Thursday, April 1, 2010


So it's official, I've combined Tidbits from The Marketing Nerd and Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd into one spot at

I figured there was no reason to keep 2 blogs going when I can just categorize my topics and now have added some additional categories that will highlight things we're doing at the J.C. Hart Company with our marketing as well as my little project with Duncan Alney called The Resident Connection.

Thanks for following me here, but all the good stuff is over at now. Hope you like it. Cheers to innovation!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mobile Post - Testing

Cool pic from our resident winner in the Show the Love facebook promo.

Posted via email from Mobile Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beyond Facebook Part 2 - Optimization Summit

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beyond Facebook Part 1

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mobile Post - The Poken at #optsum

Monday, March 15, 2010

Episode 43 - Do you have the right to be the judge?

Following up after "Are you the next American Idol?" I wanted to challenge the judges (management) to make sure they are worthy of being a judge and what that means. If we, as managers, are going to encourage great art then we have to do it the right way.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Episode 42 - Are you the next American Idol?

Yo, check it dog, what's happenin'. So, here's the deal. Execs & Regionals, we are the judges. Managers & Leasing Peeps, you are the artists. Start watching American Idol and look at it from this perspective. You're going to find that as artists you have an opportunity to maximize your talent (and you have the talent). When you get this far in the competition it's not that you don't have the talent, it's that you have a choice. A choice to bring the "Wow factor" or to just sing within yourself. It's a choice, and as execs/regionals (judges) we have the choice to encourage bringing the "Wow factor" or to just push for the status quo. The rules and guidelines and scripts that your management company provides just allow us to be average and sing within ourselves. It's about going beyond, making it your own, finding out what kind of artist you are to make it work, stand out, and bring the "Wow factor".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just a thought ...

Local business is why your community exists.

Discuss amongst yourselves. :)

or discuss here ;)

Episode 41 - Who is writing your social media playbook?

I've been sharing an analogy with some friends comparing social media to football. You really could compare business or marketing in general to football, but you can just think about that however you want. Anyway, check out this week's post and let me know your thoughts. Is anyone writing your playbook, or are you just going out for a pass?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who to Follow - Mike Whaling

You're probably already following this guy, but if not here's Mike's info and links. Definitely someone to follow if you need some online insight or assistance. He's always willing to lend a hand and is a Jack of all trades!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Episode 40 - What are you waiting for?

A pretty simple question, but one I ask myself all the time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who to Follow - Duncan Alney

I can's say enough about this guy. The video really says it all and here's where you can follow "The Chief" online.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Post - Amazing what people will do to earn a sticker during leasing training.

Mobile Post - Showing the love

Dozens of testimonials on heart shaped paper. How easy was this.

Posted via email from Mobile Tidbits from The Apartment Nerd

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mobile Post - What's the struggle with outreach?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who to Follow - Lisa Trosien

If you are in the apartment industry you may have seen Lisa speak at an Apartment All-stars event or an industry convention. Online she gives even more. She writes an excellent blog that always surprises you with her insight. She helps to host the #aptchat on Friday afternoons on Twitter. She's not only extremely active on Twitter she also is super active on Facebook. How she has time to do it all is beyond me, but the articles, blog posts, and links she shares are always full of great information. I'm really excited to add her to the list as the first apartment industry person of Who to Follow. You rock Lisa!

Who to Follow - Chris Brogan

Honestly, Chris is just a real person online. He has one of the most popular blogs for online marketing, social media, etc. If you reach out to him he'll give you his thoughts. He writes and a great blog, and does some video too. If you are entering the social media space/game Chris is definitely one to follow. Check out his book Trust Agents as well. It will open your eyes.

Episode 39 - Outreach Logs

Quick question ...


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Episode 38 - Average No More, Change Your Game

I love the "don't shoot the messenger" posts Lisa Trosien has had recently. Check them out here: Dear Onsite Staffer & Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Property Management Exec.

All excellent examples for why teams don't progress and move forward. Unfortunately, we all have different expectations of each other, but it's how we manage those expectations that affect the game in my opinion. Most people have a tendency to settle and point fingers. Either direction, this just isn't fair. It's not fair to settle for an average boss that continues to just point out your shortfalls, and it's also not fair to settle for average employees that continue to just show up and coast. The lists Lisa shared just points out complaints against the average. It's time to kill average and not accept it anymore. We must do this not by complaining about average, but by overcoming average. You're not being fair to yourself if you don't.

We all have our good days, and we all have our bad. I am not perfect, and I don't believe anyone is. I make a number of mistakes, but always strive to fix them. These are not excuses, but realities and challenges in overcoming average. I have my own shortfalls, and individually everyone else does as well. It's the choices we make to battle through those and no longer use them as excuses that push us above average.

Yes, it's difficult to consistently strive for above average, let alone remarkable, but you could argue that the reason it's difficult is because failing is uncomfortable and scary. What I'm suggesting is that to be successful you don't have an option. Discomfort and fear are no longer excuses. Average in an economy like today gets you laid off, gets your bonuses cut, and could put you out of business. Flying below the radar is no longer possible. Everyone is under a microscope. Customer service jobs are even more so under the microscope and expectations continue to rise. Multifamily is no exception and we all know it.

I get passionate about a number of things, but I believe we can all get passionate about being better people. It's your choice, it's your career. Are you going to change the game? Are you going to become a better student of the game? It's an individual choice. No one is going to make the choice for you or hold your hand and guide you through. I'm going to continue to make mistakes along the way striving for remarkable, and I hope you join me for the ride. Thank you to those that have already joined the apartment nerd ride and have shared and continue to share the messages.

Monday, February 1, 2010

J.C. Hart Company Social Media Acceptable Use Policy

We adopted this new Social Media Acceptable Use Policy in 2010, and I thought I would share it with my peers in the industry. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks and enjoy your day!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Episode 37 - Is there power in getting "No" up front?

It may not be a "no" to buying completely, but it could be a "no" to buying today or at the end of a meeting. I think there is power to getting this out on the table. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Episode 36 - Something to think about

Seth Godin has a new book out, I wrote a post over at Tidbits from The Marketing Nerd, and Lisa Trosien wrote a post about how on site people view execs. It got me thinking, and I hope you think about it too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who to Follow - Seth Godin

I can't say enough about this guy. If you are in business (that's pretty much everyone unless you just don't work), own a business, or do anything marketing related you need to follow this guy and read everything you can of his. Just really amazing. Honestly, go ahead and subscribe to his blog and get a dose of Seth every morning. This is one of maybe a handful of blogs I have sent to my email vs. following via RSS. Here's links to anything Seth, and enjoy my video as well. If you do anything this year, start following this guy. Conveniently he has a brand new book, Linchpin, that comes out Jan. 26th.

Seth's Website
Seth's Blog
Seth's Books
Seth on Facebook (sort of)
Seth on Twitter (sort of)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mobile Post - biggest clubhouse plant ever

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 Questions from The Marketing Nerds

My good friend Duncan Alney and I would love your help. Please pass this along to anyone you know in that is in multifamily property management that would like to contribute. We really appreciate you helping spread the word, and hopefully with the results of this survey we'll be able to paint the picture for why social media and resident communications need an upgrade.

Click here to take survey

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Episode 35 - Managing your social media expectations

First off I would like to give a hat tip to Brent Williams, the chief at, for spurring this conversation and inspiring this post. We had an interesting conversation going on from one of my previous posts, and it came around to "managing one's expectations with social media." I've said all along that social media is a part to building your online brand. With building any brand we all know it takes time, and building an online brand can seem like you're doing it all over again. The good news is that if you already have a brand then it's not a complete rebuild, but it's taking a different view point for how your brand is going to present itself online. This doesn't happen overnight, and the "build it and they will come" concept just doesn't work. No longer can you just build a website and hope people find you. You need to continually build your presence online, you need a strategy, and you needed to start yesterday. For those of you that have started, GREAT! For those of you thinking about starting, it's time to get a move on.

In my comments to Brent from that post I shared what I've helped J.C. Hart do over the last 2 years to build a better online brand. That's right 2 years. Here's what I shared:
This is a challenge and a hurdle so many struggle with. The main issue really isn't where the resources are coming from, but how people are stuck in their thinking and perspective. It's scary to take risk and it's scary to change. I just don't think that is an excuse. So here's what I've done in the last 2 years, and how it's been a wash when it comes to dollars invested.

1. I just went for it and dropped the print guides. Yep, we did it.
2. Pooled together the new found saving for our Indianapolis Area Apartments and created a kick ass marketing fund for the city/market.
3. Hired an online media agency to help me with our online brand and online assets.
3. Allocated some of the $ saved to completely redesigning, optimizing, and overhauling our website(s).
4. Allocated some of the $ to adding additional ILS listings.
5. Dove in head first to personally understand as many social media channels as I could. I mainly did this on my own time.
6. Along with online media agency helped build online social assets like blogs, facebook pages, a YouTube channel, and Twitter account.
7. Organized a strategy for on site teams to blog.
8. Watch physical traffic from year to year (in a down market year) go up. Watch website traffic from year to year increase 50%.
9. Always believe there is a better way to do things. Innovate, innovate, innovate.
10. Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion.

So that's it in a nutshell for me and J.C. Hart, and we're still rolling with some killer new projects for 2010. As I continue to say, there is no cookie cutter approach. What works for me won't work for everyone, and social media in general isn't for everyone. That said, I do truly believe that anyone can at least do something to build a better online brand. It may not be with Twitter or Facebook, but more time dedicated to your online assets shouldn't be a decision that is limited by economics.

If you'd like to read all the comments and watch the original post you can visit it here.

All this said, I've got quite the video for you today. Six minutes of fun for why social media needs to be a part of your online brand and how success won't happen overnight. It's a long term strategy. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who to Follow - Gary Vaynerchuk

This guy has been all over the internet, but if you don't follow him you should. He's passionate about wine and the New York Jets. I only felt it fitting to highlight him this week as his Jets are coming to Indy to play our Colts. Should be one hell of a battle for a trip to the Super Bowl. Here's where you can find Gary online:
Crush It!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Episode 34 - You can't control what people say on social media

I'm all for supporting your favorite team, and there are plenty of forums to do so online. However, when it effects a company, do you think it's gone too far. In this video I share my thoughts on the Boycott Howl at the Moon fan page and why this is an example for companies need to understand social media.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mobile Post - Is your facebook fan page just clutter?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Episode 33 - Are you cleaning out the clutter on Facebook?

I think this can apply to any social network, but I'll start with Facebook. The question is whether it's time to clean out the clutter on Facebook, and what to do when your "fans" start cleaning out their clutter. What's your plan/strategy?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who to Follow - Mack Collier

Featured this week is Mack Collier, a social media consultant with great expertise in online media. Mack leads #blogchat on Twitter on Sunday evenings, and is very easy to reach out to. Whether you're looking for some blog tips or just interested in some general social media info, you can find Mack on Twitter, at, or his playground at

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Episode 32 - It's the same but different and better

After some discussions this week with fellow apartment nerds I had some thoughts about how new media is the same but different and better. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Episode 31 - What are you measuring in 2010?

As we adopt new technology, social media, etc., etc., I'm curious how well everyone is planning to measure what you are doing and how you apply the results you get back to continuously improve. What are you planning on measuring better in 2010?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Who to Follow - Scott Monty

I'd like to kick off a new series. By the end of the year you should have 52 key people to follow (if I can keep up with this). I'll highlight something the individual has shared online and tell you why they are someone to follow. If you have any recommendations I'll keep a list going and maybe that person will be our weekly highlight.

OK, so for my first "Who to Follow" post I'm choosing Scott Monty. Check out his social media predictions for 2010 blog post here and watch my video for some general comments about Scott, the head of social media for Ford Motor Company.