Jim Blaylock, Andrew Brownstein, Curt Garrett, Alexander Liberatore
April 25, 2014
This Marketing Plan was created to better assess the challenges, potential solutions, goals and desired outcomes of Apartment Seekers as it works to compete in an ever decreasing and hyper competitive market environment. The research draws attention to the fact that the student body population and population as a whole has decreased in recent years and with the increased use of online technologies, Apartment Seekers’ decline in referrals resulting in payments from the various communities and complexes. Strategy elements including targeting primary target audiences, secondary target audiences, products and pricing are explored to better assist Apartment Seekers in reaching it’s goals. Strategies analyzed include identifying characteristics, including mobile applications and Internet use, incentivizing referrals, targeted marketing of higher end units to the secondary market of professionals and politicos, production of booklets/at a glance pamphlets, emphasis on personal touch available only through Apartment Seekers as a competitive advantage, emphasis on supplemental products offered and local knowledge as a competitive advantage. These elements, in addition to better structural/resource balancing including a pull strategy of opening new customer channels, establishing relationships with local organizations and constant review of complexes/communities and competitors offering to stay current, can only lead to realize gains.
The decreasing population and increasing housing options, in addition to the increased use of internet technologies, and, in turn, a decrease in referral revenue is the biggest problem faced by Apartment Seekers. As the research shows, college enrollment in Tallahassee is declining and Apartment Seekers is forced to review its goals and it’s methods of achieving those goals. The main culprit of Apartment Seekers falling short on its goals seems to be the “lack” or underperformance compared to competitors of Apartment Seeker’s online presence and target marketing practices. This is not to say that Apartment Seekers does not have a significant online presence or targeted marketing techniques, but, through research and analysis, it became increasingly apparent that more could be done.
The Internal Market
Marketing Goals and Objectives: Achieving current goals and objectives, Apartment Seekers has developed a company that annually assists over 10,000 prospective renters annually by representing over 150 apartment communities and hundreds of rental properties in the Tallahassee area (About Apartment Seekers). Offering a free, no hassle service, this company has routinely been viewed as one of the area’s best rental agencies for students at Florida State University (FSU), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and Tallahassee Community College (TCC). In addition to being a full-fledged real estate brokerage firm, Apartment Seekers provides relocating services for new residents, corporate short-term visitors, and current Tallahassee residents looking to move. Supplementary services include assisting in connecting utilities and soliciting other necessary items such as movers, cleaners, and home insurance.
With goals of improving on their market share of renters and having increased brand awareness, Apartment Seekers remains consistent with their mission statement. However, with recent trends of slowing population and college enrollment rates (Greenwood), Apartment Seekers needs to review specific objectives and how they are going to achieve those benchmarks.
Current Marketing Strategy and Performance: With the steady decline in student population and overall residents, coupled with an increase in the permanent housing industry due to lower interest rates and steady pricing, the rental industry is starting to