Last modified on January 5th, 2016
By Stephanie Vernon
Today, we hosted a great webinar with co-hosts Grace Hill, called “Modernize Your Marketing for 2014,” featuring Amy Kosnikowski, one of the industry’s finest educators. Amy is a fantastic presenter and she had a ton of great tips and ideas for helping owners and executives gain a competitive advantage in 2014.
Watch the recording to learn ways you can sharpen your marketing, leasing, and social media skills in 2014.
Here are some interesting highlights from the webinar:
- Technology can empower your business – use it to your advantage and make sure technology is not a barrier.
- Customer service is the new marketing for 2014. Keeping your residents happy goes a long way and will help you maintain and attract residents. Awesome customer services means: doing ordinary things extraordinary well, adding value and integrity to every interaction.
- Social Media: We must first be social with our residents before social media can work and be successful. Engage with your residents by having a dialog and conversation first. If you want interaction online: get personal and act as a resource.
- Go with your strengths: Focus on this and have confidence with owning what you are good at for 2014.
- Go the extra mile with customer service. Awesome customer services means: doing ordinary things extraordinary well, adding value and integrity to every interaction.
Q and A:
To keep the marketing “alive” with current residents, how do you suggest speaking with them and/or handling their concerns about renewal rate increases?
The word ‘renew’ is defined as renovate, restore, replenish, rekindle and revive. What a fresh way to look at renewals versus as a drag or time-consuming project. Think of renewals as time to restore and check in on your relationship with the resident, or annual Home Satisfaction Wellness Checkup. Take the time to meet with resident to ensure they are happy and solutions that you can provide to ensure that they are having a positive experience. Be a solution provider by knowing your customer well and then tailoring the meeting to their needs, wants and expectations.
You can also think of the renewal or check-up meeting as a collaboration to help them get what the customer wants in a way that will benefit both parties. A win/win!
Additional points know the potential out of pocket expenses to move and be prepped with what your “negotiables” such as options other than price or incentives for renewing.
Do you recommend contacting residents directly on their Facebook page?
Create a marketing campaign of why they need to be part of your “community”. Two ideas:
1. Share with them the benefits of joining such as area restaurant specials, event reminders, receive got-to know information such a construction update or freeze warning. Establish the communication plan and points of contact of what you will say and when. When you plan and schedule it – it will happen!
2. Get Resident Engaged & Involved by asking residents for their opinion Do periodic surveys to rate your community’s service, product, etc as well as propose new amenities, programs, etc. What are resident thinking? What do they want? ASK THEM! Use the social media platform to gain this information. What do you like the BEST about living here? What can we be doing BETTER? What should we be doing that we are NOT? Listen to responses and respond with the action plan announcement of future changes.
What is the best way for offsite marketing staff can assist onsite staff?
Lead weekly marketing meetings or calls to determine team needs, customer trends and what is working to maximize effectiveness. Brainstorm themes or strategies as a creative group to gain new leads and leases for the upcoming week. Plus also sharing the marketing success stories of the past week which will motivate other to excel or to try something new. For example –brag & share a great outreach success story with all the steps taken and what occurred so all can learn and benefit in the future.
Are there any great apps or technology that you can recommend?
I have found the app Cam Card is awesome to scan business cards with my iPhone goes directly into my contacts. (Thanks Toni Blake for turning me on to this!) Plus Cam Scan a great help to me. It allows you to take pic of receipt then converts to pdf which makes it easy to complete expense reports or send to assistant, etc.
Have you noticed a shift in the industry for companies to mistakenly believe their Marketing and Site Staff to also be IT Staff with new technologies and software so prevalent?
Yes IT is cross training onsite (spending time onsite) to gain new knowledge of the day in the life of the leasing team to best assist them. No better way to see what tools are working or not. I am also seeing that IT is enhancing training with the onsite team to encourage troubleshooting so they can fix the tech issue themselves before they call IT.