Maximizing Occupancy & Revenue: Strategic Insights for Multifamily Property Success
High occupancy rates are the golden ticket to success in multifamily real estate. But how do you attract and retain tenants consistently?
Today, we’re diving into some tactical tips that aim to boost occupancy and increase your net operating income (NOI). Through the lens of property management marketing and multifamily branding, let’s unlock the potential of your property.
1. Revamp Your Online Presence
Modern tenants scout online before they visit in person. And there is nothing worse than an unresponsive, slow-loading multifamily website. A modern web design can be the difference between one lead and dozens. Ensure your website is mobile-responsive, user-friendly, and provides comprehensive information, all while encapsulating your multifamily branding essence.
Our multifamily branding agency will deliver a high-quality, responsive website and handle all of your apartment marketing so you can focus on what matters most — nurturing your leads.
2. Dive Into Social Media
Social media is indispensable in property management marketing. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook can showcase your property’s amenities, community events, and testimonials.
We treat your social media as an extension of your website — by embracing your customers and serving them relevant content. Our team of social media experts will help adhere to your brand voice to concept, publish, and manage daily social media content — including Stories, Reels, and lead-generating ads.
3. Hire a Multifamily Branding Agency
Are there inconsistencies in your multifamily branding? Are you ranking low in search results — or even not at all? Are you losing leads to your competitors? Has your multifamily marketing plan fallen by the wayside? Don’t let sporadic multifamily marketing and branding stunt your NOI.
An expert multifamily branding agency can help refine your brand, ensuring it aligns with your target audience and stands out from competitors. An agency can also offer invaluable insights and solutions to uplift your brand. Our seasoned perspective ensures your brand resonates with your target audience, distinguishing you from competitors. Moreover, with our comprehensive market knowledge and analytical approach, we can identify and rectify hidden challenges or overlooked gaps that might be hindering your brand’s full potential and stunting your NOI.
4. Host Community Events
Community BBQs, game nights, or workshops can provide a sneak peek into the vibrant life prospective tenants can expect, driving occupancy. We recommend hosting small, more affordable events every month (at least) and larger events every quarter. You should also aim for one significant event that is open to the public each year, such as a large Battle of the Bands, a Christmas celebration, or some sort of charity event with raffle prizes. These large events are what will draw in the broader community and spread the word about your property.
5. Offer Referral Incentives
Encouraging your current residents to refer friends or family is a strategic move in resident acquisition. Many people trust recommendations from those they know, making this a reliable method to attract potential renters. Offering your current residents a discount on their next month’s rent or a bonus, such as a gift card to a popular local restaurant, can incentivize them to promote your property actively.
6. Professional Property Photos
High-quality photos can make a vast difference in online listings. Consider hiring a professional for both interiors and exteriors to put your best foot forward. A multifamily branding agency can also help you coordinate a professional photographer, so there is no sweat off your back!
7. Revise Your Marketing Materials
Update brochures, banners, and flyers. Ensure all marketing for property management showcases the latest amenities, resident testimonials, and any recent renovations. If you recently rebranded your online presence, you need this to reflect in your marketing materials as well.
A multifamily branding agency can help you pinpoint all the different collateral pieces that need to be updated and upscale those branding elements to match the look and feel of your new brand experience. From rack cards and brochures to banners and event flyers, we can help you generate apartment leads with premium collateral.
8. Enhance Security Measures
Safety is a top priority for many renters. Implement security cameras, keyless entries, or 24/7 security personnel to boost your property’s appeal. Once these are all updated, promote them with pop-ups on your website, add them to social media, and send out an e-blast newsletter to current and prospective residents on your email list. This can show current residents you are bettering the property for their benefit and show prospective renters that you prioritize a safe community.
9. Offer Flexible Lease Terms
While not ideal for all properties, consider short-term leases or rent-by-room options. Flexibility can attract a wider range of potential residents. The short-term rental industry has seen an unprecedented surge in growth in recent years. In fact, the short-term rental market is expected to reach a valuation of $8,907.1 million by 2026. If your property has the means and logistics in place to tap into this market, you could open the door to some lucrative NOI.
10. Pet-Friendly Policies
Did you know that 72% of renters have pets, yet problems finding and keeping rental housing is a leading reason dogs and cats wind up in shelters?
Despite pets being prevalent in two-thirds of American households and integral to communities, many renters face challenges in securing pet-accommodating residences. Shockingly, this housing dilemma leads to over half a million pets being surrendered to shelters annually, with many failing to find new homes. Even though the rental housing sector claims that about 78% of apartment complexes are pet-friendly, the reality often contrasts starkly. Many properties impose weight restrictions, such as no dogs over 25 lbs., or have breed limitations. Hence, the term “pet-friendly” doesn’t truly represent most of America’s pets.
With more people adopting pets, offering a true pet-friendly policy (with appropriate rules) can be a significant attraction. Massive bonus points for the properties that also offer up pet-friendly amenities like dog washing stations, pet parlors, dog parks, and more. (p.s. This is also another way you can justify a rent increase!)
11. Implement Tech Upgrades
In today’s digital age, properties need to adapt to the ever-evolving technological demands of residents. Smart home features, such as voice-activated lighting, automated thermostats, and advanced security systems, offer convenience and modern living standards that appeal to a wide audience. High-speed internet has transitioned from a luxury to a necessity, especially for remote workers, avid gamers, or streaming enthusiasts.
Additionally, app-based service requests provide residents with a seamless way to communicate their needs directly to property management without the hassle of calls or in-person visits. As most people, regardless of age, have become adept with technology, integrating these features can significantly enhance the living experience and make a property more attractive to potential renters.
12. Maintain Immaculate Common Areas
First impressions matter. A visitor’s initial encounter with a property often sets the tone for their entire experience. Lobbies, hallways, and other shared spaces are the first touchpoints for prospective residents. Regularly cleaning and updating these areas is crucial for aesthetics and communicating the property’s commitment to maintaining a high-quality living environment. A clean and modern space exudes professionalism and care, making it a no-brainer for properties aiming to attract and retain residents who value such attention to detail.
13. Engage in Local Collaborations
Forming partnerships with local businesses can be a game-changer for multifamily properties looking to enhance the resident experience. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Collaborate with the neighborhood café to offer exclusive morning coffee discounts for residents.
- Strike a deal with a nearby gym, providing discounted memberships or trial sessions.
- Local spas or wellness centers could provide tailored packages or special rates for residents.
- Coordinate with nearby bookstores, theatres, or artisanal shops to host monthly events or offer promotional deals to your residents.
By intertwining with the local business ecosystem, properties boost the appeal of community living and foster a deeper sense of belonging and convenience for their residents.
14. Actively Gather and Showcase Testimonials
Testimonials play a pivotal role in property management marketing. To encourage satisfied residents to share their experiences on platforms like Google, Yelp, or even Facebook, properties can implement a few thoughtful measures.
- Create a simple and straightforward process for leaving reviews, perhaps by sending out periodic reminders with direct links to the review platform.
- Consider hosting community events or appreciation days, and during these events, set up kiosks or dedicated spaces where residents can quickly drop a review.
- Offer small incentives, such as entries into a raffle or discounts on community amenities, to motivate residents to share their feedback.
- Regularly spotlight and thank residents for their positive reviews in community newsletters or on social media to foster a culture of appreciation and engagement.
By actively seeking out and celebrating testimonials, properties build trust with potential tenants and reinforce their commitment to current residents.
15. Offer Move-in Specials
Properties need to think creatively to catch the attention of potential tenants. Limited-time offers can be a game-changer in this regard. By providing reduced deposits, properties can appeal to those who might be budget-conscious or hesitant about the initial financial commitment. Offering a free month’s rent generates buzz and can provide the gentle nudge a prospective renter needs to choose your property over another.
Additionally, bundled utilities simplify the living experience, removing the hassle of multiple bills and presenting a more streamlined approach to monthly expenses. When combined, these incentives showcase the property’s commitment to providing value and position it as an accommodating and tenant-centric choice in a sea of options.
16. Efficient Response Systems
Prompt and clear communication is a cornerstone of building trust with potential renters. In an era where expectations for quick responses have been set by instant messaging and rapid customer service, any delay in addressing queries can reflect how the property operates.
When potential renters reach out with questions or concerns, they are not just seeking answers; they are gauging the responsiveness and reliability of the property management team. Addressing their queries promptly provides clarity and showcases a property’s commitment to tenant satisfaction.
Efficient communication can often be the determining factor in a renter’s decision-making process. It bridges the gap between initial interest and final commitment, ensuring that potential tenants feel valued and understood, ultimately making it more likely for them to choose your property over others.
17. Regular Market Analysis
Being attuned to the pulse of the local rental market is paramount for property managers and owners. With fluctuations in demand, economic shifts, and seasonal variations, rental prices can be highly dynamic. Staying updated on local market trends can help you gain insights into what competitors are charging, what amenities are in demand, and what potential renters prioritize in their housing search.
Proactively adjusting pricing in response to these multifamily trends doesn’t just ensure you remain competitive; it also demonstrates to potential residents that the property is in touch with the community’s needs and is adaptable. In a market where every edge counts, this level of responsiveness can be the difference between a fully occupied property and vacant units.
18. Enhance Green Spaces
An oasis of greenery in the form of well-maintained gardens, terraces, or even strategically placed indoor plants can significantly elevate the aesthetic and ambiance of a multifamily property. Beyond just their visual appeal, these green spaces and elements contribute to a sense of tranquility and well-being, offering residents a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
The presence of plants can also improve air quality, acting as natural air purifiers. By investing in landscaping and indoor plants, properties not only enhance their visual appeal but also create a healthier and more rejuvenating environment. Such thoughtful touches signal a property’s commitment to providing residents with a holistic living experience, making it more enticing for potential renters who are seeking more than just four walls and a roof.
19. Invest in Upscale Amenities
Multifamily properties that offer more than just living spaces are capturing the attention of discerning renters. Common areas such as state-of-the-art gyms equipped with the latest fitness technology, co-working spaces catering to the growing number of remote professionals, or entertainment zones complete with gaming areas and mini-theaters can truly set your property apart. These unique amenities serve as value-added propositions, providing residents with convenience, luxury, and diverse lifestyle options right at their doorstep.
These premium features offer a richer living experience, which warrants a justified increase in rent. When residents perceive tangible value in these amenities, they’re more likely to understand and accept a slightly higher rental cost. Ultimately, by elevating the standard of living through these specialized common areas, properties can significantly enhance their NOI while fostering a greater resident experience.
20. Continuous Staff Training
Investing in thorough training for your staff, especially in customer service excellence, is not just a box to tick; it’s a strategic move for the longevity and success of your multifamily property. Cutting corners in staff training can lead to missed opportunities, miscommunications, and unsatisfactory resident experiences, all of which can negatively impact your property’s reputation and occupancy rates.
When residents see familiar faces in the management team and service personnel, it fosters a sense of community and trust. Familiarity can often translate to increased comfort and security, essential components in a resident’s decision to renew their lease.
On the flip side, frequent staff turnover can incur additional costs in hiring and training, and it may disrupt the seamless operation and rapport built with residents. In essence, by prioritizing staff training and retention, properties ensure smooth operations and a positive environment and enhance their bottom line by minimizing unnecessary expenses and optimizing renter satisfaction.
Boosting Demand with Comprehensive Multifamily Branding
Increasing occupancy and NOI is a blend of strategic multifamily branding, robust property management marketing, and understanding tenant needs. Armed with these tips and the expertise of a multifamily branding agency, property managers can navigate the challenges of the rental market, ensuring their properties remain in high demand. Remember, in the world of real estate, multifamily branding isn’t just a name — it’s an experience.
Top Strategies for Effective Multifamily Lead Nurturing
Multifamily marketing professionals face unique issues with lead nurturing through the marketing funnel.
For the multifamily market, issues arise in the form of heavy competition from neighboring apartments and issues with customer retention. For developers, problems arise with a lack of awareness limiting incoming leads. For vendors, issues arise with qualifying incoming leads to ensure they are legitimate and within the proper target audience.
While many methods help generate leads, the best way to ensure continued success is to nurture your leads. Through lead nurturing, continued strategic contact can help ensure that the leads you generate are properly qualified and remain interested in your offerings.
While lead nurturing is critical to the continued marketing success of any multifamily business, most companies fall woefully behind. According to HubSpot, 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing. This is a huge missed opportunity as organizations that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more multifamily leads at 33% lower cost.
And Annuitus Group suggests that not only do companies who use automation to nurture their leads generate 451% more qualified leads but also that those leads are 47% more likely to make a larger purchase than their non-nurtured counterparts.
Knowing these numbers about lead nurturing, how many multifamily marketers miss it?
Valuing a Digital Multifamily Marketing Strategy
The commercial real estate industry is known for being behind the curve in adapting to the latest trends — especially technology. The same is true for marketing techniques.
Groups with no expertise in the industry have no idea how to use digital marketing to meet their marketing needs strategically. Partner this with a hesitancy to leave behind expensive “tried-and-true” outbound methods, and it becomes clear that commercial real estate marketers are unsure how to invest in digital multifamily marketing.
The key to robust digital marketing is to attribute value to that strategy. Many commercial real estate marketers fail to do so, hurting them in the long run.
The Advantages of Lead Nurturing
- Sustain Engagement: Keep your prospects engaged and maintain top-of-mind awareness for when they are ready to purchase.
- Guide Toward Sales: Nurture your contacts by seamlessly integrating sales messages within informative and valuable thought leadership content.
- Enhance Conversion Rates: Boost the likelihood of converting leads into sales by adopting a nurturing approach that adds value, ultimately maximizing the return on investment (ROI) for acquiring contact data.
- Prevent Lead Fatigue: Reduce the risk of overwhelming leads with aggressive sales pitches immediately after they download one of your resources. People generally prefer an educational and nurturing approach, which contributes to the success of building relationships and driving conversions.
Finding a Balance
Digital marketing relies on the perfect balance of digital strategies, working together in an integrated manner to ensure consistent messaging and continued contact with an apartment lead or prospect. This means unique content — such as blogging, offers, social media content, email marketing, etc. — should all be tied around a central persona, strategy, and buyer’s journey.
Adding these aspects together and ensuring you have the team and resources to run it all adds up. However, compared to the average standard spend on outbound strategies, the cost is typically much less. In fact, inbound multifamily marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet each dollar spent on inbound marketing generates 3x as many apartment leads.
7 Types of Email Marketing Campaigns for Multifamily Lead Nurturing
Typically, when speaking of apartment lead nurturing, people instantly think of email drip campaigns. These are email campaigns automated to go out to a list over a specific period. While this can be a lead nurturing method, it is not the only method.
The fact of the matter is that many types of lead nurturing emails may be used depending on your needs. And each has a benefit or strength.
1. Welcome and Engagement Nurturing
When bringing new leads aboard, it’s wise to nurture them while they are still hot — actively interested. Capitalizing on the novelty of your introduction to them can be a great foot in the door to a positive impression. However, it’s also important not to scare away your multifamily leads by coming off as overeager. This is where a “welcome” campaign comes into place.
The benefit is two-fold: While engaging your lead with your brand, you can use this campaign to gather information to segment the lead further. Step one of a welcome campaign is always the same — you take the time to welcome your new multifamily lead and let them know what to expect. You can also offer a free resource.
Going an extra step, you can offer these leads a way to get customized information depending on their interests. This may take much work on your backend through list segmentation and automation software. But if the framework is there, it’s work that pays off. Offer a weekly newsletter on multifamily trends, interesting statistics, or relevant industry articles.
Engagement campaigns are similar and can often stem as an off-shoot of your welcome campaign. Want feedback on a certain aspect of your business? Engage a list focused on that aspect of a focus group or survey session, and motivate them to participate. In this form of nurturing, your imagination is the limit.
2. Qualification Campaigns
A qualification campaign allows you to hone in on a lead in a critical interest time. Let’s say a multifamily lead downloads a few offers in quick succession. Adding this lead to a qualification campaign lets you speak to them clearly as they try to discover the answer to their problem. Sending more related offers with opportunities to touch base with your team brings you closer to making the lead sales qualified.
3. Traditional Nurturing Campaigns
A traditional nurturing campaign takes your lead’s interest and continues to offer relevant educational material. These types of campaigns most often accompany your overall marketing strategy. This campaign includes keeping in touch with a multifamily lead, giving them small opportunities to convert.
4. Event Campaigns
Whether hosting an event online or in person, an event campaign can help pique interest and attendance. Even if you’re trying to boost attendance to your booth at an industry conference, event campaigns are a great way to spread awareness, boost interest (usually by a unique offer), offer reminders and other great tips leading to your event, and provide an excuse for strong feedback and thank you emails that can further promote conversion.
5. Promotional Campaigns
If you have some multifamily leads you feel are on the edge of closing, a promotional campaign might be a nudge in the right direction. A promotional campaign should be very controlled, not to cheapen the perceived value of your product. Discounts, free bonuses, or even referral bonuses are good ways to augment a promotional campaign.
6. Re-engagement Campaign
Do you have a lot of leads that have gone cold? Purging these leads from your lists can seem like a waste. Instead of letting these multifamily leads go, why not implement a re-engagement campaign? This includes reminding them of your value or offering them something special to engage.
7. Upsell Campaign
Don’t let the title concern you. While upsell campaigns have a negative connotation, they don’t always have to mean or reflect upselling. Rather, an upsell campaign promotes your offerings to existing customers. In some cases, this means offering additional services.
Return Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Knowing that multifamily lead nurturing is far more complex than most marketers realize, the question becomes, which form offers the best return? The answer is not so simple. While each of these nurture campaigns requires a certain amount of upfront investment, the payoff depends entirely on your business.
The question comes down to which problem you are facing the most. If your issue is moving leads down the pipeline, a qualification campaign will most benefit your needs. If you are working on reviving multifamily leads, engagement, and re-engagement campaigns should be your go-to.
Choosing a nurture campaign tied to your strategy is more important than taking a set-it-and-forget-it route. This is where you can make the most significant impact on your business. Only then will you see sustainable success in nurturing your multifamily leads.
What to Expect When Starting an Inbound Marketing Campaign
Today’s marketing has evolved from interruptive tactics to a customer-oriented approach called inbound marketing. This route empowers your customer to be equipped with all the information they may need to decide without feeling like they’re being “sold to” from the first interaction.
In commercial real estate, everything from a property management company to multifamily vendors serving the space needs a marketing tactic that relies on warm leads.
When evaluating whether an inbound marketing campaign is right for your multifamily business, there are a few things to understand first.
Time Is an Investment
The hardest thing for clients to wrap their heads around is the time it takes to get an inbound marketing campaign in full swing. While everyone is looking for instant gratification for their multifamily marketing ROI, we remind our clients that time is an investment. We set expectations early on that inbound marketing isn’t a quick fix, but rather a long-term solution.
Let’s say a multifamily property wants to create buzz during lease-up for three months. A full-funnel inbound approach may not be ideal for this short-term need. A social media marketing strategy may better fit this quick fix. However, if they want to maintain a marketing strategy that identifies prospective residents, targets content, and creates a steady lead nurturing system — inbound marketing may be the ticket.
Inbound marketing is built on steps that can’t be skipped or left out of your strategy. A ramp-up period for inbound may take the three months that the multifamily business above wanted for simply heavy promotional marketing.
Rather than short bursts of promotion, with inbound, you have to build a solid foundation first. If not, your entire inbound marketing campaign process will be working backward to fix the broken links.
However, when you give inbound the time it needs to get the working pieces in place, you start seeing your work pay off.
Consider the following stats from HubSpot, a leading marketing automation software company:
- 92% of companies using inbound marketing increased their traffic, and 40% increased their traffic by at least 75%.
- 85% of companies using inbound marketing increase traffic within 7 months
- Blogging champions as the #1 method for increasing traffic, with SEO in second place
- “Other” inbound marketing techniques (i.e., landing pages and calls-to-action) are ranked the #1 method for increasing leads
- 42.2% of companies using inbound marketing increase their lead-to-sale conversion rate
- 49.7% of companies using inbound marketing increase sales within 7 months
Results Come From Strategy
Like many things in life, you can expect to get out of an inbound marketing campaign what you put into it. When you’re looking to see the magic of inbound marketing in action, you can’t sit back and let it go on its own. It takes constant review, regular planning, and lead nurturing. This could be in the form of ready-to-rent leads showing interest in your property solely by viewing your content and social media.
By not taking shortcuts, you’ll be pleased with the results your campaign brings in. But what takes so much time?
The first step is always research. The cornerstone of any inbound marketing campaign is developing buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional characters representing your ideal resident or customer and going beyond just demographics. Your personas will help target all content and strategy surrounding the campaign. These can take a few months to develop, as it’s important to interview residents to get insight into your target audience.
Much of the ramp-up period consists of research. Once you know your target, you need to know how you rank for industry-specific jargon your audience uses. For instance, if your business is a real estate investment company, maybe you rank high in search terms for “multifamily investing” or “real estate investment firm.” By using a keyword analysis tool like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz, you can identify how you’re ranking for very specific keywords. You can then optimize the content you create to feature those keywords.
Multifamily Website Design
Before setting up a buyer’s journey for your target resident to navigate online, your website has to be optimized for user experience (UX). A poor website can halt the effectiveness of a well-planned inbound marketing campaign. For instance, if people can’t find the leasing page or have difficulty finding floorplans, they’ll likely lose interest. Do not make your audience hunt for what they are looking for.
You can plan the content once you’ve researched and optimized your website. You’ll want to create different content types for each stage in the buyer’s journey — awareness, consideration, and decision. Instead of publishing blogs on the fly or posting to social media randomly, plan out your content strategy. This will give your inbound marketing campaign direction, purpose, and organization.
HubSpot is an amazingly effective tool for marketing automation. It helps build and automate workflows, email campaigns, social media scheduling, analytics, and more. Setting up your workflows, email templates, and building out social media accounts in HubSpot helps create a solid foundation.
Goals and Analytics
Without this step, there’s no way to assess the performance of the strategy you’ve put in place. Set SMART goals upfront — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Then, establish regular checkpoints to see how your strategy is doing. Tools like HubSpot, Google Analytics, and Klipfolio are great tools for measuring the success of your inbound marketing campaign.
Now that you have the groundwork set, here comes the hard part — staying fully committed and on track with the goals you set. To be successful at inbound marketing, you must have faith. Those willing to let the process work through its entirety will see higher levels of success than those who change direction because they don’t see immediate results. Pausing your efforts or adding multiple layers to your pre-constructed plan will only lessen your impact. Be patient — we can’t stress this enough.
Become the Multifamily Marketing Expert
Inbound is a long, winding road of strategy, testing, retesting, and careful planning. While it may seem overwhelming at first, HubSpot supplies ample resources to teach new customers how to become inbound experts and more!
However, when it comes to being an expert and leader in inbound marketing for your industry, there are options. You can take it on yourself — which will likely be an overwhelming feat. You can hire an in-house inbound marketing expert, leaving the implementation and execution to them. If this isn’t your business’ specialty, you don’t have to go at it alone. You can also leave the heavy lifting to an inbound marketing agency.
As experts in inbound, an outsourced multifamily marketing agency (like Criterion.B) can put a business’ mind to ease by handling the entire process.
Taking Your Real Estate Leads From Multifamily Marketing to Sales
As inbound marketing begins to gain traction, more and more businesses are looking to adopt it into their strategy — either through a multifamily marketing agency or internally. Inbound promises to revolutionize multifamily marketing results for many of these businesses. But without deep research into the process, they find themselves frustrated at slow results or even lack of results.
For commercial real estate companies, in particular, doing inbound internally has quite the learning curve. With the business combining only certain inbound methods, they wonder why their methods are not working. And they may not even understand the need for a full inbound funnel.
However, when done properly, inbound marketing can be incredibly effective. Inbound can also be a great resource for an industry like real estate that’s stagnant in its marketing efforts.
The inbound funnel is undoubtedly the most important factor in inbound success. Every action in your marketing endeavors should point to a step in that funnel and how it relates to your buyer’s journey. But to understand how that funnel works, it’s essential to understand the role of lead qualification in the success of an inbound approach.
What Is Lead Qualification?
When working through an inbound funnel, the goal is to qualify leads. But what does it mean to qualify a lead?
Lead qualification involves gathering information about a prospect to determine where they fit in the buyer’s journey. This helps move a lead to a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and an MQL to a sales qualified lead (SQL).
The level a lead is at in the marketing funnel before reaching the customer is known as the lead’s lifecycle stage and are as follows:
However, the definition of these lifecycle stages concerning your funnel varies depending on your business. For example, let’s say you worked at a property management company trying to attract residents to one of your properties. In that case, your lifecycle might be defined like this:
- Subscriber — A subscriber to your blog or newsletter but who has not engaged in downloading an offer or engaged for rental information.
- Lead — Someone who has downloaded a neighborhood guide or other entry-level information on your site but has not tried to engage about renting.
- Marketing Qualified Lead — Someone who has asked for information regarding rentals, be it availability or price range but has not engaged with a sale representative yet.
- Sales Qualified Lead — Someone who has asked for information on renting and fits/can afford the space; the person has also talked to a sales representative.
- Opportunity — Someone who has shown interest in renting and has engaged or seen the property.
For each company, the criteria may differ. If rents are a certain amount, or your complex is targeted toward seniors, a marketing qualified lead or SQL might need to match certain criteria before going forward. The next issue becomes — how do you get that information?
The Steps in Qualifying Your Real Estate Leads
Information is the end-all-be-all of multifamily marketing success. But gathering information is an increasing challenge. Digital concerns about privacy and security make the availability of information online difficult. Since information is needed to qualify leads for your sales team, it creates a need to be inventive in gathering information from leads. The best way? By creating an exchange.
The exchange of information for something else is key to the foundation of inbound marketing. Inbound marketers create offers that relate to each stage of the buyer’s journey. For example, they can offer an infographic on the neighborhoods in your city and make the offer downloadable in exchange for contact information.
In this trade-off, consumers get valuable information, and their information is the price associated. The questions in the form of an offer, in turn, help the company qualify the lead. This helps expedite the sales cycle, rather than having sales pursue leads that are not ready to be contacted.
Again, determining the necessary information to qualify your real estate leads depends on your business, service, or product. If you’re a company offering residential services to multifamily residents, you may not want to ask revenue questions like you would when partnering with an apartment complex. Instead, you may want to know how often they need your service. It’s essential to ensure the information is relevant to the potential lead and that you’re asking the questions. For instance, not asking sales-focused questions when a lead is looking at an awareness offer.
This helps keep leads engaged while also gathering information for business needs. Knowing the answers to these questions not only qualifies your leads but gives you a better understanding of your potential customer.
Where Lead Qualification Goes Wrong
Now that you understand the importance of offers and forms, the next step is implementing this strategy. How do you accomplish this? It may seem like a straightforward process, but many intricacies are involved.
Asking for the Wrong Information
If you’re offering a prospect an awareness offer, then you’re not going to ask for detailed information about their background, job title, etc. That’s because the value of that information is held in higher regard to the prospect than the offer.
The lead’s lifecycle stage doesn’t match what you’re asking at the time. By the same token, you wouldn’t want to offer a demo of your resident management software to a property management company by only asking for name and email; otherwise, you might get a lot of parties not ready to buy or not within the scope of what your product supports. These issues can cause a loss of real estate leads or even an inaccurate funnel.
Failing to Follow-Up
Another issue companies face in lead qualification is failing to follow up on their real estate leads. Getting a lead that downloads your offer is great, but you can’t be sure of their intent without further engaging the lead. This can be anything from sending a series of nurture emails to following up with another offer or adding them to a curated newsletter. This nurturing lets you measure their continued engagement and gives you more opportunities to further qualify the lead with other content.
According to Invesp, 80% of new leads never convert into sales. With lead nurturing, however, companies can see up to 50% more sales-ready leads at a lower cost. Why? Because lead nurturing can be automated, it’s simple, and it helps to measure a lead’s readiness.
The most important thing about lead nurturing is to keep doing it. On average, it can take up to 8 marketing touches from a top-of-the-funnel lead to a closed-won customer. For many of your real estate leads, it may take even more. That means continuing with your nurture and follow-up with leads to ensure sales has a strong close.
Understanding Intent vs. Interest
Perhaps one of the biggest hangups in qualifying a lead is failing to understand a lead’s intent versus interest. A person in the neighborhood where you just built your swanky new apartment complex might have interest in your content because of location. But if they don’t fit the budget and aren’t looking to move, the intent is not there.
Marketers mistake interest for intent all the time, often leading to a marketing qualified lead being passed off as a SQL when that’s not the case. There are two options to help in this predicament, though — lead scoring and decision-based offers.
Marketing Automation Software
If you have access or interest, a marketing automation software like HubSpot offers lead scoring as a means to qualify your real estate leads. Lead scoring involves tracking any lead in your CRM across your site. With lead scoring, you can ascribe value to different blogs or page views, offers or email interactions. When a lead reaches a certain score, decided on by your team, they become sales qualified.
Decision Stage Offers
The secondary option is to use decision stage offers as a means of qualifying leads. This can be anything from making an appointment to see a space to offering a demo of a software. Creating a broader base of options for these offers can help you determine which leads are ready to buy. Leads who fail to engage with a decision offer when you have an array to choose from are likely not there yet.
Passing the Baton to Sales Qualification
So, your real estate leads are ready for sales — now what? Just because a lead is sales qualified, does not mean they are a good fit. Sales qualification is what makes a lead an opportunity and closes out the inbound funnel; it falls in the hands of the sales team to do this qualification. The reason? Just because a lead has interest and intent, doesn’t mean they meet the criteria of your product.
While lead qualification can help weed out those who don’t fit, it takes the sales team to assess fit, often using BANT (Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline). What BANT does is ensure that the lead has the money, authority, and ability to use your product. Leads with poor BANT scores aren’t necessarily a waste of time, they may not be ready yet. But if that’s the case, it’s better for them to return to the cycle rather than have sales try to close a deal.
As a marketer, you’ll likely never know off the bat if a lead meets sales’ needs. That requires sales engaging with the lead first. Instead, it’s imperative to use lead qualification methods to ensure your real estate leads are qualified from a marketing perspective and ease sales’ jobs on the rest.
Leveraging Demographics for Building an Effective Multifamily Marketing Strategy
Multifamily marketing is not just about promoting products and services; it’s about connecting with your audience. And to do that, you need to understand who your audience is.
Demographic marketing is tailoring your multifamily marketing efforts to specific groups of people based on age, gender, income, education level, and other characteristics. When you understand your audience, you can create campaigns that resonate with them, speak their language, and address their specific needs and desires. In this era of information overload, it’s more important than ever to cut through the noise and grab the attention of your demographic target market.
Demographic marketing is a powerful tool that can help you do just that. By understanding who your audience is and what they want, you can create campaigns that are not only effective but also memorable and engaging.
So let’s take a closer look at the art of demographic marketing and how you can use it to connect with your audience and drive business success.
Understanding Your Demographic Target Market
Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your property marketing campaigns. You need to know your target audience, what they want, and what motivates them. Demographic marketing allows you to create campaigns that speak directly to your audience and address their needs and desires. The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your campaigns to them.
Demographic marketing can also help you identify new opportunities. Analyzing data allows you to identify trends and patterns that may not be immediately apparent. For example, you may discover that a particular demographic target market is underserved in your industry and create a campaign specifically targeting that group.
Ultimately, understanding your audience helps you create more effective campaigns. When you know your audience, you can create messaging that resonates with them, choose the right multifamily marketing channels, and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.
Gathering Data on Your Target Audience
The first step in demographic marketing is to gather data on your audience. There are many ways to do this, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and online research. The key is to gather as much data as possible to get a comprehensive understanding of your audience.
One of the most effective ways to gather data is through surveys. Surveys allow you to ask specific questions and get quantitative data to analyze. You can also use surveys to gather qualitative data by asking open-ended questions and allowing respondents to provide detailed responses.
Another way to gather data is through online research. Many online tools and resources allow you to gather multifamily marketing data on your demographic target market. For example, you can use Google Analytics to gather data on your website visitors, including their age, gender, and location.
Analyzing and Interpreting Demographic Data
Once you have gathered data on your target audience, the next step is to analyze and interpret that data. This involves looking for patterns and trends that can help you understand your audience better.
One way to analyze data is to create charts and graphs to help you identify trends and patterns that may not be immediately apparent when looking at raw data. For example, you may discover that a particular age group is more likely to rent at your properties than others or that people with higher income levels are more likely to use your services than those with lower income levels.
Let’s take a closer look at each demographic group you’ll want to analyze:
Women and men think and react differently to certain things, but even more base level, they use the internet entirely differently. While men have gradually caught up with women in overall social media usage, there are differences in platform usage.
Women are likelier to spend time on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, while men prefer forum-based social channels like Reddit. In e-commerce, men and women differ in how they search, with men searching by product while women searching by brand.
Knowing these key differences in usage patterns can greatly alter your marketing strategy. Targeting moms? Place ads on Facebook and post on Pinterest. Going after single young men? Post your blogs to a relevant subreddit.
Baby boomers are online, but not to the extent of younger generations, and certainly not in the same places. Only 57% of Americans 65+ are online, as opposed to 93% of adults aged 30-49. Boomers and older Americans spend the most time checking their email. Meanwhile, younger generations split their time between social media, shopping online, and researching products.
Keeping that in mind, a boomer seeking an active adult community might appreciate a newsletter on your offerings. A millennial seeking high-rise living might prefer a tweet.
While internet browsing gaps between people of different incomes have narrowed, this information is still important for marketers. If you’re offering a tiered service, this data can help you better target the appropriate range to the appropriate person.
Why is this important? Because you wouldn’t want to alienate a customer who thinks a product may be out of their price range when they see the higher-end price.
This can mean country, region, or even if someone is living in an urban or rural environment. While country and lifestyle have some effect on internet usage, the reason this multifamily marketing demographic is most important has much more to do with knowing and understanding your market.
Someone in an urban environment probably won’t need an industrial-grade sitting lawnmower. Likewise, people in New York City probably don’t want to see information about car accessories. Knowing a person’s location can also help ensure that any written content sent to them matches terms to their colloquial knowledge.
For example, using “pop” vs. “soda” or “coke” depending on where in the U.S. you’re from or ensuring that they’re not seeing deals that don’t pertain to them at their location (e.g., some insurance companies don’t operate in every state).
So, you’ve gathered your basic marketing demographics and are ready to start building your multifamily marketing strategy…
Hold up a second.
There’s more to it than that. While all this information is certainly a starting point, it’s important to take it deeper. In digital multifamily marketing, we call the amalgamation of this information a buyer persona — the typical person who might engage with your product.
Creating Buyer Personas
One of the most effective ways to use demographic data is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on demographic data, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Creating buyer personas helps you understand your audience better and create campaigns that resonate with them. For example, if you discover that a significant portion of your audience comprises millennials, you can create a buyer persona representing a typical millennial customer. This persona can guide your messaging, multifamily marketing channels, and campaign optimization.
Crafting Targeted Messaging
Once you have created buyer personas, the next step is to craft targeted messaging that speaks directly to your audience. This involves using language and imagery that resonates with your audience and addresses their needs and desires.
For example, if your audience is primarily women, you may want to use language and imagery that is more feminine in your campaigns. You may also want to focus on topics more relevant to women, such as health and wellness.
Targeted messaging can also help you stand out from your competitors. By crafting messages that speak directly to your audience, you can differentiate yourself from other brands and create a stronger connection with your customers.
Choosing the Right Marketing Channels
Different demographic groups may respond better to different multifamily marketing channels, so choosing the most effective for your target audience is important.
You may also want to consider other marketing channels, such as email marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing. The key is choosing the most effective channels for your target audience and aligning them with your overall marketing strategy.
Testing and Optimizing Your Campaigns
Testing and optimizing your campaigns is critical to their success. This involves continually monitoring and adjusting your campaigns based on their performance.
One way to test and optimize your campaigns is to use A/B testing. A/B testing involves creating two versions of your campaign and testing them against each other to see which performs better. This can help you identify the most effective messaging, design, or marketing channel for your target audience.
You can also use data analysis to optimize your campaigns. By continually monitoring your campaigns and analyzing the data, you can identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to improve their performance.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Demographic Marketing
There are several common mistakes to avoid when it comes to demographic marketing. One of the most significant mistakes is assuming that all members of a particular demographic group are the same. This can lead to too broad campaigns that don’t speak directly to your audience.
Another mistake is relying too heavily on demographic data. While demographic data is critical to understanding your audience, it’s important to remember that individuals are complex and multifaceted. When crafting your campaigns, you need to consider other factors, such as behavior patterns and motivations.
Tools and Resources for Demographic Marketing
There are many tools and resources available to help you with demographic marketing. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to target specific demographic groups with your ads. Google Analytics provides valuable data on your website visitors, including their age, gender, and location.
You can also use market research and data analytics companies to gather and analyze data on your target audience. These companies can provide insights and recommendations to help you create more effective campaigns.
Driving Business Success With Demographic Marketing
Demographic marketing is a powerful tool to help you connect with your audience and drive business success. By understanding your audience and tailoring your campaigns to their specific needs and desires, you can create messaging that resonates with them and stands out from your competitors.
Remember to gather as much data as possible and create buyer personas, then continually test and optimize your campaigns. With these strategies, you can create campaigns that are not only effective but also memorable and engaging.
The Dynamic Duo: Creating Content Magic With ChatGPT and Our Content Marketing Agency
Digital content marketing can be challenging, especially when you have many other operations tasks. Enter Open AI ChatGPT.
The ChatGPT app has revolutionized digital content marketing and how we handle content writing, editing, and multifamily graphic design.
The biggest concerns surrounding this new artificial intelligence feature are: “How does ChatGPT work?” “What are good ChatGPT prompts?” and “Do I still need to hire a content marketing agency?”
Let’s answer each of these questions…
The Future of Generative AI in Property Management Marketing
Much like the shift to digital content marketing in recent years, the rise of generative AI has been slow but steady. And just in the last year, it has BOOMED.
Many industries are still coming aboard the realm of inbound marketing but not quite utilizing generative AI. However, Open AI ChatGPT will be key to becoming more efficient with your content marketing to stand out.
Effective content will help you embrace the feedback loop that allows your content to grow and develop. Only then will your content reach your targeting goals and give you the results you’re aiming for.
Understanding the Value of Generative AI
Before we can dive into how to use open source AI and answer “How does ChatGPT work?” we first need to discuss the benefits of using Open AI.
Generative AI provides marketers a powerful tool to streamline content creation processes and drive engagement. Ultimately, it allows marketers to quickly create large volumes of high-quality content, saving time and effort.
This technology offers fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, sparking creativity and enabling marketers to explore new angles in their content strategies. Moreover, this AI writing tool can optimize content for search engines, enhancing organic visibility and driving website traffic.
How Does ChatGPT Work?
ChatGPT operates on a sophisticated deep-learning model known as a transformer. This model is trained on vast text data to develop a deep understanding of language patterns and structures.
When a user provides ChatGPT prompts, the model analyzes the context and generates a response based on learned knowledge. It breaks down the ChatGPT prompts into segments, attends to the relevant parts, and generates a coherent output.
The training process involves exposing the model to a massive dataset that includes diverse sources such as books, articles, websites, and more. This exposure enables the writing tool to learn grammar, facts, reasoning abilities, and even some degree of creativity. The ChatGPT app gradually improves its ability to generate human-like responses through this iterative training process.
It’s important to note that while open source AI can produce impressive outputs, it should be used with caution and human oversight to ensure accuracy and maintain ethical standards.
And full disclosure: The AI writing tool wrote the above section about “How does ChatGPT work?”. Why? Because who knows ChatGPT better than the generative AI platform itself? This is exactly what we mean by supplementing your AI content with human oversight: no one knows your business like you do (or your content marketing agency).
How to Use ChatGPT
When utilizing open source AI for your digital content marketing, it’s important to understand how to leverage its capabilities effectively.
1. Use Open AI as a jumping-off tool to generate ideas.
Open source AI is best used to help kickstart your writing process, not execute the entire writing process. Provide clear and specific prompts to guide the AI in generating relevant content. ChatGPT’s output should be a starting point rather than a final piece.
2. Review all generative AI content for accuracy.
Maintain a critical eye and thoroughly review the generated content for accuracy, tone, and consistency with your brand voice. Make necessary edits and additions to ensure the content aligns with your objectives and resonates with your target audience.
3. Utilize open source AI for keyword research and optimization.
Extract valuable insights from the AI-generated content to identify relevant keywords and phrases that can enhance your search engine rankings.
4. Bring human writers and editors into the process.
Embrace the collaborative nature of the ChatGPT app by involving human writers and editors who can infuse creativity, authenticity, and expert knowledge into the content. By combining the power of AI writing with human expertise, you can create compelling and high-quality content that drives results in your digital content marketing efforts.
Use Humanized Content to Develop High-Performing Results
Have you ever received an email with your name in the subject line or a newsletter closely tied to a topic you’d been researching? That’s a form of content intelligence. The epitome of content intelligence is the ability to take names or other information gathered about prospects and use that information to enhance content.
Imagine being a decision-maker at a multifamily property interested in a third-party vendor company’s services. Wouldn’t that level of personalization, paired with an email that answers your questions, sway your decision to hire that company at your property?
Studies show that personalized messages can increase email open rates (17.6% open rate vs. 11.4% without personalization). This allows for more information to be gathered and improves your results. It’s a cyclical and powerful process.
The most important thing is to ensure you’re utilizing all the right tools to inform your content. While you can provide ChatGPT prompts to include personalization in the AI-generated content output, the bottom line is that Open AI ChatGPT does not know your brand as you do. And, as mentioned above, it also doesn’t know your customers like you do. Take advantage of this knowledge and personalize your content for the best results.
What Are Good ChatGPT Prompts?
ChatGPT prompts are specific and provide sufficient context for the desired output. They should be framed as questions, statements, or instructions that guide the AI’s response in a targeted manner.
You want to treat this AI writing platform like an intern, providing clear instructions and not being afraid to give it additional instructions if you do not like the provided output.
For example, ChatGPT prompts that begin with phrases like “Can you provide insights on…”, “What are the benefits of…”, or “Please explain the process of…” tend to generate informative responses. Including key details, keywords, or specific parameters within the prompt can help guide the AI’s output toward the desired topic or perspective.
Experimenting with different prompts and variations can yield diverse and interesting results, enhancing creativity and generating unique insights. It’s important to refine prompts, iterate on them, and critically review the generated content to ensure it aligns with your objectives and requirements.
Making the most of this technology is all about what you put into it. The better the input (prompts), the better the output (content).
Here are 5 ChatGPT prompts you should try out this week:
- Website Copy: “Write me 5 new headline options for my website homepage that each focus on the different benefits of [company name] and [services]. Make the headlines punchy, engaging, and 8 words or less.”
- Email Marketing: “Write a personal follow-up email template for when a prospect visits our website at [website link] but never makes contact again. Include a relevant CTA to get them to book a [meeting/demo/tour/etc.].”
- Customer Support: “Write 3 follow-up responses for customers who leave bad reviews. Make each response different and focus on complaints about our [products/services], customer service, and [pain point], respectively.”
- Branding: “Write 2 options for a mission statement and 5 options for a company tagline that accurately reflects this company: [website link].”
- Content Generation: “Write a 1,000-word blog post about the benefits of using a [company name]. Focus the blog to highlight our [services] without sounding overly promotional. Include relevant keywords for SEO.”
Do I Still Need to Hire a Content Marketing Agency?
Hiring a content marketing agency remains essential. While open source AI is a powerful tool, a content marketing agency becomes an extension of your company, offering expertise, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of your brand that open source AI cannot replicate (yet).
A content marketing agency collaborates with you to learn your multifamily brand inside-out, capturing its essence, voice, and values. They can personalize your content, crafting messaging that aligns precisely with your target audience’s needs and preferences.
Our team of experienced content writers utilizes the AI writing platform to effectively use our client’s monthly hours, utilizing AI-generated content as a starting point for us to refine, polish, and add a human touch.
This combination of AI and human collaboration allows us to generate content quicker and more efficiently, ensuring it meets the highest quality, accuracy, and engagement standards.
Plus, studies have shown that extensive editing is often required for AI-written content. A study by iPullRank and MarketMuse revealed that less than 2% of survey respondents (fellow marketers) leave the AI content as-is after it’s generated. 98% edit the content for grammar, subject matter expertise, accuracy, and bias.
So, while the platform offers tremendous value, partnering with a content marketing agency takes your brand’s content strategy to the next level, ensuring a personalized, effective, and impactful approach that resonates with your audience.
The AI Writing Tool That’s Changing the Marketing Game
Incorporating open source AI into your digital content marketing strategy can offer speed, efficiency, and fresh ideas to enhance your content creation process. It empowers marketers to quickly generate a high content volume, optimize for search engines, and engage their audience effectively.
However, while AI can produce blogs, emails, and even website content, it is not on par with humans in writing strong content. This is because AI cannot add the right context, elements of interest, or nuance to a story.
The takeaway? AI and intelligence tools are growing fast, but they have not overtaken humans’ abilities when it comes to certain tasks.
Want to see the effect the human touch can have on your content? Book a call with Criterion.B now. We’ll get started on your customized strategy and show you how to BEAT your competition with real-life, human-generated content personalized to your business and audience. We’re ready to chat and answer your questions about our content marketing service.
Leveraging Emotion for Effective Multifamily Digital Marketing
In the swift-moving world of digital advertising, we are accustomed to swiping right and left (up, down, and around) through countless disruptive ads as we navigate our day. But let’s take a moment to swipe back to the soul of advertising and the emotional connections.
Every ad generates an emotional response, because everything we encounter in life generates an instinctive emotional response.
Today’s digital marketing world yields enormous ads at an extraordinary pace, often making it hard for the average human to digest even one advertisement. As promoters face pressures to meet deadlines and provide the lowest word count possible, the art of telling stories that inspire emotion seems to decline.
What does this mean for today’s digital advertising world in the multifamily market?
How to Use Emotion Effectively in Digital Advertising
Attention spans are shorter than ever. So, how do you slow someone down long enough to make an emotional connection?
Understand Your Target Audience
Before diving into emotional advertising, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Identify their aspirations, desires, pain points, and values. Conduct thorough market research, gather insights from existing residents, and create buyer personas to understand their emotional triggers comprehensively. This knowledge will serve as the foundation for crafting compelling digital campaigns.
Tell Authentic Stories
Storytelling is a powerful tool that appeals to emotions and establishes a connection with the audience. Rather than focusing solely on promoting features and amenities, weave captivating narratives that resonate with your target audience’s dreams and aspirations. Showcase real stories of residents and their experiences, highlighting how living in your multifamily community has positively impacted their lives. Authentic stories foster trust, create an emotional connection, and differentiate your property from competitors.
Evoke Positive Emotions
Tap into positive emotions that align with your multifamily community’s lifestyle and experience. Incorporate elements that evoke joy, excitement, comfort and a sense of belonging. Showcase vibrant and relatable visuals that depict happy residents enjoying the amenities, community events, or engaging in social interactions. By creating a positive emotional association, you can generate interest and enthusiasm among potential residents.
When people hear a great story, they look for an opportunity to tell it again — to someone new. (They might even tweak it just a little.) We like things that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. And we even get gratification from passing that feeling along to others.
Would you be likelier to watch a video advertisement or a video your best friend shared on Facebook? Word-of-mouth is powerful; it slows people down and builds connections.
Capture Them in Three Seconds
It only takes a few seconds to set up a story, but that story could have lasting hours of impact and conversation. Capture your audience in the first three seconds; they may slow down their scroll long enough to tune in.
Address Pain Points and Offer Solutions
Emotionally-driven advertising also involves acknowledging and addressing pain points your target audience may be experiencing. Identify their challenges or frustrations when searching for an ideal living space and present your multifamily community as the solution. Highlight how your property addresses its concerns, such as security, convenience, community, or flexible lease options. By empathizing with their pain points and offering viable solutions, you establish an emotional connection built on trust and understanding.
Utilize Compelling Visuals and Design
In the digital realm, visuals are crucial in conveying emotions effectively. Incorporate high-quality, captivating imagery that showcases your multifamily property’s ambiance, aesthetics, and unique features. Infuse the visuals with warmth, comfort, and elements that resonate with your target audience’s desired lifestyle. Additionally, pay attention to the design elements of your digital ads, ensuring they evoke the intended emotions and are consistent with your brand identity.
Incorporate Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
While emotional advertising focuses on forging connections, it is essential to guide potential residents toward taking action. Include clear and compelling calls to action in your digital ads, inviting prospects to schedule a tour, request more information, or explore available floor plans. Combining emotional appeal with actionable next steps increases the likelihood of converting prospects into residents.
Forge Deeper Connections in Digital Multifamily Marketing
In the digital multifamily advertising landscape, leveraging emotion is a powerful way to connect with your target audience on a deeper level. You can create impactful digital campaigns that resonate with potential residents by understanding your audience and telling authentic stories. Harnessing the power of emotion in your advertising efforts will differentiate your multifamily community and foster a genuine connection that drives conversions and long-term resident satisfaction.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Interaction for Multifamily Apartments
Long gone are the times of stranger danger. Well, at least that’s true if you’re doing social media for apartments. Nowadays, it is common — and almost expected — for a property to interact with its residents, employees, and community online.
Multifamily property managers must engage and connect with their residents and prospects online to establish an authentic and interactive brand presence.
While social media for apartments is an excellent tool for building your multifamily brand, it is essential to follow specific rules of interaction to ensure that your social media marketing efforts are practical.
Here are our top rules for marketing social media for apartments:
Rule #1: Use Humor Sparingly
Take a look at Whataburger’s Twitter account (@whataburger). You don’t have to be a writer for Saturday Night Live to run a strong Twitter account; sometimes, you must be a bit random. Whataburger focuses on how life would be depressing without it in your life.
Regarding social media for apartments, showing a little personality and personalizing your property’s feed is essential. It allows you to be seen as more approachable and have more engagement with your residents, potential residents, and the community.
Humor can be an excellent tool for engaging your audience and creating a fun and friendly brand image. However, it is important to use humor sparingly and appropriately. Always consider your target audience and avoid offensive or insensitive content. Keep your humor light and relevant to your brand and community.
Rule #2: Don’t Be Afraid of Negativity
In the multifamily industry, negativity is plentiful online. Sometimes things don’t go as planned with your property, and you may receive a bad review online. Don’t worry. Instead, think about how you want to respond.
In almost every case, it’s the best strategy for companies to reply to these reviews and address the problem with a possible solution. What’s impressive with social media, and the Internet in general, is that you can talk one-on-one, so reach out to them. The reviewer’s negative experience may shed light on a more significant problem, which, once discovered, can be resolved so higher-quality service can be experienced by all.
When potential residents surf the net for a place to live, they look at reviews. While bad reviews may affect their choices, properties engaging with reviews and offering solutions to the negativity will reassure them.
Rule #3: Use More Than One Brain
“Two brains are better than one” is not exclusively used for academic endeavors. One of our favorite social media accounts is Vogue’s Instagram account. They always have beautiful photos, and they’re not afraid to collaborate.
They’ve reposted photos and had budding artists take over their accounts, and they’ve done all of this while sticking true to the core of their brand. For your multifamily marketing, you can collaborate with the community to showcase events, people, and issues that connect your property with your audience.
Collaboration is crucial when it comes to social media marketing for multifamily apartments. When creating content, property managers should work with the entire team to ensure that all aspects of the community are represented accurately. This may include input from the leasing agents, maintenance team, and residents.
Collaboration is also essential when it comes to managing social media accounts. Ensure you have a designated social media team responsible for managing and responding to social media inquiries and comments. Ensure that all team members are on the same page and understand the overall strategy for social media marketing.
Rule #4: Be Timely
Posting timely is a critical rule for social media marketing for multifamily apartments. Your content should be relevant and timely to your audience. For example, if there is an upcoming event in your community, post about it beforehand to encourage residents to attend. Also, consider current events and trending topics when creating content to stay relevant and connected with your audience.
Sometimes we don’t do things on time. And that’s okay. However, with all social media, time is of the essence, so don’t be like that friend that tells you “Happy Birthday” a month late. If someone mentions you in a tweet, and you decide to favorite all mentions as a company, handle it immediately. More likely than not, it will make that person smile because getting some love from one of your favorite companies is always excellent.
Rule #5: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
High-quality content is essential when it comes to social media for apartments. Your posts should be visually appealing, easy to read, and informative. Always use high-quality images and graphics to enhance your content. Ensure all posts are proofread and edited before posting to ensure the content is error-free and professional.
Rule #6: Respond to Residents
Social media for apartments is all about engagement, and it’s important to respond promptly to comments and messages. This helps build a positive relationship with your audience and demonstrates that you are attentive and responsive to their needs.
And don’t forget to check your notifications (and message requests folder) regularly. Read, respond, and engage with your residents online daily. This shows them that you are not just a “posting machine” on social media but that you care about your residents.
Rule #7: Encourage User-Generated Content
Encouraging user-generated content is an excellent way to increase engagement on social media. You can create a sense of community and authenticity by asking residents to share photos or stories about their experiences in your apartment community. Be sure to repost and share user-generated content to encourage further engagement.
Rule #8: Monitor Your Online Reputation
It’s essential to monitor your online reputation on social media. Be sure to respond to negative comments or reviews promptly and professionally, addressing any concerns or issues. This demonstrates that you take your residents’ feedback seriously and are committed to resolving any problems that may arise.
Rule #9: Be Consistent
Consistency is vital when it comes to your social media marketing. Be sure to post regularly and consistently to establish a routine and keep your audience engaged. Also, ensure that your multifamily brand messaging and visual style are consistent across all social media marketing platforms to create a cohesive apartment brand image.
By following these additional social media marketing interaction rules, property managers can create a strong and effective strategy that engages with their audience and builds a positive multifamily brand image.
Why Your Cold Calling Is Not Working
Regardless of where your position lies in the sales industry, there’s an overarching cloud of cold calling that hovers above you. It’s time to revolutionize your multifamily marketing plan.
Whether you are on the receiving end of the phone calls as a VP of Sales or if you are the Account Manager having to call several companies per week, you understand the headache.
The Problem With Cold Calling Today
In the age of the internet, many unsolicited calls go unanswered. Modern sales and marketing professionals face going up against buyers with easy and unlimited access to online detailed information.
However, time and time again, we see industry professionals that cannot seem to shake the old-school approach. Something to keep in mind is that consumers are not the only ones with access to the internet. You can also use it to stay updated on your target customer’s issues and formulate ways to resolve them.
When you have market information and big data analytics, you have more insight into the issues or problems with your customer base. At that time, you can take away any aspect of cold calling, and it becomes either a warm or a hot lead. You’re redefining cold calling altogether by having the ability to have content out there. At that point, they are coming to you; you’re not going to them.
As a commercial real estate marketing agency, we understand the power in numbers.
Content Is the New Cold Call
Outbound sales initiatives, while they used to be effective, are no longer the best route to convert leads to customers. Inbound multifamily marketing provides individuals with information about your company and allows them to develop their opinions.
More than 75% of consumers said that receiving custom content and personalized communications was a critical factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, and 78% said it made them more likely to repurchase.
Cold calling is considered an outbound strategy; it is company-focused and assumes every customer is a buyer. It can be transformed into an inbound multifamily marketing plan by calling to get to know the customer.
While the internet provides a great deal of information, it’s losing the aspect of human interaction. Every individual can do their research and find out information without having to have a point of contact call them for their initial understanding of your business. That is where content becomes “King” as far as the web is concerned.
Because customers are resorting to the Internet to answer all of their questions, it is important for your company to meet them there. Provide them with a helping hand, and if calling is something you prefer, direct them to your phone number to get more information on how you can help them.
3 Alternative Approaches for Cold Calling
So how will modern businesses seek to increase sales without their tried-and-true method of cold calling? Here are a few tried-and-true methods for increasing your multifamily leads and building connections organically:
1. Attending & Networking at Events
Begin by building value-adding relationships. With networking, the goal is not to get something out of the deal but to increase the number of people who know and trust you.
If you do well at networking, you should be able to land public speaking opportunities. Establishing yourself as an authority on specific topics will lead to an even larger group of people who trust you.
2. Contribute Content to Relevant Publications
Likewise, writing is one of the most accessible avenues to build a sense of authority. Submit an article to a magazine publisher you know your customers will read, or create your blog. Furthermore, you don’t always have to publish your work. Reposting another blog by a reputable source will help gain attention and credibility.
Take a quick look at our blog, and you might notice a couple of guest posts now and then. These are relationships we are continually building. Our team also regularly publishes content for several publications, including the National Apartment Association, Texas Apartment Association, Units Magazine, Multifamily Insiders, and more.
3. Reach Out to Past Customers
Lastly, take the time to reach out to customers, old and new, genuinely. The relationships you build will be at the core of your business. It’s as simple as that. People are willing to pay a higher price when they know they are getting good service. Therefore, good customer service leads to a higher lease!
Some of our best current clients are former clients from years ago that we kept in touch with over the years! While one customer might not have the budget, resources, or capabilities to become your customer right now, this could change in a year or two — so always keep that line of communication open.
Changing Your Multifamily Marketing Plan
Cold calling may decline, but plenty of strategies exist to increase sales and attract new customers. Remember, it doesn’t matter which multifamily marketing plan or strategy you use as long as you treat the customer with the utmost importance.
It’s Time to Take Digital Multifamily Marketing Seriously
Most digital marketers can probably relate to this social situation: Someone asks what you do for a living. After explaining that you work in multifamily digital marketing, the inquisitor follows up with some variation: “So, you play around on Facebook all day?”
Social media for multifamily vendors and developments, in particular, gets a bad reputation, with some business owners refusing even to acknowledge social platforms as legitimate marketing channels.
But if you think digital marketing is just fluff and noise, you are missing out on low-cost campaigns with great returns on investment that traditional marketing cannot compete with. Most businesses fail to realize that digital marketing offers more measurable value than traditional methods.
How a Company Generated $2M From One Blog
Over the years, blogging has transformed from a forum for teenagers into an affordable multifamily lead generation tool. To understand how this transformation occurred, let’s first examine how the internet has changed consumer behavior.
With a digital information repository at your fingertips, today’s consumers are more educated than ever. Gone are the days of visiting a store to speak to an expert or asking neighbors for referrals. Everything from pricing to reviews is found with a simple search.
No matter what industry or consumers you serve, customers have questions, and you can guess where they go for their answers — Google. So, how can you take advantage of this? By answering those questions on your company’s blog or FAQ page.
Marcus Sheridan, one of the earliest content marketing proponents, generated $2 million for River Pool & Spas when he published a blog post on the company’s website answering a simple question: “How much does a fiberglass pool cost?”
What did the blog post cost him? A half-hour of his time and maybe some web analytics tools? We’ll take that ROI.
According to Tech Client, businesses have a 434% higher chance of a high ranking on search engines if they feature blogs as part of their website. Additionally, HubSpot found that companies that implement blogging into their content marketing strategy receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
Content marketing might seem pretty straightforward, but like any marketing campaign, it is important to have a strategy. For most businesses, you are not blogging just to blog; you create content to drive your marketing funnel.
Social Media’s Biggest Value-Add for Business
Multifamily owners often ask, “Is social media a legitimate way to generate multifamily leads?” But those owners might be asking the wrong question.
The value of social media is not measured in leads, but rather, it is measured through customer experience. According to Forrester data, a relationship exists between customer experience and stock price. People are willing to pay a premium cost for the experience with a brand.
Additionally, improving customer experience can save your company big bucks. In fact, Sprint saves $1.7 billion each year by determining and mitigating the root cause of customer dissatisfaction from calls made to its contact center.
And as it turns out, social media is crucial to improving customer experience. The internet allows word-of-mouth communication to spread easier than ever, both positive and negative.
In the multifamily industry, for example, negative commentary from residents is commonly found across social media and online review sites such as Yelp, Twitter, and Google business pages. Residents who are frustrated with a property’s maintenance issues or poor customer service often express those feelings publicly online. How a multifamily property responds will determine how a negative comment affects your business.
However, each part of your marketing strategy should fit into one cohesive piece. Your website, social media presence, user experience, customer experience, etc., should work harmoniously to establish a successful inbound marketing plan.
You Must Talk Marketing ROI (4 Key Takeaways)
As marketers, we are constantly faced with the battle of justifying ourselves and our multifamily marketing agency’s role in a company’s ROI. We must always find ways to prove to CEOs that marketing contributes to the bottom line.
Here are 4 ways to convince multifamily owners and CEOS that marketing ROI matters.
1. Be relevant — set SMART goals.
Do you find yourself constantly sharing statistics that discuss retweets, follows, visits to the website, etc.?
These stats are important, but if you have not established true goals and understand how and if your work is contributing to the bottom line, STOP IT! It’s time to set up your SMART goals, communicate with your sales team, and start being relevant to what is most important to the CEO and company: ROI.
2. Play offense, not defense.
Believe it or not, about 69% of CEOs believe that marketing is a waste of time, money, and resources. To stay on the offense, you must clearly define your goals, ensure that sales and marketing are happy, and discuss the purpose behind your goals.
3. Always go after the 3 Hs.
- Head – Explain your plan of action. Defend your strategies with case studies, numbers, etc. Win over your team with proof!
- Heart – If people aren’t truly vested in your idea with their heart, you will lose them. Find out what’s important to them and how to tie your new goals to theirs.
- Hands – Now that you’ve won over your team, you’ve got to get them to get back to (or start) work! Play out those call-to-actions.
4. Prepare to show your medal.
In business, you will fight many battles. You will be criticized and put through the wringer. But, at the end, these obstacles will refine your character — just like a medal has to go through fire to be reshaped and altered.
Take risks and be the change that will keep your organization moving forward.