It seems like everything has changed, because — it many ways — it has. While we seem to be past the we-learned-to-bake-banana-bread phase of the pandemic, and sincerely hope we are beyond the hoard-all-the-toilet-paper stage, there is no doubt that COVID-19 is a market (and life) disruptor. It presents opportunities for companies to engage with renters in an increasingly digital landscape. Here are five things to consider when marketing to the 2020 (and 2021) renter. 

1. Your Renter has Changed

Think of how different your life looks today versus in January. The same is true for the lives and needs of your renter. People are spending more time at home and as such, there is an elevated emphasis on the quality of life created at home. Additionally, more Americans are working from home than ever before. 42% of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time in June 2020, and this trend is expected to continue post-pandemic. As more of the workforce is pushed from the office building into their living room or kitchen tables, expect renters to seek work-from-home amenities, like high-speed internet, built-in workspaces, and soundproof walls. In fact, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, more than 90% of respondents would not rent without soundproof walls and high-speed internet access in 2020. 

2. Socially Distant Media

We’re traveling less, seeing people in-person less, and leaning on social media to keep us connected. As a result, social media usage is up, with just about half of users spending more time scrolling through their phones. We’ve been in this awhile, and it looks like we’ll be in it for some time. It’s no longer March 2020, and we sometimes cringe reading pandemic boilerplate like, “We hope this email finds you well in these unprecedented uncertain times.” These are still unknown times, and we crave some sense of normalcy, empathy, and clarity in our lives. Social media can connect to your renters with authenticity and empathy — reminding them that at the end of the day, you’re simply humans too. Consider posting quick recipes that reimagine pantry staples, work-from-home time management hacks, or affordable DIY space-saving cupboard organizers. Check out this checklist to explore more ways to connect with your community on the human level and market to the modern renter. 

3. MarTech is Better than Ever 

Technologically we jumped five years forward in the first eight weeks of the pandemic. Technology adoption is a one-way street — with increased automation and ease you’re able to allocate your time to high-impact interactions for your property. According to the American Marketing Association, 85% of consumers are open to digital offerings and 84% are open to digital experiences. Moreover, we expect customers’ focus on digital offerings to be a permanent shift. This is good news because in MarTech you have more options to choose from than ever before. From email marketing to customer analytics dashboards, there are now over 8,000 options to choose from — that’s 13.6% more than last year. Which is an indicator we know to be true: marketing matters more than ever. 

4. Search is Up 

Now that the initial panic has worn off — search levels are back up to normal. However, how your renters are searching, and what amenities they’re searching for is likely a little different than usual. As we begin to understand more about how COVID-19 spreads, outdoor interactions are considered less risky to become super-spreader events. Simply put, patio tables are the new dining room, and parks are the new gym. If your residents want to meet up with friends and be a little more social, many folks are heading outside. Include amenities like parks, nearby green spaces, patios, and balconies on your property’s website to show up in search and stand out from competitors. 

5. Best-in-Class Partnerships

Sometimes things are aptly named — this is one of those times. Best-in-class partners are the dream team you’ve always wanted to work with. They help eliminate data and tech silos, which can decrease efficiency, decrease accuracy, and increase error. Best-in-class partners operate as an extension of your team. You’re not a generic number and they know your business needs aren’t either. In other words, your team just got a little bigger. Your partner has developers, engineers, project managers, and programmers working to innovate. As a result, your team can focus on what you do best — connecting with prospective renters. It’s important to thoughtfully select these partners as they have the power to transform the way you work. With consumers’ digital-focus, there’s no better time to include a new technology partner in your tech stack than right now. 

We’re in this Together 

We’re here, on your team, and ready to help you win with workflow. G5 knows a well-built tech stack is a team sport, and we work collaboratively with best-in-class partners. Do you want to build a tech stack full of best-in-class partners to take you into 2021? Check out our eBook, to learn more about selecting a best-in-class partner, and our checklist, to tailor your marketing to modern renters.