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Property Management Minutes

Thoughts and Observations on Marketing, Leasing, Maintenance and Property Management Operations

Outreach Marketing... Tell One Person

Marketing outreach

Tell one person.  Marketing your property is just that easy.

Many times marketing efforts are limited to post and run. Sticking flyers in someone’s hand.   Posting a flyer on a bulletin board and running out the door, will only bring minimal results for outreach marketing.

The real value is the personal contact. It’s not limited to the conversation with the first person you meet, what matters is the impression you make.  Because, the person that you’ve talked with, will talk to someone else; and the opportunity for a general referral begins.

Talking to People You Know

Imagine checking out at the grocery store.  There’s a conversation with the person at the cash register.

“How are you today?; (and appropriate pleasantries, with a simple added phrase,) “you know, I manage Awesome Apartments, located just down the street.  If you know of anyone that might need an apartment, we have great apartment homes!”

This is where the value of outreach marketing is created. The conversation and contact also applies to  memberships with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Junior League.  Paying a membership fee because there’s a link to a web site, or someone might include print materials is a missed opportunity for greater exposure.

Meeting business owners and managers creates the value for a personal endorsement and referral.

“I met the manager from……you should check them out….” Is the beginning of a great referral.

The old adage, of you tell one person and they tell a person is the beginning of an awesome referral chain.

If a property has a weekly requirement to contact 20 individuals or businesses…that’s 20 people, that might in turn mention something to 20 others, who could mention it to….you see the trend!

When this expectation is described to community managers, it can sound overwhelming, even intimidating. “How can I possibly contact 80 to 100 individuals or businesses each month!”

Outreach Marketing Calendar

I find that having a weekly theme to outreach marketing is helpful.  It creates a structure and a schedule.

Week One…Municipal Offices, Chamber of Commerce, Schools.

Week Two. Churches, Social Service Agencies, Community Support Organizations.

Week Three Hospitality and Restaurants.

Week Four. Local Businesses, Hardware, Hair Salons, Veterinary, Physician Offices and Other Health Care Locations.

Week Five. Insurance Providers, Realtors.

A rotation where return visits are scheduled every other month allows for reasonable followup.  Unfortunately, most businesses experience a high volume of staff turnover, and you’ll find the need to introduce yourself over again, and create a new contact.  When you are fortunate enough to talk to a friendly face, who remembers you, you’ve created a relationship!

Relationships are the groundwork for referrals.

Taking the time to visit businesses, getting to know managers, staff.

  • How are they doing,
  • are they hiring,
  • saw the remodeling going on

…introducing yourself to them, offering a little about your property, who lives there, why it could be convenient..you’re putting legs on our advertising.

In most advertising training, sales teams are taught the first visits are all about the contact building rapport, you might not even give out marketing materials, unless it’s requested. Just introduce yourself, invite folks to come to a property open house.  ASK, if you could come back and drop off some flyers with information about the property and specials we are offering.

Take the time to tell someone about your community, and they just might tell someone else about your community, who might tell someone else about your community………

 
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Every marketing plan includes the activity of community contacts, marketing to local businesses or the all generic OUTREACH. At the end of week, a quick review of tasks not completed, needing to be rescheduled, the outreach activity leads the way. the office was too busy someone called in, the office would have been shortstaffed. outreach was completed last week, didn’t want to bother the vendors. not sure what to do The list goes on. Outreach efforts will not remedy an occupancy pr...
Last week, I shared an NAA Education Conference-inspired blog about not seeing our prospects as commodities, realizing that some prospects are inherently better than others, such  as those who stay at our community longer, pay rent on time, and treat their neighbors with respect.  In a perfect scenario, we would take the "pick of the litter", snagging the absolute best prospects first, and leaving the less-than-ideal prospects for our comps, all while strictly adhering to Fair Housing ...
Kate Good presented her 2017 Marketing Playbook yesterday, and there were loads of great ideas shared.  One of my absolute favorites was a mix of resident appreciation, social media awareness, and outreach marketing, all in one program!  Kate's team sent out cupcakes to residents at their place of work as a way to show the residents how much they were appreciated, as well as hopefully gain some great social media mentions!  Sure enough, Sandra took a picture of herself with the cu...