Modern Must-Haves for Multifamily Marketing

I’ve been a long-time marketer – longer than I care to admit, if I’m being entirely truthful. As CMO for PERQ, I’ve brought experience from decades of business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing roles that happened over the years that marketing transitioned into digital marketing. I’ve seen it all. And I’ve learned a few things… and earned a few gray hairs in my day.

Speaking with multifamily marketers has been really enlightening for me. I see a lot of the struggles I faced over my marketing career now beginning to challenge the multifamily marketer and I believe that I can draw on my experience to offer some thoughts and ideas that may be helpful.

It’s worth saying that I love to speak with y’all, so if anyone reading this wants to discuss further with me, I welcome it. You can reach out on LinkedIn.

The biggest pain for every marketer I speak with is budget. Regardless of industry, it doesn’t matter if it’s marketing to consumers or businesses, marketers are feeling the heat. Sometime along the way marketing gets pressured to reduce costs. And, often this is accompanied by a completely illogical request to subsequently produce more leads after the reduction. And so goes the life of the marketer.

You and I know everything that goes into marketing. We also know that no matter how many times we explain it, others do not understand. I implore you to give up on trying to justify your budget and to find a different way. And because I’ve seen what I’ve seen, I think I can give you some pointers around that to help.

There are three tools that I think are absolutely critical to the marketing toolbelt. Things every marketing program needs to have and master. In this blog post, I’m going to share them and I’ll also explain the why behind the what. Read on for more.

Brilliant use of PPC

Of course, PPC stands for “pay-per-click.” PPC as a category can refer to the ads you see at the top of search results and also targeted display ads placed in social or on maps. With PPC, you’re only paying for people who click through the ad to either your website or a landing page, making it a better investment than impression-based ad spend.

PPC can be a frenemy.  It’s not always easy to learn and manage, but the net of PPC as it relates to the multifamily industry is that it is a definite alternative to ILS spend as it is much cheaper. With ILS’s annual costs rising and contracts that can’t flex up and down like you need them to, becoming good at PPC is a no brainer when it comes to reducing advertising costs. And, with PPC, you can set a cap on your budget and know how many clicks you can get for your ad spend. So, if you’re good at understanding your conversions, you can manage this up and down as needed to help you achieve occupancy goals, where ILS spend tends to be a fixed cost per month, whether or not you need the leads.

While I would never tell you how you should allocate your marketing budget, I can say that I’m more inclined towards PPC ads appearing at the top of search results or targeting the right audience on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, compared to directing potential prospects to a list of communities that includes competitors alongside my property.

The other beauty of PPC is that, when it’s done well, it drives higher quality leads. This means your staff spends less cycles on leads that don’t result in leases…and that’s just good for business (and their motivation)!

Lastly, if you don’t have the time or interest to manage your own PPC, there are sources that can do it for you, sometimes with fixed costs: meaning you don’t have to spend more on the management of the PPC program when you need more leads.

But PPC alone isn’t a panacea, it’s part of a well-oiled marketing machine, which brings me to my next suggestion.

Modern Website Experience

Ok, ok. This sounds fluffy. Give me a minute to explain. Today’s consumers are used to all the dynamics of the big consumer brand websites: personalization, gamification, widgets to play with – INTERACTIVITY! Static websites are a bore!

Websites that offer interactive tools convert leads at considerably higher rates. Data shows that leads that come from a website are much more likely to convert to leases than leads from outside sources. This is a really important metric to consider, especially when you dovetail it with the fact that only about a quarter of rental prospects may be looking to move now or in the coming weeks, and the vast majority of them are not. This is why you’re seeing repeat website visits more than you have in the past. All the data that people are renting at their own pace. They’re digital lookie lous!

And what this means as a multifamily marketer is that your community website (and all of your marketing touches really) need to be built to keep them engaged over an extended period of time. There is no better way to do this than to deliver a better digital experience to the users of your website.

When I say better experience, I’m talking about the inclusion of technology that provides interactivity on the site, widgets, chat to get questions answers, even website personalization that changes the website menu as they move around the site or recommends next best steps for them. Video and clean, modern graphics and photography help too!

Meeting consumers where they are on expectations for digital experience will set you apart from other communities and it will deliver you higher conversions than a more traditional website. Sure, you need to be brave and do things differently than you may have in the past, but the reward is there. Besides, they don’t call us marketing mavericks for nothing.

Onto the next suggestion, and perhaps the most interesting one of all!

Gratifying Google Business Profiles

Google’s not going anywhere, folks. In fact, 93% of consumers search Google Maps to find a business. 51% of GMB profiles receive more than 1,000 views per month. GMB views and metrics contribute to 75% of local businesses’ monthly exposure online. Everyone uses Google. You have two opportunities to capture these leads – those who search locally for apartments or for your community specifically.

Sure, they might click your website when it rises to the top of the search results after they scroll past whatever ads are there (another hint why you need good PPC), but the Google Business Profile (GBP) gives you another point of visibility above the fold and:

On the right when people are reading left to right on a computer or tablet!

With bigger copy on all devices!

And with call to action buttons from the PREVIEW text!

So there you have it, my top three pieces of advice for modernizing multifamily marketing. Sure, you might say to yourself “this is a thinly veiled piece to showcase what PERQ can do in these areas” and to that I offer this disclaimer: Sure, PERQ does offer solutions in each of these categories, but I didn’t write this piece because they do, I WORK at PERQ because they do; because I firmly believe these are critical components to helping my multifamily marketing friends succeed.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my suggestions. I welcome your feedback and questions. Feel free to reach out anytime.