Crafting an effective outreach and marketing plan for your apartment community necessitates meticulous consideration of branding, community identity, target demographics, and budgetary constraints.
In our “Outreach for Smarties” class, we explore a range of marketing strategies tailored to diverse demographic segments, each with its unique budgetary demands.

Among the myriad trends and tools discussed, a standout favorite is the employment of data-driven insights to enrich customer comprehension. Why are these trends of significance?

This principle finds validation in the experience of Dawn Ford, a former apartment manager in Oklahoma City, OK during 1981. Noting an influx of new residents from Boston, she charted the origins of leads on a map of the United States of America, and discerned a migration trend from the East Coast to the Midwest. This epiphany spurred her to strategically target this audience by placing an advertisement in the Boston Globe for housing in Oklahoma City. Dawn was soon inundated with phone calls from apartment seekers in the New England area looking to move West. Interestingly, beyond Oklahoma’s oil boom, the influx was attributed to the emergence of supporting businesses moving into the area. Dawn had shed light on an obscured employment trend and capitalized on the opportunity before her other competitors even were aware of the uptick.

A parallel narrative unfolds with Smart Chick Megan’s involvement in addressing the housing recession in Naples, Florida, in 2009 while Megan worked as a troubleshooter trying to increase occupancy. Identifying an inflow of individuals from Manhattan, NY and Brooklyn, NY, Megan leveraged platforms like Craigslist to attract these prospects early on in their sales cycle.

Just as Dawn recognized heightened interest from New England apartment seekers, Megan noticed that calls and emails from the New York City area indicated elevated engagement with the ads on Craigslist and For Rent. This early interaction brought in several quality leads and many were converted into leases at the two communities all while the surrounding competitors raised their two months free to three months free (triple ouch!) to try to capture the existing renter pool .

How can you unearth trends like Dawn and Megan? One way is to regularly analyze move-ins, move-outs, and applicants over a six-month periods. By identifying commonalities in origin, employment, and relocation distances, you can unveil valuable insights that supercharge your marketing efforts. This knowledge extends to potential shifts in the job market, such as the entry or exit of employers.

Among our favored free data-driven tools is the Esri Zip Code Tapestry Look Up, as expressed in the Outreach For Smarties session. This resource provides intricate data based on zip codes, offering invaluable insights into residents’ preferences and lifestyles. Megan, during her tenure as a marketing director, employed this tool when approached by a movie theater for advertising. She diligently researched her customers’ spending habits to gauge the theater’s viability as an advertising source.

Megan’s exploration of Esri Zip code data unveiled consumer behaviors, from car preferences (Kia and Hyundai) and magazine choices (Better Homes and Gardens) to favored TV channels (Game Show Network) and spending habits (movies).
Access to data that corroborates or challenges your hypotheses empowers your efforts to uncover new solutions to understand and appeal to your customer better, because isn’t that what it is all about? Such insights affirm you’re on the right track or signal the need for adjustment.

Creating a successful outreach plan for your apartment community entails aligning marketing strategies with branding, demographics, and budgets. Our “Outreach for Smarties” class underscores diverse strategies tailored to various demographics and budget tiers among many different ways to make outreach marketing successful for the long term.

Dawn Ford’s experience as an apartment manager revealed migration patterns and hidden employment trends. Smart Chick Megan’s narrative further emphasizes early prospect engagement. Uncovering trends involves consistent analysis of move-ins, move-outs, and applicants, unveiling invaluable insights.

Remember, to pinpoint trends, consider regularly auditing move-ins, move-outs, and applicant data – preferably every six months and by doing this practice on a regular basis, you will reveal valuable data that keeps you ahead of the competition.