Digital Marketing for Apartments: 6 Expert Tips

Marketing effectively for apartments looks quite different these days, thanks to fickle market conditions and new renter behaviors. As the multifamily landscape shifts under your feet, you’ve likely seen some past “best practices” in your marketing strategy fall flat, failing to produce the results they brought you in the past.

You’re in good company: No marketer can escape the need to reassess and revamp their digital marketing playbook to appeal to evolving renter expectations. Here are some digital marketing tips for apartments to help you do just that.

“We are all designing [experiences] for a new kind of customer,” note researchers. Now accustomed to the “Amazon experience,” so to speak, today’s consumers demand instant access, on-demand personalized support, and cohesive experiences across channels in just about every aspect of life — including their research for a new apartment.

These new baseline expectations set a new bar for the renter’s journey and, consequently, your approach to apartment digital marketing. In this resource, we’ll explore six essential apartment leasing tips for a high-performing digital marketing for apartments.

A young woman sitting on a couch discussing digital marketing for apartments.

Lengthier, Self-Led Renter Journeys Are Now The Norm

According to TrustRadius, nearly all consumers now favor self-led buying journeys. In 2022, just 1 in 4 surveyed consumers across all generations consulted a sales rep, generally saving those interactions for the tail end of their decision-making, after they’ve performed considerable research and narrowed their options.

That’s consistent with our own quarterly analysis of tens of thousands of property website sessions and prospect digital interactions. We’ve found most renters are beginning their property search early (typically 3+ months out, mostly online). Long before you know who they are, they’re weighing your apartment units against your competitors and making decisions about your properties.

If your digital marketing for apartments plan doesn’t include: (a) provide a superior experience from the very first website visit, and (b) capture their contact info and preferences early in their search, you might never find out who those “stealth shoppers” are, and never get a chance to nurture and win them over.

Prospects are searching longer. A lot of people are searching a year or six months in advance, but that person is still important and could up turning into a lease.”

Meagan Struve, Marketing Analyst, Mission Rock

1. Turn Digital First Impressions Into Repeat Visits

Lead Capture: The Power of Interactive Tools & Instant Gratification

Though most prospects aren’t ready to engage with a leasing agent as they begin their apartment search, they’re often willing to share personal info in exchange for valuable information or access.

With that in mind, first-time visitors to your apartment website shouldn’t be strangers for long. You can begin customizing interactions from the very first visit with interactive tools like quizzes, cost calculators, automated tour scheduling, video tours, and natural language chatbots that can answer questions instantly. Not only do those interactive experiences satisfy their craving for instant gratification and access, they also enable you to capture valuable prospect contacts.

From there, leads can automatically populate your CRM with prospect information and behavioral insights, which in turns enable you to nurture those leads with relevant, personalized messaging.

2. Implement Smarter Nurturing, Powered by Science

Lead Nurture: Personalization as an Engagement Accelerator

Having captured those website leads, it’s time to turn up engagement, build rapport, and “warm them up” for leasing agents. This is where automated, personalized nurture comes in.

It’s worth noting that one of the ways consumer expectations have shifted is a growing demand for white-glove, personalized support, when and where they want it. We’re inching closer to a new reality where hyper-personalized care — or “the care of one,” as McKinsey calls it — becomes the standard across all industries. In the age of Amazon, Apple and Netflix, the research firm found 71% of consumers expect personalized experiences and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. “If consumers don’t like the experience they received, it’s easier than ever for them to choose something different,” the report reads.

The stakes of getting personalized support right (or wrong) are multiplying, say researchers.

Organizations able to activate that capability at scale can put customer value on a new trajectory, driving double-digit revenue growth, superior retention, and richer, more nurturing long-term relationships.


To make that possible, your multifamily marketing automation solution should draw from all info prospects have shared during previous website sessions, plus tracked digital behaviors to adapt communications to individual preferences, past actions across channels, and where they are in their search journey.

By the time leasing agents speak with a prospect, that prospect should have been “warmed up” by automated nurture messages, and agents should have rich information on how to best engage them, such as preferred floor plans, budget, move-in timeline, and other considerations. Integration between your website, interactive tools, CRM and other connected platforms (e.g. internet listings, email, text) makes all of this possible and ensures your digital marketing for apartments is running on autopilot in the background.

Personalization is a present-day requirement. Our prospects have come to expect it. If you have anything less than a personalized experience, people become distrustful of your brand.

Christopher Bartlett, Director of Marketing, CA Ventures

3. Let Data Drive Your Marketing Efforts and Investments

The age of letting hunches, personal preferences or anecdotal evidence drive marketing decisions is long gone. In modern multifamily marketing, profitable decisions are data-driven decisions. How else would you be able to tell, with mathematical certainty, with of your marketing dollars are wasted, and which hold the most potential?

Whatever your technology stack looks like, it should enable the following:

  • Data should be clear, comprehensive and actionable, helping you discern what prospective renters want, factors impacting their decisions, and what elements are converting (or not) on your website, in real time.
  • Your data should also reveal lead sources that drive the most qualified leads at the lowest cost.
  • Data should capture trends and identify opportunities specific to your target audience. It should also information your SEO and content strategy.
  • Your data should enable you to track the ROI of all spend associated with digital marketing for apartments so no efforts or dollars are wasted.

4. Utilize Social Media to Connect and Build Relationships

In the realm of digital marketing, social media plays a pivotal role. Establishing a dedicated presence on your chosen platform is now a standard procedure for many properties. While Facebook generally proves to be the optimal choice for a digital marketing strategy, targeting a younger demographic might lead you towards Instagram, Twitter (X), or even TikTok.

Beyond advertising available units, it’s crucial to create a social media strategy for sharing diverse and engaging content with your audience. Consider incorporating the following types of information on your social media pages:

  • Highlights of upcoming local events or neighborhood news
  • Captivating photos from recent resident events or parties
  • Insights into your awesome onsite teams or residents
  • Appreciative shoutouts to local businesses in the community
Screen Shot 2023 11 29 at 1.33.29 PM | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

This multifaceted approach not only promotes your available units, but also cultivates a dynamic and interactive online presence.

5. Include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies in Your Digital Marketing for Apartments

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that invisible force that propels your apartment’s online visibility, ensuring it is prominently displayed with potential renters search for relevant keywords in their research online. SEO is a highly impactful strategy for generating website traffic to your apartment websites, but it’s often overlooked because it’s a longer term play. We encourage you not to bypass SEO and use it to your advantage to set yourself apart from competing properties. By strategically optimizing your property website and online content, you enhance its chance of ranking higher in search engine results, effectively attracting more traffic.

Integrating SEO into a digital marketing plan for apartments involves a combination of on-page and off-page tactics to enhance online visibility, improve user experience, and attract qualified leads. Below are a few key tactics to consider when getting started implementing SEO into your digital marketing strategy:

  • Keyword Research
    • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the terms potential renters are using when searching for apartments. Use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to discover relevant and high-traffic keywords related to your location, amenities and property types.
  • Optimized Website Content
    • Incorporate target keywords naturally into your website content, including headlines and body copy. Create high-quality, informative content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Consider having a blog that you regularly update with relevant topics related to apartment living, local events, and community news.
  • Local SEO Opportunities
    • Leverage local SEO strategies by optimizing your Google My Business listing. Ensure accurate business information, including your address, phone number, and business hours. Encourage positive reviews from satisfied residents, as these can significantly impact local search rankings.

After considering the above, there are a number of other aspects to consider adding SEO to your digital marketings efforts, including: mobile optimization, user experience and local schema markup. By combining all of these tactics and consistently refining your approach based on performance data, you can effectively integrate SEO into your digital marketing plan for apartments and position your properties for success in online search results.

6. List Your Property Everywhere

Ensure the visibility of your property by listing it on various platforms to continually promote available units to potential residents. Begin by sharing it on your own sites, like Facebook, Yelp and Google My Business. Expand your reach by also adding it to popular rental property listing sites like ApartmentSearch, ApartmentGuide,

When positing your listing online, craft compelling content and tailor it to the specific platform you’ve chosen. Alongside vibrant and high-quality photos, provide comprehensive details about your amenities to captivate the interest of prospective renters. Optimize your content to resonate effectively with the audience on each platform, maximizing the impact of your property’s online presence.

Automation Considerations

The capabilities we’ve covered so far hinge on technology automation, so let’s talk about some aspects of automation that may not be readily obvious, or that are important to keep in mind.

From renters’ perspective, automation enables instant gratification, support and answers — even when they’re surfing your property website at 2 a.m. If you’re making people wait or contact your leasing office for answers, you’re going to lose them to a competing website that can satisfy their desire for speed and anytime access.

From your team’s perspective, automation puts recurring tasks on autopilot so they spend less time on repetitive activities that are best handled by technology and focus instead on higher-impact activities like closing leases, servicing residents, networking with community partners, or refining strategies. Put another way, automation eases their workload and reduces the likelihood for burnout so they can do the parts of the job they enjoy most, and that are more likely to impact revenue and performance goals.

When it comes to selecting an automation solution, not all providers and approaches are created equal, of course. Even the naming of automation solutions varies widely: chatbots, leasing assistants, nurture technologies, lead management platforms, demand gen solutions, and so on.

How do you decide, then? Well, it depends. Clarifying what results and experiences you want the technology to deliver is a crucial starting point when you’re evaluating your options. That said, it helps to know what’s possible and what automation capabilities your fellow apartment marketers often choose or prioritize.

In our experience, popular automation uses in digital marketing for apartments include the following:

  • Ability to deliver instant answers to prospective renters in real time, 24/7.
  • Eliminating or supplementing lead generation forms, making it easier both for prospects and for your leasing team to capture prospect intel.
  • On-demand scheduling of property tours, so prospects don’t have to take extra steps like call the office or wait for a response while agents are unavailable.
  • Engaging cold leads and warming them up for leasing agents.
  • Delivering automated, personalized support to less qualified or lower-priority leads so your team can focus on high-intent prospects.
  • Delivering consistent follow-up and lead nurture so no message or prospect ever falls through the cracks while your team tends to other priorities.
  • Shortening the sales cycle, accelerating conversions.
  • Keeping your sales pipeline full and leads engaged over time to maintain high occupancy.
  • Answering phone calls and automating responses to FAQs.
  • Capturing prospect data and syncing it with your CRM.
  • Tracking lead source performance through the entire renter’s journey so you can pinpoint which investments to increase, maintain, decrease or ditch.
  • Extracting more value from connected technologies like your CRM, video/virtual tour content, and internet listings.

That’s a long list, yes. Though there are many moving parts to all this automation, integration and personalization, new advances in artificial intelligence help those systems work together in ways that are easy for all end users, from website visitors to your marketing team and leasing agents.

“Ease” is now a foundational ingredient for profitable experiences, and AI has emerged as a must-have component for consumers who increasingly demand digital-first, gimme-now, made-for-me experiences.

Vetting AI Technology Solutions

While the information we’ve covered this far might sound daunting, multifamily marketers tell us they’re shockingly easy to implement and manage, saving their teams many hours each month on their digital marketing for apartments.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, hire more tech-savvy staff, or sink time into areas where your team lacks expertise. Instead, multifamily has a wide spectrum of reputable technology partners who can do the heavy-lifting for you. Your technology partner can also illuminate pitfalls, opportunities, and best use cases you may not have known otherwise.

How do you choose?

As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Your chosen technology partner(s) should demonstrate three essential attributes:

  1. A strong record of helping other multifamily marketers solve the same challenges that are holding you back.
  2. Solid support beyond the sale, continuously offering guidance on how to improve your results.
  3. Offers a no-cost pilot period so you get a chance to test out the product and experience results before signing a contract.

The bullet list of automation capabilities shared above is a helpful checklist as you consider tech solutions. We also recommend you aim for the following:

  • One connected platform: If the goal is efficiency, the last thing you need is inconsistent data and disconnected systems. Your chosen technologies should integrate (e.g., lead nurture automation, PMS and CRM systems, online traffic sources and more) so your data is unified, complete, clean, easy to access without having to log into a bunch of separate dashboards.
  • Simple implementation: You want the learning curve to be as minimal as possible for your team. And with the speed of change in the market, you want a platform that’s easy to adapt to your needs as they chance, without having to hire specialized talent to activate or manage it.

Looking ahead, the reality is that the tools, tactics, and know-how that got you this far are aging, fast. Though your competitors might see these apartment leasing tips as roadblocks, they’re in fact opportunities to advance your apartment digital marketing, wow prospective renters, and bring them to your doorsteps.

Relevant Resources

2023 Multifamily Field Guide

Multifamily Marketing Webinars

7 Multifamily Marketers Share How They’re Driving Conversions

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