You wouldn’t bring a bicycle to a car race, yet that’s what multifamily marketers do when their digital toolbox doesn’t have enough power and the right tools to meet market expectations or match their competitors’ capabilities. In multifamily, prospects have adopted new buying behaviors and expectations, sparking the need for multifamily marketers to offer seamless cross-channel experiences, greater convenience and personalization to prospects. “We are all designing for a new kind of customer,” note researchers from WGSN. This has led to new digital trends in multifamily marketing.
Is your multifamily marketing team equipped to compete with others in today’s digital multifamily marketing landscape? We’ll start with a broad view of five foundational digital trends to meet your prospects’ expectations for experience when searching for an apartment:
- Speed: From fast-loading websites to “anytime/anywhere” support, today’s prospective renters crave instant answers in their property search, without having to engage a human.
- Interactivity: Gone are the days of websites having just text and images of your community on them. Advancements in digital marketing among ecommerce brands and the pandemic raised consumer expectations for digital experiences. They want and expect to be engaged with activities on your website – interactive online experiences. This is becoming the de facto standard as the renter’s journey is lengthening and prospective renters are taking control of the information gathering portion of their buying process.
- Personalization at scale: Made-for-me experiences and messaging tailored to each prospect’s interests, preferences and past behaviors. The “care of one,” as McKinsey puts it, is quickly becoming standard. This means having the ability to welcome known contacts back to your website and provide them with the content both on the website and in your nurture outreach that is applicable to them.
- Automation: Put recurring tasks on autopilot so your onsite leasing agents can reduce their time spent on repetitive activities that can be handled through automation so they can focus on higher-impact activities, such as closing leases and servicing residents.
- Omnichannel Integrations: Consumers expect a seamless and consistent experience with brands they decide to do business with. And, they’re doing more digitally, in more places, than ever before. This means having the ability to recognize them across devices, pick up where the conversion left off, and not present them with irrelevant content. To do this, multifamily marketers need to review their tech stack to identify disconnected consumer experiences and identify opportunities for integrations or new technology that can bridge the disconnect.
With these pillars in mind, below is a simplified rundown of what your digital marketing for apartments tech stack should be able to perform if you hope to outshine competitors and remain profitable for the long haul.
- When prospects can’t find answers on your website, they should have a way to access instant, “anytime” support. AI-powered, natural language chatbots make this possible without making prospects wait for a leasing agent to respond, or for your office to open. AI chatbots are key when it comes to leasing marketing strategies going forward as they provide the best consumer experience.
- First-time visitors to your website shouldn’t be strangers for long. Begin personalizing interactions from the very first contact and design your interactions to help capture insights on their behaviors and preferences.
- Engage online visitors (and capture valuable prospect intel) with interactive experiences, such as chat-to-text communications, interactive quizzes, video tours, and automated tour scheduling.
- Automatically populate CRM with new prospect information and behavioral insights.
- Use AI to learn each prospect’s preferences and adapt communications accordingly. This allows for PMCs to communicate with prospects across channels in their preferred method and at the preferred time of day.
- Build rapport with apartment seekers via automated outreach through either text or email nurture.
- Messages should be at a cadence that will move them along their renter’s journey and relevant to who they are, what they’re looking for, and the stage of their buying journey.
- Automate recurring, mundane tasks (e.g. lead capture, tour scheduling, routine requests or FAQs) so teams can focus on higher-impact activities and “hotter” leads.
- CRM, email and text communications should be integrated in your marketing ideas for apartment lease up to help drive leads back to your website and move prospects to action with personalized incentives.
- By the time leasing agents speak with a prospect, that prospect should have been “warmed up” by automated nurturing messages, and agents should have rich information on how to best engage the prospect. Integration between your website, AI leasing agent, CRM and other connected platforms (e.g. online listing services, email, text) makes this possible.
- Data should be clear, comprehensive and actionable, helping you discern what prospects want, factors impacting buying decisions, and what elements are converting (or falling flat) on your website, in real time.
- Your data should also reveal lead sources that drive the most valuable leads at the lowest cost. This gives the ability to track attribution across the funnel.
- Data should capture trends and pinpoint opportunities specific to your online audience. It should also inform your SEO and content strategy.
- You’re able to track the ROI of all your digital marketing spend so no efforts or dollars are wasted.
VETTING TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS, TEST-DRIVING SOLUTIONS
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, hire more tech-savvy staff or sink your time into areas where your team lacks expertise. Instead, reputable technology partners can illuminate pitfalls or opportunities that would have eluded you otherwise.
Who to trust? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Your chosen technology partner(s) should demonstrate:
- A track record of helping other multifamily marketers solve the same challenges that are holding you back.
- Solid support beyond the sale, continuously offering guidance on how to improve your results. Vendors that offer free pilots give you a chance to actually test out the product and see what kind of results it will give you before investing money into it.
Yes, we’re biased, and we’d love to show you why multifamily property managers seek PERQ to multiply their conversions. We’ll gladly point to how your peers are tackling challenges just like the ones you’re facing. These leasing marketing strategies will strengthen your ability to stand out to prospective renters. There are more resources on marketing ideas for apartment lease up on the PERQ blog for more inspiration and tips.
When it comes to digital marketing in multifamily, the landscape is definitely evolving. Artificial intelligence as an emerging technology is helping multifamily be better marketers, both in the ability to scale engagement activity and also in giving PMCs more actionable data than before.