While it is unclear how long health organizations and politicians will urge the public to shelter-in-place, what is clear is that there has been a dip in rental applications. Recently, Housing Wire reported that in April, Google search volumes for apartments for rent were down between 10% and 35% last week in its top cities. And, as short-term property owners see revenue from travelling guests dry up, they are now marketing their properties to longer-term prospects, adding more pressure to the market.
Now, more than ever, is a good time to take a close look at your digital marketing, and dig into ways to improve lead generation.
1. Update Your Digital Presence
While it may sound like a no-brainer, take this opportunity to review any changes you may have made due to the pandemic. For example, have you reduced your hours or closed your leasing office? Update this new information to your website, Google listings and social media channels. Freshen up your profile by adding new photos. Review your social channels and digital ads, and make sure to share virtual tours and videos across all platforms. And, don’t forget to put prospects fears to rest by including headlines like "Virtual Tours Available" and "Lease Online" in social media ads and ILS listings. This way prospects will know exactly how they can check out and rent a unit at your property. (And, Google Trends shows that the volume of searches for “virtual tours” has skyrocketed over the last few weeks.)
2. Create Videos
We know that videos on social media and websites increase engagement. Now, YouTube has made it as easy as possible for property management marketing teams to create video content to boost leasing efforts. YouTube Video Builder is a beta-mode DIY tool that helps you to create professional videos using images, text and music, all from your laptop. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font and quickly generate a short YouTube video (6 seconds or 15 seconds). Sign up for access here.
3. Review SEO Efforts
Taking the time and effort now into your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) can reap many positive outcomes in the near future. Brush up your website’s SEO power by conducting market and keyword research and then optimizing your listing pages, blog posts and services pages with appealing and keyword-rich content.
4. Boost Social Media Advertising
With so many people sheltering in place, time spent on social media has seen a distinct uptick. Social media advertising is getting a lot more attention right now as users visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the day. Beefing up any social media campaigns could be a smart move, as you may be able to increase brand awareness and improve reach and engagement amongst your target audience.
5. Think Mobile First
TechCrunch (and a ton of other publications) reported on Google’s recent announcement to make mobile-first indexing the default in its search engine results by this coming September. The initiative started back in 2016, and currently Google says 70% of sites shown in search have already been switched over. Multifamily property marketers will want to ensure the mobile versions of their websites have all the same information as the desktop versions. Keep an eye on your Google Search Console for any issues in crawling or indexing.
How Property Vista Helps
Property management marketing software gives you transparency into your digital marketing efforts so you can better spot where your ads are bringing in the most amount of quality leads. To learn more about how Property Vista can help give your marketing efforts a boost, including mobile-friendly websites, ILS automation, help with SEO, and much more, be sure to check out pricing and get a demo.