Super Boring Apartment Marketing Videos

I was surfing around the Internet looking at apartment websites (which I often do before going into a market) and this super boring  apartment marketing video started playing that was supposed to entice me to the pool, or calm myself in the fitness center and then offered me some information on local hotspot options. I thought, why is there this disconnect between this incredible apartment community and this terrible video? Even airlines are getting a lot more interesting with their videos.
As a marketer, it frustrates me when the full creative potential of video isn’t realized. I want to see story-based videos that create an emotional connection with the customer and does an effective job of emotionalizing the brand.

AVA 092 200x300 When potential residents go to the website they don’t need to see a cookie-cutter video to show them the community. Oftentimes these videos show a shot of the pool while text or a voice-over says “this is the pool” can be underwhelming and undersell the apartment community. Instead, these potential residents are looking for a video that can virtually immerse them in the experience and reveal some of the brand personality. That’s the creative potential of video – to  let the viewer know that we understand why they are choosing the our communities experience over a another.

Video as a means to accomplish a goal

The audience for a video could be a potential resident looking for a new home (where the video sells the experience), or a current resident (where the video sells amenities on site). That’s why it’s important to know your objectives before beginning.

Is it to increase leases? Then make a video for the website that will show how your experience is different.
Is it to increase the revenue … likelihood of renewal/length of stay? Then use video to continue  the sale other aspects of your community. and neighborhood.

Videos  are highly dependent on the brand aesthetic. Just as there is no “cookie cutter” formula for an apartment community, there should be no strict formula for the content.
Right now, the current idea of video is to create one “ overview” video that includes shots of all aspects of the community. If I am looking  for a new home, I don’t care to see shots of the local restaurants. I have already made the number one decision (neighborhood) it takes to lease an apartment long before I visited your website. If I am already a resident, I don’t want to see shots of the apartment I am sitting in. Instead, we need to create stories to emotionalize each aspect of the community and target the content so that the right viewer sees it at the right time, thus increasing their likelihood of renewal.

Resident Retention Plan

By Tami Siewruk

Step One: Assess Your Current Resident-Retention Efforts

Screen Shot 2013 04 03 at 7.08.13 PM 232x300 Before going ahead in earnest, you’ll have to take a good, hard look at your current efforts. Even if you have plenty of great ideas in mind, you’ll have to know where to target them. We will email you  The Multifamilypro Resident Retention Assessment Tool [ois skin="Download Retention assessment"] that will help you identify the areas that need improvement in your apartment community, and will also help you find your strengths. By using this tool you’ll be addressing six specific areas of assessment. The form concludes with a list of those areas, along with blanks on which to record your responses against the total number of questions asked within each area.

Before reading on complete the following four items:

One:Confirm the email  so that I can send you the Resident Retention Assessment tool

Two:  Take the time to download the retention tool and print.

Three: Complete the Resident Retention Assessment form. Remember to assess your efforts honestly.

 

This post isn’t going anywhere, I’ll wait while you complete the above steps! Smiles….

Finished? Ok, let’s move forward.

If you answered No/Never, or Somewhat/Sometimes, more often than Yes/Always, you need to make a change.

The next step will lead you to develop specific goals and objectives toward improving your current efforts. Naturally, improving the trouble spots will be your most difficult task. Keep them in mind, and let’s move on to step two.
 
 
Step Two: Obtain Commitment and Develop the Plan

A little synergy is required here, because you’re really taking two steps at once. You can’t have a successful plan without commitment, and you can’t easily obtain commitment without a defensible plan. The key is in taking it one small step at a time, obtaining commitment first for resident retention as a concept, then for a comprehensive plan to make it happen. You’ll need the support of your entire management structure, and I’m certain you’ve learned from experience that support only comes when you’ve covered all the bases. Not only will you have to develop a clear and comprehensive vision for your company or community, but you’ll have to communicate your mission to your team as well. You’ll need a concise mission statement that tells the team, in no uncertain terms, what you are trying to accomplish. You’ll also need clearly defined goals and objectives, so each member of the team can say, “This is my contribution to our resident-retention mission.”

Your vision might be to achieve 78 percent of potential renewals during the coming calendar year.  You must be realistic here.

Your mission statement might read: “We, the management and staff of ____ Apartments, dedicate ourselves to ensuring that 78 percent of our eligible residents renew their leases during the ____ calendar year. We plan to ensure that our goal is met through increased commitment to resident retention as a concept, and by taking every opportunity to prove to our current residents that we can, do, and will offer superior service and support to that of our competitors.

Goals and objectives might include improved maintenance response times; better and more frequent resident activities; the addition of a new amenity; and improved interpersonal relations between residents and staff, along with the specific tasks required to achieve them.

In summary, obtain the complete commitment of your management structure by providing a well-conceived plan that includes a clear and comprehensive vision. Show them you’ve got the bases covered by providing a concise mission statement, along with specific goals and objectives toward achieving that mission.

Now, team involvement is your most important resource, because you’re only halfway there. The next five steps will be targeted at gathering the necessary information to make your plan really work. Follow each of the next five steps with a review of your goals and objectives as a team effort. Make changes and additions as necessary to flesh them out and make them truly effective. The devil really is in the details, but so is your ultimate success.

Step Three: Get to Know the Residents

If you think you don’t have the time, you might as well give it up right here and now. If you think you already know your residents, trust me when I say you don’t know them well enough right now to ensure the success of your plan. Face up to the fact that you’ll have to dedicate a little time and effort here, but I promise that the rewards will be HUGE! You absolutely need to know what your residents like and dislike about you, your team, your community, and their apartments. You have to know what their needs are, what they would like to see changed, what their expectations are, and what will satisfy them. In short, you have to know everything there is to know and exactly what they expect you to do in order to  maintain their residency.  Get on the telephone and talk to them! Don’t wait start making calls today.

Often residents find it difficult to voice their expectations. They know good service when they get it,but they are hard-pressed to define it for you. There are two key things that residents consider when deciding whether or not to renew their lease with you.Understanding those considerations can help you better define your vision of superior service:

Good service is paramount. If a resident expects nothing else, he or she expects to be treated with courtesy and respect, and to have problems addressed pro actively and promptly. They won’t stop and ask themselves whether or not you responded to their needs appropriately. They’ll just remember instances where you did or didn’t. Believe me–they’ll remember.

Though actually a tenet of superior service,the attitude of the community’s staff is often considered alone. Restrictive policies are a sure turn-off, as are good, old-fashioned bad attitudes. Again,they won’t actually ask themselves whether or not your staff and policies are supportive, pleasant, caring, convenient, and beneficial. They’ll consider specific instances where your staff went out of their way to assist or failed to do so. Remember that they expect courtesy and respect. They’ll remember the positive support if you go out of your way to make it a memorable experience, but they’re more likely to remember a lack of support. They’ll remember when they were placed in an inconvenient situation and told, “That’s our policy.” They’ll remember coming to you with a problem and being ignored or left hanging.

Now, with these considerations in mind, you must be prepared to go one step further. Though you know them as “residents,” it’s time to get to know them as “personalities.” The most effective way to find out exactly what you need to know about your residents is simply to ask. Call them, visit them, or survey them. You have a few options at your disposal, but whatever the means, be certain to get the whole message. We don’t like to hear what’s bad or wrong, and residents often find it difficult to convey negative messages. The fact is that you need to hear the negative messages even more than you need to hear the positive ones. If you’re going make them want to stay, you’ll probably have to make a few changes. On the same note, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a fine approach to take–but even if it ain’t broke, it might need a little improvement all the same. This is not a test, so be certain they understand that your goal is to find out wh at you can do to add value to their quality of life at your community. Keep an open mind and an open ear.

Gosh, I hope you are taking my advice! Trust me on this you will be rewarded in more ways than one! Your community and your career will benefit!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am laughing at myself as I type; I have so much passion to make certain you succeed. Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox and move on.

Step Four: Set Standards of Performance

Every effective plan or strategy includes standards for measuring success. You have two choices: You can wait until the end of the year to see if you achieved your vision by accident, or you can build in measures of effectiveness all along the way to ensure success. We know that your are smart enough to choose the second option, let’s look at ways to gauge the success of your efforts. Start by setting a specific and realistic goal. Don’t just say, “We need improved maintenance response times.” Say, “We need to reduce maintenance response times from an average of 48 to 24 hours.” Choose objectives that specifically contribute to achieving the goal. Then spread your efforts over performance periods, and form a schedule to gather status information for each period.

To make the measurement process a little more manageable, you may consider forming “Tiger Teams” to address specific goals and objectives. Holding periodic “Program Review”meetings, at which team leaders present the status of their specific tasks, can help. This serves two purposes. First, assigning responsibilities will help ensure that team members “buy in” to the concept. Secondly, sharing status as a group will help the other team members understand where their efforts fit into the overall scheme.

You’ll likely be reviewing maintenance response times; attendance at community activities; and the number of resident complaints and move-out notices, to name just a few factors. It maybe more practical to measure some weekly and others monthly or quarterly. It may seem like business as usual, only you won’t just be gathering information for your regular reports. You’ll be looking for specific ways to make the numbers better, faster, and more effective. After a while, each goal will begin to take on a life of its own, not only contributing to your resident-retention vision, but also starting a chain reaction that channels innovative solutions to every facet of your day-to-day operations. It may seem overwhelming at times. The key to managing the feedback that you’ll be receiving is to view each goal in the context of its specific standard of success.

Now that I’ve told you to concentrate on making the numbers better, faster, and more effective, I should caution you to avoid improvement for improvement’s sake where numbers are concerned. Look for ways to measure success that aren’t purely statistical.Survey your residents, attend the community events yourself, and pay attention to the word-of-mouth. Share your findings, and instruct your staff to do the same. Remember that your first responsibility is to your resident’s quality of life, and your goal is to make them want to stay. You may be able to reduce maintenance response time from 48 to 24 hours, but can you do it without compromising the quality of service? If you can’t, take another look at your goals and objectives. If you can, go for it. In either case, lessons learned in one area can be applied to many others. If you made a bad choice in one area,look at all the others to make sure you’re not making the same mistake again.If you did something right, maybe you can apply the same winning technique to another goal. A successful plan is a work in progress.

The benefits extend beyond simply ensuring the success of your plan. When every member of your team is involved in finding better and more effective ways to do their jobs, the benefits will multiply exponentially. When you set standards for what are considered ordinary practices, you’ll get superior performance from your team.Remember, “What gets measured, gets done.”

I am ending here; you have a lot of actions to complete! My next post will give you the final steps to complete your plan!

 
Be a Resident Retention ROCK STAR!

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Apartment Marketing & Leasing: The Full Value of Mobile

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Mobile Marketing Ideas

For  apartment leasing and marketing it is critical that we understand the value that mobile brings to our assets … in fact I think it is critical. Google presents The Full Value of Mobile in a way we can all understand what we as marketeers in the multifamily industry should be doing NOW.

Customers’ constant connectivity through mobile has created new paths to purchase that start on their smartphones. As a marketer, it is key that you account for all these new types of conversion and understand the return on investment you’re getting from your mobile efforts. That’s why we have created the Full Value of Mobile Calculator tool and resources, to help you assign value to all mobile conversions. Read The Full Value of Mobile

Hug Your Residents Over The Phone

By Tami Siewruk

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Resident Retention Means Picking Up The Telephone

Every solid apartment marketing  plan should include a resident retention plan. The resident retention plan should include an action that set’s aside one day each quarter just to thank your residents.  Have everyone get on the telephone and call just to say thanks to your residents for being valued members of your community.  You may try calling ten residents a day until you’ve covered the entire community. Don’t stop there… do it again next quarter! You could also text or email your residents. Keep in mind that this may be faster but it does not give you that personal contact with a resident. Text messages can read a variety of different ways. For example: Thank you for being a resident in our community! We hope you are having a great week. Team Sunnyside.

Seems like a lot to text every resident? I’ll show you how you can quickly send text messages. You know it is amazing to me how popular “text-ing” or text messaging has become over the past few years. What is even more amazing to me is the fact that a whole new language has been created and possibly a whole new culture. OMG, IMO it’s crzy icon smile !

Anyway, as fantastic as all of this may be, I’ve found that if I want to text someone while working on my computer it’s much easier to use Outlook rather than picking up my cell phone. Granted, I’m not a thumbs texting genius but, I am a decent typist so why not use my bigger keyboard. Not to mention it is easier for me to send an email (thus a text message) easily to more than one person and best of all it’s free (for me the sender that is). I know what you are thinking…if I am on my computer why not send an email? An email can end up in a junk folder or easily get buried and I want the person on the other end to know I am communicating with them

How do you do it?

1. Open your e-mail program and compose a new email/text message

2. Address the email using a combination of the resident’s mobile number and the carrier address that I have provided below.

Verizon:000-000-0000@vtext.com
AT&T: 000-000-0000@txt.att.net
Sprint: 000-000-0000@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile: 000-000-0000@tmomail.net
Nextel: 000-000-0000@messaging.nextel.com
Virgin Mobile: 000-000-0000@vmobl.com
Alltel: 000-000-0000@message.alltel.com
CellularOne: 000-000-0000@mobile.celloneusa.com
Omnipoint: 000-000-0000@omnipointpcs.com
Qwest: 000-000-0000@qwestmp.com
Boost Mobile: 000-000-0000@myboostmobile.com
Unicel: 000-000-0000@utext.com

Example:

My resident Cathy Star’s numberis 727-784-9469 and she is a Verizon wireless customer. To send her a TXTmessage using my GMAIL account I simply compose a new email, and send it to: 7277849469@vtext.com

Note: Don’t forget that most carriers only allow 160 characters or less for TXT messages.

That’s it! EASY to stand out in the crowd!

Sweet Service

Have your service technicians leave a few pieces of candy with each completed service request, with a preprinted note that reads “Life is sweet, thanks to caring residents like you!  Thank you for bringing your service needs to our attention.

Smiles, I must be into the word amazing today!

Tami

Have an idea that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!

Have a question? Comment on this post and we will respond promptly!

Check out my Facebook page for even more great ideas

Resident Retention: Do You Know What Residents Really Want?

By Tami Siewruk

AVA 009 Think about what residents in your apartment community really, really want.

Although their needs are numerous and complex, most of them ultimately center on personal issues like success, dignity,respect, individual achievement, and knowledge.

If you can build your resident service enhancements around these seven key issues, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with the resident.

  1. Residents want to be treated with dignity and respect. Do you have rules and methods in place right now that are condescending to residents?
  2. Residents want to be successful. How do your residents feel after dealing with you?
  3. Residents want help with their problems. Do you and your staff suggest alternatives, bend the rules to help, and steer residents away from further trouble?
  4. Residents want to be treated as individuals with unique needs. How do you motivate your staff to be genuinely interested in each and every resident?
  5. Residents want you to respect their time. How quickly do you respond–not only to complaints, but to any communication from your residents?
  6. Residents want someone who’s on their side. Do your residents feel like adversaries or friends?
  7. Residents want your community and services to meet their expectations. Are you creating realistic expectations, or are you over-promising and under-delivering?

When you carve away the extraneous information and technical data, residents basically want to know what your community and services will do for them,either directly or indirectly.

My next post will be Retention Through Resident Service Marketing. Do you follow us on Facebook?

Want to read more about Resident Retention right now ? Follow the links below for free recordings:

The 30 Minute Manager Series on MProTV’s Retention Report

Presented By Satisfacts

Register Here for March 21, 2013 – Leasing to Current Residents

Residents don’t simply renew their lease; they are renewing the level of service, quality of maintenance, and your team’s dependability – often at a higher price.  Here are the 5 leasing techniques that can also be applied to securing renewals.

Previous Episodes

Register Here  Online Reviews are the New Smoke Signals

One of the oldest forms of long-distance communication, smoke signals have been used to transmit news, signal danger and gather people to a common area.  Sounds a lot like online rating and review sites!  Learn how to communicate “all is well” at your community and get your message across loud and clear!

Register Here  The Year of the Satisfied Resident

Residents are telling us loud and clear what they want most out of their living experience … but are we listening?  Join us for this informative session as we explore what residents want today and what your team can do to ensure residents are satisfied this year and for years to come.

Register Here Weighing the Value of Resident Events

Do an internet search for “Resident Retention” and you’ll find hundreds ideas for resident events and activities. But what impact do these really have on resident loyalty? Learn what matters most to residents when they are making their lease renewal decision!

Register Here  Generating Gratitude on Your Online Ratings

How to maximize positive comments and scores on your rating and review sites, keeping in mind that online reputation begins with your onsite reputation.

Register Here  Leasing Agent: Stand Out! Get Noticed!

An insider’s look on how to reach your full potential in the eyes of your prospects and your company, including, how to connect with prospect/new resident/existing resident, how to win points with the maintenance team, and how to impress your supervisor!

Register Here  The Top 5 Ways You Can Impact Lease Renewals

What has the greatest impact on resident loyalty? Here’s the latest data on what matters most to residents when they are making their lease renewal decision and what you can do to impact that decision.

Register Here  How the Maintenance Team Will Save Your Summer

The summer months can cause a priority tug of war between turning units and addressing service requests. Learn strategies for maintaining balance between the two needs that not only benefit existing and new residents, but office and maintenance team members too!

Register Here  Move-In Magic

New residents begin to make their lease renewal decision within the first hours and days of moving in. Learn the keys to a perfect or near-perfect move-in experience that sets the stage for lease renewal from Day 1.

Register Here  – Making the Grade in Student Housing

School will be back in session before you know it, and you’ll want to be prepared! Learn the latest in how and why students (and their parents) may choose apartment living over a dorm, what makes student renters different than conventional renters, and what matters most, based on the findings of the 2012 SatisFacts Student Index.

Register Here How 54% of Your Current Residents Will Boost Your Online Reputation

According to the currently released SatisFacts study, “Getting Inside the Head of the Online Renter,” a majority of residents are willing to post positive online reviews about your community, but only a small percentage ever do. Discover how to fix this disconnect and dramatically improve your online reputation!

Register Here  Service Request Superheroes: Saving Residents, One Service Request at a Time – The maintenance teams are considered the superheroes of an apartment community by the residents. And why shouldn’t they be? They swoop in and save the day, whether by plunging a toilet, fixing the A/C unit on a 100 degree day or repairing a stove just hours before a family celebration. The truth, however, is that a successful service request resolution process is an entire team effort – starting with the leasing office taking the service request call, and ending with follow up.  Residents expect their requests to be completed quickly and correctly, and failure to do so can results in increased turnover. This session will review the 2010 SatisFacts Index for the Insite Work Order Follow Up module, show the powerful relationship with service delivery on satisfaction, as well as provide suggestions on how to evaluate your service request process from start to finish to show residents they have an entire team of superheroes providing exceptional service.

Register Here  The Road to Resident Renewals – Research shows that the most impactful way to increase Net Operating Income and Asset Value is to boost satisfaction to hold on to your existing residents and reduce resistance to rent increases. Learn from one client’s dramatic case study of how focusing on best practices increased their residents’ likelihood to renew by 16 points and reduced vacancy loss by 21 percent!

Register Here Residents Say the Darndest Things – We can talk all we want about what matters most and what drives satisfaction and retention, but no one says it better than your residents. In this unique session, we’ll share real resident quotes from our Insite 365-day-per-year customer service feedback system and strategies to accentuate the positive service you and your team provide.

Register Here  How Your Retention Strategy Impacts your Online Reputation – Online reputation management begins with your onsite reputation management. Learn where your residents and prospects are (and are not) looking online to find out information about you, and what you can do in your daily resident interactions to reduce negative online press. In this dramatic client case study, learn how one company was able to reduce the number of negative comments on Apartmentratings.com by over 200% in less than one year.

Register Here Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter – Part One

Register Here  Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter – Part Two

Register Here Inside the Head of Today’s Online Renter – Part Three

Register Here Boost Your Online Ratings! Hosted by Jen Piccotti and Lia Nichole Smith – Based on new data from SatisFacts’ 2011 study, “Getting Inside the Head of the Online Renter,” learn what opportunities you may be missing to increase your positive comments and scores on the most popular rating and review sites.

Register Here  Retention Season is Three Months Away. Do You Know Where Your Renewals Are?

Register Here  The Top 10 Reasons Residents May Not Renew Their Lease with You – The latest data from the SatisFacts Index reveal the truth behind residents choosing not to renew their lease. Find out how to defend against many surprisingly controllable issues!

Register Here  Your Retention Strategy begins on Move-In Day – Did you know residents begin to make their lease renewal decision within the first days and even hours of moving in?  Find out how to ensure you are setting up your residents for a successful move-in and to “set the stage” for a long-lasting residency.


 

Lucky Today: Apartment Marketing For Resident Retention

Screen Shot 2013 03 14 at 3.45.35 PM Please feel free to copy this jpeg and share with your residents on Sunday, March 17th.

April Ideas For Apartment Marketing

By Tami Siewruk

It’s time to start thinking about April’s apartment marketing and media communications calendar! As the weather starts to improve, we are all looking forward to the spring holidays, spring weddings, spring break, vacations, and prom. Here are a few ideas that I hope will get those wheels turning!
Spring Savings! (No, I am not talking about lowering rents and offering a special.)

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  • Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council,
  • 89% of the population uses coupons when shopping.
  • 87% of consumers now prefer to shop at retailers that offer coupons.
  • 90% of all coupons are issued in Sunday newspaper free-standing inserts (but coupons are also available directly in many retailers’ ads or in the store, in magazines, in and on packaging, on the Internet, and even in your mailbox).

Considering the statistics above, don’t you think it’s time to design a really good marketing coupon? We are all for saving money! Create a digital marketing coupon that your residents can give to their friends, family, teammates—or for that matter—anyone! You choose the offer, and don’t forget to offer residents a gift for bringing you a referral. I am always talking about the favorite places that I patronize to my friends, be they restaurants or stores; and it feels good when I know those referrals are appreciated. This can be an ongoing practice to keep positive word of mouth going strong.

 

Put the Spotlight on Spring Fever!

Capture the energy and excitement that are part of spring fever. Target your community kids’ desire to skip school … and adults’ desire to skip work. Use the fact that parents will begin dealing with the reality of kids running amuck and bouncing back and forth, inside and outside and play that up in your apartment marketing efforts and in the community services and opportunities that you offer. For example, if you don’t already offer activities that keep kids busy while parent’s are visiting your apartment community, this is a great spring timely value add service to start! Another great aspect of spring is to play up in your apartment marketing efforts is to play to the tune of the birds and the bees, with romance blooming all around you.

Get a Little Cheesy! Don’t be afraid to be a little silly. April 1st is not only April Fools Day, but it also happens to be National Cherry Cheesecake Day. Invite your residents and future residents to a  cheesecake tasting in your community! Great marketing and resident retention idea.

Sometimes, Marketing really IS a Picnic! April 23, 2013 is National Picnic Day! People have been eating their meals outside in the beauty of nature for centuries. In fact, our modern-day idea of a picnic evolved from Medieval hunting feasts and Victorian garden parties. These were usually quite sophisticated affairs, which involved multiple courses and elaborate preparations. During the early 19th century a group of wealthy London citizens formed “The Picnic Society” to promote picnics as social gatherings. These picnics were potlucks, and each participant also had to provide a share of the entertainment. The society members drank from crystal goblets and listened to a live string quartet while eating their meal! Today, picnics are usually casual meals enjoyed on a comfortable picnic blanket.

To celebrate National Picnic Day, take your meal outdoors and allow residents and future residents to enjoy a picnic with friends and family! Your picnic-themed apartment community promotion can start with baskets full of goodies sent to your renewing residents. Hold a drawing or contest for a super nice picnic basket as the grand prize. Have your residents share their dream picnic locations. Post photos of the dream spots along with the picnic basket and post it on all your media channels.

Spring into Spring Cleaning! I’m certain some of you haven’t changed the look of your office all winter long; and it’s time to put away that old look and spring it up with some tulips and daffodils. If you really want to get creative, build a cute gift basket filled with all-natural cleaning tools and supplies and have a contest or drawing for residents. Research shows that 3 out of 4 US adults have some type of spring cleaning routine. Don’t forget about all the organizational needs people will have when they start digging into closets and drawers … organizers and organizational systems make fabulous resident gifts and prizes! Start pinning apartment organization ideas

Spring is all about Renewal! Need I say more? Harness that seasonal energy and aim it at renewing leases and making residents fall in love with your community all over again. Give your team a renewed focus on customer service while you’re at it.

Go Green for Spring! I’m not just talking about recycling … bring out the veggies. April 20th is National Lima Bean Respect Day; and while I loved them in my vegetable soup when I was a child, you’re probably not going to get much mileage out of that. It’s also National Zucchini Bread day, and that does sound like a tasty treat for you residents and visitors.

“Break” out the Spring-Themed Marketing! Most US schools have their breaks from early March through early April. The key to Spring Break Marketing is “Fun in the Sun”. You can make reference to finally ending the chill of winter and anticipating the sweetness of spring. This is not only a key traveling period for teens, but also many family vacations take place during this time … so target the desire to travel with your savings and specials. Take advantage of the 3 R’s of spring: recovery, relaxation and restoration.

Spring Break without the Flight Delays! Speaking of targeting the desire to travel, not everyone can; and that’s your target market for this promotion. Fill the month of April with theme nights that are based on the fabulous places we’d all love to travel. Serve food and drinks based on the destination of the night, choose music with the location in mind, and maybe even give away a real trip as a prize!

Plant the Seeds That Grow into Leases! Spring is the best time to make things grow, including great relationships with residents and prospects. Let everyone know that your community is “green” by tying in apartment marketing that use seeds. Have plenty of residents that are avid readers? Give them plant-able bookmarks. Or you could attach your business card to a Tree Seed Tent Card and give out to prospects. Or let your residents know you look forward to growing your relationship with these branded flower and plant stakes. Or why not mail out some branded seed packets to new leads?

 

Do YOU have a super special spring Apartment Marketing idea? Let us know by sharing it on our Facebook wall or tweeting it to us today!

Tap Into Amazing Power of Resident Testimonials For Leasing and Marketing Your Apartment Community!

By Tami Siewruk Multifamilypro

Do you have a complete integrated marketing strategy?

HiRes 300x300 An extremely powerful under-utilized leasing and marketing tool that we have in the apartment industry is the resident testimonial. Yet many times we use the excuse of being “too busy” or “I am not comfortable asking” to not actively request testimonials from our residents. Testimonials can have a tremendous impact on people deciding whether or not to lease in your community. And why is that true? People feel more confident about leasing an apartment if they know there are other satisfied residents. Frankly, the use of testimonials is one technique that is virtually guaranteed to increase your apartment community’s occupancy.

Stop right now and take a few minutes to imagine the POWER of 10, 25, 50 or more residents’ testimonials singing the greatness of your apartment community, your company and/or your apartment community services. POWERFUL! Why? Testimonials are more compelling and believable than anything you could possibly say about your company or apartment community to a prospective resident. Testimonials provide a reason to believe, which is a major component of a successful integrated marketing strategy.

When an apartment community gains a testimonial it gains a compelling reason for a prospective resident to believe in the ability of your community to deliver the promised benefits and values. With these POWERFUL testimonials the apartment community wins and wins BIG!

Testimonials are more likely to be believed than any print advertisement, any direct mail program, any billboard or even your website.  We know from numerous studies that peer testimonials are the top reason or influence for buying certain products.

Use the power of testimonials to help increase your occupancy. What is your plan for increasing the feedback your residents provide you with? Commit yourself today to collecting and using this POWERFUL leasing and marketing tool!

 

The Role of the Apartment Marketing Department Is Going To Change

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of CEOs Do Not Really

Trust Marketers

(Except If They Are “ROI Marketers”)

80% of CEOs admit they do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by Marketers – while in comparison, 90% of the same CEOs do trust and value the opinion and work of CFOs and CIOs.

That’s one of the striking findings identified by The Fournaise Marketing Group through its 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program.

What does the study say?
1) Marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of companies.

Fournaise tracked the core source of the problem is that 80% of CEOs believe Marketers are too disconnected from the short-, medium- and long-term financial realities of companies.

And that’s because 78% of these CEOs think Marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their products/services in a business-quantifiable and business-measurable way: These CEOs feel Marketers are too distracted and sucked into the technological flurry (and jargon) related to system integration, funnels, processes and scores, and have forgotten that technology is only a support tool that does not create demand per se – only accurate strategies and campaigns pushing the right products, product benefits, content and customer value propositions do.

These CEOs also feel B2B and prospect-driven Marketers have been so desperate to prove their worth that they’ve started to (wrongly) focus on performance indicators that are actually not theirs, such as prospect conversions and revenue. These Marketers have lost sight that these are primarily Sales Force-related performance indicators, and that they should focus instead on the customer demand-related indicators directly linked to their job and for which they have 100% control.

 

2) To earn the CEOs trust, Marketers will need to transform themselves into ROI Marketers.

75% of CEOs think Marketers misunderstand (and misuse) the “real business” definition of the words “Results”, “ROI” and “Performance” and therefore do not adequately speak the language of their top management: these CEOs fail to understand why Marketers cannot zoom in on a few critical key business performance indicators to precisely measure, quantify and report on the level of customer demand they are asked to deliver, instead of drowning everybody with data and analyses that are too remote from the P&L.

CEOs believe they trust CFOs and CIOs because they are 100% ROI-focused – where every dollar spent must have a measurable, quantifiable and positive impact on the company’s P&L and operations. To earn the CEOs’ trust and prove that they can be solid business generators, 74% of CEOs want Marketers to become 100% ROI-focused: they call them “ROI Marketers”.

“People trust doctors, surgeons, lawyers, pilots or accountants: simply because they know these no-nonsense professionals are trained to focus on the right set of data to take the best decisions and achieve the best outcomes possible. CEOs trust CFOs and CIOs for the same reasons. It’s not a game of data, but rather a game of the “right & relevant” data for the right purpose and the right decision-making, with no fluff around” said Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Chief Tracker of Fournaise.

“Marketers will have to understand that they need to start “cutting the rubbish” if they are to earn the trust of CEOs and if they want to have a bigger impact in the boardroom” he explained. “They will have to transform themselves into true business-driven ROI Marketers or forever remain in what 65% of CEOs told us they call Marketing la-la land” Fontaine concluded.

Don’t miss “The New Roles In Multifamily Property Management ”  at the  Multifamilypro’s Brainstorming Sessions

The #1 Purpose of Apartment Marketing

From the series “What is included in your integrated marketing strategy?”

“What is the purpose of apartment marketing?” This  question received different answers from everyone I asked.
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Is it to communicate?:
Show the unique features of our apartments and/or services?
Show how potential residents will benefit?
How are your apartments and community different?
Generate leads for the community?
Yes, it’s all of those.

But the #1 purpose of marketing should be retaining your residents. Not one person even mentioned marketing to our current residents.

Yes, we have heard it a thousand times “the cost of obtaining a new resident can be five times more expensive than keeping a current one”. My eyes roll every time I read that line, we have been hearing it since the day I started working in this industry, and still 30 years later, where are the formal Resident Retention Plans?

Long-term residents tend to recommend the community more, complain less and cost the community less.

Attracting new residents must play a secondary role to making our residents very happy.

What are you going to do this week to make your residents smile?