The Benefits of Geo-Fencing for Apartment Marketing

Among the countless advantages that digital marketing has over traditional media marketing, geo-fencing ranks near the top.

Briefly defined, geo-fencing establishes an invisible perimeter (or “fence”) that covers a particular geographic region, allowing digital marketers to specifically target the audience that lies within it.

Countless industries and business sectors have benefited from geo-fencing, but its value to marketers within the residential real estate sector cannot be underestimated.

Geo-Fencing Explained

As the old cliche goes, the three most important criteria for determining real estate desirability are location, location, location. Renters in search of a new apartment almost invariably look within very specific areas and have little interest in properties that lie outside of those areas.

Geo-fencing allows you to make the most of your marketing efforts by reaching out to apartment-hunters inside a precise geographic region that you are able to define and alter at will.

With geo-fencing, you can program automatic alerts to launch to smartphone users who happen to stray close to your apartment community. Prospective tenants who are using Zillow, Yelp, Pandora, or any other mobile app that supports geo-fencing are instantly identified through technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) or the Global Positioning System (GPS) and can receive one or more instant alerts when they enter your targeted area.

3 Key Benefits of Geo-Fencing

Unsurprisingly, more and more apartment marketers are employing geo-fencing to specifically target individuals who are most likely to engender conversions and, ultimately, fill property vacancies. The majority of prospective tenants also benefit from geo-fencing. After all, what apartment hunter wouldn’t appreciate a tip or a special offer regarding a great place in an ideal location?

Here are just three key advantages of apartment marketing and hunting with geo-fencing:

1. Optimized search operations based on location

Real estate websites and online rental databases that employ geo-fencing technology do much of the legwork for apartment hunters by automatically and instantaneously sorting through a nearly infinite number of listings to show only the properties that fall within the parameters of a specific geographic location. In addition to targeting only the most likely future tenants on an individual basis, geo-fencing allows apartment marketers to send them relevant sale suggestions at the most opportune moments.

2. The delivery of key apartment information in real-time

In addition to sending relevant listings to a localized audience and vacancy alerts to individuals who are close to your various listings, geo-fencing technology can aid with prompt apartment showings and spur-of-the-moment apartment applications. More generally speaking, it can do wonders when it comes to helping apartment complexes and other real estate organizations build their brand and engage with the most relevant audience possible. After all, why spend the money and energy on an extensive and protracted branding campaign that will reach thousands or even millions of uninterested people?

3. Convenient, value-added apartment hunting assistance

Geo-fencing goes a long way toward placing the power to find and obtain the perfect apartment in the palm of any smartphone user’s hand. In addition to optimizing the online apartment hunting process, geo-fencing allows even the least tech-savvy Zillow, Redfin, or Realtor.com users to schedule relevant apartment search alerts that do most of the hunting for them. By setting specific rental interest criteria within a particular geographic area, they can let their favorite real estate app do the work, notifying them of key apartment prospects while they concentrate on career, family, and other important matters.

To Learn More

If you have any questions about geo-fencing for apartments, contact the real estate marketing leaders at BIGEYE today. The professionals at BIGEYE offer a broad spectrum of marketing services that can benefit anyone in the property rental sector.

Read More

What Changing Seasons Mean for Apartment Complex Marketing

If you want to win in the apartment marketing game, you need to be a “brand for all seasons”. Here’s what that designation means.

Perhaps you’ve heard the old joke about auto mechanics telling new drivers that they need to add more “blinker fluid” or replace the “summer air” in their tires with “winter air?”

If you tell someone who doesn’t understand the apartment rental space that you need “summer marketing” and “winter marketing,” they too might feel that you’re having a bit of fun at their expense. The truth, however, is that apartment marketing is highly seasonal. To do it effectively, you need to be a brand for all seasons.

Let’s take a closer look at why apartment marketing is seasonal, and some relevant strategies you can employ each time the weather changes.

Why Apartment Marketing is Seasonal

If you’re wondering why marketers need to vary their approach by season, the answer is simple: Because buyers vary their behavior. Most leases end in the spring and summer, which means that the market experiences its highest volume of prospective buyers during the warmest months.

If you’re a savvy marketer, you prepare for this influx of interest. It’s also important to understand why rentals peak in warmer months. The start of a new college year, for example, results in a rush for new rental accommodations. Marketers need to be aware of this and tailor some of their offerings to the college demographic.

Other reasons rentals spike from May to September include:

  • Wedding season
  • Better weather
  • Higher birth rates, necessitating new living spaces

Marketers who are ahead of the curve consider all of these elements and calibrate their campaigns accordingly. Additionally, when interest drops off in fall and winter, marketers can adjust their approach as needed. If too much inventory remains unrented, marketers can design campaigns with special incentives to encourage prospects to move sooner than they were planning to.

Some On-trend Ideas for Apartment Marketers

360 degree videos and virtual reality. Today’s apartment renters are extremely tech savvy. They use popular real estate platforms to explore properties and neighborhoods from the comfort of their couch, taking full advantage of tools such as Google Maps and Street View. Smart marketers understand that “couch browsing” has become an unofficial national pastime. 360 degree walkthrough videos show off a property in a way that static photography simply cannot match. By providing 360 degree videos and VR/AR walkthrough content, you can differentiate your offering and give browsers exactly the type of experience that excites and intrigues.

Offer seasonally targeted marketing initiatives involving your complexes. Is it spring? Then partner with a local college to co-sponsor a gardening class. Is it fall? Then organize pumpkin carving or trick or treat experiences within your complex. Is it winter? Then build a massive snowman outside of your complex and add an advertising sign to go with his corncob pipe and button nose. No matter what season it is, be fun, creative and relevant. 

Create a YouTube channel with interesting content and do-it-yourself tips for renters. This is a great way to engage with people and build awareness, but it’s important to make a commitment to produce strong content on a regular basis. Additionally, you should make an equal commitment to optimizing your video content so it’s seen by large (and geographically relevant) viewers.

Finding the Right Apartment Marketing Partner

At Bigeye, we’re the apartment marketing specialists. Contact us today to learn how we can help you maximize your marketing potential — in any season.

Read More

Apartment Branding: The Missing Piece of the Marketing Puzzle

Most multifamily marketers know the importance of promoting the features of their communities, but fewer fully grasp the importance of apartment branding.

Multifamily marketers tend to spend a lot of time highlighting their available vacancies, touting structural and functional details that range from vaulted ceilings and granite countertops to scenic views and smart appliances. While this marketing approach is certainly valuable, trying to implement it without first establishing a solid apartment brand is like trying to put a coat of paint on a building before pouring its concrete foundation. 

Real estate industry statistical research firmly supports this view of apartment branding as supremely important. The Harvard Business Review, for example, reports that 64% of people cite shared values as their principal motivation for developing a consumer relationship with a particular brand. Covering the other side of the consumer/business coin, the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report has shown that 57% of small business owners regard strong relationships with consumers as the chief force behind ongoing/repeat business.

In short, it is absolutely essential to create, institute, and cultivate an apartment branding strategy that says something powerful and unique about your multifamily community. Furthermore, it is vital that you continually monitor the overall effectiveness of your exiting brand to ensure that it is squarely connecting with your chosen audience.

Building an Effective Brand from Scratch

When it comes to establishing a brand that reflects your company priorities and values, creative and strategic apartment naming and logo design are key…but they are only the beginning. Your name and logo will serve as a launching pad for all of your subsequent marketing strategies from overall messaging style and content delivery to the development of specific promotional efforts and advertising campaigns.

Want to optimize your apartment branding process to make a tremendous impact on the marketplace? By following the three steps outlined below, you can ensure that your branding efforts get off on the right foot and continue down the path to success.

1. Research

Surprisingly, this important first step in the apartment branding process is one that many multifamily marketers fail to invest in. This is, quite frankly, ridiculous. In the absence of adequate preliminary research, your branding efforts will be little more than a shot in the dark, and you will have little chance of hitting that elusive branding bullseye. Key areas of branding research include consumer demographics/psychographics, consumer behavior/lifestyle choices, and geographical/financial market analysis.

2. Brand Identity

After conducting in-depth research, you must give extensive thought to your proposed brand identity. Keep in mind that this identity must extend throughout every element of your comprehensive marketing efforts, from the color of your chosen logo to the tone of your written promotional copy to the videos and images that appear on your social media page. The two keys to brand identity are relevance to company values and consistency across all media channels.

3. Implementation Strategy

The final step in the brand-building process consists of positioning your fully developed brand within the marketplace. This necessitates a comprehensive implementation of all brand elements (signage, letterheads, promotional messaging/events, website/social media design, etc.) with a firm focus on lead generation and positive public relations. It is absolutely essential to develop a prudent implementation strategy that fits the specific characteristics of your brand. As Executive Magazine contributor Samantha Chalmers puts it, “when promoting a LEED-certified community with composting stations and community gardens, it wouldn’t make sense to place a print ad in a Range Rover catalog” or “serve coffee or water in Styrofoam cups in the leasing office.”

Brand Optimization and Rebranding

No matter how much time, effort, and care you took to develop your initial apartment brand, it is important to realize when, in the words of Multifamily Executive Magazine contributor Jamie Matusek, “your brand becomes more of a liability than an asset.”

When this occurs, it is time to optimize your brand or rebrand entirely.

A successful rebranding effort requires marketers to follow the same comprehensive steps that drive the initial branding process. But when is the right time for your apartment complex to rebrand? Events and situations that often trigger a rebrand include planned remodeling or structural capital improvements, a floundering reputation in the consumer marketplace, and a general desire or need to expand your overall audience base. 

Your specific brand optimization or rebranding strategies will depend entirely on the events that necessitate them and the weaknesses in your brand as it currently stands. If your apartment complex is plagued by poor resident ratings, for example, you will want to reach out to existing tenants to precisely identify key areas of concern and then reformat your brand to address those areas specifically. In this case, your new brand should reflect a distinct break with the old brand, clearly stressing the value of a fresh start. As part of your rebranding efforts, it will be absolutely essential to communicate what, exactly, will be different about your company as you move forward. Furthermore, it will be even more important to honor those messages through conscientious action. 

For more information

Bigeye is an apartment branding agency that places a supreme emphasis on creativity and forward-thinking business strategy. Whether you’re looking for a multifamily marketing agency to build your brand from the ground up or to optimize the brand that you’ve already developed, we can help. Don’t hesitate to contact Bigeye today.

Read More

4 Helpful Apartment Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Despite the typical seasonal slowdown, don’t let your apartment marketing endeavors take a vacation over the holiday season!

While few renters would say no to a bigger and better apartment, absolutely nobody looks forward to moving day itself. And while changing residences in the heat of summer certainly isn’t fun, moving in the cold months of autumn and winter is, for many people, virtually unthinkable.

The hassle and expense of the holidays only make matters even worse for the apartment rental sector. So it’s not surprising that, despite the inherent joy of the season, real estate professionals tend to approach the stretch of time between Thanksgiving and New Years with nothing short of dread.

However, despite its notorious reputation among property renters, the holiday season need not spell absolute doom for those with the right apartment marketing skills. The real estate market may slow during the holidays, but it doesn’t stop completely!

A wise apartment marketing professional or multifamily marketing agency will tailor their existing marketing campaigns to effectively reach the small amount of renters who absolutely must face a cold weather move. After all, people accept new jobs, establish/terminate relationships, and face a whole host of professional and personal changes all year round.

Looking for even more good news in advance of the upcoming holiday season? By leveraging the unique marketing opportunities that the holidays present, you can actually present a Thanksgiving or Christmastime relocation as a plus rather than a minus… a blessing rather than a curse.

Here are just a few apartment marketing tips that can help you weather the holiday season in fine form.

1. Tailor Your Online Presence to Fit the Season

If you are on top of your marketing game, you are already updating your website and social media pages on a regular basis. Why not use the upcoming holiday season as an excuse to change key elements of your website and other online destinations?

Switching website design to reflect the holiday season is a great way to connect with your existing resident base and reach out to future residents in a positive and heartwarming way. The feelings of general goodwill and togetherness that go hand in hand with the holidays serve as a great opportunity to welcome people into a new home.

2. Encourage Online Sharing to Boost Engagement

Yes, the holidays are great at bringing people together. This holds true whether you are gathering physically around the dinner table or meeting in the virtual space of social media. By sharing holiday photos, stories, and other seasonal content, you can effectively reach out to prospective tenants by reminding them of the traditions and values that so many of us share. Get creative by encouraging employees and existing tenants and to share beloved family recipes, musical playlists, and anything else that may strike a common chord during this special time of year.

Of course, the reciprocal nature of social media always begs for a response. Boost overall engagement in a major way by exchanging favorite memories and current moments of celebration throughout the holiday season.

3. Offer Creative Seasonal Incentives

One need look no further than the holiday tradition of Black Friday to realize an indisputable truth: Nothing brings people to the marketplace faster than the promise of a sale.

Since most members of the general public know full well that the holiday season is notoriously slow in the real estate sector, you can play upon this conventional wisdom by offering special incentives. While the precise nature of these incentives will obviously depend on the financial and operational constraints of your particular real estate organization, it is absolutely essential that prospective renters feel that they are getting a worthwhile bargain in exchange for signing a lease during the winter or late autumn months.

Of course, the key to this strategy is publicizing this bargain in a manner that will draw people to your door (or website). By acknowledging the seasonal rental slump and/or adopting a general holiday theme, an effective marketing campaign can present even a relatively small incentive as an exceptionally big deal.

4. Partner with Worthy and Appropriate Charitable Organizations

There is truly no better way to acknowledge the holidays than by lending a hand to the less fortunate among us. Why not make a seasonal charitable donation to a reputable charitable nonprofit that has special meaning, either to your team in particular or to the real estate industry in general?

Do you offer pet-friendly rentals? Consider partnering with your local Humane Society and perhaps even hosting an on-site pet adoption fair. The holidays traditionally engender a boost in pet acquisition because…well, what kid doesn’t want to find a new puppy or kitten under the Christmas tree?

Regardless of your charitable affiliations, be sure that your existing tenants and the public at large know all about it. Post key information, pictures, and other charity-oriented content on your official website and social media pages. Write and distribute a press release to local media outlets and other organizations that might appreciate and/or share your charitable involvement.

For More Information

A different type of marketing agency, Bigeye stresses creativity and strategy in equal measure to help drive successful campaigns no matter what the market or time of year. If you’re looking for a multifamily marketing agency with a deep understanding of the property rental sector, please contact us today.

Read More

Meet Your New Property Manager – A Six-Inch Tall Know-It-All

Amazon smart devices are in millions of homes and soon might be collecting rent. Here’s what brands need to know about real estate marketing strategy.

Being a property manager is no easy job – you’re on call all the time and you interact with people in problematic and stressful situations. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could outsource many of a property manager’s tasks to some powerful, all-knowing entity who works tirelessly and never sleeps?

Good news – that scenario is becoming reality, as Amazon’s Alexa and other smart home devices have the potential to allow tenants to request repairs, pay rent and manage a whole host of in-home experiences. It’s a development that has the potential to transform multiple industries, and should be of deep interest to anyone formulating real estate marketing strategy.

Alexa will be the first to greet you

Amazon is pursuing a new product strategy that will see their smart speaker device pre-installed in thousands of leased properties across the United States. The company’s Alexa Smart Properties Team partners with homebuilders, property managers, and hotel operators to custom-fit new residential units with Alexa-powered tech.

By doing so, Amazon can reap the benefit of gaining a vast new group of customers and property owners will benefit from advanced property marketing. Once Alexa is embedded into the smart home ecosystem, tenants will use the devices to order groceries, household goods and other services.

As mentioned above, Alexa can also serve as a proxy property manager, easing the strain on management staff and helping provide tenants with timelier service when issues arise. This will be accomplished through the integration of third party apps such as Zego. These apps can facilitate repair requests and even deduct rent payments directly from a user’s bank account when given an “Alexa, pay my rent” command.

Managers can also use smart speakers to remotely grant access to contractors and repair workers, remotely adjust HVAC levels in unoccupied units, and gather insights into tenant preferences.

An evolution toward the smart home experience

Global growth in the smart speaker segment is growing at a rapid pace. According to projections from IDC, shipments of smart speakers devices are projected to grow by 27% in 2019. By 2023, 1.6 billion devices are expected to be shipped annually, making smart speakers as ubiquitous as smartphones.

Amazon and Zego hope to push their products into millions of new homes over the next few years. Amazon’s chief smart speaker competitor, Google, isn’t standing still. Google is pursuing its own partnerships with homebuilders and property firms, including Century Communities, one of the largest homebuilders and property developers in the United States.

Amazon is also seeking to enter the stadium and hospitality spaces. Alexa can be used in hotels to provide concierge-like services: Ordering towels, room service, wake up calls and other functions. At stadiums and concert halls, Alexa can be used to order beverages, adjust seats and perform other useful services.

All of these advancements point to a future where smart devices aren’t merely an intriguing add-on feature, but rather a deeply integrated tool that’s wired in to everything that occurs in a home. As smart speaker adoption gains critical mass, these devices have the potential to become the central nervous system of the home – making life easier and more convenient for residents and property managers alike.

Is your real estate marketing strategy up to date?

Technology moves at lightning speed – but sadly we can’t say the same for most property development marketing. Too many multifamily marketing and apartment marketing agencies are stuck in the analog world and incapable of providing their clients with innovative campaigns driven by cutting-edge technology.

At BIGEYE, that’s precisely what we offer. If you’d like to see how a creative, forward-thinking agency approaches real estate marketing strategy, we urge you to contact us today.

Read More

4 Multifamily Marketing Analytics Tools for Your Lease-Up Goals

To optimize the marketing analytics that drive your promotional efforts, pay close attention to these four key platforms.

Although advertisers still debate the comparative value of traditional vs. digital media, there is no doubt that digital analytics reign supreme when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns and their various components.

While measuring the total audience for any given radio, television, print, or billboard ad is speculative at best, modern analytics systems can not only accurately identify every individual viewer of an online ad, they can follow each viewer through the entire post-ad exposure process, measuring criteria such as click-throughs and conversions as they (hopefully!) lead to the final sale of a product or service. Even better, these systems can accomplish all of this and deliver results in real time.

So where, exactly, should you go to reap the benefits of digital analytics? If you’re looking to attract renters to meet your specific lease-up goals, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the following four marketing analytics tools.

1. Google Analytics

If you’re going to achieve your desired lease-up level (typically round 95%) in a limited amount of time (typically between 6 and 15 months), you’ll need a strong foundation of analytics support. A platform that is nearly ubiquitous in the world of digital marketing, Google Analytics provides just that.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Thomas Smale, “no list of marketing analytics tools can be complete without Google Analytics.” The tool is so common due to its unparalleled power and versatility. In particular, it is great at tracking lead sources and helping users concentrate resources into the most effective media channels.

To more effectively allocate its multifamily marketing resources, for example, an apartment rental organization can use Google Analytics to discover whether its Facebook page or its Twitter page is generating the most leads.

The platform works by asking marketers to define their goals by entering a specific goal ID. A common event ID might track the number of times that users click on a specific piece of content.

A company in the apartment rental industry might be interested in determining which of its three floor designs are generating the most public interest. Using Google Analytics, it can establish clicks on these floor plans as individual goal IDs and watch each as they begin to accumulate clicks in real time.

In short, Google Analytics can create a report for any set of data you might desire, from simple audience overviews to complex conversion progress statements. And if you’re not impressed by its ability to lead you to unprecedented ROI, you still have to enjoy its initial price-point. Google Analytics is absolutely free.

2. Google Tag Manager

An extremely flexible platform that you can easily tailor to meet your specific wants and needs, Google Tag Manager helps you capitalize on the ability of Google Analytics to track information. Briefly described, Google Tag Manager uses bits of code called tags to generate detailed information about your audience members including who they are, where they’re located, what pages they’re visiting, and even what devices they’re using.

By default, Google Analytics places tags on your official website, social media pages, and other online locations to report on a wide variety of visitor behavior. As you begin to accumulate more and more tags, Google Tag Manager becomes indispensable when it comes to keeping them organized.

Google Tag Manager is particularly helpful because it offers a single place to manage your Google Analytics tags as well as your tags from other platforms such as Hootsuite and Facebook Pixel (which we will discuss when we come to must-have analytics tools, numbers three and four).

By clearly identifying every trackable item in Google Tag Manager, you’ll be able to easily read the data in each report and translate it into real world leads and conversions.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an analytics tool with a specific focus on social media monitoring. Due to the unparalleled outreach of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the other major social media networks, a specialized social media analytics platform makes absolute sense.

With Hootsuite, you can monitor a wide range of user activity across multiple channels of social media to discover what your audience is posting about your business and track the relative performance of your own posts on your official social media pages. By monitoring these activities, Hootsuite can show you which types of content produce results and which don’t, helping you optimize your social media presence with posts that are both specifically targeted and highly relevant.

4. Facebook Pixel

Although overall Facebook advertising revenue has stagnated in recent months, it remains the dominant force in digital marketing, outpacing the other major social media networks by a significant measure. Facebook owes much of this success to Facebook Pixel.

An analytics tool that businesses add to their official website and other online pages, Facebook Pixel specializes in tracking/analyzing the performance of your Facebook ad campaign, helping you refine/focus your marketing efforts and monitor the online activity of both existing and prospective renters.

If you want to pursue more advanced Facebook Pixel analytics, you can establish event tags that are similar to those you can create using Google Analytics. Using these tags, you can gain even deeper insight into overall user behavior.

To learn more about the top analytics tools

A forward-thinking and creative marketing agency, Bigeye specializes in apartment analytics to aid in the development of effective leasing strategies. For more information, contact a Bigeye representative today.

Read More