With 2022 kicking off, it’s time to start thinking about refreshing your multifamily marketing for the new year. In the past two years, the pandemic has forced the industry to adopt virtual, tech-backed solutions to cater to a new landscape of social distancing, increased migration, and digital experiences.

Renters are savvier than ever, with more avenues to discover and vet their next apartment home from listing sites to ads, social media, reviews, chat, website, search, and more. With an increasingly diverse digital marketing and leasing environment, property marketers must be ready to meet renters at these touchpoints and deliver a great experience to win them over.

To get you up to speed on what’s new in the industry, let’s take a look at the top 5 latest trends in multifamily marketing for a successful 2022.

1. Geofencing ads: a better targeting alternative

Location, location, location–it’s one of the most important determining factors for renters. And now, property marketers are finding new ways to deliver ads more effectively based on where people are. Geofencing is emerging as a powerful tool to allow properties to target potential residents based on specific locations they have visited or are currently visiting. It’s a no-brainer for properties that are looking to attract residents that live or work nearby. Is there a shopping district, grocery store, large-scale employer or other main attraction within proximity of the community? Now you can target prospects using these location-based attributes. Even better? Geofencing can offer a safe, Fair Housing-compliant alternative to search and social ads that are prohibited from targeting based off of zip code.

2. Leveraging virtual touring options

An increasingly essential part of the renter journey is the virtual tour. The growing shift toward more virtual touring is a result of renters moving state-to-state due to remote work, social distancing from new variants, and simply preferring more virtual options to save time and travel. And some renters are conducting a virtual tour before deciding to visit a property in person.

Wondering how to execute on virtual tours? Many apartment finding sites, such as Rent.com, now offer virtual tour booking options right from the listing. You can also bring a traditional floorplan further to life by shifting to a 3D model. Pro tip: renters don’t want to see empty 3D views of the bedroom, but rather a replica of virtual staging. This helps them picture themselves cooking in the kitchen or relaxing in the living room after a long day. Best of all, Rent. research shows that listings with 3D Tours receive three to six more leads per month than similar listings without a 3D Tour, making them an effective self-serve option for savvy renters. Providing these immersive touring options will definitely set you apart from other properties.

3. Investing in video marketing

Future residents are looking to view properties from the comfort of their own home. According to a Cisco study, videos will account for 82% of all online traffic by 2022. Videos are a great way to showcase the property, highlight different amenities and get future resident attention. One benefit of video marketing is that it can support your social growth, driving higher engagement and interactions with users than typical text, image or link-based posts. Offering video can also help properties more quickly match with the right renters.

A video preview of the property can motivate the renter to take the next step in booking an in-person tour, or signing a lease. On the other hand, if a unit doesn’t meet the needs of renters, they can rule the property out without taking more of their time or property manager’s time. Providing renters with as much information about the property as possible, helps match the right renters to the right apartment homes.

4. Chatbots are getting smarter and better

Integrated property technology is increasingly helpful in keeping renters engaged. One of the best new ways to engage and gauge a potential resident’s interest is through instant messengers and chatbots.

Residents want to engage with properties when it’s most convenient for them and that may be after leasing offices are closed. A chatbot provides answers to resident questions instantly, around the clock, and with a smooth customer experience. ​​Some chatbots can even qualify leads and deliver guest cards automatically to a community’s Property Management System (PMS). Have a question about maintenance request or when the pool will re-open? Want to view floorplans, book a tour, or begin an application? Renters can now ask a chatbot instead of calling the leasing office for a faster and smoother experience.

5. Data privacy, targeting, and ad performance

Last year, Apple announced that with the release of iOS 14 users can opt-out of data collection from apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. As privacy standards are rising, it’s increasingly important to identify additional data sources to power high-performing marketing campaigns.

Thinking about pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, ad retargeting and ad performance will likely be impacted. Users on Apple iOS devices who have opted out, won’t be available to receive your retargeting ads. If you start to see an impact on your Facebook or PPC ads, we recommend shifting the budget around to improve performance and lead generation across your campaigns, or partnering with advertising specialists who can provide robust first-party renter data to power your ads.

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