By Allison Nuanes Your business probably has a Facebook page, and maybe even a Twitter account, but what about an active local profile, such as on Google+ Local, Yelp, or FourSquare? If you’re not using your local profiles to get customers to “check in” to your establishment and write reviews about your business, you’re missing a large marketing opportunity. In fact, by being active on your online local profiles you have the power to engage, retain, and attract offline customers for little or no cost. Having an active local profile puts your business on the map, literally. For example, a customer can use Yelp or FourSquare to search for nearby restaurants, hair salons, clothing boutiques, etc. If you have a local profile on those sites, your store’s information will appear in the results. People can even opt to get driving directions to your location. And being present on Google+ Local is directly related to Google Maps, which is a very important place for any business to be found. Once at your business, customers can “check in” on certain local platforms such as Yelp, FourSquare, and Facebook, which means they are sharing where they are with their local community. Gaining check-ins gives your business a few valuable benefits. First, it allows you to see exactly who is coming to your business so you know if you are marketing to the right people. Check-ins can also impact your online rankings. The more check-ins you have, the higher your ranking may be. After someone has done business with you, they can also write a review within the local platform. While the idea of public reviews can seem scary to business owners, they really are a great marketing tool. Obviously, good reviews encourage others to do business with you. But even negative reviews can turn positive because you have the opportunity to reach out to the community and correct the negative experience. Often, how you handle and turn around the negative experience carries more weight than the negative review itself. So while online local profiles can seem like “just one more thing to manage,” they really do have a large business impact and can greatly influence your offline business activity. To make the most of your local online profiles, here are a few key strategies: Claim your listing on the major local platforms: Google+ Local, Yelp, and FourSquare. If you do nothing else, at least claim your listings on the local platforms. Doing so will help your overall online rankings. Notice that the suggestion is to “claim” your listing, not “create” it. Chances are that your business is already listed (even if you never personally created the listing). How? Often, when customers want to check in to a business but can’t find the business listed, they simply create the listing themselves. Google also creates business listings automatically based on information available online. Therefore, do a search for your business on the local platforms. When you find your listing, click the button that says “Is this your business?” and complete the verification process. When you’re verified your business can be ranked higher in searches. You want to be proactive in this process and manage your listing to ensure that the information showing for your establishment is accurate. If you leave the listing claiming and/or creation step to customers, they may misspell the business’s name, mis-categorize it, or include inaccurate information. If there’s currently no listing for your business, create one. Find out which local platforms your customers use most. With your listings created and/or claimed, you can decide which local site(s) to devote your attention to. The best way to decide is to ask customers which sites they use most. If your business is one that has lots of direct interaction between staff and customers, such as a casual dining restaurant, a boutique, a barber shop, etc., encourage your staff to directly ask people. For example, if they notice a customer checking in on their smart phone, they can say, “Oh great, you’re checking in. Which site are you using? We’re trying to decide which site is best and would love to know what you prefer to use.” Likewise, if your staff sees someone taking a photo of their food or an article of clothing, chances are they are going to post it somewhere. Find out where. Engage the customer in conversation, as that’s the best market research you can get. You’ll quickly find that there is a group of people who embrace the culture of journaling their life online via check-ins and photo sharing. These people usually feel happy and appreciated when they get asked questions about it or acknowledged for doing so because they’re doing it out of their own interest. So don’t worry about being obtrusive or appearing nosey. If you approach it from the mindset of engaging customers so you can better serve them, they’ll be happy to talk about their online preferences. If your business is one that does not have a lot of personal interaction between staff and customers, you can add a sign reminding customers to check in at your location. Yelp and FourSquare in particular have many marketing items you can get for free, including window stickers and QR codes, to educate and remind people. Watch your local profiles and interact with your customers there. To get the most from your local profile, you need to manage it. Train your managers to check the profiles daily or at least once a week to respond to new reviews. If there’s a negative review, you want to immediately reply to the customer to turn the situation around. For example, if a customer writes that they received poor service, apologize for the service, assure them that’s not your company’s culture, and offer them an incentive to return and try you again. When others see how you handled the negative comment, they’ll see it as an isolated incident and not the norm. Conversely, if they see negative reviews with no resolution, they’ll think you don’t really care about customers. Likewise, when you receive positive reviews, thank the person for visiting and encourage them to return. Use it as an opportunity to reinforce your brand and your company’s image in the community. Post an offer. Incentivize people to check in, post a picture, or interact in some other way by offering a discount or other perk. Some ideas include a free appetizer, 10% off their purchase, a double punch on a customer card, or anything else that would be of value to your customers. Realize that for most people, their smart phone is an extension of their personality, and it’s something they carry with them at all times. When your incentive pops up on their app, you’re keeping your company in front of your customers and they will take action, especially if they feel rewarded for doing so. Small Steps Yield Big Results Using local platforms to engage and interact with customers is a way to influence offline behavior using online channels. For many people, it’s a new way to look at online marketing, especially since it’s not designed to generate online sales. Therefore, you need to view it as one component of a comprehensive promotional strategy. When you embrace online local marketing as a tool to influence offline sales, you’ll reap the rewards of an integrated marketing campaign. About the Author With over 7 years in Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media Marketing, Allison Nuanes is the Director of Off-Site Promotions at Volume 9 Inc SEO Services Sydney. She focuses on identifying opportunities for brands to expand their footprint online; whether that means leveraging their Facebook community, engaging influential bloggers, or driving foot traffic through online check-ins and local search promotion. Volume 9 creates custom search marketing campaigns for clients, including a mix of SEO, social media, local search marketing and Internet marketing strategy for over 100 clients and 200 managed websites. Allison and Volume 9’s enterprising team leverage search marketing into real bottom line results for their clients’ businesses. For more information, please visit www.volume9inc.com. Apartments that do a great job with internet Marketing and are a great place to call home http://aldaraapartments.com/
By understanding the thought processes of today’s renters, you have the tools to cultivate a tactical apartment marketing plan to increase occupancy and resident retention. This guide will provide you with insight on how renters are searching for apartments, their interaction preferences, and what they would like to receive from their communities moving forward.
Download the below white paper from For Rent Media Solutions
Like the apartment industry mantra about location, now it’s all about “data, data, data.” If you’re not tracking who’s having conversations about your apartment communities and whether those conversations are resulting in new leases, then you’re missing some of that data. Just think for a minute about the value you’d get from real insight into the impact of resident referrals on your community.
How many current residents and past residents are talking about your community creating resident referrals?
What channels are your residents talking on?
What channels bring in the highest conversion rates?
How many referrals are residents making just by having a quick conversation?
What impact do residents have on the number of new leases you are receiving?
Do you know WHO your influential residents really are?
“Going into 2013 social media will impact sales more than any other metric because of the continued integration as a marketing platform and the acceptance of users to be marketed to. In 2011, almost 70% of users said that no social media platform influenced their buying decision, and in 2012 that was cut in half to 35%.” @jpretz Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers
Have Any Questions? Have A Topic Idea?
I’d love to hear it! Just post a comment hear or email me at Tami@multifamilypro.com any time and let me know what topics you’d like to
know more about.
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.
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.
By Tami Siewruk
Step One: Assess Your Current Resident-Retention Efforts
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!
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
By Tami Siewruk
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 !
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.
Virgin Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boost Mobile: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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!
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
By Tami Siewruk
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.
- Residents want to be treated with dignity and respect. Do you have rules and methods in place right now that are condescending to residents?
- Residents want to be successful. How do your residents feel after dealing with you?
- 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?
- 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?
- Residents want you to respect their time. How quickly do you respond–not only to complaints, but to any communication from your residents?
- Residents want someone who’s on their side. Do your residents feel like adversaries or friends?
- 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.
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.
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.)
- 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?