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Millennial Article

Multifamily housing industry, with considerable impact on the student housing market. With pennywise parents and technologically savvy Millennials, we find ourselves struggling to satisfy the wants of both. If your properties are within a close radius to local universities and community colleges, you may find yourself intersecting with this unique market and must find a way to bring your properties awareness to the forefront. With social networks such as Facebook and Twitter growing at an explosive rate, the impact of marketing to the Millennials in the housing arena has become more about engaging in the conversation, rather than just presenting information in a traditional manner. Projecting your property image through these social networks, will allow you to reach these specific demographics by utilizing the tools such as events, photos and fan pages.

Here are some ideas to build brand awareness to consider for this specific niche:

Partnering with sponsors of products that are Millenials “must haves”, such as Red Bull energy drinks, as an example, is a great way to attract future and current student to your property. Host a pool party for prospective new residents and have a company such as Red Bull at the event sponsoring drinks.

Advertising your property on Facebook ad pages. Reach out to high school counselors and establish a particular day for each local high school in the area with that day’s events being in the name of that particular school. Sponsor high school events.

Masterfully blend the students’ wants of luxurious amenities, such as Starbucks coffee carts, tanning services, vending machines with a choice of healthy snacks and high-speed internet with the parents wants of supporting education. Compromise with items such as swanky coffee study lounges complete with Wi-Fi connections and areas where tutoring and quiet study areas are available.

Limo rides to school.

Offer apartment cleaning and laundry services for an additional fee.

Offer meal delivery options. Include a “Club Med” for students; advance amenities to a spa or resort quality. For instance, if there is a tanning facility, have lotions available. At the gym, provide bottles of cold water and heated towels all with the community logos. Employ student residents to post blog and host mixers. Establish a play and stay for the family to book on weekends. Create a roommate compatibility service. This initiative could be multi-layered. Not only could the community host a web based listing with pictures and profiles to choose possible roommates from, but offer a compatibility quiz that asks questions about study habits, housekeeping, diet and exercise preferences, bringing others to your website to utilize the compatibility quiz. Take advantage of one of the lead tracking software packages and use this tool to generate new leads.

Offer a liberal transfer clause, should there be a bad match with a roommate. Use organized events and trips over school breaks to attract potential residents. For this generation, advertising needs to be entertaining and engaging. We find ourselves attracting an info-lust generation looking for info-tainment. The Smart Girls at Smart Apartment Solutions have used, with a great deal of success, a 60-second animated commercial, or more aptly described as an animated billboard. This product, done as a mini-animation with a story line, is bright and sends a powerful and distinct message in a subtle and entertaining way. The cost of production is reasonable, usually around $600; use this venue at high school fairs, trade shows, college recruitment efforts, coffee shops, events and community rooms. The finished product is provided to the client in an electronic and DVD format, so the link to the message on You Tube can be forwarded on an infinite number of times.

Offer rental discounts based on academic performance.

One of the constants to keep in mind, when getting inside the heads of this uniquely qualified generation, customization and changes are a must. This generation spends billions of dollars annually on items like cell phone ring tones and wallpapers, and if you can accommodate that need on some level, their desire to carry that customization throughout other aspects of their lives will tip the scales in your favor. One inexpensive suggestion is allowing the student/ resident to select, from a pre-determined palate, the color of their apartment home front door.

Keeping your property image current and staying in contact consistently is a must with the millennial generation. Millenials require constant stimulation and a strong need to consult their parents on decisions, your ability to cater to these demands while creating a unique footprint will allow you to speak the language the Millenials are talking., Ann Arbor, MI - February 18, 2009

Smart Apartment Solutions Celebrates Lease-Up

Smart Apartment Solutions, a marketing company that supports the apartment industry with occupancy solutions, is proud to announce the successful lease-up and re-positioning of the Cascade Ridge Apartments in Jackson, Michigan. Cascade Ridge Apartments, a twelve-year old, 216-unit community, has struggled with sluggish occupancy for a couple of years before making the investment in change with the Smart Girls of Smart Apartment Solutions. “The client came to us frustrated with an asset that had previously performed but was bleeding each and every month with a 20% vacancy factor,” says Smart Girl Dawn Ford. “With our assessment, we determined that the site team was doing a whole lot right, but they were doing the same things they had done for years and their market demographics for people who had rented apartments had changed.” Jackson, Michigan leads the state in one of the highest unemployment levels, well over 11% unemployment. The property had been positioned for one specific type of renter and the Smart Girls recommended and implemented the changes necessary to reposition the community to a different demographic group. “Our plan consisted of working with the leasing staff to hone their leasing skills, implementing marketing pieces and events that were much jazzier, appealing to the demographics of the baby boomers and rolling out our Second Chance program that reaches out to those individuals facing the foreclosure of a home, in combination, these items gave the property a much different appeal,” says the Smart Girls. “Probably the simplest change was the addition of WI-FI in the community clubhouse and marketing it as a cyber-café. Almost immediately, this addition started attracting a whole different crowd,” says Ford of Smart Apartment Solutions. The end result is 61 applications and 52 move-ins over a period of September to February of 2009 taking the occupancy to 98% while maintaining market rents and no additional concessions resulting in a half of million dollars of lease revenue. “I told the Smart Girls that I am making a large investment in their abilities, and my investment has been worth every penny,” says the owner of the community.