If you need prospects yesterday, one of the best resources to solve this problem is Google Ads, which can help you appear in the search results when people are searching for apartments near you.
Because most of us are logged into a Google product and our activity is tracked, the platform can also target people who are shopping for apartments on ILSs and property websites and can place your ads on YouTube, third party sites, apps, and even in Google Maps. This helps you quickly generate awareness and leads for your community. And unlike other advertising options you can reduce or eliminate Google Ads spending when you have met your leasing objectives.*
How much to budget for Google Ads
The short answer is, it depends. We run campaigns with small $300 budgets, to $24,000 a month.** That said, while there are many exceptions, most new campaigns we’ve launched this year started with budgets between $1,500-$3,000 per month.
That’s still a huge range.
So how do we determine what budget is right for your apartment community? Sometimes our clients have a set budget and simply ask us to make the most of it. But for others who are interested in leasing up as quickly as possible, we use data to lay out our strategy with a sensible, data-driven budget in mind.
We know from experience that a bigger budget doesn’t always generate better results. In fact, anyone selling ads is probably getting paid more if they convince you to spend a large budget. We’ve inherited many campaigns where the budget is way too high, i.e. there simply wasn’t enough volume of searches for apartments in that market to spend the budget wisely. That’s why it’s so important to use data to develop a budget.
How we use data to create a custom ad strategy
We use Google tools to understand how frequently people are searching for apartments in your city or town, as well as search frequency for more generic search terms like apartments for rent, or 1 bedroom apartments near me. Based on your location and search frequency, Google can predict the estimated cost per click. Using this data we build three different spending level recommendations and explain how we can increase reach and results with additional spending.
Of course there is nothing better than collaborating with the local team, so before we launch a campaign, we try to speak with the onsite team to make sure we are targeting the right nearby towns and neighborhoods.
Sometimes our recommendations are eye popping, especially in markets where there is a lot of new construction or oversupply of new apartments, e.g. Dallas or Austin. In these cases we manage budgets of just a few hundred dollars—not big enough to launch a successful search campaign, but thanks to advances in AI, display and Performance Max campaigns provide an alternative for communities with smaller budgets. In fact, in many cases Performance Max campaigns outperform traditional search campaigns.
So how much should you pay? Contact us and we’ll send a complimentary Google Ads strategy and let you know.
*Assuming you don’t sign a long term contract. Don’t sign 6 or 12 month contracts for Google Ads!
**Yes, really. It is a lease up of an A+ community in a challenging market. It was their idea to spend this much, not ours, but they do generate most of their leasing from their website.
From the desk of Ellen Thompson, Co-founder and CEO of Respage >> Since its founding, Respage has helped over 10,000 communities attract, engage, and retain residents. Its platform assists properties in generating leads, automating leasing, and managing reputation and social media. Thompson is also the Founder of Results Repeat, a digital marketing agency that has helped hundreds of companies create a digital presence and use SEO and paid marketing to generate more business online.