Apartment Party Apartment Party Ideas For Property Managers

20Jan/110

Smaller Apartment Parties Equals Targeted Apartment Parties

When you are planning your apartment party strategy, you are likely thinking of the big summer party.  But ideally, your community should be having consistent events throughout the year, whether it be once every other month or once every other week!  And what is one of the benefits of numerous events?  Targeted events!

So what does that mean?  Well, if you only have one apartment party per year, you really have to be all-encompassing, right?  That party has to be all things to all people.  And if you notice in life, the things that try to be all things to all people tend to appeal to nobody!  So by having multiple events throughout the year, you can target your events to different demographics in your community!  Now, you must be aware of Fair Housing laws when you try to do this!  It is important that every event is open to ALL of your residents.  Even more, you can’t make anyone feel as if they are not welcome.

So what this really means is coming up with ideas that specific segments will really latch on to!  For example, having a “Breakfast in Candyland” would be a HUGE hit for the kids in the community.  It really isn’t meant to be a giant event for the year type of party, but it works perfectly as a community-building party you can throw anytime.

The same goes for movie nights – Some genres are going to hit different demographics differently, and that is a way to diversify your events to reach people who may not come to other types of events.

How about a “Ladies Pampering Party”?  (Note:  I’m not sure if you can include “Ladies” as that might be against Fair Housing).  But even if it was just “Pampering Party”, that is likely to appeal to women more than men, even if men are invited as well.

My main recommendation with this is to make sure everybody knows they are both invited and welcome to all events.  Also, make efforts to diversify your events so that it reaches all your demographics.  Many times, the leasing office is comprised of mostly women, which might make it harder to plan events that guys would like.  So make sure to research different things and appeal to everybody!

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13Jan/111

Getting the Maximum Residual Value From Your Apartment Party

If you are like many apartment communities, a lot of effort goes into planning your apartment party, but the next week following, the party is a distant memory!  If we go back to our goals planning, we really should add a marketing related goal that shows off the excitement of the community to prospects walking in the door.  Another goal could be to entice residents who missed the event to come to the next one!  Even one more goal could be actively engaging your residents on your Fan Page, which you could do by tagging them in pictures from the event.  So instead of letting the event just disappear after it is done, make sure that you get the maximum residual value!

(There are rules about getting permission to use pictures for commercial use.  We’ll see if we can cover this later on, but it is something you need to be aware of.)

1)      Buy a Flip Video Camera.  Actually, it doesn’t have to be a Flip (I own a Kodak Zi8), but you need something that can easily take video of the event.  One person of your team needs to be in charge of media, including video and pictures.  That person needs to take as many pictures and videos as possible!  Make sure to have your devices charged and have a spare storage card if necessary.

2)      Share!  Share!  Share!  Ok, so now you have a ton of pictures and videos – don’t just let them go to waste!  These need to be shared on your Facebook Fan Page, your website, if possible, your newsletter, and a photo album to be placed in the clubhouse.

(TIP:  Bring your photo album to your next event so people can see the prior event!  Even better, combine the concept of a photo album with a guest book, so people can sign in for the event, as well as comment next to their pictures from past events!  Imagine how that would look to prospects waiting in your office.)

3)      Tag Them!  Tag your residents in pictures of themselves on Facebook – this will both involve them in your community, plus show off your community with their friends!

4)      Where else?  What other ways could you use the value of your apartment party after it is done?

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6Jan/112

How To Publicize Your Apartment Party

Last week, I covered why you want to make sure that attendance is maxed out at your apartment party.  In other words, it’s not enough that you just throw an event, you have to actually get people there!  So this week I want to share ways to get the word out about your apartment parties!

When you think about publicizing an event, first consider that it takes several impressions to make an impact with someone.  For example, I think it takes 3 or 4 views of an advertisement before it makes an “impact”.  So having a mention of your apartment party one time in your newsletter will simply not cut it.  I would say for a big event, you have around four touch points with the resident, and maybe three for a smaller event.  Here are some examples:

1)      Your Newsletter:  If you have a newsletter, this is a perfect place to get the word out.  Make sure it has good visibility, and definitely use pictures of past events!  And take the time to make your text compelling!  If it doesn’t sound like an amazing event full of excitement, why would they bother going?   Remember that you are essentially selling them on the idea of going!

2)      Your Fan Page and/or Twitter account:  Again, use pictures of past events to show off your upcoming events!  Hint at what fun things are going to happen.  There are a ton of interesting ways to use your Fan Page to drum up interest!

3)      Email Blast:  Did you know that email is still one of the best ways to reach your audience?  Now some communities haven’t gathered email addresses from their residents.  STOP!  If this is you, immediately start collecting them!  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.  This is incredibly important!  Now, send out an email well in advance of the event, and then send a reminder email the day before.

4)      Door Hangers:  This is more expensive and probably should be limited to the larger events, but it will get the highest amount of awareness for the event!

5)      In person:  When your residents come into the office to give you a maintenance request, to pick up a package, or to discuss their renewal, are you asking them if they are coming to the apartment party?  Make them feel as if you personally would love to see them there!

6)      Signs:  Putting signs at the gates is a great way to remind people of what is happening!

I bet there are several more unique ways to get the word out, especially if you are also using your party as outreach marketing!  But hopefully you now see that one mention simply doesn’t cut it!  Get the word out and drum up some excitement!

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