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How to Increase Your Google Map Rankings for Your Apartment

Google Maps for ApartmentsRanking in the local map pack can be super challenging at times. Especially when you’re in a very competitive metro area like Los Angeles or Atlanta. How can your community stand out among the rest of the apartments on Google Maps? Here are a few ideas: Increase the number of images on your Google Maps Listing Increase the number of positive reviews on your Google Maps Listing Increase your Google Hang Time on your Google Maps Listing       Increase Images: This is an easy one. Most G Listings that take the top spots usually have about 20 to 40+ images uploaded into their Google Listing. If you can get close to this number of photos uploaded you should be in a good position. Increase Positive Reviews: This is easier said than done, I know. However, with a great Survey Product (Which Apartment SEO offers!) you can survey your residents after a successful move-in or work order to get them to leave a review while you have their attention. Send residents a 1 question survey and if they leave 3 stars or less, it stays internal and anything 4 stars and above, the user gets prompted to leave a review on Google! Increase Your Google Hang Time: This item can get a little pricey but well worth the investment. Working with a Certified Google 360 Company is key. If you can have your 3d tour completed and added to your Google listing this will help increase the amount of time users s......
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Structure Your Marketing Team Right: Start with the Resident in Mind

The best marketing organizations in the world know one simple truth – revenue sustainability and growth begins with the customer. In fact, Gartner predicts that a majority of companies will redirect their resources into customer experience innovations by 2018.   The need for a customer-centric experience is no different in the multifamily industry, where only 52 percent of renters said they enjoyed the apartment search process, according to a RentPath study. In addition, the majority of prospective renters are reviewing three or more websites before even visiting the community and making a purchase decision. In fact, 88 percent of prospective renters said they needed to see a property before they made a purchase decision.   It’s a multi-channel search experience, yet multifamily marketing departments remain structured around individual marketing channels rather than customer needs or segments. When structured in this manner, messaging is often fragmented and focused on optimizing their channel rather than enabling customers. Marketing success is measured by channel-specific metrics, such as likes, followers and click rates, instead of customer-centric metrics, like leases and renewals.   This approach leads to ineffective marketing and a disjointed customer experience. But with a little creativity and research, marketing departments can become highly effective teams that put the renter experience first.   Flaws in the typical hierarchy The typical structure of a marketing department in the apartment industry might look something like this:     The vice president of operations oversees the entire system, ensuring that each separate group is meeting its goal......
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Google Adwords: Apartment Lead Generation with Message Extensions

When it comes to gathering leads through Google Adwords some of the more popular conversion KPI’s are calls and emails. Times are changing with the rise of mobile and texting.

Google recently released a new Ad Extension to help with enticing searchers to text your community, so you can engage with them via text at your convenience.

 

 Here is how the process works:

1.      Users click on your text ad extension and sends a text

2.      Users get an automated text back acknowledging their text

3.      Messages are then downloaded in a spreadsheet

4.      You follow up with your new potential resident asap

Google Adword’s newer ad extension is focused to help you reach more potential residents while keeping your cost per acquisition low. There is strong data showing how users are more willing to text a community vs. calling or emailing nowadays. You can auto respond quickly to acknowledge them while they start their journey down the conversion funnel till they lease!

If you have any questions about Google Adwords for Apartments, feel free to send me a message!

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Trending Up: Social Media, Email Marketing, and Pay Per Click Advertising | Trending Down: Craigslist Ads?

We recently released our 2017 Apartment Marketing Strategies Report that surveyed marketing pros throughout multifamily about their strategies.  One of the questions we asked was the use of several marketing strategies, including social media, email marketing, pay per click advertising, and Craigslist, as well as their marketing budget overall.  Here are some trends based upon responses by 111 marketing professionals:

 

Craigslist is an interesting topic, in that it was the hot marketing location 4+ years ago, but then spiraled downward following changes to the Craigslist platform.  In fact, many people had left Craigslist for dead, but at the NAA Education Conference and Expo, Lauren Curley, Chief Operating Officer of Bonaventure Realty Group, stated that Craigslist is still an excellent driver of leases.  She then posted a response on this forum post with great data:  Questions on Craigslist Posting

So what is your take?  Is Craigslist still dying, or were we too quick to call a time of death?  Share your experiences with Craigslist in the comments below!

Also, if you would like access to the full marketing research report with loads more data on virtual reality, remarketing strategies, marketing budgets, marketing metrics, and more, you can download the full report for free here (must be logged in)  > >  What are the latest trends in apartment marketing for 2017?

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Choosing Technology Wisely

Choosing Technology Wisely
Choosing Technology Wisely The technology landscape is a crowded one these days, both with innovative new arrivals targeting the industry as well as strong existing options with more longevity.   Choosing the right value-add technologies is a challenging task for multifamily operators.  What are the drivers that elevate one over the others? Take a look at any aspect of operating apartment communities today, and you’ll find no shortage of new technologies designed to help your business improve, streamline, connect, develop, educate, assess, analyze or aggregate – you get the picture.  Most likely, you and your team are contacted by enterprising marketers frequently, all seeking to show you how their solution is the answer. Let’s take a look at one area receiving a lot of attention in recent years:  package delivery. You have technology-plus-hardware solutions from companies like Package Concierge, Parcel Post and LuxerOne; and digital-only solutions like those from Entrata (ParcelAlert) and ReceivingRoom.  Also, customized apps like Mobile Doorman offer an entire resident communication platform including package notification as only one of many communication features. Of course, that’s just one example.  From new lead-delivery apps like HomeMe and Zumper to bite-sized web-based training options like GROW Learning, real-time transportation information displays like Transit Screen, and InfoTycoon’s innovative asset management platform. And I can't write a tech article without mentioning the new Respage AI-powered chatbot (a digital leasing agent), and the innovative market survey platform by BI:Radix. There is so much new technology deployed that the list could go on for days. What to do?  It’s difficult t......
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Delivery Madness: Are you ready for Prime time?

Many who deal with package management on a daily basis breathed a hefty sigh of relief in January. The holiday season had passed, which presumably meant it’d be another 12 months before another rush of that magnitude. Well, hold on a minute; there are a few hidden holidays that impact the number of packages delivered but what about “self-created” holidays? Prime Day is Prime Time One wouldn’t think a self-created holiday would create such mayhem. Well, unless that holiday is all about packages. Introducing the third annual Amazon Prime Day, which absolutely fits that billing.  Delivery carriers and managers are advised to gear up for this one, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on July 10. Amazon hypes the event as a “one-day only global shopping event for Prime members.” It’s essentially an online version of Black Friday, and you better believe it makes an impact. The e-Commerce giant launched its second ever Amazon Prime Day on July 12, 2016, and it resulted in the biggest sales day ever for the online retail giant, according to CNBC. Amazon declined to disclose how many people signed up for Prime to participate in the sale, but U.S. orders rose by more than 50 percent compared to the first Prime Day a year earlier. Now that Prime Day is fairly established, it’s a reasonable expectation that the numbers will continue to rise. Last year, our customers experienced a 30-percent increase of package deliveries two days after Prime Day. Here’s hypothesizing that the increase will be even sharper t......
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How to Leverage Free User-Generated Content for Apartment Marketing & Social Media

Creating and curating content for apartment marketing and social media can be time-consuming, costly and involve using a lot of creative capital. Many apartment communities simply do not have the resources to employ an entire marketing team, so staff often have to multitask.   Property managers are sometimes responsible for far more than just marketing; their duties can involve graphic design, social media, resident event management, lease up programs and more. Due to the multi-tasking nature of these positions, focusing a lot of time and energy on content is practically impossible. However, curating content from tenants or staff isn’t nearly as strenuous on time or resources. An article written by Bill Gates all the way back in 1996, titled Content Is King, emphasized the value of content far before Internet marketing ever took off.  Many of Gates predictions came true and content has reigned supreme in online marketing. The average Internet user consumes a large diet of content; but also produces content as well – this user-generated content is an often-overlooked area for apartment marketing content curation.   User-generated content is extremely valuable for several reasons, most importantly being that it resonates better with users and develops a better brand image. User-generated content also appears more genuine and authentic. Consider some of the following stats:   1.     Bazaarvoice found 86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indicator of the quality of a brand. 2.     Adweek discovered that user-generated content results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or w......
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Catering to Your Demographic

Catering to Your Demographic
Who are you targeting? Probably the most common question in the rental and housing industry today, but also the most necessary thought to ponder in order to fully understand why your property is succeeding or struggling. This very topic was discussed at the CFAA Rental Housing Conference at a Marketing Roundtable session. Knowing who your client base is, targeting them, and then ensuring that you cater to your property’s demographic is key to establishing a successful community. Of course, we all know that core demographics exist, whether they be students, elderly, families, young professionals etc., but how we choose to attract them makes all the difference. Rolling out the same tactic across the board may not always be the best idea, even though it may be the most time efficient, most automated or easiest for the team. For example, putting everything online and creating digital platforms may be great for students, however, chances are, you would be much less likely to reach your elderly market. Students may want to text, but a family may want an in-person interaction. Remaining open and responsive to the needs of your tenants and prospects is key. The reality is that prospects are not ready to buy and are looking for condo style living in an apartment. Knowing what your prospect is looking for or what matters most to them is essential to keeping them happy in the long run. Know the differences between your buildings, what they offer, and the demographic that makes up that s......
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Artificial intelligence and multifamily . . . are we in?

Artificial intelligence and multifamily . . . are we in?
It’s no secret that the multifamily space has been slow to adopt new technology. We were among the last to adopt revenue management software, for example, or to recognize the charging freight train of reputation management and social media. We resisted. We felt the pain. We finally embraced. We reaped the benefits. The good news? As the industry has become both more competitive and an increasingly attractive investment, we are also seeing less resistance to change than we’ve seen in years. As a result, the technology options are overwhelming for operators – requiring more focus and assets devoted to the business of culling through what to deploy. And now, technology utilizing artificial intelligence is knocking on our doors. Will we continue to wait, or will we take advantage? The National Apartment Association recently published an article on the subject in UNITS magazine, which you can read here. The general perspective of the article is that real estate is an industry that can benefit from AI, but these technologies are still early and multifamily isn’t behind the curve. Hurrah! So, what is AI? In one of its simplest forms, think Alexa from Amazon. She can answer your questions, search for you and even order your favorite products. Alexa is constantly adding skills and “learning” your preferences. She’s certainly not aspiring to be “human,” as some AI platforms are, but she’s a pretty good speech bot and very easy to use. If you don’t use Alexa and are curious, here’s a complete list of all the commands to ......
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CX (Customer Experience) and Data take the stage at the 2017 AIM Conference

CX (Customer Experience) and Data take the stage at the 2017 AIM Conference
"Appeal to a customers' reason and they're yours for a day. Appeal to a customers' emotions and they're yours for a lifetime." (Lippincott's Happiness Halo)This was one of the first things spoke at this years AIM conference, and the sentiment would resonate throughout the 3 days I was there. Emotions reign supreme with customers. Providing a memorable experience that creates a lasting impression was talked about in sessions about Data, Artificial Intelligence, Marketing Rehabs, and Renter and Leaser focus groups. Not to mention the vendor booths that had such experiences like headshots, 3d tours, and personal 3d models. Swag and sales pitches were replaced by couches and conversation, booths were replaced by white leather couches. AIM had a completely different feel, and I loved it. Data and Technology Within the sessions it was clear that the customer experience is the core of everything we do. But I have to ask, why didn't we know this?   Data. Data is the answer to why we didn't know. We didn't have the mounds of feedback, reviews, or automation to know. In a session about Artificial Intelligence they had us watch 2 videos. 1 was created by humans, one was created entirely by AI. I couldn't tell the difference!  What does this mean for us? We had better start adapting. We have the software to track our leads and count the numbers, but what are we doing with it? All that data can be used to track the trends of our customers like their hobbies, spending......
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