AIM 2016 and Rent Dynamics challenged rising stars in apartment marketing to step up and tell us how they feel about the current state of the prospect and resident experience in multifamily. They were tasked to share compelling strategies to improve apartment marketing in order to win a free trip to this year’s AIM The “X” Experience Conference, May 2-4 in Huntington Beach, Calif. And man, did they deliver.
Katie Baumann, content marketing specialist for Camden Property Trust, Amanda Coogle, regional marketing manager at Kettler, and Stephen Colvin, internet marketing manager of Management Services Corp., were the Grand Winners and received a free trip to AIM 2016. Check out their winning submissions!
“Thanks to mobile technology, the human attention span is only 8 seconds – that’s shorter than a goldfish’s. How can we ensure residents and prospects get the full brand experience in that short time?
Our SimplyCamden blog is a powerful way we deliver an engaging online user experience to residents and prospects. It’s how we turn apartments into communities.
Blogs need fresh, relevant content to keep readers’ attention. At Camden, our volunteer blog team has over 50 employees representing every city where we operate. This guarantees authentic, local, and engaging posts.
By writing about topics we know interest our residents and prospects like pet life, things to do, fitness and health, our bloggers curate content that promotes a consistent brand experience.
Bonus! Our blog is a content library of over 1,200 posts just waiting to be shared – making posting on social media a no-brainer for our communities.
No, it’s not too good to be true. Blogging has a measurable, positive impact on apartment shoppers’ and residents’ experience. With our hyper-focus on engaging content, in 2015 blog views grew 15 percent and new visitors grew by 23 percent. What’s more, click-throughs to CamdenLiving.com increased 50 percent. #Winning.
Local content tailored to our residents and prospects delivered directly to their inboxes and social media channels creates a valuable touchpoint in their apartment lifestyle experience. In fact, Camden residents said in the 2015 Kingsley survey that our blog is the preferred way to engage with Camden online. We must be doing something right.”
“The Notorious B.I.G famously sang, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” For residents and prospects, the problem is not money, but the number of choices cluttering their interface. The future of a successful online user experience is designing intelligent systems that simplify our lives by knowing what we’re looking for before our fingers strike a key.
First time visiting our website? Cut away all of the current resident information and focus your attention on visually engaging content behind a clean call-to-action to complete an application or book a tour. Of course now that we have gotten them to the application, what percentage drop off at the sight of a wall of form fields asking for their entire life history, including their first pet’s middle name? Create a frictionless application by using NetVerify to complete the form from a picture of their ID they just took on their smartphone. When they’re done, use the same technology to capture payment and store behind a login for future payments.
This generation of renters is more likely than ever to share their resources. You can share your car using Lyft, share your home with Airbnb, or even a parking space using JustPark. Multi-family housing is high-density living; the ideal location for sharing services to thrive. We should be creating spaces on our own digital infrastructure so that our residents can share with their neighbor. Be a house-sitter, share a grocery run, find a jogging buddy, all of these ideas promote community that build long-term residents.”
“Searching for an apartment today can be a daunting task. Paired with our busy, on-the-go lifestyles, there is little time to even take on this task. I recently went through this process myself when I relocated to a new city that I wasn’t familiar with and was not able to visit to look for an apartment in person.
I think we all know one of the most important things in a prospect’s new apartment: location, location, location! We get so focused on selling the apartment community itself, but what about the community outside of the community? I think that providing a more detailed map in online listings with information such as the Walk Score, public transit stations and stops, grocery stores, area gyms, and other retail such as shopping, restaurants and coffee shops would save the prospect the extra step of researching this information. I definitely looked up all of those things for every apartment community I was interested in.
In addition to a detailed area map, I think the ability to set up an appointment directly from an online listing or website would make the user experience easier for a prospect. This feature would save the prospect from waiting on an email response or being a possible missed call to the property by simply being able to immediately make the appointment online.
By saving the prospect some extra leg work, the apartment search process can be the simplest part of moving.”