In-House vs. Outsourced: What's Best for Multifamily PPC?

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Pay-per-click advertising is essential for apartment marketers to drive online visibility, attract prospective renters at critical search stages, and generate qualified leads.

With PPC, you give your apartment community's offerings and brand the recognition, and visibility they deserve on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. 

Unlike ILSs, PPC offers more control over targeting and budget allocation, so you can make smart adjustments to meet your community's needs. 

While PPC offers many benefits to apartment marketers, implementing and managing ads on multiple platforms for multiple communities simultaneously is a huge challenge that can make or break their performance in providing optimal visibility and qualified traffic.

So, the question arises: Should apartment marketers focus on managing their PPC strategy in-house or outsource it to a vendor? Let's dive in.

In-House PPC Management for Apartment Marketing


High Initial Costs: While managing PPC in-house could save you money in the long run, hiring and training the right person to manage your ads and set the proper campaign budget comes with higher up-front expenses. Don't forget to hire a designer or invest in high-quality apartment photography and videos—those are essentials for your community's PPC campaigns to be attractive.

Need for Continuing Education: Whether you have a seasoned professional managing your ads or not, the truth about PPC advertising (and multifamily marketing in general) is that it changes rapidly. You and your team must stay up-to-date on knowledge and skills to ensure your apartment's PPC strategy continually produces qualified traffic and leads as expected. 

Lack of Expertise: If you, or whoever is managing your ads in-house, don't know how to set up your campaigns correctly, you're at risk for higher costs per click and overspending on PPC campaigns. There could be a number of causes, such as not making timely adjustments to address your leasing needs or mistargeting the keywords that reach your apartment's audience.

Lack of Time: Apartment PPC is different from PPC for other industries because you have a limited product for an even more limited audience, and the availability of that product fluctuates constantly. To gain the most benefits of PPC, it is best to monitor your ads' performance daily and adjust as needed to address your communities' continually changing needs. Not having the time to oversee multiple campaigns across multiple ad platforms and for numerous properties on a daily basis is a huge red flag that may cause you to rethink keeping it in-house any longer.


Control: PPC advertising's primary difference from most other apartment marketing platforms is the dynamic levers it offers. Those levers are always in your control when you're managing PPC in-house. Need to increase or decrease spending? You can do it now. Need to push more traffic to one campaign over another? Make the change today. You don't need to wait 30 days to adjust; you can immediately help your apartments' traffic and lead generation.

Deep Understanding of Your Audience: You know (or, at least, should know) who your ideal resident profile is better than anyone else. You have actionable data to justify what attracts them to your community and can control your PPC keyword targeting setup and the ads' content and messaging accordingly.

Potential Cost Savings: When consistently getting qualified leads and leases from PPC ads, cutting other underperforming sources that lock you into costly contracts from your marketing strategy is possible. And when done in-house, you're also avoiding paying to outsource PPC. There are a lot of potential cost savings if you can effectively handle your PPC strategy. 

Outsourcing PPC Management for Apartment Marketing


Choosing the Right PPC Vendor: Researching, demoing, vetting, and selecting which PPC vendor to use is a major undertaking that comes with pressure when you need leads. The other significant challenge in this selection process is determining if a PPC vendor understands the multifamily marketing model and what you need from your ads to impact your leasing.

Choosing a PPC vendor that works exclusively with multifamily properties is essential. Predictive Advertising by RentVision dynamically adjusts your ad spend and campaigns daily, leveraging your community's unique supply and demand data through your property management software integration.

Our automated, multifamily-specific PPC solution will help you reduce vacancy durations and get ahead of upcoming unit openings at the floorplan level with timely, highly-qualified website traffic. 

Less Control: While outsourcing your PPC strategy can significantly improve your communities' ability to generate qualified leads and leases, it can be difficult to give up some of the control that comes with managing PPC in-house. Turning over those day-to-day tasks and trusting an outside company to handle your most important source of leads requires a leap of faith. It's also the giving up of this control that could cause some teams not to adapt, so getting everyone's buy-in must take place.

Potential Goal Misalignment: Are your communities' goals the same as your PPC vendors'? Are they setting up your ads so your apartment community's offerings and brand are reaching the right prospective residents? Or are they more focused on generating as much visibility as possible rather than improving traffic quality? While many of these concerns can be alleviated when deciding which PPC vendor to outsource your ads with, it's worth acknowledging that goal misalignment can become an issue.


Access to Experts: If you don't already know, pay-per-click digital advertising is complex. The knowledge gap on how to set up and manage effective ads in Google, Facebook, YouTube, and other places is so vast that it's often the primary reason property management companies choose to outsource their PPC management. Thankfully, vendors know every intricacy of implementing PPC campaigns across multiple platforms and can offer the guidance you need to ensure your apartment community's ads stand out to relevant audiences.

Faster Implementation and Optimization: Vendors know all the steps needed to set up effective PPC campaigns and can do it fast! Many companies don't seek PPC as a solution until after they're in a lead count or vacancy crisis, so they need more traffic immediately. Positive results can occur soon after outsourcing PPC because you can avoid going through that initial period of growth and experimentation to get your ads right. 

Scalability: Most PPC vendors use AI technology or machine learning algorithms to automatically adjust your campaigns to address each of your apartment communities' specific needs. They are also equipped to add their PPC services for multiple communities in your portfolio, creating a consistent strategy and online presence for all.

More Time Saved: When outsourcing PPC, you and your teams get valuable time back to focus on what matters most: establishing an on-site operation that continually improves residents' day-to-day lives and harvests a favorable reputation of your apartment community that has a long-lasting impact. Your leasing agents will also be more confident in their performance as they'll spend more time working with highly qualified leads who are more ready to rent rather than dealing with too many cold leads, wasteful tours, etc.

Critical Considerations for Multifamily Marketers Deciding Between Managing PPC In-House or Outsourcing

While there are challenges and benefits with managing your apartment community's PPC strategy in-house or outsourcing to a vendor, choosing what is best for you comes down to your specific needs and, more specifically, what hurdles or problems you need to address.

There are circumstances where the choice between in-house and outsourcing PPC becomes clear. Let's go over some of those. Are there any circumstances you share below?

When It's Time To Consider In-House PPC Management

  • You only need to manage PPC for one community or a small number of communities.

  • You have previous experience with PPC management or have an expert on staff already.

  • You have the resources to start setting up and budgeting for your community's PPC strategy.

  • Your seasonality is more predictable (e.g., student housing), so there are defined times when you should increase spending and times when you can decrease it without consequence.

When It's Time To Consider Outsourcing PPC Management

  • You're tasked with handling the marketing strategy for multiple apartment communities across various locations.

  • You have a small marketing team and don't have as much time or capacity to take on PPC fully.

  • No one on your staff has expertise with PPC.

  • You need more qualified traffic and leads because you're in an evident vacancy crisis or are about to begin a lease-up and need to grow occupancy fast.


The positives of utilizing pay-per-click digital advertisements in your apartment marketing strategy are numerous, but managing them can be an arduous task that requires dedicated time and knowledge. 

Every property management company should consider whether it can accomplish a successful PPC strategy in-house or ask an outside vendor to manage its ads. We hope this guide helps you determine whether managing PPC in-house or outsourcing is best for you.

If outsourcing PPC is best, Predictive Advertising by RentVision is the solution you're looking for. With daily campaign adjustments and automatic budget allocation occurring daily, you get better-qualified leads delivered exactly when your communities need them, keeping you ahead of every upcoming vacancy.

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