Main Takeaway: The market is cooling. It’s more important than ever for owners and investors to tidy up their marketing stack. Consider more emphasis on digital experiences, reviews, videos, retention, and other marketing tactics as we close off 2022.
Story: According to various sources, the multifamily market is cooling in terms of rents and construction. Data shows that rents are still increasing, but moderating heavily, and that construction permits (an indicator of future supply) are on a downward trend.
RealPage recently reported that as a result of these market factors, demand for apartments will continue a downward trend, showing the first downward trend for any Q3 in 30 years.
So what do the outside market trends mean for multifamily owners and investors? It means we need to be more focused than ever on the aspects of our businesses we can control, like marketing. Here are a few highlights from recent reports and articles related to our multifamily marketing stacks.
Multifamily Marketing: Digital Expectations
According to NMHC, 71% of renters are under the age of 45, many of which fall into the category of digital natives, such as Millennials and Gen Z. Just as you need a strong physical curb appeal, you also need a powerful digital one.
This means that managers need to meet prospective customers where they are: on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other online communities. With TikTok for instance, “a resident takeover can be a fun way to add some personality to your TikTok presence. The way it works is you turn over your TikTok account to a resident of your apartment community who you trust and allow them to create and post videos for a certain period of time—24 hours, for example. If the resident doing the takeover has a large following of their own, you may get more views and followers as a result.”
This also means that the renter lifecycle needs to be digitized as much as possible, from virtual tours, to applications, to lease signing, to work orders, to resident experience, and so on. If managers are not already digitizing the current and prospective tenant experience, they will risk getting left with higher vacancies.
Multifamily Marketing: Reviews
In a recent Zego survey, the majority of multifamily managers said online reputation was ‘Extremely important’ in their acquisition efforts of new tenants. Further, over 75% of renters say they seek out online reviews before renting an apartment. So how are managers encouraging reviews?
Multifamily Marketing: Digital First Doesn’t Mean Only Digital
Although an emphasis has been placed on digital, don’t forget about the power of in-person experiences and local partnerships. Partnering with local businesses for small in-person events or discounts for your residents will go a long way to foster a sense of community among tenants.
Multifamily Marketing: Retention
Turnover can cost anywhere from $1000-$4000 depending on the property and location. It’s not only critical that marketing efforts and dollars be put into attracting new tenants, but also retaining your current ones.
Know your customer (KYC) also applies to multifamily tenants. The more you survey and know about your tenants, the better you can build out your customer avatar to inform other marketing strategies, like paid advertising. For instance, if you know a certain percentage of tenants from one of your buildings migrated from a certain area of the city, you then target more paid ads in that particular area.
Multifamily Marketing: Communicate Differently
Whether it’s through YouTube videos, live streams, or community newsletters, current and prospective tenants appreciate a landlord that communicates through various channels. Video is certainly a rising communication channel, with 72% of consumers saying they would prefer to learn about a product or service through video.
Wouldn’t it be nice that when someone Googles “apartments near me” you would pop up? This is why Google My Business and strong local content on your website as so important for your marketing. For more on apartment search engine optimization, see here.
Marketing for Apartments: Expert Take
“Right now apartments are selling themselves. But as things start to tighten up and the market starts to shift, those that will be easier to rent are going to be those with extra amenities…We’re even seeing more amenity-driven services. We just looked at one where the whole product is about connecting cleaners with the residents.” — Scott Hines, VP of Technology and Revenue at PEM Real Estate Group
“When we ‘talk marketing’ in our company, we talk about marketing that drives leases, leads, traffic, all of that. Then we talk about marketing that retains all of that hard earned work. So tome, they’re peanut butter and jelly.” — Barbara Savona, CEO & Founder of Sprout Marketing Multifamily