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Affordable Housing Marketing Toolkit

Instruction to Regain Occupancy

Get Ready!

First things first! Update what’s already out there.

1. Update your Information.

Outdated information is incorrect information.

A. Update the Website
    • Check all of your listed amenities and details. Is it all correct? Is anything missing?
    • Call the phone number listed on the website. Does it call the right phone?
    • Do your pictures need to be updated? Reference this Photo Tips and Checklist document to take some new images and upload the best ones to the below form.

ACTION ITEM: If anything is missing or needs updated, request it by submitting updates through this form.

B. Update Other Websites
  • Google your property. Check to see if these things are correct:
    • Property location address
    • Phone number – Call this number to make sure it rings the office.
    • Hours – These should be your office hours.
    • Images
  • Now click on the Google map and check to see where the pin-drop location is. Is it correct?
  • Check RentalHousingDeals.com for your community. Do any updates need to be made? Call the phone number!

ACTION ITEM: If your property is not found or has incorrect information, submit this form. Note: Submitting this form will update additional external websites.

2. Create your Property Flyer.

What should your community snapshot flyer say about you? Create, update and order these flyers to distribute.

ACTION ITEM: Create or update this flyer and order all in one step through Illustratus!

3. Make your Community Pop!

Don’t assume anyone knows that you have openings. Make it known with signs and banners.

  • Every community has its selling points. What are yours? Maybe your community is very pet-friendly or all utilities are included. Get some yard signs that state these simple amenities and put them alongside the busiest street or sidewalk. (cost range $29+)

ACTION ITEM: Update and order a yard sign through Illustratus!

  • If you have more than a few openings, think about investing in a banner. Order a “Now Leasing” banner to help potential new residents know that they might have a good chance of being able to move into your community. (cost range $75+)

ACTION ITEM: Order a banner through Illustratus!

Get Set>>>

Get Set!

First impressions count. Check the sales funnel and define the customer journey.

4. Define your Communication Funnel.

Use the checklist What Should my Sales Funnel Look Like? to go through the below sections.

A. Focus on how you accept, return, and follow up on Calls
  • The goal of this communication is to enter the contact information into a Guest Card in Yardi and get the caller into the building for a tour and application!
  • If someone doesn’t answer the phone, what do they hear? Are you currently using Indatus or Granite for your voicemail service? If not, contact your RPL to get this set up.
  • If a voicemail is left who is following up ASAP and no later than 24 hours?

ACTION ITEM: Use the Powerful Telephone Cue Card to reference telephone techniques.

B. Focus on how to return and follow up with Emails
  • Who is checking the property email? Check to make sure that leads from the National Church Residences website and Rentalhousingdeals.com are not getting caught in the junk folder.
  • If someone emails the property directly or submits a lead through the website, what information do you send them back? Be sure to follow up ASAP and no later than 24 hours.

ACTION ITEM: Use the Email Response Templates for emails with various situations.

5. Focus on how Walk-ins and Tours view your property and what their experience is like

Make sure that you are ready for company. What is the experience for someone coming to the building for the first time?

A. When someone drives on campus or walks in the front door, can they find what they’re looking for?

ACTION ITEM: Use the Walk-in Experience Checklist to mark off the tasks as you’re walking your property.

B. Plan your tour!
  • What path do you take and what happens before or after the tour? Have a table and chair with the application so they can fill it out while there if they’d like to.

ACTION ITEM: Remember the Relias training “The 5 Step Process for Tailoring the Tour and Close”? Use this 5 Step Process for Tailoring the Tour and Close tip sheet as a reminder of how to make sure you are ready to tour any planned or unplanned guests! Print out this 5 Step Card and hang it in your office as a reminder!

<<<Get Ready        |        Go>>>

Go!

Now you’re ready! Follow these effective strategies to help curb any occupancy issues.

6. Start with who you have by sending an email.

If you have any number of Guest Cards in Yardi, great! Let’s reach out to all of them!

ACTION ITEM: Review the guide How to Send a Mass Email that also provides you with email verbiage for a smooth and helpful email process.

7. Reach out with Outreach and Grassroots.

Grassroots efforts are some of the most effective marketing tactics.

A. Utilize the resource guide Grassroots and Outreach Advertising as a checklist.
  • See where you can go and who might be a good partner relationship in your region. Get specific flyers for where you are going. Most of these flyers should include vacancy announcements. Then go!
B. Ask the help of your whole team and their contacts.
  • Often Service Coordinators and Maintenance Technicians have networks within the local community, utilize those networks to let the community know of your vacancies. Send flyers to these connections.
C. You need the right tools! Check out the below templates and how you can use each type:
  • Partnership Letter – for partnerships, government offices, etc. Download and update the information. Be sure to send flyers in the envelope with this.
  • Pull-tab Vacancy Announcement Flyers – great for bulletin boards and community spaces
  • Normal Vacancy Announcement Flyer – great for handing out or providing a stack to be passed out
  • Incentive Flyer – Only available for Tax Credit Communities. RPL approval is required for any incentives. Order these flyers to pass out or hang up on bulletin boards to create a sense of urgency

ACTION ITEM: Search for these items through Illustratus then conveniently update and order.

8. Start a Campaign.

A. Open House Event
  • An Open House event can be a great way to casually show off your community! Use this Open House Best Practices resource guide to plan a successful event.

ACTION ITEM: Order your Open House Invite through Illustratus!

B. Resident Referral Campaign
  • Only available for Tax Credit Communities. RPL approval is required for any incentives.
  • Utilize your current residents by incentivizing them to pick their neighbors. Door hangers or flyers can be used throughout your community. Note: This campaign should run for one month at a time and not back-to-back. If this campaign runs too long or too frequently we dilute the sense of urgency.

ACTION ITEM: Choose between a Referral Program Flyer or Door Hanger and order through Illustratus!

C. Host community events

Garage sales, pet parades, community partner events, health fairs all are reasons for people to come check out your property. Check out Speakers, Programs and Events for more ideas of how you can be involved in the local community.

ACTION ITEM: Schedule one activity per month as needed to build up leads and waitlists.

<<<Get Set

Get Ready

Get Ready!

First things first! Update what’s already out there.

1. Update your Information.

Outdated information is incorrect information.

A. Update the Website
    • Check all of your listed amenities and details. Is it all correct? Is anything missing?
    • Call the phone number listed on the website. Does it call the right phone?
    • Do your pictures need to be updated? Reference this Photo Tips and Checklist document to take some new images and upload the best ones to the below form.

ACTION ITEM: If anything is missing or needs updated, request it by submitting updates through this form.

B. Update Other Websites
  • Google your property. Check to see if these things are correct:
    • Property location address
    • Phone number – Call this number to make sure it rings the office.
    • Hours – These should be your office hours.
    • Images
  • Now click on the Google map and check to see where the pin-drop location is. Is it correct?
  • Check RentalHousingDeals.com for your community. Do any updates need to be made? Call the phone number!

ACTION ITEM: If your property is not found or has incorrect information, submit this form. Note: Submitting this form will update additional external websites.

2. Create your Property Flyer.

What should your community snapshot flyer say about you? Create, update and order these flyers to distribute.

ACTION ITEM: Create or update this flyer and order all in one step through Illustratus!

3. Make your Community Pop!

Don’t assume anyone knows that you have openings. Make it known with signs and banners.

  • Every community has its selling points. What are yours? Maybe your community is very pet-friendly or all utilities are included. Get some yard signs that state these simple amenities and put them alongside the busiest street or sidewalk. (cost range $29+)

ACTION ITEM: Update and order a yard sign through Illustratus!

  • If you have more than a few openings, think about investing in a banner. Order a “Now Leasing” banner to help potential new residents know that they might have a good chance of being able to move into your community. (cost range $75+)

ACTION ITEM: Order a banner through Illustratus!

Get Set>>>

Get Set

Get Set!

First impressions count. Check the sales funnel and define the customer journey.

4. Define your Communication Funnel.

Use the checklist What Should my Sales Funnel Look Like? to go through the below sections.

A. Focus on how you accept, return, and follow up on Calls
  • The goal of this communication is to enter the contact information into a Guest Card in Yardi and get the caller into the building for a tour and application!
  • If someone doesn’t answer the phone, what do they hear? Are you currently using Indatus or Granite for your voicemail service? If not, contact your RPL to get this set up.
  • If a voicemail is left who is following up ASAP and no later than 24 hours?

ACTION ITEM: Use the Powerful Telephone Cue Card to reference telephone techniques.

B. Focus on how to return and follow up with Emails
  • Who is checking the property email? Check to make sure that leads from the National Church Residences website and Rentalhousingdeals.com are not getting caught in the junk folder.
  • If someone emails the property directly or submits a lead through the website, what information do you send them back? Be sure to follow up ASAP and no later than 24 hours.

ACTION ITEM: Use the Email Response Templates for emails with various situations.

5. Focus on how Walk-ins and Tours view your property and what their experience is like

Make sure that you are ready for company. What is the experience for someone coming to the building for the first time?

A. When someone drives on campus or walks in the front door, can they find what they’re looking for?

ACTION ITEM: Use the Walk-in Experience Checklist to mark off the tasks as you’re walking your property.

B. Plan your tour!
  • What path do you take and what happens before or after the tour? Have a table and chair with the application so they can fill it out while there if they’d like to.

ACTION ITEM: Remember the Relias training “The 5 Step Process for Tailoring the Tour and Close”? Use this 5 Step Process for Tailoring the Tour and Close tip sheet as a reminder of how to make sure you are ready to tour any planned or unplanned guests! Print out this 5 Step Card and hang it in your office as a reminder!

<<<Get Ready        |        Go>>>

Go!

Go!

Now you’re ready! Follow these effective strategies to help curb any occupancy issues.

6. Start with who you have by sending an email.

If you have any number of Guest Cards in Yardi, great! Let’s reach out to all of them!

ACTION ITEM: Review the guide How to Send a Mass Email that also provides you with email verbiage for a smooth and helpful email process.

7. Reach out with Outreach and Grassroots.

Grassroots efforts are some of the most effective marketing tactics.

A. Utilize the resource guide Grassroots and Outreach Advertising as a checklist.
  • See where you can go and who might be a good partner relationship in your region. Get specific flyers for where you are going. Most of these flyers should include vacancy announcements. Then go!
B. Ask the help of your whole team and their contacts.
  • Often Service Coordinators and Maintenance Technicians have networks within the local community, utilize those networks to let the community know of your vacancies. Send flyers to these connections.
C. You need the right tools! Check out the below templates and how you can use each type:
  • Partnership Letter – for partnerships, government offices, etc. Download and update the information. Be sure to send flyers in the envelope with this.
  • Pull-tab Vacancy Announcement Flyers – great for bulletin boards and community spaces
  • Normal Vacancy Announcement Flyer – great for handing out or providing a stack to be passed out
  • Incentive Flyer – Only available for Tax Credit Communities. RPL approval is required for any incentives. Order these flyers to pass out or hang up on bulletin boards to create a sense of urgency

ACTION ITEM: Search for these items through Illustratus then conveniently update and order.

8. Start a Campaign.

A. Open House Event
  • An Open House event can be a great way to casually show off your community! Use this Open House Best Practices resource guide to plan a successful event.

ACTION ITEM: Order your Open House Invite through Illustratus!

B. Resident Referral Campaign
  • Only available for Tax Credit Communities. RPL approval is required for any incentives.
  • Utilize your current residents by incentivizing them to pick their neighbors. Door hangers or flyers can be used throughout your community. Note: This campaign should run for one month at a time and not back-to-back. If this campaign runs too long or too frequently we dilute the sense of urgency.

ACTION ITEM: Choose between a Referral Program Flyer or Door Hanger and order through Illustratus!

C. Host community events

Garage sales, pet parades, community partner events, health fairs all are reasons for people to come check out your property. Check out Speakers, Programs and Events for more ideas of how you can be involved in the local community.

ACTION ITEM: Schedule one activity per month as needed to build up leads and waitlists.

<<<Get Set

We want your feedback!

Need more help?

A little money spent the right way goes a long way.

Putting a little emphasis on these efforts can change the success rate. If budget (as defined by your RPL) allows, ask for help.

ACTION ITEM: With RPL approval, submit marketing needs through this form.

If your occupancy gap is larger than 10% of your total units or is greater than 10 units, fill out this form right away. We can run additional advertising efforts simultaneously as you are working through the above steps.

 

Training and Webinars

Big League Marketing on a Little League Budget – Rick Ellis

 

Last Revised 2.16.22

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