Multifamily realty is entering a new chapter, one where evolution, adaptation, and flexibility are required. Property owners and managers like yourself are diving deeper into the multifamily customer experience, identifying areas that resonate with potential residents and making changes based on that. That isn’t to say that the real estate industry isn’t doing what’s necessary to provide stellar customer service. It’s the “how” in the process that needs to be viewed through a potential resident’s view now more than ever.
Guiding renters through this journey is something most property owners/managers are already doing in face-to-face encounters. You build trust, communicate proactively, and practice active listening to show potential renters you’re invested in learning about what they want to invest in. However, these strategies also need to be present in your marketing efforts.
Meeting Renters Where They Are in the Customer Journey
Before we break down this customer journey, there’s an important disclaimer. As all multifamily property professionals know, searching for the perfect apartment community is an exciting yet daunting adventure. Potential residents look forward to finding a new home but want to ensure they make the right investment. That nervousness and apprehension can make or break their experience.
As a representative of the apartment community, it’s your job to meet renters where they are on this journey. Keep in mind that no one person’s experience will be the same. Amongst all the logistics, there are very human emotions and desires at play that directly impact their decision to call your community home.
Understanding the journey your potential residents take and the associated emotions makes it easier to help guide them through it.
A Step-by-Step Guide
The multifamily customer journey involves both direct and indirect interaction with potential residents. All stages will likely include both, along with having their own unique challenges and considerations. Here’s a breakdown of what each part involves and our best marketing tips for resonating with your future residents.
Brainstorming the Perfect Place
A potential renter’s journey begins as they research different apartment communities. More than likely, they already know where they’d like to live but still cast a broad net based on the area they live in or want to move to. While word-of-mouth recommendations are trustworthy, websites can tell a different story. High-quality visuals, concise property information, and updated search engine optimization (SEO) help potential residents notice your community while simultaneously getting the information they need to make an informed decision. 3D visualizations are another tool to allow people to view an apartment space as if they’re walking through it; it’s also perfect for people looking to move to the neighborhood from out of town.
They also create a list of must-haves and wants for their future home, which could include:
- Amenities such as a fitness center, pool, and laundry facility
- Location (e.g., close to a city center, grocery, or other community landmark)
- Quality of the surrounding neighborhood
What does your community offer that makes it stand out from others? Brand awareness is a priority in this stage, so potential residents recognize your name above others as they decide on where to live. Ultimately, they make the final decision; it’s your job to give them what they need to make it.
Exploring the Neighborhood
After narrowing down a few top potential apartment homes, it’s time to start touring. Not only is this a chance for renters to familiarize themself with the neighborhood, but also to experience the space firsthand and assess its suitability. In-person tours are most common for this stage. According to the 2022 National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)/Grace Hill Renter Preference Report, 60% of people surveyed preferred touring a community with a guide (such as a leasing agent, property manager, etc.) compared to other options. If that’s not an option, make your virtual tour as realistic as possible.
Speaking with an agent that’s an expert on the community is also a strong marketing tool potential residents respond well to. Print materials come in handy for this stage, so renters can take home the information they learned – continuing to promote brand awareness even when they aren’t actively viewing a home.
Personalization is another important factor in resonating with potential residents during this stage. With digital marketing and data influencing most online activity, people expect an experience that’s tailored to their needs. Brief pre-visit questionnaires are one way to gather details about a person’s taste and better understand their questions or concerns before they begin a tour. That way, you’re prepared to create a more personalized tour.
Staying or Leaving
When potential renters turn into residents of your community, it’s time to welcome them with open arms. However, your job doesn’t end after a resident signs a lease. Their impression of your apartment community started the moment they viewed it online or in person. Now, the key is ensuring their home remains up to their standards. Continuing to invest in your residents and consistently delivering a high-quality, positive living experience increases the chances of resident retention.
Lend a Helping Hand with Multifamily Marketing Experts
Your marketing strategy influences how potential residents see an apartment community. People want to see an updated, fresh view of rooms, the clubhouse, and any other amenities on the grounds, so sometimes rebranding is necessary. If that’s the case, or if you just want to refresh your current marketing efforts, Primary 360 can create or elevate a strategy to help make a renter’s journey through the multifamily customer experience seamless and less stressful. Fill out our contact form today to learn more about multifamily marketing.