“We creatively mold our digital acumen to stay on-trend specifically for the multifamily vertical, and also by adopting a holistic full-stack marketing strategy.”
LeaseLabs was created to support the multifamily apartment industry. At the time, the industry relied heavily upon Listing Directory Services, such as print-focused booklets found in “freebie” bins outside businesses. Then, the web modernized and forced the transition from printed booklets to Online Listing Directories and these booklets moved solely to the digital realm. This was now the only place apartment property managers could gain visibility. This modernization impelled Dana Zeff, the founder, to start the agency LeaseLabs to focus on an underserved industry with a great need for digital services. Since she had grown up in the industry, and had also owned apartments—she always had the opportunity to test the company’s products. Zeff’s ultimate goal was to build an agency that handles all the marketing, digital, and creative needs a multifamily marketing department would require.
An additional pain point for property managers and owners was maintaining, or even acquiring, a unique online presence. Managing a website was a costly endeavour for this market. Updates could take weeks due to outsourcing. Also, their print collateral was highly expensive, i.e. creating flyers for outreach and resident retention. LeaseLabs crafted the company’s services specifically around the multifamily industry’s pain points and friction by addressing its actual needs. They began offering unique websites, services and products to these new clients with high-functionality so property owners could—with little-to-no technical skills—login to the LeaseLabs content management system (CMS) and update certain data for their residents and prospects. The LeaseLabs team consists of marketers, designers, developers, SEO pros, account strategists and programmers that live and breathe the multifamily space.
Prime Product and Success
Founded in 2008, after LeaseLabs launched its proprietary website platform with a content management system (CMS), it then launched Web2Print Social so property managers could create high-quality apartment advertising collateral—instantly. Its agency-designed templates were created with the intention to be extremely easy to edit, create and distribute or produce. The templates are also highly functional in nature, as a user can also take these communications pieces and push them out to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ for further amplification. To help make the time-saving benefit even stronger, LeaseLabs will actually print, produce and ship directly to the client’s leasing office—unlimited PDF and JPG downloads are included.
These timely product and service launches were the keys to our growth success, and led to us not only becoming a full stack marketing agency with a robust suite of services, but also contributed to our 40% year-over-year growth for the last five years. Early on in the LeaseLabs launch, one of its very-first clients was The Wasatch Group of Salt Lake City, Utah, founded by Dell Hoy Hansen. The relationship unfolded quickly as the LeaseLabs designed their website and provided Web2Print Social services, and since 2008, over the last nine years, they have revamped their site three times. LeaseLabs also did the website for its property management company—Wasatch Premier Communities.
Guidance That Aided the Journey
An event that also helped shape the organization was creating values that not only drive LeaseLabs’ culture, but have become implemented in new-hire onboarding. Furthermore, these values were created to withhold the standard of managing the agency’s stellar client relationships. The values are as follows: We Care About People; We Create Better Results; We Do What We Say; and Together We Make It Happen.
Recently, LeaseLabs launched a new product, the LeaseLabsONE: Marketing Dashboard, which does away with the complexity of gleaning insights from multiple data sets, and focuses on the most important KPI’s for each its client’s campaigns. With LeaseLabsONE, clients can see marketing data across all of their campaigns in “ONE” glance and then dive into deeper data analysis on a per-service basis. The company also launched Reputation Management—a way for clients to effectively monitor their digital reputation, generate reviews, and maintain accurate business listings across the web. Lastly, the agency launched The Search Marketer, which offers superior PPC services than the standard competitor offering. Now, all KPIs can be viewed in the LeaseLabsONE dashboard, along with all data from SEO, SEM, and Geotargeter results, too.
Every year, in order to stay on-trend and relevant in the marketing industry, LeaseLabs does a brand and holistic messaging refresh, as well as a site audit. So, at the end of 2017, the firm will roll out a new LeaseLabs website. As for Zeff, she’ll continue to be a hands-on founder with her managing partner, Steven Ozbun, and together will use a strong vision to guide the agencies forward for years to come, and having a ton of fun while they do it.
Kudos to the Head Crew
Dana Zeff, CEO and Steven Ozbun, President: Founder and CEO of LeaseLabs, Dana Zeff and her managing partner Steven Ozbun, who also acts as agency President, work seamlessly together to oversee operations, financials, and all business development for the company.
Zeff’s leadership success began with her nine-year career as a Macy’s primary buyer for 85 stores on the West Coast. It wasn’t soon after that, her entrepreneurial genes kicked in and she founded a web design company in 2002. By 2008, she launched LeaseLabs. Then Restaurant Marketing Labs in 2014. Also, in 2014, Ozbun was elevated to President and Managing Partner after being a part of LeaseLabs since its inception in 2008.
By 2017, Zeff and Ozbun pivoted from LeaseLabs into a collection of full stack digital marketing agencies under the new parent company—ZO Agency. With more than three decades of experience under their proverbial belts, Zeff and Ozbun are marketing and business veterans, and, more than anything, creative innovators at heart.
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