Sparkle Allen, a 16-year veteran of the multifamily industry, manages more than 30,000 units for First Communities, where she delivers creative solutions for employees, clients and consumer-faced interactions.
She is passionate about innovation, technology, shoes, Amazon and Starbucks. She loves taking long walks to her computer to log onto Google Analytics.
Sparkle brings quirky ideas and a wealth of working knowledge to her job, along with a name not easily forgotten.
13 After’s Dean Boswell asked her to share some ideas with our clients and readers.
Q: Sparkle, you know better than most that marketing changes daily. What is your best advice for other marketing professionals and property managers in multifamily who want to keep up?
A: Spend about 30 minutes a day geeking out. By that I mean read a tech blog you love, use Google Alerts to ping you on certain topics, or find a colleague to trade knowledge with. Stay in the know, stay alert.
Q: How should social media be handled at the property level vs. the corporate level in property management?
A: I think our leasing heroes should post the local flavor of the market and happenings at the community. No one knows their market and surroundings better than they do. The corporate marketing team should handle the global flare.
Q: Online leasing continues to be a challenge for some management companies because of technical glitches and overlap between real-time leasing and online leasing. How do you handle that at First Communities?
A: Online leasing is critical to securing leases fast! Our future residents can apply directly from our website. The only issue we have from time to time is more than one person trying to secure or hold the same apartment prior to paying a deposit. (Not a bad problem to have.) If that happens, we make them duke it out old-fashion style, with a deposit standoff. The first one to put a deposit down wins.
Q: We love that First Communities uses a strong outreach marketing campaign and that you marry it beautifully with your social campaigns. What would you say to a property manager or marketing director who does not put much emphasis on outreach marketing?
A: There is absolutely no marketing tool that can replace putting a face to your brand. I can reach 10,000 or more people a day with a Facebook campaign, but I can’t put a dollar amount on the smiles we get when we pay it forward at Starbucks or take a basket of goodies to some deserving nurses at a hospital.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
A: I would challenge them to keep an eye out for exciting new products this year. The technology we’re seeing in multifamily marketing is changing the way apartments are leased!
About the Author: Dean Boswell