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Building a Better Multifamily Brand From the Ground Up

Building a Better Multifamily Brand From the Ground Up Why is branding so important to business? The term “brand” has evolved over the years, and in today’s highly competitive world, brand simply refers to the way the public perceives your entity.  People have brands, businesses have brands, properties have brands — whether they’re carefully crafted or not. This can be factual perceptions (it’s an apartment building in downtown Chicago) or emotional ones (it’s vibrant, romantic, or trustworthy). When applying this concept to the multifamily market, properties must aim to guide the perception of their brand so it is not determined solely by its audience. In such a dense multifamily market, strategic branding is more important than ever.  When it comes to multifamily properties and development, branding matters before a brick is ever laid. According to Yardi Matrix estimates, 334,000 units are projected to be opened in the U.S. by the end of this year. In 2021, there were nearly three times more apartments under construction than there were in 2011. These figures are a result of the aftermath of the pandemic as well as the housing crisis of 2008. So, how can you ensure your branding meets the demands of the multifamily market? Get Your Entire Team on the Same Page Without cohesion in all aspects of a multifamily development, a brand’s identity can be muddied. Before construction begins, developers and owners have determined the property’s identity, target audience, and ideal brand perception. Since the brand has therefore been established well before developmen......
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6 Infrequently Asked Questions About Multifamily PPC

What is multifamily PPC (pay per click)? How does it work? What is a conversion? Multifamily PPC is a very complex and often misunderstood component of a successful apartment marketing strategy. But let’s skip past all the humdrum, and answer the questions you really want to ask, but rarely do.   I’ve heard it’s cheap. Is that true? The nature of multifamily PPC is that you can spend as much as you want. So if you’re looking to go low-budget, that’s technically possible. The real question is one of ROI (return on investment). Maybe you can spend 10 cents to make $10, or you can spend $1,000 to make $100,000. Which would you prefer?   I’ve heard it’s expensive. Is that true? See above. Your budget drives your cost, up or down.   I just got this card in the mail for free AdWords. Can’t I just do it myself? Absolutely! It is definitely possible to do Google AdWords on your own. However, working with a digital marketing agency brings the benefit of experience. An agency can integrate AdWords into a broader apartment marketing strategy which may include other media. That leaves you to do what you’re skilled and experienced in: running your business!   What’s the biggest mistake I can make in multifamily PPC? The biggest pitfall in multifamily PPC is throwing money blindly at bids with no consideration of landing pages. In all online advertising campaigns, landing pages play an obvious role in the magic alchemy that changes traffic into profit, but ma......
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Are You Paying Too Much for Your Website?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.    Yes, a multifamily website can be expensive, but you don't always need to break the bank to have a beautiful and responsive web design.   Since a website is a service rather than a product, it can be difficult to put a price on it. What is the price you are willing to pay for something that will help you attract new leads, retain current residents, and ultimately add to your bottom line?    Priceless, right? But no one really wants to give their first-born child just to have a great website.   Also, just because something has a high price tag doesn’t mean that it’s better either. Does a name brand watch tell time better than a $10 one from Wal-Mart? While one may look nicer than the other (and will not turn your wrist green), it still functions the same as the other.   Of course, I am not saying you need to only buy off-brand products or that you can find a Rolex watch for $10. What I am saying is that you need to do your research when looking for a web design firm or developer to work with, because some companies will promise you the world (but will turn your wrist green) while others promise too little and charge too much.   Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when researching a new web design for your property:   Is the site ......
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Tips to Plan Your Property's Content Marketing Campaign

When it comes to your content marketing campaign, the strategy seems straightforward enough. The implementation? Not so much.  Everyone knows the first steps — develop your buyer personas, identify industry pain points, know what your remarkables are, then develop content. But content development isn’t, or certainly shouldn’t be writing blogs and other content at random. Instead, content should be planned carefully and with great intent.  Knowing where to start with your content planning can be difficult. Thankfully, my team and I have a methodology that we hope you’ll find useful. Planning Your Content Marketing Campaign Everybody plans content differently. For my team, we start by identifying our focus for the quarter. Is there an industry the client wants to focus on? Is there a topic that we can touch on effectively to reach our target customers? These questions dictate our focus, buyer persona, and pain point.  From there, we identify both the keywords someone might use to search for information at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and also what campaign offers would resonate best. Remember your personas when planning content. While this seems simple enough, this is probably one of the longest points in the process. This section is your foundation, and if your keywords are not accurate, or your content doesn’t speak to the persona, your content marketing campaign won’t be successful. That’s certainly a lot of pressure, but there are ways to find security in your campaign plan — namely, user testing. User Testing and Developing SMART Goals It can be easy to......
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6 Strategies to Maximize the Value of Pinterest for Your Property

To use Pinterest or not to use Pinterest? That is a big question on many of our clients' minds.   While yes, Pinterest can be a profitable social media platform to invest your ad dollars into, it really depends on your industry and product or service.   With more than 150 million monthly users, Pinterest provides a refreshing way to maintain and enhance your SEO efforts and reach a wider audience.   The pinning platform spurs more than 2 billion searches each month. Additionally, more than 250 million of those monthly searches are visual searches — opening the door for a lot of multifamily marketing potential.   So, for those who do want to dive into Pinterest and give it a shot — the next question is, how can I maintain a strong presence on this platform? Below, we explore a few ways to make the most bang  for your buck.  1. Start a Business Account The first step is ensuring you create a business account and not personal as this will give you access to the Pinterest ads manager and analytics tracking. Use your property’s full name in your account, and be sure to include all necessary descriptive information in your bio sections, including contact information, apartment logos, and any community amenities or features you would like to highlight. 2. Create Your Boards Pinterest boards are the topics by which you organize your content. You should create boards that showcase your property (rooms, amenities, events), as well as boards that provi......
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5 Ways to Enhance the Resident Experience at Your Properties

Resident experience … What a buzz word, right? It’s on everyone’s mind and everyone is talking about it. At least, the properties who care about resident retention are talking about it.   Many of our clients have shared with us that their residents no longer care as much about a large swimming pool; today’s residents care about the experience and services your property provides.   Fostering the resident experience throughout the leasing and move-in process is where the journey starts, but not where it ends. It’s important to give your residents that feeling of “home” by creating intentional opportunities for them to make meaningful connections with their neighbors and by offering them concierge services.   Let’s dig into some of my favorite ways to manage the key touchpoints that affect the resident experience. 1. Make the move-in process seamless. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so you better make a good one — especially in today’s competitive market. Move-in day is what really sets the stage for how your new resident will perceive your property, and whether they will be willing to renew when their lease ends.   If your new residents have a horrible move-in experience, full of hassles, their confidence will tank and it will leave a sour taste in their mouth when thinking of your property.   How do you make this process seamless for them? Try to think through everything they might need, and try to eliminate those points of friction throughout the process.  &nbs......
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Instagram for Apartments: How to Stop the Scroll in Instagram and Engage Your Residents

Do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling for way too much time on Instagram without ever really stopping to absorb any of the content you’re seeing?   If you’re doing it, you can bet your residents are doing it. And, they’re missing your posts.    A quick way to tell if your audience is passing your posts is if there is a huge disparity between your follower number and the average likes per post you’re receiving. If you have 1,000 followers and are getting eight likes per post, your audience is frequently scrolling by you.    While how active your followers are, the time you post, and how much you post are factors when it comes to engagement, there is still a good number of people who see every post.   So, how do you stop your residents from mindlessly scrolling past your posts and get them to engage with them, or at least read them?   I’ve got some recommendations for you:   1. Lean into your industry + being an apartment.  It’s likely your residents aren’t following many apartments on Instagram; you might be the only one.    So while the majority of their feed is filled with posts from brands and influencers, you have the chance to stand out with apartment-centered images. This includes pictures of apartment units, community amenities, and event announcements as well as tips and tricks for renters. This might seem obvious but it can be easy to try to copy what is trendy or popular at the moment......
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How to Utilize Apartment Marketing’s Newest Weapon: TikTok

“Weapon” might sound a little medieval for multifamily, but when you look at the power of TikTok and the impact it can have on your lead generation, it feels like an appropriate descriptor.    Before we jump in, if your target renter is above the age of 40, then you likely don’t need to worry about learning and using TikTok for your apartment marketing. 60% of TikTok users are between the ages 16-24 and 26% are 25-44.   So, if your target renter is a Gen Z or a Millennial on the younger side, then your apartment needs to be on TikTok (even more so if your direct competitors aren’t yet).    The platform is video only, so it definitely takes some time and effort to make content for your apartment but it’s well worth it. As the current most popular app, many young adults are using TikTok to find apartments. Plus, unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, TikTok users watch videos with the sound ON. This means your message will actually be heard and you don’t only have to rely on visuals.    Here are three ways to utilize TikTok for your apartment marketing:   1. Make original content in bulk. Publishing consistent original content seems much less daunting when you create it in bulk. Try to set aside a few hours one day each week to create multiple videos.    The great thing about TikTok is it’s all about trends. There’s nothing wrong with starting out your TikTok journey by simply recreati......
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5 Property Management Tips to Help Your Pet-Friendly Community Prosper

Millennials love their pets so much that it’s even impacting their home-buying decisions. While millennials are not as likely to own a house, have a car, or be parents, they are more likely to own a dog and buy a house specifically for their pet. This may sound like bad news for multifamily property owners and operators, but this is actually a good thing! Why? The fact that millennials are actively searching for housing suitable for their pet means you have a prime opportunity to better promote your pet-friendly amenities and features. According to the American Pet Products Association, 76 percent of millennials currently own a pet.  This important statistic just goes to show that if you exclude all animals from your property, you are also excluding a significant amount of potential renters.  Here are some of our favorite tips from successful clients to help your enhance your pet-friendly policies to attract more residents and give your property an edge over the competition: 1. Don’t Be Too Strict With Pet Policies While you want to protect your property and residents by being cautious about the types and size of animals allowed, if you are too strict with your pet policies, you risk losing the lease. If any prospective, pet-owning renters have a difficult time finding an apartment that will accept their pet, they will flock to your property. Set clear guidelines and expectations from your residents regarding their pet while at the same time, being open and flexible about the type, siz......
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3 Apartment Marketing Trends to Keep on Your Watchlist in 2021

You’ve likely seen a million blogs with the same title as this one.    But these three trends aren’t the obvious ones. I know that you know high-quality apartment photos and frequent posting are important.    But did you know that search algorithms are shifting and what to do about it? Or that certain residents will be caring less about an apartment’s location?    Let’s get into it... Improved Page Experience This trend is fully driven by Google’s 2021 algorithm update which will determine page ranking based on user experience. This includes factors such as page loading time, interactivity, mobile-friendliness, and visual stability. User experience has always been a determining factor for Google’s algorithm, but now it’s a priority.    Basically, if Google thinks users will have an easy time viewing and navigating your website, your ranking will improve.   Due to this, many properties will push to improve their websites this upcoming year and make sure page performance is at its peak. While this marketing trend is created by Google’s change in algorithm, it does benefit your apartment marketing. Improving your website will make potential residents happy when virtually browsing your property.  Enhanced Tour Options At the beginning of the pandemic, everyone rushed to offer incredible virtual tours, 3D videos, and live walk-throughs on their apartment websites. However, we all quickly realized that it wasn’t the 100 percent flip in renter behavior that we were expecting, it was more of a 50/50 scenario. Many residents loved the online options, but many still prefer......
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