However, despite the many challenges facing property renters this winter, the 2020 holiday season still can present opportunities to savvy apartment marketing pros.
Apartment marketers may have more time to focus on resident satisfaction, as well as prospects who have already contacted the leasing center or taken a virtual tour. Many residents will be relocating to new cities and the suburbs, and others will be eager just to find a new place to spend the holiday season after a difficult year.
Digitally focused apartment marketing professionals and multifamily marketing agencies must tailor their marketing campaigns to beat competition to the relatively small amount of renters who need to move over the holidays.
In this post, we offer six apartment marketing tips you can use during the 2020 holidays and into the new year.
1. Update Property Websites and Landing Pages
When residents look for a new place to live, they’ll search through property websites. Property managers need to ensure their website is not only well-designed and professional, but also properly updated. If not, you can lose out on potential residents looking for real-time information.
Updating your website design to reflect the holiday season helps connect with your existing residents and shows future residents that your rentals are up to date. Additionally, you can make sure promotions, Facebook ads and Google ads direct prospects to a location-specific landing page.
To gain potential tenants’ trust, display star ratings and recent resident feedback prominently on apartment/community pages. Be transparent on your website about safety precautions, amenity policies, virtual tours and other changes related to COVID-19.
Remember that content on your landing pages, reviews and testimonials, apartment photos, videos and apartment descriptions all weigh into your website’s online visibility.
If your property management group or apartment community has a blog, this is a perfect time to write holiday-related posts. You could offer advice on navigating the holiday season during COVID-19, ways to stay healthy during the holidays, apartment-decorating ideas, or dealing with holiday stress. Your audience is always searching for timely content, so make it easy to find on your website.
2. Optimize Apartment Listings
Your multifamily community’s listings on Google My Business and other directories like Apartments.com and Trulia are just as important as your website. Presenting a positive, complete image on these platforms will draw in residents searching locally.
Depending on coronavirus regulations, people still will search for directions to apartment communities to visit friends and family. And prospects will call for coronavirus-related information. Make sure directions and updated contact information are displayed on Google Maps, Apple Maps and other listings.
If you have special holiday hours, communicating that to residents and prospects should top your apartment marketing list over the holidays. Plus, virtual tour availability should be prominently displayed across your apartment listings.
Property managers should harness the power of photos on Google My Business listings along with updating location details. Use good lighting and a wintery backdrop outside, and capture high-value amenities inside like gyms, smart package lockers and concierge services.
3. Encourage Resident Reviews
While attracting new residents over the holidays, don’t let your current residents go unnoticed.
The warmer your residents find their experience living in your communities, the more likely they are to post a review that could reach thousands of people in your area. Make sure to ask residents to post reviews, on your website and through email and text campaigns.
Review generation has myriad benefits for star ratings and search rankings. But they aren’t all positive. Property managers also need to respond to negative reviews quickly and compassionately over the holidays.
If you do have negative reviews on sites like Google, Facebook or Yelp, consider taking these steps:
- Ask long-standing tenants to post reviews and display them on your website.
- Address all negative comments, publicly, across each platform.
- Create review response templates for your teams to use across all locations.
In many ways, your staff is the key to a positive resident experience. But the holiday season brings extra strain and stress this year. That makes it invaluable to understand your team’s challenges and make them feel appreciated.
Asking for employee reviews, through internal surveys or sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, goes a long way toward employee satisfaction. You can learn the real-time pros and cons of working at your property management company. And, simply by asking your employees for feedback, you’re acknowledging the value they offer to your business.
4. Holiday Social Media Marketing
December presents an especially great opportunity for property marketers to post on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Social media is a quick, simple way to connect with your resident base over the holidays, by emphasizing a personal connection. Share holiday memories from your communities, employee holiday photos, family recipes, playlists and other posts.
It goes a long way to get your entire community in on holiday social media marketing. Encourage both your staff and your residents to share photos of holiday moments and tag your brand to boost engagement.
As always with social media, the key is to be specific with targeting features, like geographic location, marital status, income and age. Social media management tools can help you draft, approve, schedule and post this engaging content across your profiles.
Most of all, your social media marketing strategy needs extra empathy and compassion in 2020. The themes of goodwill, togetherness and gratitude should permeate your online presence through December.
5. Email and Text Message Marketing
Your apartment marketing strategy for the holidays should include location-specific email and text campaigns. These two marketing channels can help you stay top of mind with prospects and build a lasting relationship with residents.
Through feedback data, find out what residents and prospects need during the holidays and offer something of value by email or SMS text. You may want to share important health information your prospects want to know, like apartment-wide COVID-19 precautions for the winter.
Whether it’s a referral offer, safety update or review request, keep the message simple and don’t shy away from being a bit festive. And choose your times wisely: Send email and text campaigns on the days prospects and residents are most likely to schedule a tour or leave a review.
Moreover, the holidays are an opportunity to wish residents well and thank them for being part of your community in 2020. Personalized, location-specific marketing messages can earn that crucial extra bit of loyalty going into the new year.
6. Measure Your Holiday Campaigns
No matter the initiative, property managers should make certain their holiday marketing is measurable. Tracking the return on your investment this year can create an even more profitable campaign in (a hopefully more normal) 2021.
Survey current tenants to learn more about their likes, dislikes, needs and preferences; and use that feedback data to improve. When you understand residents’ needs, you know what prospective tenants want to see in your marketing and on your property listings.
These quick marketing tips are small but effective ways to enhance the resident experience – one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.
Moreover, the holidays are about goodwill and gratitude, and your brand should reflect that. By displaying your community’s sense of home online, you’ll give prospects the living experience they’re searching for and earn long-term loyalty from your residents.
Read more about apartment marketing and reputation management for multifamily properties:
- Tips for 2021: Listings & Local Search with Ben Fisher
- How to Add Health and Safety Attributes to Your Google My Business Listing
- Lessons from Covid-19: Property Management Listings in a Crisis
- 4 Keys to Employer Brand for Property Management Firms
- Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – November 2020
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist