PERQ EVP of Marketing, Muhammad Yasin, played host to another insightful lunch and learn which explored the challenges multifamily properties faced while trying to market to shifting consumer behavior during the pandemic. Guests Liv Gabrielsen, Director of Marketing for Bainbridge, and Scott Papenfus, Director of Strategic Partnerships for LCP360, chatted about the creative ways they’ve adapted efforts and the true impact of the pandemic with an in-depth conversation on:
- Shifting marketing efforts
- The increased use of virtual tours
- Role of community, conversation and communication
- Standing out in an email and on social media
- Tertiary metrics
- Tool integration
Virtual Chat: Marketing in a Pandemic from PERQ on Vimeo.
When asked about big shifts in general as a result of the pandemic, Liv began by acknowledging what most businesses experienced, consumers embracing the digital experience.
“For multifamily, what it did is forced our industry to embrace all things digital as we saw stay-at-home orders. The COVID pandemic made us shift what we’re doing to ensure we can meet consumer demands in a 100% digital environment.”
She added that the industry knew they would need to embrace consumers’ digital demands eventually. The pandemic just accelerated the process.
“We’ve known this for years; it’s been moving in this direction,” Liv says. “For me, it was still a little bit of a shock of sorts — how fast we had to lean into some of the things or behaviors we were already thinking about, then suddenly over the course of a couple of weeks went from ‘Yeah, we’re going that way’ to ‘Now this is it.’”
Scott shared that, from a technology company’s perspective, they saw a huge increase in the number of virtual tours.
“You can literally look at a graph and just see this huge spike in virtual tours when the pandemic hit,” he says. “One of the key things we’re seeing is more and more people on-site are using our guided virtual tour or mirrored virtual tour.”
He explains consumers are not touring alone, instead doing so virtually with a leasing agent on-site who shares their knowledge and expertise about the property while customizing the tour for the prospect.
“I’ve really seen an uptick in interest is people wanting to perform kind of a hybrid — it’s a virtual tour, but it’s actually led by somebody on-site,” says Scott.
“For multifamily, we want that face-to-face interaction because our communities are more than just four walls,” Liv says. “It’s the community, the environment and the lifestyle. So, how do we communicate that in a digital way when we are removing these on-site visits? That was the challenge — we knew we had to provide a full picture of what it’s like to live in a Bainbridge community.”
Watch the full video to learn more about what Liv and Scott implemented to better serve and market to their customers during the pandemic.
A Guide to Marketing with TikTok
How TikTok can Attract Residents
Google My Business
LCP360- Why Panoskin
LCP360- Guided Virtual Tours with Panoskin
LCP3060- Coronavirus Response Survey
Apartment Marketing Blogs- Getting Started
A Guide to Effective Digital Leasing
7 Feelings your Apartment Website Should Create
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During our latest lunch and learn, our EVP of Marketing, Muhammad Yasin, led a lively virtual chat on how to weather budget season in the middle of a pandemic. He sat down with Marcella Eppsteiner, Vice President of Marketing for Mission Rock Residential, Kim Boland, Director of Digital Marketing for Morgan Properties, and Savannah Wheeler, Vice President of Finance, Treasury and IT for Mission Rock Residential to discuss not only next year’s budgeting strategy, but also adjusting to unpredictability and moving forward.
The conversation lead to discussing important considerations such as:
- Prioritizing needs over wants
- Embracing agility and nimbleness for future changes
- Collaborating across departments for expertise
“This year is about prioritization — what we need versus a wish list,” Savannah says. “What do we need to get through this time? Then, investing in the tools and technology to have the edge.”
Savannah also pointed out that multifamily budgeting usually progresses as more of a push-and-pull process, but the pandemic requires prioritizing requests. From there, it’s all about investing in the right technology.
Marcella shares that this year data should be a key factor for budgeting, along with prioritizing requests. “Traditionally, we would share feedback and input for the strategy. This year, the real difference is seeing the granular data points that are strategy-determining factors for each department.”
This year’s global economic upheaval propelled the Morgan Properties team to get creative and increase leads and occupancy using the tools they already had in place.
“We learned a lot from last year, because our company went through so many changes and grew significantly,” Kim says. “We’ve been able to do a lot of smaller things that haven’t cost as much money, so we don’t need to budget as large.”
Eviction Moratorium Fact Sheet
Anaplan: Budgeting Software
Digital Marketing Budget Must Haves
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Mission Rock Residential
*During the session, Marcella Eppsteiner quoted “David Davidoff” The person she is quoting is named “Donald Davidoff.”
Additional Multifamily Resources
Our EVP of Marketing, Muhammad Yasin, had a chance to hang out with Katrina Greene (CAM, Senior Regional Property Manager, and NALP Instructor) in a virtual chat on leasing agent training to find out why she views training as an ongoing process, not a one-time event. She had strong opinions on how training itself serves as an introduction or launch of behavior that will then require practice. She also stressed that you must be brave to succeed as a leasing agent, understand your value, and appreciate having a conversation, rather than taking orders.
During her chat with Muhammad, Katrina conveyed the importance of:
- Human interaction in the leasing process
- The benefit of listening to calls to identify training opportunities
- Using positive affirmations with prospects
- Demonstrating knowledge to earn the right to sell
She also shared tools and tips to make the communication effective and the experience memorable for prospective renters.
Much of the conversation with Katrina centered on reviewing phone conversations between leasing agents and prospects. She uses these calls to reinforce what’s working and identify opportunities for improvement — not only for the leasing agents but also for the properties as a whole. She says it’s important to give your team permission to fail and permission to succeed while demonstrating ways to improve — not just telling them what to do.
After listening to Katrina, it is obvious why the oath she keeps for every interaction works:
“I did everything I know to do using my knowledge, personality and skills to help this person understand my community is a great place for them.”
RESOURCE LINKS TO HELP WITH TRAINING
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