The Role of Multi-Touch Attribution in the Modern Renter Journey

Modern consumers are savvy shoppers. They often adopt a complex, multi-channeled strategy when contemplating a significant purchase – particularly when it relates to their lifestyle. With apartments being a high-consideration purchase, why would marketers expect the renter journey to be any less meticulous than the modern consumer’s journey?

What is the “modern renter journey”?

Renters are falling victim to a fragmented buyer journey. The expansion of digital media has provided users with an overwhelming number of virtual resources, and each channel is simultaneously competing for consumer interest. Thus, their decision-making process is not a linear path

The renter journey often begins as one of the 3.5 billion Google searches made every day1. Following an initial search, renters will seek out a plethora of additional sources to uncover new housing opportunities. For example, the average renter uses 4 ILSs during their search2 to help discover and compare properties. Beyond that, renters may also consult their social media connections and exploit the opinions of close friends or relatives. All of these actions can occur within a single stage of the marketing funnel, prior to visiting a property’s website or searching for tenant reviews. 

This means that for prospective renters, their experience within the marketing funnel is splintered into an exhaustive series of micro-moments. According to ThinkGoogle, these “intent-driven, preference-shaping moments” pilot renters through a maze of information, prolonging the stages of awareness, interest and consideration that occur prior to conversion. For this reason, it’s important for property management companies to help guide prospective renters toward an informed purchase decision. 

This is where multi-touch attribution plays a crucial role: it allows PMCs to control their digital presence at each point of consumer engagement. Not only does this steer prospective renters toward a clear decision, but it enables PMCs to simultaneously maximize their marketing ROI. 

What is multi-touch attribution?

A multi-touch attribution model assigns credit to each consumer touchpoint on the pathway to conversion. By weighing the value of each user interaction, marketers are empowered to answer the age-old question, “Where could we best devote our ad spend?” 

Let’s say an ad appears within a renter’s Facebook feed but does not immediately lead to a conversion. Most CRMs would fail to recognize the significance of this event, as the lead was not submitted immediately or directly from the ad. However, it is likely that this initial brand exposure will serve as a catalyst for future micro-moments. Establishing a strong social media presence, for example, may prompt the renter to later “Google” the advertised apartment complex. 

Studies show that running social media advertising in combination with search engine marketing can increase brand term search queries by 31%. Dismissing the value of either source independently would inhibit a PMC’s ability to capitalize on their combined power. Thus, utilizing multi-touch attribution is crucial to understanding renter behavior, establishing the value of micro-conversions, and guiding renters toward the next stage in their purchasing journey. 

How can multi-touch attribution maximize brand awareness and conversion?

To maximize awareness and conversions, PMCs need to provide their prospective renters with a guided experience. Amplify the effect of micro-moments by combining your social media advertising efforts with a PPC campaign. Not only can this boost brand awareness by a third, but this strategy can also spark renter interest in your community – increasing website visits by 89% compared to organic traffic alone3. Should you also be present on two ILS networks, levels of interest and consideration skyrocket following a renter’s initial search query. In fact, it is estimated that this combined presence can increase leases by 3.5x4.

This data supports the conclusion that fragmentation of the renter journey is largely due to the isolation of marketing efforts. Marketing silos are detrimental to both PMCs and to the renter, as consumers will purchase from a brand other than the one they originally intended if information is not provided in the moment they need it5. By diversifying their digital marketing portfolio, PMCs can effectively allocate budget toward channels that drive high levels of user value when and where they need it. 

*Take advantage of your brand’s micro-moments with RentPath’s wide array of digital marketing solutions. For more information on ILS advertising, social advertising or search engine marketing, please call 877-394-9599 or select Get In Touch at the top of the page.* 

2 RentPath Renter Survey, October 2018.
3 Incremental Clicks Impact Of Search Advertising, Google Inc.
4 MaxLeases, Jan – June 2019.  One network includes 208 properties that listed on RentPath only or CoStar only for all months. More than one network includes 317 properties that listed on both RentPath and CoStar for all months.
5 Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile, Google Inc.

By Ashley Shaw, Digital Marketing Analyst

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