Apartment Marketing - Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing
A look into Google’s ever-changing endeavor to deliver the ideal local user experience
WHAT IS GOOGLE+ LOCAL?
Unless you’re a caveman whose only method of social interaction is a sharp rock and a wall, you’ve undoubtedly noticed how Google Places has become more and more prevalent in local searches, moving from the middle of the page to its current nook directly beneath the PPC ads at the top of the page. Google Places, now known as Google+ Local is a critical component of any apartment website SEO strategy. Recent numbers indicate that 60% of all Americans search for local business information at least once a week¹. Of those local searches, 30% convert immediately and 60% convert within an hour.
Since so many people are spending quite a bit of time looking for local businesses, and translate into rapid conversions, it’s pretty important to have a fully optimized Google+ local page. However, if you’re like me and find yourself performing local searches constantly, from pizza joints to plumbers (to multifamily housing communities), it's obvious that the majority of Google+ local pages are lacking information. Do you think users are more likely to be interested in a business listing like this:
The choice is pretty obvious, right? So that leaves you with one solution: Claim your listing, optimize it, and enjoy the benefits.
WHY IS GOOGLE+ LOCAL IMPORTANT?
A claimed listing in Google is important for a variety of reasons, and each with a direct impact to your online presence:
Improving exposure for search...
In one of my first college advertising classes, I was handed a pen and told to list all of the features that might be used to sell it. In looking at the pen, I noted some things like: “gel ink”, “retractable point”, “rubber grip”, etc. A classmate was then asked to take my list and come up with a benefit for each of the specific features. His list had descriptions like, “the ink flows smoothly on paper”, “you’ll never have to worry about losing the lid” and “it’s easy to hold in your hand”. It was easy to see that his list of benefits was much more compelling than my list of features. It was a basic lesson, but it’s a concept that has stuck with me ever since.
Distinguishing between features and benefits seems like a simple task, but it’s often misunderstood or forgotten completely in marketing efforts. The best marketers don’t tell you what their product is, but instead they describe what that product will allow you to do or how it will make you feel. Coca-Cola doesn’t spend time describing the fizziness of their beverages or the construction of their aluminum cans, instead all of their messaging is focused on the refreshment and the happiness that you feel as you take a sip.
Let’s take a quick look at features and benefits in the context of apartment marketing and see how slight shifts in multifamily messaging can make a big difference in consumer perceptions.
How many apartment communities...
In an earlier blog, SEO strategist Patrick T Mower explained how Google has no love for Facebook Likes and provided some great insight on Facebook's strengths and weakness for SEO marketing. But don’t get too discouraged about social media, because it can and will have varying levels of positive influence on your SEO rankings. There is one social medium, however, that has a major, direct influence, and that my friends is…*drum roll please*…Pinterest.
As you've probably heard, this photo-powered online social sharing site can have a direct positive correlation toward improving your apartment community's SEO rankings. To help to make the most of Pinterest for SEO, here are the key strategies to remember with Pinterest marketing for apartment communities:
Associate Pinboards with Keyword Families
Create a unique pinboard for each keyword family you want to focus on. And (this is crucial), you will want each pin within this pinboard to contain your targeted keyword(s). As the images on your pinboards are repinned, it broadens the reach and strengthens the association between your campaign and the repined keywords.
This can be done much like any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, because in both respects you're creating different keyword strategies to develop and promote a spectrum of targeted campaigns.
Allow Online Visitors to Market Your Message
Pinterest wants to supply users with high-quality, visually rich content; and they want to make everything as easy as possible. By adding the “pin it” button you allow your apartment website visitors to share your photos and increase your online presence.
When you add a “pin it” button, make sure...
When it comes to online marketing, SEO and PPC always seem to be competing for marketing budgets. Many marketers in the multi-family industry often wonder, “Should I be using PPC, or SEO?”
To help settle the debate, I invited Property Solutions' Ryan Hill (SEO Manager) and Ryan Mower (Sr. Paid Search Strategist) to share their thoughts on the strengths and weakness of each approach to determine which is a better fit for your apartment community website.
Which Strategy Brings Greater ROI?
Ryan Hill - “SEO definitely brings greater ROI for the long term. It is all about your reputation. Renters will refer other residents and talk about your online reviews, or personal reference thus generating more traffic and increasing keyword rankings. “
Ryan Mower - “Depending on situation, short term PPC would bring ROI because the campaign will immediately begin. You get instant traffic. For long term, there might be keywords that are hard to claim the top spot for SEO; with PPC you can immediately get traffic from that keyword. Once SEO starts, PPC can then adjust strategy for keyword variations. "
Which Strategy Brings More Site Traffic?
Ryan H - “One big component of SEO is to leverage social media sites like Google +, Facebook, Twitter to gain traffic. With SEO you can gain traffic without having to pay the individuals sites for an ad campaign, which can be very costly. Thus bringing traffic from a mix of sources unlike PPC. “
Ryan M - “I am waving the white flag for this question. However, with PPC you are guaranteed traffic,...
We have all heard that it is far cheaper (and easier for that matter) to retain a current customer or resident than it is to acquire a new one. How much simpler life would be for your leasing staff if every resident renewed their contract year after year? Actually, if that was the case, your leasing staff may be out of a job – bad example, but I think you’re picking up what I’m laying down.
The big question then is – How do we convince our residents to renew their contract at our property year after year? Customer loyalty, of course! It is so simple – if you build loyalty with your residents, then they will never, ever leave, right? So how do you build this so-called “loyalty”?
Let's say you get your staff together and start discussing all of the ways that they can go above and beyond for your residents, so they put out a candy jar and a plate of cookies in the leasing office for all of the residents to enjoy. Each resident is sent a birthday card on his or her big day. When a resident experiences a big inconvenience, you issue them a credit no-questions-asked. After seeing a resident take one of those delicious chocolate chip cookies from the counter after they made a trek down to the office to make a rent payment, the staff says to themselves, “He is really going to enjoy that cookie. I bet he will never want to live anywhere else.”...
As a marketer I am a very visual person. Images speak to me much faster than words. I imagine that this is the same for many of you. For example, what was the main reason that you clicked on this article? Was it my subject line that we’ve read variants of for a hundred years, or was it the picture?
I was recently reading a few articles that talked about the top online marketing trends for 2014 and I was shocked to find out that there was nothing really new or shocking. The articles talked about tactics like content marketing, social media marketing, less is more marketing, and image-centric content. All these ideas have been around for many years but are we using them as effectively as we could?
The one tool that I feel like very few marketers are using to the full potential is imagery. Not only does a great image help your websites and marketing collateral stand out, but it can really help you gain an edge in an increasingly difficult web marketing landscape. Here are a few ideas to help you create and make the most of online visuals for multifamily marketing.
Optimize images for SEO
The craft of Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing art that requires creativity and continuous attention. One area that SEO practitioners tend to overlook is how the metadata and url structure of the images can impact results with Google.
A couple of things that you can do in order to make more out of...
Earlier this month was National Letter of Intent Day for college football. Top recruits around the country committed to schools by signing their acceptance of scholarship offers. As a big college football fan, I’m always curious to see which players my school has signed and to get a sneak peek at who I’ll be cheering for over the next few years.
Football recruiting is a time-consuming process that involves creating interest, pitching benefits, fending off competition and finally securing a commitment. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to the process leasing professionals undertake as they try to reach qualified prospective renters.
Let’s take a look at some of the tactics used by effective football recruiters and see how they can be applied to find and commit the best residents for your communities.
Play by the rules
Football coaches are expected to comply with a lengthy NCAA rule book that outlines the things they can and cannot do in recruiting. Failure to closely follow these rules may result in recruiting violations that can cost schools scholarships or even postseason eligibility.
For leasing professionals, the rule book is the Fair Housing Act. It’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the Fair Housing Act and the considerations that need to be made throughout the leasing process. You can ensure that your staff is prepared by taking advantage of training offerings from NAA* or other industry sources. It may also be a good idea to have a designated on-site or corporate contact who acts as...
Since the dawn of the internet, the Multifamily Housing industry has been evolving to meet the changing behaviors of prospective residents. Gone are the days when signage, curb appeal and print ads were the primary focus for driving traffic. Today, curb appeal means much more than just making sure the bushes are trimmed and colorful flowers surround your signage. Curb appeal should now include your property’s internet visibility and presence, or in other words, your property’s "virtual curb appeal".
Virtual curb appeal includes anything that a prospective resident can find online about your property. This includes your property’s website, online advertising, reviews of your property, and the property’s social media involvement. Virtual curb appeal is now the primary way that prospective residents get their first impression of your property. This means that managing your property’s virtual curb appeal is CRITICAL! In fact, you should consider your virtual curb appeal just as important as your physical curb appeal. So what can you do to manage your virtual curb appeal?
The first area on which to focus is your overall online visibility. You need to know where your property is listed online including search engines, web directories, and review sites. You should regularly search your property’s name through the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.). Keep a list of all of the sites on which you find your property listed for future reference.
You should review each website that includes your property’s information including your property website. Make sure the information is accurate, complete,...
Media and communication trends are growing by the minute and it’s affecting how people expect to receive information - quick and efficient. Consumers don’t want to be bombarded with too much information, just enough to make a decision on whether they would buy-in to the messages that brands and media are sending out. For apartment residents, the same mindset carries over to how they perceive multifamily email notifications.
In a lot of ways, email remains the dominant channel. And if the email content displays responsive to a mobile device; even better. No more fliers on residents’ doors; save your time and money. Contact residents using a medium they rely on most for their on-the-go lifestyles. But with all of the messages consumers receive in one day, advertisements or emails, you want your messages to be the ones they remember. And not just remember, but that will add a positive perception of your property and site staff. When you can provide residents with positive interactions and experiences with your property, their beliefs and opinions change, they’ll be more likely to renew their lease and then provide you with referrals. Win-win.
Here are 7 crucial components of effective multifamily email marketing:
Catchy: 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. You have 3 seconds to grab the recipient's attention amongst all of their other messages in their inbox. Use buzz words and incentives to encourage more opens.
Compelling: Pictures set the tone for your message. Place an image at the top of your message...
Throughout the year, we hear of absolutely amazing companies who are driving innovation within the multifamily industry. So we are starting a new program to showcase some of these incredible companies once a month, and in the process, negotiate a special deal specifically for our Insider community. This month's feature is Community Rewards by Modern Message.
Company Showcase: Community Rewards by Modern Message
(Important: Don't forget to scroll to the bottom to see the discount we have negotiated for Insiders!)
Using social media is pretty easy, but using social media effectively is a whole different story. We've seen a lot of communities try hard but ultimately miss the mark when it comes to getting prospects and residents engaged with their online locations, such as their Fan Page. So this is what Modern Message attempts to tackle - they make it incredibly simple to get residents and prospects engaged with their apartment community, in exchange for prizes and fame within their community. Each community has the potential to incentivize certain actions in exchange for earning points, which can lead to a selection of prizes for each resident or prospect who plays the Community Rewards "game".
For example, resident referrals are worth their weight in gold for apartment communities, and Community Rewards makes it incredibly easy and beneficial for residents to spread the word. For apartment managers, the program automatically tracks resident referrals through their friends' social profiles:
Now, your residents are actively endorsing your community...