Great point, Brent! That's also where AFPOE can be helpful. Responses which come off like "because...
Wendy Dorchester
Hire for culture, train for skill! Love this. Jared, you have always emulated great culture in every...
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Apartment Marketing

- Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
b2ap3_thumbnail_Tilt-Shift-1-Page48_800.jpgI love finding interesting ways to showcase an apartment community, especially when its pictures are competing with countless others on an ILS.  Whether it is nighttime pictures with the community lit up, or a snow-covered picture of a community that only gets snow once a decade, these pictures jump out at users who are inundated with the same pool pictures over and over. So let me share with you a photography technique that has been around for a bit, but one I never considered in our apartment community photography until now:  Tilt-Shift Photography.  Tilt-Shift is a unique approach that creates images where the focal points seem like miniature models.  It's a very strange and bizarre look, but definitely draws attention!  Here are some absolutely great examples:  (Click on the images for bigger versions for a better effect) (Credit:  Helvetiq)   (This is the only one I could find of a tilt-shifted apartment community.  Probably not the best example, but wanted to show it.)   UPDATE:  Just found a great moving tilt-shift example!     What do you think?  Would this approach draw eyeballs and attention?  ...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
While some property managers feel that the only real solution to vacancy is to offer move-in specials and other types of deals that basically give the apartment away, using smarter strategies to increase and maintain high occupancy rates make leasing more profitable while attracting a higher caliber of potential renters. Apartment specials have become an almost no-brainer, and that’s precisely the problem. While, it’s possible to attract a long-term resident using such a marketing strategy, it’s more likely that the person who takes advantage of the offer will only take advantage of you, moving in to enjoy the short term savings, but moving out when it’s time to pay out some real money. Of course, there’s the leasing terms which are written in the contract and are supposed to grant protection to the property owner against such dastardly dealings by renters, but it doesn’t always work out that way, and litigation can be expensive. The best solution is to simply avoid entering such a situation in the first place. Continue reading to see how it’s done. 1. Invest in the Apartment Instead of Lowering Move-In Costs The best solution to vacancy is to position the apartment to be one that’s in high demand. This is basic 101 in the real estate market and it works just as well for buying and selling houses as it does for leasing apartments. Sure, not much can be done about location when the property is one you already own. But the secret isn’t in the...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Making an apartment complex more attractive to prospective tenants. That’s our daily goal, isn’t it? And yet, it seems that many of the methods used to lure them cost an arm and a leg. But that doesn’t have to be the case. So, in this blog, we’ll give you some simple and cost effective methods you can employ today that will set your property apart from the rest. Let’s just call them “lifehacks” for the apartment manager. Staging. You can hit some estate sales, Goodwill, eBay, and similar buy, sell, trade sites or locations to get your hands on some good furnishing and decorating deals. Set up an empty unit as a showcase for the property, which will give prospects an idea of its potential. If this isn’t a possibility, make sure the office is welcoming and clean, with updated floor plans of all available units. Find Your Place in Cyber Space. These days, there’s no excuse for not having a website. Yet, many still fall into the trap of believing them to be cost prohibitive. This is where a service like Wix.com comes in real handy. For a very low monthly cost, your property could easily have a super attractive and interactive site, that is so easy to build, someone with no experience could put one together in a matter of minutes. Just drag and drop. Get Collateral. Just because you have a great website doesn’t mean you get to neglect those who like to have materials in-hand. Do...

Posted by on in Property Management
It’s important for tenants to have a sense of community. Or is it? Depending on the source, it’s either very important to encourage community involvement through events and activities, or it’s one of those things that tenants could care less about. One thing is for sure, however: people are motivated by causes. Here are some stats from For Momentum:  Nearly all U.S. consumers say they have a more positive image of a company that supports a cause (93%) Americans are more likely to trust (90%) and be more loyal (90%) to companies that back causes Millennials are hyperaware of cause-related efforts to make the world a better place – for themselves and broader society African Americans are more steadfast in their convictions to gravitate toward things that promote social good “Hispanics are more apt than the general U.S. population to not just purchase products and services associated with causes (94% vs. 89% general population), but also go beyond the register to donate (70% vs. 65%), volunteer (47% vs. 42%) and advocate on behalf of companies (43% vs. 38%)” Want to host an event your tenants will care about? Here are some ideas sure to set you apart from the competition: Charities. Pick a charity for the property to sponsor. It’s best to choose a local, community-based charity with which tenants can identify. Let the charity know of the sponsorship and have it become an ongoing thing. You can have a monthly, quarterly, or yearly event, in addition to opportunities for...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Did you know that the brain processes visual information at a rate that’s 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to our brains is visual? That’s according to a recent Boston.com article in which the article addresses the need for marketers to up their game when it comes to online storytelling through images. Yet, when talking about the stories we’re telling about our own multifamily properties, the reasons for doing so are even more basic: tenants want to see what they’re getting and be able to see themselves in it. Regardless of the reasoning, every property needs high quality images for websites, ads, and other marketing materials. And, no, stock images don’t count. In fact, according to a recent survey, 69% of tenants say they are annoyed to see stock images meant to represent a property. This situation can be intimating as it poses a potential predicament to novice photographers. The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional or even know that much at all about photography to produce web-worthy images. All you need is a good camera (preferably digital), and the following tips: Watch the clock. Bright and sunny. These are the conditions the average individual believes to be perfect for outdoor picture-taking. Unfortunately, these conditions can be just as disastrous as a rainy day. Instead, you want to try for early morning, in the first hour after the sun rises, or in the evening, in the last hour of sunshine....

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Brand management is a huge thing that you likely hear about on a regular basis, in one form or another. If you’re not into marketing, then it’s also likely you feel “brand management” is a current buzz word or fad that will change with the times. The truth, however, is that it’s anything but a new concept, and has been a ‘thing’ for as long as there have been brands. The Management Study Guide defines brand management to include “developing a promise, making that promise and maintaining it… defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand.” In other words, the management of a brand is the act of keeping it true to its intentions. And, of course, the reason we hear so much more about it these days than even a decade ago is because the Internet makes doing so that much more of a challenge. Just imagine a time without the web. No online review sites. No ability for consumers to get all the information they need to make informed decisions before they ever try out your product…or step foot on your property. The Internet opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to building brand recognition, but it also means having many, many more spaces and places where that brand has the potential to be tarnished. And, rental properties are no exception.  Your property is a brand just like any other product or service, and it must be managed as such. This means having a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing

Last week I posted 4 episodes of the Marketing Minute.  In the middle I also had a guest Marketing Minute post from my good friend Mike Whaling at 30 Lines.  Topics this week included benefits of uploading video directly to Facebook, interactive music videos/apps, Small Business Saturday, and Mike’s guest post on using custom landing pages in your marketing. Two things. 1. Subscribe on YouTube if you want to watch them as I post them. 2. Please comment. Even if you don’t have something to say about one of the topics of the day, ask me about something that’s on your mind and I’ll mention you in the next episode. Episode 14 – Benefits of Native Facebook Video Episode 15 – Coldplay and Taylor Swift Get Interactive Episode 16 – Share the Small Business You Supported on Saturday (or anytime) Mike Whaling Guest Episode – 3 Reasons Your Marketing Needs Custom Landing Pages ...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I’m addicted to reminders. I used to write them on my hand so I wouldn’t forget errands or tasks on the drive home (yes, I was a human Post-It note), and now I set bazillions of reminders on my smartphone. Let me share one such reminder with all the management companies, property owners and leasing agents out there: Think your community doesn’t need to worry about how to cut through the clutter to reach and influence those in the millennial generation (Gen Y)? Think it’s all hype? Think again.  The millennial generation continues to be important for the apartment industry in general, not just for student housing. Studies show that apartments are becoming a common lifestyle choice as members of this generation grow up, focus on their careers and start families (⅔ of them rent). Despite record levels of student debt and a longer road to adulthood for many, they will be your residents if they aren’t already. (And yes, retirement community, I’m talking to you too.) Just consider the following stats, which point to the lifetime value of millennial residents: 77 million strong  75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025  $2 trillion in liquid assets; $7 trillion by end of the decade Spending to double to $1.2 trillion by 2020 (accounting for ⅓ of all U.S. purchases) Expected to encompass 76% of all household growth in the coming years Perhaps most important to remember is that this generation isn’t just powerful in size; it’s powerful in influence. Almost 3 in...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
If your leasing office isn't automating your application process, you may already be behind the curve. A comprehensive, end-to-end  electronic application and leasing process can save a property countless administrative hours and can usually be implemented quite easily. We already know the demand for online services is high. Here are three other important reasons you should get your application process up and running online right this second. Set a New Standard Instituting an electronic application process can create a quality standard that is hard to compromise. When applications are conducted online, you can automate all the required processes into one smooth workflow, especially with integrations between your property management software, screening vendors, and more. A digital process ensures that required parameters are always met. Information flows from your applicants into your system and gets screened along the way with little or no data entry from the office staff. Eliminating the variable of human error means that crucial information is collected and evaluated correctly each time without fail. Your checks and balances can now be checked and balanced. Grab them Quickly Time is always of the essence when it comes to renting, and providing an online application will help capitalize on your prospect's urgency. Allowing renters to view images of floor plans, submit their rental application, and even sign lease documents online can mean the difference between getting a prospect interested in your property and losing that interest when things don't move fast enough. You'll see further evidence of this in many modern leasing offices, which...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
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: Should you go all in on the ILS’s? What about SEO? Are there any more acronyms we can make up? How do you utilize email drip campaigns? Is posting to Social Media the answer? Will I rent more apartments by using Facebook? What about reviews? Do they matter? Will Mr. Craiglist change his service again? Can we stop using it and survive? Should I use a posting tool? 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 Silence. This post isn’t about my...