According to statistics from Trading Economics, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.6 percent in May 2019. This number remained unchanged from the previous month’s 49-year low. Low unemployment rates have impacted multifamily companies, causing a labor shortage across the industry. With the unemployment rate so low, companies are struggling to find skilled candidates to fill their open positions. Digital marketing may help offset multifamily staffing shortages by attracting more qualified leads and increasing efficiencies onsite. 

Become More Efficient Onsite

By using social media and digital advertising to market specific units and answer prospects’ questions immediately, the staff you do have won’t need to spend as much time returning calls and emails from prospective renters who aren’t qualified leads. Your staff can then focus on prospects with a high-intent to rent, which correlates with greater conversions and often, better customer service. Digital marketing saves your staff time and makes operations onsite more efficient, which helps you offset employment shortages.

Use Automation to Make Things Easier

Marketing automation helps convert prospects by scaling efforts and automating repetitive tasks like sending emails, posting to social media, and maintaining your website. Automation helps companies offset staffing shortages by making your lead generation tactics more efficient. Consider investing in business intelligence (BI) solutions that identify what happened, why it happened, what to watch, and what’s going to happen next. Predictive analytics found in BI software is considered the next frontier in multifamily asset management. It pinpoints opportunities for improvement and can be used to optimize marketing campaigns. 

Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning shine as the next generation of marketing efficiency. By adding these technologies to your marketing strategies, you can expand your marketing reach and results, effectively attracting quality prospects within a competitive market. Automating your digital ads, for example, helps you avoid mistakes in your ad spend, saving you money by prequalifying leads with the right ad served at the right time with the right message. 

G5’s Reputation and Social Management tool already helps multifamily marketers monitor what’s being said about their brands online. Soon, this tool will feature integration with our clients’ CRMs, allowing you to ask for reviews directly from your software. This automation will help your staff ask for reviews at key moments — upon move-in, at move-out, after a maintenance request has been handled swiftly and to the renter’s satisfaction. Having the ability to not only monitor what’s being said but to ask for reviews directly from your CRM helps multifamily marketers become more efficient, even during staffing shortages. 

Attract Skilled Labor with Targeted Digital Ads

On average, labor is one of the largest expenses for multifamily businesses. Labor expenses are expected to increase as the industry struggles with attracting skilled talent, but digital marketing offers a reprieve from the hustle to find and train qualified employees. Digital ads may not instantly come to mind as a recruitment channel, but they can be used to supplement your efforts. Social media ads help companies target career seekers by location, job title, and field of study in order to discover the most qualified candidates. 

Advertise your open positions through social media to direct job seekers to your website to view career opportunities and convert them into potential employees. Signal to job seekers that your brand is engaged by developing your brand on social channels, monitoring and responding to reviews, and optimizing the careers page on your website. 

State of the Industry

As we move into the second half of 2019, the multifamily industry is expected to maintain steady momentum in terms of rental stock supply, continued strong rental housing demand, and rental rate growth. However, subtle signs of a softening market, paired with continued skilled-labor shortages and increasing overhead costs may push owners and operators toward digital and technological solutions in order to scale operations and continue revenue growth. Our industry must evolve beyond using digital advertising as simply a way to compete. We need to move towards leveraging AI and the massive amounts of data available to us in order to make meaningful change to our business models. 

Download the latest Multifamily State of the Industry report for the second half of 2019 to discover emerging trends and multifamily digital marketing insights.