Are you cutting your budgets because of the economic turbulence ahead? Lots of small business folks are, maybe rightly so. Perhaps this is a time to accelerate some things and cut out others, but don't just stop. There are various schools of thought on how to navigate these choppy waters, and lowering costs is always good, however don't let it dominate your every move. During these troubled times do not become paralyzed, and in fact capitalize on your competitors trepidation.
If You Add Something, Take Something Away to Stay in Balance
As you move marketing dollars around, continue to think about creating value, as perceived by your customer, not you. What you think doesn't matter so much; it is what your customer thinks. In our small shop, we have redeployed marketing dollars to make technology work for us. We are working hard on honing the concept of our Centralized Leasing Office and Text Message Selling. The technology is available, easy to deploy and economical. Just because everyone has always done something in a particular fashion doesn't make it so.
Create the Communication Venue the Customer Desires
When the prospect keys in a code, they will receive back a floor plan, a picture and information about the vacant unit at that site. While there isn't anything new about that piece, what we hope to do is launch into a real time conversation with the prospect. Our leasing consultant will also receive a text at the same time, and he/she in turn will then begin a live text back and forth with the prospect while they are at a property answering questions, and will remote let them into the building and into the vacant unit to take a look, and hopefully like what they see. The resident may be renting an apartment with little to no on site interaction, only electronic messaging.
We do not expect this to replace human involvement, but the way things are purchased today is changing before our eyes. Won't work you say, but What If it did, and What if the whole way in which residents leased apartments was based on their Experience. Did anyone ask your permission to stop full service gas stations, Did anyone ask your permission if it was OK to not carry your groceries out to your trunk, Did anyone ask your permission if it was OK to change from records to eight tracks, from eight tracks to cassettes and from cassettes to CD's and now, throw all of those out, music is invisible, it disappeared altogether, it is in ether land!
Add Live Video Text and Video Chat on your web site, try something new and different than your competitors.
Maybe we all should wake up pay attention to what is going on, and embrace the change and be part of the revolution.
Stay tuned for more updates and progress. Let us know what you are doing.