New Apartment Paid Search Advertising Strategies to Drive More Leads


Man standing before 2 doors showing two different life paths

COVID-19 has disrupted every facet of life, including the search and moving habits of potential apartment renters. As these habits have changed, different apartment advertising opportunities have presented themselves. New methods for targeting and advertising to renters have seen sudden increased success, and taking advantage of these methods moving forward will be crucial. Below we outline a few apartment advertising strategies to find sustainable paid search apartment leads.

More Out-of-Market Targeting

The major life changes people are experiencing related to the events of 2020 have caused major shifts in where people look to rent their next apartment. Apartment renters are no longer tied to commutes in the way they once were, have different work/school-from-home needs, and have desires to move out of or into major cities. This has led to opportunities to target areas outside the town or immediate surrounding towns of apartment communities. A few brief examples of new apartment paid search advertising strategies we executed:

  • Shifted from a focus on commuter targeting (proximity to trains, highways, etc.) to out-of-market targeting. Began targeting people relocating to rural Northern California from surrounding big cities (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland).
  • Set up an apartment paid search advertising campaign for a community in Phoenix, to target people relocating from California to Arizona. Saw increased volume in people looking to move from areas like Los Angeles and San Diego to Arizona, presenting an opportunity for efficient and qualified traffic.  
  • Steered away from employer targeting in most campaigns, specifically any targeting of tech companies and other industries no longer going into offices. Most notably on campaigns in Seattle and Minneapolis areas.

Out-of-market targeting has always been a successful tool in specific Multifamily cases such as big city apartment communities and student housing. As searching habits have changed, out-of- market targeting has seen more widespread success, helping communities in all markets with a variety of target audiences drive new apartment leads.

Changes to Apartment Ad Copy and Keyword Targeting

Shift from Amenity-Focused Advertising  

Renters have changed what they want out of an apartment community. Specifically, apartment amenities are not as important as they once were. This may be a short-lived trend as amenities begin to reopen, but there’s no question currently apartment searchers are concerned with things other than pools and fitness centers. This has allowed for different keyword targeting than what has historically been relevant. Apartment searchers are now often looking for apartments to work from home, meaning apartment ad copy calling out work-from-home capabilities such as internet options and spacious floor plans often resonates more than amenity-based targeting and ad copy.

Online Leasing and Touring Options

Online leasing and touring has become an essential part of the renter experience. In-person tours are not possible in some areas, and where they are possible, most potential renters still prefer an online option. Using these attractive selling points in paid search ads has led to increased click-through-rates and more efficient apartment ad spend. Oftentimes, calling out “Tour and Lease Online” in headlines has led to some of our most consistent and strongest performing ads.

More Display Advertising

While apartment paid search advertising results have remained strong and often improved through innovative changes outlined above, display advertising through the Google Display Network has seen improved performance as well. Remarketing to renters recently on your website through the Google Display Network is a great way to make sure you get the most value possible out of each apartment website visitor. In many cases, these website visitors are paid for in some way, whether they come through an apartment social post, organic listing, or paid ad. Remarketing to these clicks allows communities to get the multiple touchpoints often required to drive conversions, leading to high conversion rates and ROI. The Google Display Network allows for incredibly efficient apartment ad spend, often driving 50,000+ monthly impressions for just a few dollars a day. These image based ads are heavily branded and feature communities’ best selling points, such as current specials. Respage Apartment Paid Search Advertising includes a Google Display remarketing campaign with all paid search campaigns.

Adapting to changing renter wants and needs is critical for any apartment marketer, and this flexibility has only amplified itself as renter desires change more dramatically than ever. It is important to innovate and think outside the box to ensure sustainable and effective apartment advertising results. Respage prides itself on being on the cutting-edge of all apartment marketing tactics. Reach out if you would like more information on our Paid Search offerings or are interested in setting up an apartment paid search advertising campaign for your community!


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