Redwood Residential maximizes the data they receive through marketing intelligence to make smarter marketing decisions for their multifamily properties. They see what’s converting in real time on their website, learn valuable consumer insights to gain a better understanding of what rental prospects are looking for, and see what marketing sources are driving the most valuable leads and leases.
Established in mid-2018 as a residential division of the parent company Redwood Capital Group, the business is no stranger to digital marketing and relies heavily on data as they oversee more than a dozen apartment communities in six states, with more plans for expansion.
By being able to measure, report and change up their marketing spend, Redwood drives more website leads, tours and leases when they need it most. “We benchmark everything,” says Mary Herrold, Senior Director of Marketing at Redwood.
At any time, they can also use their data insights to precisely control their pay per click (PPC) digital advertising budget. They have visibility to turn up their spend when they need to fill units or turn down spend when occupancy is full to prevent wasted marketing dollars.
The team at Redwood has also learned PPC digital advertising, mainly in the form of Google paid search ads, drives the most leads to their property websites. To covert that traffic into more leads, tours and lease, they implemented PERQ’s AI-driven software on each new property’s website and are seeing results.
“Industry average for website conversion is pretty low. It varies, but people tend to say 1.5 to 2.5% is great,” Herrold says. “Five percent was my goal at one point early on, but now it’s 30%. Our website isn’t just a lead source, it’s a conversion tool.”
With more than 80% of renters starting their apartment search online, looking at all times of day and night on various devices over the course of several months, Redwood Residential decided from the start to turn the property websites into online leasing consultants. They wanted a technology solution that not only generates leads, but actually converts those online leads into tours and leases.
“I absolutely consider our website a leasing consultant. Just like a live human leasing consultant, it needs to do its job. It needs to convert,” Herrold says. “I think of all our ad sources as leasing associates and we need for them to work together to convert leads.”
“PERQ as a standalone boosts website conversion. Then, when you combine it with PPC, it drives an even bigger increase in conversions.”
Mary Herrold, Senior Director of Marketing at Redwood
Redwood integrates AI-driven software with its multifamily property websites to help facilitate a prospect’s research while also capturing high-quality lead information on each consumer who engages with the interactive leasing tools and quizzes. Each time they return, whether from a digital ad on a Google search results page or another online lead source like Zillow, the websites remember the visitor and pick up where they left off.
Redwood’s data also ranks PERQ’s online tour scheduler as the top appointment source, generating 26.3% of tours scheduled. “Since the beginning of time, the gap for properties has always been between the lead and tour,” Herrold says. “The lead-to-tour cavern has always presented a challenge. PERQ basically increases the momentum.”
Redwood can also see exactly which combination of sources drove that lead to the website and which leads turned into an onsite tour appointment or a signed lease.
“PERQ as a standalone boosts website conversion,” Herrold says. “Then, when you combine it with PPC, it drives an even bigger increase in conversions. I wouldn’t do PPC without PERQ, because I’d be sending all of this traffic to the website and you only have a couple of chances to convert. PERQ gives me like nine more chances.”
With their marketing intelligence data, Redwood discovered that without the combination of PPC advertising and PERQ web conversion software, the properties would have converted between zero to 2% of new website visitors into leads if solely relying on the website’s guest card. During that time period, PERQ web conversion software contributed to 60% of web traffic-to-lead conversion with over half of the leads coming from PPC advertising.
“I see PPC and PERQ as a winning combination,” Herrold says. “PPC advertising increases website visits and affords our websites more opportunity to convert ‘lookers’ to leads. One can glean from the data that conversion is greatly enhanced when you use both.”
Google Analytics alone only delivers a slice of the online data Redwood Residential relies on to measure a lead source’s true ROI and performance. Because Google Analytics results don’t account for what happens after a prospect takes an initial inquiry action and only delivers anonymous leads sourced by generic channel groupings, Redwood Residential utilizes PERQ’s Marketing Intelligence reporting to bridge the information gap and show the continuum from lead generation to lease.
Watch: How Marketing Intelligence Data Helps Properties Make Smart Marketing Decisions
The ability to identify individual consumers and track them with multitouch attribution allows Redwood to match offline tours and leases back to online leads so they can measure the effectiveness of their PPC spend performance.
The group optimizes campaigns and adjusts keywords and ad groups for SEO rankings to help them convert more traffic to each of their property websites. It also helps them to eliminate duplicate or non-lead “noise” from the reporting. Herrold says this is valuable because they can identify non-productive sources and adjust the company’s digital marketing spend, while seeing the cost/return on their dollars spent.
Dividing lead sources into more specific listings in the reporting, such as Facebook organic leads versus lumping all “social” together, gives Redwood clearer insight into exactly how well each aspect of its digital marketing performs compared to the cost of that channel.
Channel performance is gauged in real time by traffic, engagement, conversion goals and weighted conversion values. The value of each channel gets determined by the quality of leads it delivers, the likelihood of conversion based on marketing intelligence data, and the cost to acquire those leads.
“The quality of leads that we get through PERQ are far superior to the ones that just come from the straight website,” Herrold says. “We’ve done the comparison. It’s never going on my chopping block now that I have it. It would be a foolish thing to undo.”