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

3 Ways to Boost Occupancy Rate Using Property Management Marketing

Good property management marketing can bring ideal tenants to your properties easily and effectively. Instead of competing on price or square footage, a well placed ad from a media buying agency or curated social media posts can bring your community, neighborhood, and units to life.
Help prospective tenants discover and choose your property with three of the best kept secrets every multi-family marketing and property management firm needs to start using today.

1. Invest in a responsive, mobile-friendly site

According to GogoDigital, 98% of renters use mobile devices on a weekly basis to power their apartment search. Of them, nearly half said they would opt out of a property or unit if the site didn’t work effectively on their cell phone or tablet. Work with a digital marketing agency like BIGEYE to ensure your website works across devices and creates a seamless experience between all your channels such as social media, advertising, and email.

This simple update lets prospective renters know you operate a trustworthy, modern business. This is especially important as more and more renters expect to conduct the leasing process online using virtual signing tools to execute their leases and 360 digital tours to screen properties and make their final decisions.

2. Content is king and search engine optimization is queen

The best property management marketing site in the world needs to be search-friendly in order for your business to thrive. Prospective residents often start their apartment hunt on search engines, either to discover and explore properties, or to find companies that can assist with the leasing process.

Understanding what your specific goals are (think: promoting your property managed community versus offering a white-glove realtor service) will help you create engaging content that catches prospective residents’ attention and boosts your ranking in Google and other search engines.

3. Demonstrate your authenticity through social media and community engagement

Put words into action by reinforcing the values your property management marketing efforts are promoting by creating an authentic social media presence and participating in community events that are aligned to your ideal residents’ needs.

As an example, if your brand focuses on LEED certification and eco-conscious buildings, you may want to co-sponsor a beach clean up near your property to demonstrate your commitment and make like-minded individuals aware of your units. If you aren’t sure where to start, a local, top Florida advertising agency can point you in the right direction to build partnerships and activate events via social media.

Learn more about how our team at BIGEYE has helped single- and multi-family marketing managers like you succeed in today’s digital landscape by contacting us today.

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.