OutREACH Live Palm Springs: Takeaways, resources & photos from the most fun multifamily marketing event

Dec 22, 2022

OutREACH Live recap gif with palm trees

Did you hear the news? OutREACH Live happened in December, gathering the best and brightest multifamily marketers in Palm Springs after a three-year hiatus.

Formerly called the Yardi Marketing Forum, this event offers three days of education, inspiration and fun with a focus on digital marketing.

In case you missed it — or even if you were fortunate enough to attend — we’ve gathered insights and resources from the sessions here, so you can start 2023 with some fresh marketing knowledge.

Check out the event photos, then keep reading to discover which topics and tips were hot at OutREACH Live in Palm Springs.

A table of multifamily marketing experts at OutREACH Live in Palm Springs

What does the future of search hold? What are the new trends in digital marketing? And how can you stay on top of the changing world of online marketing and advertising? Brooke Henderson, RVP of strategic partnerships at Yext, shared insight into what’s happening now and what’s predicted for the future.

Top takeaway: Your website used to be the center of your business online, but it isn’t anymore. Now customers find you in many ways and places. You need to be easy to find everywhere renters are searching, and your business information should be accurate no matter where they look.

Keep learning: The ins & outs of listings management for apartments, according to Yext

Eye on the ILS: What’s changed & what’s best?

Want to improve your ILS ROI? Sarah Wieman, vice president of marketing at Northland, discussed the role of the ILS in the customer journey, shared ILS features that improve conversion and talked about positioning listings as part of a balanced digital marketing strategy.

Top takeaway: ILSs have a positive impact on customer awareness but have a higher cost per lease than other sources. Be your own detective and look at the data so you can be strategic about any ILSs you choose to use.

Keep learning: 4 must-have apartment listing features

Gretchen Walker, manager at REACH, shared how often search algorithms change and what it takes to truly optimize a website daily, monthly and quarterly. She shared case studies showing cost per lease and return on ad spend for well optimized sites. She also shared data from a study of branded vs. non-branded searches.

Top takeaway: SEO is a labor-intensive process that requires constant learning and attention. Sure, you can do it yourself, but do you really have time?

Keep learning: SEO: 4 reasons you can’t just set it & forget it

Rethinking reputation: Beyond the stars

See beyond the stars when it comes to reputation management. Chris Lindish of REACH shared how to use reviews to positively impact marketing, leasing and management at your communities.

Top takeaway: Reputation management isn’t optional, it’s critical! Not only do reviews impact SEO and influence how you appear in local searches, they also impact leasing decision-making and resident retention. Accordingly, requesting and responding to reviews should be a focus of yours in the year ahead.

Keep learning: How do apartment reviews affect marketing, leasing and management?

Attendees explored the latest website trends Nicole Landfried and Neha Marathe of the REACH design team. They showed how apartment communities can make a statement with the newest colors, freshest graphics and most wanted customer engagement features.

Top takeaway: Good design will make you stand out from the competition and attract more prospects. Good UI includes engagement features that convert those prospects into renters.

Keep learning: The future of design: What’s new & what’s next for apartment marketing

Bot beyond the chat

Paul Yount got the audience excited about bots! Do you understand the difference between a button bot and a true omnichannel chatbot? Paul showed how bot-powered emails and calls can dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of leasing teams.

Top takeaway: Automate the routine and humanize the exception. Choose trainable bots that can truly chat with prospects and help residents as well as seamlessly handoff conversations that require a human touch.

Keep learning: 4 multifamily bot features you need

Let’s get social: Strategies that work

Devon Mendez, marketing and branding manager at PRG Real Estate, showed how you can transform your onsite teams into social butterflies with tips and tricks that work. PRG grew its audience by 32.8% over the course of two years by empowering and training employees to post responsibly.

Top takeaway: Your onsite teams are the people most connected to the resident experience. With consistent training and encouragement, they can create powerful content that resonates with renters and expands your reach.

The anatomy of a stellar PPC campaign

Kyle Jones, manager at REACH, shared PPC to work for you using strategies that have worked for real communities. Dr. Jones (as we like to call him) compared fully automated PPC campaigns to sophisticated manual ones and shared tips for targeting the right audience.

Top takeaway: A fully automated PPC campaign uses AI, is quick to set up and can have lower management fees but might not perform the way you want it to. A sophisticated manual campaign takes a little more work, but delivers more targeted ads to a curate audience, resulting in a higher lead-to-lease rate.

Keep learning: See how Towne Properties increased conversions and decreased spend with REACH SEO & PPC

GA4: It’s almost here (don’t panic)

Are you ready for GA4? Google Analytics is changing next year, so we’re making updates to better support those changes (and you). Catriona Banks-Orosco, director of REACH, showed how to use the new metrics and dimensions to understand traffic and improve your strategy. We’ll be posting her tips here on the blog soon.

Top takeaway: GA4 isn’t something you should fear. Instead, it offers a more intuitive way to look at the data you really want to see. It’s a good idea to start checking it out before Google forces the switch on July 1, 2023.

Revenue-focused marketing: Demonstrating financial success

Esther Bonardi talking about PPC ads on stage at OutREACH Live in Palm Springs

Marketing is often seen as a cost center instead of the revenue driver it really is. Esther Bonardi, vice president at REACH (and OutREACH Live host with the most), shared marketing metrics that will change the perception of operations executives and the C-suite. She taught attendees how to justify their marketing strategies and get the most from their marketing budgets.

Top takeaway: Marketing results are no longer a mystery. Use data to track the revenue generated by your marketing sources, and target exposure to improve revenue.  

Keep learning: 5 property marketing questions that drive revenue

The science of success: Client case studies

Multifamily pros shared case studies of successful achievements in digital marketing. Michael Wilke, marketing strategist at Towne Properties, and Christopher Johnson, vice president of marketing at Waypoint Residential, shared how to get similar results.

Top takeaway: Top marketers use data to drive results that impress executives, investors and peers. How are you currently accessing and analyzing data? To make real-time decisions that impact your company’s bottom line, your data needs to be easy to find and understand.

Keep learning: 5 property marketing analytics to track with Marketing IQ

OutREACH Live LIVE

Like Saturday Night Live but with funnier jokes and a better host! Paul once again owned the stage with his marketing monologue and then gracefully shared it with some of the best developers in the industry.

Nomo Nagoaka, Sudha Shanbhag and Patrick Lawler gave attendees a peek at what’s coming on the REACH and RentCafe roadmap. Extra special guest Chase Hunt from Avenue5 also popped in to share the results his team is seeing with Chat IQ, including a large number of shows, leads and leases that originated from the bot at two properties.

We’d love to share a sneak peek, but this product preview was for attendees only.

Stay tuned for the next OutREACH Live

We’ll be back in 2023 with even more digital marketing insights and a new, fabulous location. OutREACH Live is open to registration by invitation only, so stay tuned to your inboxes for the big announcement!

REACH and RentCafe team members in a garden at OutREACH Live Palm Springs

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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