Local Search Marketing for Multifamily: Boost Traffic to Your Apartments Now!

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Getting traffic—whether it's to your website or through the front door of your leasing office—is always a priority for multifamily marketers.

One of the easiest (and free!) ways to increase traffic to your apartment community is to apply local search channels in your marketing strategy.

As most renters tend to move within 100 miles of their previous residence, and use navigational apps on their phones to perform discovery searches of apartments within a certain location (especially if they're moving into that area), you can better compete for their attention and increase traffic by prioritizing your apartments' local search presence. 

In this blog:

  • What is local search marketing for apartments?
  • Utilizing your apartments' Google Business Profile & Apple Business Connect account
  • How to make your community stand out in navigational apps
  • Managing your online reputation

What is local search marketing for apartments?

Local search marketing for apartments prioritizes utilizing marketing channels like Google Business Profile, Apple Business Connect, and others, to strengthen a community's local presence, and boost online visibility, search rankings, and reputation.

So how should you implement local search into your communities' marketing plan to stand out to future renters?

First, you need to start with owning and maintaining an active Google Business Profile account—arguably one of your most visible online marketing channels (that's free, by the way).

Utilizing your apartment's Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool to manage your presence on Google, and it's an absolute must-have for apartment communities. 

(If you haven't established ownership over your listing, here's our guide to help you get started.)

GBP is the epicenter of your community's local search presence, as the data you provide within its online dashboard (name, location, hours of operation, etc.) is integrated into your Google Maps listing as well. We'll talk more about just how critical this is.

While simply owning a GBP account is helpful, using its many valuable tools frequently can be a factor in how future renters perceive your apartments compared to others in the same location.


  • It shows you care about marketing to your local audience.
  • You're giving apartment seekers near or far the most relevant information they need during their search.
  • You ensure you stand apart from other apartments nearby.

Maintaining an active local search presence is easy to do given the tools within the GBP dashboard. You can post pictures, deals, status updates, update descriptions, and so much more, all within a single hub.

The more effort you put into fully utilizing and updating your Google Business Profile, the more trust and authority it gives your community to renters.

Your apartment marketing team should get into the habit of posting frequently. Whether you share a photo of one of your amenities or feature one of your available floorplans, these posts will improve your listing and resonate with potential residents.

Google Business Profile is also helpful in that you can easily edit hours of operation to make it clear that you're going to be closed on a holiday, or that you're only offering virtual tours. It's very important to be on the ball about these issues to make sure your audience knows about them. If your leasing office is closed on a day your GBP profile says it is open, you'll have eliminated any lead that calls or visits your community because you provided them with misleading or wrong information.

Where does legitimacy come into play in all of this? The more effort you put into fully utilizing and updating your GBP, the more trust and authority it gives your community to renters. You can see the difference between these two GBP listings for apartments: 

Community "A" doesn't have a strong GBP listing because it's missing valuable information, such as a link to its website and business hours. The other issue is that the only photo available is an exterior shot taken by one of Google's street view vehicles, which means whoever is marketing this community hasn't made an effort to add media to the listing.

There's a noticeable difference in appearance for the listing of Community "B" compared to Community "A". It has a complete GBP profile, including a website link, phone number, and hours of operation. It has also used the product posts feature to highlight different floorplans. 

Finally, you can access a photo library of units and amenities by clicking the "See photos" link.

Here's the thing: Community "A" may be the perfect fit for a potential resident, but its local search presence lacks the necessary information to confirm that. Community "B" has a more legitimate listing, and therefore is more likely to attract someone's attention, because it's full of helpful information and media content. 

This is why maintaining your local listing is an important marketing tactic, as it can give you a leg up against your area competition.

Utilizing your apartment's Apple Business Connect account

With its massive user base (124+ million Americans own an iPhone), it felt like it was only a matter of time before Apple would enter the same space as Google in local search and SEO. And in 2023, it unveiled Apple Business Connect.

Apple Business Connect is a free marketing tool "that allows businesses of all sizes to claim their location place cards and customize the way key information appears...across Apple
Maps, iMessage, Wallet, Siri, and other apps."

Click here to learn about Apple Business Connect for multifamily marketing, including steps to claim your apartment community's location card.

If you're already doing your due diligence of frequently updating your local search channels, Google and Apple's algorithms will rank your apartment community's listing higher than others within navigational search. It's that easy!

While Google Business Profile and Google Maps—at the moment of this blog's publishing—own the market share of visibility and usage for online local search marketing channels, Apple Business Connect is certainly going to make waves just because of how many people routinely rely on its ecosphere of devices—iPhones, Macs, Watches, iPads—daily. 

And that is a good thing for your apartment communities because, like Google Business Profile, you can customize the content of your Apple location card and make your property stand out in Apple Maps.

Pro tip: Keep an eye on Bing Places, as it may also become an essential channel to add to your apartment marketing strategy in the near future because Bing Search is currently the leader in AI generated search results utilizing OpenAI's ChatGPT.

How to make your apartment community stand out in Apple Maps & Google Maps

The answer is profoundly simple: all you need is to own, verify, and maintain active and complete listings in Google Business Profile and Apple Business Connect for your apartments. 

If you're already doing your due diligence of frequently updating your local search channels, Google and Apple's algorithms will rank your apartment community's listing higher than others within navigational search. It's that easy!

A few particular things you can do to ensure your communities stand out in Apple Maps and Google Maps include:

  • Ensuring your apartment community name and address are consistent with what you have posted on your website, especially if your name has a word like Street or Saint that could be abbreviated in some form.
  • Including your tracked phone number and main phone number. Many communities place their tracked number in GBP, for example, to measure call traffic from that listing. However, posting your main number as the secondary line makes it easier for Google to identify your community as it can trace that secondary line directly to you.
  • Write a complete business description that includes information about your location, your available floorplans, and amenities.
  • Correctly categorize your apartment community. We've noticed inconsistencies when reviewing local search listings for various communities, as some incorrectly identify their business as a "property management company" or "real estate" rather than "apartment".

Manage your community's online reputation

While every potential resident has his or her own needs, one thing that will always impact apartment searches is the experience of others. A research group found that 7 out of 10 potential residents used ratings and reviews to inform their choice of a new apartment.

Ratings and reviews are most visibly displayed in local searches, which is why your marketing staff must work diligently to maintain a strong reputation for your apartments online

Whether somebody leaves a positive or negative review, always be sure you respond.

Whether somebody leaves a positive or negative review, always be sure you respond. The same research group found that over 60% of residents want to see that an apartment community responds to reviews, as it showed the management and leasing teams were staying on top of and actively addressing residents' concerns.

Of course, it's easy to thank someone for leaving a positive review. Reading and responding to a negative review, however, is sometimes uncomfortable.

Remember these five basic rules when dealing with negative online reviews:

  1. Don't invalidate their complaints.
  2. Don't be rude.
  3. Don't be accusatory.
  4. Do be empathetic.
  5. Do be helpful.

Pro tip: If for some reason you feel somebody left a fraudulent review, you do have the ability to report a review. After you’ve reported the review, a good practice for responding to fraudulent reviews is to say something like:  “We’d love to help, but we were unable to find you in our customer database. Please call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX so that we can help resolve this issue to your satisfaction!”

Regardless, it always helps your cause to respond to all reviews so prospective residents looking at them on your local search channels see that you care about what others say about your apartment community and are actively seeking that input to improve the tenant experience further. 

And usually, the apartment community that puts more emphasis on creating a great living experience and service to tenants is more likely to have reviews that are more favorable—which are hard for prospective residents to ignore on Google or Apple.


When establishing your apartment communities' marketing plans, prioritizing their presence in local search marketing channels is an easy way to instantly increase traffic.

An active presence on Google Business Profile and Apple Business Connect will help you improve your communities' rankings in navigational apps, where more renters are conducting their apartment searches, and ensure they stand apart from the competition.

Additionally, with reviews heavily weighted within local search platforms, managing your community's online reputation is vital.

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