Buckingham Companies

By on Oct 6, 2014 in Marketing

Buckingham Companies may have forged its identity as a leader in commercial real estate but its multifamily properties have established their own reputation. In 2013 alone, the company received 19 awards for its singular proNicoleperties.

Spreading the word about Buckingham Companies’ award winning properties is an equally distinguished marketing department. The staff was honored with a Prodigy Award for Best Overall Marketing Program, another for Best Color Advertisement, and the Bronze Adrian Award for Complete Campaign and Posting.

Nicole Crosby, Marketing Manager, believes that the trick to modern marketing is for the department staff to quiet its own assumptions. “It’s less about what we have to say and more about what customers have to say. We’re just trying to do a better job of monitoring what our customers are saying and leveraging that feedback to use in our marketing campaigns,” says Crosby, pictured at right. “We can’t rely on what we think is great about our communities. We have to listen to what our customers have to say and use that as our marketing message.”

Buckingham Companies’ approach appeals directly to Millennials, whose social media usage serves as a direct line of communication to the marketing team. The team’s attentiveness has paid off. From feedback and observation, Buckingham Companies decided to capitalize on the popularity of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants and a common housing woe: roommate dysfunction.

“We did a marketing piece where we gave the students one of the BW3 wet naps attached to a little card that went out with the to-go orders that said, ‘Things are about to get messy. We’re here to help.’ Then on the other side of the card, we mentioned, ‘Now let’s talk about your living situation,’” laughs Crosby. The card gave students details about local properties. “We were trying to market the fact that we lease our apartments by the bedroom and you get your own private bedroom that individually locks off from the rest of the apartment. We capitalized on the fact that we help with that college roommate situation.”

While the floor plans could sell themselves to any visiting prospects, the marketing campaign reached students before they stepped foot onto the grounds.

Another key to successful marketing lies in the ability to make young adults feel like they’re part of the solution, that their contributions matter.  “We find that Millennials really get engaged when they can be more of an advocate rather than us trying to sell something to them,” explains Crosby. “We’ve found a lot of success from doing community engagement activities or philanthropic activities. The Millennial generation really seems to rally behind that, which then helps them become more of an advocate for our communities.”

Buckingham Companies’ CityWay actively uses Facebook to notify residents of multiple community events throughout the week. In addition to group classes and foodie events, there is a heavy emphasis on community service, environmental outreach and supporting local businesses. Events for Indianapolis City Market Farmers Market, collaborations with the YMCA, Goodwill, and IndyVolved nonprofits drummed up major support amongst residents.

An exciting community atmosphere can prompt young adults to sign the lease. It’s also a retention tool. Renters who are active in their communities are more likely to stay because of their personal investment and stronger social ties.

Listening to residents and keeping them engaged requires the power of social media. Buckingham Companies relies on RENTCafé™ to keep its social media and property sites active and up to date. “Having all of the property websites under one content management system makes it very easy for a small marketing department to login and quickly update websites as needed and pull reports to see where we need to do more work,” says Crosby. “Also, we’ve had a really great customer service experience as far as RentCafe is concerned. Anytime we want to update a property website, we just let the Yardi RentCafe team know and they’re usually able to accomplish it for us.”