Parents – Still the True Frontier


April 9, 2014

My mom was born and raised in Mexico, moving to the US when she was just 18 years old.  As any of you with Hispanic heritage in your blood – or know folks that do – family is muy importante (very important for the gringos out there).  I was 20 years old when my little sister was born – she’s now in college and my parents watch over her like a hawk.  Not because she needs the help, she’s a feisty 20 year old who wants to make the world a better place, but because they feel they should still take care of her.  Sweet.

In our world, we’re always talking about the “helicopter parents” and how they are involved in the lives of their kids and their kid’s friends.  How they call for maintenance requests, etc.  From a marketing perspective, it’s tough to message for the 20-year olds and the 40-somethings congruently – but it’s not impossible.  Parents still are heavily involved in not WHERE their children live, but rather HOW they are living.  Are they safe? Do they have all the comforts they need? Is their space conducive to getting the heck out of college in 4 years?

Here are a few pieces of advice for messaging to and reaching your secondary customers -Parents.

Message:

Peace of mind: individual leases, all-inclusive living, community assistants, professional management companies, fully furnished, full kitchens

Academic focus: study rooms, computer labs, programming

Health/wellness: fitness centers, programing, full kitchens

Tactics:

Renewals:  Be sure to send renewal letters and/or other materials home to parents

Direct mail: When sending to parents, tailor your message and consider sending a larger packet with a formal letter, rates/plans and application

Advertising: Consider regional magazines or newspapers with college editions. Texas Monthly produces a popular yearly guide in print and online

Remember, parents are either decision makers or decision influencers when it comes to housing.  Now that I’m a parent (with Hispanic heritage coursing through my veins) I’m certain I’ll be right there when my son is ready to make that leap.  Granted, he’s just four, but I’m preparing now.  So watch out all you young Community Assistants who want to move up the ladder.  I’ll be seeing you in 14 years.

Happy marketing.