The internet has revolutionized the way property owners can market multifamily apartment buildings. However, it has also created an overwhelming and overpopulated marketplace full of competitors trying to convince potential renters why they need to live in their complex instead of yours.
That's why it's so important to understand the best marketing strategies for leasing multifamily apartments. Some of them require a little know-how, but others are so simple that, ironically enough, many owners simply skip over them — costing them some easy opportunities to find quality renters.
Up your curb appeal
Your online ad might get potential renters to swing by. But if they don't like what they see in person, they'll just keep on moving. You never get a second chance to make a first impression to make sure your property is in ideal shape, and you never know when someone is coming to take a look.
If the building needs a fresh coat of paint, give it one! Add splashes of vibrant color in the form of flowers and landscaping. Renovate the entryway and canopy if needed. Make sure your signage is clear, modern, and includes your contact info. A little spring cleaning can make a big difference.
Meet the neighborhood
Renters aren't just looking for a place to live, they're looking for a neighborhood that speaks to who they are. That also goes for people who work in the neighborhood and want a quick commute home.
"It's very smart to integrate your building into the community by visiting local merchants and seeing if there's a win-win offer you can make," said Zach Tetley from Nexus Homebuyers. "Put flyers in their stores and you can offer their gift cards or discounts to new renters. You might even want to offer discounted rates to local employees looking for a place close to work."
Don't wait for renters to find you
You should have a good idea about who your target renter is. Once you know that, it's on you to find them and put your apartment building front and center where they'll see it.
Figure out what kind of activities they like to do and where they like to do them, and advertise there! If your building doesn't offer parking, rideshare apps are a smart way to reach target renters. If your building caters to green living, consider bikeshare or healthy restaurant ad opportunities.
Turn current residents into marketers
There is perhaps no greater tool in marketing a multifamily apartment building than word of mouth. Whether it's a response to a friend asking what it's like to live there or a Yelp review, your current residents have the power to affect your business in a major way. Obviously you want to try to keep them happy, but going above and beyond will pay off in spades.
Keep in touch without overdoing it by sending occasional thank-yous and requests for feedback to engage with residents and solve their problems. Host parties and get-togethers in the lobby or outside to encourage community, while also using it as an opportunity to see if they have any referrals. You can even create a full resident referral program, offering a rent discount or gift for referring a future renter who signs a lease. It doesn't cost much but keeps your units full!
Another way to ensure your residents are marketing for you instead of against you is to make sure your service staff is always performing at their best. It goes a long way for current renters to see service staff looking professional and doing efficient work. The fewer hassles residents need to deal with, the more likely they are to recommend the building to others.
Know how to work the web
There is a lot of competition out there, and potential residents make decisions quickly. Once they start searching online, they'll come across a lot of apartment listings and hear plenty of reasons why each one is perfect for them. That's why you need to create an intangible sense of anticipation that makes them much more likely to consider yours.
You can do that by understanding how to maximize social media marketing. Facebook Ads can target audiences with extreme specificity. While you're there, consider creating Open House events on Facebook as well to have everything in one place.
Don't just post photos on Facebook and Twitter, but make sure you're leveraging Instagram and Pinterest as well. A great image can generate tons of interest and inquiries. Make sure your current residents are proudly following you, too, so they can proudly share!
Along with social media. there are also specific actions you can take that will have a profound impact. Claim your listing on Google, Yelp, and other directories so you can keep information current and respond to any negative reviews. Also, if you're not learning about SEO and how to maximize it, you'd better start.
This guest post is brought to you by Matt Bigach. Matt is a real estate investor at Nexus Homebuyers, a team of local Tennessee experts who purchase rentals and flips in the Nashville and Knoxville real estate markets.