It’s no secret that the internet plays an integral role in almost every industry. Yet, executives still question the ROI of digital marketing in the commercial real estate industry and are unclear on how to navigate the countless digital platforms to generate leads and drive traffic to their assets.
According to a recent National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Study, Almost 80% of Gen X and millennials found their home through a mobile device compared to 68% of Baby Boomers. Furthermore, over 33% of today’s renters only visit a single property before signing a lease. Not to mention, 14% of tenants would rent without seeing an apartment in person. This demonstrates that a growing percentage of renters are making their decision based on the assets’ digital presence before stepping foot inside the building.
According to bdcnetwork.com, one of the top trends in the marketplace is that renting has become an attractive long-term option for millennials and the baby boomer generation. Millennials are looking for amenity-rich apartment communities. Additionally, Baby Boomers are looking to downsize from their homes and are looking for wellness and zen-like amenities. The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) believes baby boomers will demand 4.6 million new apartments by 2030.
Where to Invest in Digital Marketing?
The Digital Marketing Funnel is the journey your potential customer travels to become a lead and, ultimately, a tenant. The first step to better understanding multifamily real estate marketing ROI is formulating a marketing funnel. Developing a marketing funnel will allow you to understand your objectives better and create campaigns that will attract potential residents. The funnel includes:
- Website – The website is the center of the property’s digital presence. It is the first interaction between the building and your future residents. It is essential to translate the familiarity of your brand from digital space to the physical property. When done correctly, your website will drive traffic and increase the leasing velocity.
- Social media – During the last reported quarter, Facebook stated that 2.8 billion people were using one or more Facebook services, which include (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month. Building an audience organically and engaging through these platforms will allow you to build your audience without having to spend any advertising dollars.
- Online Advertising – Data collected from these social platforms give properties the ability to market their building to potential residents that are more likely to be interested. Being able to get in front of this targeted audience will improve your ROI.
- Email marketing – A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says that 85% of American adults over 18 use email. Additionally, open rates ( the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email) for the real estate industry is at 19.17%. Setting up an email campaign strategy for potential residents is a crucial tool to implement in your marketing efforts.
Traditional vs. Digital Ads: Why Choose Digital?
Print and television advertisements have been traditionally one of the pillars of advertising. However, the digital space provides measurable metrics giving us the ability to not only dissect vast demographics but deliver cost-effective strategies to multiple platforms.
According to Gaebler, a full-page black and white ad costs upwards of $100,000 at a CPM (Cost Per thousand impressions) of $50. Comparatively, in platforms such as Google Ads charging per click, it can cost you a little as under $10 CPM. Digital marketing allows you to spend wisely while gaining insight.
When it comes to tracking traditional ads such as Tv ads, billboards, or magazines, it becomes much more challenging to track and measure the R.O.I of your ads.
Let’s be honest, people are more likely to be staring at their phones rather than looking at a billboard or television commercial. In a magazine, the number of readers who see your ad will be less than the number of magazines in circulation due to magazine issues going unsold.
Lastly, 47% of millennials and Gen X don’t watch traditional T.V. Approximately 22 million people had canceled their cable by the end of last year. Magazine and newspaper sales continue to decline at a rate of about 16% a year.
3. The Power of Segmentation & Omnipresent Strategy
Digital ads provide you the ability to create copious amounts of segmented content and personalize the creative and copy for your ideal tenants. Because you are creating highly relevant content to your target market, it connects on a level that general advertising can’t. This connection gives it the ability to influence decisions.
Traditional marketing doesn’t support businesses’ direct interaction with their customers. In contrast, digital marketing offers multiple levels of engagement and interaction. Research shows it now takes up to 32 “touches” for a buyer to make a decision. Developing a marketing strategy (omnipresence) across multiple social platforms and ad placements are essential.
Whether it is through email, social media, surveys, etc., digital marketing allows you to engage with customers and answer their questions effectively. Notably, digital marketing also enables you to make adjustments and improve your ad’s content and copy over time.
Deciding on a Digital Marketing Strategy for the best ROI
A comprehensive and cohesive approach to marketing and branding increases ROI for a relatively small investment. Traditional media has been useful for decades. However, looking at future trends and statistics, building a strong digital presence connects tenants to the brand and provides an idea of what to expect. It can drive interest and excitement as early as the pre-development phase and carries on through lease-up and stabilization.
By applying these strategies, it will bring your development to life and allow your property to better connect with their tenants. As well as increase the value of your ad dollars and help you dominate the market place. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.