Military Housing- Breakaway Marketing Tactics and Challenges

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Military and Student Housing – Breakaway Marketing Tactics and Challenges

The growth and professionalization of the military and student housing markets has created new tactics and emphases in how to reach potential customers and manage the ongoing relationships. Each presenter will share a case study of their experience and leave time for questions with the audience.Older marketers will remember the separation of senior housing from multifamily and the explosive growth of new listing sites, referral channels and touchpoints. Expect these presenters to provide similarly differentiated presentations about areas of housing that are no longer sub-sections of multifamily.

- Brunetta Harris, Military Housing Project Manager, Forest City Residential

- Jennifer Staciokas, Vice President, Marketing and Training, Lincoln Property Company

Published in: Business, Real Estate
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  • Brunetta Start with brief intro of Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) Partnership /Relationship with Command (support with problem residents, security forces, first sergeants, legal, local schools, MWR, Fleet & Family Services, Airmen Readiness) military culture / joint community town hall briefings and meetings Housing liaison (resident issues, GOQ coordination's, file audits, agreement compliance, etcReferral specialist – provide incoming service member with ALL housing options (housing for sale, apt communities and on-base) - determine housing eligibilityPHMA local chapter /Chamber of CommerceJennifer will discuss how privatized projects are paid and the housing market dynamicsJennifer Discuss how we get paid (BAH)Fair Housing compliance – mainly handled by the government partner since they do all of the referrals first. Some housing is divided by rank, so we have no control, but must treat everyone fairly once they come to our office. We cannot assign them to a house that isn’t within their rank.The housing market dynamics of different types of housing offerings - Some installations offer on-base housing only (behind the gate), some offer a mix of on-base housing (behind the gate) and housing near the installation (still belongs to Navy/LMH just is located off base.  All bases offer service members what is called "out in town" options which are apartment communities or home rentals by private owners
  • BrunettaNo DBY’S. Search website for home prior to arrival once duty station is assigned. WOM and Referrals. MilitaryHomesToday.com is a creative marketing strategy. The only website that has a direct link to all services privatized housing community websites. Site is an additional resource to promote/market privatized military housing and refer military families seeking housing at their next duty station directly to the private partner web site.Military House Task Force Committee/rep from each partner. (Friendly competitors) Encourage all partners to distribute flyer to moving service members – may not be able to retain service member at one of our locations but can refer and keep them in PPV with one of our partners where we don’t provide the family housing.Click on Web site support to submit changes to Yardi’s Military support teamSearch Engine Optimization (ongoing review of site analytics) Tracking stats
  • Jennifer:Some of our installations allow us to market to non-military residents, but that is at the bottom of the waterfall (DOD/Civilian) when occupancy drops below a certain % In some cases we refund part of the BAH to encourage more service members to choose family housing instead of going off-site to rent a house or apartment “in town”Emphasize the positives to service members when they are referred to us: free utilities, free large scale community service events, free renter’s insurance, 24-hour maintenance, no security deposit, and no credit checkBanner ads with link to LMH website on all military associated websites i.e. Military Spouse, MCCS Miramar home page, Navy Times, Marine Times, Military Connection etc.On base ad opportunities where families spend leisure time – movie theater slide, bowling alley, fitness center, Commissary shopping cart etc.Distribute collateral to: day care centers, schools with high military attendance, conventional properties with high military occupancy, temporary employment agencies where spouses may be looking for work, airport USO lounges, and military hospitalsBrunetta:No DBY’s. Website is one-stop shop for communication and keeping current residents informed on events, activities, policies, etc. Like CNN…scrolling headliners, latest news, etc.Link on Base website (partnership)Resident portal allows residents to personalize their webpage, post items for sale (military families move every 2 to 3 years – sell a lot of items) check monthly calendar, read/review monthly newsletters. Office staff can post announcements/alerts on residents webpage that general public (prospective residents can’t see)Review and approve residents posts (can disable a resident from requesting posts if requests are continually inappropriate. Residents can access forms, place maintenance work orders, view account summary (pet deposit, past due balances, etc) Incoming residents can download all necessary paperwork, complete, fax or email to office and be approved and assigned a home without ever coming into office. Can view 360 virtual tour of home and neighborhood. Access upcoming events and past events. Departing residents section….
  • Jennifer:Marketing is different for military than it is for conventional; budget is spent more on resident retention via Community Services and a large budget is given to this departmentRely heavily on the Community/Resident Services department for retention Our website www.lincolnmilitaryresident.com allows service members and their family to sign up for events we are hosting in their areaNewsletter, Website & FB are used to advertise these activitiesExamples of activities are: Spouse Club (free meal, free child care, and fun/educational activity), Guy’s Night Out or Ladies Adventure, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day Events, Kids Crew (June-August, weekly events for kids of all ages), Homecomings (provide pompoms, flowers etc.), First Aid Training, Babysitter Training, Holiday Family Photos, and Date Night plus many moreShow 2 minute Community Service video (click on picture of two kids at the bowling alley to watch)Brunetta:Hosts a variety of social activities and educational/life skills workshops for families as well as for husband & wife. Giveaways, gift cards, raffles, charity donations that’s tailored to military families. Ex: BX gift card, military charityAdvertised on website, email blasts from Forest City & Command, posted in office and maintenance self help store/warehousePartner with vendors and Trade/Barter with local businesses for sponsorships (pizza hut, starbucks, home depot, etc)Deployed spouse program, resident advisory boards (resident help promote events, distribute flyer, have voice)Can not compete with base events. Partner with base MWR, Fleet & Family Services, Airmen Family Readiness, to co-host events and compare event calendars.Marketing to general public is same as conventional when site is down waterfall (newspaper, direct mail, flyers, concessions, etc)
  • Jennifer:Resident Satisfaction Surveys via CEL – management companies (3rd party company) paid incentive fees for good scores; military gives awards for top performers – Community Services & Maintenance play a large role in CEL scoresBrunetta:Huge marketing campaigns to promote survey geared solely to gather level of resident satisfaction in areas of customer service, friendliness, follow-up, maintenance, etcManagement, office team, maintenance, landscaper, (construction which is a challenge – survey is based on property mgmt ops) plays a role in survey results. Maintenance market for upcoming and past events.On-line or paper survey optionReceive detail reports of scores, improvement areas and areas where we are performing well. Action plans are put in to place to set goals/improvement for following yearPost on website top 5 goals/action plans on “resident portal” so residents know we heard & listening to them
  • Jennifer: Large communities with multiple “neighborhoods” of single family homes /duplexes. Social media is an effective way to communicate with our residents.Social Media – we have tried to consolidate our efforts to a national LMH Facebook page to better monitor comments; Community Service departments are slowly starting up their own as well to advertise events, but registration for events still needs to go through www.lincolnmilitaryresident.comLessons learned – we had a spouse of a service member post a comment about safety concerns where she lived. We deleted the comments from FB, so she went to the local TV station instead. This situation made us very aware that you must be careful on what you delete; a second example is a spouse of a service member posted a comment saying that our team was racist because they were asked to move out of their home. They were asked to move out because she pulled a gun on her neighbor; however, we were unable to address her comment with the facts because it would expose her situation. That is a situation where we didn’t want to remove to anger her more, but we were unable to fully address since it was a sensitive situation. Command is in the loop when you have situations like this, but we need to be careful to balance our approach with them as well since a service member’s career could be in jeopardy.Post community videos on LPC’s YouTube ChannelPost Community Services event photos on FlickrUse QR codes to promote Community Services events – link to the registration website etc. BrunettaAs Jennifer mentioned earlier, our military projects are “large communities with multiple neighborhoods”. As you can see from the photo, This is one “neighborhood” within Forest City Navy Hawaii military housing community. Communities are wide-spread and filled with logically challenged.21 neighborhoods / 4,472 single family and duplex homes – NH ---- 13 neighborhoods / 2,092 homes - HM4 neighborhoods / 670 homes – AFA ---- 19 neighborhoods / 2,985 homes – NNWI like to share how FB was utilized at our Navy Mid-South in Memphis TN (5 neighborhoods / 318 homes) during a natural disaster.Next slide
  • BrunettaShare story how FB was “the one stop communication tool” for residents after flood Posting on Navy FB page / retrieve info on I-phone Round clock posts and coordination : (hotel accommodations, insurance claims, food, water, clean-up & safety) on Navy FB page (partnership)Impact of FREE renter’s insurance. 911 emergency reverse calls /text alerts (other cutting edge ways to communicate w/residents)Jennifer will wrap up with more technology before we go into our Q&A session
  • Jennifer:Community Services Registration Website for all Events by Installation – www.lincolnmilitaryresident.comScan the QR code to direct you to www.lincolnmilitaryresident.comTurn over to Moderator for Q&A session
  • Military Housing- Breakaway Marketing Tactics and Challenges

    1. 1. Military Housing Marketing Tactics & Challenges<br />Brunetta Harris - Forest City Military Communities<br />Jennifer Staciokas - Lincoln Military Housing<br />
    2. 2. Partnership & Relationship<br />
    3. 3. New Resident Attraction<br />
    4. 4. New Resident Attraction<br />
    5. 5. Retention Marketing & Resident Programs<br />
    6. 6. Retention Marketing & Resident Survey<br />
    7. 7. Resident Communication & Web Technology Engagement<br />
    8. 8. Resident Communication & Web Technology Engagement<br />
    9. 9. Resident Communication & Web Technology Engagement<br />
    10. 10. Lincoln Military Housing <br />Forest City Military Communities<br />Thank You<br />
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