‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: Is Your Apartment Marketing Just White Noise?
Every day, sitting in our office on the 21st floor, my coworkers and I listen to the cacophony of a lone protester, who is convinced he was treated unfairly. I’ve been at this job for a little more than two years, and I’ve heard this guy every morning. My coworkers who have been at the company…
I’ve been at this job for a little more than two years, and I’ve heard this guy every morning. My coworkers who have been at the company longer say that they can’t even remember a time when the protesting guy wasn’t there.
And it’s always this one guy. No one has joined his picket line. There’s never been any press coverage. People seem to still go into the store, which is obviously still in business.
So what is this guy even protesting? Honestly, we can’t really figure it out. Something to do with airlines (he stands in front of an airline storefront). Something to do with unfair practices. Even up close, we can’t really make out what he’s saying—it just sounds like shouting. Maybe he was fired illegally. Maybe he didn’t receive free peanuts with his flight (if that’s even still a thing). Maybe he’s just a crazy person with no affiliation or experience whatsoever with the company. By now we don’t really care. It’s just white noise we’ve learned to tune out—like all the honking, ambulances and people yelling about live girls (if we were in Times Square in some gritty ’80s movie, but we’re in Midtown in 2013, so it’s really just the honking and ambulances).
Anyway, when it comes to your marketing at your community, are you the shouting protesting guy? For example, in your ads, have you been bombarding people the same thing for years—tree-lined streets, maybe, or your pool or something? Or are you only marketing the community one way—Craig’s List ads, for example?
You don’t want to just keep yelling the same thing at people. When prospective residents see the same thing over and over again, they eventually begin to gloss over them. “Oh, this apartment again? Whatever,” they think.
There is so much competition out there, so you really need to catch people’s attention. That’s why it’s important when marketing an apartment to try several different methods. Go for the millennial renters by having an interactive social media campaign about the community. Attract families by having an ad that mentions that the community is located near several schools. Get nudists by skywriting about the apartments at a nude beach (although since they don’t have pockets, they might not have their smart phones on them to take down the information).
If one method works best, then stick to that as your main marketing plan. But be willing to change and adapt over the months/years so it doesn’t get stale.
Because once you’ve grown stale or become repetitive, you’re just white noise that prospective renters can easily ignore.
And that’s certainly not the way to get your lease signed. Or free airline peanuts.
What are some good ways to get renter attention in apartment marketing?
-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor
Photo credit: TijanaM