Conference season is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it. Recently, a few team members from Rent Dynamics had the opportunity to attend the Multifamily Social Media Summit in Napa, California. We were able to get great face time with clients and colleagues, as well as attend the different panels and keynote speakers. Here are some highlights from the “Power Panel: Marketing Trends for a Better Buyer Journey” brought to you by Amanda Maclin, Vice President of Sales at G5, Crystal Tolen, Regional Vice President at Case & Associates, Alexis Murrell, Managing Director of Bellrock Real Estate Partners, and Chrissie Rivers, Director of Marketing at Topaz Asset Management.
The power panel discussed how the pandemic impacted marketing, operations, and the entire buyer journey, to bring us into the “next normal” in multifamily. They made it clear of the importance of being agile and adapting to changes as problems come up. The conversation touched on relevant issues we are facing in today’s market, like employee shortage and how to boost staff retention, and even the implementation of influencer into your marketing program.
Adapting to Change
Staying ahead of the game is crucial to the longevity of a company, that means fully processing every development in the industry. Power panel member Alexis from Bellrock said that staying open minded and rolling with the punches really helped their team stay successful during the pandemic.”We had to figure out what to do to change,” she said. The ability to adapt quickly is the difference between a forward thinking company and one that is stuck in the past.
Some of the biggest changes that companies had to deal with was the implementation of technology. Upgrading to the latest tech can be scary if you do not know what you’re doing. Crystal from Case and Associates said their team was already implementing some advanced tech to communicate, but the pandemic accelerated this across their organization, “Some refused to use social media, text, and 360° tours. Now they are forced to catch up with the times,” she said. Implementing change as simple as joining social media was and still is a challenge for those who are not willing to progress. That is one bright side that the pandemic had, it helped speed up the industry to meet prospective resident expectations.
Alexis tells us, “Training in the sales process has to completely change going forward!” Operators and property managers need to re-think what “good” customer service looks like across the board (are you offering self-guided tours? Communicating via text? etc). She reminded us that it’s important to continue developing and evolving how you build rapport and rebuild resident interactions.
Employee Retention in a Staff Shortage
Finding employees that are hardworking and good at their job can be a challenge at any given time, let alone in a staffing shortage. It is crucial that you are doing all that you can to hold onto the ones that you already have. Chrissie from Topaz Asset Management said they implemented a “happy box” at Topaz, where they send new properties that they acquire a box filled with swag, goodies, balloons, and a flash drive with all the operations documentation and materials they will need. “Employee appreciation goes a very long way,” says Chrissie. This box arrives as soon as they take over a new property and shows their onsite staff that they are important to them.
In addition to demonstrating appreciation, take the time to show off your company culture. While trying to find new recruits, make sure your social media shows how fun your work environment is. If you do use traditional job ads, make sure to keep them brief to avoid loss of attention for potential employees, and know your audience!
The panel was asked by Devin Lusk from American Landmark Apartments, how to maintain retention of employees, have they heard of anything that shows them that you care? The panel responses included: employee spotlights, extra time off, company-provided lunch once a week. Another example noted was a Property Management Company that modified to 32 hr work week, but still compensated 40 hrs/week.
Google My Business
Alexis recommended using Google My Business (GMB) as an affordable and effective way to boost your property presence. She said that “in Q2, 44% of conversion goals were attributed to GMB and 62% of calls originated from GMB.” GMB is a free way to market your business and acts like a “mini website”, giving your prospects all the information they need before they even get to your property website. When was the last time you didn’t research a company before doing business with them? People put a lot of weight into experiences others have had. Help customers choose you by including stunning photography, accurate business information, and excellent forward-facing business reviews.
Influencer marketing is a great way to advertise your communities through a trusted voice. DigitalMarketingInstitute.com said this about social media influencers, “74% of people trust social networks to guide purchasing decisions.” People look up to influencers very highly and trust their recommendations.
Crystal from Case explained that when it comes to implementing influencers in your marketing program, there are two types to use: residents on site, and local influencers. You can reach a larger audience through influencers in order to get more eyes on your company. On site influencers are a big help for marketing, but can also be used as a liaison to your residents. This will help you keep up with the needs of your tenants and in turn boost resident retention. This has worked great for Case and Associates as a fresh new marketing tactic that resonated with their residents and prospective tenants.
Our partner, Kanioa Clark, CMO of the Wasatch Group, is another expert in multifamily when it comes to influencer and celebrity marketing. To learn more about his take on this, check out his podcast interview with our CRO, Mike Wolber, on the Modern Multifamily podcast.
This power panel of experts in the industry highlighted some great points about how to improve your business, sharing tangible examples from their own valuable experience during the pandemic and beyond. It is essential for company growth and success that you are always looking forward and adapting to changes in the industry.
To learn more about how Rent Dynamics can help you stay ahead of the pack when it comes to leasing technology and resident services — or to find out what show we’ll be at next — let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!