Rich Dad Poor Dad was an instrumental piece for me when I started my own Entrepreneurial Journey, so I was elated to participate with Robert Kiyosaki and Kim Kiyosaki on a live radio show!
Forty-nine-year-old Eric Brown is no expert in . In fact, he doesn’t believe such a thing exists. For Brown, social media is a question of trying new forms of communication, from blogs to and , and seeing what works and what bombs. What he has learned, among many lessons, is that reaching out to the unhappiest customers can sometimes not only make them happy, but even turn them into evangelists for Urbane Apartments, his 500 units scattered through Royal Oak, Mich.
From the time he started the business in 2003, Mr. Brown said, he wanted to set himself apart from how most apartment units have been marketed by focusing on aspects like search engine optimization. “Traditional advertising is very expensive, particularly if you’re smaller,”
The key to his success is the hip blog he created on the Urbane Apartments website, the Urbane Life. The blog content focuses not on publicizing his apartments, but on offering the best tips regarding what Detroit has to offer in terms of restaurants, arts, and entertainment. As a result of the blog and other promotional activities, the website receives an extraordinary number of unique visitors and followers on social media for a real estate-related website.
When Brown bought his first building in 2002, he had a very loose policy on dogs because he knew that most apartment building owners in the vicinity had breed restrictions and size limits. ”Really good residents tend to have really good pets and take care of them,” says Brown. “My company now owns the local market for pet owners in Detroit.”
Taking the stance that salespeople often get in the way of and create an uncomfortable atmosphere for the consumer, MC Residential is in the process of rolling out a new apartment touring strategy that gives the prospect the opportunity to view apartments without the distraction of leasing staff. The program, dubbed Go Solo has already been implemented at seven apartment communities in the Tucson, Ariz. area, with the goal of implementing the program in other markets across the country.
“In general it’s awkward for both the leasing person and the prospect when you’re looking at a unit,” Eric Brown, vice president of marketing for MC Residential, tellsMHN. “You never know if the person is under a time constraint. Do they want to go faster, do they want to go slower? With this process they can spend as much time in the unit as they want. They can come back later in the day or the next day with their parents or their boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife. This affords them a lot of flexibility and really no pressure.”
If you like hot sauces, brace yourself: This sauce does have a kick to it at first. But it mellows out and we could detect the sweet notes of the cherries for a nice finish. Its secret spices are a nice balance of hot and sweet. A small dollop of it goes a long way. You can use it on plenty of foods and in recipes.
The Business Journal
Social Media Marketer Eric Brown, Founder Of Urbane Media Joins MC Companies As Vice President Of Marketing
MC Residential Communities are looking to disrupt typical mainstream apartment marketing for the company’s 6,500 apartment unit portfolio. In an effort to advance their Share the Good Life mantra with social driven marketing and digital branding, MC Communities announces the appointment of Eric Brown as Vice President of Marketing.
The middle-aged apartment manager and social media maven first took a stab at being his own boss when he was in his 20s, constructing apartment buildings. But the then-young Brown soon found he was in a bit over his head. The enterprise “didn’t go very well,” he admits. Brown swallowed his pride, took a job with Farmington Hills-based Village Green as an apartment developer, and provided for his young family.
Flash forward twenty years. The older, more successful Brown sits on the porch of his downtown Northville Victorian with his now-grown children. It’s Father’s Day. He muses about taking one more shot at owning his own business but doubts his ability to do so. His kids set him straight.
“My kids looked at me and said, ‘Dad, that was 20 years ago. You’re different now. Things are different now. You have learned things.'” Brown says. “The more I thought about it the more I decided I am going to take the leap. We ended up doing it.”
Urbane Apartments, an apartment community with units in Royal Oak, Clawson, Berkley and Troy, is rolling out a new program that allows residents who lose their job in 2009 to walk away from their lease.
Founder Eric Brown was watching a football game when he saw a commercial for Hyundai, in which the car company announced it would let people walk away from their leases if they became involuntarily unemployed.
Younger renters in Michigan are flocking to Urbane Apartment properties, thanks in large part to the company’s social media campaigns.
As the president of Royal Oak, Mich.-based Urbane Apartments, Eric Brown uses a creative, targeted online presence to draw in new residents. He has turned his portfolio of 15 communities into the hottest ticket in town by building an online community and making his site a hub for what’s hip in Detroit. Business Networking Advice
Business Networking Magazine
Josh Hinds: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it’s important?
Eric Brown: I have never been one for the typical network, chamber of commerce type events. They always felt like a gimmick. I do believe in relationships as the backbone of your business, but they are created by actually doing business with someone. That isn’t to say that Chambers and such events and venues aren’t of value, but I do believe they are less so today.
Social Media Marketing Veteran Eric Brown, Founder of the Urbane Media, Joins NCI as Social Media Strategist
Two innovators are joining forces and the result will, no doubt, be cutting-edge. In an effort to advance its e-driven publishing strategy and social media-based product development, Network Communications, Inc., the producer of Apartment Finder ILS and Magazine, today announces the appointment of Eric Brown, founder of Urbane Apartments, as social media strategist.
Network Communications, Inc. is the leading publisher of printed and online real estate information in North America. Its magazines are read by over 12 million readers in over 500 markets and deliver more than one million leads to advertisers each month. Network Communications` assets, The Real Estate Book, Apartment Finder / Blue Book, Mature Living Choices, Black`s Guide, New Home Finder, Enclave, Unique Homes, Kansas City Homes & Gardens, By Design Publishing, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Atlanta Home Improvement, At Home In Arkansas, Relocating in Las Vegas, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, and Mountain Living, include publications that millions of readers around the country turn to when looking for the latest information about the real estate and home design markets.
Everyone knows by now that the way to reach Millennials is to go where they are, which is Facebook, MySpace, blogs, and other social media. In theory, the cost is low and the ROI potential is high, but figuring out exactly how to do it can be daunting.
Eric Brown, landlord at Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, Michigan outside Detroit, spent the last six months cracking the code. Using the insight “no one cares about your apartments”, he worked with Mike Whaling of 30 Lines to build community, reduce paid listings, enhance reputation and increase sales. No small order. The campaign (description starts page 22 of the slide share presentation embedded above) left no social media stone unturned: Facebook, Myspace, blogs, Flickr, VIP passes, logo merchandise, text messaging and more. The creative is hip and fun and gives extra meaning to the word ‘community’.
The results are impressive — 65% increase in web traffic, 4300% increase in blog traffic and a 100% increase in lease conversions. With no paid media for 6 months, Urbane is in third position on a google search for ‘Royal Oak Apartments’. Most impressive, Whaley reports low manpower cost – 2 employees at 1-2 hours a day plus a few paid resident bloggers.
n 2004, Brown decided to stop spending money on traditional media to advertise Urbane Apartments, a small network of apartment properties in Southeast Michigan, which happens to sport the highest unemployment rate in the nation. He stopped spending money on paid Internet advertising a year later. As the economy began sagging seriously low, Brown started looking for something new to jump start his small business.
There all kinds of things pulling at people’s time, HOWEVER, sprinkle in some value, and you have a wining combo. That value-add could be an array of things depending on your business type. For us, we created the Urbane VIP Card. If you are an Urbane Resident, you get the card for free. If you are not an Urbane Resident, but want to be with hip and cool people, you can purchase an Urbane VIP Card. We have set up Urbane Preferred Venders throughout our little town and surrounding area that will offer a product or service discount or priority seating for anyone with an Urbane VIP Card.