Monthly, quarterly, weekly, or at least annually; organizations expect an update of the property marketing plan. Dutifully, plans are submitted to the appropriate source for review. Task complete…Thirty, sixty, ninety days later, update plan. Task complete, check the item off the TO DO list. The value of the plan is lost without scheduling tasks to create actions.
How is the plan integrated in to the property operations? Without specific action items, the plan is a report providing little value. What a waste. A thorough marketing plan has taken a considerable amount of time to prepare, why is there failure to follow through with the action items adding structure to the marketing efforts of the property?
“We’re too busy!”
The marketing plan has potential answers to any occupancy or renewal challenge. Using the marketing plan hand in hand with the weekly or monthly community calendar can provide amazing results. As well as structure for the marketing functions of the property.
Schedule The Market Plan
– Outreach goes on the calendar. Waiting to try and fit it in at the end of the day, will ultimately result in no outreach. Outreach Relationships bring results, but handing someone a flyer every month or two doesn’t create a relationship.
–Updating ads with ISP providers, Craigs List and the management company web page can spread the word about a current promotion. Is this on the calendar? Weekly? Daily?
Include Community Events in the Marketing Plan
Planning for community events can generate local media attention (Free Advertising!) and resident retention. But if everyone is too busy to look at the calendar, throwing together a Mother’s Day event the Friday before Mothers Day has little chance of generating results. Looking at a calendar for the upcoming four to six weeks, can identify focus points for outreach events and resident appreciation moments, Like celebrating the day Tootsie Rolls were introduced (Feb 23,1896) by handing them out to everyone that comes to the office, attaching them to maintenance notices. Planning is essential.
Taking the time at the beginning of the week or month to add marketing activities to team responsibilities will reinforce the importance of marketing. Effective marketing is not an afterthought. It is organized and planned based on the future needs of the apartment community. Evaluating potential move out exposure based on lease renewals, and actual move out notices will identify the timing to increase advertising, in advance of apartment vacancy.
An outline of businesses for outreach will provide structure for this task, and insure follow up visits are scheduled.
The marketing plan is the road map tracking the variety of advertising efforts. Realizing an internet ad was not updated or the newspaper deadline was missed will probably affect the number of calls or visits, delaying the hoped for increase in occupancy.
As the marketing plan is updated for the next submission, add dates and items to the calendar. Keep a copy with the team schedule for the week. Its a valuable resource, put it to work!
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