Of all the great questions asked since the beginning time, none stands out to multifamily marketers like this one: “How can we generate more leads through our website?” If you read the blogs and attend the webinars, you know there’s a new lead generation idea born every minute, but in a sea of untested ideas a few basic lead generation principles have withstood the test of time. While each community and every community website represents a different brand personality, I’ve noticed that there are a couple of universal lead-gen methods that succeed for everyone. For example…
- The Contest. Have you ever held contests on your website? This method is not only simple, it’s inexpensive! And it provides a showcase for what makes your community unique. Do something crazy like hosting an online scavenger hunt (that encourages visitors to search more deeply through your website). They’ll have fun and— what do you know— get a better idea of the amenities and services your property has to offer. Or go traditional and host a random drawing to give away a prize (iPads, events tickets, vacation getaways, etc.) A simple online entry form can gather all the information you need to follow up on a potential resident later!
- The Referral. Current residents can be a property’s best referral source, and your website can make it easy for them to spread the word about how happy they are living at your property. Use your resident portal to promote your property’s referral bonus and easy-to follow steps for submitting those referrals. Provide prominent links to social media profiles so they can interact with you online (for all of their friends and family to see). If your residents are willing to recommend your communities to their acquaintances, why not why not take advantage of it?
- The Party. Hosting an event at your property is a tried-and-true method for drumming up goodwill and awareness in the neighborhood… but what does it have to do with your website? Simple! If fun things are going down on site, there’s no better way to publicize and promote it than online. Using your website to get the word out is cost-effective and builds that very specific brand personality in the minds of your online visitors, even if they can’t make it to the party itself. Remember, parties and events don’t need to be a big huge deal, or very expensive. Look for any opportunity (World Cup watch party, anyone?) and make sure to promote the heck out of it online!
As a community manager, you have a lot on your plate. Take comfort in the fact that being creative doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to boost online lead generation. Using proven techniques, with a little local flavor thrown in, will help potential residents connect with your community and maybe even sign that lease.