Multifamily has long been a field that’s been slow to adopt new approaches to operations and marketing, but that’s changing.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new age of technology — including upgrades for residents who work from home, virtual tours, amenity reservation booking, and marketing automation — to help apartment communities adapt and keep the revenue flowing.
To keep up with the changing tech scene in Multifamily, it’s helpful to find an apartment marketing vendor or partner to show what’s possible given your budget and your community’s unique set of circumstances.
In this post, we will explain what an apartment community should be looking for when selecting an apartment marketing partner.
Choose a partner, not a vendor
How a company describes itself can say a lot. If it presents itself as a vendor, the message it’s sending is that it sees you as a customer and wants to sell you something, like a product or service. On the other hand, a company that wants to be a partner is more invested in your community’s success and will make sure you get a good return on your apartment marketing spend. A partner’s product or service should be only one component of a broader and deeper strategic relationship.
Make it Multifamily-specific
Many apartment marketing tools and technologies, like pay-per-click, reputation management, social media advertising, virtual assistants and online amenity reservations, are used in other fields. So, a Multifamily company could work with a partner who has clients across all industries, but one that caters to Multifamily would give a better ROI. A partner with years of experience in Multifamily helps identify opportunities for growth, keeps tabs on Multifamily trends, and brings expertise and insight that a more generalized partner cannot.
One size does not fit all
A sprawling suburban apartment community is quite different from a high-rise in a major city, and so the approach to marketing these properties should be different as well. A partner that’s able to customize an apartment marketing plan to a property’s specific needs would get a better result than one that takes essentially the same core marketing approach to every community. Ideally, the partner would meet with representatives from the apartment community and listen to their pain points and goals, then help them create a custom apartment marketing plan with measurable results.
Proprietary technology for the win
An apartment marketing partner that innovates and builds its own technology products will give a bigger bang for a community’s buck than one that’s licensed to sell technology created by an outside company. This is because a company that builds its own tech will know their products inside and out, and they’re more willing and able to come up with creative solutions to address a community’s particular needs. In fact, working closely with clients can help the partner tap into how to improve their technology products to make them more powerful and results-driven.
Many property managers probably know the panic that comes with a barrage of negative apartment reviews that are posted on Google or Facebook (or both) all at once. Whether it’s the work of one disgruntled person or a concerted effort involving many players, it’s a mess that needs to be cleaned up. A Multifamily marketing partner that’s customer-service oriented will take that frenzied phone call from a property manager, help them come up with appropriate messaging in response to the bad apartment reviews, and post the responses. This is another instance in which having Multifamily experience is beneficial — a partner that has been through similar crises with other communities will be able to draw upon that background and provide valuable assistance quickly.
Well-respected with a good reputation
It can be a challenge to cut through the noise and learn what a Multifamily marketing partner is all about, so you might need to do some research. Word-of-mouth recommendations are so much more powerful than advertising, so ask your employees about their experience with marketing partners at other apartment communities where they’ve worked. Reach out to other Multifamily professionals in your network. Check out the forums and blogs on Multifamily Insiders, Multi-Housing News, Multifamily Executive and other sites to find out which partners other apartment communities use. The partner you’re considering should also be able to connect you with a current client or two to help you decide if it’s the right fit.
Like so many things, the pandemic has made an impact on Multifamily. It’s nudged apartment communities adopt technology that can help them navigate operations now and in the future, but not all potential partners are created equally. The best options will be ones that live and breathe Multifamily, offer a customizable approach, know and build their own technology, have a great reputation, and offer excellent customer service. Respage checks all these boxes and focuses on creating extraordinary results together with our partners. Talk to us to learn how we can work together!