In a recent episode of our free monthly education series: Ready, Set…Respond!, we explored innovative marketing strategies to help multifamily companies and communities stand out in today’s competitive landscape. Our guest speaker, Lia Nicole Smith, is a true expert in the multifamily housing industry, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her career, Lia has gained a deep understanding of marketing strategies and the ever-evolving industry needs. Her insights have helped numerous professionals navigate marketing challenges in this competitive landscape. With her passion for research and aptitude for identifying emerging trends, Lia is a valuable resource for multifamily professionals ready to take the leap into innovative and emerging marketing trends and techniques, and she offered some great takeaways, including a few from her recent education session at NAA Apartmentalize.
Breaking Down Silos
As marketing and operations have grown into full departments, we have begun to see the issue of teams working in silos. In order to effectively market your company and communities, it is important for marketing and operations to collaborate; complementing each other’s tasks and understanding each other’s roles. Lia compared it to the importance of on-site maintenance and office teams working together and understanding how they need to work in collaboration to effectively run the community. By breaking down these department silos, management companies will be better structured and more efficient at driving resident retention and increasing traffic.
Leveraging Operational Data
Another critical topic in effective marketing is understanding the power of operational data. This data can pave the way for many new marketing strategies. One specific idea discussed by Lia during the Ready, Set…Respond! episode is using resident survey data to market communities. Tap into motivators or triggers for why a prospect might be moving based on industry data and use your own survey and review data to create a marketing strategy around those motivators. For example, prospects move because they have endless maintenance issues. Your community can use your work order survey data as well as maintenance score on ApartmentRatings to promote how amazing your maintenance team is: “Our maintenance is consistently rated a 5/5; just read our reviews and you’ll see why.” Or prospects might be moving because they need a place that is more centrally located or more walkable, which is definitely becoming a more prominent factor as more people are working remotely or from home. So instead of promoting your swimming pool, market how amazing your neighborhood is. Share specific resident feedback about your location and neighborhood, and if neighborhood is rated a 4.8/5 for your community, use that data in your marketing strategies. The goal of marketing beyond the “basics” (ie your product) is to focus more on using operational data to speak to renters’ needs and set yourself apart from the competition.
Harnessing the epIQ Index
Another great tool for differentiating yourself in the market is using the ApartmentRatings epIQ Index. When a prospect has narrowed down their decision to a few different communities, you can differentiate yourself by promoting your epIQ Grade, your national ranking, and even showcase your city ranking to compare your community against your competitors. You can use it to showcase how your community addresses renters’ specific needs and how you respond. And with the epIQ Index based on a rolling 365 day calendar, communities’ scores can improve daily, making it easy to build a stellar online reputation. During the webinar, Carla provided a marketing campaign idea using metrics from ApartmentRatings and epIQ to show how it can be easily and effectively communicated.
Bold Predictions for 2025
Lia shared fascinating insights into the rise of the “homebody” trend and its impact on the multifamily industry. During NAA’s Apartmentalize, Lia presented a session that examined the five psychographic segmentations that define this NEW renter profile and discussed the initiatives management companies should prioritize to capture their attention. The five segmentations are: technology fluent, hyper-personalized, hyper-tribalized, conscientious consumers, and serious about buying. Over the past few years, there’s been an increase in the amount of waking hours we spend inside our home (50% in 2019, 64% in 2021, and projected 77% in 2025), there has been an increase in the number of people working from home (and this is projected to continue to increase to 36.2 million by 2025), and by 2025 there will be 25 million renter households. All of this data provides us with a foundation for understanding that now is the time to start shifting how we look at and target our renters. There has been a shift in how they intend to use their spaces, and one of the most valuable takeaways from the webinar was the recommendation to start looking at renters from a personality standpoint rather than a product standpoint, and figuring out how to speak to this new renter in a new way.
We encourage you to listen to the recording of the full episode to gain a competitive edge in your marketing endeavors. You can access the webinar recording and slides HERE. Feel free to share this valuable resource with your colleagues and industry peers who can benefit from this knowledge-packed episode on innovative marketing strategies.
Interested in learning more about Lia Nichole Smith’s Bold Predictions For 2025: The Rise of the Homebody session from Apartmentalize? Contact our education team to get the presentation slides.