Summer time is right around the corner, which means new tenants are going to be apartment hunting. A survey from Rent.com found that most Americans move between May-September. During these months, the weather is nice, students are out of school, leases are ending, and the pressure is on!
Because of all this, multifamily marketers are in full force during this time of year. Just because there are more people hunting for apartments, it doesn’t mean your property will automatically fill up.
You need to figure out creative ways to stand out and attract new renters through social media, content marketing and even offline tactics.
In addition to our huge list of 40 apartment marketing ideas, we decided to put together a new list of six new tactics perfect for the summer!
You should already be using social media to scout potential renters, but you need to ramp up your efforts even more during the summer.
People are going to be extremely vocal about finding apartments on Twitter and Facebook. You’ll see Tweets like these every week.
ugh i hate apartment hunting in new york...anyone looking for a roomie?
— Skinny McToothpick (@SkinnyMcT) June 21, 2016
Looking for an apartment or house to rent is so stressful.
— Car Car (@carliaikman) June 21, 2016
Take advantage by engaging with these users and getting them in touch with a leasing agent. Finding these Tweets is as simple as running an advanced Twitter search.
Make sure you have your location set so that you only see Tweets from people nearby. Some other searches you can try are:
Once you see a Tweet that looks like a good opportunity, reply letting them know you might be able to help them. You can direct them to your website or ask them to send you a DM with their information.
Most apartment hunters will look at several apartments before making a decision. After a while, the process can become tiring and stressful, especially when you’re doing it in the summer heat.
In order to make your potential tenant’s life easier, why not setup a virtual or 3D apartment tour on your website? These tours allow apartment hunters to click and drag through a unit to see the layout and flow of the unit before visiting in person. It’s a big time saver.
Virtual tours are ideal because most apartment hunters start online. Being able to click around and see the layout of your apartments will give them a better picture of whether or not it’ll fit their needs.
Once they contact you to visit in person, they’re much more likely to sign a lease than someone that has never seen the apartment.
If you don’t want to go through the process of creating an interactive 3D tour, you can also record a high quality video walking through the apartment. Although it’s not as engaging, it gives potential renters a good idea of what the unit looks like.
As we mentioned earlier, college students and graduates make up a big chunk of summer apartment hunters. Often times, these are first time renters that will be relying on their parents to help them along the process.
Appealing to parents is one of the most overlooked apartment marketing ideas for summer, because most marketers focus solely on reaching students. So how do you market to parents?
First, realize that a parent’s priorities for an apartment are probably different than a student’s. They’ll be more concerned with the safety of the community than how many bars are nearby. Promote any security features or statistics to reassure them that your property and community are safe.
For instance, posting your neighborhood’s safety rating from a site like Walkscore.com can give your community some bonus points with parents.
To find parents that may be looking for an apartment for their kids, advertise in different meetup groups, blogs and forums.
You can also go directly to the source, and partner up with local colleges to market to students. Keep in mind this strategy is best for communities that cater to college students and young adults.
When you’re marketing to college students and recent graduates, it’s important to be authentic and in their element. That could mean throwing a beach party, or using guerilla tactics like creating a viral video aimed at specific colleges.
Some universities may be willing to partner up with you to offer off-campus housing to students. For instance, Loyola University in Chicago lists a couple of preferred properties near the campus on its website.
Another creative idea is to set up a brand ambassador program on campus. This is a popular tactic among companies that sell physical products, but it also translates well to multifamily marketing.
The Annex Battle Creek started a brand ambassador program to promote its student housing near Kellogg Community College. Students are hired to represent the brand on and around the campus.
Brand ambassadors are responsible for setting up events on campus, networking with students and essentially spreading the word about your properties. The roles are usually offered as internships or part time jobs for college students.
The reason these programs are effective is because they’re authentic and genuine. Instead of having a leasing agent “sell” to students, it becomes a peer to peer conversation. The ambassadors are able to speak to the specific needs of other college renters because they’re in the same boat.
This summer apartment marketing tactic is more of the traditional route, but it’s very effective. There are going to be a lot of parades, festivals and events during the summer. Most of the time they need sponsors, or allow companies to set up booths which gives you the perfect chance to reach new renters.
Start by making a list of upcoming events that your target audience is likely to attend. For instance, if you’re after young adults, music festivals or parades could be a good fit. Don’t try to be everywhere.
You need to be selective about which events you attend because it costs money for you to be there. The last thing you want is to pay for a booth at a festival that your ideal renter isn’t attending.
Once you’ve decided on the specific events you’ll be going to or sponsoring, use social media to promote it. Most of the events will have a hashtag you can use, so be sure to include it in all of your Tweets and Instagram posts.
— Woodfield Oxford Sq (@woodfieldoxford) June 14, 2016
During events, you’ll need to have some cool swag to giveaway. Instead of generic promotional gifts like key chains or pens that people won’t use, go with items that are helpful during the summer. For instance, water bottles, portable fans or inflatable beach balls are all great promotional products for summer festivals.
Since demand is so high during the summer, some property management companies don’t go out of their way to entice new renters. They just assume they’ll fill up vacant units because there are so many apartment hunters out there. However, that can backfire tremendously.
The summer is the perfect time to get aggressive with rental specials because people are looking for the best deals. Waive your move-in fee, offer no-security deposit or even raffle away a prize each month for new renters.
UDR provides a wide range of specials to compel new renters to take action sooner rather than later. These limited time deals create a sense of urgency and help close leases quicker.
If your leasing agents are always being told “we’ll think it over” and never hear back, try adding some tempting specials.
Get more leases this summer by implementing the six tactics above. The summer is the perfect opportunity to fill vacant units before the winter when less people are likely to be scheduling apartment tours.
Want to get more renters this summer? Contact us today to integrate social media and content marketing into your summer apartment marketing strategy.
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