With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is undoubtedly in the air. While we typically think of this holiday as a reason for displaying how much we love our significant others (or an excuse to hang out with our friends and toast to no longer being with the jerks who used to hold us back) we should also use this occasion to remind ourselves that our clients need love too. And, if your client, or business, happens to be a multifamily apartment community, you’re in for a heart-shaped treat! This post will show you how to approach marketing your multifamily apartment community; in other words, how to get your community into an online relationship with its prospects so that you can then turn those relationships into IRL (in real life) ones. So, gather your property’s most flattering photos, identify its best attributes, and get to your computer…we’re building an online dating profile!

Setting Up Your Dating Profile (Website)

Think of your community’s website as an online dating profile that will be used to spark interest in prospects. People who are looking for love on dating sites are similar to people who are looking for a new place to call home. They want to see if you’re offering what they’re looking for and in either case, it’s important to have great photos, list your best qualities, and offer a way to contact you.

Here are a few more things your website should incorporate so it looks beautiful and gets people to inbox you (AKA fill out a contact form):

  • Make sure people can find your site: Your website should be search-friendly and SEO-optimized. Remember to review your title tags and meta descriptions for keyword accuracy.
  • Include a blog on your website: This is a great place to tell your prospects about your community. It’s like an extended “about me” section on a dating website! If you’re not sure which blogging platform to use, we highly recommend WordPress for its ease of use and versatility.
  • Make your website aesthetically pleasing and easy to use: First impressions are lasting impressions. Be sure that your site will be appealing to your target demographic. This means using design best practices and shying away from too much Flash content. It should also be easy to read and navigate. You only need a few pages to say what really matters.

Attracting Potential Matches

Even though there are similarities between your website and a dating profile, there is one key difference: your website doesn’t have a built-in audience of people waiting to scope you out and ask you on a coffee date. Your SEO efforts will definitely get visitors to your site, but you can utilize social channels to attract even more potential soulmates. Think of this as a way to help you show up in search results on a dating site. Based on your marketing budget and available resources, you should establish a presence on the social sites that make the most sense for your apartment community. We recommend that our multifamily clients always have a Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest at a minimum, but we also offer management of Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn when applicable.

After your social sites have been properly established with photos and property info, you can start posting. It’s a good idea to include links back to your website so people can see all that your community has to offer and so that they will (hopefully) convert by filling out a contact form. All of your stellar blog content should be promoted on your social channels as another way of enticing people to get to know you better.

To get even more social traffic to your site so you can flaunt your stuff to TONS of people, you can utilize social ads. We recommend that all social campaigns for apartment communities use Facebook ads because, when combined with killer content and website links, they result in HUGE traffic to your site. You can also experiment with Twitter Ads and Promoted Pins on Pinterest, which have just started rolling out to business profiles.

To make sure your traffic isn’t sketchy (like a creepy guy on a dating site who falls in love with you before he’s actually met you), and that it is indeed coming from quality sources like Facebook, you should use UTM parameters on all of your website links. Doing so will allow you to see where your traffic is coming from in Google Analytics. It’s like beenverified.com (you know you’ve seen the commercials) but for your website! You should also be tracking conversions on your site from contact forms. Getting a conversion, typically a form submit, is like getting a message from someone on a dating site who is interested in meeting you. If this happens organically or with little to no work, it makes things easier on you…and you might even feel a little boost in confidence! If this isn’t happening though, you might want to consider getting into an online relationship with prospects and taking the time to court them before they get to your property. More on that in the following sections. Just remember: your website is where all your information is and it’s where the magic happens!

Getting Into an Online Relationship

If you take advantage of posting on social sites and running social ads, you can really develop a relationship with your followers. By sharing your amazing blog content and photos (see a pattern here?), asking questions of your followers, and responding to any questions they might have, you will start to form a bond with them. Relationships with your online love interests might hit some rough patches, but those who are truly interested in what you have to offer will stay true and engage with your content. Reward these prospects with exclusive offers, information about upcoming events, and shout outs when possible. Think of this as your way (and your prospects’ way) of getting to know each other before the first date.

Meeting in Person

Once a relationship has been established, hopefully things will be coming along at your property and you can invite your love interests over for a casual first date or hang out sesh. With most of our multifamily campaigns, we are usually able to promote events in the second half of our clients’ campaigns, which gives us time to build a fan base and get the word out about events to as many people as possible. While we can’t guarantee that someone will actually sign a lease when they visit the property for a tour or open house event, we do know that this is the time for the property team to shine and really highlight all the amazing things the community brings to the table for its future residents. At this point, the online relationship becomes the IRL relationship. And, with enough chemistry, it hopefully becomes a lasting relationship between a resident and their new home.

The road to making a prospect fall in love with your apartment community might not always be an easy one, but I hope with this new take on attracting soulmates and getting leases you or your client will find success!