Understanding renters and guiding them through the multifamily customer journey
Our clients tend to come to us when they are ready to approach their marketing efforts in a new way or reach untapped audiences. In addition to providing a fresh perspective and new ideas, we also apply our marketing framework and deeper dive into the multifamily customer journey.
The Apres Marketing Framework
Before we take a look at the specifics of the multifamily customer journey, it helps to understand how we position brands. To do that, we follow a framework that encompasses:
Awareness. We boost awareness for each property/brand with a distinctive identity, name and logo.
Familiarity. We can’t develop a unique identity and awareness without first understanding the competitive landscape.
Consideration. Once we’re familiar with the competition and market, we position each client to its best advantage.
Choice. Part of positioning is understanding that consumers have a choice, and it’s our job to help a client stand out as the one with the most unique or desirable traits.
Loyalty. Finally, we can’t ignore the incredible importance of delivering a great product and experience to boost resident retention.
That’s a quick-and-dirty overview of our approach to each multifamily branding and marketing project, but it helps provide the backdrop for how we market to renters.
The Multifamily Customer Journey
Within that marketing framework, we keep the consumer top of mind at every step along the way. That consumer – the prospective renter or resident – informs every design and marketing decision we make. If it won’t resonate with your target market, what’s the point in doing it, right?
In our experience, renters follow the same general pathway in searching and selecting an apartment home. Some of these steps of the journey might sound lofty (pun intended), but we truly believe that the idea and experience of home must speak to renters at a gut level.
Here’s how multifamily consumers (renters) operate:
Before fingers hit keyboards to start a search, prospective renters already have a dream of what home looks and feels like. They love a certain neighborhood, want to adopt a dog or desperately want to live near that amazing park in the city. Even if budget stands in the way of finding the perfect apartment and community, that dream will linger. Your goal is to deliver enough of the dream to make it stick.
Once the consumer embraces a bit of reality, the aspirational dreams might fade a bit as they home in on their true must-haves. Your property might not be near that park, but it has a lot of on-site green spaces and natural light that could appeal to that outdoorsy renter. Other typical criteria includes: budget realities, manageable commute time, ample living space, safety and security, and attractive neighborhood amenities.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Prospects won’t choose a rental until they drive or walk the neighborhood, check out your property (in person or virtually) and imagine all their stuff in your apartment. The exploration phase can make or break your chances in securing that lease, so make sure your leasing staff delivers a quality experience.
The commitment (and sometimes panic)
Once they narrow down their list, many renters will panic a little. Signing a lease is a big deal, and they will often seek reassurance that they are making the best choice. In addition to asking the opinion of friends and family, they will seek out the good, the bad and the ugly from strangers. Yes, from online reviews. Do not ignore your online reputation.
The settling in
They choose and they sign, but that’s not the end of the journey for them or for you. As they integrate into the community, the experience of those first few weeks or months can determine whether or not they decide to stay long-term. Or if they say nice things about you to friends (or strangers in a review). Make the experience positive and memorable.
Next time, we’ll dive into some of the specific strategies and tactics that can help you lead your buyer from the dream to signing the lease.
To learn more about these concepts, visit our website to download our free e-book.
We help multifamily communities connect with prospective renters and current residents through innovative branding and marketing strategies. Contact us to learn more.