“Timing is everything,” said someone, sometime, about something…and it’s so true. Being able to clearly communicate your message to the right person at the right time is also known as marketing magic. In order to create marketing magic, you need four key ingredients:
We’ve already addressed the first three. You can download our persona template. You can read about how to craft the right message and put that into the right channel in our integrated marketing blog post. Now, it’s time to talk timing.
Timing is about understanding what your goals are, what your customers’ goals are, and when those two intersect.
There are two situations that best illustrate the importance of timing: when a new property is under construction and when you need to rebrand a property. We’ll walk through how you can optimize, and make the most of, this critical time.
As a property owner or manager, at this point you either have the doors open or you know when the doors will be open and you need to fill it to maximum occupancy as quickly as possible. No matter your persona, we recommend you optimize these four marketing channels quickly.
- Digital Advertising
Your digital advertising strategy includes paid search ads, display ads, social ads, and remarketing. All of these mediums should be used when looking to lease fast. Digital advertising as a channel can quickly drive qualified leads to your property, leading to more tours and more leases. Did you know that 52 percent of clicks on paid search ads for apartments increased YoY across all device types in Q4 2015? And over 64 percent of clicks on high-commercial intent searches are on paid ads, not organic listings? Your customers are interacting with digital ads, and the fastest way to generate interest is to attract people that are actively looking for a new community.
A website is like your online leasing office. It should act as a portal for your prospective residents to get all the information they need to make a tour decision. Your website should reflect the personality of your property: fun and outgoing, or quiet and conservative. Whatever your brand identity is, your website should communicate that to all prospective visitors. A great website should do three things:
- Communicate and elevate your brand
- Answer visitors’ questions
- Convert prospects into leads
If your website isn’t able to do these three things well, then you are losing out on lucrative leads.
One of the first things the owner of a new property or an acquired property must do is align citations. A citation is basically your online business card. If your citation isn’t correct, people won’t be able to find you. Seventy-three percent of customers lose trust in a local business when they find incorrect business information online. 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. With a citation service, you’ll be able to align all your listings quickly, guaranteeing people can find you when they want to schedule a tour.
Did you know that 82 percent of renters use the internet to research properties before signing a lease? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one way you can ensure your property will appear organically to those searchers. When done well, a website that has been optimized for search engines will not only communicate your brand, it will attract your ideal customer. For example, if you want to attract families to your property, using the word ‘family’ in your content and throughout your site structure is an effective way to highlight that your property is a great fit for families.
When a new property is acquired, it is important to execute the specific tactics listed above. In addition, focus your efforts on your property’s online reputation. This, like SEO, takes time. It takes time to make the upgrades to the property, and then you have to request reviews from customers. Once those reviews go live, then you still have to contend with the mathematics of swaying perception online. If you have a Google rating of 3 out of 5 stars, and a Yelp rating of 2.5 stars, it will take quite a few 5/5 ratings to move the needle up from 3 or 2-½ stars. That effort has to begin as soon as it makes sense for your business.
If you are unsure of where you should be allocating your marketing budget, check out our Marketing Mix survey and get started.