Lead a Tribe

September 22, 2008
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I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a Social Web Site, Trilibes.com launched and led by Seth Godin, who is coining a name for Social Networks as Tribes. It was by invitation only, and has been an interesting and learning experience at watching and participating at how easy and how hard it can be to direct and lead a Social Site. It is in conjunction with a book and it’s commencing that Seth is doing, appropriately named Tribes. There is certainly lots of banter going about surrounding new media, social media, web 2.0 and social sites. There is myspace, facebook, flickr, YouTube and many more that all have a component of social connection. With the book launch in only Seth Godin fashion, he will take the mystery out of at least some of what and how social sites can flourish and again reinvent himself as well as position himself as an expert on the topic of social network sites. I am glad I am involved with the project and have learned a lot.
The way people purchase things today is changing before our eyes. Over the last three years Urbane Apartments has ceased traditional marketing efforts in exchange for a myspace site, a facebook site, YouTube and flickr sites and maximum exposure on our local Craigslist. We also use twitter regularly. We recently started a Social Network site on Ning.com, the UrbaneLobby.com. Like many other Social Network sites we have run into some snags, stalled membership, and lack of participation. We have regrouped and made directional corrections and believe we have an effective revised plan to give our residents enough reason and enough value to make regular visits, beyond just paying rent on line and placing a service request on line. Our Goal; To provide our residents with an experience and value with a high enough return to create enough Customer Evangelists within our core resident base that they self rent our apartments. We are working hard to lead our resident Influencers within our core resident base, and have transitioned most of our marketing budget inward, to further focus on our existing residents. Only good things have happened from this move. Resident retention has significantly improved, and we have created a forum and a field for the Influencers to participate. Along the path we hope to become Social Media experts based on our experience as to what works for multifamily and what doesn’t. We are learning as we go, but are seeing stellar results.
You too should try out some of these new paths. Become familiar with them, use them. They work, and they will work for you too. The central theme of all Social Media is creating community, which has always been what property management has been about.

Eric Brown

Eric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine. You can connect with Urbane_Media on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications;  Multi Housing News Social Media Examiner Search Engine Guide

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