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Utilizing “Advocates” to Increase Occupancy in Multifamily Communities

Submitted by S.Laraby
Multifamily advertising has turned the corner and the days of print advertising, and increasingly so, digital advertising are limited.  Consumers are armed with the skills, knowledge, and most importantly, social networks to make informed decisions about the best multifamily living spaces.  Who would be an “Advocate” for your organization? These would be the people who like your company the most, be it the family with a plumbing problem in their multifamily unit that was resolved within 60 minutes, or the tenant who broke his arm to find the snow brushed off his car in the morning by site staff.  These are your biggest fans and the greatest opportunity to reach your biggest prospects… Their friends and acquaintances.  Companies have traditionally focused on the channels that are trusted and valued the least.

“We’re heading in the direction where advocacy is more important than advertising and traditional marketing because your prospective customers trust company advocates more…” Says Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influtive.

How does an organization 1) develop and 2) capitalize on advocates? 

First and foremost, you must offer outstanding experiences that delight your clients (tenants).  Surprise them with the distance your company will go to resolve issues and ensure their satisfaction.  What does this mean in the world of multifamily?  Listen to your tenants and be cognizant of their environment.  Be aware of the timing of the services you provide; simple things like the timing of lawn services and plowing. Ask them what they would like to see and do your best to accommodate.  The best way to create advocates is to be your tenants’ advocate.

How does your company capitalize on the advocates it develops?  If you provided an exceptional service that added value, ask that they document their experience on an online ratings or message board.  Tenants are six times more likely to advertise negative experience to their social circles than positive ones so it is important to capture these experiences and make them accessible to others.  Communicate with your advocates and see what you could do to attract more people like themselves, be it their age group, their classmates or work associates…You will be surprised at their willingness to assist.  They will know their opinion is valued.

Utilizing “Advocates” to increase occupancy in multifamily communities comes down to communication.  Create advocates by being an advocate and your multifamily community will flourish.

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