Apartment Marketing - Blog posts tagged in Apartment Marketing
Summer is such a great time for apartment properties. The color has come back, lawns are green and lush, and most of us can probably agree that our properties just look better and are more marketable in the warmer weather.
Photos are everything to property marketing. It’s our chance to get creative, to show a property in the very best light, and for sure the thing we lose prospects over if the quality isn’t good. But what if you were to learn that pictures alone don’t cut it with prospective tenants?
I happen to love apartment community pools, and with newer properties, they often do a great job at "wowing" any person who comes to take a look. At least, that is what would happen if their pool was the only one in that market. But as we all know, many of our comps have beautiful pools too! So if everybody has an attractive pool, how does that change the impact on the prospect?
The pool, as it turns out, has a direct link to our online marketing. People are visual creatures, as Instagram and Pinterest can attest, so the first thing they will often look at is the picture of the community. So now we have a choice - what picture do we use for our communities? Well, an extremely large percentage choose the picture of their "sparkling pool". This means that individually, a community can look attractive showcasing one of their most attractive elements, but when lumped together with several other properties, you get the effect seen on the right. They are all attractive pools, and even though they are not exactly the same, they haven't differentiated themselves at all!
Considering how many people start their search for an apartment online, it is probably the most important element to your marketing. And yet, the solution for many communities is to do the same exact thing as all their competitors. Maybe I'm crazy, but that seems absolutely insane to me.
I recently came across this post, "My friend took a photo...
Since the beginning of the year, organic reach for Facebook business pages has plummeted, as industry professionals have recently pointed out. But despite an estimated 6% unpaid reach¹, some multifamily management companies are still knocking it out of the park when it comes to quality audience engagement. Here are a few of our industry’s top performers for some added inspiration:
1) J.C. Hart – In case you missed it, the Indianapolis-based management company J.C. Hart was represented by its Director of Marketing during this year’s Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach. Self-proclaimed “Apartment Nerd” Mark Juleen shared his team’s approach to Facebook engagement and leveraging social media overall for lead gen.
With about 6,500 fans for their corporate page, it’s not uncommon for them to get 30 to 50+ comments or shares on their contest posts—most often in connection with $10 coffee card giveaways. What I like most about their contests is that they clearly communicate methodology and notification for the drawings, which provides an added transparency that encourages fans to continue participating.
2) Z Islander - Specifically at the site-level, off-campus student housing community Z Islander (Asset Campus) boasts about 1,800 fans and looks pretty fancy with the new redesigned Facebook business pages, which are slowly but surely coming live since early March². Although there’s room for improvement with their reviews and user posts… Judging simply by the number of Likes for their community events posts (and this album from their crawfish boil), I feel like Z Islander is THE place to party. Other college-related shareables (think study woes...
Did you know that, as of September 2013, 73% of Americans use social networking sites? Of course, you probably already know and use the top contenders, with 71% of online adults using Facebook and 18% using Twitter, but have you given consideration to Instagram? If not, you should know that this fairly new site, launched less than four years ago, has more than 200 million monthly users, as of March 2014.
When we’re looking to grow a multifamily investment by boosting the property’s rental occupancy, one of the most effective trains of thought dictates that we should focus our energy on empowering our renters to make better, calculated decisions.
After all, in an age where 56% of Americans own Smartphones and 72.4% of American homes have high-speed internet connections, today’s consumer has the ability to research anything and everything at any time and this way of thinking has quickly become the norm for much of society.
So, how do we capitalize on this trend? Instead of remaining focused on the deal from the landlord’s position, we put ourselves in the renter’s shoes and think about the process from the uninformed consumer’s position.
By working our way through the leasing process, we can quickly realize that the renter just wants to know what they are about to get themselves into.
They want to know about the actual leasing process and what the units themselves look like. They want to be able to find answers to all those little questions that pop up in the middle of the night and they’d like to know what to expect when they decide to move out.
We want to engineer all our marketing materials, ads, and website landing pages to easily and uniformly guide the renter through the leasing process.
Marketers call this synergy in our message an, “Integrated Marketing Campaign.”
Potential renters need to be able to get answers to their concerns on the fly. Just like they need to be...
First off, let me say that Facebook isn’t my jam. I don’t personally have a Facebook account and I am very leary of using Facebook as a major part of any marketing strategy. That’s just me. It’s how I was raised. That’s not to say that Facebook doesn’t have its place for businesses as it can be a way to extend your brand and keep your followers informed on apartment community events, notifications, and promotions ...assuming your posts are even reaching anyone's newsfeed.
Facebook is ending the free ride. Organic reach for brands or non-personal Facebook accounts has been steadily dwindling over the last couple of months¹. In fact, reports show that Facebook is limiting the organic reach of brands to between 1-2% of fans. That means if you have 100,000 fans you now have a max unpaid reach of 2,000.
What does this mean for property managers and owners?
Obviously, if your property has a Facebook page you won’t have 100,000 fans. If you are a large property you might have 1,000. If that's the case, then your post might be seen by as many as… wait for it… 20 people! That’s why no one showed up at the BBQ last week, right? But don’t blame Facebook just yet. Why can’t your fans just go to your Facebook page and see what is happening? They can. But they don’t. According to Socialbakers, Facebook engagement rate is dropping across the board². It’s not just your page that Facebookers are losing interest in, it’s...
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...