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marketing

- Blog posts tagged in marketing

Posted by on in Student Housing
Since 2003, one of our key recommendations for landlords looking to enhance their online rental listing has been great photography. Photography has been a staple in the multifamily rental industry for well over a decade now; but it may find itself eventually replaced by virtual reality tours and 3D floor plans.Student housing is a prime market segment that is likely to be at the frontier of virtual reality tours, especially as they become increasingly more affordable, accessible and easy to facilitate. Virtual reality tours go a step beyond photos and video, whereas they allow for an immersive and interactive experience for student renters, without leaving the comfort of their current home. Out-of-state or out-of-country students typically cannot arrange for in-person tours of accommodations, which is where virtual reality triumphs.So will virtual reality tours be the next big thing for marketing in student housing? The current market environment would lead us to believe so.There are already a handful of major student housing players that have adopted and started to implement virtual reality tours including:   Domus Student Housing Campus Suites Varsity Properties Campus Life & Style Campus Apartments   UForis VR that works with Domus Student Housing conducted a case study on the units they equipped with VR tours and saw a 20% increase in year-over-year monthly number of units rented. In addition, Domus Student Housing saw a significant decrease in workload for their leasing agents and estimated that it resulted in 40-50% less work.Even on-campus housing properties are taking an interest in VR, as MacEwan University Residence has...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
A super-fantabulous 7 minute recap of the Futurist key-note speaker from AIM 2017.  Rohit Bhargara, trend creator extraordinaire gave us not only a glimpse into future trends, but showed us how to curate them.  Well-known for maxims such as “Big Ideas Don’t Work” and “Most Trend Predictions Fail”, Bhargara teaches a framework for discovering and testing trend creation and putting the insights to work in a profitable way.  Sharing 8 of the Top Trends, attendees were on the edge of our seats, and we were not disappointed.  Better yet, we left motivated on how to think differently about ideas and current trends. Industry Leaders, we are in a believability crisis.  See through the noise; find the ideas that have meaning.  Teach yourself to spot ideas and make them trends.  Accelerate the ideas.    The TOP 8 trends for the next year.  Here is how they produced the trends: a.       Gather- save interesting ideas b.       Aggregate the data c.       Name the trend d.       Elevate e.       Prove TOP 8 TRENDS: Virtual Empathy- people want to understand the process.  They want to feel, touch, see everything- during all milestones.  This makes them feel connected.  Bring them into the story. Use VR, AR, and Mixed Reality to take people behind the scenes- Video is a big tool for this.  Fierce Femininity- YEAH! Take a stand and make a statement where you can.  Women are strong, hardworking, inspiring and fierce.  No longer seen as pretty girls. Passive Loyalty- these days, people choose convenience unless they are...

Posted by on in Student Housing
Snapchat, as of late, has been a hot topic in the student housing market. Earlier in the year at the 2017 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exhibition, a session covered social media trends in student housing and highlighted Snapchat as a platform ripe with marketing potential. As NAA put it, Snapchat is dominating the student housing marketing conversation. But is the marketing potential all it’s cracked up to be? While there are plenty of great free Snapchat marketing techniques for resident engagement and interaction, paid marketing opportunities on the platform are limited for student housing providers.   Common advertising objectives such as getting new leases signed, driving website traffic to listings or booking on-site tours are just a few of the goals that would be difficult to accomplish through Snapchat marketing. Some other key limitations student housing providers should be aware of are listed below. 1. Extremely High Ad Costs: Snapchat currently only has three paid advertising options:   ·      Snap Ads: As of February 2017, there was a minimum campaign buy-in of $10,000/month.   ·      Sponsored Lenses: These cost between $450,000 to $700,000+/day, depending on the day and other factors.   ·      On-Demand Geofilters: The price depends on a few factors, such as the size of the Geofence area and the duration for which it will run. On average, Buffer puts the cost at about $5 per 20,000 square feet for a Geofilter. However, if a large area were to be selected, say the entire Drake University campus, the cost...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I was against emojis at first. After all, I am a writer and editor. I know the power of the written word and grammar. (In fact, a missing Oxford comma could end up costing a company $10 million. Seriously. Grammar is important.) Also, I am not a 12-year-old girl anymore, thank god. Anyway. Why write with pictures when you could use actual words? OK, sometimes you need to show you’re joking, so a colon and parenthesis works as a smiley face. Right? Read on for the whole blog. ...

Posted by on in Property Management
The Senior VP of the company I work for is always pushing her area and regional managers to think at a 10,000-foot level. Some of the newer, non-seasoned managers now overseeing two or more properties may find it hard to shift between details and bigger picture thinking. While I am certainly not a CEO, I’ve had the privilege to learn a little bit about them, their styles, and how they think. In the next few paragraphs I’ll share with you what I’ve learned. What you’ll find is bigger picture—10,000-foot—level thinking is not rocket science. 1. Hire people smarter than you. In grad school I had the opportunity to hear the legendary CEO Jack Welch speak about his career. One of the things he said that will forever stick with me is that he always hired the very best—admittedly, people smarter than him. He argued that hiring the brightest made his job easier. Smart people have better problem solving skills, communication skills, and are better critical thinkers. Companies like Google and Apple purposefully recruit from top colleges like Stanford and UCLA—they hire the brightest for their ideas and creativity. So, why would you not want to hire someone brighter than you? Do you fear they might try and take your job? If this is so, then you have a self-esteem issue. Ultimately, the “leader” that thinks he or she knows it all is toxic to an organization. In the IREM white paper series, Alfred Ojejinmi explains that when you “acknowledge what you...

Posted by on in Resident Retention
In recognition of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, we thought it would be fitting to discuss a clever new way for landlords and property managers to show their tenants some love.   A relatively new trend in the rental industry is the introduction of tenant reward and perk programs, whereby accommodation providers offer discounts, incentives, and prizes to their tenants.   Tenant satisfaction and retention are two central aspects of maintaining a successful rental housing business, which makes these reward programs an excellent way to help keep tenants happy. Tenant retention is a particularly tricky issue in student housing, as the average turnover rate is about 50% per year, according to Centurion Apartments.So what are some examples of these tenant reward programs?   While there are certainly no shortages of tenant reward programs that have popped up over the last few years, the following are a few of our favorites.  Killam Perks – Killam Properties operates several student housing locations across Canada which offer a program known as Killam Perks. Tenants receive a perks card which grants them access to discounts and special deals from a huge list of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? Save the tax at a fast-growing fresh food chain, Freshii.  MoolaPerks – One way or another, tenants have to pay rent; so why not get rewarded for doing it? RentMoola’s MoolaPerks program does just that. This third-party rent payment company allows their users the ability to be rewarded with a slew of discounts, freebies and perks from a plethora of retailers.Our favorite offer at the moment? A...

Posted by on in Property Management
I was enjoying lunch last week at Benihana with our awesome chef, Hori. He was great, flipping and flying food with the best of them. Sadly, Hori had to deal with two high maintenance and very unhappy people. (Not us, we were delightful-don’t be silly.)   “We don’t want sauce.” “Add this sauce.” “More garlic butter.” “More this, more that…” Complain, huff, deep sighs. I felt badly for Hori, as did my dining companion who heard more than I did. Hori, though, rolled with flow, stayed professional, dignified, and kept plugging away doing his job like the rockstar he clearly is.   As is the usual, once your onion-volcano-making, shrimp-tail-flipping, clickety-clacking, food-flying chef is done, he’s off to another table to wow those guests and add more shrimp tails to his hat. After he left, the two at our table (or for the fancy reader … hibachi) went on a rant with the server about Hori.   Because, as previously mentioned, we were delightful, we stayed after to tell the server how great Hori was. We found out the other guests had complained about Hori and his awful service, saying he was “too old and should retire.” Can you imagine? Apparently, they “get stuck with him all the time.” All I could think was thank goodness I’m not in a customer service role like that.   Then it occurred to me. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, everyone is in customer service. Everyone you deal with is a...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
Dear Gabby,   Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, AND Instagram! I can’t seem to catch up with all of the social media platforms that are out there. I just started Snapchat at my community… is Instagram really necessary? I mean, what would I even post on there? Please help… I don’t want to fall behind, but I am just not the hippest gal on the block.   Sincerely, #ReluctantGrammer   _________________________________________________________________________   Dear #ReluctantGrammer,   First off, a round of applause to you for having a Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for your community! Usually I get a lot of questions about social media in general, so it is a breath of fresh air to have someone who actually lives in the post-2004 world.   As a property manager, it’s your job to find different and fun ways to connect to your residents and perspective leads. One of those fun ways to connect is Instagram! I know it seems like a lot of different platforms but you have to think about it in that on each platform you are hitting different types of people… all of them are potential residents.   Instagram is very popular with millennials and while some of them are still living with their parents, you need to target the ones that are looking to rent. Not only that, but start getting ready for Generation Z because once they head off to college, they will be using Instagram to find off-campus housing… duh!   You should use Instagram as a place...

Posted by on in Apartment Leasing
  Pre-leasing may be the most important phase of a new development. If you don’t have compelling marketing, you won’t be able to persuade leads to lock down their units early, and owners and operators won’t hit their occupancy numbers. You can overcome the challenges presented by a multifamily lease-up by taking these nine critical steps while planning and executing your marketing strategy.   1. Build marketing momentum   To build marketing momentum, establish an inviting, branded website or landing page. If you’re using a corporate site or an independent listing service, consider creating your own website. You want leads to focus solely on your property. At a minimum, your home or landing page should ask leads for contact information and provide them guidance on the next steps in the leasing process.   2. Watch lead indicators   It seems intuitive that a new development will always attract the most leads but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Go beyond focusing on your absorption rate. Make sure your leasing velocity is heading in the right direction and that you have taken seasonality into account. Adjust your marketing strategy as necessary, and always look for market opportunities to boost revenue, either by increasing rents or decreasing the concessions you’re offering.   3. Nurture renter leads   Don’t let your lead list gather dust. Invite leads to upcoming events and develop an email strategy that provides them information that's particularly useful to them at each stage of the sales funnel.  Use email and social media to drive traffic to...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
As we prepare to flip the calendar to 2017, the new year is accompanied by hints of a softening apartment market. That means you might have to find new ways to differentiate your communities from your comps as leasing season approaches. There are a host of new technology options hitting the market that you’ll need to drive success in the digital world. While some might not fit your particular portfolio or community, others might be just what you need to get a jump on your competition.  Here are a few innovative tech tools that might help: Customer relationship management systems (CRMs). These systems help you create a centralized database of prospective renters and residents. Not only can these systems capture important contact information, they can also help you capture additional data points that provide you the ability to more narrowly define and segment your audience later on. This makes email marketing infinitely easier and more effective as a leasing and retention tool. These systems are also set up to work with sophisticated marketing systems, such as marketing automation. Which leads us to our next tech tool. Marketing automation. This software can help you create scalable and much more strategic marketing campaigns. These systems integrate with CRMs and allow you to create dynamic lists (say goodbye to excel spreadsheets and list uploads!) as well as create triggered events based on how prospective renters or residents engage with your digital content. For example, if you send out a critical notice to residents at...