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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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Custom 3D Modeling: When To Know If It Is Right For Your Property (Free Estimate Tool)

We often times get asked how much does it cost to add virtual tours, 3D floor plans, or photo-realistic renderings to our property's portfolio. To help with this question we've made a tool. When it comes to 3D modeling there are typically two types of vendors: Custom 3D Modeling/Rendering Firms & Out-Of-The-Box Solutions (like floorplanner.com or 3dplans.com). While the Out-Of-The-Box solutions are often times cheaper, you dont always have the ability to accurately represent your space. These solutions are often limited in terms of finishes, selections, materials, furnishings, etc. Custom 3D modeling on the other hand allows you to control every square inch of your unit or spaces design, ultimately better representing what they will look like when construction is complete. Here are three ways to tell if custom 3D modeling is right for your team. Your Property Is Still Being Built/Under Construction We have found that this is the best time to add custom 3D Modeling assets to your portfolio. Why? Because it is quite literally impossible to showcase your spaces any other way. Custom 3D modeling gives you the ability to the match finishes, furnishings, materials, fixtures, and more that your team has decided to use months before construction has been completed. Once these assets are created you are free to add them to ILS, like apartmets.com, Zillow, and more to start building out your pre-leasing lists. Renovations & Additions Much like the point above, it is extremely hard to show something that is being built or is not yet......
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Sponsoring a Minor League Baseball Team – A Unique Opportunity?

Major League Baseball players make millions per year.  But for those in the minors, at least relative to their big league counterparts, they essentially get scraps, earning only between $12,000 and $16,800 per season.  This week, MLB announced a change that could possibly impact multifamily housing providers!

MLB owners have now agreed to provide housing for nearly all minor league players, with the only exceptions being those that already have major league contracts or those that make above $100,000.  Obviously, this might be a good time to do outreach marketing, but even beyond that was how interesting it might be to be the “official housing provider” of that team! 

There are currently 120 minor league teams, many of which in smaller markets where ad dollars might go farther.  From a housing needs perspective, each team has between 28 and 35 players.  The news is sparse, but here is what we have so far:

 

What do you all think?  Any other interesting ways to take advantage of this new information?

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Subtle Changes to Make to Your Website CTAs (Resident Perspective)

Your call-to-action (CTA) buttons are arguably one of the most important parts of your website, so they need to be eye-catching. It's something most marketers (including myself) take the time to craft because the end goal has to do with wanting a prospect to take action...right? Well, I noticed something the other day... Given I'm a current resident (and marketer, if that wasn't implied yet), my lease is up in a few months. So, I've been doing what millennials do best, and I turned to Google for some apartment searching. I've been combing through different community's websites, and I thought to myself... How would I level up some of these CTA's? That's the marketer in me coming out, but I thought it might be a fun little assignment for myself. Here's how and why I'd change these CTAs (which are all subtle fixes). Current: Welcome Home to [Community] --> Suggestion: Welcome to Your New Home at [Community] I'm suggesting a subtle change to this current CTA/headline. Why? The current one speaks all about the property versus in the lens of a prospect. Add "your" in to make it personal to the reader! Current: What We Have to Offer --> Suggestion: What's In It for You  This is another one of those CTA's where "you" and "your" will resonate more with a reader. Put your community in the readers' shoes as much as possible! Current: Book Your Tour --> Suggestion: Book Your Tour, Your Way  If I was sincerely interested in the property and wanted......
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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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The Multifamily Industry Doesn’t Have a Lead Problem, It Has a Customer Experience Challenge

The Multifamily Industry Doesn’t Have a Lead Problem, It Has a Customer Experience Challenge

In today’s climate, many apartment communities have more leads than they know what to do with, and multifamily teams are struggling to service those leads, according to Bobbi Steward, Vice President, Marketing, at BH Management Services.  From phone call answer rates to email response times, communities have more on their plate, often with less resources than before.  

I had the joy of speaking with Bobbi about how her company implemented the Marketing Focus 5, which identifies the five biggest growth levers for very specific tactical areas in their marketing.  She also touched on the impact of their website and the partnerships she has with different ILS’s who have a similar strategic vision, such as Zumper’s approach with organic, mobile-first lead generation.     

She also delved into reputation management and review response’s impact on SEO, and then did a deep dive into the always controversial discussion of lead attribution!  I highly recommend watching all the way through, as there is lot of fantastic nuggets throughout, and if you like this type of content, make sure to subscribe below, or on our Youtube channel!

How do we pick companies to talk to?

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Understanding the Power of Keywords for Your Multifamily Marketing Plan

Millennials and Generation Z, a bulk of renters today, have been getting smarter before making decisions online. Whether they are looking to purchase electronics, household items, cosmetics, or rent apartments, their online shopping behaviors are one and the same. And, what’s the typical action? To research the item on Google. Let’s say a prospect goes to Google and types in a broad phrase (also known as a keyword) “apartments for rent in Indiana”. First, they’ll see a few ads pop up. But, before you consider Google display ads, there’s something you should know. Only 15% of consumer traffic clicks on an ad while 85% scroll past ads to click on results – that’s why you need to optimize your website so you show up after these ads (and it’s usually cheaper to go this route)! Eventually, that phrase a prospect typed in earlier could turn into something like “RealApartments in Indiana” (that’s a made-up community FYI) if a community optimizes its online presence effectively (i.e., its website, ratings, social media sites, Google My Business, etc). Once the prospect clicks on “RealApartments in Indiana”, they might look at a variety of things – reviews, your Instagram, your pricing, and layouts. And, bam! They find a layout and pricing they like so they decide to schedule a virtual or in-person tour. Congratulations, the marketing and leasing team at RealApartments did everything right! But, what if they hadn’t optimized their website, social media sites, Google My Business, or asked for ungated reviews (residents weren’t incentivized to leave a review)? This lead wou......
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Your Website is No Longer Your Most Strategic Marketing Asset.

Welcome to The Local Search Economy.  Google My Business (GMB) is upstaging your community website. This spells trouble for a few reasons:  You’ve invested (and continue to invest) time and money in your website. Users form first impressions based on your GMB profile, then decide whether to visit your website. You depend on your website to generate leads and leases.  So, what’s going on?  Things change rapidly in a digital-first world. Google introduced GMB in 2014 and since then has steadily evolved the platform and its localized search algorithm. GMB is now a critical part of local search for any business with a physical location and an ideal solution for apartment marketers.  Consider the following six points: GMB is Free. Setting up a GMB profile for a physical location is free and helps ensure your communities can be found on Google search and Google maps while prospects are actively searching.  The Rise of Zero-Click. 65% of Google searches end without a click to another website, with users' queries resolving directly from the search results page. Prospects can call, get directions, view your offers and other info, right from your GMB profile. Catch prospects where they are and provide them with what they need to choose your community.   Google is (Still) Eating The World. Google dominates the global search engine market share, handling more than 92% of all search queries globally. And Google's local search algorithm favors signals from GMB profiles that are complete and consistently updated. Optimizing your GMB profile is you......
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Turning the Tide on Bad Resident Reviews

Turning the Tide on Bad Resident Reviews

When a community’s ratings and reputation is struggling, it can be incredibly challenging to pull those ratings back from the brink, all while not having the team get discouraged along the way. And for those communities that are already doing well on that front, how are they proactive about getting resident feedback before that feedback turns into negative reviews?

These are two of my favorite parts of my interview with Danielle Johnson, Vice President of Marketing and Training at Bridge Property Management. She dives into how they impact Google reviews, measure the results, and how they implemented touchpoints for feedback after tours, move-ins, work orders, move-outs, and other key points along the resident and prospect journey. Plus, she shares the most common reasons for bad reviews, and how her partnership with Opiniion helped gauge impact in her efforts!

By the way, if you like this type of content where we talk with different property management pros, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the bell icon!

How do we pick companies to talk to?

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My POV as a Renter: The Dilemma of Looking in an Active Market

As a renter who falls into the category of looking over 6 months out, I can confidently say that it’s the properties that stay in touch with me that end up being the ones I tour at. Here’s my story as a renter and I hope you’ll take the time to read it.   Surprising data collected by PERQ shows an interesting and growing trend in renter behavior: 20% of rental prospects are much like me and looking to move 6+ months out from when they begin their search for their next apartment. From the perspective of the leasing agent, that’s a lot of people who might be considered what many call “looky lous”, or casual online shoppers.  But, they are actually high intent shoppers that are qualified leads. These shoppers are more organized with their search process and have a better understanding of what they want and what they don’t want. These renters will be the perfect lead in just a few months. There are several reasons why we are looking now instead of closer to their move-in date. First is increased rental volume. With COVID-19 causing us to spend more time in our homes and living spaces, we felt the shortcomings of the spaces we were living in and a desperate need to start fresh in a new space caused a shift in rental activity. In fact, data collected by USPS shows that 27% of temporary movers moved in the first six months of the pandemic. That’s a lot of rental activ......
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