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Some Dos and Don'ts of Great Apartment Advertising

Apartment advertising comes with a unique set of challenges. Even if you’ve come up with a series of creative apartment ads, they won’t be effective without a strategic approach. Unlike selling products with wide audiences, like electronics or kitchen gadgets, apartments are hyper-local. So, the best way to ensure that you’re reaching the right audience is to align your apartment community and what it offers with the needs of your potential customers through targeted advertising. What follows is a rundown of dos and don’ts of great apartment ads that will help prospective renters find your community online. Do: Use branded keywords in your apartment PPC campaigns When people search for the name of a specific apartment community in a specific city and state, they’re using branded keywords. These are your hottest leads because they’re already aware of your community, so it’s important that you capture them. If you don’t use branded keywords, there are two potential scenarios. Either an ad for a competing apartment community will appear above your ad, or an ad for an internet listing service will, making it easy for you to lose that prospect. Do: Weed out irrelevant clicks by adding negative keywords Adding negative keywords to your PPC campaign means that your ad will not be shown to people searching for those keywords. For example, if there are other apartment communities with a name identical to yours in other cities, you’ll want to add those cities and states to the list so your ad only appears when people are s......
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Massive Change to Facebook Marketplace: Rentals Are Now Here

Facebook  Facebook Marketplace Rentals vs. Craigslist! ...and your ILS. Oh, and maybe even Google too.  Facebook Marketplace Rentals just happened. And it's about to get real for Craigslist first, but also Internet Listing Services (ILS). Heck, Facebook could even bite into Google's piece of the pie if users really go for it.   First, let's back up a bit. If you're an owner/property manages of a small to mid sized portfolio, then you needed to get the best return on their small marketing budget. So Craigslist, being free (and pretty clunky), was an obvious initial go-to option for many.  But Craigslist can take a lot of time, and depending on your target demographic, maybe didn’t even return that many quality leads. Then you got entangled with a pricey ILS contract. Hopefully that's doing something useful for you. And now you've heard about advertising on Google and on Facebook. But which would work better for you?  It used to be a no brainer for us.We'd pick Google for your budget first every time. That's because the difference between the two is that Facebook is "interest" based and Google is "intent" based.  Interest vs. Intent and Why it Matters If you're looking for a Mexican restaurant or a new dentist - you went to Google or Google Maps.  That's intent. (It's also making me hungry for tacos and slightly nervous to make that appointment I need) Facebook was just for expressing which movies, books, sports, etc. you loved. That’s interest. Most people who ......
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Apartment Marketing 2.0 - Top 5 "Must Have" Marketing Strategies

Apartment Marketing 2.0 - Top 5 "Must Have" Marketing Strategies
“What do you mean I can’t just post an ad on Craigslist and lease my entire building?” In this day and age, I never expect to hear that, but to my surprise, I still hear those words from developers and managers. The problem is, long gone are those days of posting free Craigslist ads and watching the leads roll in. These days, it takes a lot more than simple ads to get a building leased and stay competitive. Even communities or portfolios who have moved beyond that, have resigned themselves to the status quo of marketing. You know the ones, they throw an ad on Apartments.com and post "how to spruce up your kitchen" posts on Facebook and still wonder why they have vacancy issues. You have to be creative, involved and spend the time and money to ensure your property is at the forefront when renters are searching for an apartment.  Here is what should be the most vital parts of any communities marketing plan: SEO | SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION This might be the most important of all the recommendations. Having a comprehensive SEO strategy is paramount to your community being found online. It also can provide a HUGE boost to reduced cost lead generation as well as a competitive edge in your market. PPC | ADWORDS A fundamental of leasing these days, AdWords advertising can produce excellent results if you know how to optimize it. The keys to a successful AdWords campaign is testing, good copyrighting and keyword selection. Remem......
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3 High-Performing Apartment Marketing Strategies to Embrace in 2017

3 High-Performing Apartment Marketing Strategies to Embrace in 2017
The New Year has arrived. And with it, a new set of apartment marketing challenges to face and overcome. For regional managers and people on the front lines of apartment marketing, these challenges mostly revolve around advertising costs and their respective ROIs. But with so many different apartment marketing strategies available, the first challenge is determining which ideas are worth the time. So with that in mind, we put together this list of the three strategies apartment marketers should focus on in order to sign the most leases and maximize their ROI in 2017. #1: Reputation Management Towards the end of December 2016, participants in the weekly #AptChat conversation on Twitter were asked about their main marketing resolution for 2017. The top response? Reputation! @AptChat Q1-A1: reputation! — Tara Marks (Smiley) (@tarasmiley) December 20, 2016   Unlike other methods on this list, it’s hard to really gauge the ROI of your online reputation management efforts. Sure, you know it pays to have a great reputation. But quantifying how well it pays is something else entirely. There’s no way to find out if a single 4.5 Star review directly resulted in a website visit or a lease signing. But when you look long-term, the macro trends speak for themselves. Consider, for example, that 87% of rental prospects will not rent an apartment from a community that holds less than a 3-Star rating. That’s an alarming statistic, one that should make boosting your community’s rating above the 3-Star mark a top priority. And since it’......
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AdWords vs. Bing Ads: Which Ad Network Drives the Best Results for Apartment Communities?

Every multifamily management company that runs paid search campaigns as part of its apartment marketing strategy has likely come across the Google vs. Bing debate at one point or another. While there are certainly many distinct advantages to both Bing Ads (Bing’s ad network) and AdWords (Google’s ad network), ultimately only one network can be considered superior when it comes to securing leads in the multifamily industry. Here’s a quick look at the advantages of each, followed by our final verdict: The Advantages of Bing Ads Bing Ads are primarily displayed through bing.com, a search engine that has cornered roughly 20 percent of the search market as of March 2015, according to a ComScore study. Bing Ads can also be found when conducting a search through Yahoo, thus expanding the ad network an additional 13 points and bringing its overall market share to roughly 33 percent. This is a considerably large chunk of the pie, and one that certainly warrants a second glance. In addition to representing nearly one third of the overall market, the Bing ad network is usually cheaper than the Google ad network. A recent report from the search marketing intelligence agency AdGooroo, for example, found that the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) of ads displayed through Bing’s network was 35 percent cheaper than the CPC of ads displayed through Google’s network. The difference was attributed to the fact that more advertisers pay attention to Google, making its bidding landscape more competitive. The Advantages of Google Ads You don’t need us to tell you......
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4 Reasons Why Effective Apartment Marketing Strategies Require Paid Search Campaigns

Ignoring the power of paid search is a big mistake. Unfortunately, it’s also a mistake that’s incredibly common. In order to shed light on why apartment marketers should avoid making this blunder, we’ve assembled the following four reasons explaining how paid search works wonders for online marketing strategies. Reason #1: Paid Search Creates Brand Visibility Nearly 50 percent of all web traffic comes from organic search, according to conductor.com. While this figure dwarfs the meager six percent of traffic that comes from paid search, marketers must remember that the presence of a paid ad creates value in the form of brand visibility. So even if your paid ad doesn’t receive a click, your brand name is still getting exposure. And when it comes to pay-per-click campaigns, marketers receive this exposure absolutely free of charge. Reason #2: Paid Search Reinforces Credibility Ranking higher in both organic and paid search reinforces the credibility of your brand. Think about it: If a user searches for “Upper West Side apartments” and is immediately confronted with not only a high ranking organic result, but also a top paid result, that user will likely come to the conclusion that the high ranking brand is the premier apartment complex in the area. Reason #3: Paid Search is Highly Targeted No credible SEO company will discount the value of organic search. But that doesn’t mean organic is superior to paid search in every sense. When it comes to targeting a specific audience, for example, paid search has an incredible advantage ove......
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Can Click-To-Call Buttons Help Your PPC Campaign?

Can Click-To-Call Buttons Help Your PPC Campaign?
Recent studies have confirmed what we have been predicting for some time now; people expect locally relevant information in their search results1. This hardly comes as a surprise to many in the multifamily housing industry, who have noticed an increase in the number of people using map listings to find their community. But how can you use this to help you reach your goal of maximum occupancy? The answer is simple: Optimize your PPC ads for local search. Adwords allows you to target ads to customers in a variety of ways. These include specific keywords, if they have been to your site before, and even down to specific cities and zip codes. This means that you can show your ads to a much more qualified group of people, who are more likely to come in and sign a lease. A recent study conducted by Google found that four in five users wanted search ads to cater to their location2. What’s more, the majority of those involved in the study mentioned using click-to-call buttons and links to driving directions specifically. These are important because they help consumers find what they are looking for in the fastest possible way. I know I’ve rephrased a search or two in order to get a listing with a click-to-call button. What, you expect me to search for a business, remember all ten digits of the phone number, THEN open the keypad to punch them in manually?! That sounds like way too much work. Despite the risks associated with using a mobile device whi......
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Driving Traffic to Your Multi-Family Website with PPC vs. SEO

Driving Traffic to Your Multi-Family Website with PPC vs. SEO

The two major options for driving better local traffic to your apartment website are either Google Adwords pay-per-click advertising or search engine optimization. Rand Fishkin, founder of the online marketing firm Moz, was asked which would be the best option for driving traffic to a website. Rand discussed that the major challenge would be learning the balance to utilizing and investing in both aspects of search.

PPC (pay-per-click advertising) can provide faster results, as you can easily work with a program like Google Adwords and begin displaying profitable ads right away. However, you will be paying Google for the traffic you are receiving, which can often require large investments. Especially because many major companies have already mastered different fields and invested time and resources, it may be difficult to make major success here.

SEO (search engine optimization), on the other hand, is still a pretty wide open field. There is a lot of room for creativity and big ideas. Rand used such examples as Survey Monkey and Yelp, who provided a necessary and important service and made sure to always direct link back to their own website and brand.

Local SEO and PPC initiatives have the potential to bring a good amount of quality leads to your apartment community. We always suggest running both simultaneously for the best results possible!

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SEO vs PPC: What’s best for Apartment Websites?

SEO vs PPC: What’s best for Apartment Websites?
When it comes to online marketing, SEO and PPC always seem to be competing for marketing budgets.   Many marketers in the multi-family industry often wonder, “Should I be using PPC, or SEO?” To help settle the debate, I invited Property Solutions' Ryan Hill (SEO Manager) and Ryan Mower (Sr. Paid Search Strategist) to share their thoughts on the strengths and weakness of each approach to determine which is a better fit for your apartment community website.   Which Strategy Brings Greater ROI? Ryan Hill - “SEO definitely brings greater ROI for the long term. It is all about your reputation. Renters will refer other residents and talk about your online reviews, or personal reference thus generating more traffic and increasing keyword rankings. “ Ryan Mower - “Depending on situation, short term PPC would bring ROI because the campaign will immediately begin. You get instant traffic. For long term, there might be keywords that are hard to claim the top spot for SEO; with PPC you can immediately get traffic from that keyword. Once SEO starts, PPC can then adjust strategy for keyword variations. " Which Strategy Brings More Site Traffic? Ryan H - “One big component of SEO is to leverage social media sites like Google +, Facebook, Twitter to gain traffic. With SEO you can gain traffic without having to pay the individuals sites for an ad campaign, which can be very costly. Thus bringing traffic from a mix of sources unlike PPC. “ Ryan M - “I am waving the white flag for this question. However, with PPC you are guaranteed traffic, unlike SEO wher......
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