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Lead Management in a Hyper-Connected World

When it comes to lead management, most apartment operators have fairly rigid standards.   Respond to all emails within 24 hours. Manage automated responses to all digital inquiries. Secure a call center that handles all after-hours calls.   But in today’s information-obsessed, instant-gratification world, that simply isn’t enough. Twenty-four hours is far too long to wait for a response. That prospect will reach out to several additional communities in that time, and the longer you wait, the further you fall on their consideration list.   Today’s Generation Z and Millennial prospects expect real-time communication options such as texting and online chat. It’s all about mobile access and speed. They can book a hotel or make a restaurant reservation at 2:37 a.m., so they expect to be able to book a tour of an apartment community at their convenience.   It’s a real challenge for many apartment operators to meet that increasing demand for immediate feedback. The more effectively a community can provide real-time answers, the better chance it has of securing leases.   Here are a few ideas to consider:   Equip leasing agents with company-issued mobile phones: Leasing teams still have to tour prospects, attend community events and solve resident complaints. But empowering them with company-issued cell phones will increase their ability to engage with prospects in real time while managing those other duties.  Just because a leasing agent is away from their desk doesn’t mean they’re tied up in a face-to-face interaction with a prospect or resident. The ability to fol......
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Reminder: Don't Forget About Millennial Renters

Reminder: Don't Forget About Millennial Renters
I’m addicted to reminders. I used to write them on my hand so I wouldn’t forget errands or tasks on the drive home (yes, I was a human Post-It note), and now I set bazillions of reminders on my smartphone. Let me share one such reminder with all the management companies, property owners and leasing agents out there: Think your community doesn’t need to worry about how to cut through the clutter to reach and influence those in the millennial generation (Gen Y)? Think it’s all hype? Think again.  The millennial generation continues to be important for the apartment industry in general, not just for student housing. Studies show that apartments are becoming a common lifestyle choice as members of this generation grow up, focus on their careers and start families (⅔ of them rent). Despite record levels of student debt and a longer road to adulthood for many, they will be your residents if they aren’t already. (And yes, retirement community, I’m talking to you too.) Just consider the following stats, which point to the lifetime value of millennial residents: 77 million strong  75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025  $2 trillion in liquid assets; $7 trillion by end of the decade Spending to double to $1.2 trillion by 2020 (accounting for ⅓ of all U.S. purchases) Expected to encompass 76% of all household growth in the coming years Perhaps most important to remember is that this generation isn’t just powerful in size; it’s powerful in influence. Almost 3 in 4 millennials say t......
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Bringing Your Marketing to Life with Augmented Reality

Bringing Your Marketing to Life with Augmented Reality
Engagement has become one of the most buzzed-about marketing terms lately, and brands are quickly adopting new technology and following trends in order to reach out and captivate more consumers. One such feature that is trending right now is augmented reality, which is a live view of a real-world environment whose elements are augmented by sound, graphics, video or GPS technology, creating interactive surroundings. It is essentially the merging of the offline and online worlds, which gives the opportunity to generate interaction through a medium that traditionally offered only a one-way conversation.   Augmented reality is a great way to bring your marketing campaign to life by drawing attention to your brand using fun, interactive technology. Additionally, it can also provide a useful tool for consumers by sharing helpful information and ease of use. Many companies are utilizing augmented reality to boost the brand experience for users. Companies like Heinz have used it to turn static marketing and product labels into interactive messaging that engages users and provides added value by including recipes that are made using the brand’s ketchup.   Magazines and other printed publications can come to life using an app like Layar to create an interactive mobile experience, allowing viewers to watch video and experience interactive messages simply by scanning branded materials with their phones. There are a variety of mobile apps that create interactive experiences, giving brands an opportunity to make a memorable impression on the consumer.   With the increasing popularity of augmented reality and an emphasis on engaging with c......
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