You may have heard of the beloved customer journey. But, in apartment marketing, we have our own lingo for it. We like to call it the renter journey.
A renter journey is a path of stages a renter takes to further themselves down the marketing funnel. Escorted by your personalized marketing efforts, potential renters will make their way through the journey until they decide to choose you as their next home and become a resident (customer).
The renter’s journey is not a linear path — everyone is different! That’s why it’s crucial to create personalized renter journeys based on your community’s target audience.
A personalized renter journey can help you gain insight into your target prospect’s pain points, how they interact with your community, what they need in order to sign a lease, and much more.
Now that you understand the importance of renter journeys, let’s get to the good stuff. Below we’ll show you practically how to create personalized renter journeys for your apartment community!
Guide to Personalized Renter Journeys
Map Out Stages of the Journey
The first step is mapping out your renter journey, which is also known as your marketing funnel. There are 5 stages in the renter path that you should be familiar with.
- Awareness: A person is up to 6 months out on finding an apartment. They most likely have never heard of your property or know very little about it.
- Consideration: Now can be considered a prospect and is actively looking for housing. They are still not 100% ready to commit to a property.
- Buy: A lead that is ready to sign a lease.
- Retention: A current resident that has signed a lease
- Advocacy: A resident who advocates for your brand and loves being a part of your community.
Mapping out your renter journey just scratches the surface of creating a personalized renter journey. The 5 stages of your apartment marketing funnel set the foundation for the rest.
For more detailed information on your renter journey map, check out this blog post!
Create Renter Personas
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is renter personas. Herein lies what you need in order to make the renter journey personal to the prospect.
Renter personas are very similar to company buyer personas. It’s a realistic representation of your average, targeted renter representing the needs, goals, and requirements of your ideal renter.
An easy way to break down your renter personas is by generation such as Gen Z, Millennials, and Baby Boomers. More often than not, your community will target one age demographic.
Which generation does your apartment community cater more to? Once you narrow down the generation, use generational characteristics to create your renter personas.
For an in-depth walkthrough on how to create your renter persona, take a look at our renter persona template along with examples for each generation!
Use Personas to Create Personalized Marketing Strategies
You will then use your renter persona to create personalized marketing strategies. These strategies will be used based on the stage the prospect is in the renter journey.
The essence of a personalized marketing strategy is making it about them not you. Once you’ve created your ideal renter you’ll want to target them using a personalized strategy for every stage of the renter’s journey.
For example purposes, we will use the Gen Z renter as our target audience.
Let’s say your Gen Z renter is looking for an apartment community in your area because it’s near his university. He was scrolling through his Instagram feed and found your community through a paid social media ad that promoted your community walking distance from his college. When he clicked on the ad, it took him to a landing page.
What would be the best landing page that personally catered to your Gen Z renter so that they will submit their information as a lead?
- Since we know that Gen Z renters are interested in personalized offers, the landing page could be a leasing special offer for students only to take advantage of.
- A blog post that describes the types of exclusive amenities you offer that would apply to a Gen Z renter such as smart home features, walkable location, fully furnished apartment, etc.
- Send them to a customer testimonial highlighting their personal experience of living at your community along with a lifestyle video.
These personalized strategies could be the spark that turns a conversion into a solid lead, sending them down their renter journey with the end goal of becoming a part of your apartment community!
To add even more personalization to your marketing strategies, create a quick questionnaire to find out interests, desired amenities, and reasons for renting from your current residents to give you ideas and pinpoint strategies you should implement. In addition, it can show you holes in your marketing efforts that need to be filled.
Engage at Every Stage
Now that you’ve got your marketing strategies under your belt. It’s time to strategically place them at every stage of the renter’s journey.
It’s important to note that you should be engaging your prospects at every stage of their journey using your personalized marketing strategies. That way, you are at the forefront of their mind and constantly providing them with the right content at the right time.
Below we will give you a simplified guide to engaging with your target renter at each stage of the apartment marketing funnel.
Build brand awareness and make them aware of a problem that you can solve through blogs, videos, social media posts, & website.
Stand out amongst your competitors showing them you’re superior. Get them to submit a lead through testimonials, virtual tours, landing pages, and retargeting ads.
Here, you want to guide them toward the final steps of signing the lease through landing pages, leasing specials, pop-up offers, and lead nurturing emails.
Fulfill the promises you made in the first three phases of the renter journey. Ensure brand satisfaction through resident surveys and reputation management.
Leverage your residents to become brand advocates making them a valuable part of your renter journey through online reviews, videos, email marketing, and social media posts.
Bringing It All Together
From defining your apartment marketing funnel to engaging your target renter at every stage of the journey, there is so much that goes into creating a personalized renter journey for your target audience.
The 5 areas we focused on are the building blocks to a successful renter journey. People are complex, so your apartment marketing efforts will also be just as complex (if not more).
Don’t blindly market your community with elementary techniques hoping your ideal renter will fall into your lap. Do the work and the reward will be worth it!
Take this guide with you and personalize your renter journey based on your ideal, target renter.
As a resource, download our ebook for using generational characteristics to create renter personas! We take a deep dive into each generation and even provide renter persona templates. Check it out now!
Taylor Boyd is a digital marketing specialist with REPLI.
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