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4 Ideas to Improve Resident Retention in Your Multifamily Community

In today’s ultra-competitive multifamily industry, it’s impossible to keep every resident living in your apartment community forever. Some move out of the area, some decide it’s time to buy a home, and others just have their circumstances change. But, even with all of those variables, apartment resident retention is still a critical part of property management because there are still people looking for a place to call home long-term. And it’s typically the people that are most informed, most comfortable, and feel most at home that do end up renewing and staying for more than just one lease term. As many may know, but it's always good to refresh your memory --- the definition of resident retention is an effort made by the apartment property management group or company to reduce resident turnover. It involves keeping current residents happy and satisfied. How do you keep them happy and satisfied? Well, it's important to ensure they are getting what they desire and need from the property and feeling that they have been treated right by the management company and staff. When done well, a resident retention program can increase apartment resident retention by improving the overall resident satisfaction and bringing the community together in important ways. Even with the best property management groups, looking at new and better ways to increase resident retention will only pay dividends in the long run. Here are four apartment resident retention ideas that multifamily managers can use to lessen resident turnover and increase their overall retention rates in the ......
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Catch The Eye of Prospects Using Authentic Video

  Getting a promotional video in front of a broad audience has never been easier. The rise of YouTube, Vimeo, ILSs and the whole galaxy of social media channels has dramatically democratized video from the days of only national and regional TV buys. Now, every brand has the opportunity to tell its story.   But that’s where the challenge lies. With vast distribution options and opportunities, we are simply awash in content, making it difficult for a community promotional video to stand out to prospects.   This environment forces the modern marketer to blend marketing fundamentals with a more modern approach. Videos need to be unapologetic about committing to three core principles: be short, keep production flexible, and remain authentic.   How We Got Here Before diving into best practices, it’s interesting to review what a dramatic transformation we've seen in video distribution over the years. This can be illustrated in large part by the explosive growth of YouTube. In 2007 – a mere two years after its launch – YouTube was already consuming as much bandwidth as the entire internet in 2000, the Telegraph notes. The site is currently the second-most visited website of all, behind Google, according to Alexa.   Today, YouTube says, more than "1.9 billion logged-in users visit [the site] each month, and every day people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views." And Cisco projects that video overall will account for more than 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2020. &n......
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Maximizing Internal Communication in a Company

Maximizing Internal Communication in a Company
Property management companies depend on many things for success. For starters, they have to have strong marketing campaigns to attract the right prospects to their communities. And they need well-trained, high-performing onsite staffs to keep current residents satisfied and eager to renew their leases when the time comes. While sometimes an afterthought, strong internal communication is also fundamental to the success of a community and a property management company. When leadership takes the time to keep employees in the know, team members feel respected and appreciated, and that can help foster loyalty. And when employees can easily communicate with each other, that fosters the healthy exchange of ideas. Here are some different tools you can implement within your company to help optimize internal communication:  Internal e-newslettersCompanies use internal e-newsletters to bolster their communication with employees. Newsletters are highly effective ways to celebrate recent successes and to communicate long-term corporate strategies as well as a company's quarterly and annual goals. They can also provide employees with valuable information about new technology and new system rollouts, wellness programs, HR benefits, company events and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, e-newsletters serve as a great platform to highlight the successes of employees throughout the company. These types of shout-outs can really boost employee morale and show that good work doesn't go unnoticed.  Chat softwareInstalling company-wide chat software has been a big trend across many industries as tech-savvy millennials have grown into such a sizable segment of the workforce. Team messaging apps like Slack, Yammer and HipChat make......
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2018 Digital Strategy Trends

trends2012.jpg  There are so many new trends that are arising for 2018! With new resolutions knocking at your door, why not make a resolution to add in 3 new 2018 trends! As the article showcases the 2018 top 18 new trends, I couldn't help but share what the top 3 trends are that are my favorite! These happen to be the ones we have started to see already or ones that are knocking at our door in the apartment industry!  My favorite 3 are: #5 Get On Board with Live Video - As I have previously mentioned in a prior post, video continues to be what viewers want. "In fact, 80% of users said they’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post, while according to Facebook, live video gets 3 times more views than regular video content." Video is even most watched with the sound off as most people are in a place where they can not hear, so think about adding captions to your videos. Video really shares with the viewer the experience of the community and allows them to see themselves if they were already living there. Live video is also great for those prospects that want to see their apartment home from their office or their home, considering we are all so busy, why not take this opportunity to video with them and lease from their comfort of wherever they are.  #13. Don't Shy Away from Transparency - Before a renter calls or even emails a community, they "internet stalk" your community. They w......
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Can Great Service Include Residents Fixing it Themselves?


One of the best benefits you can give a resident is control.  While you may provide phenomenal, quick service, sometimes residents simply prefer to handle an issue themselves.  So giving them control gives them the option of using your fantastic service, or empowering them to handle it on their own!  (Update:  To clarify in response to a comment below - this is not advocating large-scale repairs - More like troubleshooting common, simple problems that would be reasonable for a resident to take a look at.) On Wednesday, Kristi Fickert shared a ton of great ways to use social media to engage with residents and prospects to drive renewals and new leases, and she touched on this great way to get the maintenance team involved by providing residents information on how  to tackle issues in their own apartment!  Take a look: Kristi also included a tip about showcasing the leasing team, and I'd like to expand on that just a bit.  Not only is this important for when residents first move in (or are considering moving in), but it is also vitally important when a team member leaves!  When a leasing consultant secures that lease, they did it in large part because of the connection they made with the prospect, now resident.  That connection is the tether between the resident and the property, so if that leasing consultant ends up leaving, that relationship is at risk!  By using videos in social media featuring the on-site team, a community can rebuild those connections with......
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Are Virtual Reality Tours The Next Big Thing In Student Housing?

Are Virtual Reality Tours The Next Big Thing 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......
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Live Video: If you aren't leveraging it, you should be (no experience required)

Live Video: If you aren't leveraging it, you should be (no experience required)
Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 2017 Multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa, California. It was three full days of nothing but “social” and this social butterfly came back armed with SO many new strategies and solutions (which I’ll totally be sharing with you - don’t worry)!   This is one of the few industry conferences that is hyper-focused on one, very specific marketing niche and I appreciated that. In the marketing world there is an awful lot of “noise.” So being able to listen to ideas and approaches that zeroed in on one of the most customer-facing components of our industry today (social), was a real pleasure.   The conference was fast-paced, with a long list of experts, many of whom came from outside the apartment and multifamily industry. With a new presenter on stage nearly every thirty minutes, the ideas were flowing and the audience could barely take notes quickly enough. The first session featured keynote speaker Joel Comm, who reminded us that Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook is “all in” when it comes to video (he’s already invested $2 billion in Oculus, one of the top virtual reality tech firms).   No matter which social platform is your favorite, you’ll want to be sure you’re in-the-know with video. Why? Because every single expert who presented at #MultifamilySMS2017 dished out data and numbers that just simply can’t be argued with. Video (especially live video) consistently sees higher engagement rates amongst followers than any other form of content. That’s pretty impressiv......
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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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Why You Need Video on Your Website

Why You Need Video on Your Website
I am a video person. What does that mean? Well, video is actually my job. I write scripts and produce videos. But when I say “I’m a video person,” I also mean that I really like videos, I like ‘em a lot. They’re a great way to get information. They are entertaining. They make things easier. Why read the news article when there is a video posted right above it? I don’t have to imagine what happened, I can see it. I don’t want to read about a product and how it works, I want to watch it in action. I have, on occasion, used the patronizing phrase “Don’t tell me, show me.” I am a visual person. A visual, video person. But so is everyone else. According to Cisco, mobile video viewing was responsible for 55% of total mobile data traffic in 2014. This will increase to a whopping 72% by 2019 when we can watch videos in our self-driving cars. Seventy percent of the top search listings on Google are video results. So yeah, people like video, but mostly what I’m trying to say is that you should be using it on your property websites. Here comes the list of reasons why... The emotional connection It’s not just about numbers. Video allows you to use sight and sound to connect emotionally with your prospective residents. They can see their new home and imagine the memories they will make there, the fancy friends that will come visit them there, and what the soundtrack to their liv......
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How to Reel Seniors in with Video

How to Reel Seniors in with Video
In many cases, the process of finding a new place to live can be an incredibly tough and emotional decision for many seniors and their families. As a senior, leaving a familiar situation for new, uncharted territory is difficult, and they’ll want to be certain that their next community is the right fit.   When it comes to proving that your community is the answer to all their needs, seeing is believing. Video can be an extremely powerful tool in helping to convince seniors and their loved ones to consider your community. Here are a few added benefits to consider about including video with your listing:   Give a sneak peek: It may seem obvious, but showcasing your community’s living spaces and interiors can help ease the anxiety of moving. By providing a preview of your community, seniors and their loved ones can begin visualizing how their lifestyle can translate into your community. Be sure to show plenty of apartment interiors, and as many special features and amenities as you can. Don’t leave anything to the imagination — remember that many seniors search for housing far away from home, so this might be your only chance to make an impression.     Show your community in action: For many seniors, the ability to socialize is a major factor in their housing decision. As a result, be sure to show plenty of current residents interacting with one another and participating in community activities. Footage of community events, game nights, golf outings, talent shows and other a......
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