An Unexpected Multifamily Partnership

Posted By: Samantha Chalmers
Marketing teams today have a number of stakeholders. And we’re responsible for communicating effectively to all of those key stakeholders and to cater those communications based on their specific needs and interests.

For instance, on-site teams need training on marketing tools, resources for resident and prospect communications and a steady amount of leads. While operations teams need reporting and analysis. They need to know the marketing budget is working to its best ability to drive qualified leads and reduce exposure.

There are secondary stakeholders who need to be considered as well, such as fellow marketing team members, marketing partners and other internal teams. But as an industry, marketing has overlooked perhaps one of its most important audiences. Our maintenance teams. After all, “Product” is one of the five Ps of marketing. In the new world of digital lead generation, our industry has forgotten how the success of our digital leads can be impacted by offline variables.

Today I make the argument that a marketer’s best multifamily ally is a member of the maintenance team. Our efforts directly impact each other on a regular basis. We drive online leads to communities, and they make sure the community looks amazing for prospect tours.

We have creative suggestions for staging a long-standing unit, but they are the ones who will actually stage the unit. They know the most common maintenance requests at the time of move-in and move-out.  And we are able to provide better branded resident communications to reduce these requests, making a better experience for both the new resident and maintenance team. We see common complaints in online reviews, and the maintenance teams are often the ones best equipped to address those issues.

By creating ways to strengthen this alliance, our overall operations will benefit and we will create better experiences for prospects and residents. In the past, I have developed marketing training classes specifically for maintenance team members. I showed them where to find marketing collateral that directly applies to their role, such as “out of order” flyers for fitness equipment.

I also created a way for members of the maintenance team to send feedback or communicate directly with the marketing team. This was as simple as providing direct marketing contact information and sending out monthly emails with maintenance focused marketing tips. Our maintenance team members are the ones walking communities daily. They are the first to know if a lead generation banner or leasing directional signage is damaged and needs to be replaced. And as I spend money on ILS ads to drive online leads to my communities, I need my maintenance team’s help to make sure my signage is effectively directing my online lead to the leasing office.

Marketing and maintenance teams should be working together more closely to ensure that each team is supporting the efforts made by both teams. These types of unlikely partnerships are what will elevate our operations, create more efficiencies and spark innovative growth in multifamily.