Thursday, October 14, 2010

TotallyToni Teaches us How to Pitch at Brainstorming

Our team recently returned from another wonderful experience at the MultiFamily Brainstorming Conference in Dallas, TX. While there we met up with lots of friends in the industry, including the ever colorful and delightful Toni Blake. Voted an Industry Legend in 2008, Toni is an inspiration to us all, and someone we've been working with for several years. Check out one minute of TotallyToni entertainment at our booth as she teaches us how to pitch.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What is a Social Media Referral?

Imagine a world where your residents invited all of their friends and family members into a huge room and you had the opportunity to market your community. Now imagine this same crowd, but instead of taking the stage by yourself, your residents joined you and boasted over a megaphone, “I love my community; you should come check it out!” Fortunately, this is no longer a fleeting dream but a burgeoning reality. This dream is real and it’s the Social Media Referral.

At its core, a Social Media Referral is no different from a traditional resident referral. Whether the resident refers their friends offline at a dinner party or online through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or email, the desire to live near friends and family will continue to drive referrals. While offline referrals are typically one-to-one, and the message rarely makes it beyond a resident’s closest friends, social media referrals leverage the reach of residents’ own social networks and empower residents to quickly reach out to hundreds of friends.

So how valuable is this personal recommendation? According to a recent Nielsen Co study described in the Wall Street Journal, including information about individuals a person knows in an ad, boosts recall by 68% and doubles awareness of the brand’s message. In a world where Facebook has more than 500 million active users, the average user has 130 friends and spends nearly 24 hours on the website every month (, it is no surprise that participating residents are three times more likely to close a referral lease than non-participating residents!

Resident referrals play an integral role in the growth and stability of multifamily communities across America, and this tried-and-trusted recruitment tool has gone unassisted for many years. Social Media Referrals turn this one-to-one conversation into one-to-many, and while the message remains the same, the distribution is incomparable.

We invite you to visit our main site to learn more about leveraging your residents’ social networks to increase referral-based leases.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New at RentMineOnline: Show off Your Resident Comments

We're excited to announce a new feature for our customers: RSS feeds for resident comments.

When we run a referral campaign, residents come through our site and let friends know how much they enjoy living at their respective communities. For a while now we have let clients see the comments sent from residents to their friends (anonymously of course, to preserve resident privacy), but we haven't given clients a good way to share those comments with others.

Frankly, we didn't know that clients would want to share those comments publicly. Fortunately, at RentMineOnline we devote a great deal of time to customer care. That includes helping clients understand our referral campaign process, following up to explain campaign results, and gathering feedback on how we can better leverage our technology. Referral technology is our main selling point, but a personal touch is our secret sauce.

And we're fortunate to get feedback from smart people. Apartment Marketing professionals are some of the most savvy users of new technology and social media. Mike Whaling (check out his turnsocial toolbar) and Eric Brown (read his blog for some innovative marketing ideas) are just two examples among many.

We were turned onto the idea of publishing resident comments by none other than the Apartment Nerd , Mark Juleen. He asked if he could have an RSS feed of comments left by residents, and we instantly knew he was on to something. Pretty soon we had other customers asking if they could use the (non-existent) feature, so we worked hard to make it a reality as quickly as possible.

Here's how it works:
  • Run a referral campaign with us.
  • Select resident comments that you want to display on your website or blog.
  • Grab a link to to your community RSS feed
  • Publish the comments using a RSS feed widget
We have an example using WidgetBox on the right sidebar, but we're happy to help if you need some instructions on getting your widget set up.

So run a campaign, get your widget, and show off those resident comments!