Posts filed under ‘Marketing’

CoStar Getting Aggressive With Apartments.com

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article about how CoStar is investing aggressively to expand and improve Apartments.com. From the article:

Since acquiring the site early last year for $584.2 million, CoStar has spent about $80 million to update the technology and expand its scope, deploying thousands of researchers to visit and photograph 400,000 rental properties. It even charters airplanes to circle cities in search of leads on new construction.

The site was quietly relaunched last week. Next month, CoStar will unveil a $100 million marketing campaign featuring actor Jeff Goldblum as an eccentric Silicon Valley executive touting the new Apartments.com as a “game-changer.”

The stakes in the ILS sector are high and the competition is heating up:

At the same time, landlords are spending more to advertise their apartment buildings online. According to Kip Cassino of Borrell Associates Inc., which tracks ad spending, landlords will spend $1.5 billion online in 2015, up from $630 million last year.

Not surprisingly, the competition for those marketing dollars is growing. Apartments.com competes on the national level with Zillow Group Inc. and Craigslist Inc., as well as with dozens of local sites in major cities across the country. Seattle-based Zillow, a dominant player in listings for single-family homes through Zillow.com and Trulia.com, a recent acquisition, has been buying up rental-focused listing sites for several years. Purchases have included HotPads, PostLets, RentJuice and New York-focused StreetEasy.

The rest of the article contains some interesting numbers, including what kind of revenue CoStar expects to earn on its Apartments.com property in coming years, and it also focuses on the fragmented nature of the current ILS market. Interestingly, it doesn’t mention many of the players in the apartment market like Apartment Guide, Apartment Finder and ForRent, but does mention Zillow, Craigslist and Move.com. I expect we’ll hear from our friends at the Guide, the Finder and ForRent soon in response to this.

Advertisements

February 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm 1 comment

Keep Residents Coming Back for More

PTAA member – and past PTAA board member – Rebecca Rosario has an article on NAA’s blog titled Four Ways to Keep Residents Coming Back for More:

When potential residents make the effort to call, email, and spend time at searching for a place to call home, most apartment community staffs are on their best behavior, trying to make the positive first impression in hopes to “woo” the prospect into a  lease signing, rent paying member of the community. Mutual trust is built, the future looks bright, and hopes are high for a wonderful relationship.  Unfortunately, after the lease is signed, the wooing sometimes stops. As a result, down the road the resident gives notice, serves the office with papers, and the sad fact is they want to end the lease agreement. Similar to a divorce, ending the relationship can be a painful, expensive process.  You ask yourself, where did I go wrong?

Proactive property managers, and savvy staff know how to not only take care of the obligatory tasks of handling resident(s) needs, they are remarkably good at keeping them (residents) coming back for more and encouraging their friends and coworkers to do the same, creating new resident referrals. –

Visit the blog to see Rebecca’s four ways to keep your residents coming back for more.

November 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

Catering to Cyclists

A new trend in apartment development seems to be targeting the cycling crowd. From a story in the Wall Street Journal:

Seattle’s Velo building in Fremont is built right off the Burke-Gilman bike and recreation trail. Opening this weekend, the 171-unit building, like Vélo North Loop, takes its name from the French word for bicycle (the two buildings are unrelated). It offers a bike-maintenance area as well as a bike wash and storage, both in the garage and on the main level. Apartments will also have bike-storage niches.

Jim Atkins, chief operating officer and managing director of Mack Urban, Velo Fremont’s developer, says the building was built with wider hallways and doorways so residents can wheel their bikes to and from their units. Lobby fabrics and floor materials were chosen in part because they could withstand wear from bike tires. Even the artwork in the building has a cycling theme.

Rents in the building range from $1,600 for one-bedroom apartments to $2,495 for two-bedrooms. Mr. Atkins estimates that 85% of renters will be bringing bikes.

Nationally, commuting by bike grew by 62% between 2000 and 2013 in the U.S., according to the League of American Bicyclists. In 2002, there were seven bike-sharing programs world-wide offering subscription-based, short-term bike rentals, according to MetroBike, a bike-sharing consultancy. Today, there are 750…

In some cities, bike infrastructure is prompting real-estate development. Many of the newest luxury apartment and condo buildings in Minneapolis are rising along the city’s Midtown Greenway, a 5½-mile-long bike and pedestrian trail converted from an abandoned rail corridor. Soren Jensen, the executive director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, says that historically, buildings in the area were constructed with main entrances facing vehicular roadways.

You might think that this doesn’t apply here in the Piedmont Triad, but Greensboro’s Greenway is already generating interest from developers – in fact one of the stops on this year’s PTAA Bus Tour was the Greenway at Fisher Park – and Winston-Salem has a greenway that is partially developed. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find a municipality that doesn’t have the development of walking/biking infrastructure as part of its comprehensive plan. Add to that the demographic trends we’re seeing and catering to the cycling community starts to make all kinds of sense.

September 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

Asking for Bad Reviews

Tired of feeling like you’re being held hostage by ApartmentRatings.com and other ratings sites? You’re not alone, but do you have the guts to do what this pizza joint in California is doing?

Botto Bistro in Richmond is not very concerned about its Yelp rating. In fact, in an effort to undermine the reliability of its Yelp page, the five-year-old Italian restaurant is on a mission to be the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area.

To achieve this end, Botto Bistro is encouraging all of its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews; it is even offering deals for anyone who pens a crummy review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class. (Hat-tip toRichmond Standard.)

Chefs and co-owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo are veterans of the local dining scene, and say that their food is excellent and they run a busy restaurant. According to Cerretini, they simply grew tired of the constant advertising inquiries from Yelp and what he dubs “blackmailing” and review manipulation. (Sidenote: A judge recently ruled that Yelp has the power to manipulate reviews.)..

Cerretini says that business has increased since he began waging this campaign against Yelp, though he notes that it’s also attracted better customers who are more loyal and end up spending more. “We are getting not just customers, but new friends who they like this.”

This is pretty gutsy, but it also goes to show how important it is to build and maintain a strong relationship with your customers. Those efforts will do more to build your business than a bunch of five star ratings online ever will.

September 22, 2014 at 2:26 pm 2 comments

Resident Puppy

An apartment community in Washington, DC has a unique amenity:

Emmy is a 9-month-old English bulldog who lives in the 2M leasing office. Living up to her unofficial title of Puppy Ambassador, Emmy’s days are full of greeting visitors, playing with building residents and taking naps in an Emmy-sized replica of the 2M building. At night, she goes home with the building’s leasing manager, who lives on-site.

“Here in D.C. there are lots of people who are transplants, don’t have family and work insane hours. Not everyone can own a pet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the perks,” explained Holli Beckman, vice president of marketing at WC Smith, 2M’s developer. “Emmy helps give a sense of community you really want as a renter.”

In addition to being available for walks and romps in the dog park, Emmy also helps host community yappy hours. Some prospective residents ask to meet the pup the moment they walk in, and others find it hard to leave — especially when she lifts her paw to wave goodbye.

If you decide to have your own puppy ambassador you might even be able to get it subsidized since it seems like a natural sponsorship opportunity for a company like Carolina PooPrints!

July 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Rent a Family?

Want to give your model that “lived in” feel? You might borrow this idea from some realtors in Florida:

When the Mueller family sits for dinner, the leftover broccoli and crepes are already wrapped in plastic, the kitchen is beyond spotless, and the rest of the home is so tucked-away tidy it looks like they just moved in. In a way, they have: Every inch of furnishing, every little trinket and votive candle, sits precisely as designers placed it five months ago. That would make them the most perfect suburban ideal, except for one catch: This isn’t actually their home. Bob and Dareda Mueller and their three grown sons are, instead, part of an “elite group” of middle-class nomads who have agreed to an outlandish deal. They can live cheaply in this for-sale luxury home if it looks as if they never lived here at all.

The home must remain meticulously cleaned and preserved: the temperature precisely pleasant, the mirrors crystalline clear. If a prospective buyer wants to see the home, they must quickly disappear. And when the home sells, they must be gone for good, off to the next perfect place.

That they do everything an owner would do — sleeping, making memories, learning the home’s quirks and secrets — imbues an otherwise-empty home with an unmistakable energy, say executives with Showhomes Tampa, the home-staging firm that moves them in. It also helps the homes sell faster, and for more money.

July 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment

Is a Text Legally Binding?

AOL Real Estate has an interesting piece on the use of text messaging in landlord-tenant communications. Here’s an interesting tidbit:

Q: What if tenants notify a landlord via text that they plan to move out. Is that considered “written notice?”

A: Yes, Saint Louis attorney Leonard Komen wrote on Avvo.com in response to the question. “Electronic communications in most commercial situations are now considered the equivalent of written communications. You will be hard-pressed to argue you did not get written notice.”

Read the full post for questions related to benefits offered by text, notifying tenants via text of lease changes, etc.

June 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm 2 comments

Older Posts


Calendar

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category