Tips on Market Outreach

Tips on Market Outreach
Let's face it, you need more traffic but don't have the extra cash flow to throw at new advertising sources. Today, more than ever, smart marketing is a must! Here are some tips to help jumpstart your outreach marketing program.

1. Develop a list of local merchants who may be willing to enter into a referral program with your community. The benefits are quite extensive and the effort can be minimal. Sometimes, you can procure discounts or savings to pass on to your residents as well.
2. Make a target list of all local quality neighborhood merchants that provide services or goods that residents would use. Your team can provide referral-worthy service by becoming neighborhood experts, always knowing where to get the best take-out, cheapest dry cleaning, quickest shortcuts to the freeway and the nearest post office.
3. As the contacts are made, the merchants should be invited to participate in the neighborhood directory available on your website and provided in your welcome and renewal packets. Invite the merchant to provide discounts, marketing material, samples and coupons for your move-in.
4. Next, offer the merchants you are working with a special for their employees. Examples are waived pet rent, discounted security deposits and/or waived application fees.
5. If appropriate, display attractive postcards (simple marketing cards can be created through or otherwise at the merchant's counter or on their information board for viewing by the general public. Be sure to create a tracking device to measure the effectiveness.

When jumpstarting a relationship with a new merchant it is important to focus on how the business would benefit from an ongoing working relationship with your community.

The following is a partial sample of how an introductory letter to a merchant might read: "At Summer Chase, we have over 680 potential (insert Merchant's name) customers living less than 1/8th of a mile from your store. We would like to offer you some win-win ideas that will promote your business and provide our residents with value-based services. We will provide you with:

* Exclusive referrals to your (describe type of business/service)
* Loyalty-promoting discounts/specials that you control/establish
* Distribution of your marketing material to our new and renewing residents
* Discounts for your employees
* Co-branding neighborhood charity events
* After three months of establishing a successful working relationship-a free link on our website to yours, or a listing with your contact info.

A representative from our team will be in touch within the week.

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