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February 2013


According to industry research, 80% of apartment prospects consult online ratings and reviews before signing a lease, a statistic that rises year after year. Online reputation depends on three factors: rating, sentiment and recentness. To address all three, Bozzuto Management has partnered with J. Turner Research to begin integrating our resident surveys with The collaboration will increase the number of ratings seen by prospective residents, thereby improving and growing our properties’ online reputations.

Bozzuto Management is one of the first property management companies to adopt this technology, and in just one month, our test properties saw a 650% increase in the number of reviews posted, with an average of 10 new reviews per property. Most importantly, 90% of these reviews were positive.

The integration with J. Turner and is an important one because it means our prospective residents will now see a more complete picture of the high level of service we provide to our communities.

To learn more about this important and growing trend, click here to check out’s white paper titled “The Five Star Community: The Importance of Online Reviews to Renters & Multifamily Professionals”.

If you have any questions about the integration, or suggestions regarding other ways to increase Bozzuto’s presence in the home or apartment markets, please let us know. We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to expand our reach.

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Jessica Itzel

I am pleased to introduce Jessica Itzel as social media marketing specialist for The Bozzuto Group.  Jessica is responsible for developing and executing Bozzuto’s integrated digital marketing campaigns on social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as for managing Bozzuto’s online reputation management strategy across all companies.  In addition, Jessica oversees the content management strategy for Bozzuto’s new corporate intranet.

Previously, Jessica served as a public relations and social media coordinator for Medifast, Inc., and also held a social media marketing role at MGH, Inc.  She is currently a member of the ULI Washington Communications Committee.

Jessica can be reached at 301-623-3648 or  Please welcome Jessica to The Bozzuto Group!

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Bozzuto Homes recently collaborated with Hirshorn Zuckerman Design Group to create a new brand platform for Bozzuto Homes, which seeks to capture and convey the brand essence and promise the Bozzuto name has established name over the last quarter century.

You may view the current concepts via the link below.  We hope to unveil the new brand concept later this month and welcome your thoughts. Click Here and Here to download.

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Craigslist is a major player in the apartment rental market, and is one of Bozzuto Management Company’s top source of leads, with a lead to conversion rate of 5.36%. In addition, it has one of the lowest costs - $2.01 per lead and $37.16 per lease. Unfortunately, in fall of last year, the site began dramatically increasing the “ghosting” of ads that it deemed spam, meaning that it would indicate an ad had been posted, but it would not be viewable and would not come up in apartment home searches. At its peak, half of BMC’s 110 property accounts and 1700 weekly Craigslist ads were ghosted or deleted.

To combat this problem, Bozzuto Management Company worked closely with its content management system, Rent Sentinel, to create new guidelines that would allow property management teams to enter content including descriptions, features, floor plans, etc. into templates that would not be flagged as spam. The system enables BMC’s onsite teams to help track the views and clicks of its ads, which has helped the teams determine if an ad has been ghosted, and make modifications as needed.

With frequent communication with BMC’s onsite teams and continued evaluation from Rent Sentinel, BMC has decreased the ghosting of ads week by week. Currently, only 7.5% of Bozzuto ads are being ghosted on Craigslist, an impressive improvement that is helping our properties be seen and leased at a faster pace.

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At first glance, Bozzuto’s director of talent acquisition, Kristen Reese, may not seem like a marketing guru, but nearly one-third of her function is marketing – positioning Bozzuto’s employment brand and managing the recruitment advertising strategy to ultimately establish Bozzuto as the employer of choice.

Yet that’s not as simple as one might think – gone are the days of posting jobs on various career sites and hoping to find the right prospects by luck.  Kristen says that the goal now is to strategically drive the right traffic to our opportunities. This means decreasing the total number of overall applicants, while increasing the number of qualified applicants, all in an effort to fill jobs more efficiently.

Kristen is responsible for ensuring that Bozzuto’s career opportunities are deliberately placed where the people she wants to hire are going to see them. Interestingly, the top two sources of applicants are employee referrals and Bozzuto’s own career web site – not the typical job sites one might expect.  

Given that Bozzuto is a veteran-owned company, creating a military employment platform was a logical step. Kristen has worked to create a military recruitment program that includes recognition as a Military Friendly Employer and participation in the Military Spouse Employment Program. In addition, for the second year in a row, Bozzuto was given the Candidate Experience Award, which honors companies with an exceptional candidate engagement strategy.

While the goal remains the same – to attract the best talent in the market – the times have changed.  But one thing remains the same – Kristen Reese will continue to find ways to market Bozzuto as an employer of choice.

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In November, Bozzuto celebrated the start of Cathedral Commons, a mixed-use community in northwest DC centered around a state-of-the art Giant Food, with a groundbreaking event that drew tremendous fanfare. Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton shared the podium with Tom Bozzuto, Toby Bozzuto and Giant Food President Anthony Hucker.  Children from neighboring John Eaton Elementary School performed the National Anthem and many members of the community were in attendance as plans for the new community were unveiled.

Press coverage of the event was extensive and included segments from WUSA, NBC4, WTOP, DCMud, Washington Business Journal, The Daily Record, Multi-Housing News, Apartment Finance Today and

Click here to watch NBC4’s Tom Sherwood report on the groundbreaking.

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Madox, the new eco-friendly apartment building in downtown Jersey City, managed by Bozzuto Management Company, had an unusual final push to its grand opening in early December. Despite being located in one of the areas of widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Madox sustained minimal damage, which was quickly repaired. The property was able to maintain its pace to welcome its first residents in early December, with only minor delays.

In preparation for its opening and to generate excitement during lease-ups, BMC and developer Field Development Group hosted several VIP events for interested prospects. In early fall, they created a waiting list for prospects that enabled them to go on guided hardhat tours through the building as it was nearing completion, so they could get a first glimpse at the property. A “VIP Launch Party” at Madox was held in early December, and provided interested prospects a firsthand look at the well-appointed apartment homes, incredible amenities and eco-friendly design of the building.

To date, more than 25 leases have been signed, and 17 apartments are occupied of the 131 luxury apartments, which combine a superb commuter location, unmatched amenities and green living in Jersey City.

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1. Technology Paves the Way: Technology will continue to pave the way for a better overall home and apartment search. Property websites and reviews are critical, and consumers want a more engaged experience. You must understand your audiences and how to leverage the technologies that are available to you.

2. Mobile, Mobile & Mobile: Consumers are becoming dependent on their smartphones. Some experts predict that mobile phones with soon overtake PCs as the most common device to access the web, so consider innovative strategies to reach and engage with customers when they are on the go.

3. Consumer’s Online & Offline World’s Merge: Think about the complete consumer experience across all touch points. From web to signage and models, you must integrate all of the marketing strategies for a more complete consumer experience.

4. Social’s Growing Importance: Facebook has more than one billion users, Twitter has 500 million, and new platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are growing in popularity. Social is here to stay and where consumers are increasingly spending their time interacting, learning and being influenced, with smartphones propelling growth. You and your properties need to create vibrant, engaging and real-time social identities that allow you to have a two-way, personal relationship with consumers.

5. Personalization Drives Consumer Experience: The rise of digital, social and mobile – along with the empowerment of consumers – is directly tied to the growing trend of consumers wanting personalized communications from brands. No more cookie-cutter approach. Consumers know you have a wealth of data about them and they expect you use it to customize to their preferences and needs.

6. Visual Information Takes Precedence: Content to invest in is anything visual over the written word. The unfettered growth of Pinterest, infographics, Instagram, and Tumblr, not to mention the always-growing popularity of online video, bears this out. Visuals capture attention. In a world in which brand messages clamor for consumer attention across screens, devices, and channels, a picture is worth the proverbial "thousand words."

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