Thresh Faces: Tyler Holmes

Name: Tyler Holmes

Title: Account Manager

Tyler has been working in student housing marketing since college, and now he’s absolutely brimming with apartment marketing ideas and multifamily marketing strategies. On top of that, he also owns the world’s cutest dog.

Get to know Tyler more below!

What are 3 words you would use to describe Threshold?

Innovative, Fun, and Full of Swagger

If you had an office nickname, what would it be?

The Tyl… Squirrel! 

What is your favorite line from a movie?

Guys, if I don’t bleed to death pretty soon, I’m gonna die of boredom. – Suicide Kings

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

Booze, Bacon, and more Booze

What is the title of your autobiography?

My Life with a Side of Bacon

What is/would be your motto or slogan?

It’s all good!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Telekinesis (bascially can do anything!)

What is your hidden talent?

I use to sing in showchoir… so yeah… there’s that…

If you were famous, what would it be for?

Dog Rescuing

Favorite Austin eats?

Rudy’s BBQ

Thresh Faces: John Wilkinson

Name: John Wilkinson

Title: Chief Strategy Officer, CAS

John develops student housing marketing ideas like it’s his job. Oh wait it is. His extensive experience in apartment marketing helps Threshold tackle the tough projects every day.

Get to know John below!

What are 3 words you would use to describe Threshold?

Experienced. Innovative. Communicative.

If you had an office nickname, what would it be?

Yoda – cuz I’ve been around WAY TOO LONG.

What is your favorite line from a movie?

If you can’t say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

Bug spray. Suntan Lotion. And every issue of Architectural Digest.

What is the title of your autobiography?

Against The Odds.

What is/would be your motto or slogan?

Easily Amused.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

switching topics so fast it would blow someone’s mind.

What is your hidden talent?

Juggling. So hidden, I haven’t found it.

If you were famous, what would it be for?

Singer in a boy band.

Favorite Austin eats?

Piranha Killer Sushi

Print: King of the Undead

If there is one thing that everyone has heard about various media outlets, it’s that “print is dead.” Across multiple industries, this mantra has been transformed into a rule of thumb for residential marketers seeking to implement a successful marketing campaign. Gone the way of the dinosaur, print seems to be settling, at least in the public view, wedged somewhere between the rotary dial phone and coal-burning stoves. Quaint and nostalgic, but ultimately inefficient. The past decade or so of dramatically declining subscriptions to printed newspapers and magazines seems to support this, and has served as a catalyst for daily publications like the New York Times and The Guardian to focus on maintaining a strong online presence over trying to regain print readership. The thing is, I don’t think that print truly CAN die, not as long as we human beings continue to be fascinated by our physical surroundings. Print: King of the Undead.

To be clear, this is not a blog bemoaning the fate of the printed word, or about how we had best not forget the skills of screen printing (although screen printing looks beautiful when done well, and I would love to learn on my own time). On the contrary, I think the evolution of digital and web design has led to a dramatic shift in how we think about the way information can be presented to reflect an apartment community’s brand, and I love being able to design something that doesn’t have to be constrained by a physical space, and won’t eventually end up as pretty landfill.

There is still value in choosing to print materials instead of opting for a digital campaign. We’re tactile beings, and I’d be willing to bet that there has been at least one instance in the last month where you have picked up some piece of collateral or marketing swag, turned it over in your hands and thought, “Wow, this is really cool.” A digital invitation would have looked great, and a cohesive web campaign is inarguably valuable when marketing to a large audience, but it was that extra detail that pushed me to mark it on my calendar.

I think the key to deciding whether or not to pursue print within a particular campaign is to ask yourself these three things:

Is it interesting? Printing just to have something to hand out isn’t always as effective as it seems. Simply giving someone something to hold onto without ensuring that it looks different from anything else in the stack of papers they might be holding isn’t going to guarantee engagement with a potential resident. A die-cut shape, an interesting fold, foil overlays, printing on an atypical substrate, there are endless ways to ensure that the materials you’re physically giving to someone looks and feels completely different than everyone else’s.

Mulberry Invitation

Is it useful? Sometimes, a flyer or brochure just won’t have the impact you want for your apartment community, and you’re going to need to use a more utilitarian angle. Is there a way to brand an object that has a further purpose than looking beautiful that delivers the message you want to send? Bringing utility to your marketing materials elevates them from potential junk-pile fodder to something interactive.


Is it innovative? Nothing beats the element of surprise. There are always details that often go unnoticed by both the user and producer that can be incorporated into a brand campaign. Free coffee at a resident event? Brand the cup instead of going generic. Use opportunities to make your mark in places where most people substitute anonymous materials. This attention to the “small stuff” speaks volumes about how you or your company thinks about branding and identity.

Snooze Bar

Best Email Marketing Practices

Over the last several years, tech writers and bloggers have fiercely debated if email marketing and even email in general is a dying medium (a quick Google search reveals both sides of the debate). But the fact that the debate rages on and email is still hanging around might indicate its resilience. After all, email has been around since 1971.

One thing is for sure, email as a technology and communication tool is evolving. The method of how we send/receive email has drastically changed in the past 10 years. Emails need to have a big hook. The subject line has to grab your attention. Think about the emails you get daily—what do you open or trash? Your copy and delivery needs to be up to date or you will be sooo 2014. But what are the best email marketing practices for student and multifamily?

According to a report by The Radicati Group, worldwide consumers send and receive 87.6 billion emails per day. Add that with the number of business emails sent/received, the total number of emails sent/received is a staggering 196 billion. That number is expected to rise to 227 billion by 2018. Whether you’re a student housing, multifamily or senior living marketer, you have to stand out in the crowd.

Get Mobile – Don’t be the 31 %
This is a no-brainer. Make sure your emails look good on phones and tablets. They don’t have to be responsive, just clear and easy to read on smaller devices. According to Litmus, 48% of emails are first opened on a mobile phone. And 80% of email subscribers delete emails that “look bad” on their phones. Funny enough, 31% of marketers don’t send responsive emails. This is another chance to get ahead of the pack.

CTA and Content
Knowing that emails will be read on-the-go (in class, at the grocery store, etc) it’s imperative you keep your call-to-action (CTA) catchy and to the point. Ultimately, your end goal with emails is to push the receiver to your website.

Emails are not the right medium to include a laundry list of your communities’ amenities. Let the reader find that information on your website. Use the email as the bait to get them to there. Think quick and memorable.

There’s no denying that purchasing mass lists can be effective, but is this the right place for it? From a list of a 100,000 names, even if you achieve a click rate of 1% (the real estate industry open rate is 2.2%) you’re still driving 1,000 pieces of traffic to your website. Not bad at all. We encourage you to think of your audience and think of your own preferences. Many companies can purchase lists and blast away…but remember, spam is called spam for a reason. People don’t want it. The property that spams-a-lot can have this backfire quickly. Spam filters have become super intuitive and readers very savvy. Best practice? Use the relevant lists you’ve collected through use of raffle entries, housing fairs, contact forms on websites, etc. Be authentic. Be relevant and memorable.

At Threshold Agency, we build brand. We also build best practices from experience and create custom solutions to keep the leases rolling in! So let’s hit “Send” together!

Content Is King for Your SEO Strategy

Writing a blog is tough work.  Not the actual writing part of the blog, nor the creation of the content calendar.  The tough part is sticking to it.  Sometimes I wish there was a “blog trainer,” you know, someone to tell me to write 15 more words or to get off my lazy butt and get to work.  Surely if it works to get folks into shape, it could also work to get businesses into better shape.

A blog, or any piece of content for a website, is a critical part of the website’s success.  The old adage “build it and they will come” definitely does not apply to a website.  With the growing level of competition in residential housing, owning a website that is found in search results is critical to NOI.  Your digital marketing strategies are now the top priorities in any marketing plan. So, why is it that content will help you maintain a successful website?

Every year, Searchmetrics, the global leader in SEO marketing and analytics for enterprise level companies, releases their SEO ranking factors analysis. Here’s what they found in 2014:

  1. Create robust site architecture
    • Do include good internal links
    • Do aim for short loading times
    • Do keep sites up to date
    • Don’t lose focus or just focus on technical aspects of the site
  2. Pay attention to keywords in titles and descriptions
  3. Relevant content reigns supreme. Keyword is “relevant content”
    • Include semantically comprehensive wording
    • Implement higher word counts using relevant topic terms
    • Use multiple media types (pictures, video)
    • Don’t follow spammy onpage advertising techniques
  4. Use quality backlinks. If you have a large portfolio you should be linking to all of your properties on each website. And they should each have their own website.
  5. Social signals are a bonus. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.
  6. User signals are critical.  What folks do on your site and how they find your site are becoming more relevant with each passing year.

Combining the above into a clear SEO strategy is critical to the success of your website.  Having a well-structured site technically is nice, but if you’re only focused on that than your competitors will leave you in the dust.  Content is King for your SEO Strategy. And luckily there are some good SEO strategists out there to help get you on the right path.

And they may even help write those blogs that seem so difficult to maintain.

Happy Marketing!


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