Marketing, in general, is an ever-changing and ever-evolving side of business. Why? Because people and their needs are also ever-changing and ever-evolving, too. Marketers’ entire job is to know their customers so they can better reach them and promote a product or service that meets the needs of consumers. In the context of multifamily, marketers have to know renters, what they want to see, and then figure out how to reach them.
In light of trying to understand renters better, we all know that everyone needs to live somewhere, but choosing where to live comes with a lot of layers. Every renter has different needs and desires in regards to calling a place home. The most successful multifamily marketers all have the same mindset: they continuously seek to understand their existing and prospective renters better.
Let’s break down the top three things all multifamily marketers should be doing in 2024:
Look at the Data, Rinse, Repeat
If you hone in on the most successful businesses in the world, you can easily differentiate those businesses from the rest just by looking at their marketing teams. This might be a controversial opinion but it’s an important one: no one in the company should know your renters better than your marketing team. We know you’re probably thinking that can’t possibly be true as leasing agents and other on-site staff are the ones having regular interactions with your renters.
But the difference between what leasing agents and property managers know and your marketing team knows comes down to data. Your marketing teams have the unique opportunity to use real-time data to better understand the wants, the behaviors and the stories of your renters.
Yet, so often marketers get this wrong. Without realizing it, some marketers confuse having knowledge of a single touchpoint about a lease or a person with having actual data, so they miss out on having the full story. When you zoom out, data often paints a different picture. It gives you the opportunity to see who all of your renters are and what they care about.
Most of this data will come from your marketing tools (website, CRM, etc.) There is no greater value than the information renters are indirectly providing you themselves. Because they are giving you information about themselves, they are most likely going to rent with the property that provides an excellent customer experience. Renters are looking to build a relationship with your business and if you pay attention to the data and the stories it tells, renters will more often than not reward you.
Always be Auditing
The top multifamily marketers are doing what they should be doing: auditing everything. What worked in 2023? What didn’t? Where are the gaps? What did we learn from our renters? What are our leasing agents seeing? What is our maintenance team hearing? Is your attribution or website data telling you anything about your renters or where your marketing spend should be going?
Your teams do in fact need tools that elevate your efficiency and not ones that create more barriers. The most important thing is for you to evaluate and note the difference.
As your teams are budgeting for the new fiscal year, finding opportunities to better reach ready-to-lease renters is key. You might need to add tech stacks to let your on-site staff work better and more efficiently. You might have tech stacks that are creating more problems than they are solving them. This is why auditing is everything and will make a difference in the way you lease throughout 2024.
Try New Marketing Approaches
Just as we mentioned above, renters and their needs are evolving and changing. This means there are always going to be new ways to reach and connect with your renters. Multifamily can often get stuck in a mindset of “wait and see,” meaning they often don’t try new things until they’ve seen someone else showcase its success.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, the companies and marketers that see the most success are often labeled as trailblazers, brainstorming and creating new ideas to better reach and attract renters. Our biggest advice is this: don’t be afraid to try new things.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend good chunks of your budget. It might mean a little spend on a few new ideas and seeing what works and what doesn’t before allocating more money toward it. If it doesn’t work? Great, you tried it. But what if it does? You may have found your properties a whole new way to generate high-converting leases or increase retention. NOI could be hiding in some of these new ideas so don’t be afraid to give them a try.
All in all, 2024 will be an interesting year for multifamily as more than 600,000 new units are projected to come onto the market and rent growth is expected to be slim at best. This means thinking ahead and planning for ways to attract and convert renters more effectively than your neighboring properties. Understand your renters by looking at your data. Audit what you did in 2023 to identify where your teams have gaps or missed opportunities. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to reaching potential renters.