As an apartment marketer, your priority is getting new renters in the door. We’ve given you a list of 40 apartment marketing ideas to jumpstart your efforts, but today we’re going to focus on a specific approach. Outreach marketing.
Outreach marketing is all about being proactive and going out to find new renters. There are definitely some inbound practices involved, but for the most part it’s less about building something and waiting for the renters to come to you, and more about actively seeking them.
The biggest benefit of outreach marketing is it typically allows you to get results quicker than “pull” tactics like blogging and SEO. Those tactics provide amazing long term value, but we realize that sometimes you need to fill up your vacant units ASAP and can’t afford to wait.
So let’s take a look at eight effective outreach marketing ideas for apartments.
Running paid ads on social media is easily one of the most effective and cost-efficient outreach marketing ideas for apartments. With social networks like Facebook and Instagram providing you with in-depth audience targeting, you can zero in on your ideal renter down to their location, interests, and demographics.
If you’re new to the world of social media advertising, Facebook Ads is the best place to start. Not only do you have the ability to reach millions of users, but you can get started with a very modest budget. Even as little as $10-20 a day. Take a look at these Facebook Ads examples to get a feel for what does and doesn’t work.
You can also give Twitter Advertising a try, but be mindful of your ad spend and conversions. Facebook Ads have historically performed better, particularly for multifamily marketing.
Do your tenants feel like they’re connected and a part of your community? If the answer is no, there’s a strong chance you’re not getting many new renters through referrals, which can be one of the best outreach marketing tactics for apartment communities.
Organize a monthly event for your tenants, and allow them to invite a plus one. Giving everyone a chance to mingle at your property builds loyalty and trust for your current tenants, and gives you the opportunity to get in front of new prospects.
Outreach apartment marketing doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to feel salesy, or forced. Just providing a fun atmosphere to casually interact with current and potential renters can go a long way.
Why silo your apartment marketing efforts to just your team? Getting to know other local businesses is a great way to get your brand out there and make people aware of your property.
Once other businesses get to know, like and trust you, they’ll become advocates for your apartments. Some examples of businesses you could reach out to are:
Think of businesses that come in contact with people transitioning from one place to another. For instance, a lot of people will start looking at gyms in new areas they’re thinking of moving to. Having a relationship with the owner or manager will put you in their mind if they get a lead from someone new to the neighborhood. Even leaving your business cards can be helpful.
You could start the process by giving gift baskets to all the local businesses in your area just to say hello. Then think of ways you can add value to them such as offering their customers or employees a rental special.
Organizations like BNI or the Chamber of Commerce are perfect for outreach marketing. Piggybacking off of the previous idea, these organizations make it less awkward to meet businesses in your area.
And best of all, the other members of the group are there specifically to network so there’s a good chance you’ll build valuable connections with decision makers.
BNI, in particular, is a great place to start because it’s all about referring new business to each other. Look for your local chapter and attend a meeting to see what it’s all about. If you think it’ll be helpful, you can join. Plus, you can be a part of multiple chapters.
One of the biggest advantages of BNI is each chapter only allows one member from any industry. So you’d be the only multifamily community in your group.
Outreach is all about building awareness for your property. Depending on how big of a city or town you’re in, there’s a strong likelihood that most people don’t know your apartments exist. You need to fix that.
Community yard sales can pull in traffic from people in nearby neighborhoods that would otherwise have no idea where you were. Plus, it’s another great way to improve resident retention by providing a useful amenity that not too many communities offer.
Make sure you have your leasing agents and some marketing materials present to give to people as they come to the yard sale.
Let’s get real for a second, a lot of apartment brochures aren’t great. They’re slapped together as an afterthought and don’t stand out. Skip the clipart and stock photos that have nothing to do with your property and make something that will actually get results.
Your brochures should represent what makes your community stand out, and be visually compelling enough to stop people from throwing it in the trash when they get home. Here are a few quick tips to help create better apartment brochures for outreach marketing:
Use templates: If you’re not a designer, don’t try to whip something up in Microsoft Word. Use predesigned templates that you can customize to fit your community. Two good resources are Canva and GraphicRiver. Canva is a free drag-and-drop tool that lets you put together a wide variety of marketing material. GraphicRiver is a marketplace to buy templates for brochures, flyers or other printed material. Here’s an example of a template from GraphicRiver:
Use Real Pictures: One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your printed materials is using stock images of apartments instead of your actual units. It shows a lack of pride in your property. Use real photos of your units, community and team to add a personal touch.
Use fun and creative copy: Stand out from the crowd by writing copy more creative than the generic “We have beautiful apartments…” pitches we’re all used to seeing. Think about what makes your property unique, and incorporate emotional marketing as well.
Add a CTA: If people are taking your brochures after doing an apartment tour, make sure you give them a reason to come back and sign the lease. Include a CTA like a limited time offer that expires within a couple weeks of them visiting.
Most multifamily marketers opt for the free option when listing their property on sites like Trulia and Apartments.com. But if you want to amplify your results and be more proactive, it might be worth upgrading to paid listings.
Some apartment listing sites offer upgrades that will feature your listings at the top of the search results to give you more exposure. Instead of waiting for people to find you on these sites, featured listings put you prominently at the top of the results.
Free is always nice, but don’t overlook the perks of using some of the paid services provided by apartment listing sites. If you have a little extra money in the budget, give it a shot.
Last but not least, decide who your target audience is for your outreach campaign and put your efforts towards where they’re most likely to be.
For instance, if you have a pet-friendly community, you could reach out to local animal shelters. If you’re looking for student renters, reach out to local colleges. If you provide off-base military housing, reach out to bases in your area to let them know.
There’s no shortage of places to reach out to. Combine any of these eight outreach marketing ideas with inbound tactics like SEO and social media marketing, and you’ll start getting new leases signed in no time!
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