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Catch Residents with Pokémon Go!

Catch Residents with Pokémon Go!
Pokémon Go Can Help Multifamily On July 6th, 2016, an event of monumental proportions happened: Pokémon Go was released. The game has already revolutionized mobile gaming and is uniting people across all generations. Niantic Inc. developed the game through a licensing deal with Nintendo, the majority stakeholder of the franchise. The deal has proven to be fruitful; Nintendo's market value jumped an astounding $7.5 billion since release! The game is simple: "catch" Pokémon with your phone in different areas of cities and towns. The game is a based on "geolocation,” GPS locations and landmarks, so one has to walk around to progress through the game. There are "Pokestops" and "Gyms" where people can get rewards, play against other Pokémon and find new Pokémon. So why should you care? This can be a golden marketing opportunity for multifamily communities. You can actually drive potential residents to your property with the game! Pokémon Go is a "free to play" style game. This means that one can play for free, but upgrades are purchasable through an online store. One of those items is a "Lure Module," which draws Pokémon to a certain location for 30 minutes. They cost about 99 cents per lure. The lures need to be set within proximity of a Pokestop (currently). Your community may already be a Pokestop or Gym; you just need to check in the game. Super geeky, right? Well, businesses have caught on and are driving traffic to them because people playing see where lures are and stop to get the free items. So how can a multifamily community benefit? Marketing With Pokémon Go If you could set lures or P......
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Engaging Today's Distracted Consumer

Engaging Today's Distracted Consumer
Given the rapid advances in recent technology, the modern apartment search relies heavily on digital mobility and connectivity. Today's consumer can search for their perfect apartment from their phones, tablets, or computers, just to name a few. The vast resources available today provide the ability to personalize their search through an integrated use of multiple mediums. The popularity of social media, ratings and reviews, mobile and video should influence business professionals to adapt to the new consumer.  p">Gone are the days when flyers and yard signs attracted the majority of renters. Why spend a weekend driving around neighborhoods of interest when they have apartment shopping at their fingertips? Did you know that 90% of consumers rely on internet listing services, while 48% use mobile applications? <p">One's evaluation of an apartment relies on the quality of published content. Today’s ephemeral consumer relies heavily on visuals to gather information. In fact, photographs serve as the main resource for 80% of consumers when apartment shopping. High-quality photographs are visually appealing and attract renters to further research an potential place to live, especially when showcasing featured amenities. What else entices these consumers? Location! It's a key player when it comes to narrowing down the search for an apartment. Location-based searches give consumers the ability to accommodate individual preferences, such as specific neighborhoods or school districts. In fact, 69% view location as a major factor in the decision-making process. In a world where the consumer’s search for an apartment crosses the path of multiple mediums and is constantly evo......
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How to Capitalize on Multifamily's "Mobile Moments"

How to Capitalize on Multifamily's "Mobile Moments"
The defining moment for your community isn’t a lease or renewal. It’s all the little moments that lead up to those leases and renewals. I’m talking about the mobile moments. Micro-moments, as Google calls them. The times when we need to solve problems or complete tasks...and turn first to our smartphones. Make a difference during these moments, and you can win big: 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to work on long-term goals. Like finding a new place to call home. 69% say the quality, timing or relevance of a company’s message changed how they viewed that brand. (In other words, help them in their moments of need, and you can win favor.) 93% of those who research on mobile devices do go on to purchase.  And you know it’s big when advertising jumps in: The New York Times now sells moment-based ads timed and customized to the seven moments in a day they’ve identified as most important to their readers. So What Mobile Moments Matter to You? What Can You Do? If you understand renters’ mobile moments, you can insert your community right where and when decisions are made and preferences are shaped.  One of the first steps Google suggests is identifying the moments you “want to win or can’t afford to lose.” Based on their examples, here are a few multifamily moments you might want to help prospects or residents through (and how digital messaging could play a role): Need-to-move moments - Whether moving for a new job, school, marriage or......
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The Future of Student Housing : 5 Fascinating Projects

The Future of Student Housing : 5 Fascinating Projects
Over the last decade, the market has seen a dramatic increase in the number of purpose-built student housing complexes. As student housing progresses more and more, innovation and modernization are being brought to this style of accommodation. Here are some unique and non-traditional examples of where the future of student housing may be heading.  1. Hub 01 Mobile Student Housing (Developed by dmvA and A3 Architects)     Image © Mick Couwenbergh Full Photo Gallery HereWhen someone speaks of mobile housing, the first thing that typically comes to mind is trailers; but Hub 01 is nothing like a trailer! Hub 01 has revolutionized the concept of mobile student housing with their concept resting on three main principles: mobility, personalization and an educational design.According to Arch Daily, the idea behind this project is to, “….provide an opportunity for students to take their own room to different places and attach it to a central terminal by a ‘plug-in’ system… By a simple connecting system, the individualized rooms can be attached to the terminal.”Each of the rooms has their own customized concept, which can be attached to the central terminal.      2. Tietgenkollegiet (Designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg)    Full Photo Gallery Here  While Tietgenkollegiet isn’t necessarily new (it was completed in 2006), it is still a leading model for the future of student housing. Tietgenkollegiet is aptly referred to as the “residence hall of the future”. The concept behind this residence hall is to create a space where students can grow both personally and socially in co......
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Surviving the Non-Mobile Apocalypse

Surviving the Non-Mobile Apocalypse
There are so many devices connected to the internet these days. They range from traditional desktop and laptop computers to phones, tablets, game consoles, televisions, cameras, and even baby monitors. And not all websites perform equally well on all devices. We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to navigate a site that wasn’t designed to be manipulated by fingers on a touchscreen—whether it’s because of buttons that are too small, menus that won’t stay open, or special features that won’t run. No one wants to waste time navigating an awkward website. A few years ago, a website that wouldn’t work well on mobile device wouldn’t have significantly affected your website traffic. But that has all changed. Recent reports1 indicate that there are now more adults in the United States who exclusively use the internet on their mobile devices than there are who exclusively use traditional desktop and laptop computers. Here are some basic stats: 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source2 45% of all email3 is opened from a mobile device 80% of American adults have a smartphone4 In other words, there are officially more people visiting your site from tablets and cell phones than there are visiting it from computers. With those kinds of numbers, no one should want to run a website that wasn’t mobile-friendly. What’s more, mobile-friendly sites now have an even greater advantage than a less-frustrating design. Just last week, on April 21st, 2015, Google changed5 the way their site and search results look at mobile-friendly websites. See, Google has a lot of......
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5 Trends We See in the Multifamily Industry

5 Trends We See in the Multifamily Industry
I think it's fascinating how consumer-to-business connections change over time...and I'm always paying attention. Here are just a few digital trends we've been seeing that you should keep in mind throughout 2015: 1. On-demand everything  We’re not just talking about more people choosing to cut the cord and go with Netflix, Chromecast, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, etc. In almost every industry, businesses are meeting consumers’ demands for hyper-efficiency and convenience: Box companies come to your house and box/ship anything and everything; food delivery companies deliver fantastic meals for cheap; dry cleaning companies pick up and drop off your dry cleaning. TaskRabbit even connects you with people who will help with almost any errand, from moving to gift wrapping. How easy do you make it for your residents (and prospects) to get things done? Is someone always there to help them at the touch of a button? 2. Mobile matters  Mobile traffic has been reported by our clients to be as high as 40% of their total website traffic, and 25% of the chats we tracked in a month were generated from a mobile device. If the growth continues at this pace, we could see 50%+ mobile traffic to property sites in the next 2 years. (Realtor.com already says nearly 60% of its viewed listings were accessed through a mobile device.) So if you aren’t already focusing your SEO and marketing efforts for mobile search and supplying your residents with mobile-friendly conveniences, today’s the day to get started. 3. Consumer-to-business texting Perhaps to meet......
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Give Me a Choice! Why Residents Will Thank You for Mobile Optimization

b2ap3_thumbnail_why-residents-will-thank-you-for-mobile-optimization.jpg  While making a hotel reservation the other day, (online, at the hotel website, of course), I was informed that a new feature was available: the self-serve kiosk! This latest advancement in hospitality technology would allow me to check in by simply scanning the QR code on my confirmation email (which would be on my smartphone) and then unlock my room using the code provided. When checking out, I would log in, confirm the charges, and have a PDF of the receipt emailed to me. No fuss, no keys, and no pesky human involved!   So why am I not thrilled? No standing in line, no patiently listening to a desk clerk reciting the scripted welcome message without ever looking me in the eye, no key to misplace or demagnetize – I must be in hotel heaven, right? No, not exactly – I still like pesky humans. Sometimes. And I like playing the game called “where can I put my key so it’s still there and it still works when I get back to my room at night?”. Sometimes.  At least give me a choice, because sometimes I just want to get into my room as quickly and easily as possible, and sometimes I want to interact with another human.  It’s kinda like shopping at the local Lowes. I can go through the checkout line with a cashier, where a cashier rings up and bags my merchandise, hands me a receipt and thanks me for shopping at Lowes. Or, I can go to the self......
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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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How to Be There for Millennials (& other always-on, mobile consumers)

How to Be There for Millennials (& other always-on, mobile consumers)
Every day there’s another article or study about mobile use increasing or some fabulous new technology that makes our personal or business lives easier. Some property management companies say 30-40% of their online traffic comes from mobile devices already (not surprising when you consider that millennials make up a large part of the multifamily market).  But we can’t forget this point: It’s not just the technology that matters; it’s the experience (and people) behind it.  Knock, Knock...Who’s There? Let’s assume you have a mobile-friendly site or app. That’s just the first step. About 73% of mobile users contacted someone to view an apartment based on their online mobile search. What happens next can build loyalty—or frustration—and that online experience can color how the consumer thinks she’ll be treated as a resident, especially if she’s a millennial.  For example, if I can easily ask questions and get a response, I’m more likely to remember a company as helpful, attentive and trustworthy. On the other hand, clunky online processes and slow responses are frustrating and can leave an impression of unfriendliness or unprofessionalism.  The problem is, as always, time. We have precious little of that in this industry, yet some properties have figured out how to be there for the always-on consumer...without time-traveling (so far as I know). Marry Virtual Backup to Your Mobile Tech Some properties offer mobile text or live chat as ways for prospects/residents to get real-time help from the leasing or management teams, right from their websites or property listings. Those who nee......
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Property Management on the Road

Property Management on the Road

 

mobile phoneIf you’re a property manager who got into the business thinking that you’d have your feet up on your desk all day while you lit cigars with hundred-dollar bills, you likely had a nasty shock when you realized just how much work is involved in property management. There’s always something that needs tending to, and your days can run deep into nights in order to get everything done that you need to.

Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point where the property manager can keep things running smoothly through one or two property management programs on the computer. But what’s even better is that most property management software companies now have mobile integration so you can take care of business whether you’re physically on the property or not.

But that begs the question — is the software now too invasive? Having the mobile app is great, but it does make it harder to walk away from it at some point. Everyone who works daily on a computer knows that moment where they just need to turn it off, rub their eyes, and go get some rest. But with the phone always there and always on, walking away isn’t always easy or even possible.

What do you think? Is mobile property management technology a blessing or a curse?

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