With most places throughout the country following some level of social distancing, we’re seeing a dramatic shift in leasing traffic. Currently traffic coming to property websites from the typical search channels are down between 10-30%. Balancing that downturn is a major uptick in traffic coming from social ads. Prospects who once had a variety of external ways to get information, now are overly reliant on social media to get their information.

Overall, website engagement is up. Prospects find themselves with more time to consume property information—view the floor plans, gallery and all the virtual touring content. Unfortunately, this more engaged traffic isn’t converting at the rate it did before. This shouldn’t be surprising with the economy in turmoil and many unsure about their employment prospects.

As consumer behavior changes, so must multi-family marketing plans. We have created a three-part series on how to capture traffic during this time.

  1. Be present and optimize your visibility in active apartment searches
  2. Create awareness and find new prospects on social media
  3. Re-engage prospects and lead them to conversion

 

Optimizing Active Apartment Searches

Any marketer looking at the weekly traffic reports will see “drive by” and “word of mouth” as top sources (whether or not it actually is). That traffic first searches your property online and is visible through analytics data sources such as Google My Business, Direct, Organic and Google Ads. So, what happens when people stay home? How do behaviors change? What is your best strategy during this unusual time?

There are people that really need to move right now, even in the middle of a shut down. Make sure you are very visible in their searches and clear in how to engage with you.

ILS—Traffic coming to ILSs are more likely to need to move. Make sure you have optimized your visibility, utilized all the features to showcase visuals of your property and ensure your listings have been updated with clear ways to lease with you.

Google Ads—Apartment searches are down from 10-25% on average depending on the market.

  • Make sure your budgets are adjusted to ensure you are showing for your primary search terms and branded terms.
  • Consider whether your secondary campaigns drive enough qualified traffic to support the increased cost-per-click you are likely to see.
  • Review all your ads to make sure copy and calls-to-action are relevant as leasing changes.
  • Utilize site extensions to call out any interactive tour features on your site.

Website—Now more than ever it is important that if a prospect visits your site, you are very clear about how to connect with you. Norms have changed and the sites that clearly state how to engage with the property are more likely to capture active traffic.

    • Utilize pop-ups and banners to inform prospects of how to connect with you.
    • Update primary copy and site links to drive traffic to videos, 360 tours and floor plans.
    • Make sure “schedule a tour” and other bot features are updated with your touring policies.

Right now, we’re seeing an increase in website engagement. Prospects have more time to stay on your site and view more information. But we’re seeing a decrease in contact with the clients. Make sure you’ve got a strong retargeting strategy ready to keep in front of the prospect during their (likely extended) leasing process. View our blog on remarketing campaigns.

If prospects do reach out, make sure you have a cohesive plan to connect and guide them through the virtual leasing process. Just like in person, the company that has the best connection with the prospect is likely to get the lease!