The easiest way to create momentum for your property is through a resident appreciation program. Property managers and leasing agents should always be thanking residents for spending their hard earned money with your property. After all, it’s far easier to renew leases than convince cold prospects to sign new leases. As the saying goes, a resident in hand is worth two in the bush.
Schedule your resident appreciation program for the next 6 to 12 months in order to achieve more accurate budgets for events and promotions. This also gives your staff will more time to prepare and receive resident appreciation training.
Whether you’re in student housing marketing or multifamily marketing, the keys to successful resident events are photos, pictures, and photographs. See what we did there?
But really, everyone who didn’t show up should be able to see pictures from the event on their newsfeed and wish they had attended. If you snap pictures and post them on Facebook and Instagram, your crowd will be much bigger the next time around.
It’s also important to talk to local businesses about possible co-sponsorships for your resident appreciation events. While your property has a lot to offer, pairing with local businesses can give residents more reasons to appreciate the surrounding community.
Be sure to get resident feedback during these events too. Its not often that you get a group residents in one place interacting with apartment managers and leasing agents. Take advantage of these face-to-face interactions by jotting down notes on what the residents are saying.
Are they talking about how well you’re doing or about things they think the property could improve upon? Put the positive comments in your next e-blast or newsletter for all to see. As for the negative comments, make sure each and every resident concern is addressed, then try to get in contact with whoever made the comment to let them know you handled their problem.
A recent article on apartment marketing ideas from Multifamily Pro made the point that, “Keeping your residents happy is the least expensive way to ensure your community’s success.” It’s true, word-of-mouth referrals are a natural byproduct of happy residents. Remember, satisfied residents are the single most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal. It’s your job to monitor resident satisfaction levels to ensure that marketing tool doesn’t turn against your property in the form of negative word-of-mouth.
The prospects that prove most difficult to reel in are ‘cold prospects’ that only get introduced to your property through a brochure or the website. These people have no connection to your property and no preconceived trust in your company. Prospects who come from resident referrals already have that trust and that connection because their friends told them all about your amazing property. Prospects that come from referrals are more likely to sign a lease, and do so more quickly than the “cold” prospects who came across your brochure by chance.
Promotional products are the often-overlooked marketing materials that will help you reach current residents and get referrals. Bring out the promo products at your next resident appreciation event and watch the referrals roll in.
In studies by the Ad Specialty Association, giving out promotional items to residents resulted in a 21.7% increase in referrals. In addition, 13% of people who received promotional products were more willing to give referrals than before they received the gift.
Almost all properties should be spending more marketing money on promotional products. Giving branded promotional products to current residents is a proven way to generate more referrals for your sales professionals.
While many property managers sink marketing money and resources into reaching ‘cold’ prospects, that money can often be better spent trying to reach the residents you already have and convincing them to refer their friends. Feel free to contact Threshold today for more advice on how to get more renewals and referrals, or contact Shop Threshold for more information on promotional items.