Digital Marketing Best Practices for the Multifamily Industry

This is part three in our series that focuses on basic digital marketing strategies that are proven to help you attract and convert leads.

Recently, Entrata hosted a webinar series covering digital marketing best practices in the multifamily industry. The panel included digital marketing experts Avery Lewis, Manager of Marketing Services at Cardinal Management Group, Laura Frias, Regional VP at Entrata, and Drew Scholl, Associate Director of Digital Marketing Consulting at Entrata. Below are some of the key highlights.

Metrics you should be watching

Any metric that highlights the return on investment you’re achieving from your digital marketing efforts should be at the top of the list of metrics you’re tracking. These include conversion rates, cost per lease, and cost per lead. Conversion rates help you understand how qualified the leads you have coming in, while cost per lease and cost per lead help you to understand which of your marketing tools are performing the best, which will inform future marketing investments you make.

It is recommended that you should run reports regularly showing 30, 60, and 90 day running performance, but you shouldn’t get too worried about the day-to-day ebbs and flows of your lead metrics. You need to focus on the big picture when it comes to marketing campaigns. It can be easy to get skittish if things aren’t going exactly as planned, but don’t make any major changes until you’ve given the campaign enough time to provide you with a sufficient amount of data to make informed decisions. Just keep moving forward. As long as you have a north star you’re working towards you will be okay.

Utilize organic traffic as a way to A/B test content

Organic channels can be an effective testing ground for the types of marketing content you’ll eventually roll over to paid channels. “Organic is free,” stated Scholl. “It's a great opportunity to AB test content or strategies and learn what works and what doesn't, and then take those insights and put money behind it.” An example cited by the panel is if you see organic traffic coming from Instagram, why not try and partner with a local, micro influencer that resonates with your target audience.

Understand your target audience

Speaking of your target audience, it’s important to always keep them in mind when developing digital marketing content. Ensure you know how they like to receive information, what types of activities they participate in, and what's most important to them when leasing an apartment. When conducting market research, the ultimate goal is to understand what lifestyle your audience wants to live. Then use that information you gleaned from market research to determine what your messages are and what amenities on which to focus, how you send those messages, and who you’re sending those messages to.

Authenticity matters

When creating content, it doesn’t have to be flashy. It just has to resonate with your audience. Focus content on how you’re going to help residents achieve their desired lifestyle and tie that to the benefits of living at your properties. A lot of properties will offer the same amenities and have similar floor plans, but the lifestyle you help deliver can be your differentiating factor.

The quality of your posts on social media is more important than the quantity of posts. You don’t have to be pushing sales messages 24/7. People want to see you having fun. Don’t be afraid to mix in a TikTok video of your site teams doing the latest trending dance mixed in with videos about your property. Social media should be a place where residents start building a relationship with you, not just a place to learn about your properties.

See what is working in other industries

While the multifamily industry has many unique challenges other industries don’t face when marketing its offerings, the audiences are often the same. Identify businesses in other industries that are targeting a similar audience to yours and see what is working for them to get new ideas for content and strategies you can implement.

Data is important, but sometimes you need to trust your gut

Most of your decisions should be driven by data, like the ones described in previous sections, but sometimes you don’t have the data available to support your assumptions. In this scenario, you need to trust your instincts. Oftentimes, these types of decisions come when you’re projecting into the future. For example, when making budgets, you are making plans based on assumptions on how you think the year or quarter is going to play out.

In recent years, this activity has proven to be more and more difficult. Whether it be moving habits changing because of the pandemic or inflation causing costs to rise, you have to make educated guesses and then adjust those plans as needed. But when you think about it, this is exactly how the scientific method is supposed to work. You state your hypothesis (what you think will happen based on all the data you have) and prove or disprove the hypothesis after deploying it into the real world.

Learn more

The above is just the tip of the iceberg of what was covered in Entrata’s Digital Marketing webinar series. To discover more digital marketing best practices, watch the entire series today.