Inbound Marketing for Multifamily
There are currently 22 million apartment units in the United States and recent estimates say new supply is growing at an average of about 426,000 units a year. That said, the competition to sign leases is fierce. Outside of location, apartment marketers’ strategy to win has historically been through differentiation, creating what has been called the “amenities arms race”. However, at this point, competing properties now have a pretty similar set of amenities. Recent surveys indicate that the living experience for the renter hasn’t improved dramatically. And, so, like other industries, when differentiation erode, the focus starts to shift to service or experience.
At no time in history has this been more of a problem than now, where digital experiences and what happens BEFORE a prospective renter even sees your property is the biggest driver of a person’s willingness to tour or rent. Today, we are living in an experience economy and multifamily cannot afford to be left behind due to not creating modern day digital experiences. This puts a lot of pressure on digital inbound marketing strategies for multifamily marketers.
They need to be prepared to provide the personalized experiences, triggered communications, and instant gratification today’s rental prospects want, and have come to expect from their experiences working with online consumer brands. Consumer expectations are creating a new paradigm for multifamily marketing, one that must focus on inbound marketing in order to deliver the results PMCs need.
A focus on creating modern digital experiences helps your website to appeal to diverse renter interests at various stages of their renter’s journey. All the work necessary to create these good online experiences for prospects also has a massive payoff because digital marketing offers more measurable value than other methods.
Traditional methods, like print advertising or direct mail, bring prospective renters in ways that are difficult to track or need manual tracking, whereas multifamily digital marketing offers measurable results. And the good news is, multifamily inbound marketing offers three times more leads per dollar than traditional methods, and inbound leads cost 61% less on average. The measurable nature of the results is one of the important values that inbound marketing offers marketers and goes far beyond improving the experience on the renters’ journey.
Consider a multifamily marketer trying to lease a newly constructed apartment building. The marketer could choose to work with an ILS (Internet Listing Service) to obtain leads and then do some email marketing to them just like every other property does every other time. However, they could also choose to take their marketing efforts up a notch by employing a multifamily inbound marketing strategy that leverages a variety of various methods to maximize the educational experience of a prospect, pulling all their leads through their website as the ultimate hub of their marketing efforts.
Inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing methods.Source: Hubspot
For example, an enticing social media post might have a call-to-action (CTA) to read a blog post describing the benefits of the location of the property that has a CTA to a special offer. Once they complete the form to get the offer content sent, you can utilize marketing automation to continue nurturing them via email using content to move that prospect towards a tour.
Or, the property website could employ interactive website conversion tools where the prospects can interact with the tools to learn more about the community. The information they supply during these experiences can be used to further tailor nurture communications and outreach to them. In fact, a recent study showed that property sites with interactive website tools booked 32% more tours than those without. In all, interactive property websites captured 622% more leads than those that only offer a “book a tour” option, showing clear benefits of a more engaging website.
While marketers continuously seek ways to reach their goals efficiently, most executives only care about the numbers. This is another area where multifamily inbound marketing offers strong value. Calculating ROI, cost per lead, and customer acquisition cost is simplified when using inbound methods, as the data can be tracked easily, particularly if you have a way to track lead source attribution. The bonus? Inbound marketing, when one properly, can significantly improve your marketing ROI (Return on Investment).
Consider cost per lead: It’s as simple as knowing your ad spend and dividing it by total leads.
Cost Per Lead (CPL) = Total Marketing Spend /Total Leads
If you want to understand your cost down funnel, you can calculate cost per tour. To do so, you would just need to divide your marketing spend by the number of tours.
For marketers looking for more comprehensive figures, cost per lease can show the value of each resident your marketing efforts helped obtain. For this, you simply divide your marketing spend by number of new leases driven by marketing activity.
Earlier in this article, it was mentioned that inbound leads cost 61% less on average. Study after study says the same. The reason is primarily because marketers that use inbound marketing generate more leads than those not using it. Providing consistent content across multiple inbound channels means more changes your target renters get to discover your community. But it’s also been shown that leads generated through inbound marketing have a higher chance of converting to a lease.
According to inbound marketing statistics, leads obtained with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have a win rate of 14.6 percent as opposed to just 1.7 percent with outbound. And these leads have little to no cost. If you’re getting more of your leads without paying a lead source, you’re driving down your marketing spend.
It can be tempting for multifamily marketers to rely on the tools of traditional advertising. For a long time, the multifamily business was mostly conducted face to face and the marketing efforts primarily included leveraged radio ads and billboards. However, multifamily inbound marketing efforts offer a true and marked improvement in ROI. And, in a competitive leasing market, that’s just going to continue to get more intense — anything to set yourself apart should be embraced.
Visit perq.com to learn how marketing automation can help enhance your inbound marketing efforts.