Emails are Back! Drive Leases with These Proven Multifamily Email Marketing Strategies

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That's right; email marketing is back, multifamily!

Well, emails never went away; they've been integral to most apartment communities' marketing strategies for years.

Yet, with all the changes in the marketing landscape (sunsetting of third-party cookies, AI-generated content in search results, etc.), emails provide a great opportunity to control how you nurture your prospective residents during their apartment search.

Here's how to optimize your apartment's email marketing strategy to drive leases:

Segment your apartments' email audience into relevant lists

First, segment your email contacts into relevant lists for maximal impact.

Create these lists within the CRM tool of your community's property management software. 

(Your CRM will also help you develop and distribute your email marketing campaigns.)

You can categorize your contacts into segments that best fit your community's purposes. 

But to dial things in, try starting with these three audience buckets:

  1. List of current renters
  2. Retargeting list
  3. New leads list

Current renters

This audience list is self-explanatory. 

However, segmenting current renters' email addresses into a separate list helps you avoid sending them an awkward marketing email.

And some stellar email campaign ideas are perfectly designed for current renters (more later).

Retargeting list

The future of remarketing for multifamily will be in social media. 

You can create custom in-platform audiences of Facebook or Instagram users who engage with your apartments' brand to continue targeting ads to those individuals.

You can also export those audiences from Facebook or Instagram and upload their contact information to your CRM or property management software. 

It also creates a massively valuable opportunity for you to nurture those individuals further by retargeting them with an email campaign, keeping your apartments relevant in their minds—regardless of whether they rent from you initially.

New leads list

Lastly, you'll want to segment any new leads—renters actively in the leasing funnel—into their own email marketing category.

Focus on sending 1:1, personalized emails to these contacts at appropriate moments in their leasing journey.

Avoid sending new leads any automated emails (unless your PMS sends one to individuals after scheduling a tour or applying online) until necessary.

Once a new lead converts to a lease, move them into your current resident list.

If a lead falls through the cracks, move them to your retargeting list.

Email campaign ideas for your apartments' current renters

Monthly newsletter

Residents appreciate it when they frequently hear from the team in your leasing office. 

One of the best ways to establish frequent communication is by developing a monthly newsletter email.

Highlight upcoming community activities, hold a contest for the best door decor, or discuss an upcoming event in your neighborhood. 

The content is up to you!

A monthly newsletter is a valuable touchpoint for current residents, helping them feel more like part of your community.

Testimonial ask

If you're trying to improve your apartment's online reputation, you can't be afraid to ask for reviews.

An email campaign asking current residents to leave a review about their living experience in your community is an easy, scalable way to do so.

Provide instructions and include links to multiple review sites associated with your community, including your Google Business Profile, Apple Business Connect listing, Yelp, social media, and others.

Take the extra step and offer an incentive, like a gift card to a coffee shop near your property or a rent discount for their review.

Of course, simply asking someone to leave a positive review doesn't work unless your community and team follow through on delivering an excellent resident experience. 

Consider that today's renters will seek a community's reviews online to hear others' about their experience. 

An active flood of positive (or, put another way, authentic) reviews online makes your community seem trustworthy.

Referral requests

Your residents are sometimes your most valuable leasing agents and marketers, and they can boost your apartment's overall reputation.

If they love your community, they're undoubtedly letting others know it, too (even without you asking)!

So why not also seek their input for potential new residents?

Run an email marketing campaign asking your current residents for referrals with a bonus for those who sign a lease.

Did you know that the more friends a resident has at your apartment community, the more likely they are to renew their lease?

If someone has friends they know who are looking for an apartment, emailing them about your referral program can have a huge impact.

Emails to send to your apartments' retargeting audience

Unit availability updates

Your retargeting audience consists of renters who haven't leased from you yet. 

Maybe they're dipping their toes into their apartment search or living elsewhere. The timing or situation was off for them to rent from you, but that doesn't mean they've lost interest.

So, imagine how impactful it would be if you set up a retargeting email campaign to keep them informed of unit availability.

(Especially if it was set up for the floorplan that the individual had already engaged with!)

Sending a unit availability email with links to schedule a visit, take a virtual tour, or apply online is a gentle nudge toward those interested individuals to re-engage with your apartments.

New specials announcement

Rent prices and unit availability often inhibit prospective renters from leaping from 'love it' to 'lease it.'

A similarly impactful retargeting email campaign to unit availability would be announcements for a new pricing special.

Their purpose is to drive leasing action. 

Retargeting emails like these could hit at the right time for a prospect whom you may already have given up on. 

Don't underestimate the power of keeping your community front and center in those individuals' minds, nor assume that they don't want updates to your availability or prices.

Just include links to unsubscribe in any retargeting email and let them declare that they are no longer interested.

Current resident testimonials

Email campaigns to a retargeting audience of current resident testimonials are always a strong, influential play.

Maybe they made a friend at a resident pool party, or they're super thrilled with how quickly their maintenance issue was solved.

Someone in your retargeting audience living elsewhere may compare their experience to your residents. 

Community news and upgrades

Have an open house coming up?

Did you upgrade the pool for summer?

Are you in a lease-up, and is the new building on the property open for leasing?

Share those news, events, and updates in emails to your retargeting list!

How to email your apartments' new leads

Send authentic emails from an agent

Anytime you email a new lead, it should be written by and sent from one of your agents.

Make it feel like a real, 1:1 conversation.

When someone schedules a tour, send an email introducing yourself, confirming details, and thanking them for their interest.

Immediately send a follow-up email after a showing, thanking them for the visit, highlighting talking points from the visit, and including all relevant information and links about the floorplan they visited (like a walkthrough video tour).

(This helps them send important information to other stakeholders, like parents or roommates.)

If you haven't heard back in a few days, reply to your follow-up email to ask if they're still interested.

If they're not ready or you don't hear back after some time, move that lead into a retargeting list.

One quick point & one long point about email marketing

One quick point: Have fun.

That's it.

Email marketing shouldn't feel like 'just another task' on your list. 

One long point: Whether you're emailing current residents or ones who haven't leased yet, you can have fun, establish your brand's voice, and delight recipients with engaging, helpful, and trustworthy content about your apartment community. It'll make a difference.


With recent changes in Google Ads, it's time to refocus on email marketing, a proven strategy to engage and convert renters. Here's how to optimize your apartment's email campaigns:

  • Audience Segmentation: Target specific groups with tailored messages to maximize impact.
  • To Current Renters: Use newsletters, review requests, and referral programs to engage current residents.
  • To Retargeting Contacts: Keep your property top-of-mind with updates on unit availability, pricing specials, and resident testimonials.
  • To New Leads: Focus on personalized communication from agents to build relationships and encourage leasing.
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