- Competition heating up in multifamily makes it critical to diversify digital channels and keep renters interested.
- Understand how different channels attract new renters, engage them during their search and convert them to signed leases.
- A mix of automated and one-on-one tactics speeds up response time while still ensuring a high level of customer service.
Higher vacancy rates and record numbers of new properties entering the market means competition is heating up for multifamily owners and operators. In this slower rental market, reaching renters across a variety of channels can give you an advantage and keep their interest. We’ll cover ways you can diversify the channels you use to attract new renters, engage them during their search and convert them to signed leases.
You have to be diversified in the way that you attract new residents and the way that you think about engaging your existing ones.
Chief Product Officer at Rent.
Why diversifying channels is important
Renters usually see your listings, property website, social pages, reviews and more–all before stepping foot on the property. This digital-first journey can quickly disqualify properties that don’t manage all channels consistently. “That’s kind of the brutal truth of it. Your website and digital experience alone can make or break a lease at the end of the day,” shared Taylor Fulton, Director of Agency Operations & Growth at Rent.
With digital marketing costs increasing and a complex renter journey, it is important to select the right marketing mix for each property. But in order to choose the most efficient and effective mix, you need a diverse toolkit.
When selecting the right channels and tactics, it is often helpful to consider where a renter is in their buying journey. At Rent., we typically think about the process in 3 stages.
- Attracting new renter leads
- Engaging them during the apartment search
- Converting to new leases or renewals
Channels that attract new renters to your property
In the early, “Attract” phase of the renter’s journey, the “first impression” of your property comes into play. It’s also where strong branding is key to keeping renters interested. Renters often see your property for the first time on apartment listings sites. 87% of renters start their apartment search on a search engine, and close to half (44%) land on an ILS from there (Rent. Renter Survey 2021). You’ll also capture new attention with advertising tactics like display and geofencing that build awareness around your property early on.
How to maximize channels that attract renters:
- Make sure the rental marketplaces you list on offer renter-centric search experiences to make it easy for renters to find the information they seek.
- Optimize for SEO by ensuring your Google Business Profile is up to date.
- Deliver fast and personalized responses to resident reviews and ratings so new prospects see that your team is engaged.
- Ensure your onsite team and/or virtual leasing team is available to handle incoming calls, emails and online chat.
Channels that engage current leads while they look for their new place
In the midst of the renter’s search, it is critical to provide renters with as many outlets as possible to engage with your properties. Renters seek two-way communication to learn more about your onsite staff, community and important policies. Each interaction counts towards getting that signed lease. Renters may call your leasing office or contact the virtual leasing center to get initial questions answered. They begin to schedule and take tours, whether virtual or in-person.
Follow-up communications via email, text or phone welcome them to the property. A mix of automated and one-on-one tactics here will ensure that renters can quickly get the answers they need with a high level of customer service.
How to get the most engagement from renter leads:
- Use email marketing automation to send targeted emails to new leads.
- Be available by phone, AI-powered voice assistants or a healthy mix of both to answer resident inquiries.
- Nurture prospects and residents to lease and renew with timely communication like chatbots or two-way text and email messages.
- Include automated tour scheduling in your listings and on your property site to easily direct renters to the next step.
Channels that convert new leads to leases, and secure renewals
Apartment searching can be an overwhelming process, with renters looking at multiple properties at once. Make sure they don’t forget your community by showcasing your property’s best assets and re-engaging them over time. Targeted advertising on search and social is important to reach renters who have zeroed in on what they are looking for. Renters may also revisit past channels to get in touch and take the next step. For this reason, channels like reputation management (ratings and reviews), your virtual leasing center and your website are important conversion-drivers.
How to get more conversions:
- Convert more leads by driving traffic from Google directly to your property website with search campaigns.
- Ensure your website is optimized to drive renter action and designed for mobile experiences.
- Target renters that are already searching for a new place with advertising powered by first-party data from rental listing sites.
Rental market slowdown means property owners and operators may have to pivot to keep occupancy high at their apartment communities. But you can secure your community’s future and keep up with new renter needs with the perfect formula of digital channels. Make sure the digital channels you choose highlight your property’s unique selling points, answer common renter questions and are optimized to get renters to take action.
Secure your property’s place in the market.
Download Your 2023 Multifamily Marketing Playbook.