2016 Marketing Trends: Resident Communication

Multifamily Marketing Trends: Resident Communication

Whether we do anything about it or not, technology is having a major effect on our residents’ behavior. Think with Google recently published that the average American checks their mobile phone 150 times a day and spends over 170 minutes on their device. How are we adapting on-site and our marketing messages?  We asked our multifamily friends….

Have you noticed any changes in the way residents are connecting with you?

Laurel Zacher

Laurel Zacher

Director of Marketing, Weidner Apartment Homes


It’s time to acknowledge we’re in a now, now, now society

We have a team who manages resident issues, including direct contact with corporate and online reviews. Our data shows a definite shift from phone calls to web forms (we have a customer service contact form through the Weidner web site).  Twitter is hit and miss for resident contact – if they use it to connect, they want acknowledgement NOW. Like RIGHT NOW, while I’m still on my phone!  We have also seen a big swing to Facebook messaging from residents.  We’re a 24/7 society and residents need to be able to connect with us when they want and how they want to do it.

Sarah Greenough

Sarah Greenough

Chief Marketing Officer, Princeton Properties Management



Every channel is a customer service channel

We are continuing to see an increase in communications through social channels. It is not uncommon to receive maintenance requests through Facebook even though we have resident portals and 24/7 answering services available at all properties.


Summer Austin

Summer Austin

Director of Strategic Marketing, Camden


What’s the emoji for service request??

We’ve seen a marked increase in people choosing to communicate with us via text. Two years ago our customers said that they didn’t want us texting them – that texting was for personal conversations with family and friends. That’s not the case anymore.


Elaine Williams

Elaine Williams

President, Elaine Williams Consulting Services

Former VP of Operations at UDR

Big data is a big challenge for multifamily

The biggest realization I’ve come to in 2015 is how many marketing teams are having challenges capturing and monetizing their data.  We discuss how data is empowering; coupled with the opportunities and business advantages this information can provide to organizations. Several larger companies have good business intelligence systems, but these systems can be expensive and take a long time to build for others. I would like to see the vendor community step up and provide marketing business intelligence solutions to fill this gap to help marketing teams.

Sharah G. Connor

Sharah G. Connor

Community Manager, Equity Residential

The window for acceptable response times is shrinking

One thing that I have noticed in recent years, and maybe more so because of the markets that I have worked in (Boston and Washington, DC) is that residents are using all sorts of methods of Social Media to reach out to property management companies. No longer are we responding to phone calls and emails, but we are responding to Yelp Reviews, Instagram Posts, Tweets on Twitter…. The list goes on! And not only are we responding via these outlets, but also at a rather fast pace. Our residents want and expect immediate responses at all hours of the day and night!

Sounds like we all need to have more ears to the ground!  What channels are you focused on when it comes to your customers? Are you doing and social stalking..errr listening?

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