February Marketing Ideas - Written for Appfolio's PropertyManager.com E-Zine

 Whether you refer to the best known February holiday as Valentine's Day or Single's Awareness Day,  this month packs a lot more marketing power than just events circling the 14th.  There are a lot  of different ways to tap in the magic of the month, and despite being short on days, there's no end to the possibilities! Let's look at 4 ideas that can bring you some buzz and some great new rentals!

  • Reward people who show some love to the community - There's no getting around the fact that as far as holidays in the month of February go, Valentine's Day is a biggie, but just because it's the one that everyone goes after, that doesn't mean you have approach your V-Day special in the same old predictable way!  What about tapping into the awesome recession trend of people giving back, volunteering, helping out, etc?  Volunteer work numbers across the US are soaring, and this was before the wake up call in Hati.  I propose running a special where you ask new renters to commit to volunteering 10 hours of time (or however much you'd like) to one of 5 local civic organizations.  You can tap in to places like Big Brothers Big Sisters, or the YMCA, or even let them suggest their own organizations that they already work with, like Habitat for Humanity.  Allow them to exchange their volunteer hours for their concession, much in the same way that people buy "points" on a mortgage.  This idea can be extended through the year, giving you an excellent way to market your apartment homes as the local community committed to caring.
  • Boy Scout Anniversary Day - On February 8th every year, the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their anniversary.  Why not run a weekend special on the 6,7, and 8 geared towards supporting scouting?  Think about something as small as waived application fees for groups with a scout in their ranks, whether it's a 6 year old member of  Webelos or a 28 year old Eagle Scout like the one I live with.  Boy Scouts, and the people who support them, are a very proud group, and with a national membership of  2.8 Million youths and 1.1 Million adults, that gives you a great section of people to tap into. I suggest you offer your special to anyone with a "connection to scouting," whether it's a mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, or grandparent.   (One word of caution on this one, and that's to make sure that you include members of  "Venture Scouts" as well, which is the program in Boy Scouts that extends to women, just as being a "Den Mom" does.  We still have to be mindful of Fair Housing.)
  • Mardi Gras - Aside from the "Girls Gone Wild" aspects, this celebration can bring some great marketing ideas to light, and giving out beads to your tours is just the first one that pops in.  Talk about a fun leasing campaign!  I'm sure there are plenty of things that you can celebrate about living in your community, and this is a great chance to show people those things in an exciting way!  Check places like Oriental Trading company or Stump's prom supplies for great decorations for your model unit and cabana, the shinier and more eye catching the better!
  • Presidents' Day and the Birthdays of Washington and Lincoln - This is a great time to tap in to the American pride in presidents!  Using slogans like, "We cannot tell a lie, our apartments are great!" and taping in to presidential factoids, which for some reason people seem to love, can be great ways to attract tours and build rapport with potential residents.  Make sure that your prices are "so honest even Abe would rent here!"

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