In this Digible Summit workshop, co-founders David Staley and Reid Wicoff (aka “The Digible Dudes”) lead multifamily marketers, operators, and vendors to get the gears turning at rethinking the core principles of apartment marketing. Facilitated by subject matter experts (SME) from Digible, we focus on rethinking various topics in the day-to-day of apartment marketing.
- Websites and Marketing
- Paid Media and ILS
- Organic Media (SEO and Organic Social)
- Data and Budgets
- Multifamily Themes and Truths
Websites and Marketing Deep Dive
Websites and marketing are well, the bread and butter of multifamily marketing! We sat down with several industry folks, from property management, marketing, proptech, and ILS experts to dive into rethinking the principles of websites and marketing, and the results are in.
- Let the user build their own narrative about their community and rethink how you deliver that information. The journey is what matters and a deeper insight into resident life at the property.
- Personalizing the renter’s experience beyond a single property or cross-selling another property (comparison tool to allow future residents to make a decision easier and faster).
- Data and Attribution. How can we attribute more accurately and correct for any over-counting?
- Rethinking about the resident experience on websites and addressing questions like:
- What does move in-process look like?
- This is a great opportunity to highlight any moving partnerships.
- What other services are provided? Concierge, local discounts, etc.
- Step by step on how to submit a maintenance request, and FAQs like where delivery drivers should drop off perishable items, rovers, and guest visitor’s parking.
Paid Media + ILS
For many folks in multifamily, Paid Media and ILS seem to be the go-to for getting heads in beds. However, it’s time to rethink what makes a quality lead and have a diverse marketing strategy across various platforms. Ubiquitous are those very words in the multifamily marketing space.
- Quality Lead: Rethinking if a future resident can be not quality or if the information provided matches the availability (ie updating advertising based on availability or ensuring updated pricing).
- Redefining: The barrier in the language of what a qualified lead is. (i.e. is it someone that applies?).
- Rethink ILS and paid media from a standard lens and connect with residents, as they are not the only platforms that drive future residents. In other words, know your audience and speak their language in a holistic marketing approach across platforms.
We dive into some hot topics in Organic Media, focusing on SEO and Organic Social strategies, platform-appropriate content, and crucial customer journey touch-points.
- Content. Ensuring content is platform appropriate, diversifying content, and knowing the audience in each platform. Including, but not limited to property amenities, local and neighborhood points of interest, so the future resident has an idea of life at the property before entering the community.
- Conversion Strategy. Having a buttoned-up website and not just accepting plug and play for better tracking from the website, but also from social, GBP, and referral links.
- Customer Journey. Marketing to where the future resident is in their buyer’s journey and tailoring the content and strategy that: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty.
As multifamily marketers, we find ourselves asking, “Why is there an invisible ceiling on SEO?” Many other industries have large budgets for SEO, so why are small budgets in multifamily allocated for apartment marketing SEO? It’s time our industry works smarter, not harder to rank in search.
Data and Multifamily Budgets
Data and budgets often pose challenges for those in the multifamily industry — having access to clean, accurate data to make data-informed decisions, allowing flexibility in monthly budgets to account for seasonality and fluctuations in leasing and market trends.
- Static Budgets. Rethinking budgets at a sliding scale and considering: seasonality, market fluctuations, or reviewing budgets more frequently, such as monthly.
- Problem and opportunity. The challenge multifamily marketers face is getting accurate data and how to provide data storytelling and transparency among teams, vendors, and partners.
- Collaboration with vendors and allowing for a flexible budget. Opportunity to rethink the tools we use to budget (consider our budgeting tool, Fiona) or willing to spend time to plan the budget.
Reporting: Metrics to Measure in Multifamily
It’s not just about the data, numbers, and ROI — it’s having the full picture and data storytelling on marketing campaign performance for all multifamily parties involved, from marketers to operators, and understanding what is happening at the onsite level to optimize the strategy for your apartment community.
- People, Pricing, Marketing. Evaluating human capital and financial pieces for operations and marketers, while always considering what is happening from leads to lease.
- Notable Reporting Considerations. Seasonality within the multifamily industry should not go unnoticed while analyzing at campaigns and performance, and consider property regions, city, and audience insights, and seasonality trends should not be assumed.
- Important to understand the onsite level and strategy before solving the what and the why for the big picture in data storytelling.
Common Multifamily Themes and Truths
What is the narrative for some topics and themes we tell ourselves in the multifamily industry when it comes to concessions, resident retention, and hiring practices? What can we learn from other industries and rethink ‘how it’s always been’ for our industry to allow for change, growth, and progress?
- Concessions. Rethinking the pricing model for concessions and seasonality, why and when we offer concessions.
- Resident Retention. What if apartment rent was not raised for the sake of retention for 1-3 years? Essentially, considering the cost-benefit analysis associated with vacancy versus a high resident retention rate. Resident retention comes from more than just fostering a community with resident events, but offering more community outlets, such as Slack channels for residents, more apps, or resident portals for resident communication, collaboration, and connection.
- Learn from other industries. Nurturing and hiring top talent from other industries, such as hospitality.
As professionals in the multifamily industry, what actionable takeaways can we bring to our peers, and organization, and implement into our day-to-day decision-making? To unthink traditional narratives of what is a qualified lead, how are we pivoting our budgets, people, and seasonal strategies based on various factors and market trends in order to have an impactful, diverse, and holistic marketing strategy? It’ ‘s not just about ROI, and getting heads in beds, but at the end of the day, we are a people-centric industry and take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Truly understand what is happening on site and meet the future residents where they are: researching an authentic property community, fostering connections, and retaining longstanding residents. It’s time we rethink and unlearn the age-old narrative of multifamily and bring in new thought leadership, collaboration, and strategies into apartment marketing.