Understanding Multifamily Seasonality
While it’s common to plan your marketing efforts by quarter, have you also considered how seasonality impacts your digital advertising spend? Multifamily seasonality runs on a slightly different schedule than the standard quarterly calendar, especially given the long “spring” leasing season. We recommend using the following guidelines to spruce up your Q4 and plan for the year ahead.
Seasonal Patterns in Search and Paid Advertising
Before getting into seasonal specifics, let’s take a look at how search and paid advertising change throughout the year. Most industry guidelines indicate that searches tick up in January and grow steadily to a July peak. However, G5’s most recent Google search data shows that searches peak in June, and ramp up again in October, with slower activity from December through January.
Paid advertising activity shows lower cost-per-click (CPC) rates December through May, with rates peaking in August and October. Multifamily keywords traditionally move from the lower range of $1.20 CPC to $1.30 CPC, peaking at $1.42 CPC in October. Peak CPC correlates to active searching, but not the peak search months.
A few trends to note: the number of searches for multifamily continues to increase – 51 percent in Q1 2018 from Q1 2017. Mobile devices accounted for 50 percent of all searches. Advertising clicks are up 105 percent year-over-year and more users are clicking on paid ads. 60 percent of all clicks come from mobile, compared to 31 percent from desktop, and 10 percent on tablet. No matter the season, multifamily marketers need to focus on mobile advertising.
Winter: Preparing for Peak Leasing Season
Is your community ready to greet prospective renters visiting for a tour? Winter is the perfect time to take a tour yourself and identify maintenance issues, areas for improvement, and changes to communal spaces. Take advantage of the slower months to invest in your community. This is also the time to invest in your staff with annual training and customer service workshops.
Spring: Early Leasing Season Begins
Moves begin to increase dramatically February through July. The searchers that found your community in November through January may schedule a tour or sign a lease in the early spring. Statistics have shown that the multifamily leasing season is no longer extending into August and September as it traditionally did. Renters who start searching for a new apartment in Q2 are the best conversion bets.
Summer: New Resident Engagement and Community Involvement
Summer brings the most move-ins and opportunities to engage your residents and the local community. This is a good time to invite residents to follow your social media accounts and get access to all of your online content. As the summer winds down, fall is a good time to start planning for the slower Q4 months, as well as the following year.
Fall: Tending to New Searches
The fourth quarter tends to be the slowest time of year for new leases, giving you time to consider upgrades to your online platform, marketing plan, and technology upgrades. You may also want to look into adding online appointment scheduling or a live chat or messaging app that allows searchers to ask you quick questions while they are already on your website.
Year-Round Improvements with G5
Partnering with a real estate marketing firm will help you show up in searches and attract new renters year-round. G5 offers a complete range of digital solutions for multifamily communities. We utilize innovative, AI-backed technologies, including real-time pricing and availability for digital advertising, to amplify your impact. For more information on what to expect in the year ahead, download our Multifamily State of the Industry report for Q2.