Many geographic locations are still struggling with the impact of economic changes and population shifts. Prospective traffic to the property seems to be limited to individuals moving to stay one step ahead of being evicted from another location. Then magically, the property has a great week with visits. The phone rings more than normal.
The Property Manager is excited to call and report, “We have three move ins scheduled for this week.!
After the back slapping and a good round of congratulations, comes the question, “What’s going on that brought them to you?”
The silence in the response, questions whether the connection has been lost. Sometimes, its just coincidental, individuals that have been on and off for a while are ready to move. But sometimes it’s more than that.
-An employer is adding to the workforce.
-A new employer is coming to the area.
-Another apartment community has been sold and rents are being increased.
-A business is opening a new location.
The occupancy in an apartment community can be quickly affected by economic development in an area. Actively participating in economic organizations, The Chamber of Commerce, or The Rotary, can provide new leads for marketing outreach.
The key to membership in community organizations, is the participation. Having a membership because someone will or might include print material in their welcome package has little chance of generating leads and potential move ins. Attending the meetings, networking with business leaders has the opportunity to create general referrals. It’s the personal contact and relationship that will result in referrals, not the membership fee paid to the organization.
Monitoring the local newspaper(print or digital), potential municipal or economic development can provide information on business growth, expansion or new businesses coming to the area. Apartment communities are somewhat unique in the business community, providing the essential service of a place to live for employees and customers, but also a business to be profitable.
Attending a Rotary or Chamber meeting with the knowledge that job growth is coming with business growth or expansion establishes a manager as a professional, attending the meeting for a reason more important than the breakfast buffet. Again, selecting the “right” staff member for this responsibility will influence the success of networking. This is not a opportunity that falls to the new staff member or loser of paper, rock, scissors. This role is the ambassador to the business community. The importance of training and selection for this responsibility was included in Planting Outreach Seeds for a Crop of General Referrals.
Partnering with businesses in the community has the opportunity to establish a property for General Referrals, both from the workplace and as personal recommendations.
Like throwing pebbles into a pond, the ripples of contact, spread generating positive word referrals throughout the business community.