Written by Kathy Jones, Agency Operations Manager
With an ever changing real estate industry, developing a real estate marketing plan informed by strategic thinking is absolutely essential to be able to stand out from your competitors. When it comes to your print marketing strategy, you may feel that your number one goal is to create the perfect flyer or brochure that your team can distribute in high traffic areas. However, what happens next when the prospect receives and reads the flyer is oftentimes an afterthought. In reality, it takes careful consideration of the full leasing/sales journey to create print assets that really make an impact on your prospects.
While COVID-19 brought a large decrease in the number of prospects touring leasing offices and sales centers in person, that number is quickly on the rise again and so is print marketing. Since the real estate industry is quickly changing, your strategic plan should also be changing. Your vision will likely remain the same but your goals should be frequently reviewed. For most clients to the real estate industry, the enduring vision is to impact your bottom line (e.g. improving occupancy rates or increasing revenue), but you can’t get there unless you set more specific, granular goals along the way. For example, one goal might be to increase the number of leases or sales contracts that are signed each month. In order for you to achieve that goal, you need to build a hand-crafted strategy that will push prospects into your leasing office or sales center to close the deal.
Every community is different. One might have a great location where others might have strong brand awareness in their market. If your community is located in a great location, guerilla marketing can be a great supplement to your existing digital marketing. But what happens once your prospect receives your flyer? The prospect will likely view your website and head into your leasing office or sales center for a tour.
Furthermore, your strategic plan shouldn’t end once the prospect walks through the door. A well thought out tour is your next step. In what order should property information be presented to your prospect? In most cases, this is the order of operations that yields the best results:
- Property overview
- Apartment amenities
- Community amenities
- Property location
- Floor plan types
This gives prospects the ability to get to know your property and hopefully be wowed by amenities so they’re already picturing themselves living in your community and exploring the local neighborhood by the time you get down to the specifics of floor plan options. This makes many prospects eager to lock down a specific floor plan as you broach this subject with them during your tour.
Leasing offices and sales centers are likely your last chance to wow your prospect and can make or break your prospect’s likelihood of signing a lease. You may have a well thought out strategy to get them in the office and a tour strategy that piques their interest, but what is really going to make you stand out from the crowd? Creating an experience that will resonate is key, so environmental graphics within your leasing/sales center are important factors in sealing the deal. Living green walls, Instagram walls with neon signs, or custom corkboards where you can add photos of prospects signing are all unique ways to achieve that wow factor. If you stay on top of trends, you won’t be surprised. In fact, you’ll be far ahead of others because you’ll have had years to strategize and adapt, so that when disruption hits, you not only have a plan, but are already implementing it.
Written by David Belachew, Digital Marketing Strategist
Ever since Apple’s announcement of their all new App Tracking Transparency feature (ATT) last summer, anxiety has been rampant for digital real estate marketers in the multi-family housing industry. ATT will require app developers and partners such as Facebook and Google, to ask users permission “to track their actions across other third party apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.” Within the first week of the launch of ATT on April 28th, over 96% of iOS 14 users have chosen to opt out of app tracking.
Initially, digital real estate marketers were all fearful of the impact of losing valuable tracking data from these users. Without this information, digital real estate marketers will have a more difficult time assessing the performance of their digital campaigns and will likely have less data to rely on when making budget allocation decisions.
However, in response to the feedback shared by advertisers from some of Apple’s largest partners, Apple rolled out a tool called SKAdNetwork, which will allow advertisers to “measure the success of their ad campaigns while maintaining the privacy of their users.”
In conjunction with SKAdnetwork, both Facebook and Google have rolled out new features and policy updates that will also balance both the privacy concerns of users and ad attribution concerns of their digital advertising partners.
We recommend that digital real estate marketers who actively use Facebook and Google advertising platforms follow these platforms’ new guidelines to offset the negative impact of the ATT on their campaigns. With that in mind, this blog will provide you with some valuable tips on how you can improve the performance of your digital campaigns and confidently report on online behavior of iOS 14 users on your real estate website.
Use Diverse Sources Of Remarketing
As more users choose to opt out of tracking on their iOS 14 devices, both Google and Facebook expect to have a smaller pool of users from their website remarketing audiences. This means that getting the desired results from campaigns whose objective is to remarket users based on their online activity on your property’s website will become more difficult.
With that being said, we recommend that digital real estate marketers diversify their retargeting audience sources to improve the reach and performance of their remarketing campaigns. These sources may include, but are not limited to users that:
- Viewed a specific percentage of a real estate marketing video asset, including from YouTube and Facebook videos, or videos embedded on your property’s website
- Engaged or commented on an organic post from your property’s Facebook or Instagram page
- Clicked on the call to action button from your property’s Facebook or Instagram ad
By expanding your retargeting sources beyond just your website visitors, you will lessen the likelihood of losing the opportunity to promote your property to iOS14 users.
CRM Tool Integration
Even as Google and Facebook implement new attribution modeling techniques that will estimate the volume of conversion actions generated from iOS14 users, both companies have been vague about how large of a negative impact ATT will have on reported conversion attribution from campaigns on their advertising platforms.
With that being said, there are several tools from popular CRM platforms in the housing industry that have the ability to fire native events directly to leading tag management and analytics platforms such as Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics.
These leading CRMs and tools include, but are not limited to:
- Setmore – A popular scheduling tool used by property managers to schedule in-person and virtual tours with prospects
- RentCafe – A popular CRM used by property managers to help develop their property’s website, provide an applicant and resident portal for the property, and help improve resident retention
- Knock Doorway Bot – Similar to the G5 bot, this bot, developed by Knock, helps pre-qualify users by providing them pricing and floor plan availability and also encourages users to schedule virtual or in-person tours and complete a contact form submission.
Integrate Your Google Analytics and Google Ads Accounts
As mentioned above, integrating your CRM with a compatible analytics platform can go a long way to understanding user behavior on your property’s website. However, if you use Google Analytics (GA) to track and report on traffic activity on your property’s website, there are several actions you can take now to better understand the performance of your campaign across most platforms, which will allow you to make smarter optimization decisions.
From contact form submissions to completed applications, you can create Goals from your Google Analytics account to measure valuable actions taken by users on your property website. Once these goals are created, you can measure the volume of goal completions across multiple channels, such as organic, paid search, paid social, display, etc.
You can also transfer your GA goals as conversion actions into your Google Ads account. Once you complete your conversion configuration on Google Ads, these conversion actions can be reported and optimized from your paid search and display campaigns and may lead to a higher volume of qualified leads generated on your website.
Another added benefit of linking your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account is that you can better fine-tune your website remarketing audiences. You can configure your remarketing audience by focusing on users who visited a minimum threshold of pages on your website, spent a specific amount of time on-site, and so much more. These remarketing audiences will ensure that your display campaigns will only target users who are more likely to convert on your website while filtering out users who have shown little interest in your property.
Believe it or not, email is still one of the most effective ways to nurture leads. Though the digital landscape has evolved dramatically, folks across all age groups still use email every single day—for many, it’s the first thing they do after waking up.
Not only is email marketing a reliable way to reach your audience, it’s also a powerful strategy for relationship building with prospects and current residents alike. It particularly excels as a retargeting strategy, keeping your property top-of-mind at various stages of a prospect’s housing search or reminding a current resident of all the reasons to renew. But the best part of all is that it’s one of the most cost-effective strategies you can incorporate into your real estate marketing plan. That’s why the right email marketing strategy can make a major impact on your real estate marketing goals. Let’s talk about some of the top strategies you can employ to get better email marketing results.
Always Begin With “WIIFM”
In other words, “What’s in it for me?” Especially in our busy day-to-day lives, people need to feel confident that your email has something to offer them. If it’s a waste of their time and attention, it could do more harm than good as they form their impression of your brand. So avoid waxing poetical about your brand or providing unnecessary information. All the info you include, every link to another page, and every element of the design should provide some clear value to the user on the other end. Remember, it’s not about you, the brand, it’s about the bridge you create between your brand and the user.
Personalize Emails Whenever Possible
People appreciate a personal touch, especially when they get so many emails every day that are sent to a mass audience. Where you choose to live is one of the most personal decisions you can make, so prospects and residents shouldn’t feel like they’re just a faceless number in your leasing pipeline. When you can, personalize emails with a salutation using their first name or, if applicable, a reference to content from their previous email. Touches like these show your audience that they’re seen as individuals, even in cases where you don’t know anything about them yet.
Send Regularly, But Not Too Often
Whether you’re following up with prospects or communicating with current tenants, you need to show you care without becoming a nuisance. Bear in mind that most people get many emails every day and are likely to ignore, archive, or delete emails that arrive so often they become spammy. Sending an email once a week is typically the maximum you should aim for, while once per month is about the minimum.
There are exceptions, of course. When communicating about a time-sensitive issue like community-wide repairs and renovations or following up on a prospect’s email, don’t worry about the frequency of your sends. These should be considered ad hoc emails rather than a part of your regular email marketing cadence.
When it comes to your marketing-focused emails, planning ahead will help you ensure you’re getting the message out without sending emails so often that it becomes spammy. It will also help you plan ahead to for marketing campaigns appropriate to your seasonality. For example, you might plan a renewal campaign in the months leading up to what’s traditionally your slow season, or you might plan an email advertising holiday deals for new leases to go out in mid December.
Improve Open Rates with Better Subject Lines
Even a stellar email design can be useless if the email is never opened. The most influential factor determining whether a user opens your email is the subject line. In order to encourage email opens, it’s essential that you provide compelling info toward the beginning so that the important stuff isn’t cut off based on the size of your user’s screen and inbox layout. Other tried-and-true strategies include using a number (Save $500 By Referring a Friend), including an emoji (Immediate move-ins available on 1-bedrooms😲), including a first name (Hi, Chad, thanks for reaching out!) or posing a question (Have you seen our pet-friendly amenities?).
Improve Click-Through-Rates By Leaving Room for Curiosity
When your goal is to get users to visit a web page, it’s best to leave them guessing. Provide just enough information to entice them without providing the whole story. This way you’ll have convinced them there’s something they want on the other side, but they have to click through to get it.
For example, say you’re running a special on certain floor plans and you want to direct users to your floor plan page where they can see specials, explore floor plans, and hopefully begin an application. You might leave room for curiosity by saying something like, “Get 4 weeks FREE on select 1-Bedrooms! This and other great incentives are available for a limited time. Visit our website to learn more and see if you can snag the perfect deal for you.”
Improve Click-Through-Rates With a Clear CTA
Since the point of email marketing is typically to drive your audience toward specific actions (visiting a webpage, starting the renewal process, completing an application, scheduling a tour, etc.), it’s important to make that desired action clear. The clearest way to signal this information to your audience is through the use of Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons that stand out from the rest of the email.
Keep the copy on your CTA buttons short and to-the-point; it should be clear, when clicking, what the outcome will be (no one appreciates a bait-and-switch). For example, “Apply Now” should take users to a page where they can start an application. “See Floor Plans” should take users to your floor plans page. A “Learn More” button beneath a headline about specials should take a user to a page that contains more information about your specials. It’s pretty straightforward; just bear in mind that the goal is to match up a user’s motivation when clicking to the outcome they actually get on the other side. Otherwise, they’re likely to bounce without ever completing the desired action. And that experience may even sour them to your brand moving forward.
Make Copy Easier to Skim
Even when you have a lot to say, keeping things brief is the best way to ensure your audience actually digests the information you provide. So keep things short, whether it’s your subject line, headers, paragraphs, or CTA copy. The easier an email is to scan, the more likely your audience is to interact with that email and ultimately take the desired action instead of becoming bored or frustrated and moving on with their busy day. Other elements that can make copy more scannable is the selective use of font weight, color, and size to emphasize which parts are most important. We’ve done that in this blog post, for example.
Use Simple, Branded Email Designs
An email doesn’t have to be stunningly designed to be effective, but it should follow the basic principles of UX. That means a design that provides a clear hierarchy of information, appears legibly on all devices (more on that below), and uses a color palette that’s easy on the eyes. Your emails should also consistently use elements of your branding, including your logo, brand colors, and brand voice so that users know exactly what sort of email they’re looking at as soon as they open it, and any users who receive multiple emails from you begin constructing a consistent impression of your brand, building familiarity and hopefully even loyalty.
Since creating excellent email designs can be time-consuming, creating a number of templates can be especially useful. This way you empower your team to do more with email marketing without an exorbitant amount of work needed to make it happen day-to-day.
Use Mobile-Friendly Designs
Bear in mind that, these days, most users will be checking their email on their phone. That’s especially true during the morning and evening hours. So designing an email that looks great on desktop but terrible on a mobile device will likely result in poor click-through-rates and conversions. That’s why we recommend designing emails for mobile first instead of designing for desktop, then trying to translate that design into a mobile version.
The day of the week and time of day can have a significant impact on open rates and CTR. Understand your target audience’s typical day-to-day, then schedule your email sends to go out when folks are most likely to open and click through.
There are a number of philosophies regarding the best time to send out an email. Some like to reach audiences right when they’re waking up in the morning so that their email is at the top of their inbox when they start checking emails. Others find that sending over the lunch hour or as work is wrapping up for the day to be the best time to command the attention of otherwise busy prospects. And different audiences will have different daily routines; for example, consider the different lifestyles of student versus multifamily versus senior housing residents.
The best way to select your time of send is to test the waters. A/B testing is a particularly powerful option to determine what the best time of send may be for your overall audience. Over time, you can learn what times of day result in the most opens and clicks among your audience and then send at those times moving forward.
Build Email Lists With Lead Gen Campaigns and Contact Us Forms
Collecting the email addresses of current residents is easy enough, but building an email list of prospects is harder. While it may be tempting to buy a contact list to expand your email marketing reach, this is a particularly poor strategy for apartment marketers because it mostly results in a list full of unqualified prospects who will ignore or unsubscribe from your emails. They’ll also likely report your emails as spam, which can impact the performance of your email marketing down the road.
So we recommend gathering your contacts list the old fashioned way. The primary way that apartment communities tend to collect email addresses is through contact form fills on their website, but that strategy tends to capture folks later in their buyer journey, when they’ve already entered the consideration phase. Adding other strategies that can collect email addresses from folks earlier in their journey can help bring more prospects into your lead nurturing funnel, where you really have the ability to wow them. Facebook Lead Gen campaigns are one way to capture email addresses from people who have visited your website or searched for housing, but wouldn’t necessarily have reached out to contact you.
Just don’t forget, people are used to getting lots of spam in their inbox, and may feel hesitant to give out their email address. Clearly demonstrating what’s in it for them (i.e. providing clear value) will make them more likely to go through with handing over the keys to their inbox.
Every good digital marketing plan for real estate must take into account the user experience on property websites. After all, a digital ad is only as good as the landing page it directs to, and a bad first impression can destroy your chances with a prospect. Real estate marketers today know they need to provide a great user experience on property websites, but they aren’t always sure how to improve UX or use strong UX design from the beginning.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry, we’re going to go through some UX tips for apartment websites. These tips range from quick fixes to broader strategies, but every one of them will help you build websites that meet user’s needs and encourage them to take the actions that are important for your bottom line.
Study User Behavior
First and foremost, you need to understand your users. Not just users in general, but your users; your audience’s browsing habits, goals, needs, motivators, and preferences. Each market is different and so is each person, but a few strategies can help you discover broad habits that your site should cater towards, like what information is important to your users and what device they usually use to search for housing or access your resident portal.
Conduct a Focus Group
A focus group survey can help you understand a lot about your audience. While the best focus groups require diligent survey design, the payoff can be massive.
When conducting focus groups, make sure to get as representative a sample as possible for your city, university, or age group. You might want to offer an incentive to attract more participants—for example, with a chance to win a gift card once the survey has been completed.
Avoid asking leading questions or limiting the answers your respondents can give. Keeping things open-ended is the best way to ensure you learn something you didn’t already know (or assume).
Scrollmaps are a tool you can use to study user behavior on a site that already exists. It shows you where users tend to linger on a page, where they tend to click, and which areas fail to hold their attention. This is a particularly useful tool if you want to identify areas for improvement on a website you’ve already built.
Scrollmaps can’t provide a full picture, however, because they don’t show you what your users would be doing if things were different. They can only show you what they are or aren’t doing right now. In other words, they’re better at identifying problems than solutions. Still, they can be a great place to start.
Study Your Google Analytics
For more insights into user behavior on already existing sites, Google Analytics is a fantastic resource. It allows you to see which pages have the highest bounce rate or lowest time spent on-page, which pages are most viewed and which are rarely seen. These insights can help you identify sections of your site that need improvement. Combined with the use of scrollmaps, this strategy can give you a lot of information about your current UX without having to ask users directly.
Consider Your Mobile User Experience
While many users’ housing searches take place primarily online, mobile phones and tablets still represent a significant portion of the traffic to your property website. In fact, a user is especially likely to encounter your property website on their phone during the discovery phase, when they’re forming their initial opinions and deciding which properties will move forward into their consideration phase. This means having a responsive website—one that’s optimized for a variety of screen sizes—is essential in making a good first impression.
If you’re not sure how to turn a website design that’s optimized for desktop into one that works on mobile, here are a few basic guidelines.
When it comes to website design for mobile:
- Stack content vertically instead of horizontally
- Use image carousels instead of images arranged in a grid pattern
- Implement expandable elements so users can expand and collapse information as they desire
- Use an expandable “hamburger” navigation menu that remains out-of-the-way when not in use
Address Long Loading Times
Nothing contributes to high bounce rates more than a slow load time. That’s because a slowly-loading page makes for a terrible user experience in a world grown accustomed to lightning-fast internet. Users just don’t have the time or patience to wait for your site to load, especially when they have other options available to them.
The best way to reduce page load times is to be aware of the common culprits—namely, video and images. When you have several large image or video files on a page, it takes much longer to load, even on the best internet available today. It’s best to keep each image or video under 500KB wherever possible.
That’s not your only option, though. Sometimes, you might need to include a large file (or several). In cases like these, you can instead defer certain elements from loading on the page until they’re needed, or until the rest of the page loads. For example, you can wait to load a video until a user scrolls to the section of the page it’s on.
Make Pages More Engaging
The longer a user spends on a page, the likelier they are to take a conversion action or become loyal to your brand. But you need to give them reasons to stick around, and that means offering a great experience while they’re there.
One of the best ways to improve website UX by making your pages more engaging is to incorporate great images and video onto as many pages as possible. Users like to have something visual to enhance their understanding of information and hold their focus.
For apartment websites, we highly recommend taking high-quality photos and video of your community and incorporating them throughout your webpages (not just on a gallery page). Virtual tours have become a must, and your homepage can be a great place to feature a professionally edited community tour video or even feature Matterports of your top floor plans.
Make Pages More Scannable
Much as website creators might want them to, users don’t read pages from start to finish. Instead, they scan pages for the information they need or content that engages their attention.
Work with user habits and not against them by making your pages easier to scan. This creates a better user experience on your property website and improves your chances of showing a user that your community is right for them.
Tips for making web pages more scannable include:
- Develop a clear hierarchy of information by using header tags, consistent font and formatting styles, and visual cues that help signal separate chunks of information (like font color, font weight, background color, and other design elements).
- Use headers that clearly signal the content they introduce (e.g. “Community Amenities” or “Amenities for an Active Lifestyle”).
- Avoid long blocks of text. Break up text into sections of about 100 words or less.
- Avoid repetition. Repetitiveness confuses the reader about where they can find the information they’re looking for. It can also seem spammy to users and search engines alike.
- Use bullets or lists when you can (like we just did).
Make In-Demand Pages Accessible
Some pages are more important than others, and you want to make sure your users can easily find and use the pages they need the most (and the pages you most want them to use). For apartment websites, that’s typically your application portal, contact page, and resident portal. It might also be a page housing your virtual tour or floor plan availability. There are a few things you can do to make these in-demand pages more accessible.
Firstly, let’s talk about accessibility in terms of how easy it is to find. Use clear Call-To-Action buttons at the tops of pages—especially your homepage—to direct users to what they need and where you want them to go. You might also use borders and contrasting colors in your navigation menu or headers to make links to these pages clearer and more attractive.
Making pages more accessible also means making them easier to use for as many users as possible, including those with disabilities. For example, make sure you use fonts that are large enough for all users to read. You should also avoid using colors that provide poor contrast with one another, especially for text and CTA buttons.
Don’t Forget About Micro-Copy
“Micro-copy” refers to those small pieces of text that guide a user through your website, like the text on a CTA button or the error message they get when they fill out a form incorrectly. It’s easy to overlook the power of strategic micro-copy, but these are often high-impact areas that define the quality of a user’s experience in spite of their relatively small real estate.
Beyond their usefulness in guiding a user clearly through your website experience, micro-copy also offers a great opportunity to turn something generic into something that expresses your unique brand and really makes an impression on users. For example, the ubiquitous “Submit” button is boring and not all that descriptive. A button reading “Send My Message” or “Make Me a VIP” is more descriptive, personal, and flavorful.
Micro-copy applies to areas like CTAs and form fills but can also include hover copy to let a user know something is clickable and what will happen when they click (e.g. on an image or button), like in the below example.
Micro-copy also allows you to set expectations for what will happen when a user does something, which makes them far more likely to take the conversion actions you want them to take. For example, if you want the user to contact you to schedule a tour or start an application, including the text “We’ll read your message thoroughly and get back to you within 24 hours,” near the contact form gives a user the confidence that taking that action will lead to their desired result.
That’s all our tips for improving UX on apartment websites! If you want to learn more about UX or get professional assistance with your UX Design, you can do so by filling out our Contact Form. We’d love to hear from you.
We get this question often: “Can I pause my digital marketing now that I’m 100% leased?” It’s a reasonable question. You might be thinking now is a great time to save money by cutting back on ad spend or completely pausing digital marketing altogether. But ultimately, we don’t recommend this strategy when it comes to digital marketing for apartments. In short, it won’t benefit your apartment marketing plan as much as you think.
Why? Well there are a few reasons. In fact, there are enough factors involved that we decided it was time to put it all together in an easy-to-reference blog post. Whether you’re one of our digital clients or a real estate brand looking for marketing advice, we hope this can answer one of our most frequently asked questions.
Awareness Marketing Never Rests
The primary reason we don’t recommend pausing your digital marketing when you’re 100% leased is that your digital marketing plan should find ways to reach prospects at every stage of their buyer journey, and that includes the awareness phase. In fact, being 100% leased presents the perfect opportunity to scale back your other strategies (like retargeting and lead generation) and focus more of your attention and spend on awareness tactics.
Put simply, now is the time to make your audience aware of your brand before they even have the immediate need to find a new apartment. Building that awareness among your audience allows you to enjoy better results later on, as more people will move into your sales funnel further down the road when availability opens back up.
We’ll tell you more about how you can implement awareness tactics in the “What To Do Instead of Pausing Digital Marketing” section below.
You’ll Rob Yourself of Optimization Potential
You’ve heard that practice makes perfect, and it’s true for marketing too. Any good apartment marketing plan includes room for learning: learning about your market, your audience, and what works for your brand.
Marketing is most expensive at the beginning, and that’s partly because the best digital marketing for apartments engages in continuous optimization. Your goal isn’t to get it exactly right from the very beginning; it’s to start smart but get smarter along the way as your KPIs deliver valuable insights.
And the learning never stops. User habits, market trends, local competition, and a thousand other factors will keep you on your toes. Especially during times of change, it’s important to stay abreast of how your marketing strategy is performing. Even under normal circumstances, pausing your digital marketing and then trying to pick up where you left off once your occupancy starts trending downward again is harder than you might think. That brings us to the next point:
Momentum Loss Means Higher Costs Later
You may have heard that it’s energy-efficient to maintain a relatively stable temperature in your home even while you’re not there. This is because your HVAC has to work much harder to bring your home to a dramatically different temperature than it works to maintain a consistent temperature over time.
The same basic concept is true when it comes to digital marketing for apartments. After all, another reason that marketing is the most challenging at the beginning is that you’re starting from zero: zero brand awareness, zero brand loyalty, zero brand trust. The best marketing results emerge once you’ve gotten over the awareness hump to earn a little cultural currency.
In other words, your marketing campaigns have to do the most heavy lifting when you’re starting from a standstill. Though pausing campaigns may not have negative short-term effects, in the long-term, you’ll lose the progress you once made in terms of building awareness, recognition, and trust within your market, and the next time you start, you’ll be starting fresh, subject to those higher start-up costs as you once again lay the foundation you need for better results.
Put in technical terms, before it has a chance to normalize again, your Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Conversion will initially rise, likely to the degree that it will offset any money you saved by putting your campaigns on pause.
Continued Momentum Means Lower Costs Later
If lost momentum means higher marketing costs later, then the converse is also true, and not just because you’ll benefit from continued optimization and stable brand recognition. You’ll also benefit from other advantages that can only be built over time.
As brand awareness and loyalty build with continued marketing over time, so too do SEO rankings and brand reputation. These elements give you a stronger foundation to draw from later so your paid marketing isn’t pulling as much weight; you’ll be enjoying organic traffic and providing great reasons for prospects to convert without paying as much to get your message in front of them.
Plus, if you continue generating leads now, you’ll have a larger lead base to start nurturing when availability returns. Imagine having an eager audience waiting to hear that you have apartments available for move-in. In fact, that leads us to our next section:
What To Do Instead of Pausing Digital Marketing
Instead of pausing your digital marketing entirely, we recommend switching your focus to the digital marketing strategies that help you out most in the long-term. Since you don’t need to put as much spend toward short-term strategies that earn quick results, you can redirect that spend to set yourself up for reliable results when you need them again.
Specifically, focusing on awareness campaigns, SEO, and reputation management is a great apartment marketing strategy when you’re 100% leased. As far as ads go, focus on awareness tactics highlighting your key differentiators like stand-out amenities and desirable location. Facebook campaigns, YouTube campaigns, and geofencing can be useful awareness tactics to employ during this time.
Beyond that, we also recommend establishing a Wait List (or “VIP List” if you want to get fancy) collecting the information of leads that come through right now. This way the conversions you get now can still help you later on when you need to sign new leases. This is especially useful for senior housing communities—whose prospects often have flexible moving timelines and may wait months to find the perfect place—or student housing communities where pre-leasing is the norm and turnover season is predictable.
While pausing your digital marketing may seem tempting once you’re 100% occupied, continuing your digital marketing efforts can actually save more money and earn better results in the long run. If you’re thinking about scaling back your digital campaigns, consider redistributing spend to awareness tactics, SEO improvements, and reputation management efforts that can promote long-term growth.
As always, if you’re looking for professional advice concerning which tactics you should be using while 100% leased, you can always reach out to our marketing experts for a free conversation—no strings attached.