The Student Housing Summertime Push

Hurry In!  Apartments Going Fast! We’re Filling Quickly!  Don’t Be Left Out!

Whatever the headline or sense or urgency you are using, in student housing we all know that summer is the last push to fill those beds. In many markets, the majority of students have gone home to work on their tan or take part in a promising internship. Much to the chagrin of owners and operators of student housing, where the students are going to live in the fall may be the furthest thing from their minds. At Threshold, we call the student housing summertime push “full-court press” time and all strategies are on the table to get those extra percentage points.

Here are some ideas that might help you score those extra leases:

  1. Orientation Station – most college campuses welcome their incoming class with summer orientation sessions, many of them are held throughout the summer with varying degrees of organization. Reach out to the campus to request sponsorship or tabling opportunities. Hire a limo, van or bus to shuttle folks from campus to your property. Set up special VIP tours complete with snacks or lunch. Designate orientation specials to incentivize parents to come tour your community.
  2. Direct Mail Parents – an often mistakenly overlooked target are the parents of any incoming student. They are more concerned about safety, value and convenience then they are about pools, volleyball and tanning. Send a targeted mailer to the parents talking about all of the services and programs you offer that enhances your residents academic pursuits.
  3. Digital Targeting – marketing is no longer “digital” or “traditional” it is all just “marketing.” If your overall strategy doesn’t include a specific digital strategy to target those searching for housing, you’re missing a huge potential. Our pay per click campaigns generate 46% more traffic to our clients’ websites based on targeted keyword and display campaigns. If you don’t know how to do it on your own, hire a professional agency to help you out – it will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
  4. Nurture your Prospects – whether families visit you onsite or online your follow up campaign should be nurturing your leads through a sales funnel on a weekly basis. Today’s automated solutions allow you to establish a sophisticated student housing marketing campaign that keeps warm leads warm.

While summer in the student housing industry may not be about beaches and calm days, it certainly provides us with opportunities to use our creativity and marketing muscle. I don’t know if a full-court press is in your future or not, but if you want a complimentary assessment, give us a ring. We’d be glad to provide some bench assistance.

Happy Marketing.

Content Is King for Your SEO Strategy

Writing a blog is tough work.  Not the actual writing part of the blog, nor the creation of the content calendar.  The tough part is sticking to it.  Sometimes I wish there was a “blog trainer,” you know, someone to tell me to write 15 more words or to get off my lazy butt and get to work.  Surely if it works to get folks into shape, it could also work to get businesses into better shape.

A blog, or any piece of content for a website, is a critical part of the website’s success.  The old adage “build it and they will come” definitely does not apply to a website.  With the growing level of competition in residential housing, owning a website that is found in search results is critical to NOI.  Your digital marketing strategies are now the top priorities in any marketing plan. So, why is it that content will help you maintain a successful website?

Every year, Searchmetrics, the global leader in SEO marketing and analytics for enterprise level companies, releases their SEO ranking factors analysis. Here’s what they found in 2014:

  1. Create robust site architecture
    • Do include good internal links
    • Do aim for short loading times
    • Do keep sites up to date
    • Don’t lose focus or just focus on technical aspects of the site
  2. Pay attention to keywords in titles and descriptions
  3. Relevant content reigns supreme. Keyword is “relevant content”
    • Include semantically comprehensive wording
    • Implement higher word counts using relevant topic terms
    • Use multiple media types (pictures, video)
    • Don’t follow spammy onpage advertising techniques
  4. Use quality backlinks. If you have a large portfolio you should be linking to all of your properties on each website. And they should each have their own website.
  5. Social signals are a bonus. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.
  6. User signals are critical.  What folks do on your site and how they find your site are becoming more relevant with each passing year.

Combining the above into a clear SEO strategy is critical to the success of your website.  Having a well-structured site technically is nice, but if you’re only focused on that than your competitors will leave you in the dust.  Content is King for your SEO Strategy. And luckily there are some good SEO strategists out there to help get you on the right path.

And they may even help write those blogs that seem so difficult to maintain.

Happy Marketing!


The New Facebook News Feed

If you’re using Facebook to help promote your communities, this is a post you’ll probably not want to miss. So, that means basically everyone. Back in December, Facebook changed its algorithm that drives their News Feed feature. The News Feed is the central content area on Facebook or the Facebook app. It’s where many, many brands and individuals would post updates in hopes the throngs of their “fans” would see it and purchase whatever they were selling.


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