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There are lots of areas of marketing that apartment and multifamily communities can utilize in their efforts. From email marketing, web design, implementing an SEO strategy, to brand marketing, there are lots of creative and innovative ideas to get your apartment community in front of an online prospect and make you stand out from your competitors.
All of these techniques and ideas are designed to give prospects as much information as they want so when they contact the leasing team, that first initial conversation is more qualified and will actually lead to a tour and hopefully a signed lease. Some of these ideas are ones that can be implemented with what you have but to get better and more personalized data collection and lead nurture automation, it does mean investing in new tools to add to your tech stack.
Let’s dive in and go through a few different marketing techniques for apartments. Each of these techniques are easy to implement but do require time to tweak to fit your specific demographics. All of these ideas will bring your multifamily marketing out of the days of carbon-copies and into the digital world of online prospecting.
Email Marketing for Apartments
Let’s go back to the basics: apartment email marketing. Email marketing has for the last ten years in a row generated the highest ROI for marketers. Email marketing alone generates $38 in ROI for every $1 spent.
Why do marketers love email marketing? For starters, email has a larger reach. You might be thinking doesn’t social media have a wider, and more global reach? Well, the data shows that there are 3x the amount of email accounts then there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined.
Unlike Facebook, where only about 2% of your following will see your post on their feed, 90% of email gets delivered to the intended inboxes. This is important to know when you are trying to get a message out to your audience. This audience typically has asked to be on your email list too. While there are the occasional people who ask to be taken off the email list, everyone on it at one point opted in to being there. This means that email audiences want to hear from you and engage with your business.
For apartment communities, email marketing is a great way to get in front of the prospect. With the data given above, it’s clear that this is a tried and true way of engaging with prospects who have shown interest on your website and provided their email address to be contacted for more information. Using technology that seamlessly integrates onto your website that collects data from the prospect’s journey is an efficient way to make that first follow-up email and initial conversation more qualified and convenient for them.
Automated email campaigns centered around lease renewal are a great way for the leasing team to talk to current residents about signing a renewal and staying with the property longer. These emails shouldn’t be stale in the sense of there’s no personalization and no connection felt from residents receiving them. These email campaigns should have a call to action in them and be engaging for residents to interact with. It’ll make the renewal process easier if they’re able to see an interactive view of the floorplans available, the deals that come with renewal or referral, etc.
The end goal of apartment marketing is a signed lease. That signed lease isn’t always going to be a prospect moving in. Current residents’ leases will expire and the sales cycle of getting them to re-sign begins. If you’re not actively working to keep units filled, you could end up in the situation where your occupancy level drops. Putting all of your efforts into new prospects and alienating current residents, who will eventually become a prospect all over again, will only make it harder for your leasing team.
Email campaigns geared towards resident retention can also help with lease renewals before residents are even at that stage. Engaging with residents during their time there will make them feel more connected to the property and see it as home. A monthly newsletter is one way apartment and multifamily communities can keep residents engaged through email.
The monthly newsletter can highlight resident events for the month, general building reminders, spotlight how a resident decorated their space, a pet of the month section, etc. Creating engaging content for your newsletter is one way to keep residents interested in your property while they are still there.
Email marketing works. It gets you in front of prospects and grabs their attention at a higher rate than other forms of media. Email marketing generates the highest ROI of any other form of marketing and it has every year for a decade. This should and will be a great investment of your team’s time and effort. Email campaigns need to be a permanent part of your marketing strategies.
Apartment Web Design
Your apartment website is your biggest asset. Apartment web design is important when it comes to making your website stand out from your competitors. SEO strategies can bring your website to the top page of a Google search.
Once online prospects are on your website, you don’t want to bore them. A lot of apartment websites are very similar in design and in the content they publish on there. Yes, you need all that information on your website but there are ways to make it stand out and be a place for residents and other multifamily professionals to get apartment content.
You want prospects to stay on your website for as long as possible and you want them to come back to it, recommend it to their friends, etc. Here are three different ideas for content that will make your apartment website stand out:
- Neighborhood/City Guides
Businesses with blogs have more online visibility in searches and see more online visitors than businesses that don’t have a blog. In fact, businesses with blogs see 67% more leads monthly and 55% more online visitors total than businesses who don’t blog. Having a blog on your website is clearly good for business and increasing your online traffic.
Once the prospects are on your apartment website, the blog is a great way of keeping them on there longer. It’ll create a lasting impression of your multifamily community on them and keep them entertained.
Apartment blog content is something that multifamily professionals, prospects, and residents alike want to read. Other industry professionals read related blogs to stay up to date on the latest trends and newest technology. Prospects and residents want to read them for decorating tips, moving info, and neighborhood news/events.
Blog posts don’t have to come from someone on the leasing team. They can be written by maintenance or residents. Maintenance can also write up a post about seasonal maintenance reminders and other news about bigger orders. Residents could submit posts about what it’s like to live in the community, how moving went for them, what they wished they knew, fun things they like to do in the neighborhood, etc. This is a lot more authentic than a regular old testimonial. It’s also a way for prospects to connect more with your community.
Outside of blog content, you can make a video series of tips for decorating the space, moving in/out, and of events. There are thousands of apartment videos on YouTube and it’s a popular category among Millennials and Gen Z. Having your apartment community visible on video platforms will boost your online presence and reputation. These videos don’t need to have a lot of production behind them. You can use staged units or even ask residents who might’ve already made a move-in vlog if you can repost the video.
Lastly, a neighborhood/city guide is relevant content to have on your apartment website that will help sell your community to online prospects. Your website should be the hub of what’s what in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Include an interactive map that shows nearby restaurants, bars, and experiences. Include reviews of local business to give online prospects who may not come in-person and choose a virtual tour a good picture of what the community is like.
Apartment web design also needs to include a way to take in online prospects information and organize that data for easy follow-up that is convenient for both prospect and leasing agent. Technology like PERQ integrates an interactive hub on your website that finds out what floor plans prospects are looking at, answers their frequently asked questions, and gives the leasing team information on when and how to contact them. This kind of technology also provides automated follow-up and lead nurture that is timed to fit the prospects move-in timeline.
Your website can and should work for you. It needs to be making that first initial conversation easier for both prospect and leasing agent while building your brand and expanding your digital footprint.
SEO for Apartments
Every digital marketing strategy for any business needs to include an SEO plan. SEO for apartments is critical for getting online search visibility, including local searches, and get ahead of competitors in search rankings. This would put your apartment website higher up on the search page and ideally above any of your competitors’ websites. Once online prospects can find your apartment website, it’ll begin their online journey with your property. Utilizing innovative tools to help analyze and convert your website traffic to tours and signed leases will help you have a better ROI.
There really is no point in having a website if it isn’t optimized for search. So what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of increasing the quality and the quantity of your apartment website traffic and is a non-paid form of having your website rank higher up on the search page. The top 1 – 3 links are almost always ads, but with SEO you can be the first non-ad result on the page.
SEO is all about understanding how online prospects are searching online. This includes what words and phrases they are using in their searches, what questions they are looking for answers for, and what kind of digital content they want to see. Providing the answers to these questions and the content that online prospects are looking for will allow you to place your apartment website in front of them. Your apartment will be the solution they are searching for.
Search engines know every piece of information online. Within one click, search engines scour the web for the millions, if not billions, of answers for the words/phrase in the search. How is it possible for search engines to do this? They do it through a process called crawling, indexing and then ranking the answers to the query on the search page.
So how can you get your apartment website ranked higher on searches? It starts with identifying the words/phrases your online prospects are using to search for apartments. These words/phrases are your keywords. These keywords give you a better understanding of the target demographic that you are trying to guide to your apartment website. It lets you know what they are searching for, how popular that search is, and what format they want that information in.
In order to optimize your apartment website to show up in those keyword searches, you need to use the identified keywords in the written copy of your website. Your homepage needs to have the primary keyword you are targeting written in the main headline and in at least 1 – 3% of the rest of the copy. The other keywords you are trying to target that are not your primary keyword need to be included on the other pages and sprinkled into the homepage.
SEO for apartments is important so your apartment’s website shows up in local searches for housing in your area. Ranking higher on the search page is crucial to staying relevant online and building your online brand and reputation. After all, no one wants to be on the second page of a search.
You can outsource your SEO efforts to marketing agencies that specifically handle SEO. These agencies know what they are doing and they’re entire job is centered around SEO. They will be able to help your community with online visibility and they have the knowledge to understand why some SEO efforts are failing while others are succeeding.
SEO helps with the overall content you need on your website to stay relevant. It makes you know what online prospects are looking for in terms of information. This means that you can become the definitive source of all the information an online prospect is searching for over your competitors. You can place your apartment community as the hub of information for the surrounding neighborhood, apartment decor hacks, etc through added content on your website.
SEO lets you understand the online prospects wants and gives you a way to fulfill them. It is essential for apartments and multifamily communities to have an SEO strategy as most searches begin online. We no longer live in a world of just referrals and brochures, businesses need to have an online presence and need to turn up on the first page of searches in order to get a substantial amount of quality web traffic.
Brand Marketing for Apartments
Consumers love good branding. If done right, brand marketing for apartments will make you stand out from your competitors and make your community more visible online. Branding is what drives recognition within consumers. This means that brand marketing will help you leave a good impression on prospects and even current residents.
There are two vital components of branding:
Consumers see the golden arches and they know which company it stands for. Consumers need to be able to recognize your design elements and recall your branding in order for it to be effect. The most successful branding allows for these businesses to be recognizable with minimal imagery and copy.
When a prospect is thinking about where they should live next, the hope is that they will think of your apartment community because they recognize and can recall your branding. This means you must deliver on whatever promises your branding gives. If you brand your apartment community as “luxurious”, prospects will be expecting luxury.
You need to understand what you want your apartment community’s brand image and identity to be as the first step in brand marketing. What is the aesthetic or personality of your property? Is it a downtown oasis or is it a family friendly community? What features or amenities does your apartment community have that make it unique and different from competitors?
Once you have the image you want for your apartment community figured out, you can then start creating your brand identity. Brand identity includes the apartment name, a tagline and the message you are trying to get across, color palette and fonts. Over 90% of consumers want to see a consistent brand identity across all platforms. Putting together all of the elements of brand identity into an easily accessible place for everyone on your team will help keep that consistency on your website, ads, and social media pages. This will make your apartment community easily recognizable to prospects and keep you at the top of their list.
Your color palette and fonts should make sense with the overall aesthetic of your property. For example, if you are trying to promote yourself as a downtown luxury apartment community, your colors should read luxurious and chic. Your fonts should be elegant and modern, not heavy and bulky.
A great tool when it comes to building your brand is Instagram. Instagram isn’t just a personal photo sharing app anymore. It’s where many small businesses take off and where many Millennials and Gen Z look up apartment communities.
A good place to get inspiration from is realtor pages on Instagram. Realtors post about the neighborhood in which they sell in, the houses they have on the market, and promote themselves in a professional way. We can take these concepts and apply them to an apartment community’s Instagram page.
Using the color palette and fonts that have been decided, you can create posts that highlight features or amenities that are unique to your community. Even the design of your Instagram highlight covers need to be aligned with the color palette of your brand identity. It’ll make your Instagram page look more put together. Instagram is a visual platform which means that your feed and overall profile page needs to be visually appealing. This is a great way for apartment communities to create and evolve their brand marketing to their prospects and residents.
Brand marketing is where you can be fun and creative in your marketing plan. It is what will make your apartment community stand out and be recognizable to online prospects. This affects how people see your apartment community and remember it.
Apartment Marketing Ideas
Marketing is the way you will get your apartment community out there online in front of prospects. Apartment marketing ideas range from the content on your website, your ads, and your social media feeds.
Millennial Homeownership Report shows that 18% of Millenials state that they will always be renting — a 6% increase from the year before. With Millennials being the generation of renters today, this study proves that there will be a significant number of people who plan on renting for a significant portion of time.
These renters will live in a lot of apartment communities in their time. Your community needs to stand out in these renters minds and in their searches. These renters have seen it all, so how can your community stand out from the crowd?
- Unique Tours
SEO, as we already talked about, is how to optimize your website for higher visibility and search rankings through the use of keywords and phrases. SEO is crucial in digital marketing for any business. If you aren’t putting efforts towards this, know that your competitors are and that’s why they’re ranking higher than you on the search page.
These keywords and phrases are what your target online prospects are typing into the search bar to to find an apartment community to live in. You can outsource this work to an SEO strategy company that can identify keywords and work towards optimizing your website to appear in searches. They can identify where to put keywords in your website content, pillar pages, and ad copy.
SEO is important but so is the content that is on your website and social media. From having a blog to increase your online visibility to including a neighborhood guide that is the hub of what’s what in the community your property is located in. You can even include blogs from residents that have more impact than a regular older testimonials.
There’s more personality in a blog and prospects can get to know your community through the eyes of a resident. Having a blog and other forms of creative content will help you with your SEO efforts and grab more web traffic to your website. It’ll also make you stand out from your competitors as most apartment community websites tend to follow the same format. A format that renters will have seen over and over again as they are not new to renting.
Another way to stand out is within the actual tour — both in-person and virtual. Self-guided tours are a popular option that has come about in the last year. To really cement the image of living life in your community, provide a fully stocked fridge and pantry full of drinks and snacks for prospects to eat while they are on the tour. Properties that have done this have found that prospects can easily picture living in the unit and are more impressed.
Virtual leasing has really taken off as well. Virtual tours came out as a necessity but are here to stay. Virtual tours can be pre-recorded or a live guided tour. You can have fun with the pre-recorded tours. Instead of showing an empty staged unit, you could ask a resident to film a tour of their apartment and talk about how they’ve utilized the spaces.
The point of these unique takes on tours is to make you stand out and leave a lasting impression on prospects. Creating more candid and casual conversations instead of following a script that these renters have already heard will put you ahead of your competitors.
Apartment marketing is more than just ads and SEO. All of those will help convert your online traffic into a tour but once you have that tour scheduled you need to be creative in marketing your community in person.
Apartment Content Marketing
You have a plan and a strategy set in place. You know what direction your property’s brand needs to be going. But what about the content? Apartment content marketing is an important piece to your multifamily marketing plan.
Content needs to have a strategy and a reason behind it. You can’t just post something onto your social media or write any copy on your website. You need to have a purpose for why something is being posted or is written a certain way. Apartment content marketing can encompass a lot — email marketing, text cadences, property videos and more!
We’ve already talked about email marketing earlier. It is the most cost effective marketing strategy and yields great results when done correctly. From prospecting to resident renewals, emails are the most direct way to get in contact with renters. What and how you write these emails, including the automated ones, are important. This is where content comes into play.
The look and voice of your emails needs to reflect your property’s brand. Including visual elements of floor plans that the prospect was looking at or using your brand colors throughout the email are some ways to make the content stand out. The same can be said for text cadences.
With products like PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant, follow-up through email and text can be handled through the AI, making it easier for the onsite team to manage their pipeline. PERQ’s AI Assistant allows you to brand your emails and texts with not just your colors, but with your own brand voice as well. This makes it seem a little less robotic and a little more human. These little details really add up and make you stand out in inboxes.
The content in your follow-up is important because it shows prospects that not only do you know what it is they are looking for and when, but that you are still working with them to help find them a home in your community. Property videos are a great asset to have in apartment content marketing. Angie Lombardi, VP of Marketing at The Franklin Johnston Group, said “video gets more interactions and engagement than a static photo and we have the metrics to show it!”
Creating videos of different floor plans and amenities of the property is great for out of town prospects but also for all online visitors. As Angie mentioned, they are more engaging and captivating. Video leaves a better lasting impression than static photos do. Property videos are great content to have that you can share on both your website and on social media.
How perq can help you with marketing techniques for apartments
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant can help you with marketing techniques for apartments. The AI Leasing Assistant automates the human driven leasing process while offering an interactive chatbot, lead conversion widgets, and follow-up assistance while seamlessly integrating on your property website and working with other add-ons.
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant improves operational efficiency and profitability by increasing lead conversion, saving leasing specialists hours of work, and collecting better data in the leasing process. This is done through combining a chatbot, lead conversion widgets, and automated follow-up to give properties a complete omni-channel solution that is easy to implement with no technology or process change.
What makes PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant different from other chatbot or follow-up choices is that our solution is an “all in one” platform. By combining single point solutions, the AI Leasing Assistant platform cohesively addresses all phases of the leasing journey to increase overall results and deliver a better renting experience that is much more cost effective to the community.
Don’t just take our word for it. One of our clients, Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has said, “we love PERQ because you help convert people. With your AI Bot, my favorite part is because we use CRM, when there’s a chat on the AI Bot, all that information goes into our CRM as a guest card. That gives us context of what was asked before we reengage with that prospect again.”
It works as solid marketing technique for apartments as it centralizes all the data it collected from the online prospects journey on your website. It uses that data for cleaner follow-up that is timed to be released with the given move-in timeline and allows for leasing teams to make better decisions around messaging, amenities, and marketing channels. PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant will give you a 2x – 4x increase on qualified leads and a 40% increase on tours and lead-to-tour conversion.
Want to request a demo or talk to someone about adding PERQ to your tech stack?