Are you an apartment building owner or building manager struggling to generate leads, fill vacancies, and create waitlists for your apartment? We are here to help, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks that will get you back on track, and thrive during this pandemic.
In 2020 and 2021 every type of business has been uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we will be going through some tactics and strategies from a marketing standpoint that we’ve been seeing help apartment buildings overcome, and continue to find new residents, and sign leases.
At the end of the day people still need a place to live. That need has not gone away, and there are many apartment buildings that are successfully navigating these times. COVID-19 hit, and there are new fears, and cautions regarding the buying process. But don’t worry! There are ways to overcome that.
1. Making Home Feel Safe
There are new concerns when it comes to thinking about a new place to live. Safety doesn’t just mean physical safety, door locks, security systems, gated communities, etc…COVID-19 has put a spotlight on safety regarding health, and cleanliness, and potential residents want to see that you are taking that seriously.
Make future and current residents feel comfortable by:
-Implementing new cleaning and operational procedures.
-Enforce common area guidelines for health.
a.Include signage on floors, door, elevators, and any other common area indicating that you are taking this seriously (ex. Social distance, stay 6ft apart, wear your masks in public spaces, etc…)
b. Provide masks and hand sanitizer if you can.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
Share what you are doing with the community through marketing campaigns.
-Include coordinated messaging
2. Coordinating Proactive Messaging
It’s important to stay on top of this, as guidelines and recommendations are changing all the time. Until the pandemic is over, you should be educating your tenants and potential tenants on health and safety guidelines regarding your apartment building. Using social media and your website are the easiest and quickest ways to get these messages across. Here are some pointers:
-Repeat messaging from the CDC that resonates. You don’t need to come up with the guidelines yourself.
-Be proactive in your approach. Try to answer questions before they get asked.
-Talk about the changes that you are making.
-Share pictures of your signage, common areas, and the environment that you are creating.
-Be responsive to all questions and communications across all channels (social, email, website, etc.)
3. Communication Infrastructure
How are you getting your message across to your audience? What platforms are you using? Here’s what we are seeing as the most beneficial ways to reach out to your community.
PLATFORM #1: WEBSITE
-Makes information easy to find.
-Make sure to provide the most important info like: photos, floor plans, amenities, virtual tours, and pricing.
-Make sure your website stands out and is up to date.
-Use to convert prospects into leads
PLATFORM #2: ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA
-Build an engaged audience of residents, prospects and supporters.
-Make sure to promote: Amenities, staff, Events and experiences, deals and promotions, and community info.
-Post often. Show you are active and engaged.
-Leverage partnerships with local businesses.
PLATFORM #3: EMAIL
-Communicate with your list of residents and potential residents.
-Segment your lists and send relevant info to each.
-Create a Monthly Email with updates, deals, news, vacancies, etc…
4. Paid Advertising
Paid Advertising is one of the most powerful tools to drive new audiences to your website. We suggest spreading paid ads around different platforms if your budget allows for it. The more you pay, the more results and impact you will have.
-Social Media: Paid Advertisements from your social platform to your website. We like to use “Retargeting” ads. If someone has been to your website and then leaves your website, once they return to social media, an ad for your property will show up.
-Google Ad: Google Ads are really big for real estate. You want your site to show up at the top of the page, or close to it, when someone searches “Apartments near me”, “Apartments in Cleveland”, or something similar. Extra tip: make sure your “google my business” page is set up correctly.
-Youtube Ad: Similar to a retargeting ad on Facebook, you can have a video ad show up on someone's Youtube feed if they have recently visited your website.
-Cable/Streaming Service/Radio: Purchase a commercial space on cable, streaming services, or radio.
5. Building Community
It's important to make an effort in the building to cultivate connections, and create community. Some things that we’ve seen work:
-Community fundraisers and raffles are a fun way to bring the community together.
-Virtual Experiences for residents such as cooking demos.
-Welcome kits creates an experience right from the beginning, leaving an impact.
-Resident spotlights on social media.
-Common area decoration/experiences.
-Build your brand! How are your tenants going to be talking about you to their friends? Your community isn’t confined to your residents. Your community reaches out to potential residents as well. Make sure you’re represented well.
6. Modified Sales Process
Make the sales process as “touch-free” as possible. The virtual/touch-free sales process is becoming the new normal. From curb side pick at restaurants, grocery delivery, to virtual tours at your apartment building. Here are some things to think about when modifying your sales process.
-Use your website as the ultimate sales tool. Make sure all the info a potential tenant is looking for is easily accessible on the site. Photos, pricing, amenities, floor plans, virtual tours, etc…
-Provide different tour options.
a.In-person tours will probably go down in volume, but they still need to be an option. Make sure you promote that the tour will be socially distant, and masks will be worn.
b.Virtual Tours. You can either do this live on Facetime or Zoom with a sales agent, or you can have a pre-recorded tour that someone can watch on your website.
c.Self-Guided Tours. There are ways to let a potential tenant tour a space by themselves and follow up with the sales agent afterwards.
-Don’t forget to follow up! Have a system in place and a protocol for following up.
-Make closing easy. Can you use digital documents and electronic signatures? Contactless key drop off/apartment access? Make sure to provide move-in support and services.