Create raving fans in your current tenants. The after process. This is part of your marketing because the best ways to bring in new tenants is for current tenants to rave about you and convince their friends to move in (or other people via good reviews).
I think most people don’t consider this element to be part of the marketing process. Usually when people think of marketing, they only consider the part that gets people in the door. After that, then there’s the selling, and fulfillment. That may indeed describe some of the things that are happening during each of those points, but you do your marketing plan a disservice by only paying attention to your advertising.
Let’s think for a moment: what is the easiest way to fill a vacancy? I would probably say have a current tenant recommend a friend of theirs. A popular promotional tool I’ve seen some larger apartment buildings/complexes use is to give individuals a monetary reward for referring their friends to the building.
Rewards for referrals isn’t what I’m talking about – again, like advertising, that is a tactic. Your marketing plan should be more oriented towards overall intent.
The third section of your marketing plan takes place after you have had a lease signed with a new tenant. The obvious things that you should do afterwords is to keep the word of your advertising – if you claimed certain things, you need to come through. Security and maintenance are obviously critical. Living up to your tenant’s expectations is an important step here – if they become disappointed, they are not going to refer their friends, they are not going to write good reviews, and they won’t renew their lease.
Aside from this though, there is something you can do as part of your marketing plan to tie the whole thing together. Think about it like nurturing relationships, and go out of your way to ensure that the relationship between you, your tenants, and the property you manage is amazing. You want them to have an experience which is a dream come true. This is why it’s important in the first phase to understand the people you are renting to – know their dreams and you will be able to make them come true.
An example you can do: instead of simply managing the property and collecting the rent checks every month, consider going to people as well to find out how they are doing. I can’t recall a single apartment I’ve lived in where the management came to me every now and then and asked “how are you doing? Is there anything we can do to make things better for you?” Can you imagine how awesome that would make your tenants feel?
Do you see how this is about nurturing the relationship? In the past I talked about making rent enjoyable to pay by offering rewards for people who do so on the first day – or offering a small reward for people who bring it in person on time. This is about making your tenants feel special and cared for – like they are the most important people in the world to you (because they should be).
As we have gone through the process this week, you can see how each element plays off the others. The first phase is about understanding the type of people you are bringing in, the second is about educating them, and the third is about giving them an experience that is so uniquely awesome they will want to live at your property for years to come.