4 multifamily marketing data points to consider for budget season

Aug 16, 2023

Woman watching a video about multifamily marketing data on a tablet

Whether you’re reading this during budget season or not, you know that it’s something that comes around every year. And if you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail. And marketers do not love failing.

We’re here to help you win your multifamily marketing budget initiatives by providing you with metrics that support what you probably already know: Apartment marketing is a changing landscape, and you need to budget appropriately.

First, we’ll take a look at four new multifamily marketing data points you need to see. Then, we’ll explain why they’re important. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a video featuring Esther Bonardi, who will summarize it all and give you some great marketing strategy tips in just 5 minutes.

Short on time? Skip to the video.

Plenty of time? Let’s dig in!

4 multifamily marketing data points

Take a look at these numbers that we’ve compiled from studies of properties across the country. The data shows that there’s a lot to be gained from a robust and varied digital marketing strategy, built on a strong SEO foundation.

Details of 4 marketing data points to consider about SEO, PPC and ILS when setting your budget

SEO: $87.55 cost per lease

In this national study of 261 apartment communities, SEO was shown to be the marketing source with the lowest cost and highest return. Over three months, it drove 2,683 leases at a cost of just $87.55 per lease.

By contrast, ILSs drove 1,100 leases over the same period at a cost of $1,005.45 per lease.

During the time period of the study, SEO spend was $234,900 — as compared with an ILS spend of $1.1 million dollars. Thus, the data indicates that the communities in the study were getting a significantly better return on their spend with SEO.

Ultimately, SEO brought in 144% more leases than ILSs. SEO had an average cost per lease that was 91% lower than ILSs.

Professional SEO: 67% increase in lease volume

Is all SEO basically the same? As it turns out, no, not at all. Another study of 330 property websites across the U.S. proved that professional SEO dramatically outperforms DIY SEO, to the tune of driving 67% more leases.

The data shows that, during the three months of the study, properties using professional SEO received an average of 12.2 leases from organic search. These 12.2 leases combined to $222,902 in rental income per property.

By comparison, properties using DIY SEO got an average of 7.3 leases from organic search, for a combined rental income of $168,532.

Professional SEO outperformed DIY SEO, delivering a 67% higher organic lease volume and 32.26% higher rental income.

PPC: 15.44% lead-to-lease conversion rate

In a national study of lead-to-lease conversions across 1,533 property websites, it was found that PPC leads convert at a rate of 15.44%. By comparison, leads from traditional ILS marketing sources converted at a rate of 2.37%.

This means that leads coming from targeted pay-per-click ads are more move-in ready and likely to become renters.

Although PPC ads may seem expensive at first, a separate study of marketing source performance found that it’s still cheaper than ILS advertising when you look at the cost per lease. Average PPC cost per lease in that study was $588, compared to a $607 cost per lease for ILS.

PPC advertising is a smart strategy to try if you haven’t added it to the mix yet. With professional help, it can cost less than ILSs while driving higher-quality leads. This frees up your leasing staff to focus on the prospects most likely to convert and saves them from wasting time chasing junk leads.

New to PPC? Start by learning the basics of pay-per-click for multifamily.

ILS: visited by 73% of renters

Although SEO and PPC marketing can deliver more leads at a lower cost, it wouldn’t be prudent to leave ILSs out of your marketing budget entirely. And that’s because the majority of renters still use ILSs to begin their searches, according to the 2022 NMHC / Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report.

If you want to get on renters’ radars during the awareness phase of the leasing journey, you should be present on an ILS. Being visible on the most popular listing site(s) in your market will help renters find you. It will make them more likely to visit your website and click on your ads.

Here are four must-have apartment listing features that will help your community stand out.

Watch the video

While you should maintain an ILS presence to attract renters at the start of the leasing journey, the metrics show that you need SEO as a foundation to drive reliable, low-cost leases. And if you have more short-term needs due to vacancies or a lease-up, PPC ads are the way to go.

We hope these multifamily marketing data points help you make a case for the strategies you want to move forward with. Happy budgeting!

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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