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The Best Outreach Marketing Tool: Your Service Team

You are spending money advertising your community online, to businesses in your area, for campaigns designed to reach out to the right demographics.  Your company has a Reputation Management Department specialized in damage control, as most of the potential renters are checking online reviews before considering to become your residents- I called that reactive marketing. What if I told you that you are underutilizing the best marketing tool that is already at your disposal: your service team. Consider this:  Your current residents are the best vehicle for spreading the word about how great is to live at your community to their friends, family and co-workers. Most of them only walk into your office only three times: when touring the community, signing the lease and turning in keys at the move out. The only associates they may be in contact with for the length of their stay are your service team members.  Besides residents families and close friends, chances are that nobody else except your service team has the privilege to enter their homes.  Focus on making your service team visits count: professional appearance and efficient service goes a long way.  As a consequence, you will end up with: a happy resident, hopefully followed by a great online review and a recommendation for your community and less work for your Reputation Management Department. This way, you are turning your resident into a promoter. Not only that they are doing free advertising for you, but they may end up renewing their lease, therefore......
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SEO & Apartment Marketing: The Next Step

SEO & Apartment Marketing: The Next Step
A very long time ago (circa 2008) the leasing world was a simpler place. Place an ad on Craigslist or in a newspaper, and sit back and watch the renter leads flow in. The most complicated it ever got was when you wanted to add a template to Craigslist. Those were what I would call "the good old days."  Flash forward ten years and the leasing world could not be more complicated. From ILS sites, listing syndication systems, Social Media, Blogs, Google Adwords, Remarketing and more, there are numerous marketing channels to choose from. However, there is one area that could be the most important, but seldom gets the attention it deserves, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Curiously most apartment communities either don't think SEO can have a significant impact, or are dissuaded by trying to compete with the "big boys." Whatever the reason, SEO needs to be the next step in your apartment communities marketing efforts.  What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?  Search Engine Optimization is the process of building a strong search engine presence to ensure visitors can more easily find your website amongst all your competitors online. The primary aim is to improve your websites page ranking so that renters will see your website when they type specific keywords or phrases into search engines like Google.  In simplest terms, it's getting your website to the top of search engine results for searches that your renters conduct (i.e., apartments in Charlotte, rentals in San Antonio, etc.) Why is Search Engine......
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Property Managers, Should You Get Off Facebook?

Poor Facebook. It's been getting a bad rap nowadays, what with the news that 87 million users had their private information stolen by the political research firm Cambridge Analytica.

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Correcting Apartment Information Online Using YEXT

What is YEXT? Have you ever had a problem with a property having the wrong address, hours, or phone number listed online? In a nutshell, YEXT provides a simple solution to this problem for multi-family property managers. While the name sounds funny, YEXT is an incredibly useful online marketing tool for multi-family property managers. Founded in 2006, YEXT is now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the leading platform for managing online business information. In addition to solving problems with online business information, YEXT will also monitor online reviews about your property. How does YEXT work? From a marketing standpoint, having the wrong phone number or website listed for a property is a major problem. How do prospective residents contact your property? YEXT provides a dashboard where property managers manage their property’s information, including: Property address and phone number Property description and hours Website and email contact Map location marker Photos and videos Social media profiles Once the information is updated, YEXT connects to 100+ publishing partners to publish the updated information. They publish information to every major online site you have heard of, including Google, Facebook, Bing, YELP, YP, plus Apple Maps. In addition to the major sites you are familiar with, they publish your information correctly on sites including local.com, 411.com, 2findlocal.com, HotFrog, and more. Not sure how your property’s information is currently listed? Click here to run a free scan using YEXT. Saving property managers time Consider that your property has the wrong phone number lis......
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Is Funny Effective?

I love all the different forums that provide opportunity to share questions, thoughts and ideas about the property management business. The other day though, I didn’t like my response to someone’s question/post because I sounded like “a no fun, Debbie Downer".  The question was, does anyone know of a funny, but still professional, way to do video for an apartment community.  My response was that I wouldn’t do funny because people looking for a new home consider it a serious matter, not a matter for entertainment. I’ve seen lots of video’s that communities have made using pets, giving funny tours etc...where it’s obvious they had a lot of fun doing it and feel it was successful. The question to determine its success though is what was the objective?  Is it to promote camaraderie among staff, is it to show the light hearted side of the staff to the current residents, or is it to appeal to prospective residents to entice them in your community's direction? Anything you put on-line has the opportunity to affect the latter.  Like any other marketing project you have to have a clearly defined objective, in other words you need to think about the end at the beginning.   In full disclosure my company produces video’s for MFHI so it would be easy to construe that I have a bias. So I would like to use an analogy that most can relate to - finding a new hair salon.  Simply interchange apartment with salon and leasing staff with stylists.You ar......
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How Do I Stop Sharing Price Too Early with a Prospect?

This week I discuss how to deal with people like me, developing trust, why you shouldn’t share price too early, how to take control on the phone, and what to do with people that need to “think about it.”

Episode 18 – Dealing with Dominant Personalities

A dominant behavior style can be challenging to deal with sometimes. Today I share some ideas to help you deal with people like me. :)


Episode 19 – Developing Trust

No one likes to be sold. You must build trust with your prospects. I share some ideas on building trust in today's episode.


Episode 20 – Sharing Price Too Early

Price is an important factor, but you need to figure out the motivations of the customer before your share your price.


Episode 21 – Taking Control on the Phone

If you've ever found yourself just answering the customer's questions, then this episode is for you.


Episode 22 – Handling Excuses

Before you let them walk out the door, drill down on that excuse they just gave you. I share some ideas on this today.


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How easy is it for the customer to find you?

Discovery is one of the 5 Marketing Principles at J.C. Hart. Whether it’s your location, signage, or placement on Google, it’s all important to understand how people discover you.

In this week’s show I briefly discuss the importance of claiming your business pages online.

Music Credit – Ryan Little – http://www.soundcloud.com/iamryanlittle

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What Do We Do With All Those Missed Leads?

This week I discuss what to do with missed calls, how to leverage social proof, sending a Yikes! message, asking more questions, and why explaining how the process works is critical to closing.

Episode 13 – Missed Leads

Today's question: What do we do with all those missed opportunities?

Most data shows that a leasing office misses more than 50% of phone calls. We discuss some ideas to capture those missed opportunities.


Episode 14 – Social Proof

Today's question: How do you typically describe a feature or benefit?

For most people, using social proof is critical in your communications when leasing.


Episode 15 – Yikes! Getting the no.

Today's Question: What do you do when that prospect goes silent?

In this episode, we discuss when it's time to get a no or reactivate a prospect that seems lost.


Episode 16 – Reversing

Today's question: Should I really answer a question with a question?

More examples for why asking a question after a question can help you in the leasing process.


Episode 17 – What Happens Next?

Today's question: What happens next?

Don't be an old school closer. Set your UFCs and you don't have to close.


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Gen Z: What to Know About Post-Millennial Renters

For as much as everyone talks about Millennials, you'd think they were the only current generation of renters. However, the first wave of Gen Z, which generally refers to people born in 1995 and later, is already in their 20s and out in the rental market. Despite sometimes being grouped with the previous generation, there are some vital differences between these two generations that every investor and property manager needs to know about. Reviews really matter People in Gen Z came of age with technology everywhere and readily available, so they're more deeply linked with online communities. They share their experiences and trust their peers' opinions when it comes to finding products and services. They also don't respond as well to traditional mediums of advertising as previous generations did; they want to make decisions for themselves and simply don't want to be told what to buy. Therefore, real reviews about your multifamily property are going to have more of an impact on prospective renters than any of your sales pitches. Members of this generation tend to view social media presence as a true representation of your business, and your community reviews play a big part in that. Transparency is the name of the game Naturally, you won't be able to make every person who reviews your units happy, but the simple act of addressing an issue can help you connect with Gen Z. This is a generation that is looking for authenticity, so you won't gain their trust if you try......
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What is Your Community's "Potential Resident Experience"?

What is Your Community's "Potential Resident Experience"?
A lot of managers like to talk about the "Resident Experience," but few dedicate time to making sure the Potential Resident Experience is the best it can be. In some ways, the Potential Resident Experience is as significant as the resident experience, if not more so. What is the Potential Resident Experience? The Potential Resident Experience is the total experience a renter has from first seeing your community online to signing their lease. In essence, the sum of all their interactions with your community. The underlying logic is that the better overall experience your prospective resident has, the more inclined they are to remember your community, recommend your community to others and ultimately become a resident. What affects the Potential Resident's Experience? Numerous things can have a positive or negative effect on the Potential Resident's Experience. They can range from the obvious things such the ease of use of your website, the cleanliness of your community and the how friendly your staff is to the subtle things like your signage and ease of your application process. Here is a list of the Top 10 things that can have a POSITIVE impact on a potential residents experience (in no particular order): Easy to Use Website Prompt and Timely Communications Professional Marketing Accurate Pricing Information Friendly Staff Interaction Community Cleanliness Proper Signage Professionally Staged Unit(s) Easy Application / Lease Process Cleanliness of Vacant Units Samples of Negative Potential Resident Experiences There are many things that can give a potential resident a bad experience,......
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