Key Marketing Tactics to Ensure Full Occupancy
Property managers and staff can expand their initiatives to drive new leases in a variety of ways. Alexis Krisay, Serendipit Consulting's co-founder & president of marketing, offers some strategies.
By Alexis Krisay, Co-Founder and President of Marketing for Serendipit Consulting
It’s no secret that having a solid marketing strategy is paramount when trying to achieve full occupancy. While an exemplary marketing strategy accounts for 50 percent of your on-site team’s success, management and staff must have systems in place to expand upon their marketing initiatives and invest their own personality and commitment into the equation. Success is ultimately found in the vibrancy of a company’s ‘personal touch’—its social media efforts, incentives and communication style contribute to a story aiming to appeal to both prospects and residents alike. Below are a few strategies that will help activate your referral network and drive new leases to your property through trending social platforms and applications.
Staying Relevant: Dominating the Social Landscape
In 2017, we watched multi-million-user platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat revolutionize the way in which we navigate shared social languages and continuously transform them into sustainable, actionable deliverables for businesses. Virtual tours, live videos and 24-hour story clips are likely to reel in large pools of followers and leave lasting impressions on digital users, simultaneously generating brand awareness and peaking interest.
With a landscape rooted in variability, it’s imperative to have a team that understands the importance of a strong social presence and the credibility that stems from active, diverse accounts. With a heavy emphasis on lifestyle imagery and the associative ways in which your property can boost its online persona, your community will inevitably gain leverage as a diverse and well-rounded living experience. Appeal to the senses of your residents through a myriad of mediums: cross-promotional photos at local restaurants; sharing images from residents’ accounts; and documenting stories that detail a ‘day in the life’ at your community are just a few of many ways to appeal to digital audiences. The more prospects who see your contribution to the ‘lifestyle experience,’ the more likely they are to insert themselves into the image you’ve curated.
Incentivize, Incentivize, Incentivize: Cash Is King
Prospects are more likely to take part in a promotion if the prize is simple, straightforward and appealing to multiple circles. Too avant-garde of an incentive, and you run the risk of losing the lead, too generic and you lose points for creativity. While arguably unimaginative, cash and Visa gift card incentives allow for the prospect or current resident to envision their own winnings with the toolkit you’ve promoted. While promoting a vacation giveaway or enticing with a large credit are indeed substantial offers, it’s the power of choice that really drives prospects in their decision-making process. Cash is king and the customization of capital is a winning strategy.
48 Hours: The Power of the Follow-Up
The follow-up is simple: engage with prospects at key intervals to effectively position your community as both responsive and thoughtful. Securing your lead occurs the moment they leave the property. Use talking points shared by the prospect on their recent tour to initiate the first round of follow-up communication in an email sent just a few hours after the tour ends (i.e. community needs listed, unit types desired, hobbies, upcoming engagements, etc). Adding a personal touch to your initial follow-up signals to the prospect that your community values both its residents and employees.
Both markers at 24 and 48 hours require management to direct the conversation with definitive calls to action. While still drawing from the bank of personal material shared from the prospect on their initial touring day, transitional messaging must present itself with a sense of urgency, promoting an air of exclusivity. Routine follow ups that paint your agent as a resource desk don’t provide enough allure to push for piqued interest or deeper questions; the agent must take care to curate responses in a way that effectively frames the property as the perfect solution to any inquiry.
Final steps to speak to your new lead include a final push roughly five to seven days after the initial point of contact. This could include a new promotion, personal invitation to an upcoming social event or highlighting upgrades to amenities that differentiate your community from the competition. In bringing the conversation back full circle, you complete the initial follow-up with points of self-interest, demonstrating both strong communication and listening skills that reflect positively upon your community.
Alexis Krisay is a partner & president of marketing for Serendipit Consulting, a public relations, marketing, branding and event-planning firm with a specialization in the student housing market. She can be reached directly at [email protected] or 602-833-2744.