Homeownership is part of the American Dream, but over generations, homeownership has gone down. This is great news for multifamily communities because it means that there is high demand but it also means that there will be higher expectations.
Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and their own survey results, Apartment List released a homeownership report that shows how low homeownership rates are with millennials when compared to other generations. This report also showed that 18% of millennials say they are going to rent for their entire lives, a number that has only increased in the last few years. So, what should multifamily communities do now that many renters will have lived in a lot of different multifamily properties?
For starters, you need to take a look at your amenities, both in-unit and in the community. If you have a property that’s pretty outdated, it’s time to start thinking about when you’ll be able to bring it up to date. PERQ’s solutions, while helping leasing teams save time and increase lead conversion, also collect data on the prospect’s journey on multifamily websites. With this data, we have found that the top 3 most important features to renters are in-unit laundry, walk-in closets, and modern appliances. If you don’t have any of these currently, it’s time to plan how to add them to your units.
As for the community, many renters are either working or learning from home these days. Adding private office spaces that you can rent out or adding large tables in a common room like your clubhouse is a great way to attract these renters. The private rooms will be great for the person who is permanently remote, but offering a communal space where the occasional, once or twice a week work/learn from home renters can have a space to go to too.
Millennial homeownership is low due to a lot of reasons listed in the Apartment List report, but they still want that dream of owning a house, but not for the reason you think. 33% of millennials want to buy a home because of their dogs. Dogs outranked marriage and kids in the reasons for homeownership.
Let’s be real for a second, multifamily communities aren’t always the most pet-friendly. From high pet rents to restrictions to not enough green spaces, it’s not ideal for today’s renters. Our data shows that 1 in 3 renters have a pet, a number that only increases each year. That means you have to make sure your property is also a good home for furry residents.
Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has made a lot of effort in recent years to make his properties more pet friendly by eliminating pet rent and breed restrictions. He made up any lost revenue from pet rent through higher turnover rates. 80% of his renters who owned pets renewed their leases. From making sure that there are enough well-lit grass areas around your building to dog waste trash cans with bags provided, making your apartments more attractive to pet owners can’t be overlooked. Speaking from personal experience as a current pet owner who rents, not enough grass around the property is enough to write a negative review to warn other renters to look elsewhere.
It’s time to update your property to meet the needs of today’s renters because if you haven’t, your competitors definitely have. These renters have been through it all and they will go elsewhere if your property doesn’t hold up. Whether it’s thinking about renovating or adding more amenities, there is some work that you can do today to help meet the needs of tomorrow’s renter.
It was a sweet, unexpected surprise for Shirley Salter as she found out she was the winner of FATWIN’s $25,000 sweepstake sponsored by PERQ. Shirley, a resident of Monroeville, Alabama was presented the winnings on April 22nd, 2021 at Farmers Home Furniture. This comes after Shirley was randomly selected after she completed a “Scratch and Save” online entry on the Farmers Home Furniture website, who leverages PERQ software, in September of 2020.
While shopping on the stores website, a pop-up scratch and save promotion appeared. Not thinking much of it, Shirley filled out the form and forgot all about it shortly after it was complete.
“I got a few emails and calls saying I was the winner of $25,000,” Shirley recounts. “I immediately thought this was a scam as nothing like this ever happens to me. I asked for a timestamp of my submitted form, and when I received the confirmed information, I was in complete shock!”
Robbie Cook, Director of Marketing and Advertising for Farmers Home Furniture was delighted to know the winner came from their stores. “We are thrilled to be able to help bring this opportunity to one of our customers and help change their life forever,” says Cook.
“My advice for anyone hesitant about entering the FATWIN Sweepstakes when they see it, do it! You never know when you could be the big winner.”
Shirley says her first big purchase is going to be a new refrigerator. After that, she is looking to take a much needed vacation with her family. “2020 was a tough year for everyone and I am so thankful this opportunity presented itself, it will be a huge help to me and my loved ones.”
PERQ EVP of Marketing, Muhammad Yasin, sat down with Apartments on the Go, a podcast all about the apartment industry. From the latest trends to industry insights, this podcast has everything you need to be up to date with all things multifamily. On Episode 45, Muhammad talks about authenticity and what it means to focus your energy on who you are.
Listen to the episode here: Apartments on the Go: Ethics of A Digital Brand — Muhammad Yasin
Listen to Apartments on the Go: Apartments on the Go on Apple Podcasts
We know that the majority of prospects start their apartment search journey on an ILS (Internet Listing Service) such as Apartments.com or Zillow. It can be really hard to make your ILS listing all that much different from the others on there. You can have high quality photos and a really informative description, but that’s kind of it.
From an ILS, the next step prospects take is to go to the apartment website. This is one of the only few opportunities you have to show what is different and unique about your multifamily property. Daniel Paulino, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Bozzuto, says that the website is your chance to tell the prospects the story of who you are.
“Consumers have an obsession these days with floor plans,” Paulino says from his experience with his own property management group’s websites. He saw that websites with the best floor plan experience capture the prospects attention and they stay longer than the websites that didn’t. It doesn’t mean that you have to get a 3D floor plan of each unit, but showing how many available units per floor, having high quality images and detailed information about each floor plan is crucial.
When you’ve got the prospect on your site, it’s important to keep them on there as long as possible and to be effectively gathering data on what floor plan they are looking at, pricing, move-in timeline, etc. When it comes to what tools you invest in your tech stack to help keep the prospect on your site and to gather data, Paulino says, “Bottom line, there’s two main driving points that are extremely important; what does the prospect need, what is important to them, and what is your business actually trying to address this in the prospects journey.”
When it comes to figuring out what tools in your tech stack that live on your website are worth keeping and which ones need to be cut, Paulino emphasized the importance of A/B testing. A/B testing is when there are two versions of your page with two different variants. While this test runs, online users will see one or the other at random and continue on the page as normal. It’s the clearest way to show what the tool is actually doing when it comes to driving traffic to certain buttons, converting leads to tours, and what journey the prospect ends up taking on your site.
Paulino also points out that you can’t just test one metric to see if a tool has value. Leads to lease conversion is an important metric and should always be looked at since that is the bottom line of what your efforts are trying to do. That doesn’t mean you should ignore other metrics like keyword rankings, cost per lead, bounce rate, etc.
There are lots of tools out there to help boost our apartment website performance, but not all of them are worth it. The tools you invest in need to help the leasing team work more efficiently by collecting better data and make your apartment website stand out from competitors. It can be hard to tell if a tool will help you, but with Paulino’s advice you can know whether or not your investment was worth it.
Digital marketing is and always will be evolving with the latest tech and innovative tools. No business in today’s world can survive long term without an active digital marketing plan. What does that look like for property management companies and multifamily communities?
Daniel Paulino, VP of Digital Marketing at Bozzuto, sat down with Muhammad Yasin, our EVP of Marketing, to take a deep dive into the world of digital marketing for mutlifamiy communities. From how to invest your digital dollars wisely, to how to help integrate tools that help the onsite teams, there’s a lot digital marketing can do for multifamily properties.
During this Sofa Seminar, they chatted through a wide range of topics including:
- The Prospect’s Journey
- Apartment Websites
- Investing in your Tech Stack
- Using Metrics to Measure Value
When it came to advice on how to look at your digital marketing efforts, Paulino said, “Bottom line there’s two main driving points that are extremely important; what does the prospect need and how is your business addressing that.”
Stand Out from the Crowd
Paulino noted how many prospects begin their journey on an ILS before getting to your property’s website. This means that they know a lot about pricing and amenities but they don’t know your property’s story. Your website should showcase who you are and what makes you different from other properties.
“Consumers have an obsession these days with floor plans,” Paulino continued to say. Your website needs to have high quality and informative floor plans. Whether they are 2D or 3D, interactive floorplans keep prospects interested and according to Paulino, he’s seen an increase in time spent on property websites that have quality floor plans.
He also made sure to emphasize that when you look at your tech stack and each individual tool, you can’t just look at one metric. Look at the prospect’s journey, what tools they interacted with and the data that was collected from them. While you need to look at multiple metrics, the most important data point Paulino wants multifamily communities to look at is the lead to lease conversion rate.
The chat between these two brilliant digital marketers is one to look back on for advice when you’re in a marketing rut and to make your properties stand out from the rest of the crowd.
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