7 Ways to Master Apartment Marketing
Apartment marketing shouldn’t be one-dimensional, as much as the online way of doing things is captivating our lives.
There’s no question that many of today’s prospective residents are shopping for housing on the internet, searching through websites and even signing leases before they’ve even stepped foot on the property.
But multifamily properties shouldn’t be without a diverse, proactive marketing strategy that includes both old-fashioned grass roots campaigning along with some high-tech branding. Taking apartment marketing through other traditional targeted techniques, as well as online, and into the communities will create a diverse platform that gets the most out of marketing spends.
Here are seven ways to blend new and old marketing modes to increase awareness and help drive leases for your properties:
1. Identify your ideal audience with data
First things first, determine your target audience. Which demographic does your ideal renter fall into? If it’s everyone, go back to the drawing board. A good property manager understands the characteristics and make up of their target prospect. Using marketing statistics can help you determine not only who to market to, but where you can find them. Target an audience that will value the attributes of your neighborhood. The methods used to woo Gen Xers might not appeal to Baby Boomers, so take care to track which mediums are getting a response. Nailing down your audience will assist you in deciding where to spend marketing dollars.
2. Take advantage of social media
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of American adults (65 percent) use social networking sites, up from 7 percent when Pew Research Center began systematically tracking social media usage 10 years ago. Leverage social media accounts that enable sharing photos of properties and can reach people online and increase awareness of your communities. Keep to a consistent posting rate of several posts per week so that you maintain a presence in peoples’ minds. Also, change posts several times per week and give visitors helpful information about your apartment community. Any piece of content they might find valuable is potentially content that will be shared to others.
3. Utilize word of mouth apartment marketing
RetailWire recently reported that, according to a study organized by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), online and offline consumer conversations and recommendations account for 13 percent of consumer sales. That represents $6 trillion in annual consumer spending, and in higher price point categories the impact is almost 20 percent of sales. Residents like to share their experiences about their apartments, so ask yours to share feedback on your reviews sites. For more visibility, encourage renters to leave reviews on your sites garnering the most traffic to search engines. Or give them a reason to talk up the community at their next social event. Offer incentives for sending new prospects to the community. When people talk- online and in person – it creates buzz about a community, which can lead to new leases.
4. Don’t underestimate the value of direct mail
Property managers should consider print advertising in the form of direct mail marketing. According to Target Marketing, effective copywriting in direct mail campaigns provides results. Reporter Gary Hennerberg says “the reason direct mail continues to be alive and well is because it’s the one channel that offers the highest opportunity for strong reading comprehension, which leads to long-term memory. Most online channels are ‘glance and forget’ impressions. Direct mail endures when strong copywriting is combined with precise targeting to a specific persona.”
He adds that direct mail copy must stimulate emotion, create a unique selling proposition, in many instances should tell a story, and persuade the reader to give themselves permission to act. Also, within 35-40 words, the message should entertain, educate and engage.
5. Generate interest through email lists
Get proactive instead of reactive. Email campaigns work when they provide valuable community content that lets prospects know about the benefits of living in a particular property. A key is to look ahead and be mindful of the future, even though you may be charged with focusing on today’s properties. Establish email lists for different communities to build a list of prospective residents. Also, include properties that are available.
6. Establish roots within the community
For companies that have multiple properties in the same geographic area, getting face-to-face in the community is a good way to promote a property. Consider sponsoring an activity at a local school, recreational center or host or co-sponsor an event in the neighborhood. Encourage staff to participate in events that interest them while talking up a community. It can be as simple as handing out literature or other marketing materials. When you move your brand into the public eye, you become a trusted source that locals will recommend.
7. Market the overall living experience, not just the property
The amenities from one apartment product to the next may be valued differently, but everyone has an appreciation for their community. The community may mean different things depending on the types of renters who live there. For example, younger families may be more interested in the schools and daycare facilities, as well as opportunities for family activities and neighborhood safety. Seniors, on the other hand, may look for a community closer to a library, neighborhood recreation, and walking trails. Understands how it can add value to your renters living experience.
Blending different styles of marketing can help reach capture different residents. Is your property’s marketing approach diversified enough? Learn more about the apartment marketing solutions available to you.