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Is Responding to Your Co-Worker’s Email Really Urgent? Here’s the Tea

------ We’ve all been there: a resident or client has a time-sensitive or decision-influencing question, and we realize a co-worker or different department holds the answer. We send an email requesting the information, and then… we wait. If we’re lucky, the response comes right away, but many times it can be hours, days, even a week or more before getting the answer we need. And until that response comes in, our work idles, our resident or client goes unsatisfied, and we may become increasingly anxious or frustrated by the delay. Is it unreasonable to expect a prompt reply to an email? Let’s explore. Our employee engagement surveys ask employees to what extent they agree with this statement: "Issues I raise are responded to within 24 hours by my supervisor, peers, or other departments." Depending on your role within a property management company, the experience can be quite different. According to the 2020 Swift Bunny Index: 83% of Corporate Operations employees (executives, director-level, department heads) agreed that they receive responses within 24 hours. However, the rest of the organization has a very different experience. Here’s the breakdown for everyone else: Only 59% of On-Site Team Members (Management, Leasing, Maintenance) and 57% of Corporate Support Services (Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources, IT, Administrative staff) agree that they receive a response within 24 hours. But this begs the question, is 24 hours a reasonable time frame to expect a response from a co-worker? For this, I posed that very question in Multifamily ShareSpace on Facebook t......
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Using Open Rate to Improve Multifamily Email Performance

Introduction The majority of industries rely on email marketing to promote their content and products and engage with their users. In multifamily, email marketing can help convert prospects to residents and retain existing residents. However, effective email marketing is reliant on multiple variables; namely: Open Rate Click-Through Rate Send Frequency Optimizing these three variables will enhance multifamily email performance and increase outreach. What is Open Rate? To begin, what is Open Rate (OR)? OR is one of several metrics that reflect the level of engagement prospects have with the content you send them. The higher the OR, the higher the engagement. Before proceeding, it’s important to define when an email is considered ‘open’. An email is considered ‘open’ only when images are enabled. Most emails enable images automatically. Sometimes though, users will need to enable images manually. Number of Opens Now that you know how an open email is defined, how are those opens counted? First, there are the number of opens. The number of opens is the number of times an individual user opens an email. For example, if a user receives an email and opens it 5 times, then the number of opens is 5. Unique Opens Alternatively, ‘unique opens’ is the number of unique people who have opened an email. Again, say a user receives and opens an email and then opens it four more times. The unique open is counted as one, the total number of opens is 5. How is Open Rate Calculated? Seeing as the OR is crucial......
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4 Apartment Email Marketing Tips that Will Convert Leads to Residents

You’ve officially made it past the hard part of getting residents to visit your website. They’re so impressed with the high-quality photographs of the properties on your user-friendly website along with the listed amenities and benefits of living there that they’ve requested information! You have the potential resident’s full attention, and now is the most important time to clinch the lease by sending them an effective, straightforward series of emails that is guaranteed to seal the deal.   The best way to do this is to automate the email process in a way that will simplify transactions for you, but still give possible leasees the feeling that they have received a personalized message that will leave them both informed and excited to sign a lease at your property. At Trimark Properties, we use email strategies to broaden the reach of the persuasive marketing of our website and to communicate with prospective tenants who have indicated interest in our apartments in Gainesville FL. We have found that the following four guidelines have made it simple for property management firms to implement effective email marketing campaigns to convince potential residents to lease at their property. 1.) Add a simple “Request Information” form on your website that will notify you immediately when someone has asked for additional information about one of your properties. Including the ability on your website for potential residents to request information through email by submitting their contact information and any questions they might have has two major advantages. First off, it creat......
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Finding Our Way Out of the Murk

Finding Our Way Out of the Murk
Jumping into the middle of a project and then figuring out how to get through it seems to be a symptom of human nature. For some reason we don't want to stop to read the instructions before starting a project. We ignore notifications and emails and manuals in favor of wading into the murk and hoping for the best. This is true of residents who neglect to read the email informing them that garbage day has been changed one week because of a holiday. It's also true of any of us who have tried to put together a piece of furniture without reading the instructions, or any of us who've had problems with our computer software and the last place we look for answers is the accompanying manuals or training guides. There are good reasons for this behavior. For one thing, we are busy people. It usually seems so much easier and faster to simply send the email to junk mail, put the shelf together ourselves (because really how complicated could it be), or try to figure out the software as we go. It takes extra time to read through all of the notices and instructions, and it's hard to feel motivated to do so when you are worrying about the day to day tasks that pile up. Processing leases, showing units, answering phones, and so many other things have a greater sense of urgency than wading through instructional materials. The problem that we don't always foresee with this approach is that sometimes......
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On Maintenance and Retaining Residents

On Maintenance and Retaining Residents
Thinking about the apartment my wife and I lived in right after we were married brings back a broad spectrum of emotions and memories.  Even though it wasn't what you'd call a class A property, we loved it for the simple reason that it was our first home together and a place where many great memories were created.  Between infestations, ceilings that leaked, appliances that didn't work, and an HVAC system with a mind of its own, there was always a new adventure waiting for us around the corner.  Eventually, things did get bad enough that we ended up demanding (and winning) an early release from our contract. As I look back on that experience, I wonder if there was anything the property could have done to retain us.  Given what we were paying (next to nothing) and the age of the building (ancient), should we have really expected anything different?  At work, we handle hundreds of maintenance requests every day and have a unique opportunity to see how apartment communities respond to them all over the country.  Based on these experiences, here are a few ideas for ways we can better serve our residents and, in return, earn their loyalty. 1. Set Clear Expectations Up Front. If your residents have unreasonable expectations about how quickly their maintenance items should be fixed, what constitutes an emergency, or even what falls within the scope of your maintenance team, you are likely to disappoint them. Make sure your residents know what to expect from day one. 2. Provide......
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4 Reasons Why People Aren’t Reading Your Emails

4 Reasons Why People Aren’t Reading Your Emails
You spend time and energy building great email campaigns to connect with current and prospective renters. But when you run the numbers, you're disappointed with the results. Can’t figure out why no one is reading your emails? One of these reasons could be to blame.  Reason 1: You don’t know your audience. According to Vertical Response, one of the top reasons people unsubscribe from emails is because the content isn’t relevant to them. I’m not terribly surprised. Let’s say the average person’s name is Sally. Sally’s inbox is flooded with dozens of emails each day competing for her attention. Why would Sally waste time reading an email that is completely irrelevant to her? What can you do about it? Understand your audience and provide content that is useful for them. Remember: you don’t have to send the same content to everyone. In fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, segment your list and provide each group with relevant content. For example, it makes sense to send an email to prospective renters with tips for a stress-free move. Your current residents, on the other hand, would probably be more interested in a list of free summer street festivals near your apartment community. Reason 2: Your emails aren’t mobile friendly. According to 2013 Litmus data, 51% of emails are opened on a mobile device. I’m willing to bet that number has increased even more in the last year. Let’s just put it this way: A LOT of people are reading your emails on their mobile devices. There are many things you can do to make your ema......
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The Automation Games | May the Emails be Ever in Your Favor

The Automation Games | May the Emails be Ever in Your Favor
I’m on the hunt for an apartment. Every weekend I walk into an apartment community, give the leasing agent my email address, and tour beautifully decorated model spaces. A week later, I receive an email from that leasing agent telling me how much they enjoyed our meeting, and how if I’d sign a lease they’d fly me to Bora Bora, along with giving me every Apple product I ever dreamed of... okay, I wish that was an actual offer. I’d sign right there. No questions. But still. These leasing agents email me after every visit, and they tell me what I need to hear. It’s like they know I'm sitting there thinking about my future home… These apartment complexes may not be mind readers, but they have a competitive edge that other communities do not— automated emails. When you're searching for a home, it’s easy to forget who’s who on your search list, which is why it's nice to have someone emailing you, reminding you who they are and what you saw. Here’s the deal; marketing automation works. Specifically email automation. It simplifies processes and it really simplifies the email process. It’s efficient and it’s cool. And like all simple, efficient, cool tools, it has quirks. But don’t you worry. These quirks can be managed. Here are some ways to ensure your email automation efforts provide high-return marketing, not high-risk marketing. 1. Divide and Conquer. Most email automation systems allow you to build custom email lists. It’s important to segment those lists based off certain criteria. For example, you ......
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5 Ways to Keep Email Subscribers Engaged

5 Ways to Keep Email Subscribers Engaged
So you’ve got people signed up for your emails? Congratulations…you’ve conquered the first hurdle! But you’re not off the hook just yet. Your next challenge is keeping those subscribers interested so they keep opening (and reading) your emails. People ignore or unsubscribe from emails for a number of reasons. But don’t be discouraged. There are some simple things you can start doing today to help keep your email subscribers engaged over time. Provide Relevant ContentWhen it comes to email marketing, one size doesn’t fit all. For example, folks who have submitted a lead indicating they’re looking for a new apartment might be interested in tips for choosing a moving company, but those who already live in your community probably aren’t. So consider segmenting your audience and sending each segment a different version of your newsletter or email.   Get to the PointConsumers get dozens, if not hundreds of emails each day. If a renter opens your email and sees nothing but a big block of text, chances are they’ll quickly hit “delete.” Make your emails easier to scan (and more likely to be read) by keeping sentences short, adopting a conversational tone, and using techniques like headers, bullet points and numbered lists to break up blocks of content. Set Expectations (And Stick to Them)When Rachel the Renter signed up for your email newsletter, did you tell her you’d send it once a month? Then don’t send it once a week or twice a year instead! If you email too often, Rachel may get annoyed and unsub......
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10 Tips for Mobile-Friendly Email Campaigns

10 Tips for Mobile-Friendly Email Campaigns
It’s no secret that people are glued to their smartphones. A survey from Morgan Stanley found that 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile devices within reach 24/7. And people are using their smartphones for just about everything, including, of course, checking their email. In fact, Litmus found that 48% of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets. Looking to make your emails more mobile friendly in order to reach busy, on-the-go renters? Read on for 10 tips to help. 1. Write a Compelling Subject LineMany email clients cut off subject lines at around 40-50 characters (and that includes spaces!) so be concise and keep important words at the front of the subject line. Consider testing a few different subject lines to see which one produces a better open and click-through rate. 2. Give a Preview with a Pre-HeaderPre-headers (also referred to as snippet text) are the short previews of text that many email mobile devices display along with the subject line and sender (see below). Instead of using a generic pre-header (think “To view this email in your browser, click here”), use the pre-header text as another opportunity to entice readers to open your email. Just remember -- not all devices and email clients will display the pre-header, so keep the most important information in the subject line.               3. Make it Short and SimpleToday’s consumers have short attention spans and are likely checking their email while doing other things like commuting, attending business meetings and hanging......
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Seven Tips for Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns can be a great way to reach current and prospective renters. After all, most people have easy access to some type of electronic device throughout the day – whether it’s a computer, tablet or smartphone. While other forms of electronic communication, such as text messaging and social media, continue to grow in popularity, email is still the preferred channel for consumers to receive both personal and marketing communication according to ExactTarget. However, the average person’s inbox is often full of emails – sometimes hundreds a week. How can you break through the clutter to get your message heard by your audience? Below are seven tips for building more effective email campaigns.   1.       Rethink your subject lines: An effective subject linecan stand out in crowded inboxes and entice your audience to read your email. Subject lines should be compelling and specific so the reader knows exactly what to expect from your email. If you’re sending an email to prospective renters with tips for moving on a budget, consider a subject line like “5 Tips for Saving Money When Moving” rather than “Hello from ABC Apartments.” 2.       Personalize when possible. Use the same tone in your email campaigns that you would use when talking to a friend. Instead of opening with a generic greeting such as “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Greetings,” consider including the person’s first name. Carry out that friendly (yet professional) tone throughout the entire email by avoiding excessive use of jargon and “business speak.” 3.    &nb......
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