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In search of that shiny new penny

Over the years, I’ve always felt that industry marketers have always been on the lookout for the shiny new penny. They lift rocks, scrape off the moss, roll it around in their hand, stare at it and hope it’s the next thing that will bring the new residents in. If you think I’m just being curmudgeonly by saying these things, think about the new concepts that have been discussed over the years:

  1. Should you go all in on the ILS’s?
  2. What about SEO?
  3. Are there any more acronyms we can make up?
  4. How do you utilize email drip campaigns?
  5. Is posting to Social Media the answer?
  6. Will I rent more apartments by using Facebook?
  7. What about reviews? Do they matter?
  8. Will Mr. Craiglist change his service again? Can we stop using it and survive?
  9. Should I use a posting tool?
  10. How can I get my agents to answer the phone?

… and on and on and on. The fact is these are merely more tools in the marketing tool belt. Some are way more useful than others, while some have very little usefulness at all.

The conversations in this space over the years have been amazing, educational and fun but there’s a sad truth to face.

They’ve stopped.

I tweeted the other day to everyone, just on that off chance that people were around – maybe to say hi or discuss their shiny new penny.

Hello Twitter peeps. What’s new?

— BSitko (@BSitko) October 8, 2014


This post isn’t about my lack of retweets, I didn’t cry myself to sleep or get therapy, I’m good. No, it’s about how there are no shiny pennies anymore. There’s nothing to talk about. We’re talked out. Empty. Vacant. Bored. Are we know it alls who aren’t paying attention while things change around us or have we plateaued or have we simply come to the realization that the old still works well and these other things are secondary? Maybe we all just get it now.

I’ll tell you what, I’d like to throw some things at you, get you to decide whether or not they are worth talking about.

OOOhhh-- beautiful 3D graphs and bars. Blue is clearly the better choice.

1) Big data is gaining traction in the industry as evidenced by new companies and new software that will create enough vacancy barcharts and line graphs to keep you scrolling for days. How do you see it helping us rent more apartments moving forward? Are there marketing advantages? Are you using some of these new dashboards?

2) Ad remarketing is a cool strategy that we’re seeing more and more of. Sometimes I get embarrassed at the reminders of things I previously searched for. Who’s trying it? Any success?

3) Is checking in dead? Why did Foursquare split their apps? Doesn’t it make us care even less?

4) Your question goes here. Ask it. Let’s answer. Let’s talk.

Let’s find shiny new pennies together. We need to look outside of this industry for inspiration. Just ask ApartmentList. Let’s make a pact that we’ll do that and meet back here next month – to talk about what we found. I know those pennies are out there, we just have to figure out which rock to look under.

Happy renting everyone.

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