Deep Dive Into Digital Marketing with Special Guest: Mike Whaling
We sat down with Peter Lohmann and Russell Lowery at The Owner Occupied podcast to discuss all things digital marketing. We get into successfully marketing a property, the use of social media, the power of branding, and the capabilities of automation software, such as RentPress.
Marketing a Property
When marketing a property, you want to follow customer behavior throughout the process of apartment shopping – what questions do they have, where are they searching, what steps do they want to take next, etc.
Where we live is a direct reflection of who we are, so it makes sense that apartment shoppers take time when making their decision. When looking at the storytelling component of marketing, think about selling a lifestyle and a story that helps “people buy a better version of themselves,” says Mike Whaling from 30 Lines.
However, this is just a piece of the puzzle. Shoppers will take multiple steps through a shopping journey before deciding the right place for them. The goal is to understand what that behavior looks like at each step and align your marketing tactics to be the best answer for them at that point in the process.
To reach a shopper where they’re at, you first have to create the initial awareness of your brand at the top of the funnel. Apartment shoppers are typically searching by location and price first. Renters most often start shopping with a search, so this is where you can use search engines – through both organic content (landing pages, blog posts, etc.) and ads – as an opportunity to get your property in front of a shopper.
A couple good examples of content to meet your shopper at the top of the funnel:
“Get To Know The Best Neighborhoods in Sacramento”
“Here’s 5 Reasons We Love Living in the Short North”
“The Ultimate Guide to Off-Campus Apartments at Florida State University”
Go from Initial Awareness to Trust
Once you’re in front of a potential renter you have to build trust and convince them your property is the best place for them.
This is where the look and feel of your website comes into play. You can use conversion tools such as pop-ups, tour schedulers, chatbots, review landing pages, etc. to give shoppers easy ways to contact the property, ask questions, and show interest.
After you build the relationship, make sure your team is following up with potential renters. There are lots of people looking to rent and with the volume of options today, shoppers are looking for someone to walk them to the door. As Mike says, “The name of the game of this industry is follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.”
“Our data shows that in the cases where you have 6 or more pieces of follow-up with any given lead, your closing rate in that leasing office is likely going to improve by 25%.”
Mike Whaling, CEO of 30 Lines
Use Social Media to Turn Residents into Advocates
With the rise of so many digital assets such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn, those of us in the multifamily industry are looking for ways to utilize these platforms.
Choosing your next home is an incredibly personal decision, and often, renters would rather connect with other renters than the property staff. We’ve seen the rise of loyalty programs and how they can benefit your brand. There are “a number of loyalty programs specifically built for residents of the multifamily communities that are fantastic platforms for turning residents into social media advocates for the property,” claims Mike.
Your property can utilize social media through your renters by asking residents to follow the property on social media, check in at a resident event, or post a photo using a hashtag specific to the property. This method is easier for your on-site team and more effective when looking at how renters would view your property. Potential renters would rather see the culture and lifestyle through the lenses of actual residents rather than curated content by your team.
The Power of Branding
The experience and the level of service you provide to your renters and clients are your brand. Consistent communication is critical, as well as identifying the promises you want to make and consistently executing those promises. In the multifamily industry, brand has traditionally been executed at the property level – but we absolutely see opportunities to take that brand to the regional or national level for greater awareness and impact.
“Brand is not logo, it’s not the monument sign, it’s not the brochure, Brand is [when] we make a promise that we’re going to deliver a certain level of experience and we consistently execute on that promise”
Mike Whaling, CEO of 30 Lines
Regardless of whether you’re marketing to property owners or potential renters, your brand will stick when you uphold a level of consistency in terms of experience and level of service.
Talking RentPress and Business Automation
In terms of running a successful business or property, finding ways to automate your workflow is essential.
Most of us in the multifamily industry have a property management system that we use to manage our properties. The team at 30 Lines developed the RentPress Apartment Marketing Platform for the multifamily industry to build the bridge between property management systems and the needs of marketing today.
Our software started as a plug-in for WordPress websites, serving as an e-commerce engine connecting floor plans, pricing, and availability to the most popular website platform in the world. Today, RentPress has become a full marketing machine for the multifamily industry. Your team can use RentPress to push your pricing and availability to Google Business Listings, capture leads from a CRM, run retargeting ads in sync with where that customer is at in their shopping journey, automate follow-ups through email marketing, and much more.
Thanks so much to Peter and Russell for the great conversation – we had a lot of fun talking property management and technology with them! Check out more of Owner Occupied wherever you get your podcasts.
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