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Multifamily Marketing

Conversion Logix is a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in the multifamily industry. Check out our blog for multifamily marketing ideas, strategies, and research.

Luxury Apartment Marketing

The national apartment market is predicted to grow by over 450,000 units in 2019. According to Fannie Mae's Director of Economics & Multifamily Research, this will be one of the largest supply increases in the past decade. Most of this growth will be concentrated in ten metros, and as many of you have might guessed, most of this new supply will be for luxury Class A units. (Multifamily Executive)

The industry trend towards new luxury development has been going on for years.

In 2012, only half of all new apartment builds were considered high-end. In 2017, 79% of all new multifamily construction were luxury builds (Yardi Matrix). 

A recent Bloomberg article aptly described the situation, “Tenants are gaining the upper hand in urban centers across the U.S. as new amenity-rich apartment buildings, constructed in response to big rent gains in previous years, are forced to fight for customers.” 

Luxury communities are competing against more properties than ever for a small, high end portion of the rental market.

If you're in charge of marketing a luxury community, you might be feeling the affects of this increase in supply. Now more than ever, luxury communities need to take a strategic approach to their marketing efforts. In this guide I share some of the strategies, observations, and advice I picked up working at a multifamily marketing agency with a track record of helping luxury communities sustain and grow occupancy rates in competitive markets.

Understanding Your Place in the Luxury Apartment Market

Market Research

Understanding the market surrounding your community is important for every multifamily development, but for a high priced luxury product, it's even more crucial. In the luxury rental space, your market is influenced by who can afford your community. In the past, when luxury inventory wasn’t as concentrated and competition was less of a factor, it might have been enough to just focus on appealing to wealthy individuals.

As this market becomes more saturated, high-end communities have a greater need to distinguish themselves from their competition. Not everyone capable of affording a luxury apartment is interested in one and not everyone interested in a luxury apartment in your area is going to care about your amenities and design aesthetic. 

Start out your marketing process by researching your local market. The following market research questions will provide you with a foundation to draw upon when developing your marketing plan. 

What are the needs and desires of high income renters in your location? Which are you positioned to serve the best?

Are you serving any unmet needs or desires in your local luxury apartment market?

What are the current interests, purchasing behaviors, and online habits of your ideal renter?

Developing Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy

Once you develop a deeper knowledge of your local market and your community’s unique value proposition, you can begin to develop a successful marketing strategy. Deciding what marketing channels to use is a critical first step in developing a marketing strategy. In the first part of this section I share the types of marketing campaigns that I've seen generate results for luxury communities and give a brief overview of why they work. In the latter parts of this section I share the targeting options that are out there for luxury communities and tips for developing the best luxury apartment marketing content (imagery and messaging).

Marketing Channels 

Marketing Channels

Paid Search

One of the best ways to reach your target market is to show up when they are actively searching for a luxury community in your area. To do this you need to make sure you are visible in the most popular search engine, Google. While there are ways to take advantage of free traffic in Google (registering your business with Google is one I highly recommend), most communities, especially those in competitive luxury markets, utilize paid search ads to keep their community at the top of the search engine.

Display Advertising

Banner campaigns are one of the better forms of advertising to use when you need to scale your brand awareness efforts. These highly visual ads show up when someone in your target market browses a website with ad placements on their desktop, tablet or mobile device. The main purpose of this form of advertising is to drive awareness of your community brand, any concessions you are offering, and to visually communicate the most important value propositions of your community. This is a top of the funnel marketing approach that works best in combination with other advertising methods. Research has shown that banner ads lead to more organic google searching for a community.

Social Media Advertising

Social media ads allow you to show up in the feeds of your target market. For a luxury community, the best social platforms to advertise on are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Ads created within these three platforms are highly visual which helps show off the artfully designed interiors and desirable amenities that luxury communities offer. The targeting options that exist in Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are robust and offer communities the ability to zero in on the interests and behaviors of people in the luxury market.

Retargeting

Once you’ve attracted prospects to your website using awareness building campaigns you can launch retargeting campaigns to keep these prospects interested in your community. Retargeting campaigns can be created using Display Banners that follow website visitors around the web and in Facebook and Instagram. 

Email

Email campaigns are another way communities can follow up with leads. If you are hosting an event, offering a concession, or looking to drive leads to take a tour, email campaigns can help you communicate to a targeted list of people using high end design and copy.

Targeting

Marketing Channels

Through audience targeting you can allocate more of your marketing spend towards reaching the renters who are the most likely to be interested in your community. This is where your market research comes into play. 

Take this example:

A community is located in a high-end neighborhood well known for its restaurant scene. The community is walking distance to some of the best restaurants in town. The community knows that locals like to be near these dining options and typically go out to eat with friends 3-5 times a week. They hire the best catering companies at resident events and host the local wine club in their lounge. 

How can this community apply this information to their ad targeting efforts?

For starters, it’s important to point out that different platforms have different targeting capabilities. 

In Google ads, most of the targeting options are based on the keywords you bid on. For Paid search you can build location specific luxury campaigns. With these campaigns you can bid on luxury, penthouse and high-rise focused keywords to capture renters actively looking for high end apartments in a given area. You can use price extensions (floor plan pricing details that have the potential to show up on top performing search ads) to help qualify prospects and generate better ad engagement rates.

You can apply the keyword targeting you used in your luxury paid search campaign in YouTube as well. In YouTube you can expand your targeting efforts to include people who are in market for an apartment, live near the community, and have an interest in restaurants and wine. You can also target people interested in specific places, websites and apps. 

For Facebook and Instagram campaigns you can use detailed psychographic targeting that aligns with people who may be interested in a higher price point apartment. Fine dining is an example of an interest targeting option you could use for a community like the one described above. You can also try targeting people interested in specific local restaurants who are ready to move and people who participate in wine clubs.

Key Messaging

Key Messaging

Copy and imagery provide communities the opportunity to communicate who they are to prospective renters. The more targeted your marketing approach is, the greater the opportunity for crafting messages that will convert. 

Let’s go back the the example we shared earlier. A luxury apartment community located in a desirable neighborhood known for its restaurant scene. This is how you can go about using copy and imagery to communicate this community’s unique selling point.

In Facebook and Instagram, you can incorporate images of the neighborhood, the interior of the apartment, the lounge, and maybe an additional amenity like a spa or pet park. In the ad description you might say, “Live steps away from award winning restaurants, cafes and bars. Invite your friends to hang out at our rooftop terrace or join us in the lounge for our monthly wine tasting events. Experience a life of class, convenience, and community in the heart of (insert location). Schedule your today!”

Wherever possible, you want to make sure you are clearly communicating what sets the community apart and what life is like for renters who live there. Social media ads and email campaigns give you the most space to convey this kind of lifestyle messaging. Copy that tells a story, and helps the prospect imagine how their lives will change leads to the most engagement.

Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Efforts

Campaign Results

It's important to develop clarity around what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts. The campaigns and platforms you choose and the way you optimize them will in part be determined by the objectives you set at the beginning of your marketing strategy. As you run your luxury apartment marketing campaigns, you should keep track of metrics that will give you an indication of how you are performing against your objectives.

These are some of the metrics communities can use to determine the overall success of a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.

Paid Website Sessions

The objective of most ads is to deliver as much qualified traffic to a community’s website as possible. Website sessions in Google Analytics track the total number of website visits a campaign brings in. Luxury apartment marketing campaigns require a greater emphasis on the quality of leads than on the quantity. The market overall is smaller and the advertising approaches tend to be more targeted. Overall sessions is a great first metric to evaluate if your ads are bringing in website visitors but further analysis is required to determine if the traffic you are bringing in is qualified.

Post Views

Some top of the funnel awareness campaigns, Targeted Display and YouTube for example, aren’t as likely to bring website traffic directly from the ad but lead to people searching for a community after seeing the ad. Post views allow advertisers to measure the number of people who saw an ad and came through the site directly, or organically in Google. 

Average Session Duration

This is a website session quality metric that allows you to see how long an average website visitor stays on your site. This metric can be evaluated on a campaign basis. Google Analytics lets you evaluate how different sources of traffic compare in their ability to bring in website visitors that stay on the site for a long time.

Bounce Rate

If a campaign that is conversion focused is bringing in website visitors with a high bounce rate, that may be an indication that the campaign isn’t bringing in quality traffic. The bounce rate reflects the rate of people who visit a website and exit the site right away. One thing to look for with a luxury community is how high the bounce rate is on the floor plan page since that is where most communities present their pricing. If the bounce rate is too high, modifications can be made to your targeting to help bring in more qualified traffic.

Goal Completions

Phone calls, contact forms submissions, application completions, and chat leads are all conversion metrics communities can track in Google Analytics to further evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. I've explained these metrics in more in depth in this blog post.

Conclusion

Luxury apartment marketing campaigns are a living, breathing entity. The more you invest in marketing, the more you learn about what works best for your community. Over time, marketing channels and tactics may evolve but the core strategy of understanding your market fit, diversifying your marketing efforts and utilizing targeting will help your community stand out in the luxury apartment market for years to come.

Do you have any luxury apartment marketing advice you'd like to share? Please comment below with your ideas and suggestions.

 

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