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Marketing is Storytelling

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When was the last time you heard a really good story? I’m talking about one that absolutely captivated you, one that evoked genuine emotion, or one that made you really think or question something. Storytelling is an extricable part of almost every culture in the world, and, in most societies, verbal artistry is revered because entertainment is a high value experience, despite the intangible nature of it.

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All Cowbell, No Guitar

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There is a fantastic old Saturday Night Live skit that centers around the need for more cowbell in the Blue Oyster Cult song, Don’t Fear the Reaper. “Fellas,” says a brilliant Christopher Walken, “I’m tellin’ you, you’re gonna’ want that cowbell.”

It’s true folks. You’re gonna’ want that cowbell. Those little things that you do that make your community stand apart – chilled towels in the fitness center, package delivery, truly great resident events, an active and interactive Facebook page – they’re as signature to you as the overindulgent cowbell beat is to Don’t Fear the Reaper.

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First Impressions are Everything

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There is an old adage in sales, “First impressions aren’t everything; they’re the only thing”. Many times this is true. Think about businesses that you love. If they had left you with a horrible first impression, would you still be their customer? However, those brands that were truly inspired to make every attempt to give you a great first impression were most likely the ones to keep your business.

We spend a lot of time as an industry working on first impressions. Developers try to strategize about the best spot to build, in order to create a great first impression on location. Communities are designed to provide a specific look to engage people upon first sight. We spend thousands of dollars a year on curb appeal and landscaping. Our marketing teams create inviting advertising to impress apartment shoppers. Many of our staffs are given direction on how to look and what to say when prospects come through the door for the first time. We create model apartments to leave prospects with a vision of how their new home can look. All of these things are done to create the optimal first impression.

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Sales Tip: Ditching Don Draper – Writing Ad Copy that Works!

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“Well applianced kitchens include a self-cleaning oven, self-defrosting refrigerator and a dishwasher for easy living in a busy world.” That is a feature-benefit statement on an apartment community website. In 2014. After reading this, in disbelief, I shared it with my multifamily housing friends to see if they found it as peculiar as I did. One responded, “Who wrote this? Don Draper?” (Don Draper is an advertising exec on the TV show Mad Men.)

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