Every apartment community experiences changes in demand, but you can withstand those swings and maintain an above average occupancy rate year round by implementing a marketing plan that's designed towards generating leases.
These 10 apartment marketing ideas are guaranteed to improve your leasing:
- Have your own apartment website.
- Utilize video tours that show the inside of your units.
- Hire a photographer that specializes in apartments.
- Have pages dedicated to each floorplan on your website.
- Show one price along with updated availability for every unit.
- Allow prospects to apply for a lease from your website.
- Give prospects the option to schedule an in-person showing from your website.
- Determine your community's buyer persona.
- Run defensive digital advertising campaigns in Google.
- Use remarketing ads in Facebook and Google Ads to target prospective residents who visited your website.
1. Have your own apartment website.
Though this seems obvious, there are many apartment marketers who don't manage a dedicated website for their apartment community. Their preferred alternative is to rely on Internet Listing Services, which means their apartments are getting drowned out by all the other thousands of properties featured there, or they just have a page featuring their community on their property management company's corporate site. In order to improve leasing, it is essential to have your own community-specific website because it establishes needed authority with both internet users and online search engines, gives you a dedicated space to direct prospective residents, and allows you to feature photos, videos, and more detailed information about your apartments so that visitors convert into leads and, ultimately, leases.
2. Utilize video tours to show the inside of your units.
Marketing isn't just about getting attention, it's about keeping it. This is really important for apartment marketers to understand because the longer you're able to keep a prospective resident's attention, the more likely it is they will sign a lease. No other marketing material generates more engagement and attention than a video tour, especially ones that show the inside of your units. Video tours should be prominently featured on your website, digital advertisements, and all other marketing collateral. Utilizing video tours will dramatically enhance your leasing activity because you'll be able to give showings online 24/7/365, and they can be leveraged throughout the entire leasing process to improve closing rates. Download our ebook The Essential Guide To Apartment Video Tours to learn more and see data that proves how they keep prospective residents' attention.
3. Hire a photographer that specializes in apartments.
Everyone understands the power and influence of beautiful photography, but photography intended for apartment marketing must be informative, too. That's why it's really helpful to hire a photographer who understands how to capture and edit photos of units, exteriors, and amenities so that they look great online and help prospective residents see a clear depiction of your apartments.
4. Have pages dedicated to each floorplan on your website.
Your website (and marketing strategy in general) will be a lease-generating machine when it prioritizes floorplan-specific content. Having a page dedicated to each floorplan that features photos, a video tour, and other relevant information will be positively received by prospective residents. This is because every one of them knows exactly how many bedrooms and bathrooms they need before they start their search. That's why you need to give a detailed breakdown for each floorplan so that residents can see exactly what it is they're looking for in a future apartment home.
5. Show one price along with updated availability for every unit.
Price and availability are perhaps the two most important pieces of information prospective residents need to know before signing a lease, which is why showing both on your apartment website is essential. No one will rent your apartments if it's unclear to them if the floorplan they're most interested in has an opening and fits within their budget. However, simply showing price and availability online doesn't mean you're good; you need to be careful and strategic with how you show this information if your goal is to improve leasing. One specific recommendation is to show just one price—preferably that of your standard 12-month lease—instead of showing a price range that confuses prospective residents. For more insights like this, be sure to read our blog post about how to show pricing and availability on your apartment's website.
6. Allow prospects to apply for a lease from your website.
You will instantly drive up leasing activity at your apartment community when you give prospective residents the ability to apply to rent directly from your website (yet another reason why having one is so crucial). Imagine how much more efficient your leasing office will be when you have a marketing strategy that does a lot of the key work for you? With a great website that features floorplan-specific content, video tours, pricing and availability, you're giving prospective residents all of the important details they need to apply. To really knock it out of the park, give them the option to apply in one click.
7. Give prospects the option to schedule an in-person showing from your website.
This is really important for two reasons. One, it gives prospective residents the option to essentially raise their hand and say 'Hey, I'm so interested in renting one of your apartments that I want to drive there and see it in-person'. Two, giving this option shows your consideration of your prospective residents because you're letting them choose a time to meet with you that works best for them. You should have a click-to-call feature on your website as well, because anyone who reaches out and calls your leasing office directly is also more ready to rent than the average lead. Giving prospective residents autonomy in the leasing process is beneficial for all.
8. Determine your community's buyer persona.
Who is shopping for apartments like yours? It's important to understand that your apartments aren't for everyone. Too many times apartment marketers deploy tactics to get as many eyeballs on their properties as possible, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to leasing success. That's why you should take the time to determine your community's buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional, generalized representation of your customers that account for their demographics, goals, motivators, and challenges. Knowing your buyer persona will help you tailor your marketing messaging and strategy towards more of the individuals interested in your apartments, and also improve your leasing/selling process. To start, read our blog about how to identify your apartment community's buyer persona, in which we ask seven questions to help you understand who your target audience is.
9. Run defensive digital advertising campaigns in Google.
Apartment marketers should be running defensive digital advertising campaigns in Google for their communities. Defensive advertising is a marketing tactic that protects, or defends your apartment community's name or identity against competitors and ensures your property reaches the potential residents actively searching for it. When someone searches for your apartments directly by name in Google, they should be featured at the top of the paid, organic, and local search sections of the search engine results page or else you'll lose more of your most qualified leads because you lack necessary online authority and visibility. We wrote a helpful blog that explains more about defensive advertising campaigns and how they affect both your apartments and your prospective residents.
10. Use remarketing ads in Facebook and Google Ads to target prospective residents who visited your website.
After implementing defensive digital advertising campaigns, the next step is to run remarketing campaigns in both Google and Facebook. Remarketing ads are targeted towards individuals who have already visited and taken an action on a website, and while they usually come in the form of those intrusive and annoying banner display ads that appear while you're on a web page, they have a tremendous psychological effect that can improve your leasing capability. Everytime someone sees an ad for your apartment community, they become more familiar with your name, logo, brand color, floorplans, amenities, etc. And the more exposure your apartments garner from prospective residents actively searching for a new place to live, the more those prospects begin to trust your apartments as the best place for them (otherwise known as the 'Mere Exposure Effect').
Implementing each of these ideas will give you the best chance to consistently earn leases because:
- You're giving prospective residents the best end-to-end experience to learn everything they want to know before signing a lease.
- Your apartments will rise up above the competition because your website is informative, helpful, and easy to use.
- You'll see an increase in higher qualified leads who are more ready to rent than others.
- Your leasing agents will be focused on closing deals, improving their morale and overall performance.
- Your team will operate confidently because it believes in the marketing plan.
While many of these apartment marketing ideas seem somewhat obvious, the point is to build your marketing plan strategically to generate leases. You know your community's demand is going to change throughout the year, but you can withstand those changes and maintain a healthy occupancy when your marketing plan gives prospective residents an end-to-end search experience that allows them to easily discover, explore, and engage with your apartments online.