There’s a lot of information available on how to best market your properties – some ideas are really good – and some…not so much. As a multifamily marketer, the problem is not finding ideas – it’s finding the time to organize and then act on these great ideas. Between answering phone calls, scheduling move-ins and managing your leasing staff, the time you have left to manage the “next best thing” to increase your foot traffic is limited.
Following are three valuable ways to increase foot traffic at your properties. These ideas give you the opportunity to better control how you “talk” to your potential residents (your target market) and will drive foot traffic to your property, making your job easier and more effective.
1. Create Curb Appeal
They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression…and this is especially true for people driving by your community at 30 miles per hour. Their first impression of your community is decided in a heartbeat.
While the idea of changing or updating curb appeal may sound daunting, (and expensive) there are a number of special touches you can give your street-facing properties that can add to the overall look of your complex.
- Touch up the paint – is the paint peeling or dirty on your office exterior? A simple pressure wash, paint touch-up or color change can do wonders.
- Add in festive planters – with spring arriving and summer around the corner, there’s nothing better than a couple of large planters with a pop of colorful flowers to brighten up your community. Color coordinating with your signage will really grab your prospects attention!
- Offer mobile-friendly ways to contact your leasing associates – maybe it’s a quick text number or just a phone number; something that offers a quick and convenient way for passers-by to contact you.
- Update your signage – is it time? Maybe. This is one way to modernize your property without a lot of time and energy invested. In fact, when you work with a centralized marketing platform (CMP) this can happen with a few keystrokes. A CMP can manage the procurement, production, logistics and use of all marketing products to save you time and drive stronger, more qualified foot traffic. One of my favorite strategies is to update your sign colors seasonally, while still using your brand colors.
2. Community Commitment
Taking an active role in the community shows current and potential residents that you care about where you live, and essentially, where they live.
Ideas can be somewhat endless in this category, but a few that highlight quick execution are listed below. Be sure to enlist the brain power of your leasing associates and front-line staff for their input and help organizing. Your CMP ensures brand consistency and saves time on the ordering and managing of event collateral.
- Host a community event such as a bike helmet giveaway for children, a fun run/walk, or an ice cream social to include your residents as well as people from the community. Pay special attention to the local schools and large employers in your area, and consider partnering with a non-profit organization to help with volunteers. Be sure all participants receive a giveaway advertising your community and logo.
- Target local businesses for cross-promotion. Whether it’s the newest restaurant, or the local grocery store, work with them on ideas that are mutually beneficial; ask them to feature your community to their customers, and you can encourage residents and prospects to visit their establishment. Implementing strong PEP programs can be very successful.
- Speak with local HR departments about the amenities of your communities, highlighting the benefits of living close to work. Consider offering a move-in discount or other perk for new employees moving into the area.
3. Rally the Troops Residents
Your current residents can be the best “salespeople” for your community. When people are excited about where they live – or about anything, for that matter – they tell others (everyone) about it. Intentionally asking and encouraging current residents to spread the good word will drive demand for your properties.
- Send a thank you note – is there a resident that you’re especially thankful for? Take a quick couple of minutes and send them a thank you note. This not only creates a sense of community, but may encourage them to extend some very positive feedback. If they give a glowing report, ask if you can post it within your marketing materials or on social media. Sending a note like this is more impactful than only communicating when rent is due or when there’s a maintenance issue.
- Establish a resident referral program – when residents are happy, they tell their friends…why not reward them for doing so? Offer gift certificates to a local restaurant, a special gift, or other incentives. To make this as easy as possible, use your CMP to develop pre-printed referral cards – residents simply add their name – and hand out to their referrals.
Increasing the demand and foot traffic at your properties doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out project. Taking the above ideas and making them your own, while utilizing the resources of a centralized marketing platform will provide control over your marketing tactics, saving you valuable time and money.