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Here's Everything You Need To Create Great Looking Videos For Your Community

Here's Everything You Need To Create Great Looking Videos For Your Community

My brother Louis is one of the best DP's (Director of Photography) there is. He knows how to make a gorgeous video. I'm a pretty decent producer myself. My team and I recently wrapped on our first short film called Family Dinner. It's not released yet, but you can watch it here if you'd like. Content warning: It's a little weird and morbid. But it's fun.  All in all, my brother and I own somewhere in the range of $50,000 worth of video equipment, with Louis taking the lion's share of that number. My point - video production can get expensive, very fast.  Now more than ever, incorporating video content into your community's social media strategy is essential. There are two avenues you can take for video production. You can hire someone like me, or you can do it in-house. Both have their place. Here's the thing - most people do not need a $1,000 Rode mic or a $10,000 cinema camera to produce quick, engaging videos that look great. Mobile videography has come a long way, and it's just getting started. In this post, I will show you a video equipment set-up for under $2,000, that will allow you to produce great-looking videos for your property.   Let's start with the camera. The iPhone Pro is hands down the best piece of equipment for mobile videography.  iPhone Pro 11 (Base Model) Price: $999 (on Apple's website) Last year Apple came out with the first iPhone sporting three lenses - a......
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A DIGITAL MARKETING RESOURCES CHECKLIST

A DIGITAL MARKETING RESOURCES CHECKLIST
You may feel like it’s time to throw out your 2020 marketing plan now that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit. However, this is the time to really lean into the digital strategies in your plan and seek out new tools to maximize your digital marketing. These steps will help you survive the COVID-19 pandemic.    When selecting tools to boost your multifamily brand, utilizing a checklist may ease your fears and help you decide which digital resources will best support your ambitions. Understanding your company’s challenges, current resources, and determining what success will look like is a great place to start.    Turn your property websites into an online leasing consultant with a technology solution to help facilitate a prospect’s research while gathering and monitoring high-quality lead information from each customer.    Not sure what resource to choose? Here’s a handy checklist to help your property management company succeed in these difficult times.    1. Does the software attract and acquire leads?  Key features to watch for:    Website interface: Software that identifies each consumer who visits and engages on your website, then tracks that user across multiple digital platforms for multitouch attribution. Facilitates a prospect’s research while capturing high-quality lead information on each prospect.   Measures channel performance: Helps you evaluate the efficiency of each effort, including social media and digital ads, to deliver real-time results while helping you to adjust digital advertising campaign spends based on performance.   Prioritizes leads: Collects detailed and robust lead information during customer interactions and prioritizes leads to make the follow-up process more efficient and effective.    2.......
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Property Management Technology Trends for 2020

Property management technology trends are rapidly changing and 2020 promises to be full of new strategies to capture the attention of savvy renters.    More than 80 percent of prospects start their apartment search online and then spend up to three months narrowing down the list to a few properties they will visit in person before signing a lease. You want your property to stand out from the competition and nurture those leads throughout their entire online journey.    Technology can be a big-ticket item, so it pays to be sure you are investing in products that will boost business enough to pay for themselves and increase leases.     Here are some top considerations:    Does the technology attract and acquire quality leads on your website? Do the products utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and adapt? Is the technology product analyzing data and adjusting? Is it converting online visitors to tours, and ultimately leases? Does the vendor partner with your multifamily team?    Attracts and Acquires Leads   You want to look for a website interface or software that identifies each consumer who visits and engages on your website, then tracks that user across multiple digital platforms. The interface should help facilitate a prospect’s research while capturing high-quality lead information on what they are looking for in an apartment. It should also prioritize leads who are ready to rent now or soon to make follow-up easier and more effective.    The software should also measure channel performance: how well your social media a......
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Multifamily Properties Face Challenges as Technology Transforms Industry

Technology is developed to improve our lives or businesses, make tasks quicker and more efficient, facilitate better communication or solve a problem. Ironically, implementing new technology solutions often introduces other challenges or exposes existing issues with a business process.   Property management companies can collect more online data than ever before from prospects researching apartments, but is your CRM system set up to log and organize complex data beyond basic contact information? If your properties offer renters the option to receive text messages or schedule a tour online, do leasing specialists get notified immediately so they can facilitate the on-demand response consumers now expect?   Providing advertising and marketing services to property management companies for over 25 years, Bob Romine says he’s witnessed massive changes in both the marketing and multifamily industries, from how people communicate to how businesses utilize online data. As founder of R.C. Romine & Associates in Geneva, Illinois, Romine works predominantly with property management clients to ensure they’re addressing those business problems and consistently improving their digital marketing results.   He describes the two most common pitfalls companies encounter when trying out a new technology: 1) they don’t put into place the right business processes and supporting technology to handle a new way of doing things, or 2) they hold onto their established attitudes about digital marketing and fail to see the benefits of adapting to technological innovation.   “There are a lot of clients who are not set up for it, who aren’t really quite ready for a cha......
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Finding the Right Digital Marketing Partner: Lessons Learned

Finding the Right Digital Marketing Partner: Lessons Learned
If you work at a typical multifamily organization, your marketing team is probably not big enough to handle robust digital lead generation strategies or data analysis efforts. If they’re lucky, marketing teams might have one data junkie, and a couple of people in charge of buying ads. This leaves a lot of multifamily marketers partnering with digital marketing agencies to help pick-up the slack with lead generation and data analysis.   While I work for a public relations agency now, I still consider myself a marketer at heart. I’ll never forget the time spent on internal marketing teams at Archstone, Laramar Group and UDR. I held numerous conversations with marketing partners such as ILSs, agencies specializing in retargeting, PPC and SEO contractors and even Craigslist posting template creators. I have held marketing trainings for on-site teams, presented performance data to operators and made strategy and budget recommendations for major markets around the United States.   Through this experience, I learned that finding the right online marketing partner is really similar to online dating. There are a few dealbreakers to keep in mind when having an initial conversation:   Move at the same speed A good marketing partner will stop to explain the way their technology works, how success metrics are defined and why we should measure their particular form of lead generation this way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Think of this as an opportunity to learn something new. Each partner has a particularly unique way of explaining things, even if th......
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Instagram Do's and Don't for Multifamily

Introduction Instagram has been great for keeping up-to-date with friends and your favorite celebrities (we are talking to you @shawnmendes), but it is rapidly evolving into a marketing platform for your property. Instagram makes it easy to stay top-of-mind, showcase your brand and opens a direct line of communication between you and your target audience. Lately, we have noticed a few Instagram faux pas that could be turning your followers off. We have reviewed 100’s of property management company profiles to bring you a list of the top 10 Do’s and Don’ts on Instagram.   Instagram Don'ts 1. Ignore sizing recommendations Instagram is a visual platform, so it is vital that you follow the sizing recommendations, or else your posts will appear grainy and/or won’t fit in the frame properly like the image above. We recommend using 1080×1080 pixels for regular posts and 1080×1920 pixels for stories.   2. Poor subject choices We love chili as much as the next guy, but sadly it is not a very aesthetically pleasing food, especially served in a Styrofoam bowl. When making your decisions on what to post, it is important to consider how it will look. Instead of posting a picture of the chili itself, you could opt for a picture featuring your staff holding the bowl (think: girl holding a coffee cup). Another alternative could be to post a picture of the buffet table with the crock pot lid on and mentioning the chili in the comment. This way, you can get the point......
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Including the Human Experience in a Digital Marketing World

Multifamily owners and operators often look at technology purely as a set of tools that can generate more revenue and increase the efficiency of operations.   In that quest for increased revenue and cost efficiencies, marketers often overlook one key element— the human experience. When technology works seamlessly and intuitively for customers, it can both make and save money for the developer.   In fact, according to PwC’s annual Digital IQ Survey, 82 percent of top-performing companies pay attention to the human experience surrounding digital technology. These companies recognize that the human experience is essential to helping a company become a top performer.   Imagine what apartment marketers can accomplish by taking this action with their offerings. An improvement of the human experience with regard to the prospective renter journey could generate increased leads that are of higher quality.   It’s easier for prospects to find information Property managers who pay attention to the human experience when utilizing technology make it easy for prospective renters to get the information they need, make a decision and fill out a guest card. This includes making contact information easy to find and featuring real-time pricing and availability for communities alongside their listings.   When applying an unrelenting eye to the problems that plague renters, it quickly becomes apparent that users will search everywhere to find the information that matters to them. For example, a prospect may want information on nearby schools, but if the schools in the area are not highly rated, property management could......
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Why Property Managers Should Include User-Generated Content in their Digital Marketing Strategies

Why Property Managers Should Include User-Generated Content in their Digital Marketing Strategies
Developing a brand identity that encourages customers to form a personal connection with your product is one of the most important steps in securing a sale. This is especially true in the multifamily industry, where residents need to be fully confident that your apartment is their best option before they commit to a lease. A relationship such as this one is built on one fundamental element: trust. But how do you build trust with a potential resident before they even walk into the leasing office? When building trust, your biggest asset actually comes from your current and former residents. Not surprisingly, consumers trust the opinions of others more than what companies say about themselves, and the influence and input of others is crucial in the decision-making process. This concept, called social proof, reveals that we are psychologically programmed to learn from others to prevent making potentially detrimental decisions. One of the primary ways customers learn information about a product or service, second-most only to information directly from the company itself, is from what they hear from others. Therefore, it is incredibly important for potential residents to see your apartments through the experience of current or former residents. In a digital marketing campaign, the best way to do this is through user-generated content. User-Generated Content Marketing Others’ opinions and experiences with a company have become so influential in a brand’s publicity strategy that an entirely new branch of marketing has developed to account for it. User-generated content marketing (UGC), or consumer-generated content mar......
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Is Your Apartment Marketing Ignoring Renters?

Is Your Apartment Marketing Ignoring Renters?
Stacy Bouchard from D2 Demand Solutions posed the question “Is your Sales Process Prospect-Centered?” a few weeks ago. While it’s a great question that the apartment industry needs to strongly consider, looking at the sales-cycle is only half the battle. Making the sales cycle prospect-centric can only be so effective if apartment marketing is still delivering sub-par leads.   For example, most multifamily websites provide a feast of choices and assume that the online prospect will take a self-guided tour through the site, consuming whatever content they feel like. Having options like video tours, vibrant site maps, and online leasing is good. But, in some instances, it may be too much of a good thing. You wouldn’t give a prospect a brochure and a sitemap then tell them to go look at whichever parts of the property they felt like. So why are we doing it online? In most cases, the answer is “because we want qualified leads.” And that’s not a bad answer. It’s just not a prospect-oriented answer.   According to some sources, the average prospect looks at more than 20 communities online prior leasing. That’s 20+ self-guided tours of pool photos and amenity lists for every prospect that contacts your community. Crafting a prospect’s experience through the marketing funnel provides opportunities to customize their journey and shorten the path to leasing.   Making the marketing experience prospect-focused doesn’t have to be a forced process and for some, a self-guided experience is just how they like it. Exactly how the customer journey ......
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5 Reasons Why Yelp is the Most Under-Appreciated Ad

5 Reasons Why Yelp is the Most Under-Appreciated Ad

When you think about where you advertise your communities, do you think Yelp?  We all have heard of Yelp but my guess is that you're probably not taking full advantage of this free ad.  Yelp isn't known for being a common destination for apartment seekers, however, I'm going to make a strong argument that Yelp is the most under-utilized ad source in multifamily.  Yeah, I said it.  Listen up... First things first...can you tell me if your community has a listing page on Yelp?  I can tell you from experience monitoring community's online presence that a large majority of communities don't bother, including your competition. Yelp certainly isn't the newest  tool on the block but it's becoming increasingly valuable in the multifamily industry and you'll want to re-familiarize yourself with the platform if necessary. Now that you've been formally re-introduced, you've probably identified a weak spot in your current approach.  Don't worry just yet.  We're going to button-up your marketing strategy piece-by-piece and further detail why Yelp is more important to that strategy than you think.  Let's dive into five reasons you should be using this often-overlooked ad source for your apartment community.   1. Reach   Yelp's reach continues to expand, collecting more and more users each year.  Over the last three years, Yelp has experienced 80% growth.  Their website has seen a nice boost as well as users are staying on the page 150% longer than previously.  According to Quantcast, in the last month alone 117 million unique visitors accessed Yelp via its website or mobile......
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