The Future of Marketing

In marketing, how do we balance new technology and new consumer behavior?

Have you ever stood at the end of the bar trying to get a drink at last call? Today’s leasing environment is a lot like that. It’s noisy and crowded. There’s a lot of competition for only a few people’s attention.

The good news is we have many new techniques and tools available to promote our communities. The bad news is the chaos and clutter gets increasingly worse as more and more marketing savvy property management companies adopt those tools.

How do you stand out from the crowd and get heard above all your noisy competitors?

It’s all about balancing these key steps:

  • Embrace a back-to-basics approach for apartment marketing and leasing strategy.
  • Get up to speed on today’s new digital realities.
  • Focus on the momentum of changing renter behaviors {Missing this step can make or break your leasing efforts.}


The timeless truths behind marketing and leasing apartments haven’t changed in centuries

As much as the world around us has evolved and advanced in the last decade {or last month for that matter}, the core principles of leasing and marketing—our “road to the sale”—haven’t changed in hundreds of years:

  • Prospects:Understand as much as you can about your prospective renter—who they are, what they need and want, and how you can best improve their living situation.
  • Market analysis:Understand the market in which you compete, not just your competing communities {AND the companies managing them.} Also your neighborhood as a whole…how is it changing right now?
  • Products and services:Knowing your community’s competitive advantage and how it meets prospect needs {both stated and unstated} better than the competition. How are you making life easier?
  • Strategy:Start with a leasing strategy that effectively anticipates prospective renter desires. Figure out how to apply the correct messaging, technology, and business ops to meet the prospective renters’ needs
  • Communication:Effectively communicate the value your community provides {that competitive advantage}. Craft the messaging to generate as many leads as possible.
  • Training: Teach your leasing team how to deliver the above script.
  • Operations:Deliver, track, and analyze your marketing/leasing efforts to understand what’s working and where changes should be made

These principles have driven the property management-marketing department since the days of ‘Three’s Company’ and are still relevant to today’s global online marketplace.



But we live in a new digital reality

Although the above seven truths are timeless, their application in today’s realty has changed dramatically in six areas:

  • Delivery:We have the ability to develop and deliver products and services that were unheard of even a few years ago. From makeup lessons via YouTube to Uber delivering ice cream, marketers can now deliver customized services easily and inexpensively. {And customers are coming to expect this ‘On-Demand’ service in every aspect of their lives.
  • Marketing automation-personalized emails can be delivered in sync with the actions that a renter is taking across different platforms without our leasing agent even being aware. {BUT they most definitely should be aware and I think this is a huge breakdown in many companies—automation set up by marketing is never communicated to ops}
  • Data:There are so many consumer insight tools available today. More data has been produced in the last few years than in the entire history of the world, and we’re only just getting started. As we introduce The Internet of Things {IoT} to our apartment communities, we will generate even more data.   The question is how to harness all that data without upsetting consumers—who simultaneously will appreciate the personalization and resent ever-more big brothery marketing messages on their Apple Watches, their refrigerators, and their in-car information systems. …The key is focusing only on the data that will actually help you deliver a more digestible message that is actually useful to your prospective renter.
  • Demand generation:We have the technology to customize marketing campaigns to meet the needs of specific prospects and prospects. (Yet, many marketers are still not able to integrate their multiple data sources with their property management software in a way that is effective.)
  • Who is driving whom: Prospects are driving how they interact with our brands as much as the brand’s owner does. Property management companies, therefore, rather than insisting things be done our way, need to meet each prospective renter where he or she wants to be. In today’s digital world, prospects interactions are still two-way conversations but instead of being one-on-one they are often, one-on-many. We need to strive to still make these interactions conversations, not monologues.
  • And the prospects are choosing the channels where they would like to have these conversations.    In a world where the expectation that any information is freely available, the marketing team and leasing team need to work together to provide the content the prospects are actually looking for and make sure it’s on the platforms that our customers would like to find it.


So what’s the momentum changing renters’ behavior and how do you harness that to your benefit? We’ll dive into that next week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top