A Better Way to Source Apartment Leasing Leads

August 24, 2011
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I have been thinking a lot about Curation lately, and how it will add value for the following and readership of your digital assets for those who master the task. Content Curation is much different than content aggregation. The barrage of information coming at us is overwhelming, and someone needs to filter and organize that, which validates a well executed Content Curation Model.

That said though, this article isn’t about Curation directly, it is about reinventing how we source leads in the apartment business.

The ILS (Internet Listing Service) model can be improved. This isn’t really a debate about what is broken or not, but a thought on what might work better. I published an article on Curation, on Jason Fall’s Social Media Explorer blog awhile back titled Is Curation the New Content Builder From that research I stumbled across a quote from Fred Wilson, a well-known venture capitalist and blogger who wrote a post that clarifies the changing landscape for publishers.

 “If I was starting The Village Voice today, I would not print anything. I would not hire a ton of writers. I would build a website and a mobile app (or two or three). I would hire a Publisher and a few salespeople. I would hire an editor and a few journalists. And then I’d go out and find every blog, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube, and other social media feed out there that is related to downtown NYC and I would pull it all into an aggregation system where my editor and journalists could cull through the posts coming in, curate them, and then publish them.”

Based on the successes we have seen with our own on line Lifestyle Magazine, The Urbane Way,  and other apartment operators, such as Mills Properties in St Louis are seeing from their hyper local neighborhood blogs, we believe that what Fred has outlined is what every ILS should be racing to do, Build an online Lifestyle Magazine and ” Sell Links” to apartment communities to drive up their web traffic.

Yes, tear down the fences that are designed to keep prospects on your ILS site and build the biggest, bad ass, hip and cool Lifestyle Magazine in every major city in America. Assuming Fred’s staffing is generally accurate any of the ILS’s could build a powerhouse Hyper Local all things cool digital asset for a fraction of the operating costs of their current model.

This new ILS model would be a true Internet marketer for their clients, and could regulate the web traffic required for optimum occupancy by increasing or decreasing links accordingly.

The way apartment marketers generate leasing leads is changing, and the deck chairs are shifting. The question is, what is the right answer. Steve Lefkovits pens a few thoughts about the recent My New Place acquisition by Real Page.

Still not convinced Internet marketing is critical for all multifamily properties? Maybe yesterday’s news might change your mind. 

RealPage, the industry giant that has been scooping up companies over the last few years, rounded out its portfolio of services by acquiring Multifamily Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTS), which offers an Internet listing service for rental properties marketed under the trade name MyNewPlace®.  

MyNewPlace has approximately 7,500 property listings with 1.8 million rental units. It is one of the largest and most efficient generators of traffic in the multifamily industry, offering a suite of tools under its Rent Engine® solution that creates and manages advertising campaigns for Internet classified directories.  

In the release announcing the acquisition, RealPage’s Chairman and CEO Steve Winn said, “Internet marketing in the rental housing industry is highly inefficient because property owners lack transparency into the real costs associated with generating a lease from each Internet lead source.”

Do you agree with his statement? Are we as Internet marketers not focused enough on transparency of our sourcing to determine our actual spend? And how do we fix it?

Need some help organizing and launching a Digital Marketing Strategy that Delivers Leases, We can help you with that at The Urbane Way!

Eric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience.

He also established The Urbane Way, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine.

You can connect with Eric_Urbane on Twitter.

Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications;

Eric Brown

Eric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine. You can connect with Urbane_Media on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications;  Multi Housing News Social Media Examiner Search Engine Guide

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