Brainstorming 2013: Implementing the Latest Trends in Multifamily


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Were you unable to attend the 2013 Multifamily Pro Brainstorming Conference? Join For Rent Media Solutions™ and get caught up to speed with the content you missed! This year, the theme is HATTS! (Headgear for Achieving Terrific Things!). The theme addresses the tasks of a property management and leasing professional wearing many hats and playing a plethora of roles day to day.

In this #FRMSChat, we will cover the highlights and takeaways of the conference as well as frequently 'buzzed about' trends that will be emerging in 2014.

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  • Good afternoon everyone, I’m AnsleySudderth, Social media training and communications coordinator with For Rent Media Solutions. Thanks for joining me today. We have special guest, Christie Fleck-Struble with us today to share her thoughts on trends that will touch our industry in the new year. As the Director of Marketing, Christie and her team are always the first to know emerging marketing trends and inject them into the products and services we provide at! It was also Christie and her team that debuted the slow motion video booth which everyone enjoyed at this years Brainstorming conference! Thanks for joining us Christie! Christie says hello!
  • So before we get started, we are using the hashtag #FRMSChat on twitter so if you have any feedback, questions or maybe some insight, feel free to use the hashtag and one person using our hashtag will receive a $20 gift card! And we’ll announce the winner at the end of the webinar so sit back and relax!
  • We are in full gear and prepping for the new year which means out with the old and in with the new! What better way to get those creative juices flowing than going over the trends that were covered at Multifamilypro’s Brainstorming conference this year? Tami Sear-wick (phonetic spelling) always does a great job challenging us to think outside the box in terms of the day-to-day routine of a leasing and property manager. I know all of us who attended walked away with some exciting marketing plans for the new year. We don’t want to leave you out of the loop just because you weren’t able to attend!
  • Let’s kick things off with an overview of the trends that are sure to make an impact in 2014. We will Christie and I will add some application and share ways you can implement these trends. Throughout our session, we will tweet out a few valuable links so be on the lookout, then we’ll wrap things up with any Q&A. For those of you not on Twitter, don’t worry, we will be sending a follow up email with the links to today’s resources.
  • Today, apartment shoppers make purchase decisions in a short amount of time which means it’s important to have the technology to help them make those decisions. Driving revenue is a top priority in the multifamily space. Almost every conversation during the Brainstorming sessions touched on ways to keep revenue flowing while reaching 100% occupancy and retaining residents.
  • One marketing trend that drives revenue is online leasing. Online leasing has gained popularity as of late because it allows both the prospect and leasing agent to be more mobile which frees up time and gives you the opportunity to multitask.
  • Think about the amount of time it takes to go through the paperwork process. As a leasing manager, you could be doing a million other things with that time and so can your prospect. Today’s renter doesn’t have the time or desire to fill out lengthy paper work! Thanks to electronic advancements, a prospect can watch a video of your property on YouTube such as your FRVideo, their credit can be approved after filling out an online application and sign a lease all via social media.
  • Often, you may not even see your new resident until they move in and come to the leasing office to pick up their keys!
  • Another revenue generating trend we’re seeing is instead of charging a one-time pet deposit, property management companies are requiring residents to pay a monthly pet rent in addition to their own rent. This is not only going to generate more revenue but the monthly reminder will make pet owners cognizant of their responsibility. The IBISWorld report estimates that the average rate of pet ownership will increase at 2.2 percent annually. This means that between now and 2018, we will jump from 82.5 million pet owners to 92 million. One of the first needs an apartment shopper will want met is a pet-friendly community. Some people even value that over safety! Implement pole question: Are you a pet-friendly community?
  • Information gathering is important to both marketers and the consumer. For a marketer, it’s all about getting to know WHO you’re marketing to. What demographic, age group, gender and lifestyle preferences a consumer makes. For a consumer, research on a product or service is an integral part of the purchase and decision making process. Let’s go over trends that help marketers gather information about the consumer, then we’ll unveil trends that consumers use to conduct research.
  • We’ve talked about big data numerous times and one thing I found insightful was how Jennifer Nevitt of Forty2 talked about ciphering through the mass of data we as marketers are presented with to find the relevant data that will help us better understand our consumers. Finding relevant information may feel like your searching for a needle in a haystack but that’s why you have resources like For Rent to help you gather information about today’s renter!
  • For Rent Media Solutions went to your prospective renters to bring you an understanding of their needs, desires and expectations of a multifamily community. We compiled those findings and packaged them into a whitepaper so that you will be equipped to market to your next resident.
  • Consumers don’t find the information gathering process burdensome because it contributes to them making a sound, knowledge-based decision. This process takes place online and by choice. 9 times out of 10, a prospect is conducting research online while engaging in other media. This is called second screening or a multi-screen culture.
  • The multi-screen culture has completely changed the way we market and take in media. So much so that according to Forbes, 87% of electronic device sales will be tablets and smartphones. They will out sell desktop and laptop computers. Not only does this speak to a more mobile and remote culture, it speaks to the way we need to craft our marketing. As marketers, it’s important that we come to terms with the fact that we will never have a captive audience. Often, our marketing message will be competing with whatever TV commercial is on or the numerous tabs someone has open on their tablet. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your content leaves an impression. Chrisite
  • Cloud based info is beneficial to both marketers and consumers. The cloud is a information storage database that can be accessed just about anywhere. This is great for exchanging ideas, and documents with your team without requiring you to be in the same physical location. Some of the most popular cloud databases are DropBox and Google Drive. We actually used Google Drive during the entire Brainstorming conference and it worked seamlessly. So now we have some great ideas to share with you this coming year thanks to collaborative resources like Goggle Drive. Christie
  • Let’s get mobile! The mobile movement is an unavoidable trend that is going to breathe new life into your print efforts.
  • You can bring print to life using digital watermarking. Apps likeLayar and Digimark bring an offline action to online conversion. Where some might say print is dead, the mobile movement can show otherwise. This is an example shared by SashiBellamkonda, VP of Marketing for Chrsitie
  • Mobile transactions touch on revenue generating tends as well as mobile. Now, mobile innovations like Square and the RentPayment App promote the on-the-go lifestyle of residents with easy options to make transitions via a smart phone or tablet. This may not be scalable for every property but you should definitely check with your current management software vendor or company and ask what products they have available to align with this trend.
  • We always harp on moving away from the mentality of selling units and toward the idea of promotion a lifestyle. Let’s go over some ways you can do just that!
  • What better way to show you care than by hosting a town hall meeting? Town hall meetings are always an effective way to not only provide an open forum for information gathering, but events like these are going to show your residents that you are actively listening to what they have to say and that their opinions matter. Check out the text toward the bottom of the flyer for ENSO apartments . It says the first 6 people will win a gist card and everyone will partake in refreshments. I think this sets the mood and sends positive vibes which will take the edge off and make this event more of a constructive dialogue versus an inquisition! Christie: Reputation Management
  • What better way to promote a healthy lifestyle than with a fitness calendar offered only to residents? If only every community could have a state of the art fitness center with instructors! The truth is, most properties may not have a 24-hr fitness center but you can still find ways to create a custom user experience with the amenities you DO have. Remember it was your amenities that attracted your resident. Make sure you’re promoting those perks.
  • When they shared these tech-friendly outdoor umbrella poles, I knew I had to pass the knowledge onto you guys. These aren’t just ordinary umbrella poles folks, each of these poles offer a perk! The pole on the left allows you to plug in your electronic devices, the upper right has built-in speakers to amplify your music and the bottom right is an addition that displays led lights when it gets darker. Well, I don’t know about you but if I’m a resident at a community that offers these perks, I’m going to be camped out by the pool from open to close! Not only is this injecting convenience to your residents, it’s accommodating the mobile lifestyle. More people are working from unconventional places these days. What if a resident can work remotely but a hot button need they want met is a community that accommodates that lifestyle? Now, you’ve just converted that prospect because they can work poolside and wouldn’t be able to do that elsewhere. It’s the little things that make all the difference. Christie
  • Remember earlier, we talked about the growing number of pet owners? Many of these pet owners may be satisfied that they found a pet-friendly community. But the question is, are you pet-friendly or just pet-accommodating? Host a Yappy Hour for your residents where pet owners and non-pet owners alike can mingle. Your residents can have a cocktail while the pets just wag their tails! It’s important to remember, allowing pets means happy residents, and happy residents make for a happy apartment community.
  • If you’ve been looking for chochkies to show you appreciate your four legged residents, look no further! We have some pretty neat pet scoops you can pass on to your residents! We want to know what you do to make your community pet-friendly! Share you ideas by leaving a comment by going to– one lucky winner will receive FREE pet scoops for their residents! You have just under 24 hours to do this because we’re selecting the winner tomorrow, Friday, November 22, 2013 at 12PM EST. Enter now!
  • I am still waiting for one of you to host a food Friday at your community. The food truck trend has hit almost every city by now and it’s creating a huge social buzz. We’ve talked about cross promotions also know as outreach marketing, to make connections with business to offer perks to residents which in turn give you and the business brand exposure. Going out of your community and reaching out to a food truck is something that will set you apart from you competitors, words of mouth and word of mouse will work in your favor and the heavy lifting will be done by the food truck. In most cases, food trucks are start up and their only mode of advertisement is via word of mouth and word of mouse so they’d be happy to partner with you because you’d be bringing the customer base to them. Christie
  • 53% of residents say that they are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly features. It’s time to start thinking about ways to appeal to this type of renter.
  • Something as simple as adding and additional receptacle is a great way to accommodate those who do choose to recycle at your community.
  • This is a screenshot of an app called ‘My Recycle List” deemed as the first fully “comprehensive 'all items, all zip codes' recycling app," Theapp from 1-800-Recycling features a list of almost everything that can be recycled—from electronics, tires, oil, paint, glass, plastic, wood, mattresses, junk, etc—and points you to nearby locations that accept those recyclables. Christie: Town hall meeting plug
  • This is a list of thins a resident can recycle from their apartment. You could replicate this graphic and post it close to a communal location like the mail boxes.
  • What conveys being green better than accommodating your electronic or hybrid car owners?
  • As gas prices rise, more apartment dwellers and home owners are dishing their gas guzzlers and switching to electric cars. There were multiple mentions of Elon Musk who created the Tesla, zero emission vehicle. Many properties in more metro areas of the country are currently providing charging stations inside the parking area for residents. I’m not sure how much a charging station costs but with the popularity of electric cars, the unit would probably pay for itself in no time.
  •  Let’s talk about dog dooty for a moment. It’s not pretty but depending on size, a dog will create between 300-100 lbs of waste in a year and I’m sure you pet-friendly properties don’t want that to go unattended! Make it convenient for owners to clean up after their pets.The last thing you want is your residents complaining about the pet waste issue, so you need to make it easy for owners to clean up after their pets. The easiest way to manage pet waste disposal is to install cost-effective pet waste stations. It has been proven that providing dog owners with doggie poop bags can improve compliance by at least 150%. You can use the following graphic to calculate the number of dog waste removal stations you may need on your property.For Apartment Communities: Start by installing one pet waste station with biodegradable dog poop bags every 160 yards within the area. Placing dog waste removal stations throughout your property makes it easy for residents to clean up after their pets. Putting stations near the mailboxes, pool, and parking spaces are all good areas.
  • Part of being eco-friendly is being concerned with what we put in or bodies. Many places and communities have installed filters water stations that allow users to take a sip of clean water as well as fill up their water bottle when they’re on the go.
  • We can’t harp on visual social media enough! This trend is here to stay and consumers expect to see images on their home feeds and timelines.
  • Jennifer Evans Cario of SugarSpun marketing brought up a great point that you can’t just share any type of image. It’s all about quality. Invest in quality images and you will receive a better ROI. Christie: On YoY blog # growth due to image strategy
  • The most popular social networks to allow you to be visual are going to be Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Where once geofencing was used for pets in the form of a microchip,geofencing was evolved to help marketers strategically connect to consumers. Accordng to Mashable, web and mobile apps are now, more than ever, incorporating location as an experience-enhancing feature for differentiation in increasingly crowded markets.
  • Geofencing helps marketers find and track a consumer’s digital footprint. This encompasses social checkins, like checking into your favorite store or restaurant, tagging tools, and ads to prospects when they enter the ‘fence’. Even if you’re not going to implement this trend, it’s still important to think about where you’re making the most impact/largest impression.Christie
  • Young professionals that operate mostly off of their smart device are checking in to places like your property in addition to restraints and other places of business.
  • Considering how much ground we’ve covered today, you can’t leave without some valuable links right?
  • We’ve tweeted most of these during the session so make sure you go to Twitter to get the links. We will also share these with you now.
  • At this time, I’m happy to take any questions you may have. As question start to come in, we are going to get ready to announce moment you’ve been waiting for!
  • While questions are coming in, If you want to check out any upcoming webinars feel free to visit the Social Media Training cal as it’s updated monthly. The link to that is
  • While we’re getting questions we can’t count the ways we’d like to thank you for you business. For Rent employees love being able to help make your day-to-day easier through interactive education, tools and ideas for resident engagement, and a suite of products designed to drive you LEADS™. To show our appreciation for you, please enjoy the following resources deemed most popular this year by customers just like YOU!Top 10 Resources RESIDENT ENGAGEMENTHow to Start a Running Club - Video Resources for Engaging With Your Community - RESOURCES: Editable Holiday eBook -Editable Holiday eBookApartment Hunting Checklist -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CONSUMER TRENDS:Word of Eye - to Millennials - TRENDSThe State of Mobile & Digital Consumption In To Trends - Make It Fair, Make it Legal with Nadeen Green - Social Media to Make Your Residents Feel at Home - For more information and helpful resources, contact your local account executive or visit today!
  • Let’s announce today’s winner! The winner is… Congrats and thanks for participating on Twitter. If you would, please DM us your info and we will get your gift card in the mail!
  • Thanks to all of you who are listening. We hope you can find you inner social media ninja and find unconventional ways to make your marketing dollars work for you! Make sure you follow and Like us on our social channels, we absolutely love interacting with you!
  • Body Copy: Here at For Rent Media Solutions™ we never stop working to make your life easier. For Rent employees love being able to help make your day-to-day easier through interactive education, tools and ideas for resident engagement, and a suite of products designed to drive you LEADS™. To show our appreciation for you, please enjoy the following resources deemed most popular this year by customers just like YOU!Top 10 Resources RESIDENT ENGAGEMENTHow to Start a Running Club - Video Resources for Engaging With Your Community - RESOURCES: Editable Holiday eBook -Editable Holiday eBookApartment Hunting Checklist -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CONSUMER TRENDS:Word of Eye - to Millennials - TRENDSThe State of Mobile & Digital Consumption In To Trends - Make It Fair, Make it Legal with Nadeen Green - Social Media to Make Your Residents Feel at Home - For more information and helpful resources, contact your local account executive or visit today!
  • Brainstorming 2013: Implementing the Latest Trends in Multifamily

    1. 1. Brainstorming 2013: Implementing the Latest Trends in Multifamily Ansley Sudderth Social Media Training & Communications Coordinator Special Guest: Christie Fleck-Struble Director of Marketing @ChristieStruble
    2. 2. Join in the conversation! Chat with @AptsForRent for the chance to win $20!
    3. 3. Agenda • Emerging Trends for the New Year and Beyond! – – – – – – – Revenue Generation Information Gathering/Sharing Mobile Enhancing the Resident Experience Eco-Friendly Visual Social Media GeoFencing • Valuable Links • Q&A
    4. 4. Revenue Generating Trends
    5. 5. Online Leasing
    6. 6. First Encounter: Move-In
    7. 7. Pet Rent
    8. 8. Information Gathering/Sharing Trends
    9. 9. Whitepaper Download Free to YOU!
    10. 10. Information Gathering Online by Choice
    11. 11. Multi-Screen Culture
    12. 12. Cloud-Based Info
    13. 13. Mobile Trends
    14. 14. Make Your Print Advertisement Mobile-Friendly
    15. 15. Mobile Transactions
    16. 16. Enhancing the Resident Experience
    17. 17. Inject Convenience
    18. 18. Make Pets (and Owners) Feel Welcome
    19. 19. Comment for a chance to win these pet scoops!
    20. 20. Food Truck Fridays
    21. 21. Eco-Friendly Trends
    22. 22. Provide Recycling Bins
    23. 23. App: My Recycle List
    24. 24. Accommodating Electric Vehicle Drivers
    25. 25. Furnish Biodegradable Waste Bags
    26. 26. Filtered Water Refill Station
    27. 27. Visual Social Media
    28. 28. Visual Social Channels
    29. 29. GeoFencing
    30. 30. Valuable Links
    31. 31. Valuable Links • Next Generation of Renters: • Generating Ideas for the New Year: • Is Your Community Pet Friendly?: • Watch’s SloMo Video!:
    32. 32. Q&A
    33. 33. Visit to find the Top 10 resources deemed most popular this year by customers just like you!
    34. 34. Photo and Statistics Credit