A lot has happened in apartment Internet marketing and technology since the last big development boom. With the consideration that new community lease-up budgets are often eight to 10 times larger than typical community marketing budgets, the Bozzuto Group’s director of interactive marketing Michael Kilmurry and Apartment All-stars speaker and occupancy specialist Kate Good ran AIM attendees through an exhilarating gauntlet of creative lease-up strategies in their Tactics in New Construction Lease-ups session at AIM 2012.
“Whatever you do, you’ll want to track analytics through all channels,” said Kilmurry. “In fact I want a t-shirt that says I love tracking URLs. But creating a new community ultimately comes down to starting a conversation, and you’ll have to do that, too.”Bozzuto has found recent success starting conversations by networking deep into their PR and marketing associations, pairing up with luminaries and brands like Candace Bushnell, Neiman Marcus and Georgetown Cupcakes for event based marketing that has turbocharged preleasing at the firm’s new communities.
“The market is focused on what’s new, what’s hot, what grabs our attention and holds it,” said Good. “With lease-ups we’re looking for a great launch, because 10 percent of the market typically influences the purchasing decisions of the other 90 percent. That’s the new, critical importance of brand advocate marketing.”
Good shared insights from marketing campaigns including Dollar Shave Club and MINI, and suggested a deeper social media and technology empowerment at the site level to throttle lease-up success, including personalized leasing agent web sites and URLs and training leasing teams better on delivering messaged communications. “Add value to the leasing conversation,” Good said, “and I do believe that 50 percent prelease openings can happen with regularity.”