We've Come a Long Way, Baby!
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Cell Phone
Affectionately known as "the brick", the first mobile telephone call happened on April 3, 1973 when Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile call from the original handheld mobile phone. He placed a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, effectively ending the race between Motorola and Bell Labs to produce the first mobile phone.
And a short 40 years later there are 5 Billion mobile phone users world wide -- amazing given there are only 7 Billion people on the planet and over 3 Billion people live on less than $2.50 a day! And, 91% of all US mobile users keep their phones within arms reach at all times (you know who you are).
In addition to explosive mobile phone adoption, texting is on the rise as well. Did you know?
- There are 5 times as many texters as there are Facebook users
- Over 193,000 text messages are sent every second
- 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of their delivery
- Voice calling is decreasing as text messaging increases amongst American adults
Thanks Mr. Cooper and Happy Birthday Cell Phones Everywhere!
New Feature: You Speak, We Listen!
Based on recommendations from our existing customers, we've just released a new feature called "Frequently Used Messages." With this new functionality, you can capture your most often used messages and re-use them with one click, rather than typing in the entire message each time. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
Mobile Marketing Fills Vacancies Fast
Mobile marketing means many different things to different people, but TMA is about utilizing mobile marketing to help you fill vacancies quickly. Our customers use TMA's Prospect Touch in several ways; here are a couple of examples:
Community A is generally fully occupied, so people that stop by the leasing office are usually placed on a wait list. In addition to the usual information, the managers at Community A ask the prospective resident for their cell phone number and the unit size they are interested in. The manager then inputs those numbers into the proper marketing category (1 bedrooms, studios etc.) in TMA. Then, as soon as Community A is aware of an upcoming vacancy, instead of manning the phones for hours, they simply create a message and, with the click of one button, send a text message to all interested prospects. Within seconds, the phone begins ringing with interested prospects.
When an interested prospect sees the sign and texts in, Community B automatically captures his or her cell phone number in TMA's system and places it in the correct marketing category. TMA's service automatically replies to prospects and collects more detail about the type of unit of interest, such as 1-bedroom, studio, etc. and will even send unit-specific info to the prospect even if the leasing office is closed! Community B management is collecting prospects' cell phone numbers for follow up while simultaneously selling the prospect on the features of Community B. When the managers return to work, new prospect follow up is a breeze and occupancy rates stay high with less work!
Why Text Mobile Alerts ("TMA")?
When people ask us "Why do I need TMA?" we answer with a little game taken from the age-old "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game. It goes like this:
Hurricane warning! Prepare to evacuate immediately!
Email? Flier? Text?
Broken pipes and first floor is flooding. Move valuables asap!
Email? Flier? Text?
Repaving is today. All cars must be moved from lot A immediately to avoid towing.
Email? Flier? Text?
Obviously, text is the right answer and the best way to notify your residents in the three scenarios above. In this day of instant gratification and real-time communication, everybody expects immediate information and notifications and TMA's Resident Touch lets you efficiently and easily communicate with individual residents, or by unit, floor, building or entire community, from the comfort of your computer, with just one click.
Did you know:
- 96% of Americans now have cell phones?
- 99% of cell phones receive text messages
- According to SatisFacts Research the trend is that residents actually prefer to hear from management on their cell phones?
- THE most popular feature on cell phones is text
- 98% of text messages are read, verses 24% of email messages
For all of these reasons, text is simply the most efficient and effective communication medium available today. Managers know that great communication and follow up with residents is the single best way to ensure long term resident retention, so why not implement and utilize the fastest, greenest communication tool available?
In addition to improving resident retention through better communication, TMA's Prospect Touch helps you fill vacancies faster using Mobile Marketing. Did you know that the single largest way people find their next apartment is by driving by? It sounds crazy as we all think everything is done through Craigslist but, the reality is that residents want to experience their future neighborhood, so they will drive by, which means leveraging your signage is very important. Hopefully your signs include your leasing office phone number, but what about times when your leasing office is closed? Prospect Touch lets you automatically interact with prospects, giving them crucial bits of information that may encourage them to take the next step. Additionally, you will capture their phone numbers and their interests in your community so you can easily call or text them back to follow up and sell them on your community.
We look forward to helping you take advantage of 21st Century real time communications and to working with you!
The Text Step
Courtesy of the California Apartment Association (www.tcaa.org)
By Amy Drew Thompson
Generation Y may have run point on the the first play, but nowadays everyone is in the text-messaging game. Get up to speed with your resident communication, your marketing initiatives and take advantage of this fast, effective tool that can help improve your bottom line...