Turning your happy residents into your “outside marketing” team. And it costs you $0!
Your best outside marketing force may be the very residents who are your biggest fans. You just need a strategy to utilize their efforts and influence with other potential renters.
Read on to see the four ways you can do this, and the KWIK Tips for using this strategy…
Four Strategy Ways:
1. Identify Your Top Employer, Company, or Organization Targets – These could be a school, corporate headquarters, large retail (think Nebraska Furniture), health club, or any employer that has team members that meet your rental criteria. The best way to find these focus companies is by reviewing the employers of your current residents. You might be surprised what companies pop up. Limit this to 10 employers at the most.
2. Search Out Your Top 20-25 Resident Fans – This is a moving target and you will not necessarily use all of these draft choices. Fans sometimes come and go. They change, even sour at times. Your resident fans will identify themselves through social media and online ratings, their referrals to your property, and their engaging and positive conversations with your onsite team.
3. Match ’em Up! – Now starts the fun! See which fans match up with your target employers and start with those residents. The goal is to empower the “fan residents” with intention and thought and TOOLS to go into their work (or play) place to influence associates to your community. You may find that your resident fans don’t work or play at your target employers. Make adjustments and change target companies.
4. Train and Motivate Your “Fans” to Become Your Marketing Insiders – Have a personal and fun meeting with each resident and train them how to refer their fellow employees to your community. If you provide the proper motivation and guidelines for referring people at work, these “Fan Residents” will agree to help. And if you add a generous referral fee plus an exclusive leasing incentive that is only for their company, the resident will be anxious to help.
- Create a “training sheet” that will coach the resident on how to refer to your community. Tell them specifically how they can identify apartment seekers and what they might say to entice the person to visit your property.
- Provide professional styled “Leasing Coupons” that are specific to that resident’s workplace or organization. Company name and a note like “Special for all American Airline Employees – No App Fee” or “$500 off the first month’s rent”. The special will vary with each market.
- Each coupon will be marked to identify which resident referred to the new prospects. That referring “inside marketer” will get their referral fee ($50 to $500) with no hassle or delay. The sooner the gratification, the faster new referrals will happen.
- This No Cost Plan Does Have a Cost: Your Time and Follow Thru. Frequent follow-up and encouragement are critical to make this strategy a successful marketing campaign. Encourage participation with a weekly email with insider marketing ideas and praise for specific residents who referred. Create a unique and exclusive “Community Fan Club” with special gifts and opportunities for participating residents (Discount for personal training or monthly happy hour).
Happy and satisfied residents will refer. After all, it feels good to tell someone about a great deal or opportunity. Sometimes they just need some coaching and a little financial motivation.