While July might be considered the dog days of summer for most, it's one of the busiest times of year in the multifamily industry. Amidst all the move-ins and move-outs, tours, and turning over units that's occurring, have you taken a moment to review your community's marketing efforts?
Neglecting your marketing in the summer can lead to long-term negative side effects for your community. After all, this is when the competition is at its highest, and a poorly-performing website or online search presence will hinder your ability to generate the amount of leads and leases you need.
In this blog, we'll cover the three marketing essentials that will lead to success during the summer season.
1. Highlight Your Amenities
Evaluate the images and videos you present on your website and digital advertisements. Do you have a media library of your amenities, and are you featuring them in your marketing? More specifically, are you featuring seasonal things like your community pool, outdoor lounges, or grilling stations?
Look at this another way: Imagine how an apartment seeker would feel when visiting your website right now, and the first thing they see is an exterior photo of your community on a cloudy or wintery day.
The summer season is a great time to show off your community, especially it's outdoor amenities. A large photo of your pool on your homepage, for example, creates a memorable aesthetic for seekers as they choose their next home. The same method can be applied to your digital ads, too. Sunny, bright outdoor photos of pools, dog parks, or residents relaxing on a patio are just a few ways you can boost your visual presence online during the summer.
2. Review Your Website's Performance
A good rule of thumb to remember during your busy leasing season is that as you experience more demand, you should also experience more turnover. So, if recently vacated units aren't getting leased at the rate you desire, and you're falling short of your occupancy goal, you need to determine the cause before those vacancies become a full-blown crisis.
A website that isn't meeting the expectations of potential residents could very well be the culprit, which is why now is a valuable time to review your website's performance.
What makes a good website? We've written numerous times on this subject, but as a refresher:
- It has engaging, high-quality content.
- Pages load quickly.
- It's mobile friendly.
Google Analytics is powerful in that it's data provides a true assessment of your apartment community's online presence. Three particular metrics to pay attention to are users, average session duration, and bounce rate.
Users data is an indicator of demand. It's not that you need to have X number of users to determine whether or not your website is successful, but you should want a number that's reflective of your busy season. To know this, go back and look at users data from the previous year. Over that 12-month period, you most likely will have experienced a rise in users beginning in the spring and throughout the summer months. Compare last June's users data to this year's, and you can get an idea of whether your summer demand is on track, or below your expectations. If below, then you'll want to read on to know the third summer marketing essential.
Average session duration is another great metric when reviewing your community's website because it takes into account a user's behavior. A benchmark you should want to achieve is a duration time between 2 and 3 minutes. But if your average duration is vastly lower, say below 30 seconds, then you have a potential problem. A lower average could mean that your website isn't very engaging, and doesn't offer all of the relevant information an apartment seeker needs to impact their decision.
Bounce rate, which is the percentage of website visitors who take no action before leaving, could point to other issues. Poorly designed websites, or websites that take forever to load, usually lead to a higher percentage of bounces.
While resolving the setbacks of your website isn't exactly a quick solution to your summer leasing woes, reviewing it during your busy season should give you a better idea of what could be improved going forward.
3. Adjust Your Ad Spend
A digital ad budget that you can adjust as needed should be a part of every apartment community's marketing plan. When you have more demand in the summer, a beneficial strategy would be to increase your ad spend so you can reach more potential residents.
Having a competitive approach to your digital ads is key. The more exposure your apartment community can earn online has a psychological effect on searchers, as the more familiar they are with a product, the more they will trust it. With this being a popular time for people to move, your ads can impact whether or not a potential resident will see your community as their future home.
Plus, just imagine if your digital advertisement featured a stunning shot of your pool? Sold!
This is historically the busiest time of year for apartment communities. With the amount of work that has to be done, it's understandable how your marketing takes a back seat during the summer. However, continuing to neglect it could affect the future health of your community. Be sure to highlight your seasonal amenities, assess the performance of your website, and put more money towards your digital ads to stay competitive when the demand is high.
To help make this process easier, RentVision has marketing solutions to boost your community's online presence when you need it the most. Our websites are user-friendly and mobile-friendly. The attractive design, helpful floorplan-specific photo and video content, and strategically placed call-to-action buttons, give seekers the experience they desire, resulting in more qualified leads for your community.