Are We Renting Apartments Today?

Apartment marketing

Apartment marketing

Download Google demand graphics for the past 30 and 7 days by state. Are People Leasing Apartments Today

Note: This PDF is purposely left in black and white for small download size. Nothing fancy here 🙂

I am, of course, writing this from home.

Despite the fact the apartment industry is heavily invested in the traditional model of having people work in a conventional leasing center your residents and prospects employers have restructured to support mass work from home. 

In most cases, apartment demand hasn’t evaporated, it’s just now a question of how to fulfill the demand – safely. While we need to mitigate risk, we also need to support the leasing process.

How can our leasing, marketing, and training teams adopt?

It’s interesting to watch how grocery stores are adapting to how they are handling health and safety in-store and making life easier for customers to take advantage of online shopping and parking lot pickup.

We already have food order apps and online delivery services like UberEats and Delivery Dudes. They make home delivery possible for restaurants that don’t have their delivery services.

These food apps have demonstrated the trick is to find a sustainable and viable model that works for everyone.

Motivation to think outside the box

I wouldn’t use the word “opportunity” to describe what apartment leasing and marketing teams are facing, but we certainly do have the motivation to think outside the box and adapt to change.

From an evolutionary perspective, it isn’t the largest or most influential that necessarily survive, but those most able to adapt.

  • Leasing Teams are working from home answering calls & following up with prospects.
  • Leasing Teams are social distancing in the office to tour prospects in our apartments. Apartment tours are being provided using apps, not in person. They are using virtual leasing techniques. There are techniques!
  • Marketers are advertising “View our Apartments on Facetime or Skype” on their websites, Google, and social media.
  • Leasing Teams are making videos of their vacant focus apartments and adding them to their websites.
  • The follow-up effort is being completed using a virtual tour or video. While they’ve already seen the apartment in person, they can continue exploring online with a complete walk-through and even share with family and friends. We all know it’s reasonable to tour an apartment two times.
  • Stacking map are being created that lets prospects explore your community by each floor, selecting between floor plates to view available apartments. Example: https://centraltower.ca/floorplans/
  • 3D artists can take professional photos of your vacant apartments and stage them with graphic furniture, decor, and other elements to bring the rooms to life. The process is also relatively short – about one week. https://com/renderator-case-studies/ 
  • Have professional photos of your community? Great! But don’t let them gather dust on Google or your website. Leverage their marketing power across hyper-visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Trainers are using this time to provide additional online leasing training to those not working in community offices.

Stay in touch and learn demand by apartment type.

Are We Renting Apartments Today?

Apartment marketing

Apartment marketing

Download Google search demand graphics for the past 30 and 7 days by state. Are People Leasing Apartments Today

Note: This PDF was purposely left in black and white for small download size. Nothing fancy here 🙂

I am, of course, writing this from home.

Despite the fact the apartment industry is heavily invested in the traditional model of having people work in a conventional leasing center your residents and prospects employers have restructured to support mass work from home. 

In most cases, apartment demand hasn’t evaporated, it’s just now a question of how to fulfill the demand – safely. While we need to mitigate risk, we also need to support the leasing process.

One unexpected outcome of the coronavirus crisis could be heightened demand for bigger apartments, said Adam Ducker, Senior Managing Director, RCLCO. That three-bedroom unit might look pretty good to a family that’s been holed up in a two-bedroom for the duration.

RENTCafé surveyed more than 6,000 renters March 18-20 Found Here and found that most (56%) plan to move as soon as they find an apartment; only 17% said they would stay put.

How can our leasing, marketing, and training teams adopt?

It’s interesting to watch how grocery stores are adapting to how they are handling health and safety in-store and making life easier for customers to take advantage of online shopping and parking lot pickup.

We already have food order apps and online delivery services like UberEats and Delivery Dudes. They make home delivery possible for restaurants that don’t have their delivery services.

These food apps have demonstrated the trick is to find a sustainable and viable model that works for everyone.

Motivation to think outside the box

I wouldn’t use the word “opportunity” to describe what apartment leasing and marketing teams are facing, but we certainly do have the motivation to think outside the box and adapt to change.

From an evolutionary perspective, it isn’t the largest or most influential that necessarily survive, but those most able to adapt.

  • Leasing Teams are working from home answering calls & following up with prospects.
  • Leasing Teams are social distancing in the office to tour prospects in our apartments. Apartment tours are being provided using apps, not in person. They are using virtual leasing techniques. There are techniques!
  • Marketers are advertising “View our Apartments on Facetime or Skype” on their websites, Google, and social media.
  • Leasing Teams are making videos of their vacant focus apartments and adding them to their websites.
  • The follow-up effort is being completed using a virtual tour or video. While they’ve already seen the apartment in person, they can continue exploring online with a complete walk-through and even share with family and friends. We all know it’s reasonable to tour an apartment two times.
  • Stacking map are being created that lets prospects explore your community by each floor, selecting between floor plates to view available apartments. Example: https://centraltower.ca/floorplans/
  • 3D artists can take professional photos of your vacant apartments and stage them with graphic furniture, decor, and other elements to bring the rooms to life. The process is also relatively short – about one week. https://com/renderator-case-studies/ 
  • Have professional photos of your community? Great! But don’t let them gather dust on Google or your website. Leverage their marketing power across hyper-visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Trainers are using this time to provide additional online leasing training to those not working in community offices.

Stay in touch and learn demand by apartment type.

Google and Yelp Reviews

Apartment MarketingWe wanted to let you know that Google and Yelp Temporarily Removed Several Features Due to COVID-19

Google and Yelp are temporarily removing some features from Google My Business as a result of limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation.

FROM GOOGLE “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.”

For the time being, these features will be temporarily limited or removed.

Reviews & Q&A

Google My Business will not be publishing any new reviews, review replies, or new Q&A until further notice. Existing reviews, review replies, and Q&A will still be visible.

Presumably, any newly submitted reviews, replies, and questions will eventually be published when Google has the resources to do so.

We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, customers, and associates very seriously. Like you, we’re closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Google and Yelp Reviews

Apartment MarketingWe wanted to let you know that Google and Yelp Temporarily Removed Several Features Due to COVID-19

Google and Yelp are temporarily removing some features from Google My Business as a result of limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation.

FROM GOOGLE “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.”

For the time being, these features will be temporarily limited or removed.

Reviews & Q&A

Google My Business will not be publishing any new reviews, review replies, or new Q&A until further notice. Existing reviews, review replies, and Q&A will still be visible.

Presumably, any newly submitted reviews, replies, and questions will eventually be published when Google has the resources to do so.

We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, customers, and associates very seriously. Like you, we’re closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Data Shows Which Apartment Resident Activity Ideas Are Worth Doing

Your residents say they want to be part of a community, but which apartment resident activity ideas are really worth the time and effort?
 
The Multifamily Field Guide took a look at responses from 193,000 consumers who visited almost 320 property websites across the country and crunched the numbers to take the guesswork out of how to increase resident satisfaction, your renewal rates and how to attract new prospects to stay ahead of the competition.
 
A discussion post here on Multifamily Insiders generated some great ideas. Property managers and leasing specialists discussed hosting a community car wash, a yard sale, casino night, chili cook-off or character day at the pool for kids. The Field Guide offers solid data that provides insights into what other types of apartment resident activities you can host, as well. 
 
Seventeen percent of consumers said they enjoyed outdoor activities the most. Host outdoor events at your property where you give tenants more opportunities to hang out with their friends and show prospects what you offer by inviting them, too. You could host a neighborhood cook-out or a field day with games, races and prizes. 
 
Share photos of your outdoor events on social media, on your website, in digital advertising efforts and in lead nurture emails. Ensuring there is an outdoor component to your activity will likely make it more successful! Outdoor activities don’t necessarily have to be on site, either. How about a night out at the local baseball game? See if you c……

20 Ways for Apartments to Compete In Today’s Markets

Apartment Marketing

Apartment MarketingLooking for quick, easy-to-understand ways to get and keep a competitive edge— in leasing, marketing and in property management.

1. Change your leasing strategies and incentives weekly. Many markets are fast-moving, and if we keep doing the same thing over and over, we’ll get the same results over and over.
2. Add an Uber drop off and pick up location in your community. A sign works as a new amenity. These suggested locations are meant to make pickups easier and faster for riders and drivers. Make this area comfortable by adding a seating area. When selecting the location consider if possible protection from snow and rain, easy to charge a phone and easy to access without going past the security gates.
3. Has your resident profile changed over the past 4 years? With all the new construction odds are likely that community profiles have changed. Has this information been reviewed? Has your website and models altered to reflect this new profile?
4. Create “star” apartments every week. If you have sure apartment floorplans that are harder to lease, offer an additional incentive for renting those apartments.

5. Create urgency among leasing staff. In some companies, regional managers make random, surprise calls to properties to give them unique, short-term incentives. For example, they might say, “Just for today, every lease signed, the leasing consultant will receive an additional $50.”

6. Change your prices every day. Break every occupancy and leasing report down by floorplan, and set prices and concessions according to floorplan availability.

7. Upgrade all associates’ computer skills. Everyone at every property should be able to use not only the property management software but also basic laptops slow down the amount of work that can be accomplished. Daily, I hear leasing teams complaining about the age of their technology tools.

8. Learn how to tell the truth effectively. Don’t over inflate your community or its amenities in your marketing campaigns—it will come back to bite you. Instead, focus on what really is unique about your apartments and community.

9. Offer multiple methods of paying rent. Give residents as many options as you possibly can—direct deposit, e-pay, credit cards, cell phone apps, etc. This will increase the likelihood of their paying on time.

10. Offer telephone incentives. Increase telephone-to-appointment conversion by allowing leasing professionals to dangle a carrot: “If you are able to come in today, I’ll take $50 off the application fee.”

11. Treat EVERY employee like a professional by providing personalized business cards. Giving service team members those standardized business cards that require them to write in their name sends a wrong message: You aren’t significant enough (or won’t be here long enough) to warrant your own personalized cards. Instead of doing this, why not be confident in your new hires—and express that confidence by printing up customized business cards.

12. If you have happy residents, by all means, put them on display. Create a book of testimonials and put it on display in your leasing center; highlight them on a “wall of fame;” use them in your advertising, etc.

13. Practice the Internet “Golden Hour” rule. Do your best to reply to Internet leads within one hour of receiving them. Remember that people use the Internet, in part, to get information quickly. The text is an essential part of the leasing process today. Does your team have a cell phone to send and receive texts? Don’t forget to place all call on Call forward to the main line.

14. Incorporate instant rewards into your mystery shopping program. Identify 6 to 8 items on which shoppers should critique onsite people—and have the shopper give the staff member an instant reward if he or she successfully covers those 6-8 things. This is a great morale booster!

15. Mechanize every process. Keep the property running smoothly and make sure nothing is overlooked by creating a book of checklists, by position, for every procedure.

16. Support pet projects. Allow staff members to pursue aspects of property management that interest them. Give them new responsibilities or even create new positions for them. It is not only empowering for the employee but also beneficial for the property.

17. Rethink your renewal strategies. Does it make sense to offer better deals to new residents than to existing ones? Or to provide leasing professionals higher incentives for new leases than for renewals? Now more than ever, it’s critical that we close the back door by treating our existing residents like the valuable assets they are.

18. Set realistic goals. Goals that are too big to be realistically achieved are demotivating. Break huge “wishful thinking” goals into smaller benchmarks that can actually be reached over time.

19. Get rid of “survival language.” Stop talking about “hanging on by the skin of your teeth” or “making it through the year.” Put the past in the past, focus on what you’ve done right, and move forward.

20. Embrace diversity in all its forms. Learn to make the most of the different life experiences, skills, and interests every employee brings to the workplace.

20 Ways for Apartments to Compete In Today’s Markets

Apartment Marketing

Looking for quick, easy-to-understand ways to get and keep a competitive edge— in leasing, marketing and in property management.

1. Change your leasing strategies and incentives weekly. Many markets are fast-moving, and if we keep doing the same thing over and over, we’ll get the same results over and over.
2. Add an Uber drop off and pick up location in your community. A sign works as a new amenity. These suggested locations are meant to make pickups easier and faster for riders and drivers. Make this area comfortable by adding a seating area. When selecting the location consider if possible protection from snow and rain, easy to charge a phone and easy to access without going past the security gates.
3. Has your resident profile changed over the past 4 years? With all the new construction odds are likely that community profiles have changed. Has this information been reviewed? Has your website and models altered to reflect this new profile?
4. Create “star” apartments every week. If you have sure apartment floorplans that are harder to lease, offer an additional incentive for renting those apartments.

5. Create urgency among leasing staff. In some companies, regional managers make random, surprise calls to properties to give them unique, short-term incentives. For example, they might say, “Just for today, every lease signed, the leasing consultant will receive an additional $50.”

6. Change your prices every day. Break every occupancy and leasing report down by floorplan, and set prices and concessions according to floorplan availability.

7. Upgrade all associates’ computer skills. Everyone at every property should be able to use not only the property management software but also basic laptops slow down the amount of work that can be accomplished. Daily, I hear leasing teams complaining about the age of their technology tools.

8. Learn how to tell the truth effectively. Don’t over inflate your community or its amenities in your marketing campaigns—it will come back to bite you. Instead, focus on what really is unique about your apartments and community.

9. Offer multiple methods of paying rent. Give residents as many options as you possibly can—direct deposit, e-pay, credit cards, cell phone apps, etc. This will increase the likelihood of their paying on time.

10. Offer telephone incentives. Increase telephone-to-appointment conversion by allowing leasing professionals to dangle a carrot: “If you are able to come in today, I’ll take $50 off the application fee.”

11. Treat EVERY employee like a professional by providing personalized business cards. Giving service team members those standardized business cards that require them to write in their name sends a wrong message: You aren’t significant enough (or won’t be here long enough) to warrant your own personalized cards. Instead of doing this, why not be confident in your new hires—and express that confidence by printing up customized business cards.

12. If you have happy residents, by all means, put them on display. Create a book of testimonials and put it on display in your leasing center; highlight them on a “wall of fame;” use them in your advertising, etc.

13. Practice the Internet “Golden Hour” rule. Do your best to reply to Internet leads within one hour of receiving them. Remember that people use the Internet, in part, to get information quickly. The text is an essential part of the leasing process today. Does your team have a cell phone to send and receive texts? Don’t forget to place all call on Call forward to the main line.

14. Incorporate instant rewards into your mystery shopping program. Identify 6 to 8 items on which shoppers should critique onsite people—and have the shopper give the staff member an instant reward if he or she successfully covers those 6-8 things. This is a great morale booster!

15. Mechanize every process. Keep the property running smoothly and make sure nothing is overlooked by creating a book of checklists, by position, for every procedure.

16. Support pet projects. Allow staff members to pursue aspects of property management that interest them. Give them new responsibilities or even create new positions for them. It is not only empowering for the employee but also beneficial for the property.

17. Rethink your renewal strategies. Does it make sense to offer better deals to new residents than to existing ones? Or to provide leasing professionals higher incentives for new leases than for renewals? Now more than ever, it’s critical that we close the back door by treating our existing residents like the valuable assets they are.

18. Set realistic goals. Goals that are too big to be realistically achieved are demotivating. Break huge “wishful thinking” goals into smaller benchmarks that can actually be reached over time.

19. Get rid of “survival language.” Stop talking about “hanging on by the skin of your teeth” or “making it through the year.” Put the past in the past, focus on what you’ve done right, and move forward.

20. Embrace diversity in all its forms. Learn to make the most of the different life experiences, skills, and interests every employee brings to the workplace.

How To Market Your Apartments On A Small Budget Tip 5

Apartment Marketing

Apartment Marketing

Tip 5.

Location

In some markets prospects have drive times from work of more than more than 20+ miles to visit and live in a apartment community they trust. One of the reasons Reviews are so important is that prospects will inquire based on reviews and how far they have to drive to visit. Do you know your drive time?  Do you include a link or actual reviews in your elead responses?

Marketing Tip: Conquest major employers from areas outside your primary market based on zip code and city.

Low cost lead generation for apartments

Low cost lead generation for apartments

How To Market Your Apartments On A Small Budget Tip 5

Apartment Marketing

Apartment Marketing

Tip 5.

Location

In some markets prospects have drive times from work of more than more than 20+ miles to visit and live in a apartment community they trust. One of the reasons Reviews are so important is that prospects will inquire based on reviews and how far they have to drive to visit. Do you know your drive time?  Do you include a link or actual reviews in your elead responses?

Marketing Tip: Conquest major employers from areas outside your primary market based on zip code and city.

Low cost lead generation for apartments

Low cost lead generation for apartments

Apartment Marketing: Website Tool

Hotjar is one of the leading “heatmap analytics” solutions (others include Clicktale and Crazy Egg). Heatmaps are visual representations of how visitors interact with your site and help you understand what visitors are looking for, what they care about, and how well your site meets their expectations. Many marketers find this visual approach to website analytics is more intuitive and easier to understand than the complex charts and graphs reported by the more conventional website analytics tools.

Evolving beyond simply presenting heatmaps, Hotjar now includes a wide range of analytical tools, including individual visitor session recordings (allowing you to watch everything a visitor did while using your site, including mouse clicks/movements, page scrolling, and much more), tracking conversion funnels, and form performance analysis. Hotjar also includes easy-to-use tools to proactively solicit feedback from your site visitors via feedback forms, polls, and surveys.

Hotjar offers a free basic offering, with paid plans starting at $29/month for sites logging up to 10,000 daily pageviews. To get started, click here.