Michigan Apartment Owner Markets Through Social Media Entertainment

Royal Oak, Mich.—Final Five Productions, a video production and social media marketing company, has created a series of on-line videos for Urbane Apartments, a suburban Detroit apartment owner. The goal of the web-based videos is to entertain prospective apartment renters—and help get them to, and around, the property.

The Final Five Productions series details Urbane Apartment’s Go Solo rental process. In approaching the project, Final Five eschewed the DIY-style videos often seen online—talking into the camera, for instance. Instead, writer and director Matthew Dibble crafted a full script for each “webisode.” Actors auditioned and were cast to portray Urbane leasing agents, potential renters and the competition.

In the Go Solo approach, leasing agents offer prospective renters the keys and directions rather than walking prospective residents through a model or available unit. By allowing potential renters to peruse the property alone, and being available to answer questions at any time, the idea is that the Go Solo process will take the awkward sales pitch out of apartment hunting.

The videos were filmed inside Urbane locations on Sixth and Center streets in Royal Oak, Mich., and exteriors were shot at the Urbane building on Breckenridge in Ferndale, Mich. They run just over one minute, long enough to maintain a story but short enough to keep a viewer’s attention.

Go Solo is compared during each webisode to more traditional ways of leasing. Compared humorously, that is. The competition—shown here as the “beige box salesman”—is portrayed as nosy, obnoxious and out-of-touch. The storyline takes advantage of that characterization to create laughs and extreme circumstances, according to Dibble.

Featured on the front page of UrbaneApts.com, the videos are the most recent tool in Urbane’s social media marketing plan. Dibble asserts that adding video to the front page of a web site increases search engine optimization 50 times more than text alone. Since 85 percent of web sites are discovered using search engines, having video is practically mandatory, he adds.

“We’re drilling down deeper into ‘enhancing the prospects’ experience,’ and we want to start before they ever get to our centralized leasing office, by first entertaining them,” Eric Brown, owner of Urbane Apartments, tells MHN. “We believe that the prospect doesn’t care all that much about your apartment features, yet that’s what most apartment marketing and collateral material talks about.”

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