It’s almost the end of the year and little by little we’ve gotten used to living in our “new normal.” While most people continue to stay hunkered down, many apartment communities are struggling to attract new tenants, especially those who might just want to stay where they are.
Although the pandemic may continue to present challenges for apartment communities, here are a few tips to enhance your marketing during the time of COVID:
Prospective tenants may be reluctant to take a physical tour of your apartment while trying to social distance. How can you replicate that experience online? Professional photography and video of your staged apartments and community areas, including 3D virtual tours, will help give them a feel for what it’s like to live at your apartment community. The ability to provide Facetime tours is also a big draw, so people can ask questions directly to the leasing agent. Don’t want to deal with staging? Some services provide realistic virtual staging by adding furniture, rugs and wall art to an empty apartment.
Apartments can provide self-guided tours by setting appointments or partner with a company that uses technology to provide self-guided tours. This is appealing to those who want to social distance but also want the physical experience of a tour. The potential tenant can use an app to request access to tour an apartment on their own time without having a leasing agent present. The technology varies, but essentially the prospective tenant inputs their information in order to get a code to access the apartment for a short period of time. Some apps virtually connect them to the leasing agent, who can provide them with information they to access the apartment, features to look for and any incentives the community may offer.
Reduced traffic during COVID makes billboards and street signage far less effective than they once were. The most cost-effective way to increase visibility on your community is to spend money on online advertising that targets your key audience by geography, income, interests and more. Digital advertising also allows you to track conversions – whether it’s a phone call, email, capturing contact information or downloading a floorplan – and adapt that advertising in real time.
Community events have always been a great way for apartment residents to get to know each other and the staff. So, what do you do when in-person events are no longer appealing? Host virtual events for residents like a patio/door holiday decorating contest, Zoom yoga class or wellness challenge for the upcoming holiday season.
They were effective pre-COVID but they’re essential now – leasing incentives are what will grab potential tenants’ attention and help you stick out from your competition. Whether it’s a month or two of free rent, reduced security deposit, flexible lease terms or a gift card, offering incentives can help bring a potential tenant across the finish line. The key is making sure your incentives are highly visible on your website and promoted in collateral and digital advertising.
Blog Posts/Social Media Updates
While people are less likely to physically drop in to your leasing center, they’re going to spend more time on your website and social channels looking for information. Highlight the community’s key features and spotlight current residents and why they love living there. Make sure you post about what practices and sanitation your apartment community has implemented due to the pandemic.
Need help marketing your apartment community? Contact us!