Vendors who fail to adapt their marketing to the millennials taking over the property management industry are passing up a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Here are some tips on how to connect.
The accelerating retirement of baby boomers is creating a big void of institutional knowledge in the property management industry, and a once-in-a-generation opportunity for vendors able to connect with the millennials backfilling those positions.
To succeed, these newly minted property managers must learn how to handle a wide range of tasks very quickly. This creates a big in-bound marketing opportunity for vendors willing to invest in blogging, social media and other forms of content marketing.
Millennials are 247 percent more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than previous generations. They are 44 percent more likely to trust someone they have never met if they deem them experts by virtue of the content they produce. This makes millennials big consumers of not just blogs, but e-books, whitepapers, case studies and how-to videos, according to HubSpot.
While its popularity has surged thanks to social media and marketing automation, content marketing is no internet fad. In fact, content marketing has a long track record of producing results, according to this infographic from Contently.
Nike owes much of its phenomenal success to content it has created to promote running, including a booklet called “Jogging,”which it published in 1966. Although its 19 pages focused on how to enjoy recreational running, it helped Nike sell millions of pairs of shoes and establish its brand as the authentic leader in what became the most popular participation sport in America.
Jell-O started to wiggle its way into the minds of consumers with content marketing as early as 1904, when it began distributing free copies of a cookbook featuring unique ways to use its product.
Four years prior to the Jell-O cookbook, tire-maker Michelin produced a 400-page auto maintenance guide for the average car-owner. Ultimately, it was so well received that the company stopped distributing it for free and sold it for a profit.
One of the earliest examples of content marketing comes from farm equipment manufacturer John Deere. They began producing a publication in 1895 called The Furrow, which offers techniques and tips to farmers on how to become more profitable.
In each of these examples, a brand connected with customers by creating content that demonstrated their expertise, or what some in marketing call “thought leadership.” That’s what millennial property managers are searching for and you can win their trust – and perhaps their business – by providing it.
Just make sure to remind yourself who you are dealing with.
Millennials have become the best educated group in our country’s history, with at least one-third of them holding a degree from a four-year college or university.
“The millennial generation possesses a very strong BS detector,” UNDER2 co-founder Michael Malinsky tells Inc. magazine. “Authenticity is worth its weight in gold.” Malinsky also observes that millennials will reach out with questions on social media, and they expect an instant response.
Partnering vs. selling
Don’t mistake millennials being digital natives with a more standoffish or transactional approach to doing business. In fact, the opposite is true. Millennials generally have a greater appreciation for the power of collaboration, so be prepared to engage at a deeper level pitching or servicing these accounts.
This can be good for vendors because it means that when you do successfully connect with a millennial property manager, you’ll have a partner who’s interested in knowing how you both can benefit by working together.
Check you stereotypes
If you were born before 1981, check your stereotypes at the door and remember the stereotypes about baby boomers and Gen Xers you faced, urges Shelley Osborne, who heads up learning and development for the online learning site Udemy. Millennials are more inclined than preceding generations to think stereotypes about them don’t “align with how they feel about themselves or how they approach the workforce,” Osborne tells The Association for Talent Development.
So, throw out what you think you know about millennials and embrace what you do know, based on facts and research. Then learn how to connect on their terms and show them what you know about solving problems they face every day.VendorSmart℠ is a comprehensive, web-based marketplace where hundreds of Community Managers and thousands of associations search for service providers every day. Visit our Vendors page today to learn how we select and help vendors listed in our directory.