The United States has 21.3 million apartments alone and must add another 4.3 million by 2025 to meet population demands. To say people have enough apartment choices is an understatement. They can look around within a five-to-10-mile radius and find dozens of options.
This necessitates apartment marketing to differentiate yourself from your competitors. How do you get your campaign underway? What ideas and tactics stand out in today’s market?
In this article, we answer many such questions with the top apartment marketing ideas to thrive in today’s dynamic real estate market. You’ll find viable solutions for your apartment business, whether you have a shoestring budget or something more substantial.
Table of Contents
1. Make Your Own Logo
Does your apartment have a logo? If not, why not?
Logos are an advantageous choice for your apartment complex in many ways. For starters, they make your brand memorable.
When you consider the average person will tour at least three apartments before selecting one (and that’s not counting the dozens more they will scope out online), you need whatever advantage you can get to keep yours top of mind.
Another benefit of an apartment logo is capturing attention. That’s another must when you have such steep competition in the property management market.
You also build a brand when you use a logo, especially if your logo recurs across your social media (like in your profile pictures), in your emails, and on your website.
Choose your logo carefully, as it’s one of the most important extensions of your brand. Rather than design it yourself, you might consult professional services to get a logo you’re proud of.
Select colors that gel with your brand and choose design elements like typefaces and graphics that are timeless so your logo doesn’t look outdated in a matter of years.
2. Use Local SEO
Search engine optimization is a must for your apartment. Rather than focusing on large-scale SEO, use local marketing strategies. Your hotel is a local business, after all, and it doesn’t make sense to promote your site to prospective residents on the other side of the country.
So, what kinds of local SEO strategies can you utilize? Research local keywords. You’re likelier to use terms like your city or town name, your state name, and “near me” or “near you,” such as “apartments near me in Chicago.”
Incorporate these keywords, sprinkling them in your website copy, headers, titles, and content.
Other apartment marketing ideas we’ll discuss in this article – such as content marketing, claiming your Google Business profile, customizing your website, and getting on directories – will help your apartment’s local SEO.
Keep in mind that it can take upwards of six months for SEO strategies to pay off, so keep at it.
3. Build a Custom Website
The last thing you want when a visitor lands on your site is to ask, “wait, this site looks just like the last one I looked at.”
However, that’s the risk you run when you take a cookie-cutter approach to web design. Using free templates might be fine initially, but you must later stop using those templates, as you can bet that thousands of other apartment websites have the same variation of the template as you.
Consumers are savvier than ever. They know when they’ve seen the same generic design, and it will degrade your credibility and trustworthiness in their eyes.
Is it worth it? No! You’re missing out on business by making a poor first impression. A custom website has no cookie-cutter elements. It stands on its own two feet as a unique web presence. Visitors will remember that.
While custom sites are cool, please don’t sacrifice basic web design requirements for a well-functioning website, such as fast loading speeds, a clear sitemap, and navigability. Your SEO will suffer, and the user experience lessens too, reducing the organic traffic your site attracts.
4. Hold a Social Media Contest
It’s a fact of life that people love freebies. What better way to increase your audience base than by hosting a contest? No wonder this is one of the best apartment marketing ideas.
Social media is a great platform for giveaways, especially Facebook and Instagram. Keep the contest rules simple, requiring users to follow your account and respond to your contest announcement post. You might also require entry based on participation, such as a contest featuring the best homemade pet costume or crayon sculpture.
If not through social media, you can hold the contest on your website, using email as the vehicle for entries. Making your contest easy to enter is one way to guarantee good participation. You should also give away a valuable prize. It doesn’t have to be related to your apartment, as that’s a bit tough unless you’re okay with a prize like free rent for a year.
Gift cards and cash prizes are always good, as are cars, but don’t spend outside your means.
Contests are excellent because they drive up brand awareness and engagement. You will have more social media followers and email subscribers by the time the contest concludes, and you should increase organic traffic.
Be ready to capitalize on the increase in web visitors by using opt-in forms.
5. Claim and Complete Your Google Business Profile
More than likely, your apartment already has a Google Business profile. However, with fewer than 45 percent of profiles claimed, there are a lot of random Google Business profiles floating around out there in cyberspace.
Failing to claim your Google Business profile means inaccurate information about your apartment could spread like wildfire. If your listing has the incorrect address, website, or business hours, that will affect how people interact with your apartment. You’ll have fewer tours and residents.
Claim your profile, replace inaccurate information, and ensure you complete all the form fields. This way, when your apartment begins appearing in directories, you can ensure the information is accurate. This is one of the most underrated apartment marketing ideas because few people take it seriously, and yet it is proven to work.
6. Upload Property Photos to Social Media
Your apartment is a beautiful, fulfilling place to live, especially if you specialize in luxury apartments. However, that fact shouldn’t only be limited to those who tour the premises.
Take photos of your test apartment or a newly remodeled, empty unit, then post the photos on social media and your website. This clues in your audience on what they’re missing out on by not living in your apartment complex.
You should see an increase in apartment tours and inquiries, so if you have any vacant units, they shouldn’t last long.
However, quality photos are key. Here are some pointers to up your photography game:
- Take photos in bright but natural lighting. Ideally, sunlight is best.
- Use a tripod to capture the room from a person’s average height.
- Capture the apartment from various perspectives and angles to give your shots more personality.
- Edit the photos lightly. If they’re overprocessed, people will wonder what you’re hiding.
7. Accumulate Reviews
It doesn’t matter whether we’re discussing a new car or a living space like an apartment: people rely on reviews in their decision-making.
All the marketing in the world fails if you have bad reviews. When someone reads a review, they know they’re getting an honest perspective from someone like them, which is something they won’t see in your sales and marketing collateral.
If your apartment lacks reviews, contact your audience and ask for more. Start with your longest-term residents, then move on to those who are newer to the building. Incentivize them to leave a review.
For example, submitting a review enters their name into a giveaway for a $5,000 cash prize. That will inspire people to review your apartment real fast.
You will not always get positive reviews, and that’s okay. Deleting or hiding the not-so-glowing reviews will hurt your business reputation more than a couple of negative comments ever will.
8. Get on Local Listings
Let’s go back to local SEO and the importance of local listings. That’s why you want to claim your Google Business profile, as your apartment will inevitably appear on generated local listings. Incorrect information will hurt your engagement and information requests.
Increasing the local listings you’re on will increase your apartment visibility. This is one of the best low-cost apartment marketing ideas.
Appearing on listings indicates to Google and other search engines that your site is authoritative and worth pushing up in search engine results pages or SERPs.
If you’re not on a listing and want to be, submit your information for contention. Double-check that you spell and type all your information correctly, including your website URL, phone number, and business address.
9. Do a Website Audit
As SEO algorithms continue advancing, you can’t rest on your laurels once your spot in the SERP increases. You must continue working to hold that spot by maintaining good website hygiene.
Commit to regular website audits at least twice per year. A website audit reveals any glaring holes in your local SEO strategy. For example, you might use ‘hreflang’ tags incorrectly, have page source code conflicts, or choose the wrong country and language codes.
These issues and others prevent a search engine crawler from properly doing its job. The crawler reviews the content of your web pages and determines your rank based on that.
A website audit also ensures your site supports the user experience.
10. Go Live on Social Media
How often does your apartment go live on social media? You might wonder what you have to share compared to the influencers and celebrities who attract thousands of views when they go live.
The answer? Plenty! You can use this time for an exclusive Q&A with residents or prospective residents, advertise your available listings, mention new unit openings, or discuss the recently renovated second-floor buildings.
You don’t have to go live frequently, only when you have something to talk about. This will prevent the awkward situation where you’re live on camera but are unsure what to say.
Keep your live videos short and sweet, answering as many questions as you have time for and promising to get to more next time. Aim for around 10 minutes of airtime or less.
11. Advertise (PPC)
This next apartment marketing idea is a biggie. You must advertise. While many of the measures on this list are free or low-cost, you must funnel some of the money you’re making through your marketing into ad campaigns to generate leads and conversions further.
Pay-per-click ad campaigns are popular because they’re inexpensive. Here’s how a PPC ad model works: you select an ad, such as a display advertisement, that gets posted online. When an internet user sees the ad and clicks it, you pay the ad publisher.
That’s why it’s called a pay-per-click ad; whenever someone clicks, that’s money out of your pocket. However, most PPC ad models don’t charge much and yet pay back major dividends. Spending $1 on PPC ads can generate at least $2 in revenue.
Another form of advertising to consider is social media advertising. Every major social media platform has its own paid ad campaign, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The pricing structure varies, but most social media platforms let you build an ad from scratch, selecting from many types and styles.
You can design the ad to your liking, target it to specific audience segments, and track its performance within the ad manager.
B2C businesses usually put five to 10 percent of their revenue toward marketing and advertising, but you can start lower as a small apartment complex, such as two to five percent.
12. Reply to Reviews
When you receive reviews, prioritize responding to them. You don’t need to heap on the praise for every positive comment. You should focus your commenting time and effort on negative reviews.
Although you’ll want to pretend these reviews don’t exist, read them and understand the tenant’s perspective when they left it.
Perhaps they’re unhappy with the apartment prices or an uncommunicative landlord. Maybe they had frequent plumbing issues that never got fixed, or their air conditioner didn’t run well.
Some of these issues are addressable, and others not. Focus on those you can fix and respond to the tenant, being proactive and assistive.
The tenant (or former tenant) might respond, or they might not. If they do, offer to email them or give them a private line to call so you two can address the issue privately. There’s no need for the entire resolution process to play out through a series of comments on a review.
When new prospective tenants see that you don’t let negative reviews languish, it makes a positive impression on them. Your apartment seems forward-thinking and ready to help tenants at every turn.
13. Shoot Great Videos
Thus far, we’ve discussed the value of images in attracting attention to your apartment. However, you can’t forget video, as it’s one of the most powerful forms of content media you’ve got.
Over 90 percent of marketers rely on video in 2023. Surely, that includes your competitors, so not using video puts you at a disadvantage.
You can take professional-looking videos of your properties using a smartphone or tablet. If you have better equipment, such as a camera or a drone, your videos will stand out even more.
Feel free to edit your footage, polishing it before posting it on social media. You might utilize some effects but do so sparingly. You don’t want your videos to look gaudy or comical.
14. Start a Resident Referral Program
You’ll recall that consumers trust their fellow consumers, so a resident referral program is an excellent marketing tactic to drive attention to your apartment complex.
Under your referral program, residents can recommend the apartment to others and receive a reward for doing so.
The rewards you’ve used thus far, such as gift cards, cash, or even a month’s free rent, suffice. A referral program should have increasingly better rewards to inspire your tenants to continue recommending your building.
15. Host Resident Events
Making people feel like VIPs is always a good way to foster loyalty. Host resident events a few months before launching a referral program, and the number of interested parties for the latter should shoot up.
Resident events should occur on your premises or in nearby event halls or venues. You may treat your most prized residents to an upscale meal, a movie screening, a theater event, a small concert, a barbeque, or a party thrown in their honor.
Your residents will remember how special you treat them, affecting their decision to renew their leases and review your apartment positively.
16. Start a Blog
If your apartment doesn’t have a blog, what are you waiting for? With 600 million global blogs in 2023, there is no better time to start one than today. You will be on a level playing field with your apartment competitors with blogs. You’ll also usurp those that don’t.
Blogging is a form of content marketing. It’s a wonderful opportunity to insert the keywords you found through your research into your content and increase your authority and trustworthiness.
You should always share relevant, well-researched content. You can learn more about search intent through audience and keyword research phases.
You will have many audience search intents as an apartment owner. Some will be looking for their first place. Others will wonder if they should renew a lease. Your content should be addressed to these various audiences.
You must decide how frequently to post content on your blog. In 2023, aiming for two to five posts per week is a good benchmark. You can work your way up to this accolade rather than try to post too frequently all at once.
Create an editorial calendar to always know what you’ll post. Keep your content evergreen, and never make claims without backing them up with data.
Share your blog content on social media and insert it in your email newsletter. Your content can also be used as lead magnets, so blog posts have a long life.
17. Target Local Keywords
Targeting local keywords is another pillar of local SEO. We wrote about the value of keyword relevance in the paragraphs above, but let’s expound on it further now.
You must target the keywords your audience searches for, or your content won’t do well. Using keyword research tools and marketing software can help you identify the terms your audience searches for.
Base your content around those keywords, but avoid stuffing them in. Targeting local keywords will produce ultra-specific content suited to your local audience of prospective tenants.
18. Introduce Virtual Tours
Although you’re promoting your apartment to a local audience, out-of-towners and even those at state might consider moving there. Perhaps they need a change of pace or are starting a job that requires them to live elsewhere.
Virtual tours come in handy for just this situation. Rather than take the time and effort to visit your apartment complex, prospective tenants can go on a virtual tour. This should be more than a video but include 3D elements and interactivity.
Another benefit of virtual tours is locals nearby can decide if your apartment is worth visiting in person. A positive virtual tour will surely lead to follow-up requests to see the unit.
19. Use Video Testimonials
Testimonials are among the greatest forms of social proof, as they’re more in-depth than your average review. Video testimonials take it a step further.
Rather than read about the benefits of living in your apartment, prospective tenants can see it on the reviewer’s faces.
Their enthusiasm for living in your complex will come through loud and clear, inspiring others to book a tour or contact your apartment for more information. Video testimonials also showcase the apartment in a way that your virtual tours don’t.
The same measures you used to garner reviews can work for acquiring video testimonials.
20. Guest Post
A guest posting arrangement is excellent from a local SEO perspective, as it’s one of the best ways to build strong backlinks. You can also increase your brand visibility and attract new clientele to your apartment.
How do you find another website for guest posting? Research reputable brands in your industry or related industries and contact them, asking if they’re interested. You will accept a guest post from the other party, further building your credibility.
21. Offer a Renewal and Move-in Incentive Program
Is your rate of turnover higher than you’d like it to be? Motivate your tenants and inspire more move-ins by starting an incentive program. An incentive to move in can include a month free or three months of reduced rent.
These incentives could give new tenants on the fence the push they need to move in. You could also keep tenants who were thinking of leaving a reason to stay.
In addition to offering incentives, you can consider providing additional property management services to your tenants. This could include arranging for housekeeping or handyman services within the apartment as part of their rent package.
Not only will this make life easier for your tenants, but it also markets your apartments as a convenient living choice. Giving prospective residents another reason to choose your apartments over others.
22. Start Your Email Newsletter
An email newsletter is a stellar opportunity to connect with your tenants and fill them in on what’s happening in your apartment and your community.
You can share neighborhood guides, interviews with important staff members, updates and news about community events, and deals in your local neighborhood.
You may team up with a restaurant or retailer and offer an exclusive discount code in your newsletter to your email subscribers. They can enjoy discounted services while you get a higher open and click-through rate and more email subscribers.
23. Sponsor Events in Your Neighborhood
Don’t just connect with your audience online. Get out there and be involved in your community, sponsoring local events like baseball games, arts and crafts festivals, small concerts, and food truck fests.
It’s about more than seeing your name around town, although that will help to spread awareness. This positive association with other brands builds up your apartment in a better light than if your neighborhood community members discovered you through an ad.
Apartment marketing is a multifaceted approach. Even small apartments managed by one landlord can take their promotions to the next level with low-cost or no-cost marketing ideas and strategies.
This list of to-the-point tactics will help you reach new heights.