The 5 most ineffective multifamily marketing strategies (and how to avoid them)


It’s 2023. AI can answer emails for us. Cars can drive themselves. There’s even a crime-fighting robot that patrols one Vegas apartment complex. Yet, despite technological advances, many multifamily properties are still using outdated marketing tactics that belong in 2013. 

We’ve been in the biz for 20+ years and have the industry-specific marketing chops to know what works and what doesn’t. So sit back and relax as we review five multifamily marketing strategies that are definitely a huge waste of time and money—and what you should do instead.

1. Bribing residents to leave positive reviews

There’s just so much to unpack here…

It doesn’t matter if it’s a chance to win an iPad, or a cash bribe you stealthily slide across the counter while holding a finger to your lips—you should never incentivize a Google review. Not only is this cringe-worthy, but it’s also against Google’s rules and could cause reviews to be removed.

What to do instead: Ask residents to leave honest reviews.

While Google prohibits merchants from incentivizing reviews (such as giving discounts or free goods in exchange for a review), it does allow you to simply ask for reviews. 

Many multifamily marketers are scared that by asking for reviews, they’ll get bombarded with bad ones. But we’ve found that’s not the case. It’s the tenant with a rare negative experience that leaves a bad review, while those who are happy with your property are unlikely to say so unless you ask! There are many ways to build up good, honest Google reviews, such as adding a review link to emails or texting it to residents.

And if you do get a dreaded bad review, make use of reputation management services to ensure it doesn’t ruin your business prospects.

2. Non-existent social media presence

^ Your prospects when they visit your Instagram that hasn’t been updated in months.

Before prospects ever step foot on your property, they’re Insta-stalking you. So if your socials look like a ghost town, it’s time to get a strategy and consistent posting plan in place.

In 2023 social media is about more than an aesthetic pic or a viral trend. Customers prioritize transparency. In fact, 86% of consumers have said they are likely to take their business to a competitor if a company doesn’t have a transparent social media presence. 

What to do instead: If your team is too busy, outsource your social media management.

If your community isn’t active on social media by now, not only are you missing out on a ton of potential prospects, you’re also falling way behind your competition. If your team is too busy to manage your community’s social media, Respage can help. The Respage Social Management dashboard is one of the only social media platforms built specifically for multifamily, so you can rest assured that your socials will be up-to-date and effective at attracting new tenants.

3. Spammy promo emails with zero personalization

Nothing says you care quite like “greetings” at the start of a cookie-cutter message that went out to 10,000 other “valued customers.”

Not sure which is worse: the lack of personalization or the blatant “This is an auto-generated email. Please do not reply” at the bottom. Hey, at least they’re honest?

What to do instead: Personalize your emails.

There’s nothing wrong with automation; it’s how you scale a business! But prospects want to feel like you see them as individuals rather than a conglomerate of potential money-spenders. Take the extra time to use email marketing software that can import prospects’ names so you can at least personalize the message with a first name in the greeting.

Even better, use AI leasing that automatically personalizes follow-ups with prospects.

Much better. A follow-up email that uses my name and much more human language (all from an AI leasing assistant!).

4. Cheesy marketing copy

What to do instead: Get specific.

Cheesy copy is inauthentic copy. And it usually sounds inauthentic because it’s filled with buzzwords (e.g., “vibrant surroundings” or “perfect combo of class and style”). You can certainly use those words—but back them up with specifics. Tell your readers about the family-owned restaurant next door that serves up sizzling hot fajitas at lunchtime or the floor-to-ceiling windows in every unit that grant unparalleled views of the city skyline.

5. Running social media ads without location targeting

We can confirm that we absolutely use location targeting. 

Serving Facebook ads for your Texas-based property to someone who lives in Ohio (and has no interest in moving to Texas) is like giving a tour to someone who doesn’t meet the 3X rent requirement—they might get their hopes up, but let’s be real, it’s never gonna happen.

What to do instead: Use geographic ad targeting.

When running social ads, be sure to select geographic targeting to ensure ads get served to people in your area. That way, you don’t waste ad spend on someone who’s never going to sign. But it gets even better: For some platforms, such as Facebook, you can get as specific as targeting users who’ve recently moved to your area (and might be looking for an apartment!).

Ready to level up your multifamily marketing?

Now, we know you would never use these ineffective multifamily marketing strategies—but we hope you got a good laugh! As you plan for the next quarter, learn more about optimizing your lead response and nurturing with an AI leasing assistant, or check out how to improve your online reputation with Review Booster. Your staff and residents will thank you (plus, you’ll never end up on this list)!


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