We are Still in the Apartment Business

sheridan keynoteToday’s piece comes from our over-the-top amazing Marketing Director at Mills Properties – Melissa DeCicco She rocks! 

Lately we have been told we are in the media business or is it the relationship business? Both from wonderful, brilliant people who know a lot more about the apartment business than I. While they are both correct, I think it is just unnecessarily muddying the water. Make no mistake about it, we are still in the apartment business. Think about it. We, as consumers, are all doing our best to avoid all types of media (at least of the marketing variety) these days.  And, when was the last time you wanted an actual relationship with a service provider? Really? The apartment piece makes us different. It is something that we can be proud of and something that we can become experts in. We are in the apartment business. Our goal is to help people find apartments.

So what should we be doing in the apartment business to continually earn and retain customers?

Do you remember the last time you thought that your salesperson actually had your well-being in mind instead of the commission you represented? I can’t think of a single instance. How refreshing would it be if people looked back at this point in marketing history as the age of ‘doing the right thing.’ When marketers/salespeople really just focused on helping the consumer to find the best possible fit for them, knowing that their product might not be the answer. It’s what good customer service is all about but it is never executed the right way or for the right reasons.

I recently attended the Social Media Marketing World Conference put on by Social Media Examiner. It was incredible. One thing hit me particularly hard. The closing keynote was from Marcus Sheridan who owns an in-ground pool company and happens to be an incredible marketer. His business was literally drowning and he brought it back to life. How? He made it about people and being useful.

The headline in the New York Times magazine article about his efforts was “A Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions.”

Revolutionary, huh?

We are all people and desire real interactions that are not drowning in sale-speak. The answer? Write about your business online to teach and get the word out but never directly sell. Then become helpful/useful to the point of exhaustion. Customers ask a question, we answer. Sheridan aka “The Sales Lion,” suggests that we break down our marketing/sales tasks to this small list.

1. Listening

2. Communicating

3. Teaching

4. Helping

All day, every day. This is the future of business. Not media. Not fake relationships. People helping people in a genuine way.

Your tirelessly working on being helpful marketing maniac,

Melissa DeCicco

 

Photo courtesy of The Sales Lion Closing keynote – SMMW2014

Author: Melissa DeCicco

Melissa is a wiz at crazy facial expressions, often suffers from singing tourettes, and loves super uncomfortable shoes. A dedicated Dolly Parton fan, she purchased Dollywood season passes several years in a row (it’s 500 miles away) and finally met her in 2004 – she ROCKS!