Apartment Marketing - Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing
Every day there’s another article or study about mobile use increasing or some fabulous new technology that makes our personal or business lives easier. Some property management companies say 30-40% of their online traffic comes from mobile devices already (not surprising when you consider that millennials make up a large part of the multifamily market).
But we can’t forget this point: It’s not just the technology that matters; it’s the experience (and people) behind it.
Knock, Knock...Who’s There?
Let’s assume you have a mobile-friendly site or app. That’s just the first step. About 73% of mobile users contacted someone to view an apartment based on their online mobile search. What happens next can build loyalty—or frustration—and that online experience can color how the consumer thinks she’ll be treated as a resident, especially if she’s a millennial.
For example, if I can easily ask questions and get a response, I’m more likely to remember a company as helpful, attentive and trustworthy. On the other hand, clunky online processes and slow responses are frustrating and can leave an impression of unfriendliness or unprofessionalism.
The problem is, as always, time. We have precious little of that in this industry, yet some properties have figured out how to be there for the always-on consumer...without time-traveling (so far as I know).
Marry Virtual Backup to Your Mobile Tech
Some properties offer mobile text or live chat as ways for prospects/residents to get real-time help from the leasing or management teams, right from their websites or property...
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 laws. The challenge, of course, is to find this information and act on it, by either targeting certain demographics or increasing acceptance criteria to weed out negative prospects. But the benefit is enormous by finding residents who stay longer, pay rent online, and have the potential to truly fall in love with your community!
There are countless ways to improve your mix of residents. In the preparation of this blog, I was able to identify six targeting/screening options, but you will surely find more as you dig deeper.
NOTE: By attempting to do any targeting as I mention below, it is extremely important to understand Fair Housing laws. I am not advocating targeting by (or against) any protected class - these suggestions are to encourage targeting for other factors, such as if someone is fitness oriented or a dog lover. But also be careful to not discriminate unintentionally. For example, would targeting hockey fans be a problem considering 92% of fans are white? Consider those implications before implementing.
1) Overall demographic targeting. This is...
It’s not a typo. This is not a blog about Smartphones.
Nearly a third of consumers believe that businesses are now paying less attention to providing good customer service. (Echo 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer)
Many years ago, I was told by someone much wiser than myself that the real sale doesn’t begin until after the sale. I was a rookie leasing consultant and pretty naïve at the time, but I listened. Years later, I understood exactly what she meant.Sell and Service cannot be separated because you can’t have one without the other. What many leasing consultants fail to realize is that closing a sale is the first step to increasing sales, not the last. Providing good after-sales service shows customers you want to build a long-term relationship, earn their loyalty, and keep their business—this is Sellservice.
the act of providing your customer with intentional attention and positive experiences throughout the relationship, so that when it comes to leasing, renewing, or referring a friend, they feel guilty about choosing anyone but you.
Joe Gandolfo’s success story epitomizes Sellservice. He is a legend in the life insurance industry. Joe is the only life insurance agent in the world to sell in excess of $1 billion in a single year. At the start of his career, he made a vow to himself that he would ALWAYS follow up on every one of his clients every year no matter how big or small their investment. He continued to provide exceptional...
Summer is such a great time for apartment properties. The color has come back, lawns are green and lush, and most of us can probably agree that our properties just look better and are more marketable in the warmer weather.
Photos are everything to property marketing. It’s our chance to get creative, to show a property in the very best light, and for sure the thing we lose prospects over if the quality isn’t good. But what if you were to learn that pictures alone don’t cut it with prospective tenants?
I happen to love apartment community pools, and with newer properties, they often do a great job at "wowing" any person who comes to take a look. At least, that is what would happen if their pool was the only one in that market. But as we all know, many of our comps have beautiful pools too! So if everybody has an attractive pool, how does that change the impact on the prospect?
The pool, as it turns out, has a direct link to our online marketing. People are visual creatures, as Instagram and Pinterest can attest, so the first thing they will often look at is the picture of the community. So now we have a choice - what picture do we use for our communities? Well, an extremely large percentage choose the picture of their "sparkling pool". This means that individually, a community can look attractive showcasing one of their most attractive elements, but when lumped together with several other properties, you get the effect seen on the right. They are all attractive pools, and even though they are not exactly the same, they haven't differentiated themselves at all!
Considering how many people start their search for an apartment online, it is probably the most important element to your marketing. And yet, the solution for many communities is to do the same exact thing as all their competitors. Maybe I'm crazy, but that seems absolutely insane to me.
I recently came across this post, "My friend took a photo...
Since the beginning of the year, organic reach for Facebook business pages has plummeted, as industry professionals have recently pointed out. But despite an estimated 6% unpaid reach¹, some multifamily management companies are still knocking it out of the park when it comes to quality audience engagement. Here are a few of our industry’s top performers for some added inspiration:
1) J.C. Hart – In case you missed it, the Indianapolis-based management company J.C. Hart was represented by its Director of Marketing during this year’s Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach. Self-proclaimed “Apartment Nerd” Mark Juleen shared his team’s approach to Facebook engagement and leveraging social media overall for lead gen.
With about 6,500 fans for their corporate page, it’s not uncommon for them to get 30 to 50+ comments or shares on their contest posts—most often in connection with $10 coffee card giveaways. What I like most about their contests is that they clearly communicate methodology and notification for the drawings, which provides an added transparency that encourages fans to continue participating.
2) Z Islander - Specifically at the site-level, off-campus student housing community Z Islander (Asset Campus) boasts about 1,800 fans and looks pretty fancy with the new redesigned Facebook business pages, which are slowly but surely coming live since early March². Although there’s room for improvement with their reviews and user posts… Judging simply by the number of Likes for their community events posts (and this album from their crawfish boil), I feel like Z Islander is THE place to party. Other college-related shareables (think study woes...
Did you know that, as of September 2013, 73% of Americans use social networking sites? Of course, you probably already know and use the top contenders, with 71% of online adults using Facebook and 18% using Twitter, but have you given consideration to Instagram? If not, you should know that this fairly new site, launched less than four years ago, has more than 200 million monthly users, as of March 2014.
When we’re looking to grow a multifamily investment by boosting the property’s rental occupancy, one of the most effective trains of thought dictates that we should focus our energy on empowering our renters to make better, calculated decisions.
After all, in an age where 56% of Americans own Smartphones and 72.4% of American homes have high-speed internet connections, today’s consumer has the ability to research anything and everything at any time and this way of thinking has quickly become the norm for much of society.
So, how do we capitalize on this trend? Instead of remaining focused on the deal from the landlord’s position, we put ourselves in the renter’s shoes and think about the process from the uninformed consumer’s position.
By working our way through the leasing process, we can quickly realize that the renter just wants to know what they are about to get themselves into.
They want to know about the actual leasing process and what the units themselves look like. They want to be able to find answers to all those little questions that pop up in the middle of the night and they’d like to know what to expect when they decide to move out.
We want to engineer all our marketing materials, ads, and website landing pages to easily and uniformly guide the renter through the leasing process.
Marketers call this synergy in our message an, “Integrated Marketing Campaign.”
Potential renters need to be able to get answers to their concerns on the fly. Just like they need to be...
First off, let me say that Facebook isn’t my jam. I don’t personally have a Facebook account and I am very leary of using Facebook as a major part of any marketing strategy. That’s just me. It’s how I was raised. That’s not to say that Facebook doesn’t have its place for businesses as it can be a way to extend your brand and keep your followers informed on apartment community events, notifications, and promotions ...assuming your posts are even reaching anyone's newsfeed.
Facebook is ending the free ride. Organic reach for brands or non-personal Facebook accounts has been steadily dwindling over the last couple of months¹. In fact, reports show that Facebook is limiting the organic reach of brands to between 1-2% of fans. That means if you have 100,000 fans you now have a max unpaid reach of 2,000.
What does this mean for property managers and owners?
Obviously, if your property has a Facebook page you won’t have 100,000 fans. If you are a large property you might have 1,000. If that's the case, then your post might be seen by as many as… wait for it… 20 people! That’s why no one showed up at the BBQ last week, right? But don’t blame Facebook just yet. Why can’t your fans just go to your Facebook page and see what is happening? They can. But they don’t. According to Socialbakers, Facebook engagement rate is dropping across the board². It’s not just your page that Facebookers are losing interest in, it’s...