Setting An Apartment Marketing Budget: Make It Dynamic In 2024

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It's time to start planning your apartment community's marketing annual budget for 2024.

The question is: Will you be satisfied with simply setting the same spending limit every month?

Or, set a budget where the spending limit is different each month?

It's easier, of course, to follow the first route. But, eventually, you'll end up wasting money paying for leads when you don't need them. And then when you do need leads, where are you going to find room in your budget to bump up spending?

Given the economic uncertainty we're in as we move into 2024, it may be time to try something different.

Your marketing budget should account for the changes in your community's demand and occupancy throughout the year, giving you the freedom to make dynamic adjustments to spending when needed. More importantly, dynamic budgeting will actually help you see your marketing dollars deliver the ROI you expect.

But becoming a dynamic marketer—and more specifically, setting a dynamic budget—can be overwhelming because it's something many multifamily marketers aren't accustomed to doing.

We're here to help you start. In this blog, we'll help you answer:

  • What is dynamic apartment marketing?
  • What information will I need to set a dynamic marketing budget for my apartment community?

Plus, we're providing a free tool that helps you set a dynamic marketing budget for your apartments! Find the link to the dynamic marketing budget tool at the bottom of the blog. 

Let's get started.

Many of the details shared in this blog should sound familiar to RentVision clients who already benefit from a dynamic apartment marketing strategy. This content is meant for educational purposes for non-clients struggling with static marketing and budgets.

What is dynamic apartment marketing?

Dynamic apartment marketing plans are responsive and adapt to your community's occupancy and demand changes. In other words, it's the exact opposite of traditional apartment marketing plans, which are static.

Static Marketing Budget

Dynamic Marketing Budget

static marketing budget

dynamic marketing budget

  • Budget stays the same year-round regardless of changes in occupancy
  • Leaves you relying on rent specials or price reductions anytime vacancies hit
  • Marketing sources are always 'on'
  • Deal with tons of unqualified leads

  • Marketing spend can be dialed up and down (and sources can be turned on or off)
  • Marketing channels adjust proactively to occupancy and demand
  • You don't have to rely on running specials to combat vacancy
  • You can earn more qualified leads when you need them

What information will I need to set a dynamic marketing budget for my apartment communities?

You need three things:

  1. Identify your dynamic marketing source(s)
  2. Know your community's leasing needs (supply)
  3. Know your community's seasonality (demand)

Identify your dynamic marketing sources

Begin by evaluating where you're currently, or are planning on, spending your marketing budget.

Are your marketing sources dynamic or static?

Consider reallocating your marketing budget from your multiple Internet Listing Services packages to Google Ads and Facebook Ads.apartment marketing sources

Those sources allow you to make changes to spending any time you want, which is critical because you will need some dynamic levers in your marketing budget. 

Once you've established which sources you're planning to use for leads in 2024, the next step is being able to assess their performance accurately.

You cannot confidently adopt a dynamic strategy unless you're sure you're only paying for marketing sources that deliver your apartment community's most qualified leads. Here are some helpful multifamily marketing metrics you could use to measure ad performance.

Pay close attention to Cost Per Lease by dividing the monthly cost of a source by the number of leases it generates. The lower the cost, the better. 

Source Cost (Monthly) / Number Of Leases = Cost Per Lease

Any marketing source that has a high Cost Per Lease could be eliminated, freeing up your marketing budget to use more efficiently.

Know your community's leasing needs (supply)

After you've identified your dynamic marketing sources, you need to know your community's leasing needs for 2024.

You can do this by mapping out all lease expirations scheduled monthly and multiplying that number by your community's average annual turnover rate to determine how many leases you'll need each month.

For example, if ten leases expire next August, and your average yearly turnover rate is 50%, you will need to earn five signed leases.

Know your community's seasonality (demand)

Knowing your community's leasing needs paints the picture of what your supply will be so you can understand how those leasing needs pair with your demand.

You can anticipate what your 2024 demand will be by determining your apartment community's unique seasonality by reviewing the last 12 months of organic website traffic data. 

Why is organic web traffic a great indicator of your seasonality? Just look at the graphic below:

apartment organic traffic data

It displays two years of daily organic website traffic data for one individual apartment community, but you can hardly notice any difference in pattern between both lines. It's a fantastic representation of how organic web traffic can help you forecast what your upcoming year's demand will be.

You need a higher marketing budget in months when you'll have more vacancies and less organic website traffic. Inversely, it would be best if you allocated less of your marketing budget in months with more increased organic traffic and less vacancy.

In months over the past year where organic traffic is high, you would've experienced an uptick in leasing activity in your community at that time, too. More web traffic equals higher demand. Inversely, months where fewer visitors came to your website matched slower leasing activity in your community.

By taking the time to map out your apartment community's monthly leasing needs and demand, you have the data to begin designing a dynamic marketing budget.

You need a higher marketing budget in months when you'll have more vacancies and less organic website traffic. Inversely, it would be best if you allocated less of your marketing budget in months with more increased organic traffic and less vacancy.

If this sounds complicated, don't worry. We've created a free tool that uses your data to set a dynamic marketing budget automatically. 

Free Dynamic Apartment Marketing Budget Allocation Tool

Dynamic marketing budget allocation tool

Download Google Sheet (make a copy)

Download Excel file

To set your dynamic marketing budget, all you'll need to enter is your yearly turnover rate (or what you'll expect for 2024), your dynamic marketing budget, unit count, organic traffic by month the past 12 months, and your expected lease expirations for the upcoming year.

Only input the amount of money in your 2024 marketing budget that can be dynamic. For example, you may have to pay a provider to host your community's website and other static marketing expenses that can't be changed or removed from your year-to-year costs. The number you enter into the 'Dynamic Marketing Budget' field should only be the amount of money you've freed up in your total marketing budget after eliminating underperforming sources.

Using your data, the tool calculates how much of your dynamic marketing budget you should spend per month on your various sources and daily spending if you are using Google and Facebook ads.  

This tool doesn't show you exactly how much to spend—that's more complicated and requires a detailed analysis of your community's marketing strategy. You can contact one of our advisors to schedule a demo and learn more about RentVision's dynamic marketing strategy. 

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