Districts and Neighborhoods; Apartment Marketing Packaged Differently

January 6, 2013

If you had an apartment unit that looked like the picture you obviously wouldn’t be renting apartments right? One site walk and you would realize why you aren’t renting any apartments. Yet many of your web sites and digital assets aren’t any better, however they are out of sight, out of mind. 

Your Apartment Community Web Site is Broken

Apartment Community Web Sites across the land are broken. Most are stagnate with few updates in years. They have a low or no Google PageRank. Prospects cannot find a lost web site. The “content management” solution has failed. Apartment managers do not really know what to update regularly. Having a blog attached is a fragmented approach at best. Then there is Facebook and Twitter and You Tube and LinkedIn. Who manages and creates the content, the property manager, leasing, someone from corporate? This mess needs fixed.

 There is a Better Way

We are proposing a product that enhances the users leasing experience, specifically designed to replace the typical static apartment community web site. This apartment marketing and leasing website will incorporate hyper local articles and be everything local, similar to what Airbnb recently launched with Neighborhoods . With a fully automated web based Lead to Lease, lead collection and tracking system woven into the fabric of the site as a seamless part of the user experience, effectively managing leasing leads is easy.  Being fully automated is a key component. Too many leasing leads are lost sticky notes.

 Each component and touch point must enhance the leasing experience. The site will sport strong and pleasing graphics, photography and video illustrating all things local via a variety of content mediums and reviews.

Districts and Neighborhoods 

 The website framework will be organized by geographical regions, referred to as “Neighborhoods” or “Districts”. The site will incorporate a streamlined Guest Card, which auto flows into a Lead to Lease Management System. The Guest Card would also be placed on the apartment operators “regional” Facebook page and all information would flow directly into the Lead to Lease System. The “regional” Facebook pages would mirror the brand images of the regional web pages. One of the key points of organizing the apartment operators affairs and digital assets regionally, by Neighborhoods is to steer away from single one off apartment community Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Pinterest accounts, You Tube and so forth. This creates an excellent opportunity to brand the property lifestyle. Every apartment community has a persona and a certain lifestyle. This new web site will better convey that. The challenges of managing one off social marketing at the community by community level does not scale. Most apartment operators with scattered communities still break down into only a handful of regions. Content marketing, partnership marketing and social outreach become much more effective and manageable by region.

 Unit Availability by “region” or by Neighborhood will be incorporated and will be a centralized, real time place for daily updates of unit availability. The Unit Availability will include unit photos, 3D floor plans and videos cataloged by unit type and be clickable link that open a window on the Unit Availability.

 The web site will be clean and simple. Less is more. Fill the space with great photography, local reviews and all things hyper local. Each page will have clear Call to Action leading prospects into the sales funnel, however this is an “opt in” experience, meaning the prospect decides when the conversion process starts. We expect that prospects will stay on the site much longer and may visit several times before renting.

 The site will make every effort to “match” the prospect to a certain apartment community based on the property strengths and personality. Each apartment community will be assessed and categorized. Each apartment-landing page will include the Walk Score Widget, and will expand a window with all things local. The site will include articles and reviews to coincide with these local neighborhood businesses that are in alignment with the apartments brand and core targeted demographic. 

 Partnership marketing opportunities will be negotiated with these core businesses that make the match. These rich relationships provide excellent cross marketing opportunities. For instance, helping promote the local burger joint is an opportunity to give away something as a promotion from the burger joint on the apartment operators Facebook page at no cost to the apartment operator. 

 The site will automatically capture email address for with each Guest Card. Appropriate language will be embedded to allow the user to request future emails about neighborhood events, new business openings, festivals and local news happenings.  Regular email offerings would be processed to keep in touch with prospects and residents a like on all things local.  

Just an idea for now, although I have shared this manifesto with a few industry peers. Should you have interest in chatting further, give us a ring. We love talking all things Apartment Marketing 

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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