Do you want to lease units quickly?
Of course, you do. That's the goal of every apartment operator.
The faster you can fill vacant units, the better it is for your community's occupancy and revenue.
Many factors determine the speed at which your team gets leases:
- Your rent prices. Are your prices accurate?
- Your property's overall appearance. Are your grounds, amenities, and units in good shape?
- Your leasing agent's performance. How well are they conducting in-person tours or handling critical conversations with leads?
- Your hold policy. How long are you keeping a unit for someone?
Purposefully omitted from that list is your community's marketing. Why? Because, while each of those other factors is significant, nothing influences your ability to get leases quicker than your marketing.
That's why we're dedicating an entire blog to how marketing impacts your community's leasing velocity.
We're going to discuss three things:
- Why (and when) marketing is most influential in improving leasing velocity.
- Lead generation techniques that hurt and help leasing activity.
- How predictive apartment advertising gives communities the best chance to get timely leases.
Why (and when) does marketing most influence leasing velocity?
Your leasing velocity is how long it takes between one resident moving out of a unit and another moving in.
To best understand this timeline of vacancy, break it down into two separate periods:
- Days between move-out and when you receive an application.
- Days from receiving application to move-in.
Your marketing plan is most valuable in that first period after a previous tenant moves out of a unit. It has zero impact on what happens after you get a lease application.
Above anything else, your marketing should be your main engine for generating leads.
You need leads to receive rental applications.
It sounds simple (and obvious), but that statement has much to unpack. Keep reading.
Which marketing techniques weaken leasing velocity?
First, let's start with marketing techniques that unintentionally weaken leasing velocity.
1) Your marketing focuses more on brand than lead generation.
Are your marketing efforts aimed at promoting your community's brand, or are they geared toward getting interested renters to your leasing office?
While undoubtedly helpful in certain areas, brand-based marketing isn’t designed specifically for lead generation, especially for the multifamily industry.
For example, we've heard from many multifamily professionals that they're seeking a boutique-style apartment website. Wanting a beautiful website design isn't necessarily negative; you can create appeal and clarify your community's offerings in an appealing way that meets renter expectations. But the most valuable apartment websites generate leads and, ultimately, leases.
The point is that prospective residents aren't necessarily shopping for an apartment with the best brand; instead, they're looking for an apartment that best fits their needs (budget, location, availability, floorplan layout). Your marketing must target and serve those individuals to perform at a high level and help you fill units quickly.
2) Your marketing plan is static.
Paying the same amount for 12 months of marketing services will only generate a fixed amount of leads regardless of your ever-changing occupancy.
When this is true, then it's also likely that the only levers available for you to actively increase leasing velocity are:
- To lower rents.
- To run more concessions.
- Or to adjust expensive packages on different Internet Listing Services.
A static marketing strategy also forces you to continually play catch-up when it comes to changes in demand. You can only react after vacancies mount instead of getting ahead. What would be more helpful is if you had a marketing plan that proactively enhanced lead generation so that you could increase leasing velocity and maintain control of vacancy.
That leads us to marketing techniques that promote leasing velocity.
Which marketing techniques promote leasing activity?
1) Establishing a dynamic marketing budget.
Every community has a unique supply and demand that changes frequently.
Knowing this, you must rethink spending the same monthly marketing budget as it aligns differently with your community's needs.
You need a flexible budget that dynamically changes alongside changes to your supply and demand.
You can increase spending when you need more demand and dial it down when you don't.
It may seem overwhelming to change from a static budget to a dynamic, so here's a free guide to help.
2) Knowing your community's Future Occupancy.
Here's another way to frame the impact marketing has on leasing velocity.
Yes, you need leads to receive rental applications.
But to truly improve leasing velocity, you must also get timely leads.
Imagine if you knew how many leads were needed to increase leasing and stay ahead of vacancies.
Well, to do that, you would also need to know three things:
- Your community's future supply.
- Your community's future demand.
- If your future supply is greater than future demand.
RentVision makes predicting your community's future possible.
Our team developed two metrics—Future Occupancy and Future Occupancy Target—to help our clients proactively generate leads and leases before vacancies.
Simply put, if their Future Occupancy is going to be below their Future Occupancy Target, they'll need to make strategic marketing adjustments to fix that.
Our dynamic marketing system recognizes those future changes in demand and automatically makes adjustments for them, including:
- Predictive digital ads that couple AI and machine learning technology, web data, and data from the client's property management software to optimize budgets and ensure that ad spend is allocated to the sources that generate the most qualified traffic at the right time. Because of this, we can also automatically pause or dial down spending on campaigns for full floorplans, helping save money.
- Dynamic websites that reorder floorplans, so the one with the most upcoming vacancies gains more clicks and visibility.
When your marketing is dynamic and predictive, you'll consistently generate the right amount of leads when needed and always lease at the rate necessary to maintain your occupancy goals.
Everyone wants to lease units quickly. That’s why your apartment marketing should solely focus on generating leads, as it's the only way to earn more signed leases on time. That’s also why, to improve leasing velocity, you need to deploy dynamic and predictive marketing tactics to shorten the time from when a unit vacates until an application comes in.