This storyline isn't new. Jennifer has blogged about what her kids taught her about SEO, what her kids taught her about blogging, and what her kids taught her about Social Media. A friend in the apartment business just blogged about Bass Fishing and Leasing Apartments.  As you can tell Gus is a dog, a mostly wonderful Bull Terrier. Gus is a year and a half old and is my first dog of my own. Gus goes to the office regularly, and has learned to regularly tweet on his own twitter account @Gus_Urbane. He has created quite a stir from time to time.

ENGAGE AND EMOTION
We have all heard about the Four P's of Marketing, but what about the two E's, Emotion and Engagement, are you fully utilizing them? Gus, like most pets really knows how to evoke our emotions.  In our small business, a boutique property management business, we decided to go after the pet market, and accept pets. Lots of places accept pets, but with weight and breed restrictions, and a hefty pet deposit. We decided to keep it simple; We Love Pets at Urbane, no fees and no breed restrictions.  The theory was this, If we have a good resident, they likely have a good pet. If we have a bad resident, they likely have a bad pet. We worked really hard on an enhanced resident screening system and attracting great residents, which has also improved collections. A nice side benefit to accepting pets!

But the success of this program isn't about accepting pets, It is about "Urbane Loves Pets" which has successfully evoked prospects and residents emotion. Consequently, we own the local pet market. If you are going after sliver markets, go with vengeance and own them.

MAKE IT A PLAYFUL EXPERIENCE
Gus is a pretty happy guy, tail always wagging. He just wants to play, play and play. He is  Fun Boy. With that, we have lightened up the entire leasing process. Apartment hunting is not a walk in the park. We have a Centralized Leasing Center, known as Urbane Underground that is anything but typical. There are farm watering troughs with tropical plants in them. A forty-five foot long bamboo planter. Crazy music playing. A Tropical bird hanging out. A conference table that hangs from the ceiling with no legs. Anything but typical. Point is, it is very whimsical and fun. Lighten up your approach, have some fun along the way.  Life is Short. 

EVERYONE LOVES TREATS
Anyone who has pets know they love treats. Gus is no different, he lives for treats. We have developed a pretty interesting program and have created Urbane VIP cards. They resemble a credit card and enable the holder to cash in on several discounts locally. During the tour, we go through the program, explain the benefits and send them off with an Urbane VIP Card. I am pretty sure our competitors aren't forking over any treats. It is a great way to differentiate, and is funded by the local commerce.  

MAKE ME LAUGH
Gus loves to make me laugh, and he does a great job of that. Our marketing at Urbane is anything but typical or traditional.  We set up movies that reverse play against a backdrop that show silhouettes of girls dancing together, guys dancing together and a variety of other wacky stuff. We can set up the movie in minutes, and it comes on at dark and shuts off at 2;00 AM.

Cars and people literally stop in the street and stare. They laugh, and make lots of comments about Urbane, including some who think that two guys dancing together is too provocative. We like that. Is your marketing material causing your prospects to talk about you, or does it end up in the trash because it is outdated old and stale? BTW, the movie we made cost us nothing to make, the projector is reused over and over.

LETS CONNECT
Perhaps the most significant thing I have learned from Gus is that he loves to connect with people, and so do your customers.  Our blog, The Urbane Life  has caused lots of folks to connect with hip and cool local business, blathering and goings on and just a general give back to the community. But how can you do those kind of things one may ask, what is the pay back. Try this on, page one Google, number one ranking for Apartments Royal Oak, one of the most used search's. Where does your Small Business fare with a Google Ranking. Even more, what kind of web traffic does your community drive? We will have over 14,0000 visitors this month. We only have 360 units. I think the blog is a great payoff don't you?

You too can try these things. They aren't hard, and they are not expensive.  We would love to hear your thoughts.

June 22, 2009





Eric Brown has (30) years in the Multi-Family Apartment Business having built and developed over 17,000 apartment units, both market rate, luxury and tax credit apartments. Having started Urbane Apartments in 2003 after leaving a lengthy stint as a Senior Vice President at Village Green Companies, a national apartment developer, Eric decided he wanted to create wealth, and set out from Corporate America on his own and created Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, MI.






Comments(4)

Thanks for the insight and tips. I have a web-store and not a brick and mortar store, but many of your ideas I can use when at shows.

Thanks for sharing.

Hi Jill,
Thanks for stopping by, There are so very many ways to connect with customers today, we just all need to organize our efforts! Some days the "Stuff" of running your Small Business "Gets in the Way"

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the tips and I totally agree with You. I reckon the the two E's are really important to connect to the customers. I have been trying to use those to run my small business and so far it's looking good. Well spotted.

Ben

You got it right Eric! I was really thinking that love of whatever you are doing and being attach to it is a very significant factor marketers should bear. Its same like saying love of job..with marketing, love of business. I'm also taking note of this important points. Taking care of whatever it is that you already have and keeping the comfort to keep them, the clients. Nice! -mariana-"147waystomrktit"

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