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Is Outreach Marketing a Necessary Evil?

I got my belly laugh of the day on Saturday when I read a facebook post from a work-friend stating she would scream if she got back another Weekly Marketing Report from an onsite team listing nail salon, hair salon and something else I can’t recall. I think I spit out my tea! Oh my, oh my, I started singing, I know what that means!   I know because I have seen these same things listed many times and NOT for the right reasons on weekly reports. J When someone lists “Betty’s Hair Salon” I immediately know that the Manager went to get her hair done that week and it is now a part of her “outreach marketing plan.” When I see, “Our Nails Are Fabulous!” salon listed on the report, I think, again, hummm, she must have gotten her nails done there. The best one is someone listing Toys-R-Us (during the first week of December) – we all know that small children plus holiday coming equals outreach marketing. Of course!   First of all, I have been there, done that. Not proud of it, but I did not know any better and I had no one to teach me. After all, I had been affiliated with Section 8 housing for five years and I didn’t deal with true outreach marketing duties there, unless you count marketing to the social service agencies as outreach marketing. Then I went on to conventional housing and in that world, wow, there are all kinds of happy......
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We're Moving? Tips on the Transition

Whew! We’re now coming through another heavy leasing season for those of us in the multifamily industry, anyway. We’ve grabbed and garnered leases left and right. We’ve been able to hold onto a lot of current residents. We’ve gotten leasing bonuses and everyone is finishing up vacation time, even though we are secretly trying to harbor a couple of days to use at Thanksgiving for Black Friday or the holidays.   For me, I have noticed that the hardest “sells” have been those families with school age children. Honestly, it brought me back to the time when my husband was rapidly moving up the corporate ladder, which necessitated many different moves all across the country. I remembered that apparently my husband’s preferred method of informing his family that we were moving was to take us to a restaurant and make the announcement. It seemed his favorite restaurant to do this in was Pizza Hut. Probably because the kids loved the pizza there (and he did, too.) However, after the fourth time it happened, it kind of ruined the idea of going to Pizza Hut for me and the kids.   It has occurred to me that the actual moving experience does not have to be horrendous. It’s the fact that, if you are not the decision-maker, it can be very stressful. After all, if you’re the child, you really get very little input in the decision. Most of the time, your parents make the announcement and start discussing all kinds of......
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"Yum! Cookies!" How to kill an apartment showing in two words or less

As a long-time renter, I have been through many apartment showings in various countries throughout my life. Despite the fact that I have never been a leasing agent, I have a good feel for what works and what doesn't. For the most part, a rental unit will sell itself. The renter usually has an idea of what they like and what they don't. The goal of the leasing agent should be to determine a potential client's requirements and then provide options that meet or exceed those expectations. Personally, I don't like a heavy sales pitch, and from my experience, good leasing agents avoid the hard sell tactics.

Over the years, I have encountered a fair number of agents that really push a property to the point of appearing almost desperate. It made me wonder what might be wrong with the unit or the complex as a whole. To be fair, some properties are just easier to sell than others. Buildings in great locations and newly constructed apartments with quality amenities can attract renters by word-of-mouth, or, by curb appeal alone. For older, less maintained buildings and complexes that are in less-desirable neighborhoods, it can be a more difficult process to get the units leased.

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The Day My Industry Let Me Down

I have a friend, Debbie, who's worked with me for over 10 years. Recently, she decided to make a lifestyle change and decided to leave her house and rent an apartment, a move that I wholeheartedly supported. She consulted me on area apartment communities - where should she live? What should she spend? She was uncertain - she hadn't rented for almost 30 years.  She called, visited and toured several properties. She finally settled on one that was just about perfect. The model was lovely, the staff professional, the location was good and the price was right. Best of all, they could have it ready on the date she needed it. Unfortunately, the actual apartment she was to get was occupied; she'd have to settle with viewing the model and a 'walk by' of her actual apartment's location. But that was good enough for her.  The first hint of trouble came when her Leasing Professional called her to ask her if she 'needed' it repainted. She (the LPro) said the apartment had been painted a lovely shade of red and perhaps Debbie would like the red? Deb asked my advice. "No," I explained. You haven't seen it, you don't know that you'll like it and you'll want new paint. She took my advice and turned them down.  She proceeded to call the leasing office not once, but *twice* prior to her scheduled move in date to make sure the apartment was going to be ready. "No problem," they assured her, "It will......
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Apartment Hunting From a Resident’s Point of View

I came across a blog post (shared by Mark Juleen) where the author detailed out her apartment search and reasoning for her move in the first place.  From what I can tell, it doesn’t appear that she is in the industry, so I think this is an incredibly interesting view into a person’s buying decision! The Decision To Move Kelly seemed to really enjoy her current apartment, and she noted all the things that she appreciated:  “I have vaulted ceilings, a balcony, crazy kitchen storage, a big bathroom and a walk-in closet.  Not to mention a quiet community, great pools, and super nice neighbors.” But there were two things that the apartment community could not compete on:  Location and Friendships.  And as you will see, the location aspect was actually just a function of the friendships and how close she was to her friends: “BUT, its about a 15-20 minute hilly and curvy drive away from where all my friends live, my work, and where I like to hang out.  Which may not be a big deal for most people, but it puts a damper on enjoying happy hour, or being able to hop in the car and meet friends at the last minute or just have  an impromptu get together.” All except for one of the factors she just mentioned were specifically in relation to her social life.  In other words, the vaulted ceilings didn’t matter, the balcony didn’t matter, the crazy kitchen storage didn’t matter – none of that......
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