’ reviews, promoting themselves. Time to Embrace  Because of all of that, ApartmentFinder.com has recently launched a new cool social media integration feature where any of their advertisers can have their Yelp reviews displayed on their property details pages. Talk Directly to the Top Gun at Yelp In an effort to dispel some of the fears Geoff Donaker, the COO at Yelp, has agreed to participate in a joint......
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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 CostsCustom 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......
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Do You Believe in this new thing, Social Media

I have been thinking a lot lately about Engagement, and Contests and how we can create much more leverage with partnering and social media. We have all done far too many not so successful Contests, where the effort and investment fall far short of the mark.Last year we wanted to add furnished apartment photos to our Urbane Apartments web site, and with people in the photos. We tried using hired models, but that was pretty expensive and looked too staged. We ended up doing a photo shoot, where we sent out a photographer for the shoot and traded the pictures for rent. We got some excellent photos and Urbane Resident participation.  So, all is good right, well sort of, but when we totaled up all the free rent, while it may have been a great deal based on what we got (live models are over the top expensive), we think there is a better way, and how we are approaching Contests and Social Media in 2010. For instance, What if we would have partnered with say, Kodak for our contest, they get exposure (no pun intended) for their product on our web sites, and with our demographic, and we could have gotten an array of things in exchange for that, including the spread of the photos on their many photography blogs and blogger following; think Link Love.  Partnership MarketingOne of our most successful Contests and Events at Urbane happened this fall when we partnered with Sharpie Pens for our Sharpie Draw......
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Content Marketing at the Urbane Lab, Experiment #111809,

It is a pretty exciting time, and our Urbane Laboratory continues to expand. Not only are there some really cool projects and developments going on with NCI and the whole Community Sherpa platform, our scale and reach of resources continue to expand.

We have reached a plateau at the Urbane Lab, where on a somewhat regular basis someone is popping in to the Lab with a new idea to test and try on our apartments. And while some ideas certainly have different merit than others, what is showing up as a significant trend is the quality of resource and knowledge.

We are launching some pretty interesting Urbane Lab Experiments, and as always we will report to you the details of what works and what didn't work.

We are launching this week the idea and concept behind Content Marketing in a further effort to increase our Digital Footprint at Urbane Apartments
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Four Hundred Posts Strong

We posted our 400th post at the Urbane Life Blog yesterday, pretty cool, but what does that mean? Well, for starters, we have increased our Digital Foot Print by Four Hundred Times for Urbane Brand.

But it is more than (400) posts, in addition Google has indexed our pages (749) times, and we have been linked to (649) times?

Does Anyone Care
Apparently Prospects and Renters care, as The Proof is in the Numbers;
  • Web Site Traffic UP 108%
  • Physical Traffic/Tours UP 54%
  • Rentals UP 69%
But How To Do It
Most property management companies have web sites for each of their apartment communities. However, they stop there, with a static, never changing web presence. When is the last time you changed, edited or added new content to your web site? Has it been days, months or years?

Anything less than days, and you are missing huge marketing benefits. Google responds favorably to new, fresh, relevant content. Not changing, editing or adding to your web site content puts Google to sleep.

Admittedly , unless you have a Content Management System, changing content on your web site is a challenge, even with products such as Adobe Contribute. But, with a blog you can change content easily. Is a blog the same thing as your apartment community web site, well no, BUT it can and will help your apartment community web site with some Google Juice, by creating links and keyword tags.
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Becoming a Sherpa

Just wanted to post here that I have joined forces with the good folks at NCI, the parent company behind the new Community Sherpa Product and Apartment Finder, as well as several other magazines.

I have been passionately interested in the Turn Key Social Media Solution that the Sherpa Product represents that Dan McCarthy and his group launched, since I first first posted about it back in June. A dialog evolved with Dan and after visiting NCI's headquarters and plant in Atlanta, and also visiting their New York offices, I became even more excited about the Sherpa Product and teaming up with the folks producing it. They have the resources, and more over the courage to pull off a Game Changing Endeavor that may well reshape how prospects experience renting apartments.
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Great Resident Events

What constitutes a great Resident Event? At Urbane Apartments we have had our share of Resident Events we felt were successful, and not so much.

However, our most recent Draw on the Walls Sharpie Party was over the top, and exceeded all of our expectations.

With over (150) in attendance, it was a great time, and we learned a lot here at the Urbane Lab about our Larger Community.

We have started paying a lot of attention too, and have recently blogged about the fact the The Direction of Marketing has Changed You should too be paying attention to these new Apartment Marketing Metrics.
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