Technology moves fast, as do digital marketing trends. As we live and breathe commercial real estate at our multifamily marketing agency, we understand where the industry is headed.
The following is our breakdown of the current trends in social media, augmented reality, and more — plus where we think the multifamily marketing space is headed in the future.
1. Content still reigns king.
Content marketing certainly is not a new concept and it certainly is not going out of style. By now, most companies know they need to create content that engages prospective customers. However, the question is how to do it more effectively. As the year continues, we will see commercial real estate companies creating more meaningful content than ever before.
As the commercial real estate industry turns to content marketing, the smart ones will be more targeted. The key here is that you don’t need a thousand views per blog. Rather, you only need your target audience to view your content. Once you segment your audience base properly, you can launch individualized advertising campaigns and target those segments specifically. This approach will help you gain more apartment leads and conversions from these retargeting ads.
Truthfully, there’s no way around this. The success of your digital multifamily marketing campaigns will depend on your use of originally created, high-quality custom content — as content continues to reign in the realm of digital apartment marketing.
2. You need to pay to play.
Now is the time to focus your efforts on paid social media apartment marketing. The organic reach across most social media platforms is dying. By investing in paid social media apartment marketing you will increase your engagement and get high organic reach, as well as better search marketing.
With paid social media multifamily marketing, almost all social media networks will give you clear metrics to measure your performance and ROI. Another benefit to utilizing paid social media marketing is the ability to reach completely new target customers and enhance your apartment lead generation. By paying to promote your post, you increase the chances that people might share your content or engage with your organization.
3. Social media for apartments is where it’s at.
Social media has come a long way since its early days of simply sending a message, selfies, or favorite links. It has matured enough to become an effective tool in digital multifamily marketing for engaging with targeted customers on an interactive channel. However, oftentimes those in commercial real estate forget to actually be social on social media.
Unfortunately, many property professionals do not take advantage of social media for apartments. Many times, they don’t reply to the influx of messages on social media. They also don’t maintain a frequent presence or put marketing dollars behind campaigns. Social media is an untapped market for properties to set themselves apart from the rest and can be the difference between turning a prospect into an apartment lead.
4. Instant messaging and chatbots are game changers.
Connectivity is another great advantage of social media. The simple ease of using functions such as direct messaging makes it easier than ever to engage with your residents. However, the conundrum that property managers now face is how to respond fast enough and accurately to prospective residents.
Cue multifamily marketing automation bots, also known as chatbots.
Today’s consumers want to engage with a company when and where it’s most convenient for them. For real estate, this could mean losing possible apartment leads if we are not able to respond to needs instantly. Chatbots seem to have cracked the code, quite literally, on instant communication. According to Botpress, a chatbot is defined as “any software that performs an automated task … the most intuitive definition is that a bot is a software that can have a conversation with a human.”
In addition to being programmed to have realistic, human-like conversations with prospective clients, chatbots are also able to gather specific information relevant to the seller or the marketer.
In the context of commercial real estate marketing, a chatbot can mean providing 24/7, instant responses that do not require an individual behind a screen scrambling to answer a question. Chatbots also provide a smoother user experience for the resident, and user experience is always critical.
5. You need to utilize live video to increase engagement.
Video’s popularity as a multifamily marketing medium continues to grow yearly, and this year is no different. Particularly, live video is where we see social media platforms migrating. Live video contains much more engagement and fares better with many social media algorithms. More and more companies in commercial real estate are recognizing the power of video as a digital multifamily marketing strategy.
There are huge opportunities for leasing agents to really innovate and get away from traditional apartment marketing by utilizing Facebook Live to conduct virtual tours or answer real-time questions. Likewise, property managers can get in on the fun, as they may use Snapchat or Instagram Stories as a way to engage with current residents and alert them to fun events.
6. It’s time to embrace virtual real estate.
Where do we see the future of multifamily marketing efforts? Virtual and augmented reality. As our industry rapidly embraces technological innovations, integrating VR and AR can set you apart from competitors.
Implementing VR elements into your apartment marketing scheme can prove effective when done correctly. Virtual reality opens the door to prospective clients that may have otherwise not been able to see your property, as they digitally tour units and enter a lifelike simulation of your multifamily property. Moving forward, we see this trend taking off as we can expect more and more companies to design 3D commercial real estate models through virtual reality.
Augmented reality is used by multifamily industry thought leaders today. It brings blueprints to life by taking a traditional flat layout and turning it into a lifelike 3D model. AR will provide a unique opportunity at every level of commercial real estate as it continues to evolve. Professionals believe that AR provides great value at the early stages of a construction project, and at the final stages of selling and multifamily marketing.
7. Drones can set your multifamily marketing apart.
Drones are a defining piece of technology for commercial real estate. Just a few years ago, it was conventional to hire a professional photographer for aerial shots of a property. Sellers now are capable of capturing stunning images and breathtaking videos of their property with camera-equipped drones, all while cutting back on costs.
Drones can depict a great layout of the entire property, especially when recording video. For larger areas, the unique benefit that drones provide is navigation beyond the property and into the surrounding area. They are able to capture incredible bodies of water, beautiful landscapes, and nearby neighborhoods. This particular feature can be optimized if paired creatively with live streaming.
Drones also allow high-rise offices to capture images of the entire building along with attractive neighboring hotspots. Drones are one trend guaranteed to set your marketing apart from competitors, and will surely spread within the commercial real estate industry.
What does all of this mean for multifamily marketing?
It’s a game-changing year for apartment marketing, especially in terms of how to reach prospective buyers in your area. Up until now, the marketing landscape has remained more or less the same, with social media for apartments claiming the throne in every corner of influence. However, we are now seeing increasingly fast-paced developments in the form of new and updated features such as live streaming and instant messaging.
What does all of this mean for multifamily marketing? Put simply, it means that content will have to be creative and engaging in order to gain more activity online. Are you ready to get creative?