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Don't Forget the Little Things

In my travels, I am finding that many communities are experiencing a substantial and unanticipated drop in traffic.  That, coupled with increased move outs due to job loss, etc. has resulted in less than desirable vacancy rates. In addition to increased marketing efforts, it’s important and timely to keep in mind that the little things do count.  Rather than gazing out the window and wondering where all the traffic went, and speculating on when it might come back, take action and clean up your act.  A few suggestions:•    How many times have you pulled into a business thinking you might buy something, and pulled right back out because the place just didn’t look kept up?  Empty the ashtray out front.  Clean the windows on your front door.  Wash the coffeepot. Clean the golf cart.  Examine your entry mats.  Don’t forget the restrooms.•    Visit your competition.  Have breakfast with a competitor.  Find out, (as Marvin Gaye so eloquently sang), what’s going on.•    Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…your fireplace-is it on?•    When was the last time your community’s clubhouse and exterior windows were cleaned?  The difference will be clear, no pun intended.•    Pay close attention to the your appearance and the appearance of your team.  Do you all convey a positive, professional image?Above all, persevere.  Weather the storm.  Make every contact with clients and residents count.  Look at your community, your team, your competition and decide what you need to do become a community of choice. ......
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30 Topics to Write About in Your Community’s Blog

“Should we have a property blog?” Blogging isn't for everyone, but I think there are lots of reasons why the answer is absolutely YES. If you have a property blog, or if you’ve thought about writing one, but don’t think you have enough ideas to write about, here are 30 ideas to get you started: How to get the most from our property management team.Recommend an improvement to our community.What kinds of community events would interest you most?Exciting updates or changes coming in future months.How to decorate a small space. (Reference products from IKEA or a post from Apartment Therapy.)Upcoming events, coupons and offers for the next two weeks.A little bit about us.Best kept secrets in our neighborhood.Best place to get a beer, find home accessories, watch the fireworks, etc. Photos from this month’s community party or meetup.Video: A day in the life of our service technicians. (You could also post this on your Careers page.)Our residents rock!We support these causes/non-profits, and here’s why.Tips to lower your utility bills. (You could interview someone from the local utility company.)Have you seen our community garden, dog park, fitness room, whatever.How we handle your disputes or complaints.Anything that builds on a recent piece in your resident newsletter. (Use this both ways — promote recent blog posts in your newsletter.)How to handle a difficult neighbor.Can you recommend a better process for this?We’re sorry, and here’s how we’ll handle things next time.Report from our resident community review board.We hate to see you go, but if you......
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Look Within, Your Residents Will Help You

We had our  monthly meeting  for the staff bloggers we have assembled for the UrbaneBlog.com. In less than a few months we have achieved outstanding results by following the advice of some of the top bloggers. Most of the Urbane bloggers are Urbane Residents. While we have had the blog for about two years, it didn’t really take hold until we put our Residents in charge and we changed our focus to local happenings and things that our residents find of value. As stated in our About Us Page “UrbaneBlog.com wanders through and around life in Royal Oak, southeastern Michigan’s hotspot for new urban living. You might find blatherings about the coolest new organizational tool found at IKEA, info on the latest trends in small space decorating, or the hottest new artist, restaurant, or boutique in the area”Our blogging rules are pretty simple, the bloggers can blog about whatever they want, consistent with our About Us statement, just be respectful and retain ownership of your comments. There is no editing and there is no approval process. In managing this blog I am following the same premise as a couple of the Small Business Blogs that I am a staff writer for follow. It seems to me, any more rules and we would be attempting to “Control the Message”, which is NOT what Social Media is about.You too should try this as another way to market your property, but remember you can’t really talk about your property, that is secondary. The residents......
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Comments are closed...

I was skimming through Google Reader this morning trying to catch up my blog reading when I came across the following words; Comments are closed. They were at the end of this well written post

It bummed me out as I really wanted to add to the conversation. It also made me wonder why a blog would not allow comments, is that not part of the experience. Maybe there is a very good reason that I am just not aware of and in the same respect I have a hard time thinking it’s a good thing.

If anyone from ApartmentSearch by Cort is reading please let me know the thought process behind the decision to close off the comments. I am just curious. 

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Social Media Marketing for Your Apartments

The buzz surrounding Social Media Marketing seems to grow louder each day. It is almost as folks think it is something you can buy off the shelf, some wonder drug. There is MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn. Ning, and several more. Then there are the book marking sites, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Digg and many more of those too. Then, top things off with the various Rating Sites, Yelp and Get Satisfaction, it all gets kind of complicated to follow, or does it? It isn’t as confusing as it sounds or appears. At Urbane Apartments we have used Social Media Marketing Concepts and Tools to market our apartments. In fact, starting in 2005 we dropped all traditional marketing efforts in exchange for an Urbane MySpace site, an Urbane Facebook site, an Urbane You Tube site and an Urbane flickr site. Urbane Apartments and Urbane employees twitter regularly. To further integrate we started a Social Network site the Urbane Lobby where residents can meet and greet, trade pictures and videos and socialize on line. We manage and power a blog aimed at our residents the Urbane Blog, all designed around our target demographic local brand recognition.Our Goal; “To provide our residents with an experience and value with a high enough return to create enough Customer Evangelists within our core resident base that they self rent our apartments.” We are working hard to lead our resident Influencers within our core resident base, and have transitioned most of our marketing budget inward, to further......
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Live on Technorati

I will take the time to write a longer "how to" and "why should I" blog in a few days, but I wanted to throw this nugget of information out:  When you make a new blog post on Multifamily Insiders, it gets shown to Technorati, a blog search engine!  It takes a look at the tags you use (see the link on the right side of the blog-writer window) and indexes your blogs.  I won't get into the nuts and bolts, but basically, it helps with your "web presence" by giving you better search results for the things you talk about, namely your company or brand!  I'll talk more about this later on, but just trust me that it is a very good thing!
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For Those Who Don’t Know Me...

I have quite a few new readers lately, and it occurred to me that they might not be familiar with this blog's history or myself specifically. Let me give you a rundown of why I started it up. I have a background on both the property management side and vendor side of the equation, although I'm currently on the vendor side. Regardless, as a rule this blog isn't meant to talk about myself or my company (although it does slip in every once and a while); instead, I use it to discuss issues affecting our industry as a whole, specific community ideas, and a few things for the vendors out there.

So feel free to throw out topics or respond to the posts. It's meant to be an open discussion, and not just limited to my thoughts. I hope you enjoy it and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know!

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Property Management Blog

I've started reading Mike Brewer's Property Management blog and am quickly becoming a fan. He truly understands the need to utilize social networking to attract and retain residents. He's also recruited Eric Brown of Urbane Apartments to guest blog, who is clearly devoted to turning traditional property management on its head. Good luck guys!

Here is a recent post by Eric: http://mbrewer.typepad.com/property_management/2008/04/the-long-tail.html

[UPDATE:  Mike has decided to blog here on Multifamily Insiders, as well!  Take a look:  Mike Brewer's Multifamily Insiders Blog]

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