Online Leasing for Apartments in the Digital Age
Is Apartment Leasing Online the New Normal?
Yes! And no…and a lot everywhere in between. Is that a straight enough answer?
Online leasing and digital marketing strategies have been one of the number one things that property management and apartment staff focus on every single week to bring in new prospective renters. With online leasing, marketers and property staff are able to reach a much larger audience with tools through nation-wide Internet Listing Services (ILS), social media, digital marketing and more. When used correctly, online leasing is like creating personal, specific experiences for people all over the nation that make them feel like they belong. Now, this may already seem like I am being a little biased (I am because I am a marketer), but it’s important to note that these strategies are best used when there are people to support and nurture the strategies… and the incoming abundance of leads.
The rise of online leasing
The need for online apartment leasing has been a long time coming because the technological status of the multifamily industry has been…low. Historically, leasing staff has managed their properties completely on hard copy paper, white boards and in-person contact. While some of these resources can be effective, it is extremely inefficient and restrictive compared to the level of reach they could have online. As this large gap continued to get noticed, more technology companies with helpful services to property management companies and leasing staff began to pop up, the benefit was quickly noticed.
Nowadays, online leasing comes in many forms through social media, digital marketing, ILS postings and other digital automation tools like property management software and chatbots.
How to get started with online leasing
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or looking to upgrade, the first thing to note is there will always be options and not every option is the best for your apartment community. The second thing is to ask yourself,”What is the purpose for investing in whichever type of online leasing for your community, and what value does it bring?”
In most leasing offices today, leasing staff has had some exposure to one or a few of these tactics. But, there is a big difference between sporadically using these tactics and strategically using them. If you are lucky enough to work on a team that has some online leasing experience already, they can be a great resource to create some beginning strategies. But, what about if your team has little to no experience with online leasing and marketing. First, do some research. There are plenty of resources out there that share tips and tricks. Second, trust your gut. Remember, you are a professional marketing and sales person at heart and your intuition will usually get you a lot further than you think.
Digital leasing strategies for apartments
There are thousands of articles online that list out some great explicit strategies for using digital marketing, social media, chatbots, and other automation tools to reach customers. I will defer to some of those to help get you going, but let me preface it with this:
First, Your online leasing strategy will almost never be identical to the next apartment community. Second, test test test. All great marketing professionals will develop a strategy, test it to find out what works, and adjust the strategy to make it better. People, especially renters, are an evolving game, which means your online leasing strategy is an evolving game.
Online leasing and marketing can be a big part of your marketing and leasing strategy that can create more leads and a higher occupancy rate. Find a strategy, test it, and adjust it.