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Multifamily Marketing in a Pandemic

Those who quickly adapt tend to thrive. This skill has become essential to many businesses since the pandemic began spreading in March.  A positive consequence of the pandemic is prospects are following suit with widespread use of digital tools, online commerce, and virtual engagement.    I recently played host to another lunch and learn which explored the challenges multifamily properties faced while trying to market to shifting consumer behavior during the pandemic. Guests Liv Gabrielsen, Director of Marketing for Bainbridge, and Scott Papenfus, Director of Strategic Partnerships for LCP360, chatted about the creative ways they’ve adapted efforts and the true impact the pandemic has had on multifamily marketing efforts.     Shifting Marketing Efforts  When asked about general big shifts  as a result of the pandemic, Liv mentioned  what most businesses have experienced, consumers embracing the digital experience.    “For multifamily, what it did is forced our industry to embrace all things digital as we saw stay-at-home orders. The COVID pandemic made us shift what we're doing to ensure we can meet consumer demands in a 100% digital environment.”   She added that the industry knew they would need to support  consumers' digital needs  eventually. The pandemic accelerated that  process.    “We've known this for years; it's been moving in this direction,” Liv says. “For me, it was still a little bit of a shock of sorts — how fast we had to lean into some of the things or behaviors we were already thinking about, then suddenly over the course of a couple o......
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How Does Influencer Marketing Impact the Apartment Industry?

How Does Influencer Marketing Impact the Apartment Industry?
The apartment industry is growing and with it, competition. Whether you’re a property manager, asset manager, apartment owner or developer, you’re going to need and want to expand your apartment community or portfolios marketing and branding. More and more apartment communities and property management companies are turning to influencer marketing as additional marketing source and a great way to generate buzz for their communities. What's Influencer Marketing? Wikipedia tells us that it’s a form of marketing where the emphasis is placed on specific individuals or types of individuals, rather than targeting the market as a whole. Influencers are usually social media experts and bloggers who have vast and loyal followers. These individuals can be found on every social media platform.  Influencer Marketing and Multifamily This is a relatively new concept in the apartment industry. However, using influencers will allow you to target a way larger audience and establish your property or company on a larger scale.  The Stats The stats speak for themselves. The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report surveyed people in 60 countries found that 83% of people turn to those they know for recommendations, above other sources. This is just one of the many reasons why influencer marketing is a powerful way to promote your community.  What Can Influencer Marketing Do for You?  Social influencers can expose your brand, apartment community or property management company to millions of followers. Some ways include: Reaching out to their Twitter and Facebook followers supporting your brand Blog articles on your apartme......
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Structure Your Marketing Team Right: Start with the Resident in Mind

The best marketing organizations in the world know one simple truth – revenue sustainability and growth begins with the customer. In fact, Gartner predicts that a majority of companies will redirect their resources into customer experience innovations by 2018.   The need for a customer-centric experience is no different in the multifamily industry, where only 52 percent of renters said they enjoyed the apartment search process, according to a RentPath study. In addition, the majority of prospective renters are reviewing three or more websites before even visiting the community and making a purchase decision. In fact, 88 percent of prospective renters said they needed to see a property before they made a purchase decision.   It’s a multi-channel search experience, yet multifamily marketing departments remain structured around individual marketing channels rather than customer needs or segments. When structured in this manner, messaging is often fragmented and focused on optimizing their channel rather than enabling customers. Marketing success is measured by channel-specific metrics, such as likes, followers and click rates, instead of customer-centric metrics, like leases and renewals.   This approach leads to ineffective marketing and a disjointed customer experience. But with a little creativity and research, marketing departments can become highly effective teams that put the renter experience first.   Flaws in the typical hierarchy The typical structure of a marketing department in the apartment industry might look something like this:     The vice president of operations oversees the entire system, ensuring that each separate group is meeting its goal......
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Is Marketing Important in Affordable Housing?

It was going to be beautiful weather and this elderly grandmother from the Detroit area was looking forward to applying for a coveted spot on the Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Wait List. Wheelchair bound, she understood she would have to arrive early and remain patient. However, nothing prepared her for what happened once the doors opened at an off-site location.   What happens when an organization has not opened its Wait List for almost nine years? What happens when those who are supposed to be working the lines, has never done so before because the Wait List has always been closed? What happens when you ask the local apartment communities who administer their own in-house Section 8 housing to pass out a Flyer announcing the Wait List will open at 8:00 AM on a Saturday, that people who arrive early may bring their own chairs to sit in as they secure their place in line, and that you sorely underestimate the number of families and individuals who will simply show up?   Mass chaos results. In fact, the word RIOT was used by the local media covering the event. On that day, no one from the Housing Commissioner’s office expected the more than estimated four thousand people to come, some as early as four o’clock in the morning. Others arrived only to observe the huge number of those already there and STILL took their places in a line that wound its way throughout the parking lot and sidewalks and all the w......
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