- Don’t separate them.
Revenue management and marketing should not become separate entities in the first place. Marketing 101 tells us to focus on the 4 Ps – product, promotion, person and price. So, get over the silo nature of office departments and start working together.
- Get to know you.
In many rental housing companies, pricing and marketing teams are completely separate fiefdoms operating totally independently. Team members may not know each other very well. When you bring the two teams together for the first time to collaborate, play a game of “would you rather…” to help break the ice.
- Know the best happy hour spots.
See No. 2. It’s important to know and trust each other, and what better way to accomplish this then by bonding after hours in a fun environment. Trivia nights and Karaoke will get everyone communicating and connected on another level.
- Bring operations into the mix.
Pricing and marketing teams may have the data and supporting evidence they need to say that a particular leasing consultant is performing poorly and needs to be trained or in some cases reassigned, but operations is the only department that can handle that situation.
- Encourage & enable proactivity.
For their collaboration to truly be effective, pricing and marketing teams must meet regularly to identify and get ahead of any issues affecting demand at a community – be it pricing, marketing channels or the performance of onsite leasing teams.
- Pricing and CRM must play nice.
Operators can gain a truly holistic understanding of all the issues affecting demand at their communities when their revenue management and marketing teams collaborate in a meaningful way. But to make those collaborations work, a property's pricing and CRM systems need to be able to "talk" to each other. Many forward-thinking companies are already finding ways for both depart- ments to access each other’s data.
- Use your data.
Unbiased, objective data regarding the performance of advertising and marketing channels is essential to these partnerships. Don’t rely only on the data provided by ILSs and other outlets. You have the data readily available to you – via your reve- nue management and CRM systems – don’t be afraid to really dig into it to gain the most objective view of your community performance.
- Don't forget lease expiration.
When pricing and marketing departments work in concert, the resulting partnership is ideally positioned to optimize a community's lease expiration profile. By leveraging data, proactive discussion between departments ensures that a property is not burdened with too many leases expiring in low-demand periods, or when marketing needs to boost traffic to address higher exposure.
- Bust the bunker mentality.
Onsite leasing teams are often reluctant to share their performance data with the corporate office for fear of looking bad or not meeting expectations. Give your team access to all the data. It will improve their partnership, ensure everyone (including corporate) is on the same page and in turn, will provide a better platform for positive change.
- Commit to actionable intelligence.
Make sure your pricing-marketing collaboration isn’t just gathering data for data’s sake. You want them using an- alytics that they can cash out as actions. This can lead to improved marketing spends, increased rental rates or the double-whammy, savings and revenue generation!
John Reardon, V.P. of Marketing Beacon Communities Boston. If you are a property management professional and would like to contribute to this column, please contact Paul Bergeron.