Peak rental season is upon us. To gear up for the busy season, normally you would be making sure your apartment community grounds are looking in tiptop shape, showcasing your amenities, hosting in-person events and boosting your social media presence.
While all those tactics are still critically important to have completed before busy season, this year will look a little different when preparing due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The virus has spread so fast that it is no longer about how to be proactive, but rather, reactive. As such, we’ve put together a list of ideas to help better prepare your team on how to get ready for busy season in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. Let’s build on the foundations you already have in place and continue productive conversations through video despite this uncertainty and national emergency.
Make Your Community Virtual
Given everyone is encouraged to stay home and events are being cancelled left and right, you need a plan to keep tour volumes high and continue attracting new residents. This is a perfect time to boost your social media presence and show how great of an apartment community you have to offer. Using video, you can showcase amenities, things to do around your neighborhood, floor plans, specific units, and all that truly makes your community different. Focus on creating content that showcases what it would feel like to live in your community. Let your brand and your personality shine through these videos. It’s beneficial to showcase all of these videos on all of your social media platforms as now more than ever, people will be on their devices tuning in for the latest updates on all things.
Make Your Outreach Virtual
At this point, we can be sure that in-person traffic has declined at your apartment community due to everything going on. Video engagement can play a huge role in helping you achieve your leasing goals in this unique time in our world’s history. Realync is here to help you every step of the way. Trust that we understand the importance of busy season for your community.
Here are some ideas to get new prospective residents through your doors virtually and establish those all-important connections with them from afar:
- Host Virtual Weekly Open Houses
- By scheduling and hosting live virtual open houses on Realync, you’re able to walk any number of prospective residents through your property at one time. Realync virtual open houses are clean, polished, professional environments for hosting prospects and are also great lead-gen activities as attendees have to register in advance to attend.
- Host Virtual Live Tours
- While virtual open houses are great for hosting a large group at one time, hosting private video tours for specific prospects is the perfect way to maintain that in person sales experience. Live video tours allow your team to do what they do best — showcase your space, build relationships, answer questions, and get deals done. All using just a smartphone or tablet.
- Boost Social Media
- Neighborhood Videos. Go beyond the walls of your property to showcase its location and proximity to great amenities like parks, restaurants, bars, schools, etc.!
- Amenities Videos. Showcase all your property has to offer! Take a video of the gym and equipment, the pool, unique features in your units, etc.
- Perk Partner Video. Partner with a nearby business and do a special offer or showcase a special business feature each week. This is a great way to showcase your favorite local lunch spot and help support small businesses! It’s also a great way for dual marketing for them!
Virtual Resident Safety & Engagement
As a property manager, your number one responsibility is to take care of your residents and the community. Ensure their safety by communicating what you are doing as a business and local community to take the proper precautions during these times.
Taking a first step in that direction is to do all resident communications via video. By sending resident communications through video, you’re not only protecting your team, but your residents as well! Another benefit of communicating with residents via video is that video humanizes your message and can allow empathy to show through unlike sending the same message via text in an email or flyer.
Furthermore, how can we shift your normal resident in-person events online? These events are incredibly important for building that sense of community amongst residents. So in these times of social distancing, check out these examples of some creative ways to continue engaging with your residents and building your community:
- Virtual Game or Activity
- Create your own bingo game or virtual challenge with tasks that residents have to complete in their unit on their own. Whether it’s baking cookies, completing a specific workout, or doing spring cleaning, the tasks for the squares can vary greatly.
- Virtual Sign-Up Sheets
- If you have elderly residents, have a healthy resident volunteer to get groceries or take them to appointments.
- Partner with a Food Bank. With children being out of school, their source of food is limited and this would be a great time to gather canned food donations.
- Create a video promoting these programs and send them to residents to get them engaged and participating.
- Grab & Go Breakfast (treats in a basket)
- Any sort of large food gathering is currently out of the question. If your team can gather individually wrapped treats or meals though, place them in baskets throughout the community for residents to grab. Or drop them at their doors for quick access!
- Again, promote this via video to residents to make them aware of the program and how they can participate.
- Virtual Watch Parties
- Technology makes it easier than ever to bring people together from afar. One thing your team can do is promote virtual watch parties to bring groups together that want to binge watch a tv show or movie series ‘together’ and have a place to talk about it.
- All you need to do is facilitate the virtual gathering and residents can take it from there to coordinate their online discussions or how they’ll watch together.
- Virtual Pizza Party
- If you have a Perk Partner who is staying open, buy gift cards to hand out to your residents and mix in with a virtual happy hour! It’s the simple things that mean the most and simply being able to cheers a neighbor (even virtually) can brighten anyone’s day.
- Virtual Happy Hour
- Have an ice breaker of a game of This or That, Would You Rather, or 2 Truths and a Lie. Having residents record their answers via video and sharing as a group on your community Facebook page or internal resident app is a great way to bring people together for some fun from afar!
Keep It Real
Keep your message real! If you are working from home, let your prospective residents know you are available via phone and able to send pre-recorded videos of available units! Show how you are staying safe while working to give prospective residents the resources they desire. You can even add a little humor in your message… “Business on top and pajamas on bottom!”
At the end of the day, prospective residents are looking for safe and authentic communities! It is important to remember to focus on leasing your apartment community while also focusing on the residents, team and community at large.
Get creative though. Creativity will help you and your team stand out in today’s world. Grab an interview with a local small business owner. Get to know their business and what they have to offer to share with your prospective residents. The ultimate goal is to let prospective residents know that if they move to your apartment community, they become part of something bigger. Lifestyle branding is more important than just pitching your property.
There is a lot going on in our industry right now with a lot of uncertainty, but also big demands on keeping leasing activities high, occupancy high, residents happy and healthy, and so much more. Realync is here to help though! We’re here to help you keep tour volumes high and continue those conversations through video. We’re here to help keep your teams safe and residents safe, but also ensure they’re still communicated with and their maintenance issues are being resolved.
Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about getting started with video. We are here to help and want to see our industry continue to thrive amidst the Coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
Until next time…keep it real!