Every local business has experienced it: You look out your window, and just down the street, your competition has moved in and is eyeing your customers. If you’re an established apartment community and new construction signs start going up in your neighborhood, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do to maintain a competitive advantage. There are a lot of things to consider like pricing, product, and customer experience. But, one way to stay on top of the competition is to get smarter about your marketing.
Here are four tips to help you stand out in the competitive multifamily market.
Stake Out Your Competitors
Before you do anything, take a good, hard look at your competition. Who are they? What is their marketing strategy? There are a number of inexpensive ways to track what your competition is doing– including following them on social media, signing up for their mailings, and even visiting their location. New apartments in town? Send a leasing agent to take a tour. Or better yet – tour them yourself. When you know who your competition is and what they are about, you can make some tactical changes to your overall marketing strategy that can help you gain a competitive edge with your prospects. The key here is to identify what makes you different and use it to your advantage. And, you can identify what’s working for your competitors and adapt some of those marketing strategies for yourself.
Kick it up a Notch
Now that you’ve done a little harmless spying on your competition, you probably have a good idea of how you are different than they are. Do you have a bigger pool? Larger floorplans? Better customer service? Whatever it may be, now it’s time to think about how to get that message out to your prospects. You’ve got a lot of options, so it’s important to keep in mind your prospect’s journey. To make the most cost-effective impact, you need to be where they are at every stage – from discovery to signing the lease.
Rediscover & Sharpen Your Online Strategy
In today’s day and age, the first time a prospect will meet you may very well be online. Even if that’s not the case, you can bet they will look for you there during their research phase. So a digital approach should be one of the first objectives you tackle. If you want to outshine your competition, ask yourself these questions and take the time to find the answers:
- How easy it is to find you in search? Look for yourself and find out!
- Are you taking advantage of the same social media channels your competition is? If you notice that your competition is using Facebook and Twitter to market themselves and engage with their community, make sure you’re doing the same! You may even consider investing in Facebook advertising to raise brand awareness for your community and target nearby prospects who may be searching for a new place to live.
- Does your website make for a good customer experience? Navigate your own pages and put yourself in a prospect’s frame of mind. Are your most important features on display? Are they finding what they are looking for? Is it easy to contact you?
- Where else can they run across you? Consider display or mobile advertising if you are not taking advantage of it already. After all, the average user spends five hours a day on a mobile device.
When it comes to beating your competition, a good understanding of your lead management is a must. The team you have handling your leads needs to have prompt follow up and superior customer service. When messages are left, calls and emails should be returned the same day. Remember that if you don’t answer, your competition will! When you do have a prospect in store or on the phone, ask the right questions. Find out what they are looking for and reassure them that they have found it with your apartment community. You’ve invested time and dollars in your marketing to bring those leads your way. Don’t give them a reason to call someone else. Effective lead management makes the most of your marketing spend. Read the following blog post, Oops! Sales Bloopers Hidden in Your Phone Calls (& How to Fix Them), to learn more about call handling.
An effective digital marketing strategy is a must in the competitive multifamily market. You want prospects to find you online, understand what sets you apart from your competition, and take the next step to tour your community and sign a lease with you.
Watch this video below, 5 Tips to Stand Out from Your Competitors Online, for five key ways you can outshine your competitors and attract new tenants.