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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Social Media

- Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Posted by on in Property Management
Hopefully you didn't think to yourself "What is Foursquare?" when you read that title.  If you did that's okay, but I'm sorry to tell you that you're already behind the times. Foursquare is the new hot thing. Trust me. I'm a Millennial and I know these things. The next thing you might be thinking is "My property is already on MySpace and Facebook. Plus, we post to Craigslist every day and started a Twitter account to repost the listings. That's good enough..."*insert grumble/moan*"Why do I need to know about Foursquare?"I'm glad you asked and I'll answer that question shortly. First, let me break down this GPS utility/social network/game for friends into simple terms.Foursquare is a mobile social network that allows users to "check-in" and tell their friends (and the world) what they're doing.Everything is location based, so check-ins are usually done at businesses such as restaurants and retail stores.There is a website, but a check-in can only be made from a mobile phone by sending a text message, using a mobile web browser, or through the Foursquare app on an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android.Users earn points and can unlock badges for every check-in.The user with the most check-ins at a location is crowned "Mayor."There is a little more to it, but that's all you really need to know right now (click here to visit their website for more details).Sooo... here's why you need to know about Foursquare.LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!The best way to contact your target audience is to reach out to places where they eat, play, shop,...

Posted by on in Property Management
foursquare logo Geolocation apps (aka location based social networks) are popping up with full force. The leader (in my opinion) these days is foursquare. We're all about helping you find new ways to explore the city. We'll help you meet up with your friends and let you earn points and unlock badges for discovering new places, doing new things and meeting new people. One of the great things about foursquare is they have an open API for developers to be able to add-on fun features to the already in depth system of foursquare. Last week I ran across a great additional development that I believe ALL apartments (well and any location specific business) should look into. It's called PlaceWidget and it allows you to place a foursquare tab directly on your Facebook fan page. What does this mean for your property? There will be an increase in check-ins at your property because the stakes of being "the mayor" of the apartment just got more fun. Any tips that people (yourself included) have added to your property will also show up. If you have an iPhone, Blackberry or an Android phone I suggest you jump on the location based bandwagon - if for no other reason than to research. And you might have a little fun in the process. If you want to see it in action: I added the foursquare tab to Ellipse's Fan Page. *And I will tell you there is going to be some competition for who remains the mayor...

Posted by on in Property Management
Today's video blog speaks for itself.  I want to commend all of the new multifamily folks that I am seeing on twitter.  I know in time you will see the value in the platform not only for your company but for your current and future residents.  I wrote a post not too long ago entitled Twitter Etiquette: Why did you unfollow me?  Today's post is a follow up to that since today I was blocked by a new Twitter user.  Find out why in the video.  If you have any thoughts on Twitter chivalry for all of us in the apartment industry, please feel free to share in your comments.  Thanks for tuning in.   Written by Jonathan Saar- The Training Factor  [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESQ8URKdZYk 444x250] ...

Posted by on in Property Management
It seems that most companies are still buying URLs that promote themselves. Even though many of us have read "the cluetrain manifesto" and are working hard to use our "human voice" in business. Many of the best resident oriented URLs are still ripe for the picking. If we are going to be "found" in the new marketing world, the content must attracts renters when they are looking (Googling) for answers and information that mattes to them. While in Canada I searched for the availability of the follow URLs and found everything I could think of AVAILABLE!  I just heard that $200,000.00 was paid for Multifamily.com. How valuable will the best resident oriented  site names be once everyone begins moving in this direction? If I had a ton of cash laying around, I think I would pick up a few of these and see what happens.  Have you thought about how you are going to attract the public to your apartment community blog? What key words will move a renter's google search to land on a blog built by YOU? What can you share in the spirit of "pure giving" in a human voice that services the public? How can you create blog content that will build trust and loyalty in total strangers and inspire them to find out more about you? Is the URL stile available to share that message? Here is a list of blog names and content descriptions that I started and shared with my executive audience in Toronto.Before I close...

Posted by on in Property Management
Good day folks.  This is my first attempt at a video blog but I think it went well.  Optimization Summits taught me that sometimes you just need to make the jump and see what happens.  You will never learn anything without trying.  There are some great posts out there recapping highlights from the conference.  I am sure I missed some so please feel free to post any additional links in the comments section below.   Some Optimization Summits recap blogs Mack Collier's Blog Geno Church with Brains on Fire Ryan VanDenabeele from PCMG Brett Duncan with Marketing in Progress Christopher S. Penn Awaken Your Superhero Jay Ehret with The Marketing Spot Duncan Alney with Firebelly Marketing   My take on the whole conference is very personal as you will see in my video below.  This conference was completely about doing.  Make sure you plan for September when Optimization Summits will take place again.  I look forward to your comments on my video today.  Thanks for tuning in. Written by Jonathan Saar- The Training Factor [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOywufZcESo 444x250] ...

Posted by on in Property Management
Hopefully you made it to the Optimization Summits last week, as it got strong reviews across the board!  I was asked by Mark Juleen to join his presentation on "Beyond Facebook" along with Charity Hisle, and we covered Twitter, LinkedIn, micro-blogs, localization apps, and a host of other non-Facebook tools.  So for those who didn't make it to our session or the event overall, here are our slides! Beyond Facebook Part 1 - Optimization Summits Beyond Facebook Part 2 - Optimization Summits ...

Posted by on in Property Management
It's important to maximizing the use of the tools on Facebook. The value is not in the tools, but what is built with them! By adding graphics and clever photoshop in the profile picture you bring unique identity to a facebook fan page. The visual representation of the profile picture  goes with each and every post, comment and is sent out again each time a it is "shared".  While considering options for a profile picture I had a revelation.  What if I made stamps? Each time I "post" ... the stamp could be my postmark!!! Here are a few of the decisions we made:1. We created a white boarder around the artwork so the entire postmark shows with each post. You can as see both in the profile picture and the post below! Facebook crops your profile picture so we used the white boarder to be sure our entire image was exposed.2. Remember, each time your profile picture appears it is accompanied by the entire name of my page.  Therefor you do not need the name of your page in the picture. This allows the use of this space to make a clear simple artistic statement that represents the unique identity of the page. We did repeat our fan page name at the bottom for ID purposes, however, it is there for the when  the new stamp is shared in full size.3. To launch the new postmarks/stamps we created a special postcards for the two fan pages and the results have been fantastic. 4. We...

Posted by on in Property Management
Litmus Test - Ric Campo, CEO of Camden, national REIT based in Houston, BELIEVES in litmus tests. Camden is awaiting waves and raves. Multifamily Executives are asking for it. They're sticking their toes into the water...they just want Reviews and Communication through Social Media done RIGHT. They are seeking new ways to bridge the Consumer & Community Gap. Check out these recent Tweets; A national Apartment Management Company sent out this St. Paddy's Tweet..."My Lucky Day! I just turned my first negative Resident Tweet into a Positive!" And this one during March 19th's weekly Friday afternoon Twitter #AptChat. "Rented on of our apts recently? If so, let other renters know how you like it by rating it at http:..." In an ironic twist and despite the ever-growing frustration with various apartment ratings sites, several Multifamily executives are not only willing to put their properties up for review, but they are actually asking for it. “Regarding apartment reviews, it’s not that somebody has to do it, it’s that somebody has to do it right,” said Mark Juleen, VP of marketing for the JC Hart Company based in Carmel, Indiana. “Ratings and reviews have been out there for a long time in the form of ApartmentRatings.com and now Yelp.com. The problem is, these companies aren’t fostering open communication between the renting community and the apartment community.”  Companies eager to engage in the two-way dialogue taking action today include Camden, Mission Residential, Mills Properties, Gables Residential, Urbane Apartments, and the JC Hart Company.“We believe in...

Posted by on in Property Management
If social media is overwhelming you with the plethora of tools, platforms, fan pages, accounts, usernames etc, then it's imperative to stop for a moment and organize your thoughts and process.  You may be voicing your frustration and throwing up your hands and saying there is nothing but a bunch of noise going on.  Or you may be wondering how in the world you can keep up with the pace that these platforms are growing.  Let's reflect on another platform that morphed and that we quickly evolved the ability to control how we used it.   Jump back a couple of decades in the television world and reflect on what was available.  Mainstream television did not even become available to most people until the 50's.  Those were the days when you only had one or two channels tops and you had to get out of your chair to turn the TV on.  As the decades past, the amount of options and information increased.  Currently you can make a choice on what kind of channel package you wish for yourself.  Some can be as low as 200 and then the options continue to climb.  Within these packages are channels dedicated to certain topics.  We have The Weather Channel, The Food Network, ESPN and many others.  Does this mean that you leave your TV on just one of these channels all day long?  Of course you don't.  What was the premise behind making channels that focused on just one topic?  So that the viewer...

Posted by on in Property Management
This post is also inspired by Jen Piccotti's contribution, “Resident Retention: Dare I Say It - Don't Believe the Hype.” Whether you spend 5 or 30 minutes a day, don't think for one minute that your social media marketing initiatives are free. While there are no out-of-pocket expenses, the opportunity cost of your staff's time is very real—so it pays to carefully measure the true cost of social media. For example, let's assume that you employ a property manager named Sue, whom you pay $50,000 per year. To simplify this example, let's assume the direct payroll cost is about $25 per hour. (And yes, since this isn't taking into consideration any indirect costs like benefits, equipment, or supervisory costs, it is far less than the true cost of Sue's time). If Sue spends 5 minutes a day on social media efforts, it's costing you about $50 per month. That is perhaps enough time to keep up with Twitter and Facebook, but it is certainly not enough time to write blog posts. If Sue is like I am, she is a good salesperson and manager, but wasn't an English major. If she needs to blog on behalf of the property, it will take her a significant amount of time to write it. (This post will take me 45 minutes when all is said and done). Even if you've told her to go find content that can be reposted freely, that will still take 10-15 minutes. If she adds a photo, that will...