Apartment Marketing: PSE

Rule number one: People. Spread. Emotion. Rule number two: If there is no spread, see rule number one!

You likely know from your own experiences both on and off line that Emotion Sells! Excitement Sells! Cool Sells! Gossip Sells! Optimism Sells! Humor Sells! Anger Sells! iPhone 4 Sells! Well – more appropriate to this post concerning the iPhone 4 – Being Part of the Cool Kid Tribe Sells! Wit Sells! Deep thoughts by Jack Handy Sells! Heart Felt Sells! To Big to Fail Sells! And B.S. Sells – in spades! Point? It’s the stuff that hits the hardest and softest parts of that thing called heart – soul – spirit and mind! So get out your Kleenex or pick up that axe in need of a good grind – as we have absolutely nothing to tell you that you don’t already know –

Scott Stratten from the very popular UnMarketing Blog cut the idea of sharing down to its core recently –

UnMarketing » Blog Archive » Word of Mouth Has Changed, Sort Of

Look at what gets shared on Facebook, or retweeted on Twitter. Funny stuff, brilliant knowledge-filled posts, sad things, stuff that angers you.

Repeat after me: People. Spread. Emotion.

Apartment Facebook Like Page: Rules for Share

It’s kind of like Steve Leonard’s rule for customer service : Rule number one: The customer is always right. Rule number two: If the customer is wrong, see rule number one! I am adopting Scott’s mantra as it relates to sharing content on your Apartment Facebook Like Page or your Apartment Twitter Status updates: And, to distill it into a set of rules [I hate rules but for the sake of keeping] Rule number one: People. Spread. Emotion. Rule number two: If there is no spread, see rule number one!

Apartment Marketing: @earlybird a New Way to Use Twitter

Have you ever wondered what the most appropriate way to use Twitter to market your companies Apartment Living Experience is?

Have you ever wondered what the most appropriate way to use Twitter to market your companies Apartment Living Experience is? Now I’m not to suggesting that any one way is better than another but I do think there are some ways that garnish more attention. My only piece of advice is avoid using old school push marketing tactics.

It looks like @earlybird is positioning itself as a socially acceptable way to broadcast your current promotion. Brian Solis puts it this way in On Twitter, The Early Bird Gets the Worm

If you can imaging the possibilities for @EarlyBird, it goes beyond just one-off deals and specials through a generic account [push marketing], it can be themed into opt-in channels for almost any area of interest, food, music, entertainment, events, etc. [relevancy] emphasis mine.

As it relates to apartment marketing, I can see the value in an opt-in channel for apartments as a good thing –

What do you think?

Apartment Marketing: Gather the Group

Over the next month or so, I will be reaching out to some of our apartment Facebook friends asking if I can  enlist them in a virtual ongoing open feedback Tell Dell like mechanism. The intent is to prompt the forum in the coming weeks, months and years as we move forward in building out Mills Properties improved web strategy. The friends are coming from a mix of our like pages that span across our 43 communities [Note: not all are published as of this writing] in Saint Louis. The only catalyst to their selection is  – on balance – they participate more than others. Our real hope – as part of a much larger strategy – is to build on the success of others in and out of our industry by including consumers in the process.  That said, it never ceases to amaze me just how easy it really is to get acquainted anymore. This quote below is part of a response I got to reaching out just this past week –

…..been here just over 5 years and really like it. My main interests include Conservative talk shows and Trance/Techno music. Odd combination……

I can’t wait to get some discussion going with this resident. 5 years – can you imagine the change she/he has seen in five years? Can you imagine the potential value he/she might add on the premise of that 5 years of history?

What are you doing to leverage the power of your networks?

Apartment Marketing: How to Use Facebook Like Pages to Lease Apartments

How to use Facebook Like Pages to Rent Apartments

I love emails like the one below -but before we go there:

Over the past few weeks we have started to quietly roll out some of our Facebook Like Pages as we gear up for the Get Social with Mills Initiative . One of the issues we’ve run into with this slow roll out is anxious PMs and MSs like Teresa and Mike at Park Clayton Apartments. They were ready to run – so, we let them go and in just over two weeks they took the like numbers from 7 to North of 225.

How to grow Your Apartment Facebook Like Page numbers

How did they do it? To make a long story short Mike brought an orphaned stuffed yellow duck to the leasing office for Teresa to see and each time they tried to put the duck away – residents asked to have it back as a mascot. With that T and M – [I often use the first letter of peoples names – with that T is for Teresa and M is for Mike] decided to have a – Name the Duck – contest . In conjunction with that contest they decided to give away a few fun prizes for the resident who yielded the biggest number of Likes to our page in a weeks time.

The Apartment Like Page Results

T and M put on North of 200 Likes inside of two weeks time. Not only that – they yielded something much more important in my opinion – check out the page and I think you will quickly discern what I mean. That point brings me to the email below –

How to use Facebook Like Pages to Rent Apartments

I will let the email speak for itself –

Have a compelling weekend – M

—–Original Message—–
From: Park Clayton <parkclayton@millsproperties.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 12:55 PM
To: ‘Mike Brewer’ <MBrewer@millsproperties.net>; ‘Tracy Seubert’ <TSeubert@millsproperties.net>
Subject: Great news!

Hey guys,

I have some awesome news about our facebook fans. One of my residents came down to tell me that his friends in Taiwan are watching us on facebook and they think it’s great that we do resident events and have contests. He says they told him they want to move here when they get to town just because of what they see online!

Also, he brought down his laptop and we spoke with a couple of his friends in Taiwan who want to move here in August. The program they use to chat/talk internationally is called, “skype.”

Teresa Richardson

Property Manager

Park Clayton Apartments

photo credit: blog.hubspot.com

Apartment Search On: Google Commercial

I read about this a couple of weeks ago and just found the time to check it out.

I read about this a couple of weeks ago and just found the time to check it out. It might be a colossal waste of time or a uber-cool thing to share on one of your social networks.

If you recall the Google commercial that ran during the Super Bowl you will have a really good sense for what this is. Google has created a way for you to mimic their Search On commercial. It’s really ingenious if you ask me. And, simple to do.

Here is a link to the site where you can build your own. And, here is the one I built for Mills Properties:

New Media Apartment Marketing: Random Thoughts

I think many times in the world of new media it is easier to say just what is on your mind without being mindful of the long term ripple effect. It’s really very easy to sit behind a keyboard and rattle off thoughts that are no doubt driven by our emotions.

New Media Apartment Marketing - Breaking GlassCould not pass up the chance to share this list from Logic + Emotion. It’s from a post titled Random Thoughts. In it, David Armano lists five pretty simple yet compelling thoughts that should no doubt be a guide for all of us. The first thought he lists is; We all live in glass houses.

Be Mindful of What you Say

I think many times in the world of new media it is easier to say just what is on your mind without being mindful of the long term ripple effect. It’s really very easy to sit behind a keyboard and rattle off thoughts that are no doubt driven by our emotions. We have all been guilty of it – someone writes something on a blog or in a comment and wham-o Satan’s spawn comes dwelling up inside of our being and we lash out… Or, someone presses something derogatory about our Apartment Community on a ratings site and we sign up just to set the record straight by one upping them in the art of condescension. In this same breath I would suggest there is a difference between expressing passion and ignorance.

Be Mindful of Our Actions

Penned by some philosopher an undetermined number of years ago – actions speak louder than words. I think the essence of David’s thought is that the very act of throwing that stone is reflective of one’s character. I can say, with learning in mind, that there a number of stones I wish I had back in my collection. They were much more useful to look at when I had them in my possession. And, in the same respect, it’s my hope, as we become more and more embedded in our new media apartment marketing lives, that we remain mindful of our virtual actions. Just remember new media never forgets…

Marketing Apartments with New Media

6a00d83451b31569e20120a646d8d7970b-320wiAs we continue to venture into the world of new media and the use of Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, FourSquare YouTube, Flickr and Local or Regional Blogs we will no doubt encounter plenty of opportunity to grab that tin of rocks we keep in the darker places of our mind, warm up the lizard brain and write away. The next time that happens exercise another ancient philosophy [amended for modern times]; write it a un-savable word doc, read it twice, sleep on it and let it go.

Let us know what you think? Drop us a comment below and let’s discuss….

Apartment Internet Marketing – Outsource Your Community Blog

Use crowdSpring to outsource your community blog

This sounds like an interesting alternative to doing the project in house.

From the crowdSpring blog:


  • Blogs and Newsletters. Need original content for your blogs or newsletters? We have a global pool of writers who are ready to help.
  • Advertising/Marketing. Worried about increasing sales or competing against bigger companies? Leverage our community to help you.
  • SEO/SEM Content. Need to generate great search engine optimization (SEO) content or develop strong search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns? Our writers can help.

What is crowdSpring?

For those of you who don’t know what crowdSpring does, let me sum it up in a story. We used the service recently to create a logo for a downtown STL property. We had a creative brief drafted that was then posted to the crowdSpring site. Along with the brief we offered up a set dollar amount that we were willing to pay for the logo design based on the brief. From there creatives from all over the world submitted actual artwork that we could then comment on. The creatives would use our feedback to tweak their designs to suit our needs. In the end there were over one hundred designs to choose from all at a price we thought was fair. No negotiation – no hassle and done in a very short period of time.

I am interested to learn more about the writing piece – I could see this working as a way to create content for community blogs.

Would love to hear your comments – especially if you have used the service in the past.

And, for some really good context on the subject of community blogging, check out this past weeks AptChat hosted by Mike Whaling and Lisa Trosien – It was a compelling chat.

Hope your week is compelling –

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Apartment Internet Marketing – Education

Educate your consumer and they will come back over and over – We see examples of this all over the place. My favorite however is Wine Library TV – dial into the 3:50 min section of this video – it is the point. You get people to this and you are on your way to what I will end this series with.

This is the second part of a five part series based on a recent emarketer survey. In part one we discussed the concept of Exclusivity. Today we discuss: Education as it relates to Apartment Internet Marketing.

I have included the chart here again for reference:

Reasons for Friending or Following Companies Through Social Media According to US Consumers, December 2009 (% of respondents)

What is Education?

Education, according to Princeton.edu is defined as; a gradual process of acquiring knowledge. From the time of birth we are taking in information, processing it, making decisions and acting. All the while we are layering information on top of information, taking in the new and purging the old to make new assumptions about the future to come. In any case, we are subject to the people and the environment we choose to hang around and participate in. There is a Dave Matthew’s song called: The Space Between. In that song Dave belts: “the space between – the tears we cry – is the laughter keeps us coming back for more – the space between – the wicked lies we tell – and hope to keep safe from the pain” I would contend that space between is called – choice. And, that choice is the byproduct of a catalyst and the result is action – all couched in education or better said, knowledge.

Value Exchange

Education would lead us to understand that the single most important catalyst in today’s business environment is garnishing a individuals attention. With no equivocation – it is the most important determinant of business success. When asking someone to give you their attention, you are asking them to give you their most precious possession – time. Ask for that attention in the way of a negative event caused by you and or your organization and expect a less than positive consequence. Ask for that attention in the way of a positive event and expect – nothing. In the Internet age this is the price of admission. In the context of apartment marketing ideas, ask for that attention in the way of educating apartment patrons and you plant the seeds necessary for true engagement.

Consumer Expectation

There is yet another thing that human beings have in common – the need for insight. Insight is often a vibrant, happy and emotionally loaded space in any person’s life. At some level we are all after it – we all want to be in-the-know. The emotion and desire is hard-wired into our system. That is to suggest that consumer’s want – innately. It’s imbued on their hearts and minds. When we apply that fact we can quickly see the overarching need to embed listening, understanding, interaction and feedback into our concept. It all adds up to meaning for the apartment patron. It all adds up to the willingness to give us their attention. As an example – people spend an average of 25 minutes per session on Facebook – why? The need for insight is being met.

Offer it and They Will Come

We see examples of this all over the internet today but my favorite is Wine Library TV – dial into the 3:50 min section of this video – it is the point. You get people to this and you are on your way to what I will end this series with.

Have a over the top and compelling end to your week – we will be back in a couple days with another installment to this series.

Apartment Internet Marketing – Exclusivity

Came across an interesting survey at over at emarketer that spoke to the want’s of social following. The results were captured in the following chart:

Reasons for Friending or Following Companies Through Social Media According to US Consumers, December 2009 (% of respondents)

Using this chart as a catalyst, we are going to do a five part series titled: The Five E’s of Apartment Internet Marketing. The overarching premise will be playing to the want’s of would be apartment Facebook, Twitter and other social medium friends. We start the series with Exclusivity.

What is Exclusivity?

Exclusivity can be defined as the sole right to a specific business function. AT&T’s exclusive right to market the iPhone is likely the most paramount example of this. Beyond that there is a huge push by aggregators to secure exclusive rights to content. We have seen this with the likes of Harvard Business Review striking a deal with an aggregator and Steven Covey striking a deal for distribution on Amazon’s Kindle. These are mass examples of exclusivity but the concept can be applied to things as simple as white papers. In this case the exclusivity comes in the way of getting for giving or more specifically, give me your email address and I will give you the white paper. It’s exclusive in the sense that not everyone would be willing to give personal information to get.

Value Exchange

The overarching point is that exclusivity has a give and take scenario baked in. You give up Sprint to get the iPhone, you give up buying from B&N and buy a Kindle so you can read Covey, you give up personal information to get information. The goods, services, experience or information requires an action on the part of the consumer and guess what, it’s the overriding reason they friend brands. They want to learn about specials, sales, etc..

Consumer Expectations

Human beings have a few things in common – one being the innate need to feel important, wanted or needed. When we apply that fact to the concept of exclusivity we can clearly see that the perception of being a part of what could be considered an elite group is compelling. We own an iPhone so we can feel cool. We read the HBR so we can feel cool. We read the latest Covey book so we can feel cool. We found our apartment on Craigslist and it was a great deal so we feel cool. Consumers are willing to give up stuff and things to feel important, wanted or needed – all day long.

Offer it and they will come

As it applies to Apartment Internet Marketing in the context of social mediums – more times than not, if you offer it they will come. Now, before I go on, I am not suggesting that you can just put any old thing out there and expect participants to join in, you have to work it. You have to willing to commit to listening, joining in, trying, failing, retooling and trying again. Otherwise it’s all for naught. I am suggesting, however, that if you do things as simple as offering a rent concession to the resident that increases your fan page base the most, or something we eluded to awhile back with tryvertising, or simply setting up a kiosk in your lobby set with twitter and facebook and asking anyone that walks in the door to friend you – you will gain an audience. However, it does not stop here…

…in part two of this series we will talk about what to do with that audience: Education

In the mean time, feel free to continue the Exclusivity conversation by leaving us a comment below.

And, have a compelling day!