Holiday party fliers. An online listing to generate leads. A new hero image for the website.
Tactical requests for simple collateral continue to be all too common for your marketing team. These tasks have to get done, and the marketing team is best equipped to handle them. But that shouldn’t be their main focus.
Today’s marketing team is more crucial to operations than you were a decade ago. You’re no longer the team that makes collateral pretty and copy sound nice. If you’ve played your cards right, you’re a strategic partner tasked with developing marketing strategies that generate revenue. You’re expected to help operators drive qualified traffic into their communities through a variety of digital marketing channels and equip onsite teams to close leases and generate renewals.
With these elevated strategic expectations, you have a completely different set of needs from your marketing partner. And you should expect more from them:
- An understanding of submarket conditions. Your onsite team has some visibility into the conditions in the submarket of the community. They are working in it every day. But they don’t have enough time to dive deep into the state of the market and analyze the influencing factors. Your marketing partner does and should take the time to analyze market conditions and provide new insights that your onsite team may have missed. They should be able to tell you why rents are down, why traffic is low and what trends are taking place in the market.
- Resident and prospective renter insight. If the analysis is done right, your marketing partner should also be able to give you insight into the opinions and behaviors of residents and prospective residents in your submarket. But this analysis has to go deeper than just a list of demographics. You already know that most renters are millennials, love their pets and want a clean place to live. A strong marketing partner will dig much deeper than that. They’ll be able to tell you about the psychographics of renters in your submarket — the lifestyles they lead and what makes them feel good about their living environment.
- Internet marketing expertise. Print, billboards, television, and radio are becoming obsolete in our industry. According to Search Engine Journal, leads from these old-school sources have a paltry close ratio of 1.7 percent compared with 14.6 percent from search optimization leads. Digital marketing is the future. Your marketing partner should know how to use various digital channels to produce the optimal results for your communities. Digital channels to leverage include:internet listing services (ILS), paid and organic search, peer-review sites, and social media, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat. The growing number of informational sources has made marketing vastly more complicated than before. Your marketing partner should understand the changing landscape and know what’s needed to ensure your long-term success.
- Lead tracking and management solutions. Generating enough high-quality leads is great. Making sure your leasing teams can convert them quickly is even better. Your marketing partner should provide you the tools you need to make sure you’re getting the most from your investment. Lead tracking and management software and tools will help ensure higher conversion rates from your valuable leads.
- Strategic advice. Armed with competitive intelligence, submarket trends and psychographics on your ideal renters, your marketing partner should bring more than just a product to sell you. They should be able to provide strategic guidance to help your communities overcome their challenges. Think of your marketing partner as an industry consultant rather than just a listing provider. They should provide you with personalized solutions built to fit your needs.
The role of multifamily marketers is much more strategic today. Don’t you think your marketing partner should be as well?