Outreach Marketing in the heat: Make it work for you
We're going to talk about building relationships with preferred employers and HR departments and this is where I want you to step out of your comfort zone with outreach marketing. Outreach is NOT walking in somewhere and leaving flyers. This is about building relationships and being a force to be reckoned with.
Multifamily: we are a force to be reckoned with
We are one of the largest industries. We offer housing to millions of people nationwide, so when we walk into some of these businesses or we're seeking to set up appointments with HR departments or certain preferred employers, we need to bring it, right?
We need to talk about the tremendous buying power that our communities represent. Let's think about that. If you have 200 plus units, that means you represent the buying power, the living power, of 200 plus families in a neighborhood, so that's huge. So you start reaching out to these people, whether by doing research on LinkedIn to find who your contact is or Googling them, starting with a phone call or by, leaving a voicemail or email message saying you'd like an appointment. Sometimes we might cold call. But walk in, call or email with a purpose, saying, "I represent this many families in the area and our community is a big player in our neighborhood. We'd love to figure out how to partner to help each other." This positions you a little differently than just a salesperson. And that's what a win-win partnership is about. It's not just what's in it for us as the apartment community, but what's in it for this potential business if they partner with us. Always think about that.
You know, for a big company, it might just be that housing is important because they want their employees to have housing that they're happy with. Happy employees that live happy lives that love where they live are probably going to love where they work and it's going to be harder for them to make a move out of their apartment or out of their job. We want people that grow roots and so do employers. Keep those phrases in mind, as you build these relationships.
Getting into businesses isn't always easy and sometimes we have to put away our very corporate approach and get creative.
PEP Marketing: Get your foot in the door
I love the "We'd like to get out foot in the door!" campaign and I've used this myself many times. We've gotten cupcakes or cookies with little shoes or feet on them and delivered them to an HR department or to a business. Not many people can say they've had cupcakes brought to them with a beautiful professional-looking, but delicious, shoe on them!
You can either do it on a big scale or on a small scale and put them in little bags with our Sprout labels that match (always label everything!). Who's gonna turn away something this stinkin' cute, right? They'd be crazy.
Preferred Employer Marketing: We'd like a piece of your time!
Another variation on this, when you're trying to get an appointment, just to meet the right person, is to say, "We'd like a piece of your time!"
Now you could do this with a large cookie or you could do this with individual cookies. Again, use the matching design, "We'd like a piece of your time," with the matching labels that you can individually wrap. These are great for outreach marketing to those preferred employers or even just some of the smaller mom and pop businesses that you're trying to get into. This design can be found in our member's-only gallery by selecting "Preferred Employer."
PEP Marketing Route: The Jar That Never Stops Giving
An old favorite of mine is The Jar That Never Stops Giving. I wish this was my idea, but somebody shared it with me years ago and I've loved it ever since.
Purchase an empty candy jar. It doesn't have to be fancy. You can go to the dollar store, Target, or go to the Container Store, depending on what your budget is. Put your business card at the bottom with a little note that says, "Call me when this runs out." Fill it with candy. Ask yourself "who's the target?" If this is a high-end business, you're not going to deliver cheap candy. Tailer the candy to the target. Going high end? Try Ghiradelli's chocolate. You get the idea!
Think about who it is that you're taking it to. If this is a very health-conscious business, you might not do something sugary sweet. Try energy bars or protein shakes, but again, put some thought into it. Then head to your local businesses with your personalized goodies. This works great with a lot of your gatekeepers when you can't get your foot in the door with a key decision maker right away.
Just say, "Hey, I'm Barbara, I'm with such and such community. I wanted to introduce our community. We're just down the road. We'd love to partner with you guys and tell you about some of our great promotions. From time to time, I'd love to come back and bring you some new materials to share with your employees and your clients and I'd also like to come back and fill up this jar for you."
Now they're probably not going to call, which is okay, but when you come back in two or three weeks with the intention of building your marketing route, you now have an excuse to come back with fresh materials, fresh goodies and a new perspective. Now you're slowly starting to build that relationship with these businesses.
Expert Tip: Get your materials printed on a foam core poster with a paper easel and you can prop it up if the business merits it, along with the flyers. So even after the flyers are gone, your pop-up poster and your labels are still there.
Let's take it to the next level: Retention
Check out "What I Wish I Knew About Marketing & Retention When I Was a Property Manager." This webinar is going to help you UP your game AND save you tons of time. Learn from my mistakes. You are going to get the perspective of someone that was onsite, was a regional supervisor, and is now the CEO of a Marketing Agency. It's packed with goodies.