I was introduced to the property management world when Connectivity decided to sponsor the Apartment Internet Marketing Conference last year. Now, almost a year since that conference, we have developed great relationships in this important vertical. Because of feedback from property managers, we have been able to build certain features as well as add features to our roadmap. With all of this, I was more than happy to hear we would be sponsoring the Multiifamily Social Media Summit in Napa, and not just because of the area’s legendary wine.

We’ve learned from property management professionals that a lot of people in the industry felt that in terms of digital marketing, multifamily was a bit behind other industries. We also heard that a lot of software vendors have been embedded in the community for years and have unfortunately not advanced their technology. Because of this, word spread about Connectivity’s innovative software and we now work with so many more companies because of word-of-mouth referrals. Listings Management, Reputation Management and understanding who your current/future residents are is incredibly important to every marketing department, no matter the industry.

From the very beginning, the Multifamily Social Media Summit was a hit. Jay Baer kicked off the conference with an amazing keynote and set the stage for the rest of the week with #hugyourhaters. This is a shift I have seen tremendously since last year: enterprises are no longer ignoring online reviews and social engagements. Many companies come to us wanting to “listen” to all reviews and social engagements at a brand and property level. It has taken the multifamily space some time to adapt to this type of response, but it is becoming a must-have every year in the budget.

One of my favorite sessions throughout the week was Michael Huereque of Cardinal Group Management. One of the big points throughout his presentation was identifying your demographics. You never want to waste time and money advertising to people who would never be interested in renting from you. So many companies advertise to all people within a certain region, and Michael made it clear that having more data behind advertising decisions is so much more powerful and will result in a much higher ROI. It’s why we built Customer Insights.

The power of data and understanding the demographics of current renters and potential renters was a mainstay talking point throughout all the sessions. SOCi CEO Afif Khoury also had a great presentation speaking about social data and how it correlates to the local marketing plan with tips on how to get more likes/comments (ask a question, for example). We are seeing more and more companies tailor campaigns at the property level, which I believe is a lot more powerful.

All of the sessions were fantastic, but another one that really resonated with me was marketing expert Greg Verdino’s presentation. Going back to an earlier point, having social listening in place is a must-have in the space and Greg made a great point to that: “You need to be listening to what your residents are talking about in order to know what they like and what they don’t like.” And one more from Greg: “Your business isn’t your building, your business is your residents. Listen to what they are saying, what they want, what they do not want.”

All in all, it was another amazing multifamily conference and it was great to hear from all of our customers and to meet so many more people who will be soon utilizing Connectivity very soon.

Alex Harris is Connectivity’s Eastern Region Sales Manager.