Gwyneth Paltrow, Cupcakes and Property Management

What do Gwyneth Paltrow and cupcakes have in common?

They both make you feel really bad about yourself.

Also, they are both have gotten themselves a lot of publicity recently (well, not the cupcakes personally, because they’re inanimate. Unless they have somehow become sentient, in which case I feel really bad about eating them) for being creative.

Gwyneth Paltrow announced, via her lifestyle newsletter Goop, that she and longtime husband/terrible singer Chris Martin are “conscious uncoupling” (read: they are getting a divorce).

And, it was recently announced that Sprinkles Cupcakes in New York City is putting in a cupcake vending machine near their store.

Your property management team could learn a lot from Gwyneth Paltrow and from cupcakes.

First, let’s take a look at Ms. Paltrow. Instead of announcing that she and Chris Martin are getting a boring old divorce, she said they were now “conscious uncoupling.” It’s a nicer way of saying the same thing, she set herself apart from other celebrities who are divorcing, and she got us all talking about her. Sounds a lot like what you should be doing in your apartment ads, right? (Not setting yourself apart from celebrity divorcees, but your peers. Whatever, you know what I mean.) For your marketing copy, don’t talk about a standard one-bedroom apartment in a pet-friendly community. What about a “personal sanctuary that caters to your furry friends as well.” Or something. Anyway, like Gwyneth Paltrow, you should stand out from everyone else.

And what about the cupcake vending machine? The people at Sprinkles Cupcakes saw a demand for something that their customers wanted, and filled that need. And now we can get cupcakes even when the store is closed, so they are pretty much angels from heaven. So, what do your residents want? Maybe the gym could be open 24 hours. Maybe you could set it up so rent is paid online automatically so your residents don’t have to think about it. Maybe you could put a cupcake vending machine in your lobby, because that would seriously be an amazing amenity. Look at what your community is lacking and what your residents would really enjoy. And then add it.

What do you think? What else could property managers learn from Gwyneth Paltrow and cupcakes? And why do I suddenly have the urge to listen to some Coldplay while crying into my dessert?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor