In Part 4 of our Revenue Growth Strategies for Multifamily Communities, we will explore another revenue growth source closely related to renewals and referrals. Most of these marketing strategies go hand in hand and a well-rounded revenue growth plan should include many coherent elements including reinforcement marketing. Often, reinforcement marketing is overlooked because it is perceived as “busy work”. Reinforcement marketing doesn’t always create direct revenue growth which can also be a problem when pitching ideas to upper management.
Create a Community Atmosphere
A community atmosphere inside your multifamily complex is always a selling feature. Aesthetically
appealing communities please their renters and increases renewals. Happy renters tell their friends and word of mouth closes leases. Leases + Renewals = Revenue Growth! The formula is simple but the execution opportunities are endless!
Building a better sense of community starts with the basics.
Ensuring that maintenance and on-site management are at the top of their game, is a key step. Start with our 10 Daily Actions List to help your maintenance team to raise the bar.Allow your community atmosphere to impress from Day 1. Moving into a new home is exciting, stressful and sometimes scary, especially if it is your first place. Welcome your residents to the community with a gesture. The “Welcome Wagon” of bygone years is a concept that could be kept alive even in modern culture. Receiving a welcome gift or even a simple note will begin to build a trusting relationship that humans crave.
Help your multifamily communities stand out. Some fabulous ideas to welcome your tenants to the community include:
-Take a photo of the resident on moving day and file it with their information. Memories encourage residents to form an emotional attachment to your community. This memory photo can be used in many different ways. On a designated date, send the photo alongside a note telling the resident how happy you are to have them in your community, or, use this to celebrate their 1-month “move-in anniversary”. You could also utilize the photo as a renewal tool, send it alongside their lease renewal paperwork, and couple it with a handwritten note encouraging them to renew.
-Give a simple gift. Leave a new welcome mat at the front door to their apartment. Place a pretty potted plant or flowers on their patio. Hand make a quick wreath with their last initial for the front door.
-Gather menus from restaurants near your community. Place them in the tenant’s kitchen with a fun note saying “Moving is hard! Don’t worry about cooking tonight!” Pair it with a gift card from one of the restaurants.
-Offer a small gift card to your tenants to a useful location like a home improvement store, home furnishings store, or even a general purpose retailer. There are always new items needed to make a new homework and most residents would appreciate the gesture.
-Regardless of budget, gift baskets are a great idea. Pick a theme and pack the basket with simple necessities like dish soap, cute towels, and kitchen utensils placed in the kitchen. A bathroom gift basket could include new towels, bath mat, shower curtain or sweet smelling hand soap and candle. Treat them to a “movie night” with a Redbox rental coupon, microwave popcorn, and candy placed in their living room.
Imagine the feeling of walking into your first apartment and receiving a gift from the management. For the next generation of renters, a “welcome home” gift is almost sure to garner a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter post!
Turn your happy residents into ambassadors.
After you have thoroughly impressed your residents, capitalize. Ask them to become an ambassador for your brand. Target ideal residents and ask them to help you find other fantastic people just like them. Offer incentives for your ambassadors. Many property managers have gotten creative with their incentives wanting to stand out from their competition. One unique incentive found to be effective is free upgrades to the referrers’ apartment (new refrigerator, new dishwasher, new countertop, fresh paint, new carpeting, etc.) These upgrades may cost more in the short-term, but they also improve the unit in the long run and continue to increase the happiness of the current residents. Read more great ideas about referral programs in Part 3 of our Revenue Growth Series. (link)
Communication is Key.
Communication is key to any productive multifamily community. Your residents should feel like there is an open door policy in communicating with their property managers, yet they will not come to you unless you first go to them. Property managers should be visible on-site often. Regularly, check in with calls and notes. Be available to your tenants as much as possible. If you have to leave the office during business hours, leave a sign indicating when you will return or leave your business card so that the resident can call you. Visibility to your community will eliminate many complaints and foster a sense of caring that cannot be attained in other ways.
Ensure that your maintenance team is responding to calls promptly and that all amenities are in good working order. If your resident had an appointment with the maintenance team, it is appropriate for you to follow up and ask questions about the speed and quality of service. Same goes for your leasing agents and any other individuals on your team. Something as simple as checking in with your tenant will give them a sense that the community cares about them and about the experience of residing in your community.
Take your Marketing to the Net: Get Social!
Create an email list for all of your residents. This should happen with regular frequency and should cost you very little. Using a service such as MailChimp you can create a newsletter, for free! A great place to begin would be monthly. Your newsletter can include serious business items such as preparing for winter/summer, how to put in work orders for maintenance, upgrade requests, advertising for amenities, and more. To continue fostering the community atmosphere, you could include positive event happenings such as staff anniversaries or birthdays of the residents in the community.
The email newsletter is also a great opportunity to solicit positive comments for social media and review sites. Internet review sites and your personal website is the first impression that any potential resident will see. Having glowing reviews for them to read, from real residents, is very important. Communication is by far one of the best ways to increase your positive word of mouth.
Start a Facebook group for your tenants to socialize, in private. Allow them to post photos of themselves enjoying their apartment, amenities, and community. Ask your residents if you can use their photos to promote the community and earn yourself free marketing photos. Allow your residents to make suggestions and even complain in the private group and prevent them from taking their comments to public review sites. Do not allow their complaints and comments to offend you, but use them to improve the community. Often, your most powerful advocates are found in residents who had a problem that was resolved quickly to their satisfaction and with care.
Create a hashtag for your apartment community and encourage your resident to utilize it regularly. Friends and family member are some of the best potential residents for your multifamily community. Happiness is contagious, and everyone wants to live in a location that is great. Allow your residents to do the hard work of social media for you.
Encourage your tenants to get involved in the community. Start a Pinterest board with easy (and temporary!) home improvement projects. Organize a community “improvement” day with an art project that involves the residents. Allow them to “vote” on a guided set of upgrades for upcoming renovations to community areas. Giving the residents a sense of ownership and control will tie them to the community and create buzz about your community.
After all the hard work of improving the community, don’t forget to brag and allow your multifamily housing community to shine! The community could be the best one ever, but if no one knows this, revenues will stagnate. A key principle for growing revenue is to be continually improving and reinforcing the base marketing plan that you have in place.
Leonardo247 can put your multifamily community ahead of your competition by maximizing your team’s ability to spot and capitalize on reinforcement marketing opportunities through improving communication channels and streamlining community workflows. Let the Leonardo247 team show you, today, how they can revolutionize your multifamily community’s performance. Get in touch today for a free demo.