Our February 2022 Power Panel on the topic of Outreach Marketing was well attended with significant engagement. What we learned is that the topic of Outreach Marketing is still very relevant and very challenging. There are so many questions and there are so many avenues.
Our panelists touched on some of those “old school” techniques and how they have revived them as well as how they are using new, innovative techniques. 88% of the attendees rated it a 4+ with 100% of of the attendee feedback being positive. Because of this, and the many questions and comments we received on the value of this topic, we’ve created a blog post to make sure we cover all questions from the webinar (download the recording here) as well as a few additional requests for follow up from our expert panelists.
Thank you again to the wonderful panelists: Tiffany Haney with JVM Realty, Melania Armenta with RangeWater Real Estate, and Jessica Adams with Grubb Properties.
Top 3 Takeaways:
- As one of our attendees, Jennifer G commented: “My takeaway from this panel is that by building your outreach with experiences and local partnerships, you have, as a bonus, created an amenity for your community/company!” One main focus that all 3 panelists mentioned, is utilizing partnerships with vendors and local businesses. Build rapport and even friendships with them, communicate regularly, and create experiences that mutually benefit both parties. One of our panelists, Melania Armenta, an Experience Marketing Manager for RangeWater Real Estate, coined the term “Marketing Floss” and described it as marketing hygiene ie regular outreach marketing maintenance. By regularly going out, meeting with your neighbors and businesses and being stewards of your community, you open up a world of possibilities where more partners will come to you to want to host or sponsor an event, your residents and community partners will be helping build your brand awareness, and you will build long lasting relationships within your community.
- Building a social media following and relationships within the community takes time. Start small and continue building. As Jessica Adams, one of our panelists who is a pre-leasing specialist at Link Apartments® Innovation Quarter mentioned, they started their Win It Wednesday giveaways on social media by purchasing a $25 gift card from a local business. They had to have an Outreach Marketing budget for purchasing these gift cards, but this event has become so popular on social media, because they tagged their partner businesses as well as used tagging as a contest rule, that their partner businesses have begun adding extra items to the giveaways, and new partners have reached out asking to sponsor giveaways. All of the panelists mentioned that hosting outreach events doesn’t have to require a large budget and eventually pays off with vendor partners wanting to help because it is mutually beneficial for them as well. Grow your audience organically by regularly sharing your social media presence with your residents, providing fun content, and hosting small (or large) giveaways that make a big impact. Make sure to use tags and hashtags, encourage vendor partners to share on their social channels, and make Liking/Following your social channels and tagging friends part of your giveaway and contest rules.
- Residents are your influencers. Melissa DeCicco, our Director of Client Performance and Power Panels moderator, showed some results from our Online Renter Study regarding sense of community. There were so many takeaways from our latest study (download free report here), but one thing we learned is that residents highly value a sense of community. 39% of residents said they visit their community’s social media to check on news and updates about the community. 34% said they visit to see the calendar of community events. When potential residents see content related to sense of community on your social media channels, and better than that, see other residents commenting, engaging, and showing they’re happy at your community, they see VALUE. When you host events (big or small, in-person or virtual, onsite or off-site), this helps build positive brand awareness, increases resident retention, and brings in referrals. Additionally, one of our panelists, Tiffany Haney, mentioned building value with resident testimonials. Her residents create video testimonials which she uses on her community’s Instagram stories as well YouTube channel. One of our attendees commented TikTok Testimonials would work as well. At SatisFacts & ApartmentRatings, we see senior living communities in our Top Ranked reports with excellent social media engagement and review ratings because they build relationships with their residents and their residents reciprocate – and that’s all it takes. It doesn’t matter the type of community, the resident portfolio, or the budget, if you invest the time and resources into building a sense of community, building relationships, and regularly nurturing those relationships, you can be successful at outreach marketing.
Follow Up Q & A:
Q1: Can you provide a copy of the “signed agreement” for the loyalty program recommendation? Also, would love to see an example of the custom coaster you’re giving the local bars nearby.
- A1: Tiffany Haney, Senior Community Manager with JVM Management and one of our panelists today, was kind enough to provide examples of some of her outreach techniques.
- Coasters with QR codes that she regularly leaves during her visits to local businesses.
- She created an in-house Resident Loyalty Program in which she partners with local businesses to provide discounts to her residents.
We reached out to Tiffany and she provided an image of her coaster, which you can see HERE, as well as an image of her loyalty program details, which you can see HERE. Additionally, Tiffany provided details regarding her loyalty program. She created a one page document that includes the vendor partner name, a paragraph thanking them for participating in the loyalty program and letting them know that they are agreeing to offer a discount exclusive to her property which will be a one year agreement. The document states that they must give a 30 day notice if they wish to end the agreement or if they wish to amend it during the one year. The document also includes a picture of the key tag that she provides to her residents for the discount. She and the vendor both sign it and get a copy. Her residents are provided the key tag that they have to present at the time of their visit to the vendor partner.
Q2. For social media, do you have an addendum or a clause in the lease that they sign giving permission to use the images?
- A2: Our recommendation is to check with a representative in your company or HR to see if there are company specific requirements. One of our attendees mentioned they have a clause in their leasing contract regarding using resident images, so check with a sister property or company representative who may be able to provide one.
Q3: Can you talk about the best practice to get gifts for win it wednesdays?
- A3: Jessica Adams, one of our panelists, discussed the social media giveaway her community hosts weekly called Win It Wednesdays. This has been a very popular and effective outreach marketing strategy for her team and she had a lot of great information to share. For her community specifically, they are walkable to many local businesses, so they partner with those local businesses, buy gift cards or merchandise from them (and sometimes receive additional swag), and host a giveaway on their social media channels and tag the partner business as well. The rules to win are to follow both their social channel and the partner business and tag a friend in the comments. This creates exposure for both businesses and helps build the relationship. They share the post to their story, tag the partner business, and encourage them to share on their story to help increase followers for both businesses. By allowing anyone to win their giveaways, it brings new people into the community to claim their prize, leading to a potential new resident. We encourage you to Follow and check out their Link Apts Innovation Quarter Instagram for all of the fun and innovative ways they are using their social channels for effective outreach marketing.
Q4: If you don’t have one main space – i.e. one building for all residents – where do you propose we hold these events? How should we hold our events? Additionally, due to COVID – what outdoor activities and outreach marketing do you suggest?
- A4: All of our panelists had some helpful answers to this question. One of the biggest takeaways was branded “Away Games” by Jessica with Grubb Properties. Take your events off-site. All of our panelists offered great examples of ways they’ve incorporated off-site and virtual events and outreach opportunities. From pre-packaged giveaways to luncheons at preferred employer’s offices to virtual Yoga, cooking classes, and virtual cocktail making and Happy Hour experiences.
Get your pencil and paper ready, because there are so many fantastic ideas to implement from The Art of Outreach Marketing webinar!