Apartment hunting just got easier: Listing your dream pad online

While real estate agents often provide a level of expertise, legal advice, and support, they also add a third-party, middle layer that many businesses and consumers want to avoid. As more and more people prefer to (and expect to) take a “DIY approach” to real estate, an influx of apartment listing and direct-to-consumer sites have flooded the market to satisfy this niche in the digital world. Most managed properties have been letting tenants do everything from paying their rent, to booking maintenance by themselves via the internet for several years, increasing the expectation that the leasing process itself should also follow suit. Getting ahead of this trend can help your property attract self-sufficient, proactive tenants and increase the perception that your brand is ahead of the apartment marketing curve.

Consumer apartment listing sites:

Consumer listing sites such as rent.com, apartmentfinder.com, forrent.com, and apartments.com provide broad apartment marketing support for units that are agent-listed or self-managed. These websites leverage geolocation and filtering tools to help would-be tenants find properties that fit their lifestyle and needs. The benefit of using these sites is that your property is highly searchable, and very little preference is given to one listing over another, creating an equal playing field. Advertising is tied directly to location and amenities rather than your search budget or website prowess. The flip side of those benefits is that your property personality will be absorbed by the listing site itself, making it somewhat harder to differentiate your building or unit from other options.

Pros:

  • Easy customer interface makes finding your property a breeze
  • List one property or many: sites are free or require nominal fees for advertisers on a budget
  • Creates the appearance of a technology-first approach, even when property is still evolving
  • Seamlessly supports other advertising channels so your apartment is searchable no matter how customers choose to find you

Cons:

  • This new technology is still building credibility and trust across the real estate marketing world
  • Limited by listing site’s branding rather than your own
  • Requires management and follow up to ensure leads evolve into tenants

Proprietary apartment marketing sites:

The benefit of individual property websites is that you have an opportunity to show off your unit’s or building’s unique personality, amenities, and neighborhood. More so than listing options, property-specific sites allow you to paint a picture of what it is like to actually live on-site. Take the North Carolina based Midtown Green Apartments, for example. Their dedicated website provides deep insight into how a resident connects with the building and surrounding area. Potential tenants can review floor plans, interact with the neighborhood, browse a photo gallery of building amenities, and connect with the property management team itself. This is a wonderful tool once customers have found your property. Leveraging this tactic requires a strong search and discovery strategy to ensure potential tenants find the site. The best content in the world can’t make an impact if no one surfs your site and finds it.

Pros:

  • Provides deep information about a building, with full-scale branding and immersive content
  • Communicates look, feel, and vibe of desired residents to increase fit at point of sale
  • Creates dedicated link to property staff and leasing opportunities
  • Builds a brand, rather than a transaction

Cons:

  • May exclude rent-by-owner opportunities, favoring property managed buildings
  • Guests need a pre-existing relationship with the building or strong top of funnel support to ensure content is found

Both listing and dedicated sites provide unique, digital opportunities for owners and managers to promote their property. We recommend a blend of both types of advertising techniques to increase exposure on website visits and drive business your way. For inspiration on how to use these tools in a cross-channel marketing strategy, check out our website to learn more about our services and contact us for more information.

Nursing home marketing & print ads go hand-in-hand

If we were to tell you that print ads go hand in hand with nursing home marketing, you might be tempted to reach for a joke about the slow decline of the print industry and aging clients’ reticence to adopt new marketing technology. It’s true that print ads do perfectly complement and support nursing home marketing … but not for the reasons you might think.

Print ads deliver tangibility and credibility:

When making an important and difficult decision, like where to spend your golden years, marketing bravado is the last thing you need to complicate the process. While print ads may not prove the presence of your expected level of service or desired facilities, there is something to be said for holding a tangible, high-quality brochure in your hands to validate a brand’s image. High-quality print marketing materials suggest that the brand is willing to invest in its clients and has enough liquidity to produce expensive assets. Regardless of whether these assumptions are always true or not, print ads do lend an air of credibility to your marketing efforts by providing something potential clients can take home, hold, review, and consider. Marketing psychology has proved time and again that the weight and finish of paper used in marketing collateral can have a profound influence on the perception of a brand. Possibly for this reason, direct mail boasts a three-time better response rate than email according to the Harvard Business Review. We’ll take those odds.

Printed nursing home marketing materials appeal to young decision makers:

It is also important to realize the decision makers choosing (and financing) nursing home contracts are not always the future residents themselves. As the Baby Boomers continue retiring and aging, their children will slowly shift from care-receivers to caretakers. More than 50% of Generation X and Y view magazine and newspaper print ads in favorable light, compared to their staggeringly low 10 – 20% favorability toward digital PPC and banner ads, according to a study by Kantar Millard Brown. To digital natives, a good website is an expectation — a print ad or brochure goes above and beyond. For this group of decision makers, digital advertising is simply an annoyance standing between them and the content they want; whereas well placed print assets can serve as true supporting and educational material.

Print ads drive action:

So, what’s the bottom line? In our hyper-digital world, we are sometimes shocked by the reality that few channels drive action better than direct mail print ads. Close to 80% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately according to the CMO Council. Still in doubt? Email marketing only delivers a 45% immediate action rate. Choosing a nursing home is a deeply personal and sometimes sensitive decision, so any channel than can inspire immediate action is beneficial to the customer and the service center itself.

Print ads still signal service, and with that, we can’t think of a tool better suited to support nursing home marketing needs. When considering how to maximize your marketing spend as a care and service provider, always assess how and where print ads fit into your marketing mix. No matter what technology emerges, print will always have a place in the middle of the marketing funnel when consumers seek education and deep information about a brand. For examples of how we have used print to support brands like yours, read more about our services or contact us to talk directly with a member of our creative team.

And the Oscar goes to… Cinema ads for multi-family properties

The average movie theater has approximately 200 to 300 seats filled with local residents, business owners, and future tenants, making it prime real estate (pun intended) to kick off a unique property marketing campaign. Cinema advertising, or the local advertisements that run before a movie screening, are a powerful way to increase exposure for your multi-family property without needing to do a ton of work. Movie theaters bring the community together in the same way a census or sample group might, making them an ideal place to test and target potential customer personas and tenant personalities. Here’s why:

1. Cinema advertising is hyper-local: In most cases, people attending movie theaters live, work, shop, and play near by. With the exception of specialty theater experiences, such as mega-IMAX theaters or novelty concepts such as CineBistory, most theaters attract customers who live within a 15-30 mile radius of their location. If not less. If your goal is to expose potential residents to your multi-family property, you can literally handpick the neighborhood you want to target by advertising in theaters nearby that location or in neighborhoods with similar, complementary socioeconomic compositions.

2. Location, location, location: If your multi-family property is near the theater you’re advertising in, you also have the opportunity to showcase the local amenities of that area. Most movie theaters are near malls, shopping plazas, and walking promenades, serving as an anchor for local stores and restaurants. Appealing to potential residents may start with your property itself … but your building is supported by the amenities, walkability, and comfort of the neighborhood itself. Use your cinema advertising to highlight the experience they are already enjoying and how you fit into that pleasant moment and future memories.

3. Cinema advertising is more customizable than you think: The average consumer tends to self-select into neighborhoods and locations that fit their lifestyle, which is why carefully placed cinema advertising can make your property marketing can feel personal, even in a crowded movie theater. Even though your ad may not appeal to every person in the theater, you can make fairly informed assumptions about your target audience based on the location of the theater, type of experience the establishment offers, ticket price point, and movie selection itself. Don’t be afraid to get specific in your ads. The more targeted your messaging, the more likely it is that your audience will remember the ad and act on it later.

4. There’s nothing quite like a captive audience: We hate to say it, but cinema advertising is impactful in part because audiences can’t escape the repetition of and exposure to these ads. Even with the prevalence of smartphones and digital devices in the theater, pre-movie footage and advertising is somewhat inescapable for the average movie goer. Cinema advertising gives you the opportunity to drive your message home without investing tons of money in local television and radio ads, and as more and more people switch to streaming music options and cable-free television providers, understanding and adopting these opportunities will be an important part of local advertisers’ success.

Let us help you understand how your property marketing plan might benefit from cinema advertising today. We’ll work with you to tailor your budget against your desired exposure, ideal tenant, and other marketing initiatives to find the perfect balance of budget, local partnerships, and creative content to take your multi-family property marketing to the next level. Click here to learn more about our services and case studies on how we’ve helped local businesses like you in the past. Then contact us to see how we can help you, too.

3 tips to improve your nursing home content marketing

It’s easier than ever before to find reviews, read about patient experiences, and shop for nursing homes. The market is changing, so your content marketing strategy should also. Digital natives are accustomed to having information at their fingertips and immersing themselves with a brand in the digital environment before making a choice. Because choosing a nursing home hinges on both practical and emotional variables, content is an important part of this information loop to educate potential customers about your facilities and build an emotional connection to your site. Accurate, engaging, and up-to-date content can make or break your ability to relate with today’s decision makers.
Consumers often cite “convenience” and “trust” as primary considerations when choosing health care (alongside cost, of course). As a marketer, you may not have control over your facilities’ prices, but you can make it easier for prospective clients to find information, reach out for assistance, and begin building an open, earnest relationship.

The heart of this data suggests customers are looking for two things: ease and reassurance. Content marketing can give them both. 

     1. Don’t be afraid to ask

Improve your content marketing strategy by asking customers what information they need and how easy it is for them to find what they are looking for on your site. Simple web survey tools such as Qualaroo can help you do this on your own, or work with a digital marketing agency to complete a full audit. These results will inform what content is missing (or whether the content you do have is lost or misplaced). Before you start focusing on the bells and whistles such as testimonials or social media, nail the basics.

      2. Empower your customers

Many nursing homes try to increase engagement with their prospective clients by limiting information such as pricing, insurance information, or onboarding processes on their websites. This forces prospective customers to call and engage in a person-to-person information (read: sales) call. Younger generations simply don’t participate in the consumer journey the same way their predecessors did and this can be a huge barrier when they are researching healthcare providers. Whether it’s in the form of periodic informational webinars, newsletters, or transparent online, it’s important to empower your customers to find the information they need up front. All content should be built with the express goal of helping your customers accomplish something on their own, not to drive them into the administrative office. This improves trust, strengthens your relationship with your clients, and helps them feel confident in your nursing home.

      3. Encourage customers to be cheerleaders

Sharing your story with a nursing home can be a very emotional experience. But no content is more engaging and more authentic than real testimonials. Use customer-generated content as the most valuable asset on your site, across your social platforms, and during the customer lifecycle. This content is more than three times likely to generate engagement and shares than anything your marketing department might create, so start identifying your best customers today and encourage them to share their stories.

For more ideas on how to improve your nursing home content marketing strategy, click here to learn more about how our agency has partnered with other healthcare professionals. We’re happy to help tailor an experience to your facility’s unique niche and customer needs.

Read why your apartment complex needs direct mail services

In a world that’s always on, people are starting to feel nostalgic for the good ol’ days. Just look at the fashion retail industry for evidence. When the ability to buy and sell clothes online exploded into the market, e-commerce drove more than one brick and mortar retailer out of business. Today, many e-commerce sites are expanding into the “real world” and increasing their physical footprint. Why? Because the average consumer wants a balance. And this is especially true in the real estate business. That’s where direct mail services come in.

Your apartment complex needs direct mail services because leases are signed and deeds are written once all practical needs are met and emotion takes over. Direct mail can quickly break through the clutter of the many other qualified complexes, properties, and buildings you are competing against to convey the emotional elements behind your brand.

If you’re a luxury high rise, you might invest in some matte black, heavily weighted invitations to visit your sales center. If you’re focused on filling your urban-industrial lofts with millennials and hipsters, maybe something a little more rustic or bespoke will do the trick. Either way, you just captured your future residents’ attention. From there, you can send them across marketing platforms to your website, social media accounts, or directly to your property.

Direct mail marketing feels personal.

We aren’t talking about the old spray and pray method. We’re talking about direct mail that targets potential residents based on zip code and lifestyle indicators. When your brand combines the power of big data with direct mail advertising, the results can make your customers feel like you are inviting them home … to their home. Extend the same methods we’ve shared about targeting online into the physical world to surprise and delight your audience into taking action. It’s important to work with a creative services agency to ensure what you are sending is highly relevant and personal in order to be effective, so click here to learn more about how we can help.

Direct mail services help engage residents before they start looking.

One of the biggest benefits of a bulk mailing service is that you can capture future residents’ attention before they even start looking. Creative, personalized material can plant a positive seed about your brand before your would-be residents begin comparing your offerings against others. This helps differentiate your brand or give you advanced consideration over your competition when it’s time for the resident to begin honing in on the types of amenities and locations they need. This is especially important for emerging or repositioning units or in highly saturated markets.

Direct mail might feel a little old school, but it can be a digital marketer’s best friend in the real estate industry. Residential transactions still rely on face-to-face interaction, so using direct mail to augment your digital presence can help bridge the gap between customers who are used to completing everything online and the industry’s evolving needs. Set up a consultation to see how we can help you reach your audience with direct mail.  

Real estate profs: Our PPC advertising can decrease your CPC

We already told you that search optimization is a critical success factor for real estate marketing. What we didn’t tell you was that our PPC advertising agency can actually lower the cost of your CPC campaigns. It’s vital to utilize natural as well as paid channels to reach people who are researching housing options. The trick is to optimize your ad spend so that you can invest as little as possible in paid search marketing and leverage your natural content and digital assets to your advantage.

To do this, you need to find and partner with a PPC advertising agency who can serve as a trusted search advocate. Here are three pro tips we help all of our clients accomplish when they work with us on their search needs, to get you started.

1. Invest local, optimize global: One of the best strategies a PPC advertising agency can support is investing in local ad spend. Unless you have a massive budget, you may find it difficult to compete on the national (or international) level, so use your digital marketing agency to determine who your regional competition is and let the games begin. By focusing narrowly on key, local terms, you can reduce your CPC because there are fewer people bidding on those words; however, when targeted correctly, you can maximize exposure in your own back yard. And in the real estate market, it’s your own back yard that matters most. On the flip side, your agency should also be able to help you optimize your content and website for organic search so that you still have that national and global presence you crave.

2. Test everything: All pay per click management companies have the ability to test how your PPC spend is performing in the market. Ask them to test multiple ad bid and spend combinations to find the sweet spot where you’re getting results without increasing your CPC. Additionally, when you choose a PPC advertising agency that is creatively driven, they can help link your ads to your holistic marketing strategy to your cross-channel goals. As customers increasingly switch between devices, it’s important that every channel – whether it’s paid or not – works together seamlessly.

3. Don’t forget about social: Because word of mouth is such a powerful referral source within the real estate market, using PPC ads on social media can support your desire to appear authentic, local, and more natural. Paid social media ads (more so than search ads) are designed to look and feel like shareable, organic content. By doing so, you get two opportunities to reach future residents: first, through the ad itself; and second, when those people share your content.

Balancing CPC campaigns against your other advertising efforts and natural search optimization is one part art and one part science. Let our team show you how they’ve struck the perfect balance for clients just like you.