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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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How Pitbull Turned #Exile into Social Media Accolade

So maybe you heard about this: Earlier this year, rapper Armando Christian Perez, or “Pitbull”, partnered with Walmart and Energy Sheets in a social media campaign which took a turn for the worst. In June the trio announced a Facebook contest, in which the local Walmart store that received the most page “likes” would receive a personal visit from Pitbull so he could “share the experience of using Energy Sheets with [his] fans.

That’s when David Thorpe, writer for The Boston Phoenix and the off-color comedy site Something Awful, got wind of the promotion and hijacked the campaign by encouraging people to #ExilePitbull to a remote Walmart location on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The prank spread like wildfire season in the interior arctic, and by the conclusion of the contest, a city with a population of 6,000 incinerated the efforts of 4,000 other U.S. locations, achieving over 70,000 Facebook “likes.” 

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Does Being Kind Matter?

“Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and "virtual word-of-mouth" to boost a company's reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier's gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human.” ~  Reference to the social media explosion after the manager of a Panera Bread restaurant who made a bowl of clam chowder for a young man’s dying grandmother in article written by Bill Taylor, HBR Blogs (Harvard Business Review)   Maybe it is more important to be kind, rather than offering Specials and concessions to our Prospects and to our renewing Residents to entice them to live in our communities.. There are sure to be some cynics out there that will disagree with this, that Gen Y and X will choose price over any other offering when apartment shopping, that our current Residents only want to maintain a status quo without enduring the dreaded rent increase, that our Team members only want raises – that the almighty dollar trumps our ability to offer a connection to one another.   I posted a comment to one of Maria Lawson’s Blogs on Multifamily Insiders regarding loyalty recently. I wrote of how during......
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What NOT to do with Social Media in Multifamily Marketing

Ever heard the saying, “What goes on in this house stays in this house?” Well there’s a reason it has been and will always be a favorite quote. Personal issues are just that…. PERSONAL. Involving outsiders in things that could and should be resolved within is a recipe for disaster and as successful property managers a disaster of any kind is the last thing you desire.   The other day I found myself scrolling through facebook and I stumbled upon a status posted by a property employee announcing that flyers would be put out soon regarding an upcoming pool party.   While I get the point that they were targeting their marketing initiative from both perspectives…paper and internet, I saw an opportunity for more clear and most importantly private communication. I instantly thought to myself, they need to get their residents signed up for My Virtual Neighbor www.myvirtualneighbor.com.   As I continued to scroll I noticed that they also used the page to post announcements about rent being late and the water system being down. I freaked! Yes, if you know me by now you know that I get quite dramatic about things like this.   I immediately sent them a message letting them know what I’d observed…no I didn’t approach them like I was freaked out, I calmed down first and kept in mind that the reason most opportunities are missed is the fact that we often times don’t see things for what they are when we are in the......
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Increase Occupancy Via Twitter Mind Control – The Three ‘R’s

Up until a few weeks ago, we had no competition in social. Our community dominated the Twittersphere. Enter our biggest competitor. A recent change of management brought forth a more social staff. Tweets are now going out and, this time, they’re not just recycled from Facebook. After almost 2 years of research, I’ve discovered that most of our residents are using Twitter regularly so we’ve scaled back the Facebook and beefed up the Twitter. Increasing Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control starts with three ‘R’s.  This post offers insight into new mind control methods you can use in both conventional and student focused housing markets. Part 1 of the 'Increase Occupancy via Twitter Mind Control' series (seen here) will show how to search for relevant posts in your area, but it doesn’t quite go deep enough. To maintain our position as top dog, we’ve had to think outside the box. Now included in our daily searches are local events such as New Student Orientations.  You may be asking – OK, so what do I do with them once I find them? A careful balance of engagable posts, that’s what. Retweets - A ‘Retweet’ is Twitter’s version of the share button. Clicking ‘Retweet’ directly copies a user post and sends it out to your followers. It also generates a notification to the user you quoted, but the text is small so while this type of engagement is sought after by many, it’s not the most effective. Replies - Replying to a Tweet will also ......
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The Art of the New Brand (Operations and Market Strategy)

Community Re-Brand  For B or lower Communities, being brought up to A Communities.  This will only include full rehabilitation of the interiors, exteriors, and amenities (as needed). The entire process is a combined effort of a strong market strategist and operations staff. Plan: The very first step that must be taken for the re-branding of a community is the market research and understanding of the existing and extended market.  Figure out your market, so that you can figure out what your product needs to look like to capture them. This is done through the understanding of the size capacity of your existing homes, 20 mile demographic (schools, businesses), and existing residents.  Your market research must be done before your plan can even be executed, as every step, every dollar spent, should be formulated around this research.  You need to know WHO the existing market is in the area that your community is, and WHO of that market do you wish to capture most (aka your Extended Market).  You must know their average income levels, household income levels, the jobs held, crime rates, etc.  This information (and much more) will give you a realistic expectation of your customer, while also helping you to understand how to create the perfect product for the Extended Market.  You must know your current residents to know those which will work for your community as well.  As there will be plenty of valuable information right outside your door. As soon as you have decided on your set......
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