New on #AptChat: Tech Trends in Multifamily Marketing

multifamily marketing


Each week, industry leaders join the Twitter-based conversation at #AptChat to exchange best practices and ideas. A recent chat focused on what technology is bringing to multifamily marketing.

Here’s how the discussion went:

35% of renters expect a response “in a few hours or less” when contacting a property. How can tech help reach prospects faster?

There was a mixed reaction to this expectation. One manager said that it was unrealistic to expect such a fast response, and that one business day is a more practical timeframe. But others mentioned that a quick response was becoming the norm due to technology, and that it can be easily arranged by using an auto-response method to establish a link until personal communication can be initiated. One participant said her property had leased 50 apartments in 50 days, with the only change being the method of responding to leads.

One manager suggested setting up text alerts for leads – multiple ones ideally, in case one team member is away from their office or out of touch. She also suggested monitoring social media to ensure fast responses to leads generated there.

We know people want to see where they’re going to live. Are you using Virtual Reality today? Are you looking at using it soon?

As with so many issues, a lot of the conversation here centered on cost. One manager said that while she’s considering virtual reality, she could for half the cost do a pop-up shop or sponsor a restaurant for a day – less expensive “guerilla marketing” activities. Another participant jumped in to say that with the Google Cardboard app you can create VR using your phone, but it wasn’t clear how to actually implement this: would you ask prospects to “view this if you have the special glasses lying around?”

Most felt that while VR has great applications for multifamily marketing, it’s not on the front burner in a “late adopter” industry in which some properties are just now implementing online leasing. However, the early adopters are beginning to win the leasing wars by being able to show off their properties in imaginative ways.

Lots of talk about tech at the property. Car chargers, solar, Wi-Fi, fiber, etc. What are you seeing prospects respond to most?

Not surprisingly, a manager said “INTERNET ACCESS” right off the bat. Fast, reliable Internet access is almost like water or electricity these days, a must-have, and if you don’t have it you’ll suffer from poor online reviews.

multifamily marketing

What other tech trends are on your radar? What should we be paying closer attention to?

Business Intelligence (BI) as an aid to smart marketing came up immediately. A manager pointed out that it’s actionable BI that’s important, not “FYI” BI. Another guardedly mentioned staff-less leasing offices, where a credit card is used to get a key and a tour (though she said she wasn’t hoping to put anyone out of work)! Another agreed, saying this was a bit like being able to bypass the car rental office by pre-booking online. A third manager mentioned that this is already being done in the single-family rental market.

Hope you picked up some good tips from the participants in this #AptChat discussion. Look for our next overview coming soon!


Author and Contributor

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Based in New Orleans, Guy Lyman is a professional writer with over 25 years’ experience writing about multifamily and commercial real estate. Lyman is a frequent contributor and writer for the Property Management Insider blog.

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