5 Things You’re Doing Wrong When You’re Trying to Lease Your Apartments

Are you making these mistakes during the lease-up process?

I’m sure you’re doing a lot when it comes to apartment marketing. After all, no one wants to have empty units in their communities—that’s potential income just sitting there. Plus, you gotta admit, it’s a little spooky. 

But when it comes to marketing, there are certain missteps that people make that can lead to missed opportunities. Are you making them? I’m not here to judge (well, maybe a little). Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when you’re trying to lease up your apartments.

5 Apartment Marketing Mistakes

Having ads with no pictures. I met my husband the old-fashioned way—at a bar. But before that I did do some internet dating (this was in the Stone Age before Tinder). Part of the fun was looking through all the pictures. If I got a message from someone with no picture, that was an automatic no-go. Looks aren’t everything, of course, but, let’s be honest, they are something. What was this person trying to hide? It’s a Justin Bieber face tattoo, isn’t it? Anyway, same goes with your community. If a prospect sees an ad with no picture, they’re going to keep on scrolling. After all, what’s wrong with that community? Is it dilapidated? Teeming with spiders? On fire, somehow? Probably not, but why take the chance.

And when you use an image, don’t use something generic. Like this one. Image courtesy of pxhere.com

Not paying attention to copy. Pictures are important, but don’t forget your words. Words are extremely important, because without them, I’d be out of a job. And you don’t want that on your head, right? After prospects look at the picture, they’re going to read up on the apartment. Is everything spelled correctly? What about the grammar? You want your copy to look professional. This way your potential renters will know that this a real ad for a real apartment, not some scam where they’ll show up to look at an apartment and the next thing they know they’re waking up in a bathtub without a kidney, and the worst part is that the countertops are just painted cement and not the “granite” that was promised in the ad.

Not bothering with SEO. We all bow down to our overlord, Google. If your ad doesn’t appear on the first page when you search, does it even appear at all? Maybe. But does it matter, then? No. The sites on the first page of a Google search get 91.5 percent of the traffic for that search. So chances are that if you’re not on the first page, no one is going to see you. Optimize your copy, and make sure you have good, relevant keywords. 

Using the wrong social media platform for your community. I’m assuming social media is part of your marketing strategy, because it is 2019 and it pretty much has to be. And you should definitely be using Facebook. OK, OK, we all know that a lot of people don’t trust Facebook anymore. But Facebook is still one of the most-used social media platforms (to the tune of about 2.5 billion worldwide users). So it’s probably a safe place to market your apartments. But it’s important to really target who’s looking for your particular community with a particular platform. For example, if you have senior housing, you might not want to use Instagram, because most of Instagram’s users are 30 or younger. You might be thinking, then, that if you have student housing you should use it. But remember, it’s probably the parents who are doing a lot of the looking (or definitely a lot of the bankrolling). So maybe back to Facebook. Think through who you’re trying to target, and find ways to reach them. Don’t waste your time on marketing to all platforms if you’ll get little to no return on them.

Not having a call to action. OK, so you make an awesome post describing your spacious apartment with walk-in closets and in-unit washer and dryer, and you have pictures of the top-of-the-line appliances and the glistening community pool. You have keywords about the type of community, the city, and the fact that you’re pet friendly, which got you the coveted No. 1 spot on Google search. And you posted on TikTok, or where the cool renters are nowadays. Why aren’t you getting anyone asking to see the community? Check your content again: Do you have a phone number where they can reach you? A link to your website? Your leasing office hours? And, the big one, your address? As the famous saying goes, “If you build it, they will come. But they are also lazy and won’t do the research themselves.” Make it easy for potential renters to become actual renters.

What other mistakes do people make when trying to lease their apartments? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur