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New On #AptChat: Outreach Marketing for Multifamily in a Digital World

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Each week, some of the best and brightest in multifamily join the Twitter-based discussions on #AptChat. We’ve consolidated and summarized some of the top tips shared by industry leaders to help you manage properties more effectively.

The theme in one recent chat was “Outreach Marketing in a Digital World.” Here’s how the conversation went:

“What are your biggest challenges when it comes to outreach marketing (time, money, training, etc.)? What are the pain points?”

The first interchange in response to this question centered on planning. Exactly whom are you trying to reach, and what result are you trying to achieve? Participants chimed in that too often, marketing outreach is not clearly thought out, so leasing agents don’t really buy in. Instead, they do the minimum of what they’re supposed to do – such as a brochure “drop and run.” Often there’s no training, and in addition, the potential rewards aren’t clear, particularly since business-to-business marketing has a slower ROI than working prospect leads directly.

Next the conversation turned to building and nurturing relationships achieved through outreach marketing. As one participant said: “ORM requires more follow up and touch points than traditional prospects do.” It was also mentioned that ORM is a two-way street. As another participant said: “You can NEVER go in just selling. There are so many other things apartment communities have to offer other than apartments for rent.”

How are you tracking your outreach efforts and tying that to ROI? Are you using any tools to better track its effectiveness?

Gift cards, giveaways and contests, including Amazon Sweepstakes, were mentioned as some of the more trackable activities for ORM. But social media engagements were brought up as well: followers and shares can easily be tracked.

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How are you incorporating digital into your outreach efforts? How would you like to do this ideally?

The burgeoning power of video vs. the written word came up immediately. Most of the major social media platforms are adjusting to the new reality that people are less and less inclined to read vs. looking at a photo or watching a video. One respondent suggested identifying residents willing to make short videos about living at the community and local amenities and targeting their workplace for ORM opportunities. Another said that site teams often make digital marketing overly complicated: that a lot of its effectiveness happens organically.

Do you incentivize your teams in some way for completing outreach marketing? If so, what do you do? If not, why not?

The difficulty of quantifying ORM results came up here. One respondent explained that the metrics might not include an actual increase in rentals: results might be measured in referrals, website traffic, and social engagement. Said another: “You know it’s a good partnership when other active biz social accounts share your stuff!”

But all agreed it’s not easy to tie ORM results to incentives.

Where does the resident base come into play? How can they be better utilized for outreach marketing?

There was the expected answer here: that residents should be encouraged to “check in,” post pics and engage with marketing partners. But one respondent added that residents “can connect you to HR departments at workplaces; it’s easier to get in the back door than knock on the front.”

That brings to a close this week’s #AptChat roundup. Look for our next segment in about a week!


Author and Contributor

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Based in New Orleans, Guy Lyman is a freelance writer with over 25 years’ experience in writing about the multifamily industry. Lyman is a frequent contributor and writer for the Property Management Insider blog.

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