n This time of year, doesn’t it just feel as though everything is flying straight at us at warp speed? With so many things that need to get done, it’s hard not to feel rushed. You’re probably already wishing for Valentine’s Day decorating and marketing ideas for your apartment community; so here’s a Valentine’s Day gift to you and your team … a few smart marketing ideas that are more than fluff, because residents won’t truly care about your community until they know how much you care about them!
These marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day will help you grow traffic, show residents how much you care, and cultivate resident love and renewals!
Hold a “14 Days of Valentines Apartment Community” contest with great giveaways! Every day from February 1-14, hold a contest or drawing to give away inexpensive but desirable products, services and other giveaways like water bottles, travel mugs, t-shirts, etc. gathered from local merchants. Award the Grand Prize for the February 14th drawing, like a gift basket filled with one of each of the items given away previously or some other special “big ticket” reward.
Don’t forget the community singles! Obviously, not everyone has a significant other; and the singles in your community may be sick of all the talk of love and romance. Cater to them by way of a romance-free event or go the other direction and hold singles hour mixers. Include a few love-cynical quotes on your social media channels, or celebrate “Call in Single Day.”
Use Blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to send 28 messages of affection to the residents of your apartment community. Post blog and other social media post out there that convey some measure of your affection for residents, like a service promise or another care-oriented message. Create a special Valentine’s Day email to send to your prospects and residents on February 14th, and you’ll have said “I love you” to your residents in 30 different ways!
Take time for introspection and show some love to your team. Study after study (not to mention plain, old common sense) tells us that engaged employees—those who see themselves as aligned and connected with the brand and culture of the business where they work—are happier, more likely to deliver exceptional service, and more likely to proactively resolve residents’ problems (or even go out of their way to prevent them). Your residents are much more likely to feel “loved” when the entire team does, too! Throughout the month of February, send Valentine notes of appreciation to your team members, calling special attention to personal traits and talents that you appreciate most. Post resident raves on social media channels and on team members’ Facebook pages for all their friends and family members to see and read. Hold a Valentine’s Day luncheon or send chocolates or flowers to them at home.
Use Cupid in the community and neighborhood. Use a Cupid to work in your community! Solicit a volunteer to dress as Cupid and stand inside and outside of the community, distributing business cards with a candy attached, branded pens or promotional items, etc. Hold a Cupid-hosted Valentine’s Day open house, and offer extended office hours for VIP/renewing residents.
Create, Collect and Send Valentines to people who need and deserve them. Collect or create Valentines to be given to soldiers, seniors, cancer patients, children’s hospital patients, and other deserving groups. Ask residents to bring signed Valentines or hold a DIY Valentine craft workshop for kids (of all ages). Feature the project in a press release and in stories on your website, social media, email newsletter and blog.
Create your own Valentine’s Day themed set of neighborhood and community coupons. You know how couples often create Valentines Day IOUs for back rubs and date nights? Create your own Valentine’s Day IOUs in the form of discounts from local merchants! Distribute them via email and social media or as a special gift the next time they renew their lease!
Live out the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Donate a portion (or all) of the proceeds from the sale of a specific product or service to a deserving local charity; or hold a telethon-style event. Don’t forget to tell people about the good works that you do by mentioning them on your website, blog, in email newsletters and on social media.
Get closer to your residents and prospects. Conduct a customer service survey. Solicit residents’ comments, raves, reviews and other feedback. Use resident- or child-created Valentine arts and crafts to decorate within the community, and feature them in photos on your website, email newsletter, social media and your blog.
Reward your best residents. Offer double referral rewards, or double-up your usual renewal reward for the month of February, even if their lease isn’t up for renewal for 60 days. Send a Valentine to your residents by mail.
Looking for Valentine’s Day decorating ideas for your community? Jump on Pinterest and become immediately immersed (or, more accurately, addicted). It’s an especially great resource holiday craft and decorating ideas, including ideas for how to decorate your office for Valentine’s Day. Check out the ones I have pinned for you at http://pinterest.com/multifamilypro/low-cost-holiday-ideas/ , but I highly recommend that you visit www.pinterest.com and take a look around, yourself!
Merely decorating the windows, walls and displays in the office for Valentine’s Day is not enough. For residents to believe you care, your efforts must be fully heartfelt and authentic. No one—including residents, vendors or investors—is vested enough to put as much love and effort into the relationship residents have with your community than you and your team. Your investment (the extent to which you go to show residents that you really care about them) will be reflected in their love for the community they call home, and their desire to renew their lease. The return will never be more than your investment; so invest more love, and get more love in return!