Property Development Marketing 101: More Than Just a Logo

Property development marketing should begin with branding that provides a roadmap for decision making and a consistent branding message for renters.

When many property managers think about branding, an image of a logo generally pops into their heads. Branding includes logos and other graphics; however, that picture should mainly serve as a reminder of all of the other things that the brand message communicates. Ideally, property development marketing should create a logo that represents a brand — and not do it the other way around.

What does a multifamily marketing agency mean by branding?

To precisely define what marketers mean by a brand, it’s often helpful to contrast it with the definition of a logo:

  • Logo: A logo refers to a visual image that represents a company. Some of the most recognizable logos in the US include Apple’s apple, McDonald’s yellow arches, and Twitter’s little bird. Without any other information, most people couldn’t guess what those logos represent, but they make sense in context. For instance, Apple’s apple may signify simplicity, and McDonald’s may promote their “golden” arches to symbolize quality. Obviously, Twitter’s little bird represents a “tweet.”
  • Brand: In contrast to a logo, a brand includes everything people think about a company. They may remember the logo, but for a strong brand, consumers also may think about what the company offers and how they feel about their values, service, and quality. If Apple intends to promise simplicity, then the design of their devices needs to back that up.

Ideally, multifamily complexes or even portfolios of properties should develop a brand before they create a visual representation. Obviously, existing properties may already have an established logo. In this case, the multifamily marketing agency will need to decide if they should redesign their logo or simply work to get people to see it differently within the context of their newly defined brand identity.

Establishing a brand identity for apartment marketing

AM Digital highlighted some statistics that demonstrate the importance of focusing on branding as more than simply having a logo designed:

  • Shared values: Out of all consumers, about two-thirds say that they would prefer to patronize businesses with shared values.
  • Growth: About three out of four of all marketers believe businesses need strong brands to grow.
  • Identity: About three-fourths of Millennials say they would abandon a brand if it failed to fit with their own identity.

Today’s apartment marketing tends to try to differentiate properties by promoting amenities, location, or in some cases, rent prices. Such positive features as a great location, pet-friendly policies, and high-tech security can factor into brand development. At the same time, features still don’t always add up to the way renters react to a solid brand.

For one thing, property development marketing may need to create a brand for multiple locations or at least, think that’s a possibility in the future. Every property might not have exactly the same locations or even amenities. Also, some properties could focus on different amenities because their target market in some areas may care about some things more than others.

Listing amenities and features can help with the logical decision-making process; however, the brand helps create an emotional relationship that can help differentiate the housing complex from others in the area.

Research Values and Behavior

No apartment marketer should ever assume they know exactly what potential or current renters want. Multifamily Executive said that researching the market frequently gets overlooked by apartment marketers. They suggest having a professional research firm conduct surveys and focus groups to ensure reliable information.

As an example, LMC chooses to brand each property individually, instead of trying to develop one brand identity for every complex. Before they even engage in property development, they hire research firms to make certain they understand renters in the community. In turn, they can use this information for marketing and to help develop their brand message.

Existing properties can take advantage of even more useful research. Instead of only surveying the general community, marketers can learn a lot from the on-site team. Employees work in the complex and probably live nearby. They can also ask for opinions from current residents to find out what they like or would prefer to change about the complex.

Develop a Brand Messaging Strategy

After figuring out the most important things that would draw a prospective renter and retain a current one, it’s important to craft a messaging strategy to communicate it. Most important, this message needs to differentiate the property from other choices in the community.

For some examples:

  • Student housing marketing may focus on the benefits that student housing has over typical housing in the same area. Perhaps student apartments offer flexible leases, appropriate furnishings, study areas, and even an opportunity to socialize with other students. A multifamily brand for students may want to emphasize these features.
  • A high-end apartment might want to focus upon the superior services that can help busy professionals save time over living in an average apartment or even owning a home. For doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, saving time may be more important than saving a few dollars on rent by moving down the street.

Create a Brand Identity to Reflect the Brand Message

At this point, multifamily marketers may want to develop logos or consider adjusting old ones. With apartments, it’s important to ensure that the graphics look as good and distinctive on business cards and brochures as they appear on large street signs. Naturally, the graphics, colors, and other elements used on logos and signs matter.

Still, apartment complexes also need to ensure that everything they do reflects their brand image. As a simple example, student housing will probably do fine with a relaxed dress code, so that kind of housing might let employees wear jeans and sporty T-shirts. On the other hand, a luxury apartment building might want to require at least business casual clothes for office staff and provide uniforms for maintenance workers.

Promote the Apartment Marketing Brand Strategy

Again, business cards, signs, and other vehicles to display the logo will provide part of the marketing. Beyond that, marketers should look into social media, paid ads, and even press releases to let people know why they’re different and of course, better than the competition. Promotions should still mention amenities and features, but they should incorporate those into their overall brand message.

Why focus upon multifamily branding

Mostly, defining a brand helps businesses ensure that customers have the intended reaction to all touchpoints. These encounters with the brand could range from street signs and paid ads to an online bill-paying system or prompt maintenance calls. The brand doesn’t just evoke a reaction from future or current renters but also provides a roadmap that multifamily property managers can base decisions upon.

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Renter Pain Points a Multifamily Marketing Agency Should Target

Multifamily marketing should understand both market and marketing distribution to solve renter pain points and attract qualified renters.

In marketing, a pain point refers to a problem that businesses can provide a solution for. A multifamily marketing agency can benefit by understanding their potential customers very well. They can learn about the issues that might motivate people to move from their current housing or choose one apartment community over another one. By communicating solutions to these pain points, apartment marketing can make sure that people find their message and pay attention to it.

What pain points can a multifamily marketing agency address?

For established complexes or property development marketing, consider these common renter pain points:

Outdated tech

Apartment marketers can scratch off a lot of a modern renter’s boxes with the right tech. For instance:

  • According to the Rental Housing Journal, younger adults look for such features as smart thermostats and security systems that can help them manage electric bills and protect their home. Renters want to save money and feel safe.
  • While new developments probably already have a design that includes good mobile and Wi-Fi reception, some older buildings may have dead zones. These days, everybody expects to have good mobile and Wi-Fi.

Technical solutions can also make it easy and convenient for renters to pay bills, manage serve request online, and even sign their leases. Some of these products allow renters to login and handle their business 24/7 and even send out automated email or text alerts alerts. They can also interface with accounting and rental management systems to ease the property manager’s workload.

Apartment location

Renters will want to know more about the location of any apartment community they’re considering. For instance, commuters may desire easy access to public transportation and freeways. Parents will want to know how close they are to neighborhood schools. In some cases, a location near shopping, restaurants, and entertainment may help attract people. Either way, it’s a good idea to highlight any positive aspects of the complex’s location on the apartment’s website, blog, and social media. 

Apartment amenities

Today’s renters will generally expect certain amenities, so it’s a good idea to use these as a selling point. The Rental Housing Journal mentioned that many Millennials have gotten married and started to have children, so they might prefer such family-friendly features as a playground, pool, sidewalks, pet-friendly policy, dog park, and bike stand. Renters without children may enjoy some of these amenities as well.

In particular, younger adults tend to prefer patronizing eco-friendly businesses, and landlords should emphasize features like smart thermostats, low-flow faucets, and any other environmentally friendly amenities. Very often, these eco-friendly features can also help save money, which helps address another potential pain point.

Timing property development marketing

For projects in development or undergoing remodeling, pre-development marketing can provide investors with great returns. Not only can they potentially run specials to lease units before they’re even completed, they can use the opportunity to gain valuable information about potential tenants.

As an example, one marketing style may not appeal to every kind of tenant or even every community. By starting early, it’s possible to ensure that social posts, websites, and other marketing materials are prompting the right kind of prospects to schedule visits and complete application forms. Learning to target the best prospects can help improve marketing returns and save property managers a lot of time.

Also, it’s important to time messages well. If a qualified prospect didn’t end up leasing, consider sending an automated message in about 11 months, shortly before their current lease gets ready to expire. It’s possible that the apartment they rented did not satisfy their expectations or doesn’t meet current needs. At least, they’re already familiar with the property, so they’re more like warm prospects than cold ones.

Creative problem-solving for apartment marketing

Moving’s always a hassle, so some apartments offer some creative specials to make the move as convenient and attractive as possible. Some fairly inexpensive examples could include free truck rental, move-in boxes, and of course, pizza. Partner with moving companies, daycare, storage companies, and maid services to offer discounts on moving, childcare during the move, storage, and getting their old place cleaned up. Some of these other companies may work out a deal to share promotions, which can help expand the audience for both the apartment and the service.

Distributing marketing for property developers

Of course, no amount of reducing pain points will help if potential renters don’t see it. It’s a good idea to keep up an active social presence on local groups. Tailor website pages and blog pages to address various needs that renters might look for and make sure to optimize them to get found by search engines. If a prospect searches for easy ways to move to your locality, make sure they can find the complex’s specials for free or discounted moving trucks. In that way, apartment marketing can let renters know that the complex can offer a better experience than they may have even expected.

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What COVID-19 College Closures Mean for Property Marketing

Coronavirus has disrupted the college housing industry. Find out how property marketing can help navigate the uncertainty as students return to campus.

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted just about every part of the economy. Colleges and college housing have not enjoyed any sort of exemption. Some schools still aren’t sure they’ll reopen for physical classes in the fall. Even if universities open, many families have concerns about their ability to help students pay for it. Because of this, college housing property managers and owners face an uncertain future and a more competitive market. Learn more about marketing to college students during the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath.

Marketing to college students for property management impacted by COVID-19

Before a college marketing agency can predict the outlook for housing, it’s important to consider the forecasted state of college enrollment. Even if universities and colleges will open their doors for the fall semester, enrollment may diminish.

A college consulting firm, Simpson Scarborough, conducted a study of prospective freshmen and reported some grim news:

  • One in five of these students said they would have to delay college plans because of changes to their family finances. An additional 11 percent said that they were not yet certain if they would have to delay their freshman year or not.
  • Over half of respondents reported negative changes to family finances, even if they could still attend school.
  • For students who had already attended college but hadn’t yet graduated, over forty percent said their family had suffered financial setbacks because of the pandemic.
  • One of the firm’s founders, Elizabeth Scarborough Johnson, said they conducted the study at the end of March. Sadly, she expected that the number of students delaying college would continue to rise.

Out of all the current college students surveyed, 97 percent said that their own college offered online classes to replace the canceled on-campus schedule. At the same time, most of the students found online learning less satisfying than in-person classes. In fact, only five percent said that they they liked learning online better. To be fair, these students had initially signed up for a college campus experience, and the professors in charge of the classes may have had little experience teaching online before they urgently needed to adjust.

In any case, Ms. Johnson said she believed this common attitude among students meant that students were eager to return to campus life as soon as they could. While the coronavirus has disrupted colleges right now, she believed things would return to normal once the crisis had passed.

How can college marketing for student housing deal with coronavirus uncertainty?

Nobody blames college housing for the coronavirus. At the same time, property managers need to focus upon a few aspects of their brand reputation. Even if it’s not their fault, some people will judge them on the way they handled the unexpected crisis., an industry journal, spoke with private owners of student housing. Besides having concerns about the future, the property owners said that they urgently struggled with the problems of lease cancellations and maintaining healthy buildings.

Lease terminations

Right now, many private property managers haven’t appeared to demonstrate much flexibility when it comes to leases. For example, the news in Austin, Texas ran a story about parents that had to pay Landmark Properties $12,000 to terminate their daughter’s lease when pandemic-impacted finances made it impossible for her to attend college at Texas A&M in the fall. That sum amounted to rent for six months out of the twelve-month lease.

As specified in the lease, the property management company gave the family an option to find somebody to sublet the lease. With the state of college enrollment, the parents failed to find anybody to sublet online. While Landmark was within its legal rights to stick to the terms of the lease, it certainly did not do its brand much good to get publicity from this sort of news story.

While some property companies haven’t yet shown much flexibility with lease terminations, Student Housing Business found that many properties have tried to work with residents in other ways. For instance, some companies have waived late fees and deferred evictions and collections.

Maintaining safety

Meanwhile, property managers with current tenants should follow the best practices from the CDC guidelines. These may include closing down common areas and shared amenities, deferring nonessential maintenance, limiting office visits, and sanitizing all accessible areas multiple times a day.  Both students and staff may need some additional guidelines to help maintain sanitary conditions.

Communicating with all stakeholders

Christian O’Lone serves as the regional property manager for DMG investments, a private student housing company.  He said that his company has not been financially impacted yet because they attracted displaced students from on-campus housing to replace students who had left.

In addition to taking safety measures, he says that it’s very important to communicate and educate staff and current or future tenants. Because of this, he believes that one of the largest impacts of the outbreak to property management will be increased activity on advertising platforms and social media to compete for residents and keep stakeholders in the loop. As an example, Peak Housing has been producing videos to instruct student resident in the right way to perform simple maintenance tasks, such as changing light bulbs and air filters.

Tips for marketing to college students during and after coronavirus

Even though college housing usually doesn’t house families, it’s considered part of the multifamily housing market. Andrew Bowen has worked in property management for this kind of housing for almost 30 years. Incidentally, he got his start when he applied to serve as a resident assistant in his residence hall at the University of Santa Barbara.

He told RealPage that he felt particularly qualified to speak on the topic because his oldest child had to return home from the University of North Texas to finish his classes online. He also mentioned that he tried and failed to scour the lease to see if there was some sort of clause he could use to get out of making more payments.

In other words, Mr. Bowen could understand property management marketing concerns both from the perspective of the property and the student’s families. Based upon his experiences with college housing and many years operating multifamily housing, he has some suggestions that can help with marketing to college students and their families.

Remain aware of optics

Property management needs to understand the impact of the coronavirus on family finances, both because of shrinking investments and job losses. Renters will look for value, so properties may need to explore some very competitive incentives that will help reduce rental costs, even if that means sacrificing some popular amenities.

In some cases, it may be time to take a page from the hospitality industry and introduce some more flexible lease cancellation options. These can certainly encourage families to choose one apartment over another in these uncertain times.

Keep up with the situation

It’s important for properties to work with their associated colleges and universities to learn if colleges will open up for on-campus learning next semester. On that note, parents and students will wonder about the same thing, so it’s possible that the demand won’t increase until these announcements get made. Property managers might need to expect delays in demand.

Get ready to react fast

Since the current situation may shorten the typical leasing cycle to a few weeks and not several months, marketers may have to also compress their normal marketing funnels. They should get their marketing plan in place and make certain that they can set in motion as soon as they have enough information to act.

Keep communicating with prospects and current lease holders

Mr. Bowen noted that he stopped receiving renewal emails from his child’s apartment complex. He also stopped getting promotions from the other apartment complexes they had visited before deciding on the current one. He says that instead of communicating less, property managers should communicate more.

Actually, this shortage of emails and messages from many college housing companies can prevent a good opportunity for the properties that do continue to stay in contact. Even if the property doesn’t have new information, it’s a good idea to let people know they’re waiting for official announcements and working hard to preserve a safe, healthy environment.

Properties should make lists of prospects from the past few years and send emails to acknowledge that both they and the students struggle with uncertainty and how they’re working to plan for it. They can also send out the same sorts of messages through ads and social media.

The future of marketing college housing to college students and families

Eventually, students will return to campuses. When universities first open, they may suffer from decreased enrollments, particularly for the first few semesters. For properties to compete, they need to strive to keep their properties healthy and consider more aggressive promotions and flexible terms. Most of all, they should stay in communication with their current residents and prospects to let them know they understand the uncertainty but are still making good plans.

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How Post-COVID-19 Behavior Will Impact Property Digital Media

Marketing apartment complexes using digital media will be very important for property managers to reach future tenants searching for rentals after COVID-19.

One thing’s for sure. During the coronavirus crisis, property managers cannot enjoy business as usual. Even in early April, online searches for apartments and rental rates have dropped significantly. Still, the crisis has impacted some sectors of the real estate market more than others, and industry experts expect a strong upswing once the worst has passed. After all, people still need places to stay and live. Find out how to use digital media after COVID-19 to effectively market your properties during and after the coronavirus crisis.

Apartment marketing after the coronavirus

To develop digital marketing plans, consider the state of the rental property market, how property managers should respond to consumer behavior during and after the pandemic, and finally, some reliable property management digital marketing strategies to consider.

Coronavirus declines in property rentals

Housing Wire saw a decline from 10 to 35 percent for online apartment searches during the first part of April. Short-term rentals suffered the most, as people have drastically reduced travel. In response, many short-term property owners have begun offering longer terms to make up for the drastic declines in business or vacation trips. Still, the report ended upon the optimistic note that property managers did not see declines like some other industries, including hospitality or travel. They also expected rental properties to enjoy a strong upswing once the worst of the crisis had passed and people began to resume their normal lives.

Property management’s response to COVID-19

Besides analyzing the current rental market, it’s also important to consider current coronavirus best practices for apartment managers. 

For example:

  • The National Multifamily Housing Council, or NMHC, has published guidelines that cover everything from proper disinfection techniques to package handling. They based these suggestions on CDC recommendations, and it’s great to not only follow appropriate tips but to communicate your actions to your current renters, prospects, and other stakeholders. 
  • Most progressive property management companies have moved a lot of their business online anyway. It saves time and money and best of all, typical renters prefer these convenient options. If you haven’t made much progress, it’s a good time to consider online contracts and payments and even virtual tours. If you need to show empty apartments, keep hand sanitizer by the door and follow a screening process before scheduling the appointment. 

Property management digital marketing strategies for after the coronavirus crisis

Laurence Yun serves as the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. While he spoke more about the home sales than the rental market, his marketing advice for after coronavirus applies just as well to the rental market. He said that a couple of the biggest consumer behavior changes would stem from timidity about meeting strangers in person and economic uncertainty.

Digital Apartment Marketing After Coronavirus

To alleviate the first concern, David Kong, a NYC Keller WIlliams partner, said he has already ordered online 3D walkthroughs for apartments. Prospective renters can view these from any computer or mobile phone. You can still schedule appointments with your property managers, but instead of conducting initial visits in person, you can offer online walkthroughs. Of course, you can even advertise self-guided virtual visits that people can take 24-7.

Redfin, an online broker, boasted that it was ahead of the game because it already prepared virtual home tours and plans digital marketing campaigns for each listing. They believed they had a unique selling tactic because they felt their online media mix optimization could close deals just as well as brokers who focused on offline meetings and showings. It’s only reasonable to expect that other real estate businesses will benefit by following this lead.

Search and Social Marketing After COVID-19

Besides marketing specific rental units, you can use your social platforms and ads to demonstrate how well your company has responded to the crisis by following best practices from the CDC and the NMHC. Let prospective renters know that you care about the health of your tenants and your employees and exactly how you demonstrate that care.

Also, if you see specific demand changes, you might consider responding to these with changes in your own rental policies. For instance, if you offered short-term leases geared to AirBnb-type clients in the past, you might consider extending leases for individuals and families who need a place to shelter for several months or even longer. Even if you need to lower your monthly rental rates somewhat, you can always benefit from the economy of not having to replace tenants as often.

Your local market research may find a ready audience with displaced travellers, college students, or medical workers. When you come up with a local demand and some appropriate deals, be certain your target those people for your digital ads on search and social platforms.

Bouncing back during and after the COVID-19 crisis

Again, industry experts expect rental properties to bounce back fairly quickly. While the market may change, your flexible approach to this disruption can give you an edge. Follow safety guidelines, provide prospective renters the online tools they prefer, and of course, use your marketing to let your audience know what a good job you’re doing. 

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Marketing for Senior Living Facilities After the Coronavirus

Marketing senior living facilities after COVID-19 must demonstrate how you’ve improved, while presenting the facts that show your residents are safe.

One of the first big news stories that you may have read about COVID-19, usually just called the coronavirus, involved deaths at a senior living facility near Seattle. Since then, the virus has made its way to vulnerable populations inside other skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living facilities across the United States. In response, most of these places have restricted visitation, canceled social activities, closed communal dining areas, and taken other firm action to reduce the chance of spreading disease.

In the past, most senior facilities have highlighted the chance to remain social and active as some of their most positive features. Of course, even offering residents an active, social experience cannot come before safeguarding health. Naturally, this crisis has created huge challenges for facility administrators, loved ones, and of course, residents. Still, this national health crisis will surely pass. Along with the challenges of today, senior care businesses can also find some marketing opportunities for the future.

Positive marketing for senior living facilities after the Coronavirus

No doubt, senior living facilities and families have recently needed to make some hard choices. Many facilities have temporarily suspended new admissions, which will reduce revenue. Families have had to make the difficult choice to forgo visiting their parents and grandparents or to take them home. The resident’s adult children may not want their loved ones to feel isolated or might simply have the typically misguided idea that senior care facilities are breeding grounds for disease. Marketing senior living after coronavirus will take emphasizing the very real positives of your facility by demonstrating how you’ve improved and presenting the facts that can alleviate concerns.

Marketing for assisted living and nursing homes should emphasize overall benefits 

For instance, families may already struggle to take care of their younger and healthier members during the current situation. Even during typical times, they often lack the training, equipment, and focus to protect their elderly and infirm elders. Katie Smith acts as the CEO and president of LeadingAge. This organization represents nonprofit senior care facilities. She admitted that some early cases, such as in Washington state, highlight how unprepared some facilities — and even the entire country — was for a quick-spreading virus of this nature.

At the same time, Katie Smith observed that these facilities still provide one of the safest places for elderly and infirm people to live. Trained professionals can monitor residents, ensure they get their medications on schedule, and most of all, stick to best practices for containing the spread of disease. In addition, federal and state governments strictly regulate senior living and healthcare businesses. Under this recent threat, organizations have doubled down on their efforts to adhere to high standards.

It’s well known that elderly people have a much greater risk from dying of coronavirus than younger people, according to published medical statistics. On the other hand, almost three-quarters of family members said that their own and their parent’s life improved after a move to a senior facility, according to surveys. Even better, about 70 percent of the seniors surveyed felt the same way after the move, even if they had resisted in the beginning. Some examples of the benefits that they cited included improved mental and physical health, less stress, and better family relations.

Focus upon communication

During this crisis, senior facilities can maintain their good image by focusing upon clear, honest communication with current residents, families, and the wider community. This is a good time to send out emails, letters, and even press releases to let everybody know how hard you’re working to effectively protect residents. Even if it’s not all good news, you should also remain as transparent as possible.

Certainly, current restrictions on activities, visitations, and communal dining will make some people unhappy. With the relatively long incubation period of coronavirus, you could have residents who already contracted the disease from visitors or even caregivers who had no idea they were carriers. You need to ensure that people understand that you have followed best practices and taken steps to save lives. While you’re communicating important information, you can also use this opportunity to build and maintain your brand image as a competent, caring, and transparent organization.

Try to mitigate the negatives

Right now, many residents and their loved ones will find your social distancing measures unpleasant, if necessary. Still, you may find ways to help bridge the gap. For instance, some senior living facilities have helped residents use such technology as Facetime and Zoom in order to reduce isolation, keep in contact with their families, and even interact with other residents. It’s time for you to find creative solutions and of course, craft marketing to let people know about them. 

Start developing your marketing plans now

Sadly, we’re likely to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic for several more months, if not years. Still, people will need your services, perhaps now more than ever. Your attention to safety, honest communication, and clever solutions should provide you with plenty of marketing inspiration in the coming months.

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Using Real-Time Marketing to Fill Your Apartment Complex

By adroitly executing a real-time marketing strategy, property managers can decrease vacancies without breaking the marketing budget.

The velocity of online communication has never been more accelerated. Today’s hilarious memes or social trends typically curdle into irrelevance or irritation within a few days. Today’s breaking news comes faster than ever — and is forgotten about almost as quickly.

This is a significant challenge for marketers, who must do their best to stay fresh, relevant and vital. Real time marketing helps solve this problem by using breaking news — and emerging online trends and conversations — as a springboard for targeted and timely marketing campaigns.

Let’s take a closer look at how real-time marketing can be deployed in property management, and how marketing analytics can help determine the best way to implement such a strategy.

Real time marketing and your apartment complex: a hypothetical case study

Let’s assume you’re the manager of a 1,000 unit multi-family property. Your tenancy rate is hovering around 85% and has been bouncing between 80% and 90% for the last two years. You’re seeking a new way to push it closer to 100%, and you believe a change in marketing strategy is the best way to achieve this.

Years ago, you considered incorporating real-time elements into your marketing strategy. Yet you decided against it, as the challenges seemed to outweigh the benefits. Tracking news developments and identifying the ones likeliest to resonate was a laborious job. The need to act quickly on breaking news created high levels of reputational risk, as brands raced to get marketing content out with limited context about the news they were leveraging. Additionally, you have limited tools for gauging the impact of your efforts. It seemed much simpler to pursue a conventional approach.

Today, however, you discover that the real time marketing landscape has shifted considerably. Social media, social listening tools, real time analytics and the use of a digital marketing dashboard made the process of monitoring and measuring media and marketing campaigns vastly easier. New marketing tools made it simple to build data-informed buyer personas and to connect these profiles with targeted, real time messages. These tools also allow you to closely track conversations and engagement on social media, giving you unprecedented insight into how conversations ebb and flow in real time.

Armed with these tools, you devise a real time strategy built around four elements:

  • The initiating event. What development is the impetus for real time marketing? This could be breaking news, a popular meme or pre-planned triggers such as holidays. In the case of an apartment complex, you’re looking for any event that can be related in some way to property leasing. It might be a news story that talks about the rising cost of interest rates, or a lack of affordable housing in the area.
  • The real time target. This helps you define who you’re trying to reach with this real time marketing message. Customers who fit certain demographics? Customers in specific locations? Customers with a search history that aligns with your property or the real time development you’re tracking?
  • The plan of attack. How are you going to send your message in real time? Social media? Text? Email etc.?
  • Objectives and measurements. What’s your ultimate goal? More sales? Higher brand awareness? In this case, you’re trying to increase tenancy rates. By defining objectives and tracking apartment marketing campaigns with real time analytics, you can determine how effective and engaging your messages are — a leading indicator for how much or little you’ll ultimately increase your tenancy rate.

The end result? You run the campaign, supported by social marketing tools and analytics. By following the four point plan, you generate much greater traction among your targeted audience by serving them timely and relevant messages that benefit from increased visibility thanks to their real time hook. Within three months, the tenancy rate has broken through to 95%. 

Adding real time marketing to your property marketing mix

Property rental is big business — generating roughly $4.5 trillion over the last decade. The business, however, is likely to grow more competitive. Tenancy rates have been propped up by a lack of new inventory coming online in recent years, as builders have not kept pace with population growth. That’s expected to change, however: The National Association of Home Builders projects multi-family construction growth to rise 4% in 2021, after a decade of remaining stuck at around 1%. Why? Because as more millennials and Gen Z renters and buyers enter the market, inventory will need to grow significantly. This means property managers will need tools such as real time marketing to keep tenancy rates at the desired level.

Sometimes working with a third-party agency with expertise in real time marketing is the best way to approach this.

Working with a real time marketing expert

At Bigeye, we help property developers and manager create the kind of real time campaigns that engage audiences and fill buildings. If you need help crafting your next marketing campaign, don’t wait to contact us.

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