As the old saying goes, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” When it comes to digital marketing campaigns for apartments, this is especially true. Key performance indicators can provide Multifamily marketing teams with valuable data, so it’s important to know what to track and why.
Understanding your apartment marketing goals and knowing whether performance in certain areas is something to be celebrated, corrected, or accepted as an unchangeable reality will help you focus your efforts and make your marketing campaigns more effective.
In this post, we’ll discuss five steps you can take to get started with establishing your apartment marketing goals, measuring them, and why doing so matters. We’ll also look at some strategies for improving your conversion rate — when website visitors take a desired action and become a qualified lead.
Step 1: Decide what metrics to monitor
One of the most important metrics to track is lead-to-lease conversions. This can help you determine how much it costs you to gain a conversion, also known as the cost-per-acquisition. From there, you can drill down to review specific types of conversions, such as mobile and social media traffic conversions.
Other important KPIs for apartment marketing teams include:
- Lead-to-tour conversions
- Website traffic
- Cost per application
- New leads
Step 2: Measure your baselines and set benchmarks
Before implementing a marketing strategy, it’s smart to weigh the impact. For example, you might want to know the impact of adding a virtual tour option to your website. The first action you’ll want to take is to establish a baseline.
A baseline is the starting point that you can use to set benchmarks and measure progress. Baselines give you information about historical averages, highs, and lows over a period of time. They can also help you predict the outcome of a new marketing strategy and the potential for traffic growth. That data can be used to set best practice benchmarks for your apartment community.
So, analyzing website engagement metrics can give marketers the insight needed to decide whether to go forward with virtual tours.
Step 3: Monitor and measure your marketing campaign results
The above two steps only deliver value if you monitor and measure performance and make adjustments as needed. Here are some examples of data that should be checked on a weekly basis:
- Mobile traffic
- Landing page conversion rates
Data points like these should be tracked on a monthly and quarterly basis:
- Present and historical occupancy trends
- Lead-to-lease ratios
- Return on ad spend
Step 4: Analyze
Now, with steps 1-3 in place, you can easily see which properties and marketing channels are meeting or failing to meet best practice benchmarks. A more in-depth analysis can be focused in the highest-impact areas.
For example, does one property consistently have a lower than average lead-to-lease conversion rate? Does a certain marketing channel consistently produce better cost per lead results? Knowing what’s working and what’s not can help you identify issues before they start affecting your occupancy or your revenue.
Step 5: Update as needed
After you’ve completed steps 1-4, there will still be room for ongoing improvement. If you’ve easily exceeded your benchmarks, that might mean your team is performing exceptionally well or your apartment community offers more value than your competitors. Best practice targets that weren’t met might mean you’re losing revenue and that the team needs more training.
How to improve your online conversions
Strengthen your calls to action.
Take a look at the CTAs on your website. Are you giving prospects reasons to take action as soon as possible? It’s common to see “Apply Now” as the main CTA on apartment sites, but not every visitor is at the stage where they’re ready to fill out an application. They might be in the consideration stage where they’re learning who you are as a community. So, creating a variety of CTAs across your website can help guide prospects along.
Here are some fresh CTAs to try out on your website:
- Watch a video tour of your potential apartment
- Subscribe to our mailing list for community updates
- Schedule a tour now
- Get up to $300 off your first month’s rent
- Take a virtual tour of our community
- Have a leasing specialist contact you
Show social proof.
Demonstrating social proof is another way to boost your conversions. Social proof is a concept in which people conform to the actions of the masses. The assumption is that because so many others are taking a certain action, it must be the correct choice.
You can show social proof on your website by highlighting renter testimonials and showcasing positive online reviews. These snippets of text can be added to select pages of your site, or you can compile them on a testimonial page.
Another way to promote social proof is through awards and recognitions from an authoritative third party. If your community has won a National Apartment Association Excellence Award, or if it’s been recognized for its green design and operational practices by, for example, Energy Star or LEED, you should include it on your site.
Always follow up.
Once you’ve captured a conversion from your apartment website, the process doesn’t end there. A prospect rarely completes the whole leasing process in one step, so it’s important to follow up and nudge them along until they reach the final step of signing the lease.
You can nurture leads manually by sending personalized emails to continue the prospect’s leasing process, or you can invest in an automated process, like ResMate, that will do the following up for you.
Offer another channel of communication.
Adding another way for prospects to contact you —such as a chatbot — can help to boost conversions. A chatbot is a simple way of engaging with prospects on your website. Visitors can type questions and get answers right away, which can shorten the lead-to-lease time.
Some chatbots can also schedule tours and send rental applications, further boosting your potential conversion rates.