Apodments: Wave of the future?

Read whether tiny apartments are growing in popularity or not

Technology and attention spans aren’t the only thing getting smaller in 2017–so is our housing! To accompany the tiny house craze, Seattle is seeing the rise of tiny….apartments?

In cities hit with housing crises, like Seattle, micro-apartment communities are cropping up to alleviate high rent costs and busy lifestyles, one such community calling itself “aPodments”. These aPodments are not just tiny studios. They’re centered around the average young, single, working professional who needs a place to eat, sleep, and shower, and not much else. These aPodments are typically between 150 and 300 square feet. They share a communal kitchen with other Pod units, but have their own bathrooms. In Seattle, the cheapest and smallest units will run you about $500/month including utilities. The more expensive units are upwards of $1,300. To many, the price makes up for the lack of space. For some, the tiny living quarters are even a plus!

These micro-apartments lack many of the amenities that apartment complexes offer, along with apartment features. Many equate the living situation more akin to hostel living than apartment living.

Minimalist attitudes and unwillingness to pay higher rents have contributed to this “micro” culture, but has the apodment wave gone too far? In some cases, there are not even walls separating the bedroom from the bathroom.  Building codes require a certain amount of square footage, hence the shared communal areas between units.

Building and housing codes evolved to prevent apartments from renting out uninhabitable living spaces. It was deemed that each dwelling must have a certain amount of space to be livable. Now that people are demanding tinier spaces, rather than bigger, time will tell how policy grows and changes.

You tell us! Are micro-apartments the wave of the future, or another fad destined to fall, like fidget spinners or Pokemon Go?

Use Instagram in Your Apartment Marketing

Find out how to use Instagram for your apartment marketing

We know you’ve heard the mantra, a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you heard this one: A picture is worth a thousand leases? Ok ok, depending on the size of your property, maybe not a thousand, but with the fastest growing social media site dedicated solely to images, pictures are a MUST for your apartment marketing strategy.

Instagram, a social media site along the likes of Facebook and Twitter, is a media sharing site that is dedicated solely to pictures and videos. The visual-driven site boasts 700 million users, and is only expected to grow in the upcoming years. That’s a lot of potential residents!

We’ve compiled some tips to using Instagram for your apartment. Let us know which work, and how you use Instagram for your marketing!

Use Enticing Pictures

Because Instagram is built around visuals, make them as visually appealing as possible! Good lighting, satisfying composition and staging all contribute to a successful apartment picture on Instagram. Instagram allows you to apply filters to pictures, as well as change settings like contrast and saturation. We recommend checking out a couple popular Instagram accounts that have dedicated followers for inspiration.

Great photography is integral to apartment marketing campaigns! If you don’t feel confident about your own photography skills, check out some companies that will do it for you! Professional photos will only enhance the experiences for your potential residents.

Be Smart about Hashtags

Instagram uses an inter-linking system of hashtags to direct users to similar photographs. You might have seen the following accompany pictures: #insta #instagood #UseHashtagsOnInstagram. Ever wondered what’s up with these number signs masquerading as decoration? Well each hashtag can be searched on the Instagram database, as well as clicked on to access other photos that use the same hashtag. This means using common hashtags like #apartment or #apartmentrentals can direct audiences to your picture, even if they’re not following you.

Hashtags are proven to be effective in garnering attention, as Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those with no hashtags. Don’t get crazy with the hashtagging, though! Recent studies suggest the optimal number of hashtags on a post is 11. We recommend using popular, but not viral, hashtags, as your post might get lost in all the other posts using common hashtags.

Using branded hashtags, that refer back to your property, help in brand visibility and awareness. Be sure to hashtag your property so that others can find you on Instagram!

Use Geotagging 

For this tip, remember the old real estate mantra: location, location, location! Turns out, it holds true for online marketing as well. Instagram can pinpoint your location and share it along with your picture. The location, called geotagging, is clickable and can locate you for prospective residents.

The location will appear in blue below your picture, and will show up as an option under the “Add location” tab. Put in your address to let people know how to find you.

Instagram Contests

Instagram is great for posting contests, promotional events, and special deals. Release codes or special promos through Instagram to garner hype, as well as get residents sharing your post. Once others start sharing your post, or using your hashtags, your marketing campaign is working!

Virtual Tours

25% of Instagram ads are videos, meaning it would be a good idea to add a video or two onto your Instagram feed every so often. Virtual tours are a great way to showcase your apartment. You can find examples and pricings for virtual tours online if you don’t feel comfortable making one yourself!

You do want to be careful about length. Videos more than 60 seconds long will likely lose you viewers, and most Facebook videos are watched with the sound muted, so if you add music, be sure it’s not necessary to the video.

Ready to launch your Instagram campaign, but unsure of where to begin? Contact marketapts.com for more information on how to start a social media campaign, how to market your apartment, and any other questions you have on digital marketing!

Our Services and Products

Market Apartments believes in fostering better communication and connection between residents and property managers. To do that requires a deep understanding of current digital trends, considering that the average American spends more than five hours of their day on technological devices. Because of our commitment to better communication, you’ll find our digital marketing services to be simple and easy to use. See below for our services that we can offer to you and your property!

Photography and 3D Virtual Tours

Expert photography at a reasonable price

A picture is not just worth a thousand words; it’s also worth increased leads and leases! Show off your unique property with new photography, or have us make a 3D virtual tour for you, so your future residents can view your property from their own couch!

Website Design

Designing a website is a craft and skill. It takes time and attention. It demands the same level of craftsmanship and pride, we feel, as building a house. It’s the foundation of your marketing, and at Market Apartments, our skilled craftsmen use their tools to deliver beautiful, sleek, modern websites.

Our websites include digital services for paying rent online, submitting work orders, inquiries, applications, galleries, and more!

Printmaking

Take advantage of our printmaking services with these business cards

Did you know Market Apartments also offers printmaking services? From business cards to apartment promotional materials, we’ll design and create your written materials, for when paper just can’t be beat!

New Products

Mass Texting Services with AptsChat

We’re busy at work here on the latest product….aptschat! AptsChat is a mass texting service that allows residents and their landlords to communicate instantly and more efficiently. Texting is faster, easier, and more accessible. Stay tuned for the release of AptsChat!

Resident Appreciation Ideas We’re Loving!

Want show resident appreciation? Click here!

At Marketapts, we love good residents! Good residents are dependable, kind, and respectful. They pay their rent on time and communicate openly with their property  managers. They love their apartment! Why not send them so love and appreciation today? That’s why we’ve created resident appreciation labels you can download and customize! Pair them with candy, bubbles, or food, and have a cute resident gift at little cost to you! Contact kari@marketapts if you’re interested in downloading labels today!

1. It’s O’Fish-al! We love this one…

2. It was written in the stars…

See more cute resident retention ideas like this one at marketapts.com

3. Use flowery language!

Show your resident appreciation with these free labels

4. Don’t be a sucker!

Show your residents appreciation with this candy

5. Summertime and the Renting’s easy

Show your residents appreciation with this cute label

6. Be a peep and share some sugar

Show your residents appreciation with these peeps!

Have any great resident appreciation ideas? Comment below or share your own pictures! Visit marketapts.com for more resident and marketing ideas!

Benefits to Renting an Apartment

When visiting my best friend to cat-sit last week, I got the opportunity to tour the new home she just bought. Gorgeous views, new furniture, and modern architecture had me all but convinced to start shopping for a house in my mid-twenties. As we got to the basement, my friend opened the door to her guest bedroom to find…a huge wet stain on the carpet, dripping from the exterior-facing wall. Three days into home-owning, and she had a serious plumbing issue. My first thought was to tell her, Oh no! Call the landlord!

And then, it sunk in. She owned the house and everything in it, including the things that broke or went wrong. For this, and many other reasons, the amount of Americans deciding to rent over buying has steadily risen for 8 years. Everyone from the Washington Post to Adam of Adam Ruins Everything is singing the praises of renting a home in today’s economy.

Of course, no one can tell you exactly what will work best for you and your unique living experiences, but while you’re thinking it over, consider these (often overlooked) benefits to renting your apartment:

1. Less stress

Buying a home comes with a lot of stress–closing, inspections, approval for loans, price negotiations, applications and fees. It’s a lot! Not to mention the stress from fixing anything that breaks after you buy.

Apartment hunting, on the other hand, can take as little as an afternoon to find and secure a unit.

2. No repairs!

Come home to find your fridge has stopped working? Oven door shattered? Just the other day, I opened my water closet to find the hot water heater was leaking right onto the floor. A quick call to my property manager, and I got to finish an episode of Project Runway as my landlord and plumber worked out costs between the two of them. Property managers usually cover the costs of appliances and permanent fixtures within the home.

3. Mobility and freedom

Most leases carry a one year commitment at most (and often even that is flexible), while some even offer month-to-month. Committing yourself to a year is very different than giving over the next 30, and many millennials value their freedom. Especially if you’re looking to change jobs or move in the next ten years, renting might be the right decision for you!

4. Housing Market Crash? No worries! 

I came home last week to find a homeowners meeting in the courtyard of my building. Living in a condominium for me means about half the residents own their units and the other half are renting. The homeowners in attendance were having a heated discussion about property values and the housing market. Factors outside of their control were driving the value of their property down, and in the case of one disgruntled homeowner, his property lost a third of its value over five years! That’s a lot of money to lose on an investment! There are many things that can drive your property value down including: neighbors, school districts, surrounding businesses, crime statistics, and more. These are things that can change in an instant. Renters, though, needn’t worry too much over fluctuating property values. You might even find your rent goes down!

5. (somewhat) Tax-free and living easy! 

While taxes are often incorporated into your rent price, it’s not a cost you’ll have to worry about come April 15. No surprises, and no need to save up money for property taxes!

6. Less Utility Cost

Property managers swallow a lot of costs in exchange for good residents including but not limited to: water, trash, sewer, and sometimes gas. Again, while these might be incorporated into your monthly rent, you’ll be paying much less in utilities on a 2 bedroom unit than a three-story Victorian house in the suburbs. Plus, with many new apartment complexes being built to keep up with increased demand, your utilities are likely to have less an environmental impact than a suburban house. If your appliances are newer, they’re likely to be of greater benefit to the planet, not to mention less floor space means less consumption (and less pollution).

7. Stable Monthly Costs

Homeowners face surprise costs built into their house: any upkeep, broken appliances, property taxes that can vary, lawn services, and more. With renting, aside from utilities you can plan on a very stable monthly cost. Such stable finances allows you to better financially plan for your future.

8. Amenities

Pools, enclosed BBQs, dog parks, and dog wash stations are all amenities you can search for and find in reasonably-priced apartment communities. While these features would drive the price of a house up significantly, apartments understand the value of great amenities and offer them to residents more and more frequently.

Whatever you choose to do with your living situation, remember: no one knows your living better than you! Make the decision you feel most comfortable with, and be sure to check out marketapts.com for apartment living tips!

If you’re a property manager, check out marketapts.com for more ideas on resident retention, apartment marketing, and digital campaigns. We love everything apartments, and would love to help you!

Using Snapchat for Apartment Marketing

So, you’re proficient on Facebook…

You have most of your residents follow you on Instagram. You tweet out resident events and special promos for your apartment on Twitter. You even keep a Pinterest board with all your resident event ideas! You’ve covered your bases on social media marketing, right?

Maybe not. If you’re not using Snapchat as part of your digital marketing campaign for your apartment, you could be losing out on a great opportunity to attract more leads. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that 71% of Snapchat’s users fall in the 18 to 34 age range, but think about that as a huge advertising opportunity for a strong renter demographic. Not to mention, Snapchat users are enthusiastic about this type of media. A new study revealed that Snpachat gets a 4X higher engagement rate with viewers than compared to Instagram. In the age of social media, you have to move fast and adapt!

Snapchat is a social media app that lets you post content (images and video) that only lasts for 24 hours. After that, the content disappears into the internet abyss, never to be heard from again (or at least, not to be found on the app site again). You can download the app on your mobile device for Android or iPhone, and set up a profile for free. More and more businesses are using Snapchat to garner excitement and interest in their products and events including the NBA, Fashion Week, and GrubHub. So, how can you use Snapchat for your apartment marketing? Check out our 3 tips below:

1. Snap Live Resident Events as they Happen

With Snapchat stories, you can post live events as they happen to your feed, and let your residents know about your event! Pool parties, BBQs, and book clubs are all great events to snap, letting your residents know they’re free to join in the fun! Snapchat users often get a sense of more genuine attachment than other forms of social media. They’ll appreciate being included!

You can also post resident appreciation pictures to your Snapchat, and post it to your story. You’ll reach more residents with convenience and ease!

For more cute resident retention ideas, check out our pinterest!

2. Take Advantage of the 24-Hour Window

Because Snapchat stories only last 24 hours, it’s a great opportunity to highlight promos or specials that won’t last long. Perhaps you’re running a limited deal on move-in specials. Post it to your Snapchat story! Contests and drawings also work for Snapchat. Plus, you won’t have to worry about potential residents seeing the ad too late.

3. Post Apartment Tour Videos

Video accounts for nearly 74% of all web traffic. Considering that most renters find their apartments online, they’re expecting apartment websites to have video in some form–3D virtual tours, montages of the amenities, etc. Why not use Snapchat to show off new renovations or give a tour of an apartment? With only 10 second increments, you can give your residents a taste of what’s to come and leave them wanting more!

4. Encourage Residents to Use Snapchat Too!

Encourage your residents to follow you on Snapchat, as well as post their own stories about your apartment property! The stories they post are free advertising that could reach a lot of people!

Of course, one of the easiest ways to use social media for marketing is to let someone else do it for you! Visit marketapts.com for more information on web design, social media campaigns, digital marketing, and more!

Reviews and Ratings

A good review on an apartment hunting site can feel like an inspiring Oscar speech: it’s heartfelt, it’s genuine, and it inspires people to move (quite literally in this case!). When your residents sit in front of a keyboard to review you, imagine each of them carrying around a gold statue and preparing to take that mic in front of thousands of people. What would you like them to say? What do you want to avoid?

Here’s what we know: ratings and reviews are key to finding great residents. A new study shows that 84% of residents hold online ratings just as important as references from family and friends.

Not to mention, good reviews are some of the best marketing you can find: they’re free, they’re genuine, and it’s impartial (and thereby does not come off as self-promoting). So, how do you find the good ones?

1. Collect your own feedback first

It’s important for you to know what your residents have to say, before it gets online. Think about implementing resident satisfaction surveys, or download our survey template for free! Once you’ve determined the strengths and weaknesses of your property, you can begin to either make changes or strengthen your existing programs. If residents see changes take place, they’ll be excited about staying there. 

2.  Incentivize reviews

When you collect resident information, sort out the positive from the constructive criticisms. You’ll use the constructive feedback in the upcoming future, to make your property even more inviting. With the positive feedback, be sure to contact those residents and let them know of opportunities they have to review your site online. Provide them with incentives for giving you reviews like gift cards or a credit towards next month’s rent.

There are many sites you can encourage residents to post reviews to, or you can post their testimonials to your own website!  

3. Manage negative reviews

If you happen to have reviews on your property that are anything less than stellar (because your property deserves out-of-the-park reviews, not just ‘good’ ones), be sure to respond with immediacy, i.e. less than 24 hours. Write back publicly to the reviewer, being kind and gracious. Clear up any miscommunications. Offer them any actions you feel is appropriate. Remember, this feedback is public, so other residents (or future residents) can see how you handle conflict. Explaining the situation will let online users know what happened, or what you as a company are doing to redress the situation.

4. Thank your residents

A surefire way to show appreciation towards someone is with a well-placed ‘thank you’. By thanking your residents for their reviews and ratings (even if they’re not five stars), you show them that you’re listening. 

Still feeling wary about the reviews process? You can always hire a professional to manage your account for you! At marketapts.com, we have years of experience helping apartment communities with resident satisfaction and retention. Let us help you connect to your residents, present and future.

4 Apartment Hunting Tips for the Summer

It’s August and you might want to add one more thing to that back-to-school/prepare-for-winter shopping list you’re making: a new apartment!  Summer is the busiest season for apartment hunting, which means there will be a plethora of apartments available, but it also means you’ll be competing with other apartment-hungry hopeful tenants. Good apartments go fast, so see below for our helpful tips for finding your new home:

1. Time of day matters!

Apartment offices run on business times, so most apartments post their ads between 9am-10am. If you want to get the best deals, be sure to logon early! In a similar vein, most apartments like to show their units between 9am-5pm, so choose a time closer to 9am to beat the rush. Don’t be afraid to fill out and turn in the application onsite, to ensure your spot!

2. Plan it out

Searching for apartments can get hectic, especially if you’re visiting multiple units in one day! This one has a gym; that one has cable included in utilities. How do you keep them all straight?! Check out and download our spreadsheet to keep yourself organized and find the right apartment for you! Be sure to also look at and use the Pros/Cons list to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

3. Be prepared

As the Lion King song instructs, it’s important to always be prepared! Many apartments are leased right on the spot after tenants tour them, so arrive with a list of references and a printed out copy of your credit score. Not only with this convince the landlord of your responsible nature, but you’re also one step ahead of everyone else looking at the apartment. Be sure to also bring your checkbook if you want to accept the unit on the spot!

4. Know where to look

Statistically, summer is your best bet for finding an apartment: there’s so many out there, but how do you find them? The best place to look for apartments is online. Everyone knows that, right? But how do you know which sites to visit? Craigslist can be a good site to start with, but is often filled with scams and false advertising. The following are warning signs of a scam and should make you wary:

The landlord emails back with a lengthy sob story about being of town and cannot physically show you the property

The landlord asks for money before showing you the unit. We strongly recommend NEVER sending someone money if you’ve never met them or seen the apartment.

The landlord wants an excessive amount of upfront fees. Many apartments will make you pay fees upfront (a security deposit, a pet rent deposit, first months’ rent, etc.), but if your landlord asks for more fees than typical in the area, it could be a sign they’re planning on taking your money and running.

Use your best judgment! If something seems fishy, google reviews of the apartment, or ask the landlord for more information. Tour the unit and collect background information.

There are many websites that filter apartments by state, and list properties managed through companies. These properties have established reputations and reviews online, ensuring they’re no scam! Many of these apartments even have features where you can apply online, and you’ll be contacted for more info.

Whatever your plans this summer, find the right apartment for you!