Is it Nitch? Or Neeesh? No matter how you choose to pronounce “niche” it is important to find it, NOW. Who is your audience? How do you stand out? Even if you are an older property or undergoing capital improvements, you can always find the ….. “neesh” to make your property stand out and attract the type of residents that fit your brand. In fact, properties should be allocating more energy and resources to develop their “nitch” and attract diverse residents who find common ground in the same type of environments.
Once you find it, go ALL IN. Make it front and center of your marketing materials, social media and website. Shout from the roof top, this is our “why,” this is “what” our residents love about living here! You will get more referrals and most importantly, gain resident retention because residents will feel connected and valued in their community.
Niche 1-0-1, according to the Google’s definition of NICHE: Adj. Denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. This alone should start the wheels turning of what is unique about your property. Services and interests stand out to me, after all, we are in the people industry.
The Savvy Socialite
These are residents who are kickboxing by the pool, using the grills, attending your events, always in the gym or hanging on their patios. These residents know tons of people and naturally gravitate to active/social personalities. Is your property active in fitness or have high engagement in social spaces? Perhaps your “Neeesh” is fitness and active lifestyle.
Where to start?
- Incorporate resident programming that highlights your gym, social or outdoor spaces. Hold your weekly or monthly events in these spaces and make it conducive to the theme of fitness and being active. Ideas include:
- Sunset yoga by the pool
- Sunday burn bootcamp outside-Recruit a resident or local instructor for discounted rate that residents pay. Be sure to promote ahead of time!
- Community clean up-All you need are buckets, gloves and grabbers and can be used over and over.
- Community running or biking clubs- A great way for people to meet others with the same interests. Promote from within, have a bulletin in office, recruit a resident who is willing to run it.
- Healthy cooking classes in your social kitchen. Or healthy pot luck dinner event for residents to share their favorite healthy recipes.
- Monthly newsletter-Post pictures of your active events, upcoming fitness events, healthy recipes, local businesses that support active lifestyles, shout out to a resident that completed a marathon or triathlon.
- Dog walking play dates.
- Doggy obstacle course: Set up an obstacle course in a fenced in area or pet friendly social space. It will keep the owners and dogs entertained and active! Be sure to have treats on hand. Lots of Instagram photo opportunities to show off their smart pup.
Got a little room in the budget? Check these out!
- Upgrade the gym or outdoor spaces. Even a small upgrade in weights or floor mats can
- boost the vibe.
- Marketing materials (SMG’s, brochures, pop up banners) should reflect an active lifestyle. Highlight the beautiful fitness center, nearby walking trails, bike rental program or hammock cabanas.
- Hire a company or a local influencer that is experienced in video production and film a professional video of people (preferably residents) using the social spaces, fitness classes or outdoor trails. Use it to tell a story of the lifestyle of your property. Put this video on your website and Youtube. (Be sure to use a video/photo waiver if residents are filmed). Well worth the investment!
- Partner with local fitness or active lifestyle influencers. Ask them to attend your events and promote to their audience. If you connect with a well known influencer, offer incentives mutually agreed upon. Sometimes you must pay to play.
- Use your residents! Do you have an aspiring yoga instructor? Personal trainer? Or resident that does a 5K every weekend? Get to know them and see how you can promote your brand. Sign up to sponsor a 5K or Relay for Life to get involved with the local community.
While the fancy business center or high-end quartz countertops are spectacular, the residents you are attracting are more likely to lease because they are excited to live around other likeminded, active people. Everything else is a bonus.
I hope this series got you thinking outside the box to develop your niche. Please leave ideas or comments below that can help others. I’d love to see what you are doing at your property if this is your “neesh.” Stay tuned for the Techy Guru.