Reeling in a New Generation of Renters

Reeling in a New Generation of Renters

Generation Z, Zoomers, or just Gen Z aren’t just teenagers on TikTok. The oldest of Gen Z are in their early to mid 20’s. They are at the age where they are renting on their own — whether it’s in their college town or in the city they move to for their first jobs. What do we know about this generation and how can your multifamily community attract them to your property?

 

 

The Basics

Generation Z accounts for people born between 1996 – 2012. A main difference between Gen Z and Millennials, some of which are over 40 now, is that they grew up with the internet and the digital world. They are more tech savvy and have an easier time with learning new technologies because they have been since they were born.

 

With the oldest of this generation turning 25 this year, it’s important for multifamily property teams to reevaluate their amenities and offers to cater to the needs of this new generation of prospective renters.

 

 

Online Presence

 

They are the digital generation, that means your community needs to be up to date on all things digital and social. There’s no denying the power of social media as a digital marketing tool. Gen Z is knows social media better than any other generation, they literally grew up with it and spend most of their free time on it. This means that advertising and sponsoring posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc will be an effective marketing strategy to attract the young adults of today.

 

This means amping up your content and posting frequently. Having a bad or just not good social media presence is a major turn off for this generation and can impact their decision making. Some content ideas include:

  • Pet of the month
  • Recap of resident events
  • Get to know an onsite team member
  • Day in the life at your community

 

A social presence is a must for any business today and especially for apartment communities. There’s millions of apartment related posts/content on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. This generation loves moving vlogs, apartment tours, decor ideas, etc. Putting your property among these videos and posts will boost your online reputation and attract more young adult renters to your community.

 

 

The Property

 

Once you’ve gotten their interest online and get them to your website, the actual unit and amenities you offer are what’s really going to sell it to them. Being born into a world where everything is online, this generation of renters are looking for high-speed internet and will run if they see reviews citing internet issues at your property. Investing in the internet your community has ensures resident satisfaction and places your property ahead of the competition for prospects.

 

Spacious kitchens and modern appliances are important to Gen Z renters. If you have an older property, it might be time to renovate older units and bring them up to speed. A lot of young renters have pets or plan to adopt a pet whether it’s for emotional support or companionship. A pet-friendly community is very important to have. Ways to be more pet friendly include:

  • No Pet Rent
  • No Breed/Weight Restrictions
  • Events and Amenities centered around pets

 

If you are worried that the above suggestions are bad for the bottom line, Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has gone into detail about how these pet policies are actually great for creating more resident satisfaction and how he’s seen an increase in revenue because of them.

 

 

It’s time to start thinking about Gen Z as young adults who are looking to rent because the oldest of them are doing exactly that. They grew up in a world that is fast paced and more digital than ever. These tips will help you reel in these prospective renters and keep them satisfied.

The Reality of Package Handling

The Reality of Package Handling

Package handling for multifamily and apartment communities isn’t new yet all of the solutions that we have seem to cause unforeseen problems. In the second quarter of 2020, UPS delivered over 21 million packages. That’s only one quarter and one mail carrier.

With more people working/learning from home, online shopping and online deliveries have gone up. Is your package handling solution equipped to handle the growing number of deliveries? Many property managers came up with a few solutions to handle this last year. Let’s take a look at 5 solutions and see which ones worked and which ones need to be left behind.

 

 

Dedicated Employee

Some multifamily communities allotted part of their budget and schedule to have one full-time employee who handles the packages. Since space was limited last year and the number of people who could be in the office was typically only one or two, assigning one person to handle packages as their sole duty that day was seen as a possible solution.

How did it hold up? This allowed many on-site teams to keep up with the increased package volume but it didn’t solve the issue of space and where to put packages. This employee would also only work business hours or leasing office hours which means that package pick up is restricted to a 9 – 5. That makes it difficult for residents to pick up packages during the work week and if the office closes for the weekend or has limited Saturday hours, residents would have to plan when to go get their packages.

 

 

Doorstep Delivery

 

Instead of the on-site team handling packages, some communities decided to opt for doorstep delivery. This seems convenient and cuts out the on-site team as the middle man of package delivery. There are lots of mixed feelings about this. For starters, unless a resident designates a delivery time to ensure they are home, it leaves their packages out in the open. This leads to damages and possibly theft.

 

 

Designated Room

 

Another solution to solve the storage issue was creating a designated package room. Some properties have their package room only accessible through a key fob or code while others have it in the leasing office and only accessible to on-site teams.

This is a better solution in the sense that residents feel like their packages are kept in a private, locked room that only select people have access to. But a room isn’t infinite. The average number of packages in the summer of 2020 exceeded that of the 2019 holiday rush for multifamily communities which has lead to overflow and some packages being left outside of this room. This again opens up the possibility of damage and theft again.

 

 

 Package Lockers

 

The last solution that is currently in practice is installing package lockers. Similar to package rooms, package lockers are only accessible to select people. If a resident has a package stored in the locker only they can access it. This sounds like the best solution when it comes to resident satisfaction.

That isn’t the case though. Just like the package rooms, package lockers have limited space which means there will be overflow and the possibility of damage and theft is still there. A lot of multifamily communities are starting to look at third party package management solutions, like an Amazon Hub.

A third-party package management system takes the burden off of the on-site team and puts all the responsibility onto the third party. They notify residents of package deliveries through text or email and residents can go to their system and receive their packages.

While this takes the burden off of the on-site team, it still has the same problems as package lockers and rooms when it comes to overflow. Many on-site teams have also had a hard time with third-party package delivery drivers and the actual way they handle packages.

 

Package management and handling is tricky. Every solution has its pros but they also have a lot of cons. Finding what works best for your team and residents will be a lot of trial and error. One of the best things you can do is communicate with your residents about the cons of the solution you choose. If it’s restricted office hours, let them know that and maybe work to have some time after 5 that they could come pick up packages. If you have a locker or room solution, let residents know that with higher volumes, packages will be left outside of this room and the lockers.

The reality of package handling is that there is no one solution that has no negatives. The best way to work around it is to have clear communication with your residents. Keeping them in the loop will build trust and keep residents satisfied.

 

 

Outreach Marketing Ideas for Apartment Communities

Outreach Marketing Ideas for Apartment Communities

We talk a lot about apartment marketing on our blog. A lot of it includes aspects of digital marketing. While that is important and shouldn’t be neglected, there are some outreach marketing ideas to help make your multifamily and apartment community a permanent fixture in the local neighborhood.

 

Some ways you can do this include:

  • Partnering up with local businesses
  • Resident events
  • Working with volunteer organizations

 

Local Businesses

 

In another blog post we discussed how creating a neighborhood/city guide on your website was a great way of making your website the hub of information for what’s what in your community and increase your local online search visibility. Partnering up with local businesses is also a great way to do some outreach marketing to the locals in your community and build good relationships within the community.

 

You can work a deal with them where residents get a discount at their store or restaurant. On certain “National” holidays like “National Beer Day” or “National Cookie Day”, giving residents a taste of some of the local beer or offering cookies from the local bakery/coffee shop. You can even blog about these events and reviews of the businesses to add to your website to help prospective renters, especially out-of-town ones, visualize the neighborhood and what it is like in your community.

 

Resident Events

 

This is a mix of partnering up with local businesses and working on resident satisfaction. When you have a resident event, work with a local business to have a pop up at the event. They can set up a table of their products, clothes, or whatever else they sell during the event. It’s a great way to give them some exposure and give residents a unique experience.

 

Be sure to take photos/videos to promote the event on your social media and as a recap. This will help add variety to your feed and make your profile stand out from other multifamily communities.

 

Volunteer Organizations

 

Being a part of the community means helping keep it clean and giving back. Encourage your leasing team and residents to sign up for community clean ups or joining a community garden. It’s a great way to give back, meet others in the community, and build relationships with residents outside of the property.

Another way to give back is doing donation drives to local charities or during back to school season. Outreach marketing will help build trust between your property and the locals. Establishing yourselves as a fixture of the community will help your reputation both on and offline. With warmer weather on the way, there’s lots of opportunities for different forms of outreach.

 

RESOURCES:

 

CONNECT WITH US:

A Year of Virtual Leasing with Realync

A Year of Virtual Leasing with Realync

This time last year, almost down to the day, our world shifted into a reality we are still living in. Being socially distant, quarantining to keep others and ourselves safe, and not visiting people or businesses in person became normal. In that time, video started to consume everyone’s lives.

Matt Weirich, CEO and Co-Fouder of Realync, a DIY video touring platform, sat down with PERQ’s EVP of Marketing, Muhammad Yasin, to take a look back at how virtual touring quickly became a go-to solution for multifamily communities and how to keep it relevant after the pandemic.

 

Create Meaningful Content

 

A large part of how the Realync team was able to scale their video solution so quickly during a critical time was their approach on authenticity.

 

Matt says “The biggest thing about fostering the feeling of ‘home’ is keeping it authentic.” Keeping a real and honest tone to videos allowed leasing teams to adapt and take the pressure off of shooting a production quality video.

 

One of the biggest takeaways of the conversation was “humanize the experience.” Don’t be afraid to use the prospect’s name in the video or call out specific details about the unit you know the prospect is searching for. At the end of the day, the unit you are showing them is going to be their home. The video should make them feel as such.

 

Once you are comfortable shooting the videos, you should think about how to  take them to the next level. Following guidelines such as

  • Using a video stabilizer when possible
  • Stand and Pan! (Don’t walk and shoot at the same time)
  • Always try to shoot facing away from a window to allow natural light into the room
  • Being cohesive and showing a natural flow when editing
  • When in doubt, pre-recorded videos are your best friends

 

 

Video as a Multi-Channel Tool

 

Matt also mentioned how video can be used as a multi-channel tool instead of just for leasing teams.

Some examples of this is having your on-site team shoot and send a welcome video to new residents. Include where amenities are located, leasing office hours or simply an introduction of the team.

 

Maintenance teams can jump into video as well, providing examples of how to submit for maintenance requests or simple do’s and don’ts of when to call for maintenance help.

 

The most important thing to remember when using video as a multi-channel solution is know where and how to post your videos. If you are calling out a prospect’s name or any personal information in the video, that should be shared directly with that prospect and that prospect only. If your video is broad and shows off a unit, the amenities or members of the team, those can and should be shared anywhere prospects can view content (ex social media, YouTube, property website)

 

The Future of Video Tours

 

When asked about the future of video tours, Matt provided some great insight. He shared some words one of his Realync clients mentioned to him “It’s not up to me as a leasing agent to decide what the prospect does or does not want to see, it’s up to me to provide the opportunity.”

 

The biggest takeaway is many people have become accustomed to doing things virtually. Video is not going anywhere and it is up to multifamily teams to continue giving video tours as an option for their prospective renters.

Resources

 

Connect With Us

A New Way to Look at Pet Policies 

A New Way to Look at Pet Policies 

Did you know 1 in 3 renters nationally own a pet according to data collected through PERQ. Did you also know there’s been an increase in the need for emotional support animals? Millennials and Gen Z have higher rates of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, increasing the need of having an emotional support animal.

 

Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has taken a new look at outdated pet policies. In his chat with Muhammad Yasin last month, he went over the current standard for pet policies and what he’s done to make them more inclusive to renters with pets.

 

 

Breed and Weight Restrictions

 

Harkness first looked at breed and weight restrictions. The excuse many properties give is that their insurance won’t cover it. Harkness called their insurance company and found that this isn’t true at all. It’s nowhere in the insurance policy. But won’t bigger dogs cause more damage?

 

This isn’t true either. A study done by the Human Animal Bond Institute found that smaller dogs actually caused more property damage than bigger breads. They tend to chew on the baseboards, walls, and doors more frequently. With all this information, there’s no reason to have these restrictions and alienate a chunk of renters.

 

 

Pet Rent

 

Harkness also got rid of pet rent. Controversial but a great move. You might be thinking “he’s losing revenue for no reason”. Harkness actually made up any “lost” revenue from pet rent in lower turnover rates and higher resident retention. He found that 80% of residents with pets renewed their lease. This means higher satisfaction in current residents which will lead to better reviews and more referrals.

 

 

Events and Amenities

 

Having a pet friendly community includes creating amenities and events toward your furry residents. Harkness has his properties updating their dog parks mulch/landscaping more frequently and has created outdoor pet spaces if a property didn’t already have one.

 

He also has done events catered to the animals. On national animal related holidays, the team would leave out treats and bandanas for them. Some properties do a pet of the month feature on their socials and monthly newsletter.

 

Pet policies that are more inclusive are proven to generate revenue and increase resident retention. It’s time to take another look at your pet policies before your competitors do. You don’t want to alienate 30% of renters because of restrictions and monthly charges.

 

 

CONNECT WITH US:

 

 

3 Ways to Make Your Apartment Website Stand Out

3 Ways to Make Your Apartment Website Stand Out

You’ve heard it many times before because it’s true — your website is your biggest asset. Prospects start their next apartment search online and your website will most likely be the first impression they have of your community. When it comes to apartment marketing, the way your multifamily website design looks can turn your website into your own marketer. Here are 3 ideas to make your apartment website stand out from the crowd:

  • Create a Blog
  • Video Series
  • Neighborhood/City Guide

 

Blogging

 

Did you know businesses that have a blog see 67% more leads monthly than businesses that don’t? It’s true. Not only do they see more leads, but they also 55% more visitors than businesses without a blog. Most property management companies don’t have their own blog incorporated into their multifamily website design. This means that property management companies and multifamily websites are losing out on potential leads and increasing their online visibility.

 

Apartment blogs are great for other multifamily professionals as this is where people in this industry go for the newest trends, tips on how to increase their lead conversion numbers, and stay up to date on the newest technology. They’re also great for prospects and residents. It builds trust and makes your apartment seem like a reputable and credible source. Blogging needs to be incorporated into your multifamily digital marketing plan and strategy because it’s a simple and effective way to getting property management companies and multifamily websites ranked higher in organic searches.

 

When it comes to content for apartment marketing websites and for apartment website design in general, there is a lot that you can do and create. You can even ask residents to submit blog posts about what they think about their unit, a day in the life in your community, or anything that is relevant to apartment content. Testimonials are great, but a few blog posts written by residents are more authentic and will be a more candid conversation.

 

 

Video Series

 

Content that should also be included in your multifamily digital marketing plan are videos. You can create videos all about apartment decorating, moving tips, daily life in the community, reviewing local businesses, and more. These videos don’t need to have a lot of production. A steady hand on the camera with good lighting is really all you need. Adding video elements to your apartment website design will make your multifamily websites more engaging to prospects and they’ll spend more time on your site.

 

Apartment videos are popular on YouTube and TikTok. Having your apartment in that category will boost your online reputation and make you stand out to prospects. These videos are more authentic and relatable than just a regular old pre-recorded tour of an empty or staged unit. You can do a video on small space decorating ideas or best ways to arrange your furniture for the best flow, etc. Apartment related videos on these platforms have billions of views collectively. While it’s dense and saturated, prospects are constantly craving for more apartment content. Your multifamily websites and multifamily website design need to be visible in these categories.

 

 

Neighborhood/City Guide

 

Apartment marketing includes marketing the neighborhood/city your apartment is located in too. Make your multifamily websites the hub of information for what is happening in the local community. List the businesses nearby and include a map that shows your property and the businesses around. This will help boost your property management companies and multifamily websites in local online searches and improve your SEO rankings as well.

 

This can even be incorporated into blog pieces that are neighborhood specific that are found on this page. If there’s a local festival that happens once a year, write up a blog post about what it’s like to attend and be sure to include pictures. If your property is close to a lot of nightlife, write up a piece on the best bars near you. Multifamily digital marketing needs to be more than just highlighting the property and units, it needs to include all aspects of what living at your community looks like. Renting has an emotional aspect to it as well and that can get lost in a lot of multifamily website designs. Creating pages and content that focus on life in your community is a great way to market to and appeal to the emotional side of renting.

 

There’s a lot of creativity in how you can do the marketing for apartment communities and property management companies. Rethinking the content on your multifamily websites is a good place to start.

 

RESOURCES:

 

CONNECT WITH US: