CARES Team Feature

Happy Thanksgiving to Our Teams

CARES Thanksgiving.jpg
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:15-21 (NIV)

To our mighty teams, today and every day, we are THANKFUL for you. May God richly bless your family.

Apartment Life Welcomes New President

Help us welcome Pete Kelly, Apartment Life's new President.

Working closely with Founder Stan Dobbs, Pete will oversee the expansion and continued development of this unique organization that is passionate about sending CARES Teams into apartment communities to change the world, simply by loving their neighbors.  He shared with us why he was drawn to Apartment Life: "The thing that excites me the most about Apartment Life is that it's all about community. My life was changed because of community, and I've become convinced that community is the single most important ingredient in helping others experience life-transformation." 

Pete has spent his entire career serving with Cru in a variety of roles. He has worked internationally and in local and regional roles in the United States. In 2006, he took Cru to New Orleans as the City Director of Student Programs, establishing five new student chapters in southern Louisiana. Pete also served as Executive Director of Leadership Development, leading regional HR directors across the country from 2008-2012. Most recently, he has been the Executive Director of Development for Cru’s Campus Ministry.

Leave Pete a warm CARES Team welcome in the comments below!


Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND and be eligible for our referral bonus up to $200.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick info form and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife) – and use the hashtag #CARESteam.

Stretching Your Event Budget: Getting Vendors Involved

CARES Teams are always looking for ways to stretch our budgets by getting vendors involved in what we do. As a CARES Team, our value is maximized by hosting creative events and getting a lot for a little. Getting vendors involved can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation it shouldn't be hard at all.

On our property, my wife and I have a very tight budget for a 420 unit property. That said, we have honed our sales pitch to get vendors to give us what we need for very little. The following are some tips and tricks for doing more with less:

Finding Sponsors
  • Tour the city and local retail. Take one Saturday per month and spend a couple of hours just hunting down potentials.
  • Look for restaurants/retail that is opening soon or just recently opened. They are usually looking for creative ways to market their product – and we can give them just that!
  • Go into existing restaurants and retail and CONFIDENTLY sell what we do and how we can PARTNER with them. Template provided below.
  • Take a look at city websites, village retail newsletters, Facebook pages, and city newspapers to see if there are any events coming soon that you can piggyback on. Many times they are free and fun, and you can just add value. Some CARES Teams have piggybacked on 5Ks by providing branded shirts for anyone in the community who wants to run in it. Community concerts in the parks are always fun as well.
  • Look for timely partnerships. For example, after a severe storm, contact the local auto hail repair shops, and let them know that you would be happy to give them exclusive access to your market in exchange for hosting/and or catering an event. Let them attend and pass out collateral.
  • One of your biggest vendor advocates is going to be your cable/internet provider rep. They will almost ALWAYS help fund at least one event a month because most of the time, the properties offer a monopoly. Our rep sponsored a $2,000 event to help sell one of his products. He raffled off Amazon gift cards and even gave away a 50 inch flat screen TV. All we had to do was let him in with his salespeople to try to convert residents to their product - a win-win for us both.
  • Use your personal connections within your web of influence. Many of us have tons of friends in our life circles. Some are business owners who would be willing to pitch in financially to market their product. Networking within your circle of friends can sometimes be the best thing you can do. Most people are happy to get to be a part of what we are doing so they will go leaps and bounds to help us out because they love us. They may even have amazing ideas that we haven’t thought of. Talk about what you do. Ask people for help and ideas!
  • Ask your Program Director and/or other regional CARES teams for contact information. If you already know the Marketing Manager’s number for the vendor, you don’t even have to go in to the place, you can just call. When you score a vendor, share the information with the other CARES teams in your region. Begin keeping a list of vendors and contacts for each vendor so you can continue to use them down the road.
Perfect Pitch

Some things to keep in mind when pitching what we do to potential vendors:

  • Timing is important: Keep timing in mind when you're going to a place of business. Are they always super busy on Saturday night? If so, that's probably not the ideal time to go in and ask to speak to the manager. As a general rule, restaurants have a "down time" between 2-4 p.m. If you can go on a weekday, that would be ideal. If you see a line out the door, it's not a good idea to wait in it and then ask to speak to the manager. If the vendor is busy, make a note to come back, or ask when the best time to come back to speak with the manager is.
  • Look professional: Wear your name tag. Take your business cards. Wear professional clothing and get a sitter for the kids. If you look the part, they will take you more seriously.
  • Be confident: Many times our CARES teams get this idea that if vendors help us out with events, they are doing us a huge favor. That is just not the case. We are doing them a huge favor by allowing them exclusive access to a closed off market, many times in their own backyard. For example, if your property has 275 units, this represents a market of 500+ people in the area, and you are literally handing them access to that market. They don’t have the opportunity to door hang on your property. You can give them a month’s worth of free advertising by placing their logo on your monthly calendar and promoting their product on Facebook, email blasts, text blasts, Instagram, Twitter, and however else your property promotes events.
  • Create a mock calendar/flyer: Create a calendar using our templates that already has their logo on it and a flyer that you can take and physically show the vendor how you will promote their product. This will make getting a “yes” more likely because you are showing them professionalism. You are showing them the benefits of partnering with us and value in the partnership. We can tell them until we are blue in the face to no avail, but when you show them, it’s a whole new dynamic. • Facebook shoutouts: Apartment Life has begun giving periodic shout outs to vendors who have partnered with us at events on our company Facebook page. With more than 17,000 Facebook fans, this alone gains them a lot of exposure!
Example

Ask to speak to the manager on site.

“Hi, my name is Jody and this is my wife Natassia. We are the CARES team at the (Name of Apartment Community). As the CARES Team, we act as the event planners for the community and host several monthly resident events. We have a July Fourth pool party coming up and would love to partner with you guys by marketing your product in exchange for raffle prizes.”

Generally they will ask what you would like for your prizes. Know what you will ask for before going in.

“We would like to raffle off a $40 gift card to your establishment, and in exchange we will be able to positively promote your product via flyers, our community Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter to help gain your business some exposure.”

Whether you have a large or small budget, these tips and tricks may help you go the extra mile and make a great event an unforgettable one.

--Written by Jody Anderson, Program Director for North Texas    and an active CARES Team with his wife, Natassia.

--Written by Jody Anderson, Program Director for North Texasand an active CARES Team with his wife, Natassia.


AL Logo_color

Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND and be eligible for our referral bonus up to $200.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick info form and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife) – and use the hashtag #CARESteam.

Spoleto Festival {Concert In The Park}

concert1

Remember our post about the Cooper River Bridge Run? Well, we've got another team highlight and event idea like it! Kristen & Brent learned of a concert that was going on across the street from their community and saw a great event opportunity. It was a Concert In The Park event that was part of the Spoleto Arts Festival, a local community event. They didn't have to organize the big event or set up/tear down a thing! They used their budget to purchase tickets and drinks for their residents, and ordered hundreds of koozies with their apartment community's logo, hashtag, and website on them for marketing. They had such a blast at this low budget, low maintenance, high community involvement event!

concert2

Wondering what's going on in your area this summer? We've got pinterest boards for each of our regions with CARES Teams. They're full of links to local event calendars and resources!


Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND and be eligible for our referral bonus up to $200.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick info form and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife) – and use the hashtag #CARESteam.

The Cooper River Bridge Run

bridge run fest am 1

Kristen & Brent are our CARES Team at The Boulevard in Charleston, SC. They recently hosted a couple of really neat events centered around a big, annual event that goes on in their community: The Cooper River Bridge Run. Here's the lowdown:

They hosted a morning event and an evening event!

bridge run fest am 2

The morning event included handing out water bottles, bananas, headbands, and shirts with their property's logo on them. It was a great marketing opportunity for their Greystar property because they handed out thousands of items with the property's logo. They also hired an '80s band (a big hit that scored the team and the property some time on the 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. news) to play while the runners were waiting for the race to start.

6:00 a.m. '80s dance party anyone?

bridge run fest am 3

Then, Kristen and Brent hosted a relaxing evening event on race day for runners and their families to enjoy on The Boulevard property. They had a low-country boil for dinner, complete with a small acoustic band (made up of people they knew). This was also another great marketing opportunity for the property (and CARES) because people could come in, see the property, and experience first-hand what CARES has to offer. Not to mention the biggest impact…

Getting to connect with tons of people from around the community!

bridge run fest night 3

How could you get more involved in your city's community? Is there an annual event that happens in your backyard or one that you could easily set up a tent/station at?

bridge run fest night

What about marketing for your apartment community by representing them? This Greystar Property Manager, Regional Manager, Senior Managing Director of Real Estate, and more "high-ups" really enjoyed this event. They gave public kudos for it and have asked that it happen more often!


Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND and be eligible for our referral bonus up to $200.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick info form and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife) – and use the hashtag #CARESteam.

CARES Team Spotlight: Community Garden Movie Night

Phillip and Randi, CARES Team at The Brighton in Dallas, spice up their Monthly Summer Movie Night by hosting it in their community garden. Their event is a creative (and inexpensive!) way to bring summer blockbusters to your residents. One of the most legit pieces of this event is how much it costs to put it on. Let's do the math:

  • They use their own karaoke machine speakers. (cost: free)
  • They use a DVD Player they already own. (cost: free)
  • They scored a projector from a friend as a gift...anyone else have amazing friends like that? Don't forget to ask your church if they have one you can borrow. (cost: free)
  • They purchased the screen on Amazon with money from their monthly CARES budget for $180 (after the initial investment, you can use it over and over... for free).
  • They snag a movie from RedBox ($1) or from their personal collection. (cost: free)

We all like that kind of math when it comes to putting on programs with a wide reach.

Movies aren't the same without popcorn, so Phillip and Randi usually serve it from their leasing office, and as well as the cheap (and so amazingly good!) ice pops from the store. Most families bring their own blankets to spread out and chairs to sit in, which means minimal set up/tear down for the CARES Team.

One other really cool part of this event (and The Brighton property in particular) is the community garden they have just started! If I could predict the future, I would say that lots of communities are going to be adding these. To bring awareness about the new community garden, they host the movie night there!

Which piece of your community's property needs highlighting or promoting? Have a new dog park? Host it near there! New playground? Host it by the playground!

A huge thanks to the Slaughters for sharing this event with us! Keep it up and thank you for your service as a CARES Team!


Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick application and someone will contact you with more information. And, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter (@aptlife), and Instagram (@aptlife).

Advertise with Chalkboards

Are you spending hours designing, editing, printing, and (last but certainly not least) hanging flyers? If you don't hang them, your [very beloved] maintenance workers/porters do! I remember these days as a part of my CARES service... climbing hundreds of flights of stairs to serve our residents and distribute a piece of paper I worked so hard on that promoted a fantastic event and led to amazing community building & life change! This idea probably won't replace flyers completely, but will offer some help promoting your fabulous events (and maybe save you a few extra steps). We love this idea for several reasons and want to give some super Kudos to Kelly (a CARES Team member at Elan Midtown in Charleston, SC) for the amazing job she did with these chalkboard signs!

Reason #1 we love chalkboard signs: It can be inexpensive (and fun!). You can choose to make your own, if you're {DIY}-ey, using a variety of frames, corkboards, mirrorsthrift store finds, etc. Or, you can purchase chalkboards from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Michaels, etc. for a fairly reasonable price. Both options cut down your paper/ink costs significantly. This leads us to...

Reason #2 we love chalkboard signs: They're r-e-u-s-a-b-l-e. Think green, sustainable, hugging trees, that sort of thing. <3

Reason #3 we love chalkboard signs: Everybody's doing it [solid reasoning]!

What you'll need:

  • Store bought, {DIY}-ed, repurposed chalkboard of some sort.
  • Chalk: This blog recommends simple white Crayola chalk from the Dollar Store.
  • Chalk Ink/Markers: Starbucks uses these (well reviwed but a little pricy), you can find them at Hobby Lobby/Walmart, or you can make your own.
  • Our Pinterest board for some great ideas, ways to use color, font tutoirlas, and helpful tips and tricks!

Don't forget to post pictures of your signs on Instagram and tag us @aptlife #CARESteam!

 

—————————————————————————–

Are you part of a current or former CARES Team who knows of someone who would make a wonderful CARES Team member? If so, you can REFER A FRIEND.

Would you like more information on what it means to be a CARES Team? Visit our website today. You can fill out a quick application and someone will contact you with more information.