Virtual Renting: Adapting To These Uncertain Times

Thursday, July 2nd, 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST

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What COVID-19 Means for Multifamily: How to Adapt

what coronavirus means for multifamily real estate

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Flattening the curve. Fox News.

By now, you’ve heard it all. Unfortunately, there are thousands of new cases across the country every day, with no sign that the virus is slowing down anytime soon.

Some businesses are being forced to close, some are suffering, and some are even thriving.

So, what does this mean for multifamily?

Before we dive into what you should do, let’s cover what you absolutely should NOT do.

 

Don’t ignore the situation

One of the most important rules in marketing is: take part in the conversation your prospects are ALREADY having.

Currently, your prospects are at home. They’re likely watching the news and worried about the spread of this virus and how it will continue to affect them. Their minds are racing and they’re deeply concerned.

Don’t be thoughtless and carry on as if nothing is happening. This will not be well-received by your residents or prospects.

 

If you don’t change anything on your website or make any mention of how you’re adapting, you destroy your chances of making your prospect feel understood or cared for.

This leads into the next item on our list:

 

Don’t fail to communicate

Your residents are trusting you to keep them safe. This typically means through your security procedures, but in this case, we’re talking about how you’re going to keep your property virus-free and effectively implement social distancing.

Although we’re all getting emails from many companies we could care less about (like that online store you bought a doormat from one time), communication, or even over-communication from the place we live will be well-received. Talk to your property management software rep to see which communication tools you could be using, whether that be text messaging residents, sending out email blasts, or simply adding a new page to your website.

Adapt your business operations and make those changes known. Show your residents you are there for them.

 

Don’t stop leasing 

There is a lot of bad advice circulating right now, and the idea that you should stop leasing is up there. How could you just stop leasing? People still need places to live, and your business still needs to be profitable if possible. Keep pushing through these hard times and explain how you’re changing your leasing process to adapt to the times and you’ll make it through.

 

Finally, here are a few things you SHOULD do:

 

Assign someone on your team to post announcements 

By dedicating someone to relaying information to residents, you’ll be sure no important announcements are missed. Also, make sure you use multiple methods of communication, as sometimes emails get sent to spam or residents mistype their SMS number. Sending your message through multiple channels ensures it will get through.

 

Acknowledge what your prospect is going through 

More importantly, speak in their language. If your prospect would say “All hell’s breaking loose,” don’t be shy to use the same wording. Show them you’re on the same team, that you have empathy for what they’re going through, and that you’re not going to thoughtlessly follow-up with them without acknowledging what’s happening in the world. 

 

Change your follow-up strategy 

Instead of mindlessly following-up with prospects via email, give them some information that you think will help them during this tough time. End your emails with something that shows you care, such as, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make things easier, given the current climate.” 

 

Understand how impactful your decisions are

Right now, every decision you make has the potential to go viral—for good or bad. Every business is under a microscope, with every move being analyzed and blown up by media outlets eager for fresh news. Thus, the choices you make can either be your best branding opportunity or your worst PR failure yet.

 

Set up virtual tours

Social distancing means no more in-person tours; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t engage prospects, you just need to use different tools. Everyone else is going virtual, so why not apartment hunting? Virtual tours are an excellent way for you to keep prospects in your pipeline. Use them!

 

Conclusion

 

Everyone thought the Great Financial Crisis in 2008 would be the end of the world, yet our economy bounced back even stronger. In these trying times, it’s important to stay level-headed, exercise social-distancing, and adapt to the best of your ability.

Please remember, we will get through this. This is not a time to panic—it’s the time for you to double-down on your marketing and establish with your residents and prospects that you care just as much about their wellbeing as you do about making a profit.

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Geofencing Vs. Geotargeting: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes digital marketing jargon can get confusing: CPC, CPM, SEO, PPC, the list goes on…

Geofencing and geotargeting are some of the most commonly confused terms in digital marketing, so we’re here to set the record straight!

We’ve outlined these terms below to help you understand how they differ and know the pros and cons of using geotargeting vs geofencing.

So, what’s the difference?

Geofencing and Geotargeting may sound like the same thing, but they are used in very different ways.

Geofencing

 
Geofencing refers to creating custom-shaped target zones around a specific location. To understand geofencing vs geotargeting better, let’s use a competitor as an example. If the property down the block from you is a direct competitor, you can create a geofence around their leasing center. Then, when anyone with a mobile device walks into your geofence (in this case, your competitor’s leasing center), they will be added to your marketing list for 30 days. Since you’ve opted to geofence the office of your direct competitor, you know that a high percentage of their prospects are relevant to you as well.

 

To find your competitor’s leasing center, utilize Google Street View. Remember, top platforms such as Simpli.fi will let you hone your accuracy (within feet), so take advantage of those capabilities to keep your geofence as specific as possible. 

Google streetview for geofencing

Bam! You’ve found their front entrance, great work! Now let’s work on creating an accurate geofence so that you can serve ads to these prospects.

create accurate geofences within feet

Creating a custom shape is important, especially in this example. This property is on a main street; if you make the geofence too large, you’ll end up targeting people who are simply walking by your competitor’s leasing center, which will result in many unqualified prospects. You don’t want that.

Now that you’ve created a custom geofence, it’s time to create your ads so that you can reel these prospects in. Your ads will show up on any mobile apps or websites that accept mobile advertising, such as CNN, ESPN, local blogs, etc.

See an example below:

Display Ads

Geotargeting

 

Geotargeting, also referred to as local PPC ads, refers to delivering content/ads to a visitor based on their location. Geotargeting allows you to target visitors through country, region, state, city, zip code, and other criteria. This is most commonly used to target local prospects online with location-appropriate content.

See an example below of how we use geotargeting in our Google Ads to target a specific area:

geotargeting

Once you set this radius, the only people who will see your ad will be in this radius.

 

See an example of an advertisement that uses geotargeting below:

mobile geotargeting ads

Geofencing and geotargeting each have their own unique capabilities.

 

Do you use geofencing or geotargeting in your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear about it!

Have questions on the best way to use geofencing or geotargeting to garner leads? Drop us a comment below and we’ll share our thoughts.

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Multifamily Reputation Management: A Definitive Guide for 2020

Did you know that 87% of potential consumers won’t consider a business that has below 3-stars? (Search Engine Land, 2015)

 

The following is our go-to list of actionable multifamily reputation management tips.

We’ve used these same strategies to take review profiles from 1 to 5 stars.

3 star rating

Properties with a rock-solid multifamily reputation management strategy tend to have the best conversion rates, and that’s no coincidence.

Low ratings hurt your leasing agents’ chances at success, make it harder to retain tenants, and can even make it difficult to improve your SEO.

On the flip side, 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Bright Local, 2019).

Imagine the effect it can have on your property if you have amazing customer reviews. Your leasing agents’ close ratio will improve, you’ll have higher staff and resident retention, and your business will improve overall.

So, how can you achieve that highly sought-after 5-star rating? Read on to find out…

 

1) Why your ratings are low
2) How to prevent negative reviews
3) A proven process for getting better
4) Surveys
5) Analyzing results
6) How to respond to reviews
7) How to use automation to your advantage
8) Incentivizing your leasing staff
9) The best strategy

Why does my property have a 1-star rating, are we really that bad?

 

Before we get to the HOW, let’s understand the WHY.

Why do you have more negative reviews than positive ones? In most cases, this is simply because poor experiences motivate residents to leave bad reviews more than positive ones.

Here are a few more reasons this can happen:

– The previous management company was inadequate
– Your property truly has more unhappy residents than happy ones
– You are completely clueless about how to manage your reputation (don’t worry, by the end of this article you won’t be!)

Another big reason you could have low ratings is if you’ve failed to create an environment that fosters open communication. When residents encounter a problem, they have a desire to vent about it. It’s human nature.
residents leaving reviews

When they don’t feel as though you are willing to help them, they’ll stop coming to you with their issues and go straight to review sites to tear you down. Here are some tips on how you can create an environment that fosters open communication:

1) Create an online community on your website
2) Personalize emails with residents’ first names
3) Ask for feedback consistently [more on this in the next section]

Gratitude goes a long way in building relationships, so it’s important to show your residents exactly how much you value their decision to live (and continue living) in your community. Say thanks, write them a letter, or even feature residents on your website. If you do this effectively, residents will come to you with their problems. Then, after you’ve helped them out, you’ll strengthen the relationship and improve resident retention.

handwritten thank you letters

So, how do I get better?

We never thought you’d ask! It definitely isn’t easy, but with consistent effort over time, you’ll get there.

 

See our step-by-step process below to get on the right track.

1) Send a private survey to each resident.

 

The goal of this survey is to get an idea of where you’re at in terms of resident satisfaction and understand why your ratings are the way they are.

 

This will help you determine your NPS (Net Promoter Score) and quantify exactly what your residents think about your property. Ask questions like, “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with *Property Name*?”

 

Many popular property management softwares such as Yardi and RealPage have a built-in survey option, making it super easy to connect with your resident and see exactly how they’re feeling. See an example of a RentCafe survey below:

resident review surveys for apartments

2) Dissect the responses

 

What are people saying about your property? What do they like (good) and what do they wish would change (bad)?

This is an excellent way to get feedback from your residents at scale. Try to identify recurring themes — good and bad. For example, you might notice that residents are upset that they’re only notified 1 day in advance of community maintenance projects. Your survey should provide you with a net promoter score (NPS) to give you an overall idea of your resident satisfaction.

net promoter score

Take this as an opportunity to fix any of the problems your residents are experiencing and thus  prevent future bad reviews.

When scrolling through your reviews, consider posting them as “featured” reviews on your property website, or simply try using the things your residents love about your community as copy on your website. For example, if someone says they love that the pool is open late, make sure you emphasize that in your amenities page.

Pro-tip: Try and rank your websites review page for the keyword “Your Community Name + Reviews.” This way, the first thing people will see when they search for your community on Google is the review page you created.

Pro-tip #2: Take this as an opportunity to follow up with specific residents and request that they share a review via email.  

3) Respond to each and every review within 24 hours.

To do this, you will need to sign up for a review aggregator which sends you notifications each time you get a review.

This step is key. A prompt response shows that you care about your residents and you’re on top of your game when it comes to resident feedback. See our best tips for responding to positive reviews below:

a) Mention the customer’s first name
b) Address each point they brought up in their review
c) Thank them

Here it is in action:

Resident: “I love living at Anita Apartment Homes. The maintenance staff always responds in a timely manner and goes above and beyond. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Your response: “Hi Resident, we’re so happy to hear that you’re pleased with our maintenance staff! Thank you for the 5-stars and for being a resident of Anita Apartment Homes. If you need anything at all, you know how to reach us!”

This works for responding to negative reviews too. See an example below:

Resident: “My wife and I chose Anita Apartment homes because of the close proximity to the nearby city center. The amenities such as the pool & fitness center were a big plus, and ultimately motivated us to move-in. We were very disappointed when we learned that the fitness center only opens at 7:30 am (much too late for either of us to get a workout in before going to work) and the pool closes at 6:00 pm. This is quite disappointing, but other than that we have enjoyed the staff’s service oriented attitude.”

Your response: “Hi There, thank you so much for choosing Anita Apartment Homes. We are so glad that you’re enjoying the service provided to you by our staff. We’re sorry to hear that you’re unhappy with the hours that our amenities are available. We work hard to make Anita Apartment Homes our residents are proud to live in. We have sent you a direct message so that we can resolve this issue.

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review.”

4) Automate wherever you can

You can rely on residents to leave you a review when they’re unhappy, but without making an effort to capture them when they’re happy, you’ll find yourself in a bad spot.

Take a look inside your business, are there any areas where you can place a review link that will increase the likelihood of getting that 5-star review?

A good place to add it is at the bottom of relevant autoresponder emails. This way, you capture the resident right after you’ve helped them out, and they’re more likely to leave you a review out of gratitude. Here’s an example:

automate 5-star reviews

5) Incentivize your leasing staff

Sure, your leasing staff gets a commission for every lease they bring in, but are they incentivized to boost your ratings?

Hold a competition each month across your properties and reward the property with the highest monthly review rating. This also helps your leasing agents close more leases, it’s a win-win.

If you only have one property, or are only focused on raising the reputation of one, consider having individual leasing agents at the same property compete to secure testimonials from tenants.

6) Our final tip

The best reputation management strategy is to CARE. If you truly care about your residents, your actions will reflect it and your residents will be happy.


What do you think?

Now it’s your turn to share. Which of these tips are new to you? Are there any tips that we didn’t cover?

Drop a comment below to let us know.

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Google My Business for Apartments: How to Dominate Local Search

Are you looking for more search traffic? We’ve compiled all of our best practices in to this extensive guide. Learn how to utilize Google My Business to WIN in local search in this article. 

At Generation Marketing, we have worked on thousands of Google My Business (GMB) listings and have seen firsthand the incredible effect this tool can have on driving traffic to any property if utilized correctly.

 

Local SEO is the act of optimizing your website and Google listing to rank highly in local searches. A local search is any search that includes a location, such as, “Apartments in Los Angeles, CA.” Having a high rank for these searches is beneficial because it connects you with people who are looking for apartments now.

 

Before we begin, we’d like to share some statistics on why local SEO is important:

– 46% of all Google searches are for local businesses (Source: Web FX).
– Google processes an average of 7 billion searches per day.
– 92% of searchers select businesses on the first page of search results (Source: SEO expert).

 

The bottom line? If you do this correctly, you can get a crazy amount of calls to your business.

 

Don’t believe me?

 

Check out this Google listing from one of our own clients:

get more calls through local SEO

That’s 473 calls from this listing alone – that doesn’t include people who visited the site and then converted.

 

What could 473 prospect calls do for your property?

 

1) What goals should we set for this type of campaign?

 

Before we begin, you should set a goal to give you something to work towards. Setting a benchmark for success is very important.

 

Below are two great goals you could set for your Google listing:

 

1) Set a call goal based on how many calls you’re currently getting. I would recommend setting a goal of at least 100 calls per month.

 

2) Strive to ensure that the top 10 queries that are ranking your listing are all unbranded. This means that people are finding you without using your business name and are therefore still in discovery. See an example below:

get higher rankings for multifamily

See how the top queries for the site are all unbranded? This proves that all the leads coming in likely didn’t know about your business prior to finding it on Google, which is great!

 

Now let’s get into how you can craft the perfect GMB profile.

 

2) Fill out your GMB profile completely and CORRECTLY

 

One thing to remember when setting up your profile is that Google values UX above all else. If you’re showing that you care about your customers, you will have better odds of success.

 

a) The first step is to CLAIM your listing! You wouldn’t believe how many properties we’ve seen that haven’t claimed their listing. This means they can’t respond to reviews, update property information, or do anything at all. If you haven’t done so already, you can claim your business here: com/business.

b) Keyword research: The goal is to rank for popular keywords in your area, so the first step is to conduct keyword research. Head over to this free keyword tool and find some keywords with a high amount of traffic volume per month. Next, throw them into Google to see if there is a local 3-pack on there (see the image below). If there is, you’re good to go! Here is an example.

apartment SEO, local 3-pack

If this google maps pack pops up, this is a good keyword for you to focus on!

 

If not, you have a very low chance at getting traffic because you’ll be competing with giants such as Apartments.com and Zillow. If you only select keywords that have a local 3-pack, then you’re ensuring you only compete with other properties, which gives you a fighting chance at some high rankings. Try and find 5 keywords with a local 3-pack feature and sprinkle them in your GMB property description and across your property website.

 

c) Select multiple categories. Adding more categories is vital because it makes you relevant for more keywords. More keywords = more calls and leads for your business. Remember to make your primary category the one that is most relevant to your business. Some good categories to add are:

 

– Apartment building
– Apartment complex
– Student housing center
– Apartment rental agency
– Real estate rental agency
– Furnished apartment building
– Assisted living facility

 

Make sure all of the categories you add are relevant to your business though! If you don’t do student housing, don’t add it to your listing.

 

d) Add as many photos as you can, but try and get at least 5 photos per photo category, as that can make a huge difference!

 

e) Write an in-depth description of your property in the “About” section. Try and make it as long as Google allows. When Google sees you adding as much information as possible, they see that you actually care about your users. Sprinkle your 5 keywords in here, if you can do it naturally.

 

f) Add a profile short name. This is a new feature and Google tends to give an edge to businesses that take advantage of their newer features.

 

g) Make a posting schedule. A good schedule would be once per week + every time you’re running a special.

 

h) Respond to all reviews. This shows that you care about your customers and it can influence your online reputation, which leads to better conversions overall.

 

3) Advanced tips

 

a) Turn on messaging. Giving leads multiple options for contacting you will increase your conversions.

 

b) Virtual tours. You can access Google’s directory of trusted “street view” professionals here: https://www.google.com/streetview/contacts-tools/. Hire one of them and have them add a virtual tour to your listing. This will keep people on your listing longer.

 

c) Ask questions about your business from a personal profile and answer them from your business page. Many people that are interested in your property will have questions. If they don’t see quick answers to those questions, they might not end up contacting you. You can reduce that number by asking all of the questions you can and then providing answers from your business page. This should increase your conversions as well. Here is what the questions section looks like:

google my business question section

d) Consider adding the word “apartments” to the name of your property. Since many searches include the word “apartments,” having this in your business name can make you more relevant and secure higher rankings.

 

e) Make sure you mark which holidays your property is closed.

 

f) Add your floorplans in the “products” section. Add all of the relevant information and link the button to your floorplans page on your website. Too often properties neglect this feature!

 

4) How to consistently improve

 

a) Time – Google only wants to recommend reputable businesses, and one of the ranking factors is simply the amount of time your profile has been up and running.

 

b) Posting consistently – These posts show that you’re active and care about your users. Also, as this is still a relatively new feature, it can help your ranking to show that you’re utilizing it.

 

c) Local links – Getting more backlinks to your website proves to Google that you’re a reputable and established business. Try and get as many links as possible from other sites, especially sites that are local to your area. If you’re in Los Angeles, an example would be a website that only shows properties in Los Angeles.

 

 

5) How to measure your results

 

a) Link to your website with a UTM link. Google shows traffic coming from your GMB listing as “organic” traffic in Google Analytics, but it’s always good to create a UTM link so that you can track the conversions from GMB easily. That way, you can go to the “Campaigns” tab in Google Analytics and see all the traffic and conversions from your GMB efforts clearly.

 

b) Conversion tracking: Once leads visit your website from your listing, it’s important for you to know exactly how they interacted with your site. Did they call? Email? Submit a contact form? Conversion tracking can tell you this. We recommend setting up Google Tag Manager and creating goals in Google Analytics from there. This is a bit more complex task if you’re a beginner, so we recommend asking your developer or a marketing expert to set this up for you.

 

c) Tracking numbers: Having a tracking number on your listing instead of your regular property phone number will help you track your phone calls and record the conversations (as long as state law allows). This will make it easier for you to pinpoint which residents discovered you via Google My Business. Unlike the other items on this list, this one isn’t a must, it’s more of an added plus.

 

d) CRM: If you have an advanced CRM system, such as Yardi CRM, it should be able to  provide you with tracking numbers, conversion tracking, and even multi-touch attribution models. Having this type of CRM makes your framework for success ideal, but this article should provide adequate resources to succeed without it.

 

Conclusion

 

With local searches surging every year, GMB has become a valuable source of leads for multifamily owners and operators. It’s important to remember that the key to a strong GMB profile is keeping it active and engaging with leads and residents.

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9 Ways to Increase Your Property’s Occupancy in 2020

1) Customize Promotions and Specials ?


A) Every apartment owner and/or community manager knows that promotions and specials are essential to driving occupancy, but what many fail to realize is that the key to promotions is making sure they have a time limit.

A good example is “$400 off your first months’ rent for December only!”


2) Create Referral Programs ?


A) One of the most actionable things you can do to drive occupancy is create a referral program.

Your residents can be your #1 salespeople!

Simply send an email blast to your tenants offering rent credit for any referrals. (Note: when deciding on a referral credit, take into account that the average cost-per-lease in 2019 is $325-$450).


3) Partner with Local Businesses ?


A) Make sure your proposal is valuable to both parties. If they refer you a tenant, what can you offer them in return?
Possible partnerships include local restaurants, moving companies, etc.

This can be really successful if you encourage a “go local” attitude.


4) Create a Sense of Community ?


A) It’s no secret that the path to steady occupancy lies in resident retention. Create community events which allow your residents to meet and befriend each other.

 

A good community is hard to find, and even harder to leave.

5) Incentivize Facebook Check-Ins ?


A) Although it’s more of a long-term branding strategy, incentivizing your residents to check in on Facebook gives your community added visibility that can significantly raise the profile of your apartment community over time.

 

“Check-ins” are posted for all of your residents’ network to see and help keep you top-of-mind in a very competitive marketplace.

6) Make Sure Your Website Phone Number is Clickable ☎


A) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on a property website and the phone number isn’t clickable.
I literally have to copy and paste the number into my dialer.

The modern prospect doesn’t have the time or patience to do that; if you don’t make it easy to contact you, they just won’t.

7) Include CTA’s (calls-to-action) on Your Homepage ?


A) Prospects reach your homepage – now what? Are you telling them to check out the gallery or floorplans?
You need to make the next steps clear if you want prospects to engage with your business.

Having 2 call-to-action buttons below the header on the homepage is ideal.

8) Let Chatbots Do the Talking ?


A) Do you want to increase your conversion rates by 100%? Add a chatbot.

To capture as many leads as possible, you need to give your leads multiple methods of contacting you.

 

9) Recycle Resident Reviews ♻


A) Remember your 3 R’s! Your tenants are your best salespeople, which means making a review page on your website where you feature your rave reviews is in your best interest.

 

This can mean the difference between a prospect reaching out or moving on.

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How to Rent your Apartment on Craigslist

Craigslist is an online, classified ad website with various sections devoted to Housing, Jobs, Second-Hand Items, Roommates, Dating, and more. The website is completely free to use and is available to anyone willing to work within the company’s stated guidelines.

Now, how can you get maximum visibility in Craigslist’s search engine?

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38 Apartment Marketing Ideas for Apartment Lease Ups

With so much competition, it’s hard to come up with unique apartment marketing ideas.

You make a website.

You create social profiles.

You drive traffic.

You upgrade your ILS accounts.

You take beautiful photos; maybe even a 3D apartment tour.

But guess what? Everyone’s doing that.

Read on to get some marketing ideas for your apartment complex.

1. Create a Unique Logo

Your logo should be unique, recognizable and serve as a symbol of your property. Make it simple and include it in everything you create: signage, listing site profiles, and any other marketing materials. This helps you build a distinct reputation for your property and allows you to influence how others perceive your community.

apartment branding

2. Get high quality photos

Has anyone told you first impressions don’t matter? Not in this case. High quality photos are imperative if you want to attract leads and compel people to come and see your units in person. Don’t use your cell phone camera for these shots – spend the money to hire a professional to shoot your property, it will pay off in the long run.

apartment photography

3. Include every type of content to show off your property

Giving tenants multiple ways to experience your community will entice them more and save your leasing agents time on tours with prospects that won’t turn into residents. Make sure your site includes 3D floor plans, photography, video, 3D tours, etc., so you’re always putting your best foot forward.

4. Get more leads with craigslist

Create informative, detailed posts to attract residents. If you haven’t started posting on Craigslist yet, or are looking for some new strategies, you can find our extensive guide to getting more leads on Craigslist here.

craigslist logo

5. Be consistent on every platform

To ensure that you’re easily noticed and remembered, your logos, fonts, and photos must be consistent across every platform. It is a huge competitive advantage if your community can be recognized at a glance, and consistency is key in making that happen.

6. Be active on Social Media

We all know social media can be a gold mine for residents. Once you’ve built a community, you are able to reach hundreds of people with just one post. The more likes and shares you get, the more popular you will become, and the more likely you’ll be top of mind when it’s time for one of your followers (or their friends and family members) to find a new place to live.

apartment marketing ideas

7. Ask for reviews from current residents

Thank your current residents for living in your community, and make them feel appreciated. For example, if they renew their lease, ask for a review that you can post on social media or your website. Having positive reviews can have a great impact on your reputation, as 80% of leads won’t contact a business with less than 3 stars.

marketing idea for apartments

8. Recycle reviews

Use good reviews as a testimonial for your listing sites. Take a screenshot of your best review and post it to every listing you’re in; this can boost your reputation tremendously.

outreach marketing ideas for apartments

9. Focus on your website

Have an eye-catching website design to keep residents engaged. Always have the “tap to call” or “click to call” button ready on every page in your header.

 

apartment advertising ideas

10. Include a local area map on your website

Location Location Location. The first thing people think of when looking for an apartment is, “What is it near?” Don’t leave your site visitors guessing – add a map with key nearby places clearly marked. Make sure you include supermarkets, any schools in the area, parks, and shopping centers.

 

local marketing map

11. Claim your google my business listing

Google My Business can be a huge source of leads for any apartment complex. If you don’t know where to start, simply complete your listing and watch the leads come in.

 

SEO For Multifamily

12. Post your community on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is very easy to use. Just add your best photo, the price of the unit, and the terms of leasing. The advantage of using Facebook Marketplace is that it provides hyper-local results for users, which means you’re much more likely to get your post in front of someone in your area looking for an apartment. Facebook Marketplace also lets you directly respond to inquiries through the platform, making this a commonly untapped source of additional leads.

 

13. Facebook paid campaigns

Facebook ads can be a huge source for new leads. They tend to be cheaper than Google Ads and offer more advanced targeting. That said, we recommend hiring a professional to set this up for you, as setting it up incorrectly can be a costly mistake.

 

FB/IG Ads for Multifamily

14. Post on Pinterest

People visit Pinterest to get inspiration for anything, including apartments. With 291 million active users, Pinterest can be a great way to get discovered.

15. Get ideas from competitors

Not sure where to start? Check out some of your competitors. Tools like semrush.com or spyfu.com are a good place to start, just insert competitors’ URL into one of these tools.

16. Write personalized thank you letters

Always send a thank you letter after a prospect tour. In this digital age, that kind of personal touch is appreciated and makes you stand out.

17. Follow up with prospective residents

In addition to the thank you letter, you should always follow up with a prospect after a successful tour. It is important to stay in front of them. Make them feel valued in every situation.

18. Extend leasing hours

Consider extending your leasing hours to be more available to new prospects. Many people aren’t able to leave work during business hours to take an apartment tour, so staying open later can allow you to attract a larger pool of leads. Many calls occur between 11:00am and 1:00pm during people’s lunch breaks.

19. Add video!

Video can be a great tool to add to your arsenal of marketing strategies. When creating professional video, make sure you keep your audience in mind.

20. Create a referral program

Word of mouth still works. To create a tenant referral program, first calculate your cost-per-lease. You can do this by dividing your monthly marketing expenses by the number of leases you generate on average each month. Say this number is $500. You can then offer a $500 rent credit to any residents that refer you a tenant, saving you the hard work of tracking down a lead on your own!

 

21. Offer promotions and specials

Simply put, promos and specials get more eyes on your advertisements. Consider offering a promo that would benefit both you and your prospect, for example, offering a $199 security deposit on all new rentals with approved credit.

 

22. Respond to all the reviews

Good or bad, it’s important to respond to every review posted about you online. This shows that you care about providing the highest standard of service, and, more importantly, proves that you care about the experiences of your tenants.

23. Send resident satisfaction surveys quarterly

Managing a negative reputation is one thing, but imagine having the opportunity to engage unhappy tenants before their dissatisfaction gets posted online? Sending out a quarterly satisfaction survey can be powerful for managing your reputation. Have your community manager call each tenant who responds to the survey either thanking them for their participation (and possibly asking for a testimonial) or asking how they can improve the tenant’s experience.

24. Post pictures of your residents

Show prospective residents proof of satisfaction. Posting pictures of new renters makes for great social media content and shows prospects the life they could have if they moved into your community.

25. Have a website live chat

Offering live chat can increase the amount of leads you capture, as prospective residents often want to speak with a person right away. Having a chat function available on your site helps you engage these hot prospects further and answer their burning questions immediately.

26. Post testimonials on the website

Testimonials are one of the best ways to intrigue new renters. If prompted correctly, your satisfied residents can be your best salespeople — even better than your leasing staff!

27. Be a reliable source of information

It is important to create informative blog posts for your website. This helps you drive traffic to your site and increases your ranking among local rental communities, making you an authority in the eyes of Google and your prospective renter. Create relevant, interesting and entertaining posts that will make readers stop and read. Establish in their minds that you’re a reliable resource so they keep coming back for more.

28. Organize events at your property

Giving tenants the chance to mingle builds loyalty and trust from both current tenants and prospective ones. Organize an event and allow current tenants to invite a plus one. Having a fun atmosphere and casually interacting with current and prospective renters is a great way to show that you’re a community that cares.

29. Find your audience

It is essential that your marketing targets the audience you want to attract. One of the best ways to do this is to go where your renters are. For example, if your community is pet-friendly, reach out to the local pet shelter to discuss how you can work together. If you’re targeting college students, consider doing something in collaboration with a local college. Prospects who engage with these resources will be impressed with your commitment and more willing to consider your community when looking for a new home.

30. Partner with local businesses

Getting to know other local businesses is a great way to get your brand out there and make people aware of your property. Also, having a relationship with the owner or manager of other businesses will keep you top of mind if they get a lead from someone new to the neighborhood.

31. Micro-Influencers

Influencers are an excellent way to market through a trusted authority. A micro-influencer can help you promote and popularize your community. With their assorted followers, there is a good chance at least some of the followers will be good prospects for your community.

32. Always use a call to action 

What’s a call to action? It’s a directive for your prospect, telling them what to do. Calls for action include “Apply now,” “Call now,” and “Schedule a tour.” You should have a call to action with your absent for your prospect to have choices to interact with your website rather than just being a static website.

33. Use Google ads for website traffic

Google Ads is great because you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Essentially, you’re only paying for the traffic being directed to your site. If you find that you aren’t ranking organically for your local market, this is a good way to help secure that top spot.

34. Use Google ads for retargeting

After someone visits your website, you can use Google Ads to follow that user onto other platforms and show them ads for your site. This is a great advantage because you’re reaching out to people who have already had a glance of what you offer. Following up with more information and more persuasive contents may help turn a lukewarm lead into a hot one.

35. Create a resident retention plan

Create an annual plan to understand what makes your residents tick and what they value in their living space. Surveys are a great way to get information from your residents, and you can turn around and use the data you’ve acquired to serve them better.

36. Create a Youtube Channel for your community

It’s nice to share video content of your community online – especially videos that are entertaining. Consider using the world’s most common video-sharing site, YouTube, to post videos that display the amenities you offer and give insight to viewers about your community.

37. Create eye-catching brochures

Your brochure should represent what makes your community stand out and be visually compelling enough to stop people from throwing it in the trash when they get home.

Create a brochure that catches readers’ eyes. Use tools like Canva and other design programs to create a brochure that will get you leads.

38. Create a Hashtag which your community can talk about

Hashtags are a fun and unique way of sharing the thoughts of your residents. For example, encourage residents to use #MyApartmentExperience or #BestApartmentEver and share their experience. This will serve as a wall where your residents can go to post their thoughts about your community.

 

 

There you go! Keep it handy.

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