Friday, January 8, 2010

Social Media- What’s Love Got to do with it?

Over the past few months I have been noticing and measuring responses to my Facebook profile and fan page updates.  I like sharing so I wanted to give you some thoughts on what I have been doing and how I have been working with some other communities.  One of the constant concerns that most of us have with our pages is trying to get folks to interact.  We post what we think are interesting articles, questions, pictures etc. and yet the response to them is sometimes minimal or none.  This is discouraging isn’t it!  So what needs to take place next?  Well certainly not doing the same thing continually.  Consistency is paramount but type of content needs to be established.  Our role is to establish what our viewers want.  Our role is to provide information that is beneficial and interesting to our fans and friends.  It really has little to do with us.  So what can we do to find out what our Facebook fans want, need, like and appreciate?  It goes back to just our normal conversations that we have with residents each and every day.  Consider this scenario. 

Let’s say you are a community manager in South Florida.  One of your residents comes in to the office to drop off their rent with a completely dejected look on his face.  Out of concern you simply ask, “What is wrong?  Is everything ok?”  He then goes on to tell you how he went and did some shopping and came out to find scratches on his car as a result of a runaway grocery cart.  No one confessed to this and the body shop told him that it would cost him a crazy amount of money to fix and repair the problem. 

Now what can you do?  Here is your opportunity to experiment and see if you can turn this scene into an opportunity to help and connect with a resident who is a Facebook fan.  You have heard of mobile companies that do small paint repairs for cars.  You do a Google search for painting bumpers in south Florida and mobile paint repair.  You spend about 15-20 minutes looking through the various options available which are quite a few and you decide on a particular company that looks good and your post the link on your Facebook page tagging the individual in the post if he is a friend already, or simply calling him and letting him know you did some research for him and posted a suggested option for him on the Facebook page. 

What have you accomplished?  You have successfully found something that would definitely benefit your resident.  You have also demonstrated to your community your interest in their challenges and needs.  When you do this on a regular basis for your residents, what do you think the end result will be?

My point is simply that we need to experiment with the content we post and we definitely need to find out what matters most to the people we are trying to interact with.   I have been experimenting myself for The Training Factor and I also have just started working with Lee’s Crossing in LaGrange Georgia with their outreach program.  Charity Hisle regularly blogs about Facebook topics and has great insights on how communities can continue to improve their outreach programs.  If we continue to share what is working with each other, success is assured as we move through 2010 together.  So what does “Love got to do with it”?  Love itself has little to do with it, but throwing out some interesting content and getting results…. that has everything to do with it.  Check out one of my latest status updates.  I was amazed at what a simple question could do to strike up an interesting conversation.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Google Click to Call and Apartment Hunting

Good morning everyone.  I received this from Google early this morning.  I thought it was important to share with the multifamily industry.  The possibilities of location based pay per CALL is quite interesting.  The application of this future product I believe will really change call tracking in many ways for the apartment industry.  I am sure we will be chatting about on twitter and blogs for a while to come.  I am curious as to what you think about this though.

Coming Soon: Click-to-Call in Ads on Mobile Devices with Google AdWords
January 4, 2010
 Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We’re pleased to announce that beginning in January, your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You'll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.

How will phone numbers appear in my ads?
Based on the customer's geographic location, the phone number and closest business address will appear as a fifth line of ad text when the ad appears on mobile devices with full HTML browsers (e.g. iPhone, Android, Palm WebOS). 

Where will I be able to see the results?
At launch, you’ll be able to view calls from your ads on your Campaign Summary page within AdWords from the "click type" segment option under the “Filter and Views” drop down.

How will I be charged for phone calls I get from my ad?
The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

What actions should I take?
If you’d like your ads to show location-specific phone numbers when displayed on mobile devices, make sure that your campaign is targeting iPhones and other mobile devices with full HTML browsers, and that you have included phone numbers with your business addresses in the locations under your Campaign settings.

If you would prefer your ads not show phone numbers, simply remove the phone number from the business listings included in your campaigns targeting mobile devices.

We hope this new feature enables you to connect more easily with your potential customers. If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at

The Google AdWords Team

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Making Eye Contact in Social Media

Just when I thought some of the heat and debate would start to die down, then I find that the fire just keeps on burning with some.  I am not against other people voicing their opinions.  That’s what freedom of speech is all about.   I scratch my head though with repetitive comments and thoughts from 2009 already streaming into 2010.  Using social media simply has core attributes that cannot be ignored if you want a measure of success. 

Let me quote you what Mike Schnaffer said in this morning.  He was referring to Ford’s campaign when he stated the following. 

“A good example is Scott Monty who heads up social media for Ford. Monty is very effective in getting Ford's message out by talking with customers rather than just talking to customers.

The basis of the entire article was talking about how certain groups of people could actually be killing Social Media.  The spammers and the blatant advertisers who want to get you 2 millions followers and whiten your teeth are the ones who are ruining the experience.  There are a lot of good techniques to avoid these people in the first place which will be the subject of another post.  I want to leave everyone with the simple thought of the title of this blog.  How do you make eye contact in social media? 

There are some gross misconceptions out there as to how you should interact on these platforms.  I had one individual the other day ask me how to have a conversation and interact on twitter?  The question itself was very perplexing to say the least.  Making eye contact in regular conversation is a fundamental communication principle that we learn through leadership programs and through just LIFE!

Should it be any different with how we have conversations on a social media platform?  I think not.  When you are using these tools, pretend you are looking the other person in the eye.  That is talking with a person and not just to them.

Written by Jonathan Saar- The Training Factor

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peggy Waskom-The Time is Now

I stumbled across this article a few days ago regarding multifamily education and how much effort property management companies have been devoting to it for some time now.  This article was posted in Multifamily Executive back in 2005.  Below is a brief quote from the article:

“Two years ago, George Lane, chairman of Lane Co. in Atlanta, taught a property management class at the University of Georgia. About 60 students showed up. This year, more than 200 students attended Lane's guest lecture. Taking a cue from this heightened interest, multifamily industry leaders and associations now are working with colleges and universities across the country to help establish and fund four-year degree programs in residential property management. 

Please read the rest of the article to see the history that has taken place to push and promote college education for the multifamily industry.  So what does this mean for the present and the future of the multifamily industry?  The Peggy Waskom Super Bowl is an event like no other.  This is your opportunity to reach out and support something that will benefit our industry now and for the future.  This is an event that will show to our children how important this industry is to us and how much we feel it means to them.  Have you reached out to the committee to see where you could contribute or participate?  Please follow through and do not delay.  Check out our links below for further information.  There are many already who have reached out and will be participating.  This event will provide a great networking opportunity for owner/managers and vendors.  Thanks to everyone who has already moved forward and are ready for February 9th 2010.   

Email us anytime at

Written by Jonathan Saar-- The Training Factor

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Webinar: Preparing Your 2010 Apartment Marketing Plan with Lisa Trosien (@LisaTrosien)

It's not too late to sign up for today's Webinar that is being hosted by Multifamilyinsiders and sponsored by AppFolio.  We are all looking forward to 2010 with great anticipation.  As of yesterday there was close to 600 who signed up for this presentation.  Click here to sign up for today's presentation at 1pm EST.

There is not one of us who have not realized the immense challenges that still lie in front of us.  The time for old school and narrow minded approaches to marketing our multifamily communities needs to stop.  Lisa Trosien is an award winning multifamily speaker and educator.  I have enjoyed numerous sessions she has conducted.  Please click through to join today's session.  This is one you are not allowed to miss.

Written by Jonathan Saar- The Training Factor

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where the Blogs Have No Name

Content Content Content.  What does it take to keep your blog fresh and up to date?  The worst thing in the world is to plagiarize.  The search spiders do not like this and if you are working on your SEO then this is not the way to go.  How hard is it to blog for your multifamily community?  That is the million dollar question.  I guess it all depends on your perspective.  Does your community have a story within itself?  When you are walking through your community, what is running through your mind besides the fundamentals of making the day successful from a curb appeal, Fair Housing, leasing perspective?  What about the people?

Every resident has a story.  Do you know what it is?  It will be quite challenging for you to have a social community blog when you have no connection with the people that make your community alive....  with the people who give your community a name.

So now you are approaching 2010 and you want to add a community blog and a Facebook page.  You are wondering what the best approach would be, who is going to do it and what kind of content will reach your audience.  Your first question should be: How do my residents view me and the staff or our community?  Are you viewed only as the rent collectors and the curb appeal enforcers.  If you want your outreach efforts to have a name, then you need to reach out to the residents with the names.  Who is your Betty the baker, Joe the DJ, Eileen the retail manager, and Bob the county inspector?

If you want your blog and other outreach programs to have a name, reach out to the people who already have one.  The rest will take on a life of its own.

Written by Jonathan Saar --The Training Factor

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Possibility of a Multifamily College Degree. #pwsb

Is that something you even fathomed when you started out in this industry?  Can you imagine what our future multifamily professionals will bring to the table?  This is what the Peggy Waskom Career Leadership Fund is all about.  This is why Brian Sutherlin and Julie Doran founded this.  This is why they and all committee members have been working so hard to promote the Peggy Waskom Super Bowl on February 9th 2010.  This is a brand new event that has the backing of the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation (GAIEF)  We need your help to spread the word and to give us your support.  Please check out our kickoff video below and follow the links for further information on how you can show your support for this important event.

Peggy Waskom Facebook Page

Please email us at