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									Best Apartment Marketing Showcase E ver!
By Suzanne Wright

Speaker Kate Good's bright-eyed ent husiasm and infectious laugh marked “The Best Marketing
Showcas e E ver” at Brainstorming East 2004. Kate offered a number of fresh ideas to spark
thinking-and ultimately-marketing creativity among workshop attendees.

For just over an hour, she hopscotched over ideas to jumpstart the imaginations of the assembled
attendees. The highlight was when she presented a series of print advertisements that she
praised for their eye-catching headlines or graphics or both…and most of the ads weren't from
the real estate industry.

“You've got to think outside the box, challenge your existing thinking,” she stressed. “Look at
messages other companies have used successfully, the problems they have and how you can
apply similar solutions in your marketing efforts.”

When Supply Outpaces Demand. Before showing the ads, she admonished that even in these
tough times of high vacancies, running “desperation ads” was a mistake. And although she
conceded, “You've got to come up with ways to overcome vac ancy,” she counseled against such
pleading signage as Apartment Clearance or Save Kathy's Job…Lease Here. “We've got to time
innovative ways to gain attention. Those kind of tactics will often backfire.”

Adding that knowledge has the power to inform marketing choices, Good gave some int eresting
statistics about today's rental market:

·   Women rent for a longer time than men
·   There are more female than male rent ers
·   Divorce is the #1 reason for moving
·   You have a 72% greater chance of renting to someone who's called or emailed in advance
·   76% renters want more storage
·   63% of renters have pets

Good says once you have the statistics and you've studied the demo graphics in your market, you
can craft multiple messages for different markets. “Then you can out think, out market and out
sell your competition. If everything else is good, such as your easing agents and locations, and
you're not renting units, then it's simple: you're being out market ed. You've got to get your unfair
share of market when supply is greater than demand. ”

What A Pop Icon Knows. “Madonna teaches great lessons about repositioning and getting
attention. Look at how long her career has been and how interested we still are in everything she
does. She knows how to keep our attention.”

So what tips can we take away from this pop singer's world?

·   Find ways to engage emotions: humor, comfort, love, fear, etc.
·   Make people think: pose questions, be provocative
·   Position your ad: make it relevant to prospect's worries or aspirations
·   Be timely
·   Take a chance; even if you fail, you learn something

Underscoring this final point, Good said you must “Speak to your customers about things beyond
four walls and plumbing. You must touch their dreams and hopes and be timely.

“The End of Advertising As We Know It.” To kick off her slide show, Good leads with that powerful
quote, from former Coc a-Cola marketing chief Sergio Zyman, who has his own marketing firm in
Atlanta. Zyman is credit ed with helping to usher in a new era of brand loyalty.
Mentioning specific examples, Good outlined a quick laundry list that marketers should heed
when designing their marketing campaigns:

· Grab attention by being concise
· Remember that customers are skeptical; sales talk won't really work
· Be sure to include a direct response mechanism in your ad: a website address, a coupon, a
phone number-s omething to move your prospect to action
· Stand out in the guides: make your ad different from all the lookalikes
· Remember that candor and honesty are persuasive

In creating your visual identity, Good encouraged marketers to try something new. “Template ads
are great for company identity, but not for individual properties. Each complex must be positioned
individually. Each needs its own identity, or brand. ”

A Grab Bag of Helpful Ideas. Log onto www.adcracker.com <http://www.adcracker.com> and
Good says you'll find a host of tips that will help you polish your copywriting skills. Once you've
established the ad's concept, these are a few recommended directives:

·   Take on the personality of the brand
·   Make a sales argument
·   Start your copy as if you were talking on phone
·   Start with an outline of your most persuasive points
·   Keep your copy lean
·   Use concrete vs. abstract words
·   Read your copy aloud for flow
·   Use connector words such as “and” or “but,” that keep people reading
·   Include a direct respons e offer

Beyond thos e basics, Good threw out a number of other ideas she has collected from her work as
a consultant, ideas she believes work:

· Create a database to market to
· Capitalize on the pets craze or low-carb craze, whatever is trendy
· Call your local TV and pitch your cutting-edge marketing efforts, along with your community
· Consider tapping int o the ever-popular retro feeling in your ads
· Review your sidewalk signage: can you us e natural materials to make an impact? Is your
landscaping obscuring it?
· Have your ads tout your exceptional customer service
· Get ideas about positioning your properties from high -end hot el ads
· Create a theme and carry it through in the community's arc hitecture, ads, leasing consultants'
wardrobe, marketing, signage
· Promote to the home office worker with a “wired” campaign

Often peppering her presentation an emphatic “I love this!” she was able to elicit laughs and
gasps in equal measure. In summary, the group walked away invigorated, ready to brainstorm
their own marketing solutions, which is just as the high-wattage Good planned.
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Visit

<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/08/ 01/CMGTL7G20O1.DTL>
The time has more than come for transit villages. So why aren't more people flocking to them?
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle)
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<http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20040728-9999-lz1c28brain.html>
It's called neuromarketing, and it might be the solution to getting an advertising message past the
cloud of hype that perpetually surrounds our heads; but is it sound science or Orwelli an mind
control? (Source: San Diego Union-Tribune)
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Set aside November 9-12 for Brainstorming West at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las
Vegas ! We'll have a Whole World of New Ideas to Brainstorm, you'll walk away with more
amazing solutions than you can possibly implement, worth millions... and that's not all! Y ou'll
learn from a fabulous educational agenda starting with a visionary keynote address on "Becoming
Your Own Futurist" with award-winning expert on branding, market development, product launc h
and future forecasting, Jim Taylor, Ph.D., author of The 500 Year Delta and The Visionary's
Handbook; not to mention a "who's who" of experts from both within and outside of our industry,
and muc h, much more! Register now at www.Multifamilypro.com/brainstorming.htm
<http://www.Multifamilypro.com/brainstorming. htm>. Brainstorming is THE ONE national industry
event that you simply cannot afford to miss, so reserve your seat today!

								
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