Name: Haley McCarley
Title: Digital Marketing Specialist
Haley takes apartment marketing ideas and turns them into dynamic social media campaigns, effective PPC ads and a whole lot more. Her student housing marketing knowledge helps the entire digital team get a leg up on the competition, keeping CTRs high and spirits even higher.
Get to know Haley below!
What are 3 words you would use to describe Threshold?
Organized, Excited, Inventive
If you had an office nickname, what would it be?
“The lone female on the digital team”
What is your favorite line from a movie?
“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
Paddleboard, Dos Equis, and The Harry Potter series
What is the title of your autobiography?
How Haley Got Her Groove Back
What is/would be your motto or slogan?
Hook ’em horns m/
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Flying, so I wouldn’t ever have to drive or park in Austin again
What is your hidden talent?
I am pretty awesome at doing makeup, even though I rarely wear it ;P
If you were famous, what would it be for?
Longest Netflix binge in the world
Favorite Austin eats?
Homeslice Pizza and Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Keeping track of apartment marketing campaigns used to be like packing for a vacation in the 90s. Remember when you had to pack way too many different gadgets before boarding your plane? You had to keep track of your cell phone, your iPod, your digital camera, your laptop and your camcorder. Not to mention your boarding pass, some maps, and a bunch of batteries to keep everything running. It was a hassle.
These days, all those things live inside your smartphone. Life is easier when everything you need is in one place. At Threshold, we decided to apply the same principles to tracking and reporting on our digital marketing ideas for apartment communities.
Introducing ThreshBoard, our brand new real-time digital reporting dashboard. Lets break down what that means.
Brand New – We created the software in-house so its customized for the residential industry.
Real-Time – The data is constantly updated so you’re seeing up to the minute campaign results.
Digital Reporting Dashboard – A dashboard displays multiple channels of information in one place. Clients will have full access to the ThreshBoard where they can view all their analytics at once, instead of having to comb through different sets of data.
So why does ThreshBoard exist? At Threshold, we’re always trying to think of ways to provide better services and tools to our clients. We recently discovered that there isn’t one perfect solution out there that would allow us to manage seemingly disparate campaigns under one umbrella. We invested in this software so we could not only provide more accurate data for our clients, but also help us identify more ways we can give a boost to their digital marketing campaigns moving forward.
This software is part of our effort to continue providing our clients with cutting edge data tools so they can make quicker, more informed decisions. Currently, clients have to skim across several sets of data in order to understand how their digital marketing campaigns are performing. One client might be looking at an AdWords report, another a social media report and yet another combing over email campaign reports. Now, clients who use Threshold for their digital marketing will be able to track the success of their campaigns in one place using ThreshBoard’s reporting and analytics software. Cutting down the time it takes to manage digital marketing increases the time our clients have to focus on filling vacancies and taking care of current residents.
Not only will clients be able to view the results of their campaigns in an easily digestible way, they’ll also be able to compare those results to industry benchmarks. These industry benchmarks simply weren’t available before ThreshBoard. Clients will now see their campaign results in real-time and immediately know how they stack up against the competition.
The up-to-the-minute data and benchmarking makes Threshold much more valuable than reporting that simply measures engagement or costs per click. We will be able to see how one campaign affects the other campaigns using one tool, instead of having to review separate reports to get those answers. Plus, ThreshBoard was created by residential industry experts, for clients who need multifamily and student housing marketing. In short, ThreshBoard was made to fill vacancies.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Here we are…The Age of the Selfie. What does that mean for you and marketing your community? It’s how people find your apartment community. It’s how you look online. It’s your Internet curb appeal. Become a residential marketing expert and take an online selfie of your community every few months. Here are simple steps can make all the difference and keep your online reputation intact. Online reputation should be managed daily.
The Home Page
- Is your web site responsive and adaptive?
- Does your theme represent the brand?
- Is it resident focused?
- Do your pictures dazzle?
- Is your call to action prominent? Do you have a call to action?
- Is your contact information correct?
- Are the leasing specials up to date and accurate? Does the verbiage match your other marketing materials?
- Is your copy well written? Free of copy and grammatical errors? Does it connect well with online campaigns and any ads?
The Contact Page
- Do you have an opt-in form?
- Test the form. Are they being sent to the right person internally?
- Are they being tracked?
- Does your site have the ability to lease online? If not, it’s time to make the jump!
- Are your social media links working correctly? Are you tracking them through Google Analytics?
- Are the graphics (profile picture, cover photo) sized correctly and high-resolution?
- How often are you posting and tweeting?
- Is your messaging consistent with what is on your website? Are you promoting any current leasing specials?
After you’ve thoroughly reviewed your website, it’s time to take the big leap. Google yourself! Definitely put away some time for this part of the Selfie.
Search both the key terms a potential resident would use and your property name. The key term search might be a combination of “service” + “location.” For example, “apartments Austin” or “student living in Austin.”
When you search using your property name, also search acronyms or city abbreviations. For example, use “UV” for University Village and “Tally” for Tallahassee.
Also search your property name on ILS’s like apartments.com, apartmentfinder.com, apartmentlist.com, rent.com or any other regional/local sites. Make sure specials, images, floor plans, messaging is up to date and consistent with your website and social media channels.
Digital audits only help if they happen on a regular basis, schedule your online Selfie and make it a priority. Have a plan. Create action items. And update, update, update! Before you know it, you’ll be trending and leases will be rolling in!
Threshold Agency is a full service marketing agency specializing in the student housing, multifamily, senior living industries.
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:
- 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
- Pay attention to keywords in titles and descriptions
- 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
- 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.
- Social signals are a bonus. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.
- 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.