Because why not be the best marketer you can be? The industry needs you!
- Participate in investor/owner calls, when possible.
You’ll be surprised to learn how many things marketers puzzle over that investors care nothing about. When you participate in investor calls, you learn the investors’ expectations. And if you provide valuable information on a call, you may be invited again. Talk about networking.
- Spend some time doing sales.
It’s important to know how your ads affect the sales process. You can only learn this by working on site. On site, you’ll get to ask our favorite question, “So, how did you hear about us?”, and you’ll gain insight into what customers want. You’ll learn their objections. And what do we do with this information? We put them in our ads!
- Meet with other marketers.
When I lived in Atlanta, I made an effort to connect with as many marketers as possible. Atlanta is home to many multifamily companies so I was able to grab lunch with quite a few people. (Of course, I paid.) It’s important to know what other companies are up to, not necessarily so that you can compete – because in many cases your properties aren’t competitors anyway – but because you can learn from them and share ideas. When I started meeting one-on-one with other marketers, I was relieved to learn that they struggled with some of the same issues I did. Another cool thing about meeting with other marketers is that you get the scoop on different vendors. Juicy. 🙂 It can be awkward to cold call or email someone you’ve never met so, if that’s not your style, you can also meet people through your local apartment association meetings and through social media. (Check out #aptchat, a great gathering of apartment marketers on Twitter.)
- Attend vendor events.
I think I got lucky living in Atlanta because I was able to attend frequent marketing meetings hosted by Apartment Guide, For Rent, Apartments.com and Apartment Finder – those companies have a huge presence there. These meetings consisted of everything from product launches to survey groups to the review of consumer behavior. Events like these are valuable because these companies know how renters search and what renters are looking for (in price, amenities, number of bedrooms, location, etc). Vendors have good data so use them!
- Attend industry conferences.
Conferences are a great way to learn about the industry’s latest trends. I’d challenge you to seek information outside of the marketing seminars, however. Go learn about military housing, software or legislature. Absorb something that will add a unique element to your knowledge base.
- Read industry publications.
My favorite is UNITS, because I think they provide a great mix of information (and they typically have great cover photos, lol). Other publications include Student Housing Business and Multifamily Executive, and some local apartment associations have magazine of their own as well. In 2011, (so, so long ago; I need to write more), I had an article published in Abode and I received a mention in UNITS.
- Learn from other departments.
Apartments don’t function on marketing alone. They need IT, accounting, construction, development, legal and more. Speak with co-workers in other departments to learn how their roles affect the business, so that you can become more wise in your marketing.
- Get some sales training in ya.
It’s important for marketers to understand sales techniques and the sales process. Understanding sales may change the way you think about marketing. You may discover new training opportunities based on what you are able to connect between the marketing and sales processes. You’ll also gain the respect of your fellow sales team mates.
- Start a blog.
A blog is a great channel for sharing your ideas with the world. Your ideas may not always be implemented at work or even make it to the decision makers, but they can always make it to the top of your blog. 🙂 A blog is also a great place to show off your accomplishments. (View my portfolio!)
- Be a problem solver.
Many marketing meetings revolve around how to tackle some obstacle – it might be how to capture more sales leads or how to improve ROI. Go one step beyond being just an idea person. Be the person that provides feasible solutions and you will stand out as a valuable member of your team.