What is life without search engines? Being able to instantly look up apartment communities with availability in the area you are looking to move has changed the way we market towards prospective renters. 68% of everything that happens online begins with a query in a search engine. Google alone has over 5 billion searches made every day.
There are two kinds of searches to know when you begin to think about how you want to target prospects through search engine marketing, organic searches and paid searches. Organic searches are when a prospect enters their search and naturally finds your website and clicks on it. Paid search is when a prospect clicks on a paid ad (Pay-per-Click or PPC) within the search results page. Paid searches mean that your business has paid the search engine to rank your website up in the top search results or it can mean that prospects clicked through one of your ads.
Ads vs SEO
Paid searches will take a lot less effort and creativity when it comes to getting your website ranked higher up on the search results page but it doesn’t guarantee clicks. While 75% of online consumers that PPC makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for, 53% of all website traffic is done through organic searches.
What can you do to rank higher up in organic searches so you don’t have to pay for an ad? This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes into play. SEO is critical for any digital marketing plan in today’s world. No one goes to the second page of search results so it’s important to get your multifamily website ranked higher up.
First identify the keywords or phrases that your prospects are looking up to find their next apartment. Once you’ve understood what your prospects are looking up, you can start to optimize your apartment website for SEO purposes. Add keyword-rich copy to your landing page and on other pages of your website, but be careful. Using too many keywords in your copy can in the end be penalized by search engines.
Best of Both Worlds
If you really want to get your apartment website in front of online prospects, combining SEO and PPC is your best bet. By using the keywords in your PPC ads on top of optimizing your website with SEO, you are guaranteed to see an increase in website traffic. An increase in website traffic means the possibility of more qualified leads that eventually will go to tour and sign a lease.
SEO and PPC can work together in harmony to get you the most out of your digital marketing efforts. Search engine marketing is a critical component of multifamily marketing as it will help your community engage with prospects and leads online and move them down the sales funnel. Whether you want to boost your website traffic through paid searches, organic searches or both, SEO and PPC offer a foolproof method to increase website traffic and your online presence.
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.
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.
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You can buy anything and everything online. From cars to houses, apartments to furniture, there isn’t much that can only be bought in-store. When a customer comes in to browse, they don’t expect you to know what they are looking for until you ask them but that’s not the case online.
David Kain, founder of Kain, a digital sales training company, has been in the business since the early days of the Internet. He sat down with PERQ’s Co-Founder, Andy Medley, and EVP of Marketing, Muhammid Yasin, on The Bridge Podcast to discuss how he has mastered the art of digital sales.
Know the Journey
One of the most important parts of any sales conversation is knowing where the customer is. That starts by meeting them where they are online. “Knowing the customer’s journey on your website and being able to relay the exact information they are searching for — through email, phone call or text message — is important in winning the initial conversation,” Kain explains.
Using artificial and business intelligence tools will help you understand all the touch points of your customer’s journeys and make for a more prepared and qualified conversation later. What Kain has seen over the years is that the more convenient the conversations online are for the customer, the more likely they will come to your physical store or meet in person. The customer sees it as great customer service and will have an overall positive experience shopping with you but when is it appropriate to reach out for an online lead?
The Open Window
Cold calling is a pretty old sales technique that overtime has become slightly more irritating to customers. Kain explains that the reason is customers aren’t expecting the call and it could come through while they’re with family or busy.
This is where AI and BI tools come in handy. There’s a five minute window of opportunity after the customer shows interest or requests details. “That’s primetime,” according to Kain. The product is fresh on their minds and in that small window sending an email or text, whatever the preference is, with the details of what they are looking for is key. Be sure to let them know when you’re able to call or talk in person. A quick response at the right time will start the process on the right foot.
The main takeaways are to know your customer’s journey and all the exact details that an AI or BI tool can provide and respond quickly with the data you have. Digital sales is an art and it takes practice. Working on these skills and having the tools to do them will help you have more winning conversations and more deals closed.
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PERQ interfaces with your Yardi® database to offer operational efficiencies and reporting for your property. Features include inserting and updating leads and appointments in the property’s CRM, updating unit availability in PERQ experiences, reporting for tours and leases.
Integrated to provide trade data in real time and present prospects with KBB Fair Market Value while shopping on dealer websites.
PERQ is an approved vendor in the CDK Partner Program and offers an optimized configuration for easy implementation with CDK Global websites.