- 30 November 2023
The marketing and technology landscape is moving faster than ever as we approach 2024. While modern marketers are no strangers to change, the rapid and transformative power of AI (Artificial Intelligence) has skyrocketed the pace, setting the stage for a fast-paced year ahead.
Amidst major technological evolutions, the apartment market is facing a medley of challenges and opportunities, from burgeoning supply trends (over 600,000 market-rate units are likely to enter the market by year-end) to steady demand driven by wage growth and modest inflationary expectations. With downward pressure on rental rates due to the growth in supply across the top 50 metros, the focus of the year is anticipated to be on maintaining occupancy vs. rent growth as renters are presented with more options in top markets.
In 2024, multifamily marketers will need to be forward-thinking and laser-focused on developing competitive marketing strategies that leverage cutting-edge technology without losing focus on the fundamentals. With this in mind, we’ve compiled five apartment marketing strategy recommendations to guide your planning in the new year.
BUT FIRST…A QUICK WORD ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKETING STRATEGY VS. TACTICS
The word strategy is thrown around a lot as a way to describe plans for achieving goals or testing out new technology. These are often tactics rather than strategies, and in many cases, these lists of ideas exist in isolation from the overall landscape impacting marketing teams.
When planning for 2024, think about the challenges your company and the industry is facing. Consider your unique strengths and weaknesses. Then, think about an approach you can take to overcome these challenges using the opportunities available that can set your company apart and provide you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
These strategies should be high-level enough that multiple tactics can be devised beneath them that can be executed to achieve your goal but specific enough to make the approach unique, actionable, and relevant to today’s marketing landscape.
As we walk through the five strategy recommendations below, consider the challenges we outlined at the beginning of this blog post and how these strategy recommendations can help you address these challenges while capitalizing on new opportunities and resources.
1. A Hybrid Intelligence Approach to AI
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest trends for 2024 is anticipated to be the adoption of AI, specifically the adoption of AI-based chat technology. Prospective residents have come to expect immediacy from all industries, and the rental sector is no exception.
AI and automation, in general, excel in their ability to deliver scale and immediacy. In a chat environment, this technology enables property managers to overcome a long-standing struggle: providing faster response times to leads.
Solely relying on AI doesn’t come without its drawbacks. There is a subset of prospects who want a human response to their questions and concerns, and nuanced and unique questions can’t be easily answered by AI.
This is why we recommend you take a Hybrid Intelligence approach to adopting AI in your organization. This means pairing the skills and experience of humans with AI to deliver superior customer experiences and more intelligent business decision-making.
Within the scope of customer experience, this could be implementing an AI chat solution that gives prospects the ability to switch to a live human agent in real-time to prevent leads from falling out of the funnel while maintaining superior customer service (a unique solution we offer you can learn more about here).
2. Building Better Business Intelligence
In a recent LinkedIn Live, “2024 Multifamily Marketing Predictions,” we hosted with the VP of Marketing at Brookfield Properties, Jannah Hobday, and Chief Insider at Multifamily Insiders Brent Williams, one trend that kept coming up in the conversation was the need for centralization between vendors and platforms in the industry.
As marketing becomes more complex and technology becomes more sophisticated, property management teams are reliant on specialized labor and tools to remain competitive in an evolving field. While this makes it possible for property management companies to implement innovative marketing tactics and offer cutting-edge customer experiences with less investment, it also means data and information about marketing campaigns, leads, and residents’ lives in many places, making it difficult for marketing managers to make informed decisions and implement strategy changes quickly.
One way to go about this is to develop a source of truth for resident information and work with vendors that offer integrated marketing solutions.
At Conversion Logix, we partner with the top CRM vendors in the industry to sync the lead and tour data we capture from our lead management system with our clients’ CRMs. We also pull data from platforms like Yardi, RealPage, Entrata, RentCafe, and Apartments.com to provide an Ad Automation service that makes lightning-fast ad updates when pricing, offers, and availability changes in a client’s CRM.
This integrated approach gives marketing managers a line of sight into the information they need to be better-informed decision-makers while providing vendors with the information they need to be more effective partners.
3. Advertising on Channels Competitors Aren’t
eMarketer released a study claiming 25-54-year-olds spend more time on TikTok than any other social platform. In 2022, TikTok surpassed Instagram in total daily minutes spent and is expected to surpass Facebook by 2025. Despite this, many property management companies are reticent to get started on the platform.
Property management teams get stuck on this idea that in order to be on TikTok, they have to build up a library of organic video posts and invest in follower-building and virality tactics. This prevents a lot of management companies from taking advantage of this platform.
While it takes a higher monthly minimum in ad spend to get started on TikTok, we’ve seen clients experience success leveraging repurposed video content for Instagram Reels as TikTok ads. Unlike organic posts, TikTok advertising enables you to reach a larger audience consistently with the same piece of content and gives you the ability to target and track your ideal audience.
Another breakout in the media industry is streaming networks. Streaming outperformed both cable and broadcast TV for the first time in history in July 2022, according to a Nielsen report. Connected TV advertising is one of the most overlooked advertising opportunities in the multifamily industry. Connected TV ads can be displayed on a range of devices, from Smart TVs to computers and mobile phones. They have some of the highest ad recall rates in the industry and offer a unique opportunity to build brand awareness where others in the industry aren’t competing.
By opening up your marketing strategy to include popular channels your prospects are on that your competitors aren’t, you’ll be in a better position to establish your brand among prospects and prevent new developments from stealing your market share.
4. Leveraging First-Party Data to Develop More Targeted Campaigns
Struggling to find qualified leads is a common challenge that has driven many marketing managers to our door. Targeting in the multifamily industry has always been challenging as marketers seek to reach the most qualified renters while maintaining fair housing-friendly campaigns. This challenge is also likely to become exacerbated as privacy restrictions rise and cookies become deprecated.
New advancements in audience cohort tracking in Google Analytics 4, AI bidding strategies, and conversion tracking are making it possible for marketers to develop targeted campaigns despite these challenges.
The key to unlocking these strategies in 2024 will be collecting first-party data and working with partners on the cutting edge of these targeting techniques to ensure you can find and convert qualified leads at scale.
5. Focusing on the Follow-Up
In a market where new developments have the potential to overstep demand, follow-through becomes even more important. Prospective residents who come in to tour or engage on the website may be considering several properties at one time. By giving attention to prospective renters throughout the entirety of their apartment search, you stand a greater chance of converting leads into leases.
If you aren’t already using automation to develop lead nurturing sequences via text and email, 2024 is a great time to start. Keep in mind that the better your company is at collecting and storing lead information, the more powerful and personalized your automation sequences can be. Consider creating specific sequences for floorplan-specific campaigns, pet owners, or renters with longer move-in timelines to remain top-of-mind and increase lead-to-lease conversions.
TAKE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Need help creating a personalized strategy for your community? Contact us today for a personalized consultation with a multifamily marketing expert. We’ll assess your strengths and areas of improvement while exploring opportunities to incorporate cutting-edge ad campaigns, automation, and AI into your 2024 marketing strategy.Schedule a Call