The Power of Google Analytics for Your Multifamily Property
Every website automatically generates online data reporting in Google Analytics, whether you’re a paid Google advertiser or your multifamily property allocates $0 in its marketing budget for the search engine behemoth. It’s a free data analytics tool that, in our experience, is commonly underutilized or never used at all — particularly in the multifamily property management industry.
It’s actually the top source of digital data available. Many businesses miss out because they don’t fully understand how to navigate the information or aren’t aware any domain owner can access the online analytics tool at no cost.
“I look at Google Analytics every single day, at least for one property or another,” says Caroline Gould, Vice President of Marketing and Branding at Fore Property based in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s square one. If we look at the very, very top of the funnel, that is how people are coming to our property. The website presence just has such an enormous importance. It’s no question that digital and web traffic is absolutely 100% how people search for properties, so it’s such an essential cornerstone understanding.”
Gould relies on Google Analytics to assess the success of a property’s digital marketing and what marketing to try next. She evaluates referral sources to see which platforms and digital ads get the best traffic, where they rank for certain keywords, and check bounce rates for different campaigns.
We work closely with our multifamily property clients to help maximize the valuable consumer behavior and online data available in their Google Analytics reports, or even set up automated reporting — all readily accessible with a few keyboard clicks or taps on a tablet. In addition to training and support, we also offer multifamily properties access to proprietary PERQ reporting within the Google Analytics platform.
Every kind of business can benefit from knowing the basics in Google Analytics. I’ll walk through some of the most important aspects and highlight certain keystone reports your multifamily property management company should regularly review. By measuring the performance of your digital marketing more precisely you’re sure to spot patterns and get ideas on how to improve the results after a few months.
Watch this Video to Get a Better Understanding of Navigating Google Analytics for your Multifamily Property
Easy to access through a Gmail login, Google Analytics delivers online user statistics and reports in real time, which provides companies with invaluable insights into who’s visiting the property website, what they’re looking at, how long they stay and how they landed on the site. Separate accounts can be set up for third-party marketing agencies or other vendors who need access to your analytics.
Google Analytics offers reports filtered by a multitude of factors, such as audience, consumer behavior and conversions. Property managers can then zoom in to see what floorplan pages or content are driving the most engagement on their property website. For our multifamily clients, the most popular report by far is Acquisitions, which shows all traffic sources and website data at a glance, then allows users to drill down into each specific channel.
Did the prospect do an organic search looking for “luxury apartments in Dallas” or a branded search on Google that specifically mentioned your company or property by name? Did they click on a paid search ad, and if so, which keyword phrase or incentive led them down the sales funnel? Are your company’s social media posts and promoted content driving prospects to check out your property online or schedule a tour?
As part of our onboarding process and onsite team training, we walk multifamily property managers through their Google Analytics account and the PERQ reporting available. Our goal is to make navigating and using the data as easy as possible.
If a client hasn’t ever logged in to Google Analytics before, or only scanned the dashboard but not actively engaged with the tool, we begin by explaining their dashboard. We spotlight insights we think deliver the most value and demonstrate what each type of report the pull-down menu on the left side delivers, along with explaining how that meaningful data can help them score more leads and more leases.
For those with a rudimentary understanding of Google Analytics, we still help optimize and maintain the analytics account so the best data surfaces first. We then dive into the PERQ-specific reporting that ties together the website data with all other digital platforms and tracks a user across platforms, delivering in-depth insights unavailable in the basic setup.
Properties that already utilize Google Analytics often miss the crucial step of linking all online paid advertisements to that Google Analytics account. By linking digital ad data to website analytics, properties can see precisely which combination of digital marketing efforts drive the most profit and ROI, giving a multi-touch attribution view that’s invaluable when adjusting budgets based on performance and making investments in new technology.
Gould uses PERQ’s custom reporting filters to overlay insights and gain a deeper perspective on the data. “They have done a really great job there, and helping us to track specifics,” Gould says of the PERQ team who helped her set up the filters. “The one thing I really like about PERQ is we see that it’s not only great for converting web traffic, it’s also good for our SEO and I think that’s another place where Google Analytics is important. We see, because people are engaging with the website, a long time on site, a lower bounce rate, which overall improves the health of our website and helps us rank better organically.”
While Google Analytics is by far the best free analytics tool available, it does leave out critical pieces of the picture that marketers work so hard to bring into focus. Visitors to each online platform remain anonymous, meaning online leads get counted as a new visitor every time they log on and return to the website or switch from their smartphone to a desktop or tablet.
Our smart tracking software takes the Google Analytics insights a step further by assigning a unique PERQ ID number to each online consumer who engages with our technology. We can then identify that same person upon return to the website, track them across multiple devices and follow their journey to a lease offline by matching tours back to their online origination.
We’re also able to organize traffic and conversion sources into specific channels. Instead of getting multiple, separate reports for each Facebook or Zillow campaign and being forced to manually tabulate the overall results, our clients can view them in one report that analyzes them alongside one another for a clearer perspective per channel. We also break down generic lead groupings like “Social” into the specific networking platforms the company utilizes.
That level of detailed data allows properties to see which website leads turn into tenants and calculate the true ROI for each digital marketing campaign, taking into account multi-touch attribution versus looking at everything in silos. It also gives multifamily property management actionable insights to help increase leads and overall profit.