Effective Marketing of CCH Communities
CCH manages properties in seven states serving about 5,000 residents annually from small towns to urban metropolis. Each community has its own characteristics and our managers are adapt at marketing techniques to meet the property’s unique needs.
In the small town of Idaho Falls, Idaho with a population of 60,000, marketing CCH’s Mountain Falls property can be a challenge, but it is one Community Manager Steven Holverson prepares to meet daily. Most of his referrals come by word of mouth and he maintains full occupancy with only a short wait list.
Since the pandemic hit, Steven has made some adjustments, such as limiting tours and requiring masks and social distancing protocols. The area housing shortage also has continued to bring in potential residents seeking a quality and affordable place to live.
Steven offers insights on how he effectively promotes his community, maintains a positive public image and keeps referrals coming in to retain an up-to-date and viable wait list.
“As managers, it’s important to get out of the office and walk the property,” Steven shares. He takes about 15 minutes every day, generally in the mornings, to walk around the exterior of the buildings and the inside corridors looking for anything visually distracting – such as piles of trash, debris or dirty carpets. He then works with maintenance to have these items corrected.
“Your property must be presentable at all times,” Steven says, stressing first impressions are important. “You never know when someone may want to take a look,” he says. “If a property is unkempt, this can be a definite turn off. We’re known to have one of the cleanest properties in town and our residents take pride in its appearance.”
Additionally, Steven offers the following pointers:
- Develop a Fax Bomb – Steven utilizes a list of local agencies and offices which can be used to make referrals to potential clients. He sends them a monthly fax with an informational flyer for his community. “This way our property stays in the forefront of their mind,” Steven shares. He recently received two leads by virtue of sending out a fax reminder.
- Send out flyers when doing verifications – Steven also has received referrals by sending property flyers to doctor’s offices and pharmacies when making resident verifications. He shares you never know who may be in need of living arrangements and recently signed on the parent of a local health provider.
- Develop relationships with senior agencies – By partnering with a senior referral agency in town, Steven provides them materials for potential applicants and also keeps the agency’s information on hand for residents. He says it’s been a win-win solution for them both.
- Place flyers on community bulletin boards – To hype awareness, Steven posts flyers in high traffic areas such as the local grocery stores, laundromats, and community and senior centers.
- Use professional quality flyers – Steven also works with CCH’s Marketing Department to ensure flyers look professional and are in color so they stand out. Steven says, “It someone is looking for a place for themselves or a parent, the flyer conveys a professional organization. You don’t want something that looks amateurish or designed for a kindergartener.”
- Find your niche and promote it – Look at what makes your community stand out from the rest and capitalize on it, Steven shares. For example, Steven says his community is the only one in town which offers free utilities, so he promotes this feature as a plus to potential residents.
- Use “Sit, Tour, Sit” when arranging tours – When giving tours, Steven encourages perspective residents to first sit with him so he’ll understand their needs and he then customizes the tour to demonstrate how their needs can be met. Afterwards, he again sits with visitors to answer any questions and to encourage them to submit an application. “It’s better to be on a waiting list before it’s needed than to wait and be looking for a place when there are no openings,” Steven advises.
- Keep a gallery of facility photos – Since the pandemic, it may not be possible to tour units, so Steven maintains 8×10 photos in the entryway leading to his office and has taken pictures of the entire building and placed them on Craig’s List. “I make pictures available so individuals can see how our units look if we’re not able to tour,” says Steven.
By keeping his property in tip-top condition and maintaining high visibility within the community at large, Steven says he’s been blessed to keep full occupancy in serving the small town needs of Idaho Falls.