Even before COVID-19, the U.S. had a shortage of affordable housing. Now, the pandemic and the subsequent economic slowdown and layoffs have intensified the problem.
Consider this: The results of a recent Fannie Mae survey showed that 40 percent of renters across the country were heavily impacted financially by the pandemic.
More renters are searching for affordable housing, which is good news for apartment communities that offer it. But when it comes to apartment marketing for affordable housing, there are some nuances to take into consideration.
For example, prospective residents of affordable housing communities are less likely to own or have access to a desktop or laptop computer, so having your apartment website optimized for mobile is crucial.
In this post, we will go over four marketing tips that affordable housing communities can use to attract and retain their target residents.
Keep Mobile First in Mind
It’s key to meet apartment prospects where they are, which is on their phones.
According to the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of Americans are smartphone-dependent, meaning they have limited options for online access except for a cell phone. In addition, 44 percent have used a smartphone to look up real estate listings or other information about a place to live.
So, it’s smart for affordable living communities to have a mobile-responsive apartment website. In addition to the usability benefits, mobile-first apartment marketing makes social media advertising and integration easier, and it also allows for geo-targeted apartment ad campaigns.
Tell Your Story
Multifamily is competitive, and so it’s important to take control of your own narrative. This is especially true if your community is new. Make sure your apartment’s online reputation on review sites like Google, Yelp, and Apartments.com is solid. Respond in a timely manner to all reviews, taking particular care when replying to negative apartment reviews to demonstrate empathy.
Another way to tell your story is to create blog content highlighting the best parts of your community and describing the lifestyle that your prospective affordable housing residents could expect.
For example, rather than using the terms “luxury” or “high-end,” showcase the other ways your community can bring value. This brings us to the next point.
Focus on Features that Bring Value
Associating your affordable housing community with lower-income demographics might make it a challenge to promote it successfully to people of any income level. Regardless of income, renters tend to base their living decisions at least somewhat on the perceived prestige of a community.
When promoting your community on your website and in apartment paid advertising or social media campaigns, focus on features that bring value, like the pool, or the location, or the outstanding customer service, or the friendly, neighborly vibe and strong community that residents could expect to experience.
People are craving connection right now, so another way to add value without making a big investment is to create fun social apartment community opportunities (distanced, of course) like informal wine tastings and fitness-focused events like outdoor yoga.
Ask Residents What They Think
Resident satisfaction is key to a successful community. If your residents feel seen and heard, they’re more likely to renew their lease and less likely to leave a bad apartment review.
Taking the pulse of your community periodically through resident surveys can give you vital resident feedback on how they view your community. You can ask about your apartments, the community culture, the quality of your maintenance team, your customer service, and management.
Listening to and acting on your residents’ feedback can help you generate more leases, elevate your apartment reputation, assess your team’s performance, and improve resident retention.
Successfully marketing an affordable living apartment community requires a bit of a different approach compared to a conventional community. Be straightforward about what residents can expect and don’t present your community as something it’s not. By providing a great place to live, excellent customer service, and a strong neighborly feel, your affordable housing community will thrive.
If you could use assistance with affordable housing marketing solutions, Respage can help! Reach out to learn how we can help you maximize results and minimize spend.