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Multifamily Marketing in a Pandemic

Those who quickly adapt tend to thrive. This skill has become essential to many businesses since the pandemic began spreading in March.  A positive consequence of the pandemic is prospects are following suit with widespread use of digital tools, online commerce, and virtual engagement.    I recently played host to another lunch and learn which explored the challenges multifamily properties faced while trying to market to shifting consumer behavior during the pandemic. Guests Liv Gabrielsen, Director of Marketing for Bainbridge, and Scott Papenfus, Director of Strategic Partnerships for LCP360, chatted about the creative ways they’ve adapted efforts and the true impact the pandemic has had on multifamily marketing efforts.     Shifting Marketing Efforts  When asked about general big shifts  as a result of the pandemic, Liv mentioned  what most businesses have experienced, consumers embracing the digital experience.    “For multifamily, what it did is forced our industry to embrace all things digital as we saw stay-at-home orders. The COVID pandemic made us shift what we're doing to ensure we can meet consumer demands in a 100% digital environment.”   She added that the industry knew they would need to support  consumers' digital needs  eventually. The pandemic accelerated that  process.    “We've known this for years; it's been moving in this direction,” Liv says. “For me, it was still a little bit of a shock of sorts — how fast we had to lean into some of the things or behaviors we were already thinking about, then suddenly over the course of a couple o......
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How to Optimize Your Source Spending

We’ve spent the last six weeks resolving the lead attribution issues in the multifamily industry. No, we didn’t put all of this time and energy into this topic so you can look at it and proud of your numbers (even though you should be proud). We were preparing to take the final step: Budget Optimization. We want to enable you to make data-backed, cost-effective budgets, like this one!       How can you optimize your source spending? Glad you asked.     Step 1: Stop looking at vanity metrics Earlier in this series, we established cost per lease as the metric to use when determining the value of each source. What we love about this metric, is that is breaks down the real cost of each source. This metric removes unqualified leads from the equation and accounts for budgeting differences. Once you eliminate the tracking errors, spending bias, and vanity metrics, deciding which sources to invest in is easy!     If you want more information about how we decided cost per lease is the most important metric in source cost analysis, check out the full article.   Step 2: Match Tracking Taxonomy to Budget Taxonomy If Tom Cruise wants a truly impossible mission, he should try to create a cost per lease report when you haven’t classified your sources. A lot of ILS packages include several different brands. For example, spending with Apartments.com gets you access to ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder, Apartamentos.com and a bunch more. All of these are purchased as a ......
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If you are reading this, you might have a tracking problem.

Spoiler alert: The majority of your leads aren’t coming from your property website. It would be awesome if your prospects search for your property website right off the bat. However, that’s just not the case for most properties, even though a lot of PMC source reports say so.   If your sourcing report looks like the graph on the left, keep reading. Your source tracking is not set up correctly. Instead of tracking the original source of a lead, you are recording the last place your prospect visited. Once you have the full story of how your prospects are finding your property, you can dig into which sources are most cost-effective and allocate resources accordingly for next year’s budgets.   Why is the Original Source Important? When my daughter was growing up, her favorite movie was A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff. Her Dad’s catchphrase was, “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”   Maybe I’m sentimental. Maybe it’s just an inspiring quote. Whatever the reason, this quote stuck with me. For years I believed this quote was a result of great screenwriting. Recently, it was not-so-gently brought to my attention this is a famous Babe Ruth quote. Needless to say, it was embarrassing. How was I supposed to know? The movie never stated he was quoting Babe Ruth, and technically I was right. Her dad did say it. However, he isn’t the original source. Even though it was an honest mistake, that didn’t stop me from suffering t......
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6 Reasons Your Lead Tracking is Failing

Budget season. Don’t you shudder a little just reading it? We get it, especially after reading this Forbes article which stated, “74% of marketers can’t measure or report how their efforts impact their business.” Creating a new budget when you can’t prove what is working and what isn’t is not an easy task. However, if you are using lead source attribution to create your marketing reports, it’s not that bad. We created an easy-to-follow guide to help multifamily marketers get the most out of lead source attribution. The first step is to correctly track your sources. We pay careful attention to the four areas along the prospect’s journey where lead tracking often fails.        1. Web sources are not properly tagged    2. Phone sources do not have unique numbers    3. Phone sources do not have Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI    4. Web sources do not have Dynamic Source Insertion (DSI)    5. Sources are changed when reported in Lead-to-Lease   Once you are confident your sources are being tracked correctly, you can start analyzing the data. We will discuss how to convert your data into useful insights. Additionally, we will address the main issue most multifamily marketers face when analyzing their data.          6. Multifamily companies struggle to consolidate their data. By taking the leases per source data from your CRM and combining it with your cost per source data from your budget, you can perform a cost analysis (calculate the cost per lease) for your source......
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How to Analyze 2017 Marketing and Plan for 2018

How to Analyze 2017 Marketing and Plan for 2018
  I once attended a team building event when I was with Greystar, presented by Afterburner who "teach the techniques used by elite military teams to drive accountability, increase agility and accelerate performance." The group presenting to us were a group of fighter pilots who explained a variety of topics but one hit home specifically to me. They stated that every mission they fly, before it is executed, they already have a post-flight meeting scheduled to analyze the wins and lessons learned from the mission. They explained how critical this is to the successful planning of future missions by learning how they could improve. In property management, we're in such a fast paced industry that it's difficult to slow down and assess all of the wins and opportunities at each asset, each month. However, NOT doing this is much more critical. As an RPM, I would have Property Managers present their wins and opportunities to me in front of their peers. We would discuss the ways they excelled in performance, how we could apply those wins to other communities and strategize about how to readjust our plan for the coming month to overcome any deficiencies. As 2017 comes to a close, are you dedicating time for your teams to look at their marketing plan goals they set forth at the beginning of the year and analyzing the actual year end results in detail? Are you bringing Property Managers together to review the collective performance of your marketing and see how you can improve......
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ReMarketing - The Secret Weapon of Apartment Leasing

ReMarketing - The Secret Weapon of Apartment Leasing
So you're browsing the internet. Let's say you're on Amazon.com. You view some items then decide to check the news over at CNN.com. Magically, you start to see ads for products you just saw on Amazon on the CNN site. How did they know? Is it magic? Some kind of sorcery? No, it's Remarketing. Remarketing is a relatively new way of showing targeted ads to individuals that have previously visited your website - as they browse elsewhere on the internet. It has been primarily used by big retailers over the last couple of years with great success and now, could be a game changer for the multifamily industry. Remarketing & Apartment Marketing One of the most significant deficiencies in the apartment marketing world has been brand awareness and website conversion. Let's say Jane Renter is browsing your website. She likes your building but isn't ready to pull the trigger. She leaves and keeps browsing the internet. You've now lost her as a lead. You've spent considerable dollars and time to get Jane Renter to your site, only to see her leave without contacting you. However, with Remarketing, Jane Renter will now start seeing eye-catching ads for your building on other sites she visits. This will increase your brand awareness as well as the overall conversion of your leads. Benefits There are a variety of different benefits to utilizing a remarketing campaign as part of your communities overall marketing plan. Inexpensive - Instead of paying for ads to a broad audience, you can......
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10 Places to Invest Your Digital Marketing Dollars in 2014

10 Places to Invest Your Digital Marketing Dollars in 2014
It's that time of year again. Yes, football is back! (And now it's on your phone.) And so is budget season. When it comes to budgeting for your marketing spend, digital likely makes up a big part of your playbook. A vast majority of shoppers are starting their searches online, often checking 10 or more different sources before choosing to do business with you. So you better have a strong presence there, and it better be the kind of message you want your potential customers to see. With digital, it can be tough to know whether this year's tools and trends will still be hot -- and worth your investment -- next year. Do you need a mobile app? Is Facebook on its way out? Hasn't email been pronounced dead each of the past 14 years? What can we do to get more out of our website? Of course, I can't make any promises about what the future holds, but here are some of the places our team is looking at as the most important areas to focus on in the year ahead: 1. Mobile How would you feel if 30% or more of your customers received a poor customer experience the moment they walked through your door? Not good, right? Well, if your website isn't mobile-friendly, that's exactly what you're doing to your online customers. (Google prefers websites that implement responsive design, so I'd recommend starting there.) What about that mobile app? If you can find a way to deliver......
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