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Show Off Your Property With Winter Scenes!

I remember several years ago, Houston got a wonderful snow storm, and as you can imagine, that's not a very common occurrence.  So of course, I begged and pleaded for all my Houston multifamily friends to immediately do a photo shoot with their community blanketed with a beautiful shimmering coat of white snow.  How unique would those marketing pictures be!  Unfortunately, I don't know if anyone took me up on it, but today I ran across a home listing that reminded me of the idea.  Yes, it's not multifamily, but I don't think it matters - It showcases how amazing the space is in all seasons, and is something we can do with our own communities!  Have any of you all taken the time to do winter photo shoots of your property?  Autumn?  Maybe spring as the flowers are just about to start blooming?  What about sunrise versus dusk?  What about nighttime with Christmas lights and a warm glow emanating from the windows?  There are so many opportunities, and I'd love to hear what you all have done!

 

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Ultimate Inspiration – Apartment Community Photography

Ultimate Inspiration – Apartment Community Photography
As many of you may know, one of my biggest pet peeves is boring apartment community pictures.  Especially when we think about trying to compete for eyeballs on an ILS, is the picture worth a thousand words or just worth one:  DULL. I ran across an Instagram profile recently which I personally think is the ultimate inspiration album for what an apartment community photo album could be.  She actually isn't in our industry, and all she does is take pictures of her dog, apartment, and life, and yet those pictures do a masterful job of conveying emotion and telling a story through the images.  One of the most important aspects is that because she is not trying to "sell" the room, her pictures are never just a showcase of the apartment – they are pictures of life that exists within that apartment.  That is a key distinction to what normally happens with apartment community photography, in that we get so caught up with showing the features of the apartment or beautiful decorations that we don’t work to show what it could be like to actually live there. Let me share some of my favorite examples, and please share your thoughts in the comments below! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brittany & Stella (@brittanyshmyr) on Aug 5, 2018 at 7:39pm PDT This one is actually probably closest to "standard" photography normally used in our space. It is a wide shot of a nicely-prepared room. It's perfectly nice, but as ......
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Insta-Marketing with Instagram

Insta-Marketing with Instagram
Insta-Marketing. As in, marketing you can implement instantly. Who doesn’t love (and need more of) that?   Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular social networks of today’s highly digital era and it’s actually a fairly easy platform to learn, even for today’s most social media challenged individuals (no shame here - everyone has to learn sometime, right?).   So when it comes to multifamily marketing, what can you actually do to improve your marketing on Instagram and why should you be doing it? Well, a group of savvy marketers recently learned exactly this at the Multifamily Social Media Summit 2017. We heard from Sue B. Zimmerman (also known as THE Instagram Expert). You can find and follow her on Instagram by searching for her handle, which is: suebzimmerman     Here’s what she taught us...   The Why: Instagram has more than 600 million active users Instagram has “less noise” than other social platforms (more simplistic approach with photos) You can use photos to “tell” your story (and your customers will most likely help you tell your story too, through their posts) It’s quick. Posts require little more than uploading a photo and incorporating some hashtags It’s easy to toggle between Instagram accounts (for example, if you have a personal account and a property account) Instagram is focused on mobile (helloooo that’s where our customers are) Instagram is visual (which is exactly what we want to be in this business) You can get qualified leads through this platform (she’s seen it happen)!......
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Common Mistakes in Real Estate Photography

Common Mistakes in Real Estate Photography
Setting up for a photo shoot takes time and preparation for both the photographer and model unit. Photographers want to be as quick and efficient as possible, since they are commonly paid by the job and not by the hour. While trying to be quick, they can accidentally make mistakes along the way, and those mistakes can impact the finished photos that you’ll have to post on your apartment website. Many marketing directors are responsible for taking photos of their apartment complexes. While working alongside a photographer for a series of photo shoots for apartments in Gainesville FL, there are a few tricks I picked up when it comes to common errors in apartment photography.   Don’t forget your reflection in the bathroom mirror A very common mistake is to catch your reflection in a shot. You may find a great angle and snap away, only to later notice that while you’re editing photos, you’re in the shot! To avoid this error, be sure to examine your area and double check what you see in the mirror. Clutter, other standing mirrors and sunlight are all culprits that can ruin a good photo. Put down the toilet seat lid When taking bathroom shots, step one is to check angles and reflections in the mirror(s), and step two is to put down the toilet seat lid. The toilet can often be the focal point of a bathroom photo, and if a prospective renter is scrolling through beautifully staged photos, and then falls upon the bat......
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Where to find free stock photography that feels authentic

I have a confession. I am a total photography snob. I cringe ever so slightly anytime I see that generic college kid that seems way to happy to be holding 5 textbooks and a Jansport backpack. Whether its developing a website or creating a flyer, if you don't have imagery that conveys authenticity, you'll be looked over. The best option, of course, is to use custom imagery; photos that were taken by professionals with your brand and project in mind. In the real world, custom imagery takes time, money and coordination, three things that are often hard to come by.    In a pinch, stock photography can be useful. The trick is to find photos that feel authentic. Photos that feel unique. Photos that you won't see on your competitor's billboard. Oh, and free would be nice too (stock photography can get expensive after all). Our design team at Pixel Riot is always on the lookout for unique imagery that we can use for our Multifamily clients that cannot, for whatever reason, use custom imagery. We wanted to share some of our favorite sites. Here are 5 commercial-use stock photography websites that we think are pretty bad-ass. Each site provides free high-resolution photos, often with more added weekly.   Pexels.com Pexels has a great collection of free, high resolution photos that really feel authentic. This site has no shortage of pictures portraying the 18 to 24 year old demographic doing everything from swimming to texting and more. This is easily one......
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How to Take Great Property Photos

How to Take Great Property Photos
Did you know that the brain processes visual information at a rate that’s 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to our brains is visual? That’s according to a recent Boston.com article in which the article addresses the need for marketers to up their game when it comes to online storytelling through images. Yet, when talking about the stories we’re telling about our own multifamily properties, the reasons for doing so are even more basic: tenants want to see what they’re getting and be able to see themselves in it. Regardless of the reasoning, every property needs high quality images for websites, ads, and other marketing materials. And, no, stock images don’t count. In fact, according to a recent survey, 69% of tenants say they are annoyed to see stock images meant to represent a property. This situation can be intimating as it poses a potential predicament to novice photographers. The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional or even know that much at all about photography to produce web-worthy images. All you need is a good camera (preferably digital), and the following tips: Watch the clock. Bright and sunny. These are the conditions the average individual believes to be perfect for outdoor picture-taking. Unfortunately, these conditions can be just as disastrous as a rainy day. Instead, you want to try for early morning, in the first hour after the sun rises, or in the evening, in the last hour of sunshine. This way, you’r......
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Increasing Engagement with Empathy (and Maybe Lemonade)

Increasing Engagement with Empathy (and Maybe Lemonade)
Sometimes it seems like you can’t go a week without hearing some analyst, commentator, or industry insider touting the importance of increasing social engagement. But with so much of this information focusing on eCommerce sites, it can be hard to tell how to apply it to the social media campaign for your apartment community. Never fear; I have compiled a list of tips to help you take your social media campaign up a notch! Make posts relevant to your renters People are much more likely to respond to and engage with posts that they can relate to. Making posts that appeal to their interests, hobbies or even frustrations is a great way to increase resident engagement. Say, for example, your local area is experiencing unusually warm weather for the time of year. This would be a great time to make a post reminding residents that “there is no better way to beat the heat than by taking a dip in Hypothetical Apartment Community’s resort style pool!” By showing empathy for their situation you are able to establish a more meaningful connection than you might have had otherwise. Let pictures do the talking for you Use pictures to add substance to a short message, like "Summer heat got you down? Cool off with this refreshing take on strawberry lemonade!" They say a picture is worth 1000 words, and that can really come in handy when you are trying to keep a post under 140 characters. Using pictures to convey an  idea is a great way to ......
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Instant Engagement with Instagram!

A new mobile app emerges what seems like almost every day. Some are flops (we’re not pointing fingers) and some are instant hits like Instagram.  You've more than likely seen a photo published via Instagram without knowing it. People and brands alike are using the app in droves because of the revolutionary filters that transform a standard photo into a professionally edited image. What makes this app extremely user friendly is the streamlined social sharing functionality, which allows users to share photos to various social networks seamlessly.

 
Here are five reasons you should get started with Instagram.
 
1.  Instagram is a great tool for publishing photos taken with your smart phone as potential residents rely heavily on images in the decision making process.
 
2.  Since the app works best from mobile devices, it fits seamlessly into a busy community manager’s routine.
 
3.  The filter/border combinations are endless- making each photo unique.
 
4.  Push notifications, likes, @mentions and #hashtags  are similar to the experience of Twitter and Facebook. 
 
5.  The app is integrated with major social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and others.  With this integration available, see How Facebook is Empowering Page Administrators. 
 
Examples:
 

Mashable offers a user-friendly guide to jumpstart your experience with Instagram.
 
*Instagram is currently only available on Apple and Android devices.

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