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Should I Rebrand My Property?

How good is your property's image? Are you attracting the demographic that you would like? Are you retaining the residents that you already have? If not, rebranding might be the answer.  Rebranding often includes a new logo, new colors, a slogan or jingle, perhaps a new name, and it often includes capital improvements. But how do you know when it's time for a rebrand? Are you already planning to make capital improvements? Then, it might be a good idea to consider an overall rebrand. New ownership. If you've recently purchased a property it may be a good idea to rebrand, especially if you already own multiple properties and have a well-perceived brand. When your brand has become a liability. Reputation is everything. If you own or have acquired a property that has low ratings from residents, and perhaps a list of complaints, a new brand strategy can help. A well-executed rebrand can solve many of these problems. Starting fresh can reshape the perceptions of residents, help with retention, and gain or regain trust. If any part of your brand… the logo, or the signage looks dated, the assumption will be that your property is dated. In order to stay current and relevant, most brands retool every 7 to 12 years. These days, prospective residents are looking at your website first, so you're going to need to include that in your rebranding marketing plan as well.  That's right. You're going to need a marketing plan. Here's what to think about: Determine who your ideal prospective r......
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The Relationship between Businesses and the Environment

The state of the environment impacts business and business impacts the environment. As environmental concerns become more dire, customers are more concerned about how their spending decisions effect the planet. A 2018 Futerra survey found that 88% of customers want businesses to help them achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, but 43% of respondents said that businesses make it harder to live sustainably. So, what are businesses doing for the environment?   Current Response One common response is digitization, which is the transition away from paper to digital files and electronic documentation. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the main reason for illegal forest degradation is logging which is largely used for the production of paper. Every year 18.7 million acres of forest are lost across the world. Eliminating paper can reduce the high levels of deforestation that significantly contributes to the increase of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Another relevant approach is going zero waste to landfill. This method is all about eliminating garbage. The goal is to take all waste, like packaging, old supplies, or broken equipment and find a meaningful way to reuse, recycle, or repurpose those items. In 2017, it was estimated that 4.51 pounds of garbage was produced per person, per day in the US. Consumption is so high, it’s hard to imagine how we can actually produce zero waste. But we can get closer by auditing waste in offices and responding accordingly, like thwarting the use of disposable items.   What your company does for the environment largely depends on how you engage with resources regularly. The success of initiatives a......
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Building A Social Media Brand In Multifamily

Today, seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves, that according to a study published this week from the Pew Research Center.   Admittedly, this doesn’t come as a shock to most - everyone is on social these days. And consequently, so is every brand looking to grab the attention of those 226 million+ eyeballs across the web...   But that doesn’t mean they’re doing it correctly.   Just like big name brands such as Starbucks, Budweiser and Lyft, building a relevant & engaging brand for your current - and prospective - residents on social has never been more important. After all, your property is a salient brand for them… It’s their home.   Here are just a few tips for building and honing your property’s branding on social:   Define your brand - and stick with it Ever seen a simplistic ad, with a white background and minimalist black-font script, and think to yourself, “Huh… Is it just me, or does that look like something from Apple?” That’s not a mistake - Apple, and most major brands, work hard to keep a consistent feel for their content. Another good example is the Instagram page of a newer brand, Crispin Cider. Note the consistent coloring across the entire page, tone of voice and messaging throughout.   Work with your marketing team to craft this - or if you’re a team of one, take time to think about what you want living at your buildi......
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Get Ready Multifamily, It's Time for Generation Z

Yes, it’s true. . . just when we were getting the hang of Millennials, Generation Z is upon us. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the multifamily industry is the broad range of our clientele across the generations. Where else do you serve such a diverse group of target customers with something so personal and primal as the very home and community in which they live? With each new generation we face the challenge of blending what is important to the current generations we serve while simultaneously renewing our physical product and supporting services to attract and appeal to the new generation coming of age. Recently, I’ve spent some time researching the various statistics and opinions of what makes Generation Z unique and how that is expected to influence their behavior as consumers in the future. To that end, I offer the following few simple thoughts and takeaways of what it means for our industry to begin preparing now for what is to come. There are varying statistical references as to the precise makeup and definition of Generation Z. For the most part, it is agreed Gen Z consists of all those born in 1995 and thereafter. According to Forbes in 2015, this generation made up 25% of the U.S. population. They contribute an estimated excess of $44 billion to the economy and are further expected to grow to a full third of the U. S. population by 2020. This makes them a larger generation than both the Millennials and the Baby Boomers before them. As the first of Gen......
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Is Your Multifamily Brand Delivering on the Customer Experience?

What do the world’s most successful modern product and service brands have in common?  What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it advanced technology? A superior or entirely unique product offering? Maybe a new and innovative approach to world peace? Or, is it something more fundamental. . . something more inherently tied to the human factor. . . . perhaps, just perhaps. . . could it be a focus on the customer experience? “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” ~ Jeff Bezos If you’ve even remotely followed customer service trends over the past several years, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the growing dominance of the term “customer experience” in business publications, blog posts, and trend analyses. While “customer service” is primarily centered on a single or small series of transactions and customer touchpoints, the “customer experience” encompasses the entire past, present, and future customer interaction from both the physical and the psychological perspectives. In other words, it’s not just about the quality of the products and services consumed along the way, but equally about the customer’s lasting emotional impression from the culmination of the entire relationship and how that impression impacts brand promotion and future business. The major brands have not just driven their own success, they have effectively reshaped the face of business and elevated consumer expectations for all businesses to a whole new level. They have done so not just through pioneerin......
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Why You Cannot Afford To Run a Property Management Firm Without a Website

Why You Cannot Afford To Run a Property Management Firm Without a Website
$39 billion. That’s the annual revenue of the U.S. property management industry. It sure looks good on paper, but you’d probably be surprised to learn that 30% of this goes to the top 500 firms. So, where do the rest 79,500 firms lie? The bulk of them are stuck at what’s arguably the most critical stage- getting their strategy right.  While property management may not be the simplest business engagement, one thing you’ve got to admit is, it’s not as complicated as manufacturing. Even the smallest firms have fair chances of outdoing large established businesses, thanks to something called the web. According to a report prepared by NAR, 84% of both buyers and renters are heavily using the internet as their first step in their home searching process. If they can’t find your information online, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of potential business. Well, of course there’s the option of riding on a third party website like Facebook, but personal websites have proven to be considerably way more effective. Here’s why: Growing and Managing Your Clients Through CRM and Contact Management Getting tenants is not that simple anymore. With competition persistently growing, property management firms are now leveraging CRM and contact management tools in lead prospecting. And going by recent trends, both prospects and property management firms are happy with the consequent results. According to Nucleus Research, every dollar spent on such tools generates an average return of $8.71- super neat, right? So, here’s the thing- CRM and contact management can only be effec......
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Invent your Reality

I recently read a great article on Apple's branding model in Entrepreneur Magazine.  It inspired me, as Steve Jobs always seems to do.  The article spoke about things that we always hear, how Jobs played by his own rules, pushed the envelope, created his own reality.  That stuck with me.  In our space we often find ourselves dealing with past problems, bad reviews, upset residents and obstacle & objections over and over.  Instead of shifting through all of this noise, cancel it....  Recreate a new reality.  At any time, you can change the rules and reset the stage.  Your property is a wonderful canvas for you to inspire, create and prosper.  Spring is here and this is a wonderful time for reinvention.  Come to the table, with team-in-tow, and lay everything out there, and decide on the property's new reality.  There are a few things to think about for a new beginning like this.  What do you want to accomplish?  What is truly important to you in your life, in your teams' lives?  What is really important in the overall big picture?  Just start to write down the things that your talented team members brainstorm is the best starting point.  Someone is an exceptional event planner (throws awesome parties in their personal life), someone's mom is battling cancer and would love support for the charity they sponsor, someone loves photography, animals, blogging, etc.  Here is your framework for the new reality you are going to build. Rewrite the pages of the......
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Understanding & Building Your Brand in Five Easy Steps

Businesses don't need in-house marketing staff or an outsourced agency to start a successful foundation for their brand. I've heard dozens of reasons explaining away a lack of marketing efforts, but in this day and age where every possible resource you could dream of is available online at little to no cost, those excuses just don't cover it anymore. In order to take your brand to the next level, however, you first need to understand what exactly your brand is. It is important to note that your brand is not just your logo; in fact, your brand is so much more than that. People tend to assume that your brand is made up of all the material items that display 'your colors' (employee uniforms, website, business cards, office building, etc.), when in reality these are are only marginally related to your brand; rather, they are more of an outcome of your brand than your brand itself. Seth Godin, published author and game-changer in the world of marketing and consumer psychology, gives a perfect definition that every business owner can understand.  A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.- Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author With that definition in mind we see that our brand is, first and foremost, an experience, and we as business owners and entrepreneurs are given the grand task of figuring out what that should be and how it should be executed. Once w......
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Marketing Like Miley: Five Lessons Learned

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 48 hours, you know that Miley Cyrus was a featured performer on the VMA's and performed some unusual material. And while people all over the country - well, actually the world - are questioning her performance (myself included), let's take a moment to look at it solely from an apartment marketing perspective, okay? 1. Miley's like a property that is undergoing renovation. Her old reputation as Hannah Montana, a Walt Disney creation, wasn't about to continue to sell in today's pop music economy. She's outgrown the wig wearing, double life persona who sang such bubble gum pop as "The Hoedown Throwdown" and "Best of Both Worlds". She's got to tear down the clubhouse, throw out the white appliances and put in finishes that will SELL to the audience that buys today's pop music. Much like we are creating apartments that sell to the 25-34 demographic.  2. The old marketing campaign has to go. Just like many of us are tossing print in lots of markets (and no, this isn't a discussion of print -vs- online), Miley has to create a campaign that makes people TALK. She's gone totally social with her marketing. And her latest performance garnered 4.5 MILLION Twitter mentions, at a rate of 306,100 TWP (Tweets Per Minute). I'd say that's successful, wouldn't you? 3. She's got other people talking about her 'product'. Much like our beloved Resident Referral, Miley's got people talking. I just typed "Miley Cyrus VMA" into Google and received 449,000,000......
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Creating Your Property Management Brand

Creating Your Property Management Brand
Imagine that you’re starting up your own property management company. It’s a completely clean slate, and you can do anything you like. It’s an exciting place to be, but also pretty overwhelming. Where do you start? You’ll likely have a pretty standard checklist of items to address.You’ll need a company name, a logo, a website, and some management software. You’ll need to set up your business with the IRS and the city or town where it’s established. You may also need office space and motivational posters for the wall, but that may come later. Those are all important pieces to have in place, but before any of that, you might want to brainstorm your company’s brand. And once you do, everything else can flow from it. Brand is a somewhat challenging term to define. When most people think of a brand, they think of Apple’s apple or the Nike swoosh. But the essence of branding is in the origins of the term itself. It refers to the actual brands that were burned into cattle to differentiate one herd from another. And there’s the key. Your brand is what differentiates you from your competition. So when you’re setting up your company, start by figuring out what it is you bring to the table. Are you cheaper than the competition? Are you more tech-savvy? Do you have specialized skills that the other companies don’t? Can you offer incentives the others can’t? And once you’ve established all of that, the rest of your branding can start taking shape. Use......
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