Easy Virtual Leasing Jun13

Easy Virtual Leasing

There are several reasons why a client may not be able to tour the property in person. Our increasingly mobile and digital industry makes remote tours an excellent alternative, yet it also requires that agents are ready to sell to a client, sight unseen. The six tips below can make selling to remote clients easier and faster than ever. Master the Basics By now, you know that your website must have a virtual tour—or virtual reality tour—along with detailed a floor plan and a description of the condo. Make sure that all information is up-to-date. Even minor changes to appliances or fixtures may matter to a remote client. If any of those essential features are missing, get the tools you need for a better website. Request Client’s Must-Haves In Writing Let’s face it: you’re busy. A written list of your client’s must-haves, desires, and deal breakers is a cheat sheet for you. But most importantly, having a concrete list means that the remote buyer has a clear understanding of what he wants. This list will expedite the condo hunting process, especially if he can choose between several similar unit styles. FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom Tours with Clients The virtual tour on your website is the first step. A live video tour, however, gives the client greater control over what they see and how they see it. It’s like he gets to walk through the home himself. That greater control over the details will help the client feel more comfortable with the unit and ready to seal the deal. Send Listings with All the Local Details If your client has already said the school system, crime rate, or walkability score are important to her, why not email those details with the listings? Presenting a complete...

Boost Leases May31

Boost Leases

Emails can be valuable tools that convert prospects and build loyalty with existing residents. Below are seven emails that every leasing agent should send. Emails for prospects Prospects want to feel courted. They also expect information that anticipates their questions and interests. These three emails hit the spot, helping to forge the relationship between leasing agents and prospects. Automated (Yet Personalized) Introduction Email This important communication serves three purposes. It satisfies prospects’ expectation to receive prompt responses. Secondly, it lets prospects know that you received their inquiry or that you recall your encounter with them. Lastly, it gives them a way to contact you simply by responding to an email. Availability Updates Let your newly available units shine with a showcase email. Be sure to include high quality images and descriptions with plenty of personality. End each listing with a call to action such as “Schedule a Tour” or an option to see similar units. Just Leased Updates Remind your prospects that your property is a desirable place to live and that units are going fast! Consider including the number of days the unit was on the market, particularly if it’s less than three. This is a great incentive for prospects who are on the fence. Emails for residents Renewing a lease costs less than turning a unit, so use emails to build resident loyalty! These three emails reinforce the residents’ bond and promote higher occupancy. Property Newsletter Inform your residents of exciting value-add events for families and perks for pet owners. Such events keep your residents engaged in the community, which increases perceived value. The newsletter is also a fantastic way to notify residents of upcoming maintenance and upgrades to the property. Show your residents that you’re proactively invested in the quality of...

AIM Insights

Multifamily marketers gathered in Huntington Beach, California, for the 2018 Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference on May 6-9. This year’s event focused on the latest digital marketing trends and technologies. “Marketing executives are increasingly called on to shape the resident experience and manage the pace of innovation,” shared Steve Lefkovits, executive producer of AIM. “We’re delighted to have Yardi and RENTCafé as partners in educating the industry about the future.” Some conference highlights for multifamily marketers: Customer Experience Matters Customer experience is the new marketing. At the AIM keynote, Charlene Li, principal analyst at Altimeter and co-author of Groundswell, challenged marketers to examine relationships and experiences. “If you’re not focusing on the customer experience, you’re working on the wrong things,” emphasized Li. Why does customer experience matter? Because the data says so! According to resident satisfaction data from J Turner Research, Q1 2018 apartment reviews grew by 78% as compared to Q1 2017. The average number of reviews per property has grown 20% since Q1 2017, averaging more than 86 reviews per property. The study found a strong correlation between online reputation and resident satisfaction. Resident experience matters, and it influences renter and prospect purchasing behavior. In a session on customer engagement and loyalty, Joseph Batdorf, president of J Turner Research, stressed, “Resident satisfaction matters. Making sure they’re happy affects their willingness to renew a lease.” Customer Engagement Also Matters To create a better customer experience, you need to engage your customer from the get-go and keep them engaged throughout their time with you. Where can you innovate your customer engagement strategy? Create a well-rounded engagement strategy. Implementing a multi-source lead attribution model can help marketers more accurately assign value to each touchpoint in the buyer journey. Market to common values to bolster your engagement. Sticking to common...

Increase Leads May13

Increase Leads

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are mighty tools to increase leads and conversions for your properties. Odds are, you’re already too busy to master those tools. Below are three quick tips to make SEO and SEM work for you. 3 Quick Tips for Increasing Leads Don’t underestimate the power of SEO. Getting quality traffic to your website is tough. It’s even harder to convert that traffic into leads. SEO helps the right renters find your property through organic (non-paid) search inquiries. In order for this to happen, search engines need to understand who you are, what you have to offer and the content of your website. That doesn’t happen through chance. Detailed strategies ensure that your website ranks high on organic search results with the right audience. Are your strategies bringing the desired results? Don’t go in alone. Not sure how to make SEO work for you? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The experts at RENTCafé Reach specialize in driving high quality traffic to your website. Catriona Orosco, manager of RENTCafé Reach at Yardi explains: “RENTCafé SEO account managers have the expertise and knowledge to help your website reach more qualified prospects. Our role requires us to stay up-to-date with changes made at Google. We work as a team to stay educated and aware of what’s important in gaining a competitive advantage in search results.” RENTCafé Reach account managers are also experts when it comes to RENTCafé marketing features. They can help you identify and test features to improve prospect engagement and lead conversion rates. “Often, people’s assumptions about what’s important are outdated,” says Orosco. “In addition to the initial optimization efforts and content creation, we’re checking website health on a routine basis, addressing issues and updating...

Blogging 101: Pt 5 May09

Blogging 101: Pt 5

On our previous post, there were a few loose ends to tie before hitting publish on your blog post. Once those important details are complete, you are ready to share your content with the world via social media! Why Use Social Media to Share Content? Without social media marketing and SEM services, the only way a person will find your content is by going directly to your website. Before you worked in the industry, how often did you visit an apartment’s blog? Precisely. By sharing the posts on social media, your content reaches more readers. Your social media followers will see the post appear on their news feeds. Social sharing draws attention to the blog post. Their engagement—likes, comments, and shares—will broaden the posts’ reach to their friends. Your efforts will be magnified even more when the platform’s algorithm robots pick up on users’ engagement. The platform may choose to share your content with an even broader audience. With more attention on your blog, you’re bringing more attention to your property! Social media marketing is easy, free marketing. Pick 2-3 Social Media Platforms Where should you share content? Select a few social media platforms that suit your brand. The prominent demographic of your community will determine which platforms are best for you. For example, Facebook is common for most organizations due to its broad user base–1 billion active users– and customizable features. Additionally, properties with young professionals may benefit from an Instagram account, whose 600 million users are mostly young adults ages 18-29. If you have a student property with an even younger demographic, 18-24 years of age, Snapchat may also be a beneficial platform to explore. Once you’ve honed-in on your platforms, learn the native marketing language for each. This allows you to...

Spring Cleaning May02

Spring Cleaning

It’s officially spring! (While it may not feel like spring in your part of the country just yet, rest assured, warm weather is coming!) This is the perfect time for quick, affordable property updates that will impress prospects and build loyalty with current residents.  Website Update Revisit your property’s marketing story. If you don’t have one, learn to tell a marketing story and then enhance your marketing story. Perhaps a component of your story has changed over time, such as the attributes of your biggest competition or the largest demographic in your community. Update your marketing strategy accordingly. Freshen up your website with new, recent pictures of the property. This is the perfect time to do so with flowering trees in full bloom and new arrangements in the gardens. The bursts of color present a property that is cheerful and welcoming. You’re regularly posting to your blog, right? If not, the start of a new season is a great time to initiate action. Check out our post on how to start a blog. Spring Promotions for Prospects and Residents Speak with your RENTmaximizer revenue manager to strategically plan incentives and promotions. Your dedicated revenue manager is an expert at pricing! The Yardi team can collaborate with your marketing and operations strategists to move stagnant units and keep new leads flowing. Don’t forget to show love to your current residents, too! This may include something as significant as renewal incentives (win-win) or altruistic like free grab n’ go breakfasts or a coffee bar. Site Upkeep There are several ways to improve water efficiency at your multifamily property. Each has a different price point to match your budget. If you decide to tackle a project that passes savings to residents, you’re building loyalty and showing that...

Blogging 101: Part 4 May02

Blogging 101: Part 4

Once you add great media to your blog post, you’re almost ready to hit publish! There are three tidbits that will help readers find your blog post and bring greater return on your investment. Add Categories and Tags Categories and tags are primarily used to organize your content and make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for. These keywords are also used to help search engines identify what your content is about. This makes it easier for your blog post to appear appropriately in search queries. Let’s continue with the nursery safety blog example from our previous posts. In that instance, category may be “apartment safety” and tags may include “childproofing your apartment,” “baby proofing your apartment” or “nursery.” SEO Plugin  If you are working on a blogging platform that permits plugins like WordPress, an SEO plugin may be a worthwhile investment. It goes beyond the functionalities of Categories and Tags to help search engines “crawl” through your content. (That’s a nerd term for quickly scanning the content to identify its purpose and help it appear appropriately during internet searches.) The SEO plugin may ask you to identify keywords. Long-tail keywords are best here. “How to create a safe nursery” will be more beneficial than just “nursery,” for example. The plugin may also request a description. This is a brief summary of your blog post that may appear as an excerpt under your link and blog post title in a query listing. Keep the description to 2-3 sentences. Social Media Plugin Depending on the flexibility of your platform, you may also be able to add a social media plugin. The best of these plugins allow you to create custom posts for social media. You can add hashtags and use the format...

Blogging 101: Part 3 May01

Blogging 101: Part 3

Once you’ve chosen a blogging platform and written content, the next step in creating an engaging blog post is to include great media. Media includes visuals such as photographs, infographics, illustrations, and videos. For today’s post, we will focus on photography. Most modern smartphones are adequate to take a great image for blog posts and social media use. (If a staff member is competent with a DSLR camera and lighting tools, even better!) The tips below will give your images a professional touch. Select a Subject The subject of your blog post image will be influenced by the content of your post. Let’s say that you were writing about nursery safety as proposed in our prior post. Perhaps you choose to take a photograph of the nursery in your model unit. This subject is ideal because it’s relevant to the topic. Secondly, it’s a great choice because it is a custom photo taken on your property rather than a stock photo. Such an image showcases your product and what you have to offer residents and prospects. Identify Location and Lighting The best location for your image necessitates excellent lighting. It doesn’t matter how cool the location is if the lighting makes your image look murky or blurry. Indirect natural light is best. Directly natural light (i.e. sunshine at noon) can cast harsh shadows on your subject, especially faces. When shooting an image indoors, also pay attention to the way that the lighting casts shadows on your subject. In addition to great lighting, minimal background clutter is another key to a great location. Trash cans, signs, and unkempt landscaping can distract viewers from the subject. Includes Life Forms—Always! When it comes to your property blog, pictures with living creatures—humans, pets, or wildlife—are always more interesting...

Blogging 101: Part 2 Apr25

Blogging 101: Part 2

In our previous post, we compared popular blogging platforms WordPress, Wix, and Blogger. After choosing a platform and theme, then it’s time to start writing! Create a Content Calendar Planning pays off. When you take a moment to create a content calendar, you won’t miss timely events or feel the pressure to brainstorm hours before a due date. You will already have a list of topics on hand. Prioritize timely content related to seasons, holidays, and events. For example, it makes the most sense to publish a post on pool safety right before your pool opens in the late spring. Use the blog to promote timely events weeks in advance rather than waiting until the last minute. Identify Your Audience Your topic should be of interest to your residents. Consider the broadest demographic at your property as the audience for most of your post. You may occasionally choose to write for niche groups. Once you identify your audience, consider its needs and interests. Blog post content can stem from renters’ frequently asked questions, updates on the property, apartment lifestyle, local events and more. The possibilities are endless! Choose a Blog Topic The best apartment blog posts are those that will add value to the renter experience. Let’s say you check your content calendar and see that you’re due for a post on taxes. The topic applies to most of your audience since everyone pays taxes, right? You consider writing the post on local tax filing services. How can you make the list of businesses more valuable to residents? Perhaps you contact the businesses and request a discount for your residents in exchange for the business referral. Such a post could build loyalty. It promotes the benefits of living at your property and living in...

YMF Beverly Hills Apr20

YMF Beverly Hills

The Yardi Marketing Forum happened in Beverly Hills last week, drawing a crowd of marketing geniuses from property management companies around the country. Attendees caught a show at the legendary Magic Castle, strolled Rodeo Drive and indulged in a champagne and caviar tasting at Citizen. See the photos here. Sounds fun, right? It wasn’t all swimming pools and movie stars. During the day, the forum took a deep dive into all things property marketing. Influential speakers took the stage to talk about everything from video marketing and automation to lead attribution and the future of marketing technology. By the end of two days, it was clear: property marketers need to embrace customer-centric marketing to stand out from the competition. That means putting the customer first, ahead of your properties and your brand, to ultimately win more leases. 3 Ways to Embrace Customer-Centric Marketing 1. Connect with story If you think all property marketing videos look the same, you’re not alone. You’re probably picturing a camera panning around an empty display model, focusing on the gleaming hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, while a voiceover lists amenities and throws the word “luxurious” around. The thing is, those kinds of videos don’t make a connection with the customer. You’re not just leasing them an empty apartment, you’re renting them a home, a lifestyle, a place to tell their stories. The easiest way to make an impact? Tell a story with your video marketing. A full 70% of consumers say storytelling makes them feel more connected to a brand. Want to learn more? Watch our keynote “Emotional Impact – Marketing Lessons from a Filmmaker” with cinematographer Gavin Garrison below. 2. Be a helper, not a pusher “Buying today – especially for larger purchases – is fraught with tension,” said guest presenter Kyle Rees, senior executive advisor at CEB, now Gartner. “Customers are looking to us for help.” He suggests making it easier for customers to buy by updating the buyer’s journey to make it easier for them to learn. “Instead of mapping how to buy from us, we need to map how to buy in general,” said Rees. Consider the research, questions and roadblocks that will pop up on the path to rent an apartment and then make sure your company has tools to help them along the way. The more resources you have in place to identify decision criteria (like floor plans and neighborhood maps) and explain pros and cons (like property reviews), the more likely you are to provide a positive customer journey and win the leases that are right for your property. Wondering what happens when you don’t focus on the customer and provide a bad buyer’s journey instead? It increases purchase regret by 54%, meaning those residents will be less likely to renew their leases or recommend living at your property. 3. Track the total journey Today’s online renters don’t make a leasing decision without doing a lot of research. In fact, at least half of them visit five or more property websites before visiting a leasing office. This means that our old ways of reporting on the customer journey – using either the first or last touchpoint to attribute the marketing source – is showing only a small piece of the puzzle. To effectively market to your customer, you need to know where your customers are coming from and what they’ve seen along the way. This means it’s time to embrace multi-source lead attribution for more accurate insight into the customer buyer journey. One thing attendees at the forum learned before anyone else is that RENTCafé CRM is evolving to do just that, and clients will soon have the ability to see multiple touchpoints on the prospect journey from lead to lease. Exciting News Our next Yardi Marketing Forum will take place in the Big Easy! That’s right, YMF is heading to New Orleans this November. Registration...

Blogging 101 Apr17

Blogging 101

You hear it all the time: to improve your organic ranking with Google, you need frequent, fresh content for your website. Blogging is a common best practice for keeping new content on your site while connecting with your residents. But how do you start a great blog? First, you need to select your blogging platform. There are several options available, varying in price points and features to fit your needs. WordPress WordPress has been the leader in the blog industry for years. It’s the most popular choice because it allows for the most flexibility. There are about 10,000 supported themes for WordPress and each one offers a degree of customization. That means that your blog can compliment your brand and stand apart from the crowd. With nearly 30,000 available plugins and hundreds of widgets, you can enhance your site in a multitude of ways. User-facing add-ons permit event calendars, image galleries, social media streams, merchandise sales, and all sorts of interactive goodies. There are also more technical plugins that impact the functionality of your site. While there are a lot of options, WordPress doesn’t need to be overwhelming. WordPress is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Pick a theme. Write a post. Publish. Done. You can choose from WordPress.com or the self-hosted, open source WordPress.org. The latter allows greater customization and control while the former is a simple starting point for beginners. Wix Wix is the new kid on the block that has tons of personality and a growing fan base. This simple platform makes it easy for newbies to get started. Choose from a dozen, predetermined templates with a simple drag-and-drop user interface. These fresh themes give your site a clean, modern look that’s popular with top name...

RENTCafé + AIM Apr12

RENTCafé + AIM

Yardi has entered an exclusive three-year agreement securing RENTCafé as the title sponsor of the Apartment Internet Marketing Conference (AIM). “We are excited to announce our partnership with AIM. We believe this is a great opportunity for us, for AIM and for the attendees because ultimately, we are all laser-focused on innovative digital marketing,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. A Powerful Partnership AIM is the only industry event focused exclusively on educating multifamily executives on advances in internet marketing, advertising and branding. Executives gain insights into web technology and applications, mobile platforms, lead tracking and in-home technology as well as resident retention and communication techniques. RENTCafé, a leading multifamily marketing solution, unites marketing and leasing functionalities in a single, easy-to-use platform. Prospects, residents and staff benefit from its intuitive interface and groundbreaking features. “Marketing executives are increasingly called on to shape the resident experience and manage the pace of innovation. That starts with initial impressions of a community, and flows through to communications, social media, service and amenities,” shared Steve Lefkovits, executive producer of AIM. “We’re delighted to have Yardi and RENTCafé as partners in educating the industry about the future.” “RENTCafé has seen tremendous growth by adding innovative marketing features for the multifamily industry. Through this partnership, we can support the key foundations of the conference, providing exactly the kind of cutting-edge solutions that attendees have come to expect from AIM,” said Bonardi. What to Expect at AIM This year, keynote speaker Malcolm Frank will explore the topic of marketing automation with “What to Do When Machines Do Everything.” Automation is a key area of opportunity for organizations seeking to achieve greater efficiency and customer engagement. Frank will offer strategic guidance and actionable steps to help AIM attendees and their organizations excel in the...

Holli Beckman Apr10

Holli Beckman

Property marketers use lead attribution to determine where leads are coming from so they know what is working, what isn’t and where to spend their marketing dollars most effectively. But single source lead attribution models only credit the first or last source with the lease. “We know that 50% of renters visit five or more websites before they even set foot inside your leasing office. But we only give one source credit for the lease?” says Holli Beckman, vice president of marketing and leasing operations at WC Smith. “If 100% of attribution is going to the first touch, then you are indicating that none of the other sources have any value.” So how do we fix it? How do we more accurately assign value to all the touchpoints that prospects interact with on their buyer journey? The answer is multi-source lead attribution. It’s a relatively new model in multifamily, and it’s a topic Beckman is passionate about (check out her article “Why the Multifamily Industry Is Missing the Boat on Multi-Source Lead Attribution”). So is the development team at Yardi. We’re constantly evolving RENTCafé CRM to accommodate new data points and provide deeper insight into prospect activities and marketing sources. That’s why we invited Beckman to join us at the Yardi Marketing Forum in Beverly Hills this week to share her insights as we preview new lead attribution tools designed to increase accuracy and ROI for property marketers. Before the forum, we had a chance to catch up with Beckman and ask her a few questions related to her session and trends she is seeing right now. What limits property marketers’ ability to deliver leads? Beckman: A true understanding of customer behavior. For so long we’ve only reported on one step of the customer...

10 Ways to Win Mar29

10 Ways to Win

Your residents are the lifelines of your community. Where would you be without them? It’s essential to build resident loyalty by showing that their presence is valuable. Organizing a Resident Appreciation Week is an excellent place to start! Below are 10 ideas to help you win Resident Appreciation Week: Pet Photo Contest Cutest pet photo contests are a great way to get pet owners involved in social media—and receive free marketing! Have participants follow your chosen social media account. To enter, they must tag you in their pet photo and give you permission to share the image. Your social media handle circulates, you gain more followers, and residents get goodies. Win-win. Binge Night Host a movie marathon or binge watch a season of television series. Keep it fun and lighthearted with entertainment like Fast and the Furious, Star Wars, or Friends. You may want to skip out on This is Us unless you want everyone to go home in tears. Team Spirit Night Shuttle residents to the local high school to support student activities. Proceed the event with a family-friendly pregame party. Game (or Gaming) Night Board games, card games, and multi-player video games are a great way to get residents to interact. Don’t forget the snacks and plenty of napkins. #shoplocal Bar Crawl Provide a shuttle to take residents to locally-owned bars and breweries. If possible, negotiate with shop owners to provide discounts for residents. The shop gains new loyal customers and you earn points towards resident loyalty. Another win-win! Themed Costume Party Pick a decade, movie, or another creative theme for your party night. Prizes for best-dressed (maybe even rent discounts) are a good incentive for greater participation. Raffle A raffle is an easy way to let everyone participate regardless of his...

Video Marketing Mar28

Video Marketing

Gavin Garrison recently joined the team at Yardi as our resident cinematographer and editor. With experience that ranges from corporate marketing to TV sitcoms, we’re excited about the stories he’s going to help us tell about our clients, coworkers and brand. Gavin will be meeting multifamily marketing experts from around the country at the Yardi Marketing Forum in Beverly Hills next month to talk about the emotional impact of video marketing. We sat down for a chat to learn a little bit more about him and get some tips that anyone can use to engage an audience. Tell us about your experience in film before joining the team here.  Before joining Yardi, I ran my own television production company with my fiancée, Ashleigh. In Antarctica, we filmed and produced the Emmy-winning television show Whale Wars, which airs on Animal Planet and is now on Netflix, too. When not filming for television, we created corporate marketing pieces for hospitality, software, automotive and retail industries. Before getting my graduate degree in film production from the University of Southern California, I worked in scripted television on shows including The OC, Mad Men, and Malcolm in the Middle.  What excites you about your role at Yardi?  The stressors that come from running a small business aren’t present at a company like Yardi. At Yardi, I have access to big thinking and big creative. We have an excellent marketing team that’s a joy to work with. I’m looking forward to creating content together that engages everyone that’s watching. I think this industry desires good filmmaking and impactful storytelling, and Yardi has already spearheaded that effort. I’m a storyteller by trade, so that’s what I do best; I’m ready to bring the stories that surround Yardi to life on screens...

UK Perspective

The UK’s build-to-rent sector is booming. In less than a decade, the sector has grown by around 60% and is now worth some £1.5trn. This comes as no surprise. We all have, at some point in our lives, been looking for a place to live, whether it is a house or a flat, and build-to-rent is an alleviation in the midst of the UK’s housing crisis. The internet has made home searching extremely easy and the advent of the so-called ‘generation rent’ has seen millions of people turning to renting as their model of choice. The old days of pen and paper, endless phone calls and long rides in your car to view properties are long gone and the search is now almost entirely conducted on the web. Just as shopping no longer means showing up in a store, home searching has become essentially digital. But even so, the process might be extremely slow. Imagine you are on your lunch break, looking for an apartment on your laptop or smartphone. You are clicking on dozens of different sites, scrolling through pages and pages of dubious websites. Maybe the information provided on the website is incomplete. It lacks floorplans and energy ratings. There are no reviews or pictures. How can you trust this website instead of another one? Is the apartment going to be as good as it is presented? Are you just going to waste your time? Hunting for an apartment can be a very frustrating experience indeed. Turning to the other side, and looking at the situation from a landlord’s perspective, it is increasingly hard to catch a home-hunter’s attention. Due to the same chaotic web scenario, this challenge is now tougher than ever. How can a landlord make a prospective resident discover...

Marketing Automation Jan29

Marketing Automation

To stay competitive, your properties and services must remain in the forefront of the digital marketplace. From a prospect’s search to a resident’s lease renewal, marketing automation can help you exceed renters’ expectations. Marketing automation streamlines repetitive tasks, follows user behavior and delivers targeted content. Such content ushers customers into your leasing pipeline and then helps you keep them as loyal residents. Watch a quick video about marketing automation. In a recent post, we interviewed Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. She explains the long-term benefits of automated marketing. “Attracting a new resident costs up to five times more than retaining an existing one,” explained Bonardi. “With automation tools designed to check in with residents, conduct surveys, provide contact support and offer timed renewal savings, both your retention rates and your bottom line will improve… automatically!” Learn to automate your marketing for an improved leads-to-leases experience! Below are just a few proven strategies for marketing automation. Nudge Marketing Nudge marketing is a website-based tool that tracks visitor behavior. You can use the tool to deliver targeted content to website visitors based on their actions. You can share a promotion with first-time visitors or prompt visitors to schedule an appointment after viewing floor plans. You control the content and the corresponding user behavior. Intelligent Text Response Text is the latest and greatest in rapid communication for businesses. Provide prospects with customized, automated responses that answer their questions without consuming leasing agents’ time. If a prospect wants to know more about outdoor living space, your automated response can give the square footage of the property’s decks. You can also use the service to send a link to available units. Timed Lease Renewals Increase resident retention and improve forecasted revenue with automated lease renewals. Send...

5 Resolutions Jan04

5 Resolutions

By now, your staff is making its way back to the office after enjoying the holidays. It’s the perfect time to set a few New Year’s resolutions that will usher your property towards success. Never Miss a Quality Lead Leads bring life to your property, but not all leads are created equal. RENTCafé CRM captures every lead. It then creates a hierarchy, letting your staff know which leads are most likely to convert. If you desire, you can then prioritize your follow-ups accordingly. Work Smarter, Not Harder Is your staff still wasting time with paper applications? Still answering the phone forty times a day in response to maintenance requests? Save time by allowing prospects to fill out their entire application online via RENTCafé. Tack on Screening Works Pro for online resident screening that is customizable and consistent. Boost resident satisfaction and loyalty with RENTCafé resident portal. Existing residents can pay their rent, submit maintenance requests, and receive community announcements 24/7. Improve Time Management Face it: no one at your site wants to be responsible for handling payments. Damaged checks, fraudulent money orders, and lengthy trips to the bank are just a few hassles that you can avoid with Payment Processing. When residents pay via ACH, credit card, or text, you never have to interact with a payment. For residents with a walk-in payment (WIPS) or a check, a quick scan reduces processing time and automatically uploads to your property management system. Simple! Stay Connected If your property is not consistently engaging with prospects and residents on social media, your property is quickly becoming irrelevant. Stay ahead of the competition with RENTCafé. Write timely blog posts that showcase the personality of your site. Easily create social media posts to share across multiple platforms, reaching residents...

Get Ready for ’18 Dec26

Get Ready for ’18...

The winter months signal a slow down throughout the multifamily industry. For marketers and site staff, however, the slow season is a great opportunity to get ahead for the spring. Below are 9 tips for a productive winter that will jumpstart your spring. Marketing Refresh Collaborate with sales and operations. The slow season is the perfect time for marketers to strategize with other departments. Assure that your spring goals have the budget to support them. Share insights that you’ve received from residents’ surveys, prospect feedback, and other sources that may influence changes at the properties. Now is the time to mention any needed site updates or value-add software for residents and staff. Maintain your online presence. All leases come to an end. When they do, you want to be on the forefront of prospects’ minds. Even if you dial back on spend, maintain a strong presence on your highest quality lead sources. Yardi RENTCafé makes it easy to manage your marketing spend while optimizing your exposure. Get a head start on your spring campaigns. The early bird gets the worm, so don’t wait until the snow melts to plan your local campaigns. Use the quiet times in the office to brainstorm new ideas. Create a content calendar for the blog and social media. Impromptu posting is a great way to take advantage of relevant, timely material. Content calendars, however, ensure that you always have a plan for keeping your social media up-to-date. RENTCafé makes it easy to create and schedule posts to your blog and social media platforms. Resident Retention Build loyalty with residents. With fewer prospects consuming your time, take this opportunity to pamper your existing residents and build loyalty. Issue resident surveys to understand what residents love about your property—and what can...

YMF Baltimore

A savvy group of marketers joined us for learning, networking and fun at the bi-annual Yardi Marketing Forum (YMF) in Baltimore last week. During the event, attendees explored the latest trends in digital marketing, tips and tricks to optimize outcomes, and real estate technology. As noted by Esther Bonardi, Yardi vice president of marketing, the event is “all about helping you tap into your inner marketing genius.” Here are some of the top digital marketing themes covered: Get in touch with your audience As marketers, we’ve traditionally divvied up our target audiences by demographic information. In today’s noisy digital landscape, we need to meet our customers where they’re at. Speakers Brad Downs, vice president of marketing for the Baltimore Ravens, and Brad Batesole, staff author at LinkedIn, shared strategies to better reach target audiences. Drawing from his fifteen years of experience in sports marketing, Downs stressed the importance of moving from brand first to fan first. “It’s that fan first mentality. Our fans are incredibly important to us. Fans want to feel as important as they are,” he said. By focusing on fans first, opportunities to engage and foster fandom become easier to identify. Downs demonstrated that life stage marketing goes beyond traditional demographic segmentation, resulting in better customer experiences, tailored events and increased engagement. For the Ravens, life stage segmentation resulted in targeted fan development campaigns focused around women and adolescents. This included Purple, a community building initiative to cultivate the female fan base, and RISE, a football outreach program for local children and high schoolers in emerging Ravens strongholds. Life stage segmentation helped draw 130,000 fans to Ravens marketing events,  development of an international audience, and an average attendance of 71,000 people at each home game. At Wednesday’s marketing master class, Batesole...