We know it isn’t easy to find a place to start when it comes to creating a marketing strategy for brand new developments. That’s why we’re here to help you! Check out this list of real estate marketing tactics for your new development, and let us help you get started.
Always Start With Market Research
Not sure where to start? Market research is the perfect place to begin to define your product and audience. Who are you trying to target? What are your biggest selling points? What differentiates you from your competition? Hold a focus group to see what really resonates with the audience you’re looking to target. Researching your market is only the first step in effectively building your brand and marketing strategy. In order to truly implement a successful marketing campaign for your new development, you must stay on top of marketing trends within your market and target audience.
Develop Branding Early On
After your market research is complete, it’s time to start branding your new development. Building your brand, even if you know exactly what you want to create, can be a challenging process, but take it one step at a time! Trying to do too much at once can result in your final product feeling rushed, and that’s the last thing you want for your brand.
Simply put, decide what you want your brand to go by – this is the fun stuff! Keeping your name simple allows you to focus on what you’re trying to promote so it doesn’t get lost in your messaging. Remember that focus group we recommended? Present your favorite 3-5 names to a diverse group of people who fit within your target audience to determine what name will resonate best in the market and with your audience.
Once your name is chosen, start working on your logo design. The most important thing for you to keep in mind when designing your logo is what kind of scheme you want to follow. Your logo will drive the rest of your brand, and creating a cohesive brand across platforms is what will set you apart from the competition and will seriously boost your brand image!
Similar to brand image, brand voice is something that needs to be established early on in the development process. However you want to be known is up to you, but keeping that voice consistent across all platforms and communication shows that your brand knows exactly what it is and what it wants.
Create An SEO-Friendly Website
Once you’ve nailed down your branding, it’s time to start building your website. The best way to connect with current and prospective tenants is to allow access to a functional and well constructed website. Launching a branded landing page while your full website gets built is the best way to begin building an audience while capturing valuable traffic. Encourage VIP sign-ups through your contact form and send them teaser content about what’s coming to the market.
While your landing page is getting to work on capturing leads and traffic, this gives you time to spend on your full website. Here are some key considerations you’ll want to be sure to include:
- Invest in high-quality interior and exterior renderings to display until you have hi-res photography of your new development
- Invest in high-quality 2D or 3D floor plans and prominently display them on your home page and floor plans page
- Consider PMS integrations like Entrata or Yardi for a seamless user experience
- Include virtual tours for those that may not be able to visit your property in person
- Utilize a chatbot for lead capture and engagement
- Include videos of your community or walk-throughs of your floor plans
While video and high quality renderings and photography are important to include on your website, don’t forget about including a well researched SEO marketing keyword strategy. Building a website that not only looks good but is built with foundational SEO is key to increasing organic traffic to your website for high volume, low competition keywords. And we can’t stress this enough, ensure that you have added Google Analytics to your website to measure traffic and user behavior on the site.
Design Branded Marketing Collateral
Even though our world is becoming increasingly digital, marketing collateral still has a purpose. If you are trying to save on print costs, one of the perks of brochures, flyers, or floor plan sheets is that they can all be digitized and sent through email or displayed on your website.
- Printed or Digital Brochures
- Printed or Digital Flyers
- Pocket Folders
- Printed or Digital Branded Floor Plan Sheets
- Permanent Signage
Bonus: Take advantage of QR Codes on your marketing collateral! Rather than just including a link, give them that direct and instant access with a QR code to whatever it is you are highlighting in your promo product.
Let’s be real – every offer is a little sweeter when there’s swag involved! Creating and developing promotional products offers a sense of personalization. Always make your residents (both current and prospective) feel like they are important, because they are! When choosing your promotional products, be sure they are items useful and relevant to your target audience. You won’t want to give koozies and bottle openers to senior living residents, just as you wouldn’t want to give an eyeglass case to those in student housing. Stay on top of marketing trends to know what the best supplies are for your target market!
Take advantage of your location as well! Live near a beach, lake, or river? Items like sunglasses and beach bags are great products! Located near the mountains? Custom hiking and biking accessories could be a great way for you to develop that relationship with potential and current residents. See where we’re going with this? Marketing assets are all around you if you know where, and how, to look.
While it can be fun crafting designs for your promotional products, it’s best to keep things simple – you don’t want to overwhelm your promotional products. Using your brand’s color scheme and including a simple, clear logo is going to be far more effective than creating a flashy design that takes away from the purpose – to promote your brand!
Don’t Forget Content Marketing
In today’s age of social media, it’s no surprise that it has become such an important part of marketing – especially in real estate marketing. Promote yourself across different platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, to ensure that your message reaches the maximum potential target audiences, focusing on content that sets you apart from your competition. No matter which platforms you use, remember to stay active to gain new followers, and to engage with them frequently.
Email marketing, when done correctly, can still be a very powerful tool that helps drive and nurture leads. If you’re looking for how to more effectively utilize an email marketing campaign, we recommend taking a look at our recent post on How To Use Email Marketing To Nurture Leads & Learn More Leases.
Google My Business (GMB)
Completing and verifying your GMB profile is not only a great tool for boosting engagement and your online presence, but it also improves your local SEO ranking. GMB profiles provide the opportunity for people to review your business and it gives you an opportunity to engage with and respond to the reviews. But do you know about GMB posts? Promote events or offer limited time specials through your posts to drive traffic to your website. GMB posts are a must to help share relevant content and information all while building your location authority. This tells Google that your business is legit, so over time, you’ll rank higher in the search results.
Invest In Digital Marketing
Now that you’ve identified your brand, built your brand, and teased your brand through organic content, you might be thinking you’ve done everything you need to do. Not quite. Knowing how to effectively implement paid strategies during each phase of your new development is another great tool to have in your pocket. We recommend breaking your real estate digital marketing strategy into four phases:
Phase 1: Brand Awareness
Starting with a small budget, build brand awareness in the early stages while your new development is being built through the use of display campaigns. Serve ads through the Google Display Network or start with a social ads campaign with “Coming Soon” or “Sign Up For Our VIP List” messaging by targeting a local radius and specific audiences, like people who are “renters” and “moving soon.” As you continue to drive traffic to your landing page or website through both paid and organic channels, you’ll be building an audience that can be retargeted later on in your lease-up strategy.
Phase 2: Pre-Lease
As you move into pre-leasing, it’s time to think about ramping up your budget for paid advertising to drive as much traffic as you can to start signing leases. We recommend launching a Search campaign at this stage while utilizing “Now Pre-Leasing” or “Secure Your Spot Early” messaging. As you drive traffic to your website through targeted keyword searches, consider pairing your paid search campaign with a strong retargeting campaign to target previous website visitors to continue to build brand awareness and drive even more traffic to your landing page or website.
Phase 3: Now Open
Congratulations! Construction is complete and you are ready to start actively leasing for people looking to move-in now. Adjust your messaging to drive urgency around immediate move-ins. And if you haven’t had professional photography taken, now is the time. Don’t even think about decreasing your budget just yet! If you haven’t reached 92% occupancy, those paid advertising dollars are still going to be put to good use as you lease-up your remaining units.
Phase 4: Maintain
We think another congratulations is in order now that you’ve reached your leasing goals. Once you reach stabilization, we recommend pulling back on your digital marketing budget, but don’t turn everything off completely. You’ll start to move into renewals soon and may see some turnover, so it’s best to continue maintaining your online presence to create a steady flow of traffic to your website to capture renters at all stages of their journey. When they are ready to make a decision about their housing search, we want them to make that decision with you. Plus, turning off your paid advertising and turning everything back on later leads to higher costs down the line. We recommend checking out a previous post about Why You Shouldn’t Pause Digital Campaigns Once You’re 100% Leased.
If you enjoyed these new development marketing tips, feel free to reach out to our real estate marketing experts today to help you with any questions, concerns, projects, or tasks you may have involving your new developments!