Strategies for reaching prospective renters
Although apartment communities currently enjoy a 95.9 percent occupancy rate nationwide, you know you can’t slack on building your pipeline of prospective renters. New developments and other sources of apartment inventory could put the pressure on competition for new leases. Even in boom times, you don’t want to ignore your marketing efforts.
So, what are some of the most effective multifamily marketing methods?
In our last blog, we talked in-depth about the importance of giving your existing residents a stellar experience that results in a strong relationship. Those efforts will repay you twofold: You will retain more of those current residents and they will tell their friends about their awesome community.
Rather than wait for your resident fans to brag about you to their network, actively encourage them to do so. In your internal marketing pieces to your community, remind residents about the great apartment homes available for rent.
Offer referral rewards to any residents whose friends sign a lease. Rewards can fit your budget and strategy – think restaurant gift cards or money off rent for one month – but keep in mind how much money that new renter would cost you in marketing dollars. So, make it a nice reward.
A killer website
Wait, let us rephrase that, because too many websites kill the deal before someone even gets close to calling you or filling out a contact form. Why? So many reasons, ranging from bad design to lack of information to difficult navigation.
Creating a great marketing website goes beyond the mechanics of function and user-friendliness. Think of your website as a star employee, welcoming guests to your leasing office. That person should radiate warmth, personality and authenticity.
Your website needs to reflect your brand personality and give prospective renters an idea of the lifestyle and culture your community can offer them. Facts are necessary, but personality sells.
Your perfect renter has a steady job, so make it easy for her to visit you and view apartments on her time.
Reports have shown that communities sign the most leases and show the most units after 6 p.m. or on weekends. Make sure your office and phones are staffed during peak apartment shopping hours.
Share the experience
Similar to thinking of your website as a star employee, think of your physical property as a model citizen and everyone’s favorite neighbor. Yes, you’re trying to fill units and sign leases, but your community-building efforts can result in more foot traffic and interest.
For example, if you open your lobby or lounge to community events, you have the chance to show off your vibe to people who wouldn’t normally walk through your doors. Even if those people aren’t personally in the market for an apartment, they will be more likely to mention you to a friend or family member who is.
Choose events that match your brand personality, such as:
- Business networking events
- Volunteer and charity events
- Social events around a common interest: food, gardening, fitness, etc.
In addition to hosting on-site events, invite locals to experience your property for a day. Especially if you have high-quality amenities, free access to common areas for one day could help seal the deal.
Build an online presence
Nearly every prospect will begin his apartment search online. When he conducts his search, make sure your online presence backs up the promises on your website.
A Google search might lead to an apartment listing and eventually to your site. Great, but this renter is not going to stop at your website. He’s going to look for reviews and social media mentions.
If you have put in the work to deliver on your promises to existing residents, and if you have handled problems and requests well, the reviews will likely speak for you. If you haven’t, then it’s time to get busy. Read and respond to all online reviews. Post regularly on social media, and be sure to respond to people who post on your page or mention you.
Again, the goal is to communicate with prospective renters and existing residents with a personal, human touch. Your property is not just slick ads: It’s about people.
We have so many more marketing tactics to share with you, but we want you to first understand that building business must start with building relationships.
Multifamily properties are selling home and lifestyle. Adding a personal touch will help current residents and prospects feel as if you understand them and their needs.
If you need help creating a strong multifamily brand personality or developing marketing tactics that attract and retain renters, contact us. We specialize in creating unique, stand-out brands for the multifamily industry.