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 7, 2010

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

For those of you that follow me as "The Apartment Nerd" you're most likely familiar with my video posts and with my activity on I recently made a comment on a post over at MFI entitled "Resident Retention: Dare I Say It - Don't Believe the Hype". In summary, the post was using survey data results that asked renters what way they prefer to be contacted. I thought interpretation of the results was out of context as people don't use social media in the fashion that the question was suggesting, and people continue to miss the point in regards to social media in general. So I wanted to share my comment here as I'm trying to make a point about "buzz". Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
So here's the deal. I think the majority is measuring the success of social media wrong. It's not about leads, and it's not like traditional communication. Let's stop and think about this for just a moment. When the majority of the world signs up for facebook they don't think, "Cool, I'll be able to fan my apartment community, or Apple, or Walgreens." Nor do they go on Twitter with the goal to follow a bunch of major brands. They go on these sites to connect with people. An apartment community is not a person, and that is what many are missing. Yet, many are afraid to take the humans that are representing their brands in person and have them represent their brands (as a human) online.

The mistake being made is that the approach to social media from a brand perspective is not being human enough. People don't engage with a brand, people engage with people. Think about that and look at your current approach online. Social media is not like your website or your brochure. It is a place to be a real person, and a person that represents a brand. Instead of measuring your social media success with statistics from counting calls or asking people about a preferred method of contact start measuring on "buzz". Is there a buzz about what you are doing, and are people talking about it. It's the buzz that matters. Just like having a pool party, giving a cool move-in gift, or just offering great service, that creates buzz. We don't measure that, but we know it's critical to our resident's experience. That's how social media works. It's another opportunity to create buzz.

There are definitely plenty of ways to waste time trying to create buzz, and everyone needs a great strategy. I'm tired of hearing about content, content, content. If that content doesn't create buzz and doesn't come across as "human" then you have wasted your time. I'm not saying that content in general won't get you some Google juice, but it's not likely to get you any buzz. And that's what I'm measuring.

On a side note, I do believe that social media sites, blogs, etc. can be built to look like web pages or brochures and they can be used for those purposes. Why not, they are essentially free resources. However, those efforts should be kept separate from ones that your are trying to create "buzz" with. I actually encourage people to have a little bit of both as it can be great in expanding your online brand as a whole.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Student of the Game

I am amazed. We watch sports, especially professional sports like golf, football, basketball, and baseball, and I'm amazed at how many people focus on the physical talent or the statistics. The press is the worst at glorifying talent and basing it off of statistics mainly. We see year after year a guy that leads the tour in driving distance, someone that has the most rushing yards, or someone with the most homeruns get so much credit for these measurable statistics. Statistics that without many other factors don't necessarily result in winning.

So I have a problem with this because I don't think enough credit is given to the "true student of the game." The person that is not focused on their talent to perform, but on their drive to be better. Now, I'm not trying to be short sighted and say that true students of the game don't have great talent to be professional athletes (of course they do). What I am saying is that students of the game continue to find a way to one up their competition. Not because they just try harder, but because they strive to understand what it takes to be better. It's a mental exercise and not a physical exercise.

In thinking about this I compare the idea to business. In business, the person that relies on their product to be successful can win. We've seen this happen with numerous fads and "As Seen On TV" products. We've even seen this with numerous commodities that generate revenue. The challenge comes in sustaining success based off of 1 idea or off a price driven model. This is even more challenging when economic conditions like we have today put a strain on pricing, and when new technology or copycats can easily trump the uniqueness of your 1 product. This is why, in my mind, the true students of the game are better poised to win.

The true student of the game is ready to seize the opportunity when it presents itself. The true student of the game does not rest on their laurels. The true student of the game continues to raise the bar for expectations. The true student of the game does not accept mediocrity. The true student of the game exhausts all their resources available and seeks more. The true student of the game does not make excuses. The true student of the game knows when to be patient and make adjustments. The true student of the game makes the game what it is.

What else? What makes you a true student of the game? Being a student of the game applies to anyone. How can you refocus to be a better student regardless of your position?