5 Digital Marketing Trends Disrupting Apartment Marketing in 2014


Is content king again? Really? Yes. The thing is, content isn’t going anywhere fast. As marketers find more creative ways to play with it, there are several disruptive content trends emerging that shouldn’t be overlooked in the new year. Here are my top 5 favorites not to be missed by property management companies:

1. Global vs. Local Mobile

Mashable reports an estimated 5 billion mobile phone users globally by 2017 (nearly 1 billion more users than those using smartphones RIGHT NOW). That being said, developing a strong mobile strategy in apartment marketing is no longer an option. The need to think of mobile in a way that supports mass engagement is as important as strategically targeting your local market for optimum conversions

2. Predictive Apps

Location is important. Applications designed to sense the prospect’s environment, with the ability to respond in real-time, while meeting immediate needs will emerge. This will come from those who embrace consumer data, overcome limitations and create adaptive and collaborative methods for sharing and engagement.

3. Wearable Technology

Merging micro-technology into fashion is becoming the rage. Google Glass will likely become available for all to purchase in 2014, outside its current lottery offering. Imagine how this technology can enhance apartment home tours. SmartWatches sync with phones, making it easier to stay connected with a tap or swipe—offering up the latest text, email or status update while on the move. And, wait for it, a designer and Ph.D. candidate in Brazil is experimenting with wearable technology in fake fingernails, false eyelashes and even makeup.

4. Universal Social Acceptance

The year of social acceptance as a necessary part of a property management company’s advertising and outreach efforts is a necessity. Because of this, we’ll see native advertising expand, the use of social media to support real-time marketing, and the use of visual social platforms to create new ad opportunities for those who want to aggressively ramp up their word-of-mouth marketing (i.e., mobile messaging apps like SnapChat and short-form video apps like Vine and Instagram could offer interesting ad venues to better convey an apartment living experience).

5. Personalization

As lines between offline and online interactions blur, apartment marketers will have the opportunity to better personalize the resident and prospect experience online and off. Using relevant personalization that takes into account the content, time, message and device is more likely to win over consumers. For example, iGoDigital reports that sales increase 15-25% of transactional messages include personalized product recommendations. And IBM is reporting that customers who buy something in-store expect a more enriched experience based on their purchase history online—the same holds true for your renter prospects. How much are you personalizing the experience for them on site and online? Check out what Cola-Cola is doing to personalize the brand experience with their “Find Your Name” campaign.

These are my predictions for 2014… what are yours?


(Image credit: Shutterstock)



Marketing Communications Strategist, RealPage
Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider

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Lea Lashley is a Contributing Editor for PropertyManagementInsider.com. She focuses on marketing and social media strategies at RealPage, Inc. She has spent nearly 15 years in marketing and communications, and was recently an adjunct professor at the master’s level in social and digital media marketing at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Lea received her education at the University of North Texas where she majored in English Literature.
Hootsuite Certified Professional

2 responses to “5 Digital Marketing Trends Disrupting Apartment Marketing in 2014”

  1. Keith says:

    Great article Lea, I take special notice to #2 since predictive search could eventually impact huge areas such as Google and Facebook search, which largely relies on query based keywords. What if one day search knew what you were looking for before you typed anything in?

  2. Steve says:

    Keith, your future is already at hand. Google and most other search engines keep track of what you have searched for in the past, and attempt to ‘anticipate’ your needs based upon previous searches. This can have the effect of skewing your search results, creating a “filter bubble”. Some search engines, like duckduckgo.com do not have filter bubbles.

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