Client story: Bright Realty on REACH PPC

Oct 11, 2023

Andrew Hixenbaugh of Bright Realty with a quote about REACH PPC

We’re excited to share a PPC success story from the small but mighty marketing team at Bright Realty. If you’ve been wondering what kind of impact pay-per-click advertising can have on a smaller portfolio — and how much work it takes to manage — this post is for you!

Bright Realty company background

Bright Realty is a full-service real estate company based in Texas. Led by a family legacy of integrity and dedication, the Bright Realty team acts as developer, owner and operator of both residential and commercial developments. While it’s best known for its 2,900-acre master-planned residential community, Castle Hills, in Lewisville, Texas, Bright Realty also specializes in mixed-use, office, retail and multifamily development. Specific to this story, it manages three large multifamily properties with a combined unit count of 1,466.

The story at a glance

The challenge

Bright Realty had an availability gap that needed filling. Two of its three properties were experiencing declining occupancy. After investigating marketing performance, Director of Multifamily Marketing Andrew Hixenbaugh found that one of their ILS sources had the second highest monthly cost but delivered the fewest leases.

The solution

Looking to move that budget to a source with higher returns, Andrew decided to try REACH PPC. Bright Realty was already using REACH for SEO, so it was a natural complement and easy to get started. Now, the money that used to feed their lowest converting ILS account goes into PPC campaigns that have raised their occupancy and net rental income.

An interview with Andrew Hixenbaugh, director of multifamily marketing at Bright Realty

Andrew took the time to share his PPC story with us, including some amazing results he was able to achieve in just six months.

Why did you start using PPC?

Andrew: As the manager of a small marketing team, consolidation is key to efficiency for me. This is why I began using REACH by RentCafe to host our websites and monitor our SEO. After about eight months, we saw improvements with our Google rankings, traffic and leases from organic leads, but we still had an availability gap that needed filling.

In December of 2022, I attended OutREACH Live in Palm Springs and learned how combining great SEO strategy with a strong PPC campaign actually boosts the effectiveness of both. With two of our three properties experiencing declining occupancy trends, this piqued my interest.

I began looking at our ILS marketing performance in Marketing IQ to see if there was any budget I could free up. I found that one ILS account was not only our second highest monthly spend but also the lowest source of leases. So, I decided to terminate this ILS account and reallocate that budget to REACH PPC services.

Within just a few months, all our properties had occupancies sitting comfortably around 95%, and leased percentages around 98%. We’re now seeing a 5.93% increase in rental income and an overall decrease in cost per lease by $34.21. Tours are also up 4% across all sites, and our ROAS has increased by 25%.

With this one change, this part of our marketing budget went from feeding into our lowest converting ILS account to outperforming ALL our ILS accounts.

How much time do you spend managing PPC campaigns?

Andrew: Implementing our PPC campaigns was very simple. Nick Willis, our SEO and PPC specialist, sent over a short questionnaire about the properties and their surrounding areas. Once I provided those answers along with the desired budget, he took a short time to come up with a strategy he thought would serve our interest.

After a brief review, I gave Nick the go-ahead to launch the PPC ads. Since then, he has managed the campaigns for me, providing insights and making recommended changes in strategy based on performance.

Typically, managing my PPC ads only requires typing the word “approved,” with the occasional call to get further insights. 

What’s your experience like working with REACH?

Andrew: I have to say Nick has been extremely helpful! He has been very flexible with providing reports on a frequent basis to provide performance insights, and he’s always happy to jump on a call to discuss ideas for advancing our strategy or to clarify some of the data points.

We started our PPC campaigns in Q1 of 2023 and saw some immediate results, but thanks to Nick’s guidance, we have seen an increase in prospects attributed to PPC by 89% from Q1 to Q2. In the same timeframe, we saw a 201% increase in rental income attributed to REACH PPC ads, as well as an increased return on ad spend of 138%.

Thanks to the PPC ads by REACH, we’ve been able to push rents and recoup some of our losses from last year’s dip.

How do you use Marketing IQ to monitor your PPC success?

Andrew: Pairing all of these solutions with Marketing IQ has undoubtedly been insightful to the performance of our listings and campaigns, and it has also given me confidence in my decision-making.

Marketing IQ made identifying my least productive and most expensive source easy. It also helps me track my changes and the resulting improvements. With it, I’ve been able to watch our PPC ads rise in the ranks of our top-performing sources.

Using Marketing IQ to watch our ad spend decrease while our ROAS increases keeps me constantly competing with past performance and drives me to continue improving these numbers.

Bright Realty’s PPC success metrics

Take a closer look at the specific results that Bright Realty achieved with REACH PPC.

Portfolio-wide gains

The numbers below show a portfolio-wide improvement since initiating PPC in Q1 of 2023. With excellent management, these results will continue to improve over time until this search marketing strategy reaches its full potential.

3 data points showing Bright Realty's decreased cost per lease, increased rental income and improved return on ad spend with REACH PPC

Quarter-over-quarter PPC improvements

Since Bright Realty also uses REACH for SEO, Andrew already knew that marketing strategies continue to develop and improve over time. However, unlike SEO — which is more like a marathon than a sprint — PPC tends to show more immediate gains.

Bright Realty PPC metrics demonstrated dramatic growth in the first 6 months, from Q1 to Q2 of 2023.

Table showing Bright Realty's quarter-over-quarter PPC data

These metrics illustrate the positive impact that REACH PPC had on Bright Realty’s marketing efforts. By reallocating their budget from an underperforming ILS to PPC, they saved money while boosting rental income and overall marketing performance.

Interested in learning more about PPC?

Bright Realty’s success with REACH PPC demonstrates the power of strategic pay-per-click advertising, especially when combined with SEO efforts and efficient budget allocation. Andrew’s experience highlights how a small marketing team can achieve remarkable results with the right tools and expertise.

Are you ready to make the leap into more efficient and effective advertising? Get in touch with your REACH agency expert or contact us today.

Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives is the manager of marketing content at Yardi. She leads content initiatives for REACH by RentCafe. Writing may be her first love, but data is a close second. Geneva is based in Santa Barbara, California.

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