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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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My Depressing Look Into Apartment Community Listings

Marketing can hit you in all sorts of different ways, from making you fearful, anxious, excited, or even empowered.  Great marketing fills the audience with a powerful emotion that leads to ultimately craving that product or service.  Today I would like to take you on a journey, starting with some unbelievable marketing and leading to a graveyard of uninspiring apartment listings. My journey started off by seeing an absolutely wonderful example of marketing.  (There is debate on whether this is actual marketing or just a neat picture, but for now, we are going to assume this was actually marketing.)  First of all, let me state what this pictures is not.  It isn’t a picture of a bag on a table.  It isn’t a picture that shows off all the pockets, or somehow showcases how durable the material is.  There is nothing wrong with marketing that showcases features, but this picture is vastly more powerful, as it shows an aspirational vision of what it is like to live an outdoor, active, hiking lifestyle with your best friend.  It speaks to its audience in a way that doesn’t just pique interest, but actually makes the audience yearn for the experience.  It’s a glimpse of their best self, with the bag being a prominent part of that vision.  A bag sitting on a table can’t provide that type of emotional response.   Similarly, one of the key things we teach in leasing is to help the prospect imagine living at the property.  For example, we start ......
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Visual Search: A Picture Could be Worth a Thousand Leases

In a recent RentPath study, 40 percent of prospective renters named “stress” as their chief emotion during their apartment hunt, while 63 percent reported negative emotions related to the process. That might be because multifamily marketers have been focused on organic ranking and paid search efforts rather than the online shopping experience.  The majority of prospective renters generally find apartment communities online through organic search results that point to an internet listing service (ILS) and not communities’ websites. And most of the time when renters land on an ILS, they have to click into numerous listings to view specific amenity images and scroll extensively to get the information they need. This leads to a higher bounce rate (the number of visitors who only look at one page and leave) and lower conversion ratios because prospects get tired of clicking (or tapping) hundreds of times to compare their options. Improving the user experience with a visual search Prospective renters want to shop for an apartment online the same way they shop for items at a physical store—visually. They want to: Compare images of apartment features side by side with a single tap rather than comparing lists of features.  Compare favorites by room-type photo and/or amenity photo. View dozens of images of properties on a single mobile page and see favorites directly alongside search results. Utilize tab navigation to dig into details of a visual listing on their mobile devices rather than scrolling. Tap to view a listing rather than clicking into several listings numerou......
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Making Quality Leads a Priority at Your Organization

Making Quality Leads a Priority at Your Organization
By now, everyone who has sifted through heaping piles of leads gets it. Quality matters more than quantity. It seems almost paradoxical to hope for fewer leads, but if they are the right leads – meaning those that will close at a significantly higher rate – they are better for your leasing associates, better for your marketers and better for your community. The concept in itself seems simple enough, but it takes more than a snap of the fingers to transform your organization into one that adheres to this philosophy. It begins with improving the way you track your leads, and following up with a series of steps that will dramatically help increase your lead quality. Here are some recommendations: Consider using lead-tracking technology. The more efficiently you can manage your leads and determine where they are coming from, the more likely you are to hone in on your target market and delegate your resources toward capturing leases in that particular demographic. Use only sources that produce quality leads. Although conversion ratio is a key data point, don’t measure success solely by this figure. Measure it by the quality of the prospective renters coming through the door. Determine whether they are in the price range, whether they are looking to lease within 90 days and whether your community is in the location they really want to live. And do they have the financial means to afford it? Remember, conversion ratio is a reflection of more than just lead quality. It’s also a refle......
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Legal Buzz over Craigslist Posting Tools

Legal Buzz over Craigslist Posting Tools
In case recent changes to Craigslist’s posting policy weren’t enough, a sudden tweak to it’s terms of use has put the industry on high-alert over the legality of posting tools. Craigslist added breakdown of monetary penalties against violators escalating to as much as $25k, which would be a serious problem for operators if this applied to all Craigslist posting tools. But it doesn’t. These Usage Restrictions Aren’t New This right here isn’t new: USE. You agree not to use or provide software (except for general purpose web browsers and email clients, or software expressly licensed by us) or services that interact or interoperate with CL, e.g. for downloading, uploading, posting, flagging, emailing, search, or mobile use.That’s been in Craigslist’s terms of use for years now. The only change is that they’ve included a “reasonable estimate of damages” for violators of their existing usage restrictions that were already in place. Not All Craigslist Tools are Forbidden Posting tools that have always been in compliance are still in compliance. Craigslist bars the use of tools which download, upload, email, and post automatically to their site. The bulk posting tools in our industry don’t do that. They simply provide a content library for companies to then manually place listings. It’s when your software is automatically posting Craigslist ads in your name that you should probably be concerned. What Do Allowed Craigslist Tools Provide? With html, hyperlinks, and view-tracking thrown out, we’ve got some serious “make or break” questions on the value of posting tools. They don’t have the same html t......
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