Recently I was the key speaker at the San Diego County Apartment Association event “How To Market Your Rental Property.” Here are the main takeaways and slides:
In my book, The Definitive Guide To Apartment Marketing, I stress the importance of good photography. It’s the best investment you can make. By hiring a real estate photographer, you’ll ensure you get the right shots that will sell your apartments. Don’t forget to request both print and web version of the photos. Put these in a Dropbox or Google Drive folder so you can share a link easily.
A nice compliment to high quality photography is copywriting. A good copywriter will give you captions for your photos. They’ll write taglines, call to actions and make your amenity list sound impeccable. We offer copywriting services here at Resident360 or you can use a service like WritersAccess.com.
It’s always a good idea to review all your marketing materials to make sure they include call to action. Don’t forget to look at your website, Craigslist ads, Facebook and ILS listings.
In addition to the above list, check your floor plans page to make sure they show up properly. This will be your #1 trafficked page.
Prospects are driving by your community and Googling your community name. Are you showing up? If you are showing up, is your website mobile friendly? Don’t forget to claim your Google My Business listing.
Your goal with Craigslist should always be to sell the click first. That means a prospect has to click on your ad, before they can see what you’re offering. One way of better selling the click is to add symbols to your Craigslist ad titles. Just copy and paste the symbol into your ad title. Here’s a good resource for symbols: bit.ly/clsymbols.
Adding a keyword box to the bottom of your Craigslist ads will help you show up in more searches. Just think about what people might be typing in to find your property and add these keywords to your box.
Facebook Marketplace is an untapped lead resource for apartment marketing. Start using it before your competition does. Very much like Craigslist, the posting process is easy. Remember, great ad titles, good copy and quality photos will deliver more leads.
Facebook Paid Ads is a good way to generate massive impressions for your community at a low cost. Invest in boosting posts and test multiple ad types to find the winners.
Google AdWords continues to be a powerhouse for delivering quick, quality traffic to communities utilizing it. Spend more when you need more traffic and spend less when you don’t. Great for lease ups.
Geotargeting through Google AdWords works extremely well. Imagine drawing a 1 mile radius around your community and serving up ads to all the people in that area. Clicks can be ridiculously cheap at less than 15 cents.
Bots are becoming more popular with larger multifamily portfolios as a way of automating conversation on apartment websites. They work extremely well at providing website visitors with any information they may be needing without human intervention.
Place test calls into your community. Listen for the agent’s tonality (are they excited, boring, so-so). Do they answer your questions? Grade the experience.
How is the phone experience with your competitors?
A good exercise would be to call your top 3 competitors and grade the call based on the checklist above. Any takeaways you can benefit from?
Handwritten thank you letters have become somewhat of a lost art form. Think about sending a thank you letter to every hot prospect that tours your community. Send a thank you letter after a new resident moves in.
Extending leasing hours should strongly be considered. 5-8pm seems to be the sweet spot as people are on their way home from work. Take advantage of this, while your competition closes early.
The 9 word email should be used for reactivating cold prospects. The email is used to get an either a “Yes” or “No” answer. The email length should always be 9 words or less. Using the word “hey” as the subject works well at getting the email open.
Waffle bar, bagel bar, nacho bar, ice cream bar, doughnut bar… How can you get creative with resident events? Use Pinterest and search “Resident Event Ideas” as a source for inspiration.
Are you sending a move-in gift to new residents? How about arming your service techs with the plunger gift to be given after a service call.
Residents definitely need to be reminded their lease is coming up for renewal. Get creative with your renewal letters. Use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, search “Resident Renewal Ideas.”
Create a 12 month resident touch point plan. This will make the resident feel as if they’re truly being taken care of. Plus, you’ll know if they’re happy or not. Also works well at helping you generate more positive reviews.
For reviews, you can invest in a third party service that provides a dashboard or platform for management. Just make sure you have a plan in place and be proactive, not reactive.
When it comes to reviews, get away from being shy. You need to always be asking. We’ve found the sweet spot is when a resident is handed their keys at move in. A simple question like, “Why did you choose to lease here” should give you a great testimonial/review.
What I like most about this email, is it clearly tells the resident what they should do. Also it asks for the review at the proper time, right after the resident renewed their lease.
Why just use a review once? Take a screen grab of it and post everywhere. It will only help build the case that your community is a great place to live.
This is an easy strategy, but make sure you have your signs prepared. Think about putting a goal in place of how many resident photos you’ll get monthly. In addition to posting on your website, post everywhere you see fit.
Over the next 24 months, we’ll see more transition to bot marketing automation in multifamily. Voice searches performed on devices like Google Home and Alexa will also play a major factor in how people shop for apartments.
Apartment reviews will continue to be instrumental in decision making. We’ll see alot more companies investing in hyper-local content marketing strategies.
As with all trends, it’s best to pay close attention to the what the giants are doing (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple). Study their strategies and find tactics worth implementing at your own communities.
Josh Grillo is a #1 Best Selling Author, Speaker and Co-Founder of Resident360.