How can you transform your property websites so they stand out in a crowded search?
BRING PHOTOS TO LIFE
It’s safe to say that most multifamily websites look and feel the same. There’s gallery photos, a list of amenities, and ways to explore different floor plans. For some reason, many property websites have this cold, gray tone to them. Not all of them do, but there tends to not be any life in the color palette of these websites.
Multifamily properties don’t like the term “apartment complex”, they prefer the word community instead. The thing is, when your website is more generic and just photos of the property and staged units, it feels less like a community and more like…well a complex. Creating a community oriented website starts with the kinds of photos you have on there.
Yes, it’s important to have staged photos of units but that doesn’t mean it has to be super gray and boring. You can add pops of color to your staged photos with different kinds of rugs or throw pillows. It would even be interesting to have a person or a couple in some of the photos too. After all, it is going to be a place where people live. It can just be a person sitting on the couch and watching tv or working on a laptop.
You can even do short, stock-like videos, of someone cooking in one of the kitchens or making themselves a sandwich as part of your gallery that runs on the landing page. Adding some sort of life will go a long way in creating a lasting impression. You’ve got them on your website but you need them to stay long enough to capture insightful data and make more of an impact. This is where blogging comes in handy.
Blogs are great for spicing up your website but also for helping your SEO strategy. Blogs give you more areas to include keywords on your website, making it easier for search engines to find your website and rank it higher organically. Blogs also help create a community oriented website vs that dreaded “apartment complex” look most multifamily websites have.
Apartment related content is huge on all social platforms, with billions of posts and views. It’s no surprise since a lot of Gen Z enjoy reality entertainment, from tv shows to influencers who vlog. Your blogs can also include YouTube or TikTok videos that relate to the topic as well. Some content ideas include:
Moving tips, specific to your property
Move-in Day vlog
Renter friendly decor ideas
Small space storage ideas
How to request maintenance
Reviews of local businesses
Recap of resident and local events
There are a ton of topics you can blog about. Prospects will get a more intimate glimpse of what life is like at your community compared to all of the other websites that are generic and typical. They can begin to picture what it would be like to move in and settle into one of your units and a general idea of what it would be like to live in that neighborhood. You can also ask residents if they’d like to write a guest blog on your website. If you’re a student housing community, this is a great opportunity for residents who are looking to expand their writing portfolio for internships and jobs post graduation.
If you run out of ideas, don’t worry, you can easily look up #apartment on TikTok or YouTube and there are billions of videos that you can gather inspiration from.
ENGAGING AND INTERACTIVE
The last way your multifamily website can stand out is by having an engaging and interactive website that is also capturing valuable prospect data. Investing in a 24/7 natural language chatbot that can provide support round the clock to prospects is a must have with this new generation of renters.
Gen Z’s consumer buying habits are centered around instant gratification and automation. They expect this kind of service even for big financial commitments like buying a car or renting an apartment. Leasing AI is one way to help meet these buying needs. PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant combines a 24/7 natural language chatbot, personalized lead nurture and follow-up, and keeps your website engaging and interactive for prospects while gathering data your onsite team will need to get that signature.
The last couple of years have been all about adapting, evolving, and finding new solutions when it comes to how we market apartment communities. While the world has gone digital for quite some time, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit for remote lifestyles to become more normalized. Today’s generation of renters are different from any generation of renters before them and we have access to insightful data on their buying habits and what they want from a rental unit. Let’s dive into ideas that will strengthen your apartment marketing efforts from SEO to creative social media content.
LOCAL SEO MATTERS
You need your apartment community to show up on the first page of Google. In order to do this, you need to lock down a local SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of finding what keywords and phrases your target audience is using when they search on Google or other search engines. Knowing these keywords allows you to add them to the copy on your multifamily property websites so your sites get ranked higher up on search results. We all know how important it is to be on the first page of results. These websites get more visibility and let’s be honest, how many times have you gone to the second or third page on Google?
Once you’ve got your apartment SEO down, you need to have a property website that’s engaging and set up to collect insightful data on the prospect. There are a lot of fun marketing ideas for apartments that talk about social media, which is important and we will touch on, but another important and creative marketing idea is blogging.
How to put in maintenance requests and what to expect from them
Renter friendly storage ideas and DIYs
Recap of resident events
Local business reviews
There really is so much you can write about it. This is great not just for prospects but for residents as well. Creating a neighborhood/city guide will position your property website as the hub of information for what’s what in your local neighborhood. When renters sign a lease with your community, they are also committing to the neighborhood too. They want to know what life is like there and if it fits their needs — whether it’s vibrant nightlife or a quiet community, this impacts renters decisions too.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Apartment related content has over a billion views collectively on YouTube and TikTok. Getting your property in these tags will help you meet today’s renters where they are online. A lot of fun marketing ideas for apartments include Facebook contests, but let’s be honest, Gen Z don’t care for Facebook. A lot of them don’t even have an account.
While it’s important to keep a Facebook presence, your social media strategy needs to be focused on Instagram and TikTok. Luckily with Instagram you can easily share your posts on Facebook too so you don’t have to waste energy keeping your Facebook active.
When it comes to TikTok, a lot of the ideas of things you can blog about can easily be transformed into video content. Stay up to date on what the trending tags and sounds are as this is how you will be found.
Even if some of the trending hashtags don’t relate to what you are posting or relate to apartments in general, the way the TikTok algorithm works is based on adding those tags as well as #foryoupage and #fyp in order for your video to show up on renters’ feeds. Some ideas of posts, which can be done on both Instagram and TikTok include:
Pet of the month
Meet a member of the onsite team
Resident Event vlogs/recap posts
Local business review
Apartment marketing needs to be more creative in order to get the attention of Gen Z renters. They will look at your competitors before making a decision so you need to make sure you stand out and really show how your community can be their future home.
Today’s consumers have come to expect automation. They enjoy the convenience and instant gratification they can get from modern businesses. The ability to get answers 24/7 is important and now that consumers are familiar with interacting with technology, they don’t care if a robot is supplying them answers. When a robot can’t help anymore, today’s consumers expect to be connected to a real person who is up to date on what was already discussed with the bot, and can start giving them the answers they need right away.
The best chatbot software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to power its knowledge base and capabilities. AI comes in many forms today. We’ve all interacted with an AI chatbot when talking to customer service at some point, whether on a website or over the phone. Chatbots have also extended to SMS and email messaging capabilities as well. In multifamily, other leasing AI software, in addition to AI chatbots, have been making waves recently. This is mostly because chatbots are beginning to be incorporated into other leasing technologies.
There are many chatbots available that are geared towards multifamily for the purpose of talking to rental prospects, but they have their differences. Let’s get into one of the most defining differences that impacts the consumer experience; the two different processing technologies that power AI chatbots.
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING VS RULE BASED
An AI chatbot is either a natural language processing (NLP) chatbot or a rule-based one. NLP chatbots are the ones where you message it directly and it responds as if it was writing back to you. The prospect can type “How many 1 bedrooms are available in 30 days?” and the bot will reply back with the answer.
A rule-based chatbot gives the prospect prompts that they have to answer in order to get what they are looking for. Instead of getting straight to the point, this takes more time and the prospect has to go through questions they might not want to answer. The best example of an AI chatbot that gives a better idea of what a rule-based chatbot is would be when you call customer service for your phone, internet, etc and you get a robot menu that you have to go through before getting a person on the phone.
We all know those menu bots on the phone are very frustrating to deal with. It takes forever and sometimes you leave the “conversation” without the answers you need. When it comes to the best chatbots to talk to, a natural language processing chatbot is definitely the best. After all, the user is actually asking their question in natural language and not being forced to answer irrelevant prompts. When it comes to the best chatbot for website, it’s clear that a NLP chatbot is better because it’s quick and efficient. It gives prospects more time to go through your website instead of trying to get their questions answered through prompts.
THE WHOLE AI LEAD MANAGEMENT PACKAGE
The chatbot component is very important to help leasing teams save time over having to answer the same questions repeatedly. Today, chatbots come as either stand alone technologies or as part of more complete solutions that save time and improve conversion. Most of these technologies, whether a chatbot or a complete lead management platform, integrate with your customer relationship management system, or CRM.
There are pros and cons to the different approaches. When you invest in a bunch of single point solutions that come from different vendors, you have to integrate and manage all these technologies, and hope that they work well together. On the other hand, when you choose a more complete solution, you get the capabilities you need in an all-in-one, whole solution from one vendor. This leaves you with less to manage and less concerns about compatibility. In addition, some of these complete lead management solutions tout impressive results and can double your lead-to-tour conversion and decrease cost-per-lead by 80%.
PERQ’s AI Lead Management platform is a complete, all-in-one solution with a natural language processing chatbot that works on your website, in SMS and in email. The chatbot works in conjunction with interactive website experiences and personalized outreach to prospects to engage, nurture and convert every lead. PERQ’s lead management delivers higher website conversion, personalized lead nurture that delights prospects, and higher quality leads for onsite teams that convert to lease at a higher rate. With PERQ working on your multifamily property website, you can scale your engagement across more visitors than your team could handle and develop every lead to its potential. And, because PERQ tracks all its engagement with prospects, you get access to insightful lead data, including what was discussed between the AI chatbot and the prospect to help you build better face to face relationships..
Today’s multifamily rental prospects are more digitally savvy and accustomed to buying online than ever before. They crave information to learn on their own and explore the options before they decide to tour or speak with a person. And they are used to the kind of digital engagement they get from other consumer brands. In short, they expect a unified, consistent experience from the brands they choose to buy from — across all their favorite channels. And, if you’re not providing that to them – they’ll find it elsewhere.
To learn more about how PERQ can help your properties make the most of every lead, schedule a demo with one of our specialists.
Lease to lead conversion is one of the most important metrics for multifamily properties and also one of the toughest to see growth and improvement. A study done by MarketingSherpa found that 79% of leads don’t convert due to a poor lead management solution. Luckily, in the last few years, multifamily and property management in general has seen a lot of innovation in technology solutions that center around lead management.
FOLLOW-UP & LEASING AI
One of the biggest breakthroughs in multifamily tech is the rise of leasing AI. AI Leasing Assistants are able to effectively manage your pipeline and only hand off qualified leads that are ready to talk, tour or lease.
A huge component to increasing your lead-to-lease conversion numbers is having good follow-up and lead nurture. The problem is, with an increase in online leads, onsite teams are overloaded and are unable to spend the time they need to only work on qualified leads who are more likely and more ready for leases. This is where an AI Leasing Assistant goes to work.
PERQ’s lead generation and automaton platform is powered by AI. PERQ knows when to follow-up and when to reel it back in so as not to bombard the prospect’s inbox. With PERQ’s platform, multifamily properties have a complete solution that incorporates an AI Assistant with automated lead nurture. The follow-up can be personalized to fit your brand colors and your brand voice. While the messaging is still coming from a bot it’s more personalized to your property and more effective in meeting today’s consumer buying habits. It isn’t just a standard follow-up email template or apartment tour follow-up email template.
It uses the data that the leasing AI software has collected on the prospect during their time on your site and through any messaging with the chatbot. It knows exactly what the prospect is looking for and when. The follow-up is much more personalized to the actual prospect too. The best part is that the leasing specialist has access to all of this data and messaging between the AI Assistant chatbot and the prospect. With better automated follow-up and lead nurture leads to better conversations between the onsite team and the prospects.
To the right is a sample follow up email to prospective client through PERQ’s AI platform. You no longer have to Google “how to follow up on a prospect to lease an apartment” because the AI Assistant does it for you and does it efficiently. This isn’t just fiction, it’s backed by the increase in lead to lease conversion.
SUCCESS FOR UNIFIED RESIDENTIAL
The only way to truly know if leasing AI software improves your lead to lease conversion is to see the data and success. Unified Residential, like many multifamily companies, wants to improve their lead to lease conversion especially after the massive increase in online leads in recent years.
There are a lot of ways to approach multifamily marketing. From apartment advertising ideas, to outreach marketing ideas for apartments, to social media marketing, there’s a lot of content you can create to keep your multifamily property ahead of the competition and on top of rental prospects minds.
DESIGNED FOR ENGAGEMENT
One of the best ways to increase traffic apartment community websites is to have an engaging website. Multifamily websites eventually all blend together in a prospect’s mind. After all, there isn’t much variation besides branding. The latest innovations in multifamily tech have proven to create a strong apartment lease-up strategy for many communities. AI Leasing Assistants live on your site and engages with prospects while collecting better data and giving real time reporting. A website that is interactive keeps prospects on it longer. The longer they are there, the more probable they will talk, tour, and lease.
You can look up apartment advertising example and find some creative ways to advertise apartments for rent. Fun marketing ideas for apartments examples include multi family outreach marketing, like emails, that is more personalized and feels less robotic. You might be thinking, how can that be possible when a lot of email follow-up and lead nurture is and needs to be automated. PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant allows for customization in your follow-up by learning your brand voice. This keeps prospects top of mind no matter where they are in the pipeline.
Some marketing ideas for luxury apartments and marketing ideas for apartment lease-up in general touch on social media content. There’s a reason this pops up so much. Multifamily communities social media content is boring and doesn’t sell to prospects at all. It’s important to share property and unit photos but all of those can be found on your website. Your Instagram, Facebook, and if you are able to, TikTok should have content around the people and the neighborhood. You aren’t just selling a unit, you’re selling a home to someone. Home includes the people that work and live there as well as what the neighborhood is like.
Realtors do this a lot on their own pages. They review local businesses or spotlight them. You can also promote events going on in town. For example, a lot of communities have farmer’s markets on Saturday morning. This is a great way to promote the local community and show rental prospects that your multifamily property is a part of the neighborhood.
Doing a pet of the month post, or asking residents if they would be okay if their decorated units could be posted, or doing a get to know a member of the onsite team post are all different ways to give rental prospects a better idea of what it’s like living in your community.
COMBINING CONTENT WITH ENGAGEMENT
All of that content above can be repurposed into blog posts. Having a blog will give your website more visibility in searches and businesses with blogs have more monthly visitors and leads than those that don’t.
People love to read apartment content. When an event in town happens, or an event put on by the onsite team, take photos and videos. Write up a recap blog post about what happened. You can encourage residents to contribute as well. They can write a day in the life post.
You can also write blogs with tips for move-in day, how to get referrals, how to send in maintenance requests and other useful things that may be frequently asked. You can also come up with posts on decorating tips that are specific to your units, whether its small space storage ideas or how to set up the living room.
Having content that is more than just property photos, a blog, and tools on your website to make it more interactive and engaging are how we move forward in the multifamily industry. The new generation of renters loves to consume content and they expect automation and a digital presence. Consumer buying habits have changed and leaning in to leasing AI will keep your property up to speed and meet the demands of today’s renter.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to add AI to your multifamily property website, check out this post about Unified Residential. They have a decent portfolio of properties all over the US and leasing AI has given them some of the best results they’ve ever had. If you’re interested in learning more about our AI Leasing Assistant, talk to one of our specialists today.
It’s all anyone can talk about in multifamily these days. There are few different artificial intelligence (AI) solutions available in multifamily, but many promise things that are too good to be true. As we come into budget season, multifamily property management companies (PMCs) are likely starting to look at which technology solutions they want to invest in for the upcoming year to make their business more efficient. Let’s dive into how an AI Leasing Assistant can help and the criteria you should keep in mind when deciding what technology to invest in.
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING vs. RULE-BASED
Let’s define what an AI leasing assistant is. The term means different things to different people. This is important to understand because it means that not all AI leasing assistants do the same thing. In multifamily, the term AI leasing assistant has become synonymous with chatbot, but many AI assistants have other capabilities. The different chatbot technologies don’t always work the same, even though they will often refer to themselves as AI leasing assistants. Specifically, some multifamily technology companies have natural language processing chatbots while others have rule-based chatbots.
The big difference is that Natural Language Processing (NLP) chatbots are more conversational and can answer the prospect’s questions. NLP chatbots understand natural language and can determine the intent of the renter’s question and answer properly even when the question isn’t posed perfectly. Rule-based chatbots are workflow based and make the prospect follow prompts that hopefully answer their questions. Since these chatbots operate on rules, they are unable to address specific questions, so the process of following the workflow can be frustrating for the renter, especially if their question isn’t answered by the workflow.
While people are accustomed to talking to robots on sites, natural language processing chatbots have the ability to answer more questions and are less frustrating for prospects as they can have their questions answered 24/7 in a conversational way. They don’t have to wait for the leasing office to be open to get a response. This saves leasing specialists’ time as they won’t be stuck answering every question a prospect has and can focus on closing leases.
AUTOMATION AND LEAD MANAGEMENT
AI Leasing Assistants have begun to add capabilities for following up on leads. The capabilities vary greatly by technology. Many will simply send static messages a few times to try to get a prospect to tour.
But prospect’s shopping behavior has changed in recent years. Data shows that renters are beginning to look early at properties. They gather information and research many months in advance and then shortlist the properties they’re interested in. When it’s closer to their actual move-in date, they begin touring the properties that they are most interested in.
An AI Leasing Assistant helps these prospects with their research, especially one with a Natural Language Processing chatbot. But the leasing agents that are best serving today’s rental prospects, have gone beyond the capabilities of an AI Leasing Assistant to become a complete lead management platform that also helps with automating the leasing journey during the period that the renter is shopping. New technologies have NLP chatbots that can answer prospects’ questions 24/7 and some leasing AI is actually able to automate lead nurturing and take it off the onsite team’s plate entirely!
PERQ goes beyond a traditional AI Leasing Assistant by incorporating elements for engagement and nurturing. PERQ’s platform also sets up your property websites to be more engaging with interactive experiences. It’s NLP chatbot can converse with prospects on the website, SMS and email as part of PERQ’s complete AI Leasing Automation platform. PERQ’s complete multifamily lead management approach handles prospects that are browsing months ahead and engages them with the experiences and chatbots and its automated leasing platform with nurture messages until they become agent ready leads.
One-Time Conversation vs. Ongoing Nurture Journey
Using prospect data, PERQ automates emails and SMS messages as part of the lead nurture journey for the prospect on a cadence based on the time frame of moving the prospect has given. The AI decisioning engine behind PERQ knows when to pull back on sending messages as well so that prospects are given the right amount of attention without pestering their inboxes. It also makes sure to send the right message for that prospect in the right channel, so the prospect gets a personalized set of nurture outreach that is perfect for them.
AI lead management solutions like PERQ have great benefits for leasing specialists. A leasing AI automation platform can help them manage their pipeline and only hands off agent-ready leads when the rental prospect is ready to talk to a person. Because AI lead management solutions keep records on the AI assistant’s interactions with prospects, the leasing team will also have access to all of the data the AI Assistant has kept track of in the prospect’s guest card so they know exactly what the prospect is looking for and when.
A full AI lead automation platform that includes an AI Leasing Assistant with a best-in-class NLP chatbot makes your leasing team stronger by giving them the time to focus on qualified, agent ready leads, knowing that they aren’t letting leads slip through the cracks because the Assistant has it covered.