What If Our Customers Wrote Our Website Content?

Hey you! If you could recommend a site where I can find free, diverse stock images, I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

 

I love coming up with bizarre apartment marketing ideas. Part of my brain thinks they can really work and the other part just wants to know your reaction, but I truly do feel like our industry lags when it comes to adopting new media and customer service trends, and we might actually benefit from trying something new! Some ideas I’ve thrown around in various brainstorming sessions and Twitter conversations include unlimited leases (why make people move out then spend more money trying to refill?), unsupervised tours (our shoppers are smart, they can show themselves around right?), bidding on apartments (to help fill empty units and get higher rates on those that are in demand) – and today I’ve got another one! 🙂 What if we let our residents write our website content for us?

You know how we spend hours trying to come up with the perfect descriptions and such? I say let the residents write it! Let them describe our floor plans and amenities in their own words. Let’s allow our resident reviews and testimonials to expand past the widgets and reviews pages to which we currently confine them.

We put a lot of effort into trying to figure out the words that we think will best sell our property (and help us rank in Google search results) but consider this – who knows our property better than our residents? And who are prospects likely to trust more than our residents?

Do you even think prospects read website content anymore? Maybe it’s the Millennial in me but I don’t think they do. I think prospects already know they’re being sold to, so they go straight past the sales pitch and on to the pictures and prices.

If you want to create website content that prospects will actually read, I think you should consider this idea! 🙂 It might even help increase your time on site!

Here’s how I imagine that our websites would transform if we let our residents write for us:

Community description

Before: Brooks Ridge Apartments offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes in the heart of Memphis! We offer a sparkling swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center and a 24-hour computer lounge. Our location is convenient to shopping and entertainment, the local bus line and just minutes from the interstate.

After: “I’ve been living at Brooks Ridge for two years and I absolutely love it! It’s smack dab in the middle of Midtown so everything’s within walking distance, including the grocery store and the train stop. The staff hosts frequent events so it’s easy to meet my neighbors and make friends. There’s a really cool gym and dog park here, but my favorite part is probably the rooftop patio because it has the best view of the city. – Michelle W. (Insert Michelle’s headshot)

Floor plans

Before: Our 2 bedroom floor plan is 1,000 sq. ft. and comes with a full kitchen with bar, living room, two private bathrooms, a patio, and washer and dryer included.

After: “My two bedroom apartment is perfect for me and my roommate. We both have plenty of privacy since we have our own rooms and don’t have to share bathrooms. And the living room is large enough to host all of our friends over for game watch parties. I think it’s really cool that a washer and dryer came with the apartment but I think I’m most happy about the dishwasher because I hate doing dishes lol.” – Derek P. (insert headshot)

Amenities

Before: Sparkling swimming pool

After: “The pool gets pretty crowded when the weather’s nice, especially on the weekends. It’s the perfect time to meet neighbors or just relax and even out your tan. Sometimes the staff will even light up the grill and host a free barbecue.” – Mia R. (insert headshot)

 

See where I’m headed with this? It would be really neat if we could link the resident’s names to their preferred social media profile, with their permission of course, so that prospects could reach out and ask questions if they wanted to. I think this is starting to sound like the beginning of a resident ambassador program…

So let me know what you think! Is this something you would try? If so, how far would you take it? If not, why not? What challenges do you see?

Have a great week, [multi]family!

 

Jazz

 

PS I’m really going to try to be consistent for all 5 of my readers and post once per week from here on out, but don’t hold me to it LOL. But I’ll try. Promise.

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