7 Apartment Marketing Mistakes That Are Losing You Leads

Alex Middel
November 2, 2016

What if we told you there’s a chance you’re losing new leads every day? Not because your website is down, or your apartments aren’t as nice as your competitors. It’s because you’re making crucial apartment marketing mistakes that are causing prospects to overlook you.

If you’re making any of these seven apartment marketing mistakes, fix them as soon as possible to avoid missing out on more renters.

 7 Apartment Marketing Mistakes That Are Losing You Leads

1. Relying on Old Tactics

It’s not 2001 anymore. You don’t have to rely on newspaper ads, flyers and direct mail to rent your apartments. While all those techniques can still be helpful, if you don’t have an online strategy you’re reducing your number of potential renters considerably.

With all the apartment listing sites, social media and other online platforms available, you need to take advantage. Making the transition is simple.

Put some of your marketing budget towards social media advertising, search engine marketing or content development. Not only can you potentially generate a better ROI, but you’re also reaching a wider audience.

You need to be where consumers’ attention is, and right now that’s online through search and social media.

2. Not Investing in Content Marketing

Continuing from mistake #1, a significant number of multifamily communities have yet to start investing in content marketing. Despite the fact that businesses who blog receive up to 67% more leads than those who don't, it’s still put on the backburner for some apartment marketers.

Content marketing is no longer just a buzzword used by agencies. It’s a part of the renting process. When apartment hunters start to think about moving, they do research on neighborhoods, renting tips and tons of other information outside of just looking for apartments.

Content marketing is the key to reaching those potential renters early on in the funnel, rather than waiting until they’ve looked at five different communities. Setting up a blog is the easiest way to get started with content marketing. You can take a look at these 7 types of blog posts that attract apartment hunters to help get those creative juices going. 

3. Not Getting on Enough Apartment Listing Sites

There are dozens of high-quality apartment listing sites your community can be listed on. However, a lot of apartment marketers limit themselves to about a handful of the biggest ones. That’s a big mistake.

Like we mentioned in our article on how to outrank apartment listing sites, these directories dominate a lot of search terms you’re probably targeting. And while the big boys like Trulia and Apartments.com show up a lot, there are tons of smaller sites that rank for various terms too.

For instance, this example has more than five different apartment listing sites:

 apartment listing sites

In order to cover as much ground as you can, get listed on as many relevant apartment listing sites as possible. Some apartment marketing systems provide options to help automate the process a bit.

Don’t get lazy with your listings. Fill out your profiles as much as possible, optimize them to rank well and include great copy to convince renters to choose you over the competition.

4. Not Promoting Your Website

Even if some apartment communities haven’t gotten too deep into online marketing, most at least have a website. But the problem is they stop there. After getting the website up there’s no strategy in place to get traffic.

The same way you need to market your property to get people in the door, you need to market your website to get eyes on it. Plus, the more you promote your site the more backlinks you eventually get, which will help improve your SEO efforts.

Here are some easy ways to promote your site:

  • Guest blog on other sites.
  • Include your URL on all your printed materials.
  • Get listed on your city’s chamber of commerce website.
  • Ask other local businesses to mention your website on their site, and return the favor.
  • Do a press release for any news-worthy events your company is involved with.

There are plenty of other tactics you can use to promote your site. It’s easiest to start with your immediate network, then start expanding to other sources through networking and outreach.

5. Your Pictures Aren’t Captivating

A picture really is worth a thousand words. In fact, 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.

 visual marketing statistics

Photographs are particularly important for apartment marketers because your website is typically the first place people will see what your community looks like. If they don’t like what they see, they’ll quickly move on to a different community.

Follow some of these best practices to improve the quality of your photos:

  • For pictures of your apartments, let as much natural light in as possible.
  • Stage apartments for photos instead of using empty units.
  • Use neutral colors with hints of bolder colors.
  • If you’re taking pictures of the outside of your community, make sure there aren’t a bunch of cars or other distracting objects in your photos.

This photo from The Madison at Racine is an excellent example of these tips put in action.

 Madison Racine Apartment Pic

6. You’re Not Selling the Sizzle

Are you using the power of emotional marketing on your website? If not, there’s a strong chance potential renters don’t feel connected to your message.

Many of the world's most successful companies find ways to harness the power of emotion in their marketing to build stronger brand loyalty, inspire us to make a purchase, and even influence feelings we associate with a brand or company, all while showing off their product/service in doing so.

There's a good chance you've seen emotional marketing in commercials from companies like Nike, RedBull, GoPro, and Coca-Cola to name a few.

Take this feel-good, inspirational video from Google, for example:


Or this one from Apple that cleverly positions their new Apple Watch as a product that can help you be "a better you":


Notice how everything from the products placement to the background music all play a role in the emotional impact they're going for in their marketing.

Essentially, emotional marketing is about appealing to the needs and wants of your prospect. In other words, your website shouldn’t just list what your community offers, it should describe how the different features are beneficial for renters.

For instance, instead of just stating you’re close to a grocery store, speak to why someone would want to live near a grocery store like “We’re within walking distance of Whole Foods, so you don’t have to waste time driving 20 minutes each way just to grab a gallon of milk.”

Here’s an excellent example of emotional marketing from Southwood Properties:

 Southwood Properties Emotional Marketing

7. You’re Trying to Appeal to Everyone

There’s an old saying in marketing that says when you’re trying to market to everyone, you end up reaching no one. The meaning behind this is when you’re trying to appeal to everyone, your marketing message is so broad that it doesn’t really appeal to any particular group of consumers.

In order to use emotional marketing, you have to know who your target audience is. Start by creating your buyer persona. Here’s a great guide to get started.

 buyer persona

Once you know who your ideal renter is, tailor your website and content towards them.

Take a look at the copy used on The Belden-Stratford Landmark Apartments website.

“Welcome to luxury: at The Belden Stratford apartments, we're dedicated to your comfort. Our premium amenities give you the grand lifestyle you desire. We provide you with convenient valet parking and two on-site restaurants, Mon Ami Gabi and Intro, to give you the elegance you crave. Our choice apartments offer the luxurious feel of urban living. Come and relish our superior location.”

It’s clear they’re targeting high-income earners that want luxury style living. By tailoring their messaging to match, they’re more likely to get qualified leads than if they used more broad language like “We have excellent amenities that you’ll love coming home to every day.”

The goal is not to exclude as many people as possible. It’s to increase the quality of your leads by speaking directly to your ideal renter.

Stop Losing Leads!

How many of these apartment marketing mistakes are you making? While they may have caused you to some leads in the past, the good thing is it’s not too late to fix things. If you need help turning your website into a lead converting machine, get in touch with us - we'd love to chat!

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