Driving Apartment Leases
Property Manager Insider recently caught up with apartment marketing expert Matt Easton, of Multi-Family Traffic, and posed a question on the minds of apartment managers everywhere:
“How can apartment managers use marketing to drive more leases?”
Matt was quick to answer with apartment marketing hacks managers can use to lease more units. His powerful online marketing tips are a surefire way to attract potential renters to your properties. Ready to lease more units? Here are Matt Easton’s 5 apartment marketing hacks:
5 Apartment Marketing Hacks
1. Information is Power, and it’s Free
The aim of apartment marketing is to know and understand the renter so well the property and the unit fits them and sells itself.
The best way to know and understand the renters in your market is to know and understand exactly what they are searching for online when looking for an apartment. This is the exact big-data buyer search analysis that helps make Amazon a $177.9 billion dollars a year.
Amazon doesn’t guess at what shoppers are searching for on Google, they know exactly letter-for-letter what is being typed into search bars and asked of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant and they make sure that Amazon’s products show up first in the results of each of those searches.
For example, let’s say you are looking to sign leases in San Antonio, TX. Just how important is the “TX” in getting hot, local renters to find your property? I would ask you to take a guess, but people in the marketing departments of Amazon, Apple, and Walmart didn’t make a combined $907.4 billion last year guessing and neither should you.
Here is the answer, last month 5,400 renters searched Google for “Apartments in San Antonio TX” and an astronomical 27,100 renters searched Google for “Apartments in San Antonio” this means the first properties on Google for “Apartments in San Antonio” had the potential for 16,300 more renters to call their leasing office.
Everyone searches Google for an Apartment, guessing vs. knowing exactly what they are searching for is what separates the winners from the losers when it comes to leasing units.
The best part is you don’t have to have security clearance to a Google datacenter to know exactly what renters in your market are searching for. You can use free tools like SEMrush or if you aren’t techy you can call the MultiFamily Traffic office at (888) 683-5885 and our research team will run all your market data for you for free.
2. Position Your Property to Win
The first 3 rules of real estate are location, location, location. Yet, search “apartments in _____” you will quickly see that most communities and portfolios have simply given up on trying to put their community in a highly visible online location that brings in the renters they need to cashflow.
It’s almost like the entire multifamily housing industry has collectively given away their sovereignty and power to ILS’s like Apartments.com, ApartmentGuide, ForRent, Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads. Portfolios invest tens of millions of dollars and assumed risk and without even trying, submit to paying 3rd parties billions of dollars every year to sell them back traffic that was meant for the property in the first place.
What most apartment marketers do not understand is that it is easier than they think to get their property website ranked in Google with the top performers, reclaiming all those hot, qualified, local renters for themselves.
Not sure about your property’s current position on Google or how to use SEO and PPC to drive more leads and leases? You can email Matt Easton and he will provide a free analysis of your current Google presence and recommendations for how to improve it!
3. Don’t Block Your Own Business
68% of apartment communities actively inhibit renters from contacting the leasing office.
More than two-thirds of all apartment communities suppress leases in one or more of the following ways:
- Lack of a clearly posted phone number on each page of the community website. The ideal location is upper right of desktops and upper middle for mobile.
- Lack of a clearly posted correct address to the community leasing office on the community website.
- Calls to the leasing office being sent to automated systems rather than being answered by a person.
- Calls not being answered within the first 3 rings. This one is tricky, often times a leasing agent will answer on the first or second ring to her, but in the background call tracking systems have added long pauses and multiple rings she is unaware of.
You are responsible for your property’s customer experience. As a professional, you should regularly audit your website as if you were a busy professional who wanted to lease a unit and did not know what number to call or address to drive to.
Managers should call their leasing offices at least once week to check the speed of which a call is answered and the positive demeanor of the person answering it.
4. Build a Consistent NAP
Each property must have a correct and unified Name, Address, and Phone number across +100 different business listing sites. Whether you manage a single apartment community or hundreds, the consistency of your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) data across the web can either help your occupancy soar above 97%, or serve as a barrier to renters signing a lease.
Want to check the accuracy of your property’s listings? Find out right now for free if there are any accuracy issues with any of your communities NAP.
5. Make Reviews Part of Your Culture
Passively waiting for a resident to give your property a positive review online is a recipe for disaster.
In order for a renter to sign a lease they need to be certain about 3 things. 1. The Unit, 2. The Leasing Agent, and 3. The Property Itself.
A prospect can fall in love with the unit, completely trust and connect with the leasing agent, but, if they only see negative reviews about the community, the deal is over.
The best way to handle that is to ask prospects for a review the moment they sign a lease. This is the moment when they are the most positive about the community.
Keep it simple! Give them clear instructions on how to find the review site and ask them to simply write the one thing they like best about the community. When it comes to where you want the reviews posted, apartment specific sites are always great choices. Your apartment’s Google My Business profile is another option, because Google reviews are highly visible.
For more information on how to ask for reviews, watch this short YouTube video: Apartment Marketing Tips: 3 Steps to Great Apartment Reviews
There you have it, Matt Eaton’s 5 apartment marketing hacks to drive more leases. Property Manager Insider hopes they help you and your properties sign more of the thousands of hot, qualified, local renters searching in you market right now.
About The Author
Matt Easton is YouTubes King of Apartment Marketing. His popular Ask Matt Show regularly provides community managers and marketers fun and useful content on apartment marketing and sales. Matt Easton is also Executive Vice President at MultiFamily Traffic. His mission in life is to bring apartment communities 10X more traffic and 10X more leases. Matt has personally helped hundreds of apartment communities do billions in additional revenue.