Marketing to future residents in the multifamily industry has quickly evolved over the last several years. Property managers and multifamily marketers are seeking new ways to entice residents and stand out in a saturated market.
That’s where content comes in. You’ve probably heard it all at this point -- content is king and you can’t have marketing without it. This is true, but the whole “content is king” has shifted to mean something else entirely, especially in unique industries such as multifamily.
While the written word still holds a lot of meaning in content marketing, visual, video and interactive content are now on top, especially when it comes to creative marketing ideas for apartments.
Impressing residents has gotten more and more difficult for property managers, as more than 50% of today’s renters are made of millennials and generation Z. Residents see one apartment, they’ve seen them all. They get one outreach email, they’ve seen them all.
Majority of today’s renters want fast information. They know exactly what they want, and your content should guide them through the process of leasing without any bumps in the road. Content should be swift, informative and it should always have that creative edge that other property managers aren't leveraging.
The Competition is Fierce
According to eMarketer, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. And that number is only growing.
Why is it so competitive? Content marketing is one of the most affordable tactics for marketers, and one of the most lucrative, churning out three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
Marketers who invest in unique content and adopt into early technologies also reap the most benefits. Doing something that the competition hasn’t explored yet helps you set yourself apart from other key players in the industry.
Impressing Your Future Residents with Creative Marketing
You may already have a blog on your apartment community website, or testimonials sprinkled throughout your marketing collateral. While that’s all good stuff to have, if you’re not exploring visual content within your creative marketing strategy, it may be time to consider adding it into the mix.
Showcase your property with a 360 virtual tour
While content marketing is a long-term investment, return on investment for virtual imaging is estimated at less than four weeks.
Remember that while blog content may help your site visitors solve a specific problem, virtual tours are essentially sales tools. They’re built to sell your property and act as a 24/7 open house when your leasing agents aren’t around to show the property.
As a sales tool, virtual tours do much more than most traditional content:
Visitors interact directly with the tour
Acts a 24/7 virtual open house
Helps leads that are not in the area
Serves as a lead qualifying tool
Increases click-through rate
Increases interest in the property
Increase lease-ups with interactive availability tools
Future residents want to be in control of their own decision-making. In addition to 360 tours, interactive leasing tools can actually put you a step above the competition by offering a unique way for leads to browse your available units in a more visual manner.
Scrolling through advanced search listings can be slow and tedious. Advanced availability tools like the one you see below offer a more comprehensive experience than a standard listing.
Interactive site plans give users a real-time availability look at your property, show them exactly where they’ll be staying, and offer detailed floor plan views.
Take control of your Google listing with premium photography
Your apartment community’s Google My Business listing is one of more oft-overlooked, but crucial pieces of content. It’s the first thing people will see when they search your community.
The problem is that Google listings are free range content aggregators. Anyone can contribute to it. A passerby on the street can snap a photo your apartment building while there’s a delivery truck out front, or construction on the street and upload it to your Google listing.
Unfortunately, as a property manager or owner, you don’t have too much control over what is submitted to your listing, but you can overpower low-quality photos on your listing by adding high-quality photography.
Google favors higher quality images over low-quality photographs. Images with the most views also tend to sit closer to the top of your listing and appear in the knowledge graph in Google Search.
If you’re not adding your property’s photographs to your Google listing, you’re easily missing out on pulling more users in and drawing them to your website. Otherwise, low-quality or blurry images can spoil your brand’s image and make your Google listing just look messy.
Visual Content is Now
Visual content rises above traditional content marketing as it keeps users engaged and interested in your property.
Of course, investing in content strategies is a long-term investment, meaning results may not be seen immediately, but content that utilizes visual and interactive components have a much quicker return.
If you’re not adding visual content into your multifamily marketing mix, consider gradually incorporating these interactive visual elements to attract more visitors and increase lease-ups.