Multifamily leasing is approaching a new age of strategy for attracting and retaining residents. In order to navigate the new environment and stand out as a prospective property for residents, leasing agents need to understand how multifamily is changing and how to adjust. As the industry experiences an influx of renters from undergraduate & professional millennials to empty nesters, understanding how the marketing environment is evolving becomes crucial to setting your property apart.
In today’s cluttered market, word-of-mouth remains stronger than ever, and online channels play an important role in enhancing that. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved far beyond Internet Listing Services (ILS), yet we’re still seeing a majority of the industry implementing these dated tactics as a core strategy. Properties that approach leasing as a sales pitch are quickly cast aside as leasing apps and lifestyle branding become the true selling point.
Beyond amenities, there’s a lot evolving in the industry, especially in the leasing function. In this blog series, we’ll take a look at what’s changing and how to keep up. Navigating the new world of multifamily leasing doesn’t have to be difficult—it just needs to be addressed. Below we’ve outlined three ways in which we’re seeing the industry evolve.
The Move to Online
In the past, apartments have relied on the Yellow Pages and pricing strategies to attract residents. In some cases, being the only Class A, B, or C property in a location was enough to sign a lease. However, in today’s age there are more apartment-listing platforms, review services, and social media outlets than a leasing agent knows what to do with.
Multifamily properties now recognize that there are countless ways by which prospective residents can happen upon their community—most of which are online. Therefore, improving your online presence is the first step. Do your social media pages clearly reflect the community and lifestyle of your property? Are you directly answering prospects’ questions online? Have you determined what platforms your target demographic uses? Understanding how to leverage social media and other digital platforms as a leasing tool is a major competitive advantage.
And don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth (especially online). Happy residents can be your best marketing tool. Besides, who do we trust more: an advertisement, a good review, or our peers?
The Death of Sales Speak
Multifamily properties in the past had to solely rely on well-trained leasing agents that mastered the art of “the sale.” In today’s market, traditional sales tactics simply won’t cut it. A property today must sell a lifestyle; this is achieved by branding your building as more than a temporary housing option. It’s a destination, a home, a community, and a lifestyle.
Multifamily renters have plenty of options to choose from in this saturated market. The deciding factor is often the community that most aligns with their values and aspirations. It could be a pet-friendly community, a sustainable design, or a walkable location—either way renters want their apartments to reflect their lifestyle.
The Rise of Technology
As technology continues to dictate the trends in multifamily, keeping up with leases is no different. Forward-thinking companies are taking the real estate industry by storm; they’re implementing mobile apps and intuitive software to address pain points, track leads, and streamline the lead-nurturing processes. These innovative conveniences are built to facilitate smooth lease management, attract residents, and improve sales strategy.
The benefit of turning to technology to assist the sales funnel is becoming a leasing agent’s greatest asset. In this series we’ll break down which apps, software, and tech-tools are essential to turning a lead into a lease.
Stay tuned as we cover the five fundamentals of attracting residents, staying relevant, and empowering the leasing team.
In the series:
• How SEO has Changed for Multifamily
• How Leasing Apps Are Evolving Multifamily Marketing
• Why Multifamily Should Consider Social Media Advertising
• How to Bring Your Brand to Life at the Property Level
• How the Leasing Funnel Has Changed Multifamily