apartment-rental-trendsImagine that you just waved goodbye to the last contractor as the property-wide upgrades are finally complete. The garden is perfectly manicured, interior walls sport the latest fall colors, and your residents can enjoy lightning-fast Wi-Fi at the pool.

Then, you remember the new multifamily complex down the street that is pre-leasing apartments and is already at 82% occupancy. The property offers extensive parking facilities, valet trash pickup with recycling services, over-the-top tech amenities, and complimentary transportation to and from the local university – and a marketing budget that makes yours look like small change in comparison.

How do you compete with that?

There’s no reason you can’t compete effectively with the “Big Guys” in the neighborhood. Every property has unique marketing challenges. You just need a strategy to get your name out in front of the right people. Here are five strategies to create interest and drive traffic to your communities online.

#1 Be on Social Media Channels

If you’re late to the Twitterverse and you want to do a face palm when people talk about Facebook and Snapchat, don’t despair. Building an online presence isn’t as intimidating as you might think.

People are probably already talking about you on the internet. So rather than be scared of it, take advantage of the buzz – even if it’s just small talk right now. Find out which social media channel is the most popular in your area among renters and start listening. When you’re comfortable enough, start your posting strategy. Respond politely to reviews, post mentions of your vacancies when appropriate, share relevant blog articles, etc. Rule of thumb: Be present, be engaged, and be professional.

Property Manager’s Guide to Social Renting

#2 Polish Your Website Immediately

The majority of renters search online. Make sure apartment seekers can find you in search results as well as on third-party listing websites (like apartments.com, move.com, zillow.com, etc.) and that your website provides basic information:

  • address
  • contact information
  • price tiers
  • floor plans
  • amenities
  • availability
  • photos

Showcase your upgrades with videos and brand-new photos to bring your properties to life. Renters want to be able to see themselves living in your property.

How to Stand Out from the Crowd with your Property Management Website

#3 Get Noticed with Local Business Listings

It’s not hard to capture attention online if your strategy includes building comprehensive business listing pages. Google My Business makes it easy for prospects to evaluate your services and your community – if you do it right. Make sure online info is 100% accurate and well-written (no grammar or spelling mistakes). The key to success is getting it correct the first time, use the tutorials, and make certain you initiate the mail service to attract maximum attention. Another consideration, if you have the budget, is to hire experts to focus on optimizing your website for local SEO to make sure you are found among the competitor websites in Google search.

How to Optimize Your Property Management Website for Local Search

#4 Track Your Success

Building a tracking plan for marketing sources is critical. You must know how each platform performs and make appropriate corrections to get the highest return on resource investment. If a platform isn’t performing well, it could be your content or it might be that you’re targeting the wrong audience. Knowing the numbers helps you fine tune your strategy.

#5 Analyze, Evaluate, Scrutinize

Google Analytics gives you a snapshot of how people interact with your website. If you know how long visitors stay on your website and where they come from, you can make effective marketing adjustments. By building an analytics tool chest and tracking marketing sources, you can improve website performance, and capture more leads.

Put out property banners, contact the local paper to ask for a mention, and post ads on third-party listing sites with new photography. Then, do what your competition is already doing – build an online presence that drives traffic to your community and the beautiful upgrades will sell themselves.