Streamline Your Marketing Initiatives with These 4 Effective Strategies
Oftentimes in multifamily, marketing managers talk about many different strategies and initiatives that can eventually lead to a renter signing a lease. Although using a variety of marketing techniques can be effective, they tend to stop when one prospect has committed to renting and then the managers have to start the marketing process all over again.
But when you align your entire organization’s mission to one of being fully customer-centric, you can transform your marketing strategy from one where the energy stops at the end — a lease — into a flywheel that keeps energy and engagement going.
As a marketing manager, this model ensures a constant and sustained approach to renewals, ad spending, and communication strategies. No matter the size of your team’s budget, these four smart apartment marketing ideas can keep that momentum going.
1. Take Time for R&R (Referrals and Renewals)
Your best brand advocates are residents who are already living under your roof.
Good old-fashioned word-of-mouth still works wonders, and with a few modern touches, a steady flow of referrals can reduce vacant days on market. Studies show that prospects prefer referrals over brand claims, especially when it comes to multifamily leasing. Residents can become micro-influencers motivated by incentives — gift cards or discounts off rent — to post to their social channels during community events and gatherings. Facebook hosts paid advertising and marketing tools that help you target your current and former residents’ “friends.”
Investing in a referral pipeline means there’s a starting point when an apartment goes on notice. As a marketing manager, that window can be short, so having a head start ensures higher quality leads and applicants.
Another strategy is to build in extra time to get units pre-leased and minimize vacancy losses is through Knock’s Renewal CRM. Residents whose lease end date is within 90 days will automatically appear in the CRM’s resident renewal tracker where members of your team can easily contact residents to turn in their notice to vacate or to sign their renewal. It streamlines the renewal process into one easy location and allows for everyone on the team to track progress.
This helps property teams close out renewals long before they expire and provides up to an additional month for marketing teams to find viable prospects. The Resident Engagement Score, available through the Knock Insights dashboard, provides your marketing team with a single metric that tracks and scores the communication with residents via phone call, email, or text. When those tasks are complete, your engagement score goes up, making it easy to ensure leasing teams are trying to close out leases far in advance.
2. Budget For Success
As a marketing manager, multifamily budget planning season can set you up with the tools for a successful year. In preparation, you can spend days combing through ILS’s data trying to determine where, how much, and when to invest to ensure conversion rates over 35 percent for your portfolio. But those time-consuming efforts are easily derailed by questionable data pouring in from multiple pipelines in outdated property management systems or PMS systems.
Investing in the right tech-driven tools can cut long-term costs and provide much-needed certainty when making vital budget decisions.
“Knock has given us clarity to control costs. Before, we were manually tracking leads and leases from each advertising source and figuring out costs,” said Brian Murphy, Aspen Square Management’s director of property management. “Knock’s ad cost reports and source tracking allows for better insights. We’ve dropped or added ILSs and marketing sources based on what we’re seeing in Knock.”
Knock’s lead tracking ensures lead sources automatically flow into Knock’s ad spend report, which gives an in-depth view of how ILS are performing. Knock’s insights dashboard gives managers instant access to dozens of metrics that measure engagement scores, conversion rates, and ad spending, across time periods and regions without the hassle of manually generating reports from dozens of metrics.
This gives managers a better understanding of where their budgets are working, and where they’re not, by showing cost-per-lead and cost-per-lease from each source.
3. Invest in Customer-Centric Tech
Once you have a referral or have found a new prospect, it’s important to turn those leads into leases as quickly as possible. Offering self-managed actions for prospects like virtual tours, self-guided leasing, and move-ins, makes it easier for prospects to get what they need when they want it.
“We don’t have enough customer-centric tech in multifamily. We need to do better with providing self-managed actions to our customers,” said Wendy Simpson, vice president of marketing at Edgewood Management and Vantage Management. “And we need to continue to be diligent about optimizing the technology that’s available to us now.”
With Knock Now, prospective renters can book tours on your calendar directly from your ILS partners, ensuring your high-quality leads never get lost in the busy inboxes of your leasing teams. When prospects schedule themselves, they are more likely to show up and Knock’s automation helps site teams move faster and work more leads. With all scheduling flowing into a single place, there’s no risk of double-booking an appointment.
“We need to continue to offer residents a communications method that they want to use to talk and learn about the community and make it easier for our prospective residents to work with us and rent from us,” Simpson said.
4. Make It Personal and Quick
Onsite teams are often pulled in unexpected directions. Sometimes leads pile up in emails or in other systems, but small delays can have big costs.
After a review of over one million leads, Knock found that prospects are 32 percent less likely to convert if the response comes between one to six hours later. If it takes a team more than six hours to respond that number jumps up to 50 percent less likely.
Managers that use Knock’s automated, quick replies significantly decrease their leasing agent’s response times, which leads to an average 20 percent improvement in lead-to-lease rates. Knock Insights ensures that all inquiries flow into a single location so that your team never misses a lead. But just because it’s automated, doesn’t mean it has to feel robotic.
“We went in and created templates for quick replies and auto-replies that are very personal. They leave spaces where people need to fill in the information,” said Jennifer Christy, the former regional training manager at CARROLL. “Even though these are personalized, because it’s on Knock, we still have the ability to quickly change them and the auto-reply messages.”
With these four apartment marketing ideas, you’ll free up time and money while working toward your ultimate goal of ensuring high conversion ratios for your portfolio.