I have worked with several apartment complexes over the past 10 years helping them increase occupancy via graphic ads, web design and social media marketing. Below I want to share a few marketing ideas that have proven to be affective techniques to increase occupancy and retain tenants. Although these tips are geared toward property managers, they
can work for any company attempting to increase sales.
1. Professional Graphics
Whether it be your brochure, your “move in special”, flyer for your community event, or your website… make sure your branded images are clean cut, attractive, and professional.
Using professional looking graphics for your advertising sets the tone for potential tenants and lets existing ones know management is making changes in a positive direction. Professional graphics convey that property management is professional, competent, and care about their apartment community.
Most people start looking for an apartment online and craigslist is a great free method to market your complex. It is important to include pictures, possibly include a graphic flyer ad to ensure your ad looks better than your competition. There are other free online classified ads but craiglist.org gets a great deal of traffic so start there.
3. Get a Website
Having a website is a huge perk. Of course using apartment search finders is a great way to market your complex but having a website where you can control the content is even more advantageous. You will benefit from using keywords and keyword phrases for search engine rankings. You can link any other online marketing channels back to your apartment website. You can capitalize on showcasing your community by including your specials, property images, floor plans, amenities and community events. Here you have an opportunity to share images of how happy your tenants are living in your apartment community. A website is your 24 hour salesperson; you can use it to collect user information for applications and it can even be used as a fast and easy way for tenants to pay rent. Any apartment complex can benefit from a professional, clean cut website, optimized for search engine rankings.
4. Keep your Tenants Happy
Word of mouth is always important therefore keeping your tenants happy is key to retaining occupancy as well as bringing in referrals. Now of course it is impossible to keep every tenant happy but office staff should always do their best to resolve issues in a timely manner and ensure they let tenants know they care about their concerns.
Offer referral discounts or bonuses for referrals. Every tenant has friends, family and coworkers. Circulate flyers with your referral incentives; everyone can use a little extra money or a discount on their next months rent. If your tenants are happy it should be easy to get them to bring in referrals.
5. Get Socially connected:
Create a Facebook business page and get social. Share event’s, specials, and communicate with your tenants where they
already spend a great deal of their free time. Posting a discount referral ad on social networks is a good way to let your tenants spread the love by sharing your online ad graphics so they can reap the benefit. Post images of your tenants at social events on the property and then tag them. The image will show up on their personal profile with a link back to the apartment Facebook page. Depending on a tenant’s number of friends on Facebook the number of chances for exposure is exponential. In the description of the image Include a link to a landing page on your website; this is your opportunity to lead users back to your company website.
6. Sponsor community events
One property manager I work with regularly is always coming up with fun and exciting ideas to promote community contentment. She recently talked with the entrepreneurs in her community and had a community bizarre where these entrepreneurs could showcase their products and services. The event was held in the property clubhouse where snacks and beverages were served. This was a good opportunity for those entrepreneurs to market their goods and services for free while at the same time bringing the community together for a little fun.
7. Network with Local businesses
Do some flyer exchanges with local businesses. This is great time to get your specials in front of people that may not normally see them. In turn you allow local businesses to display their ads and flyers in your office as well. It is a win win for both businesses. You may even find that the local businesses are interested in sponsoring some of your community events.
8. Check out your competition
Spend some time walking or driving through other comparable apartment complexes. Take note of what they are doing wrong and see if you can improve upon what they are doing right. Shop your competition by calling and pretending you are interested in their property. Find out what they do differently, and then offer your potential tenants something better and unique.
9. Offer Something Unique
Give your tenants and potential tenants a perk they can’t get anywhere else, or at least not with your competitors. Maybe you can offer free coffee during office hours, an on property business center, free Wi-Fi for tenants, community social nights, baby sitting services, flexible leases, or monthly drawings for free products and services from local
The opportunities for new and exciting ways to market your apartment complex are endless. It is best to come up with original ideas that set your apartments apart from the rest. Start with improving your brand with professional graphics and website, then move down the list from there.
I would love for you to share your marketing ideas and thoughts in the comments below.
© 2012, AriesGDIM / Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah. All rights reserved.