Recently NBC launched a new show called “The Voice” and it inspired me on so many levels. From the shows concept, marketing with the use of Social Media, to the coaches themselves. While watching this fantastic show, I could not help but see how I could use this as a learning tool. I also saw so many ways that the Multifamily Industry is similar to The Voice. The makers of the show and NBC seriously had the formula down pat on the marketing side and knew how to keep your attention. How does this work for our industry?
‘The Blind Audition’
This is my favorite part—before they ever get to your community or even call, prospects judging you from your advertising. One of the things about the Voice that really impressed me was how they used Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, YouTube and ITunes to market their show and artists. Each media was different so it kept you going from one media to another, to read/see more about the show. They kept it fresh and exciting all at the same time. Do you stick to what everyone else is doing or do you jump out of the box and become different? It is very important that the way you advertise, immediately sets you apart from your competition. Can your community advertising pass the Blind Audition?
‘The Battle Round’
Congratulations you have passed the Blind Audition now instead of 32 properties you are up against 8 other properties. How you answer the phone will determine if you move to the next round. This is very important! Are you upbeat, positive and willing to answer your future resident questions? Many of us get so busy with the everyday stuff that we forget that we are auditioning for an audience with a future resident every time we answer the phone. Stop what you are doing, breathe, and smile before you answer the phone! Your prospect will hear the smile and feel your undivided attention. Make sure you answer all the questions your potential resident may have. Push to make the appointment. This is your moment to shine. If you don’t make it through the ‘Battle Round’, you will lose the prospect.
‘The Sing Off’
Whew that was tough but you did it you made it through the battle round! Now it’s time to compete with the top four communities your future resident is going to look at. At this point anything can happen, you can make it to the semi-finals or you can go home. I prefer to make it to the semi-finals and then take it to the finals by winning. You have succeeded in scheduling the appointment during your phone call. Did you immediately follow up with an email, text message or a hand written thank you card? I know you’re thinking, ‘why would I do that before they came in to the property?’ Simple you want to make a statement; you want to stay in the front of their minds! With all of our awesome technology why not use it to our full ability? Instead of sending a regular email, why not send a video email of you or team in front of the community sign with balloons or in the apartment they will be living in? If you do this, include a shot of one of the things that the future resident said was important to them~~like big closets. This will help increase the comfort level of the future resident when they finally get to the property. You are continuing to build a rapport with them. How you follow up to your phone conversation, prior to the appointment sets the tone for their visit.
GREAT!! Your future resident just called and they are on their way to your community! Now it’s narrowed down to the final four communities! They loved your video follow up. (If it was on ITunes you definitely would be number 1 on the charts!) Your future resident comes in and they are ready to get the show on the road. Put a smile on your face and get to working on making sure these future residents do not leave without placing an application. You know the tour will be awesome because you made sure the apartment you are going to show them looks great and smells great. In fact, the entire property looks like it could be on a postcard! The best part is you have a special gift just for them in, waiting the unit. People LOVE surprises especially if it is a free one! Who says you have to wait until they move in to give a gift? Keep it simple, something small, like a candle or pot holders with your community name on them, just something that will remind them of the Community and you. Be memorable! Remember the video follow you did pre-tour well now it’s time to create the video tour. Yup, you are going to give the future resident the video camera and ask them to record their tour of your apartment home so they can show it to their friends and family when they leave. When the tour has ended make sure you record THEM holding the gift in whatever room it would most likely be used.
WOW!! This is it! You made it from the Blind Auditions, the Battle Rounds, to The Sing Off, and the Semi-finals to The Finals! Your future resident just told you they loved the community and the apartment! But wait~~they are saying that it is between you and one other apartment community! They want a day to think about what they were going to do. You try one more tactic~~ the Look and Lease Same Day Special. They tell you they appreciate it but really want to make sure they make the right decision, after all, this is where they will live for the next 12 months. So what do you do now to make sure you come out as “The Voice” of all the communities? Remember that video you recorded of the tour? Put the video up on You Tube make sure you mark it private and only the future resident has access to this. Then send an email/text message to the future resident saying that you have a special video that you wanted to share. The future resident will be able to review how they felt and see what they loved about the apartment all over again! Yup, I know crazy and brilliant at the same time! Give the future resident some time but make sure you call them before you leave for the day to see if they have any questions. Keep following up with the future resident. Be memorable! In the end only one community can be “The Voice”. It is your job to make sure it is your community more often than not.
What are you doing to make this happen? See what is working and what is not. Sometimes it can be something as simple as the way you answered the phone, to the apartment appearance, or even how you are advertising. Remember the first thing people see is your advertisements. If you have a ‘boring ho-hum just like everyone else’s’ advertising approach, then you have already lost the blind audition. Do not be afraid to stand out and be different. Be memorable!! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to hear your point of view.
Written by Jolene Sopalski