Who Needs a Stairclimber When You Live On the Third Floor?

They say getting dressed for your workout is half the battle. Half the battle for me, more specifically, is making the decision to resist watching nine YouTube videos of my latest Hollywood obsession—Anna Kendrick from “Pitch Perfect” at the moment—put the bag of croutons down (I eat them like chips) and sort through my dirty pile of laundry for a pair of running shorts.

My apartment community has a “gym.” I use the term “gym” loosely here, as it’s essentially a tiny room in the basement with a few pieces of equipment from the late 1990s, but for all intents and purposes, it is a place where I could work out.

The problem is that sometimes—eh, most times—I don’t feel like leaving my apartment. Once my derriere hits those concave couch cushions, it’s hard to get back up. Plus, I already feel like I have a solid exercise regimen in my home. Picking up and putting down that giant Costco bag of croutons in sets of five helps me to work up a real sweat—as does trying to save money by keeping the apartment at a balmy 80 degrees in the summer.

Still, it would be nice to burn a few more calories simply by renting an apartment. Sounds like wishful thinking? Not for the residents at The Falls at Westover Hills.

One grassroots marketing campaign that Barbara Savona, CEO of Sprout Marketing—a company that creates monthly marketing campaigns for apartment communities nationwide—helped create was for this San Antonio community, which had an abundance of third-floor apartment homes that were staying stubbornly vacant.

Leasing consultants typically are quick to point to their popular, state-of-art fitness centers—but what if residents could get some daily exercise simply by renting an apartment above the ground floor?

“It was time to turn these undesirables into the highly desirable,” Savona says. “We calculated the number of calories someone would burn climbing up and down the stairs an average of two times a day. In no time, the “Heart Smart” campaign was born. Our tagline was, “Lease With Us for 12 Months and Lose 10 lbs.” In the fine print, we outlined the details.”

Savona didn’t stop there. The staff wore buttons that read, “Ask about our Heart Smart Units!” Her team created mini apartment-models that featured the components of a healthy lifestyle. Move-in gifts included yoga mats, water bottles and one-year subscriptions for health-conscious magazines. To get into the spirit of outreach marketing, the staff picked a where they all dressed up in stereotypical 1980s workout gear—giant boom-box and all. They visited local businesses and promoted their “Heart Smart” campaign. It was a huge hit with local gyms, diabetes centers and more.

The campaign helped lease 48 third-floor units, Savona says, and provided residents with an easy way to workout.

Who says you can’t have your croutons and eat it too?

For more, check out Marketing Insider in the October issue of units, which mails Oct. 11.