Mokriya Craigslist

Mokriya Craiglist is an uber-cool app that you should check out. It really beautifies the Craigslist experience on your mobile device.

Mokriya Craiglist is an uber-cool app that you should check out. It really beautifies the Craigslist experience on your mobile device.

Putting all the legal mumbo-jumbo aside – Mokriya went about developing this the right way.

And the user experience is very fluid.

The good news for users is that the app is free and mimics Craigslist search conventions and categories in every way — while still debuting an intuitive design that makes sense on a small smart phone screen. The app also offers a map view (in addition to list and thumbnail views), calling or emailing a seller with one tap (goodbye, copy/paste) and ability to jump between categories and regions.

Here are a couple of screen shots I took from my iPhone:

Mike Brewer mbrewergroup craigslist Mokriya











This next one shows off a quick search I did to find housing in St. Louis:


Mokriya Craigslist marketing mike brewer











And here is a listing from one of our Mills Properties in downtown St. Louis – The Laurel:

Mike Brewer Mokriya Craigslist











I could see this app catching on – what about you?

Your really liking what I am seeing from this app Multifamily Maniac,



In Or Out

Are they In or are they Out?

in or out
I wrote a post on my regular blog, recently about fashion trends for 2013. We used it to create a game for our podcast called In or Out (kind of playing off the old game show Street Smarts). Basically, we drove around to a couple of different places in St. Louis asking people to give us their opinions on whether certain fashion trends are ‘In’ or ‘Out’ in 2013 as compared to what we read on fashion websites.

It got me thinking about marketing trends and how there are differing opinions on what’s ‘in’ or ‘out’. Some trends are split straight down the middle while others are about 99% obsolete but still used (or worn) by some for lack of knowledge, money or just stuck in their ways.

I know my opinions aren’t the same as everyone, not even everyone within my company, so I’d like to play the In or Out game, this time to get opinions from people, and not just other management companies in St. Louis but people in the multi-family and marketing industries across the U.S., on what marketing trends you believe are ‘in’ and ‘out’.

I’ll start:


  • Engagement through Facebook
  • Promoting Ratings & Reviews on your own website
  • Getting involved with local community events/organizations (ex. blood drives, chambers, non-profits)


  • Car/door flyering
  • ILS print advertising
  • Faxing/e-mailing hot sheets or coupons to local businesses

I’d love to hear opinions of others on marketing trends that are In Or Out?

You can check out the RealLifeSTL Podcast here.

Multifamily Five Years From Now….

My annual prediction post…of sorts. Just a few quick hitters…

Remembering last year before we look forward to the coming five….

Assume that: 

Predictive analytics point people to the perfect Experiential Apartment Community (EAC) for them. One stop shop – if you will. Marketing as we know it – even today – will be rendered uninteresting and borderline useless.

Experiential Apartment Community

Apartment prices are predicated on twenty times the metrics they are today – think big social data.

Interactive Digital Signage trumps the kiosk and does most of the heavy lifting as it relates to leasing and service after the sale.

People choosing to do business with you do so by telling Siri (or, any equal) what they need and she taps into your community IDS and together these two Digital Experiential Monitors take care of it all.

Personal Experience Agents pick up where the DEMs leave off. If there is anything left to do.

The term social media finally gives way to something deeper and more meaningful.

Business newcomers continue to fragment people’s attention by inventing 300 new variations of review sites, ILS’s and niche communities.

ILS’s, middlemen and other business newcomers stay in better contact with your residents than you do.

ILSs service after the sale.

ILSs create loyalty programs.

Middlemen reinvent themselves such that he comes back with a crushing vengeance.

The Nest finally prices for the masses.

The Internet of things is near saturation.

Smart appliances, mechanics and hardware schedule their own maintenance calls.

Those same appliances, mechanics and hardware, once repaired, follow-up via the preferred method of communication.

They also, order up the part used to repair the problem.

They also, order in bulk for your portfolio assuring you bottom dollar pricing.

Your current apartment related job is either gone or looks 100% different from today.

What then? 




Predictive Analytics in Apartment Marketing

It is headed to an apartment marketing conversation near you..predictive analytics as it relates to harvesting big data.

Our good friend Jonathan Saar from The Training Factor wrote a piece a couple days ago that got me thinking about the next steps in apartment marketing. Certainly not to suggest that we have all mastered the last steps but it is fun to dream sometimes.

This is a pure prediction post. No basis. No foundation. No practical application. No case study.

Just sayin’.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analysis and Apartment Marketing. It's coming to a marketing conversation near you.

Wikipedia defines the term this way:

Predictive analytics is an area of statistical analysis that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict future trends and behavior patterns. The core of predictive analytics relies on capturing relationships between explanatory variables and the predicted variables from past occurrences, and exploiting it to predict future outcomes. It is important to note, however, that the accuracy and usability of results will depend greatly on the level of data analysis and the quality of assumptions.

The most common use of predictive analytics comes from the credit card industry. Brass tacks – with a few bits of information, companies can predict your propensity to pay on time.

My Early Predictive Analysis Tells Me…

…It is headed to an apartment marketing conversation near you. By this time next year, we will all be talking or will have been talking about the manifestation of predictive analytics as it relates to harvesting big data. Big data to include mining the likes (no pun intended) of Facebook, Twitter, ratings and review sites, surveys (be them third-party or self-administered), property management software (although predictive analysis suggests no chance on that front!), your screening company and other relevant data bases. And, our mathematical models will take all that data to make predictions for us.

They will create and align the perfect personas with the perfect properties that fit those personas and they will send the perfect messages, with the perfect frequency at the optimal times. All behind the scenes.

Your really likes the idea of predictive analysis as it relates to marketing apartments multifamily maniac,


PicProps: vjeran2001

Here it comes: Predictive Analytics to Impact Multifamily Operations

Apartment Marketing: O.B. Triple Sorry Brilliance

#gameon to the apartment marketing campaign that mimics – in an apartment marketing appropriate kind of way – the O.B. Triple Sorry Coupon marketing story. Love love love this angle – very cool stuff.


That is all I could say. I had a border line crocodile tear in my eye as I watched this video song apology. O.B. Mighty Small Campaign

Check it out here. 

Just a heads up – if you are guy – you might want to use a girl’s name. And, don’t forget to turn up the speakers on your device.

Your crazy impressed with O.B. today multifamily maniac,


Apartment Podcasting Marketing

“For corporate marketers, podcasting is low-hanging fruit.” – Paul Gillin

Low Hanging Fruit

Caught this video over at businessgrow where Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner throws down his 18 to 24 month content marketing prediction. It’s an interesting thought and one that I am trying to wrap my head around as it relates to marketing apartments. His thought comes in near the end of the four-minute vid:

Your wondering about apartment podcast marketing multifamily manic,



Apartment Marketing Brass Tacks

“You need the kind of objectivity that makes you forget everything you’ve heard, clear the table, and do a factual study like a scientist would.” – Steve Wozniak

Short and sweet question(s) post today.

Do you ever feel like using social media to marketing apartments is like trying to smash a square peg into a round hole? Do you get the sense that we are trying so hard to make it work just because we just want it to? As opposed to following the advice of Steve W. and clearing the tables for some hard-core study of the real impact it is or is not making?

Have we been clouded by the hint of success we have seen from any one of the many mediums out there? A lease or two from Facebook, a lead from Twitter or a conversation stimulated by a killer resident function and we are quick to tout the success.

Have you found the effort to be worth the result? Do you think the real successes are down the road and over time?

In the end, content is not king – people are. People move business. And, people in relationship talk about businesses they like to do business with. Believe it or not – they usually do that offline.

Is it time to clear the table?

Your brass tacks multifamily maniac,


photo credit: blog mosaic

Apartment Marketing Minute: Experiment

Apartment Marketing“Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing” – Mike Volpe

Easier said than done, right? Who has the time to set back and be creative anymore? A day in the life of a property management professional would demonstrate that it is near impossible to give time to brainstorming new ideas. Heck, it’s hard enough to execute the things that matter most like; customer service, curb appeal, leasing, retention and accounting. But, being creative is not really all that hard.

Experiment in Creativity

I think the key is to think in smaller chunks. Experimenting could be as simple as leading your Craigslist ad with the words Compelling Lifestyle as opposed to Free Rent. It could be as simple as shifting the photos on your website to lead with interior pics as opposed to exterior pics. Maybe do night pics of the exterior in lieu of day pics. It could be that you change your telephone greeting to include, “I can help you,” in lieu of “How can I help you?” No matter the topic, the key is to think smaller chunks.

The Point

Don’t think of creativity in apartment marketing as a big daunting task reserved for the select few who were gifted with the talent of pumping out cool ideas. I would posit that every one of them, at one time or another, experimented with the little things. And, at some point over a long bit of time, their portfolios of coolness grew more and more pronounced.

So do some experimenting today and don’t be afraid to start small.

Your always experimenting in creativity multifamily maniac,



Apartment Loss to Lease – How do you book it?

In the spirit of the upcoming 2012 budget season; I wanted to recycle this post. This is a subject of much debate in our office and I am interested in what the industry thinks.

Loss to Lease

There is a question floating around our office along the lines of, “What do you book in loss to lease line of your budget?” Also, “On a percentage basis, where do you like to see that number trend?” With that question comes a number of schools of thought but no real definitive answer. And, that being said, I am not sure there is a right way or a wrong way to look at it. In the end, it all shakes out in the Rental Income line. That said, there is value in tracking the discount from new vs. renewals and even budgeted rental increases that drive the loss to lease margins.

Our current practice is to book both discounts from new sales and renewals to a single loss to lease line. And, we try keep the loss to lease number at two to three percent of the the gross potential or top line – if you will.

Here are a couple of schools of thought to throw out there:

What gets booked in loss to lease?

1. The only thing that gets booked in the loss to lease line is discounts from market on new leases only. Renewals that maintain any discount from the top line should be booked as a concession.

2. Any discount from market gets booked as an upfront or recurring concession – be it a new lease or a renewal that transacts at a rate lower than the top line.

Where should loss to lease trend as it relates to the top line?

1. The number should be maintain between two to three percent of your top line

2. The number will trend at nearly ten percent of your top line

Is there real value in tracking loss to lease as a line item?

If it all shakes out in the rental income number – is there any real value [up market or down market] to tracking this number?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I am really curious to hear from those of you that are utilizing LRO as I think you have done away with the concept of loss to lease – correct?

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