CHICAGO–The apartment industry is finding success with taking new routes to get in front of prospective renters and during these high-driving times to fill vacancies.
Lisa Trosien, ApartmentExpert; and Kate Good, Hunington ; shared best practices about what they see is working today during their “Apartment All Stars” session Thursday at National Apartment Association’s Apartmentalize Conference in Chicago.
Online reviews have always been both a pain and a boon to apartment communities and their reputations. Communities that are able to maintain a fresh flow of reviews will perform better, given that many who are moving want to learn how living conditions and management are at the property.
“Post pandemic reviews are more valuable than those posted pre-pandemic,” Trosien said. Renter prospects will scan them to see just how well the apartment company handled the COVID-19 challenges during the heart of the problem and how they are doing with the twisting and turning policies since, she said.
“Many searchers go straight to the 1-star reviews just to find out what happened,” Good said. “It’s most important to respond to those, and to see if that reviewer responds to the community’s reply because that’s what people look for.”
Properties that respond to reviews generate 31 percent more leads, Trosien said.
Instagram-Friendly Opportunities Drive Free Publicity
Social media continues to play an increasing role in promoting a property.
Apartment communities can create social media post-worthy situations by placing creative signage or other visual around their properties that almost begs their residents to take photos, Good said.
A cool pet-based landmark at one property drew dozens of Instagram posts where residents showed how excited they were to be moving into that property.
Other options are to create murals in your common areas that reflect positive vibes or peaceful messages.
Giving ‘Pop’ to Online Listings
Competition is so fierce for eyeballs on web listings that communities are helping to drive results by pasting stickers on top of their vacant apartment listing images that announce move-in specials, touring options and other particulars.
Click-to-call buttons are more important than ever as residents are looking to find the easiest way to get in touch with the property to learn more.
Additionally, apartment leasing teams are finding great success when they include “schedule a tour” links on their Yelp pages. Residents go there for reviews, and if they approve, they can take the next step more easily.
And once the tour is scheduled, some effective messaging to the prospect includes:
- “If you like everything you see, we can take this one off the market for you right now.”
- “At the end of the tour, I’ll tell you how you can make this apartment yours.”
- “I’ll give you directions on how to apply at the end of the tour.”
Source: Globe St.