OutREACH Live: Insights & photos from our marketing forum in San Antonio

Mar 20, 2024

Gif of photos from OutREACH Live with the word "recap" written over the top

Howdy y’all! We had one heck of a good time at OutREACH Live in San Antonio last week with 100 or so of our favorite clients.

From diving deep into AI to mastering the art of search marketing, we covered everything you need to stay ahead of the curve in multifamily. We also threw a fiesta at The Alamo for a night of unforgettable fun!

In case you missed it, here’s a little wrap up so you can feel like you were part of the excitement. Learn all about the event and get the top takeaways from each session.

Visual learner? Check out the OutREACH Live photo album to see what you missed (or relive your favorite moments if you were there with us).

And if you currently work with us at REACH, keep your eyes on your inbox for your exclusive invite to our 2025 event.

What is OutREACH Live?

OutREACH Live is an annual event designed to empower multifamily marketing professionals with the latest trends, insights and tools to maximize reach and drive results.

It’s a chance to connect with industry peers, learn from experts and discover innovative solutions to create a balanced and flexible marketing strategy that will succeed in any market.

The conference location changes from year to year. We’ve been to Palm Springs, Nashville, Seattle and New Orleans to name just a few.

Image with a compilation of social posts created by attendees of OutREACH Live in San Antonio

Keynote: Harness the magic of AI

Andrew Davis, a renowned marketing author and speaker, kicked off the event with his thought-provoking keynote about AI. He highlighted the explosive growth of AI in marketing, noting that a staggering 91% of marketers are already using it daily.

Top takeaway: AI isn’t about prompt engineering; it’s about working smarter until it can mimic and amplify your ideas. “Think of it as IA instead, intelligence augmentation,” shared Davis. If you use the available tools to integrate, test, refine and monitor until AI becomes your digital doppelganger, you will free yourself up to “dream more and click less.”

Keep learning: AI and the (rapidly evolving) state of apartment search

Search experience optimization: Beyond keywords

Melissa Brady from Fogelman presenting on stage to a crowd of multifamily marketers at OutREACH Live in San Antonio.

This session delved into the ever-evolving world of SEO. Kyle Jones and Gretchen Walker emphasized the importance of going beyond keywords to deliver a better use experience that will, in turn, tell Google that your website is relevant and helpful. They shared both on-page and off-page SEO strategies, delving into topics like word counts and backlinks.

Melissa Brady, vice president of strategic marketing at Fogelman, also shared the stage. “SEO is the opportunity to serve renters what they are looking for, when and where they are looking for it. To me, there’s no website without SEO.”

Top takeaway: You don’t just need traffic. You need the right traffic. When the right traffic comes to your website and engages, it sends positive feedback to Google, telling them they served the right search result. When Google gets positive feedback, it begins to trust your website and will surface it in the right searches more often.

The key is to optimize your website for engagement and conversions.

Keep learning: 5 apartment website features that convert leads into leases

Analysis without paralysis: Using data to revolutionize marketing

Marketing analytics can be overwhelming, but this session offered practical tips to help you focus on the metrics that truly matter. Chris Lindish, our industry principal, underscored a crucial point: “If you think about it, lease volume is the cornerstone for all financial metrics.”

Data empowers you to track performance and make data-driven decisions that ultimately impact your bottom line.

Top takeaway: Marketing is an investment, not an expense. “Without marketing you have no customers,” stressed Esther Bonardi, our vice president. “Without customers, you have no residents. Without residents, you have no revenue.”

Effective marketing drives resident acquisition and retention, fueling your financial success. And your financial success can be proved by looking at the data.

Keep learning: The smart guide to balanced apartment marketing  

Martech, martech, martech! Transformational marketing technology

This session showcased the power of marketing technology (martech) to streamline processes, personalize interactions and boost ROI.

Anne Baum, director at Towne Properties, shared a compelling success story using RentCafe Chat IQ. “In a test over three months at just three properties, our chatbot saved 3,798 hours,” she revealed. “We found that 47% of prospects were generated after hours, and we had a 55% increase to lead-to-show conversions.”

Nima Farkhak, director at Yardi, also shared the new technology behind RentCafe CRM IQ, a revolutionary customer-centric platform for multifamily. Noting that 8 out of 10 prospects have interacted with another property in the same portfolio, he noted the significance of having a CRM that can unite all interactions under a single customer record across any number of properties.

Top takeaway: Don’t be afraid to embrace new technology that helps with marketing! The right tools can automate tasks, free up your team’s time, improve the customer experience and deliver measurable results.

Keep learning: 5 advantages of a single dashboard for multifamily CRM

Experiential learning: Innovation, information & inspiration

During this time, OutREACH Live attendees enjoyed three interactive learning experiences. They learned about innovative new features coming soon, tested their knowledge in a game show environment and they mood boards to brand different styles of properties.

Keep learning: See how our creative team approaches website design

ILS spotlight: Features that convert

During this presentation, we encouraged attendees to break the cycle of overspending on lackluster ILS results. We shared data from a case study and a renter survey to show what really works when it comes to apartment listings.

Top takeaway: Renters really want to see the apartment in question. In fact, 73% said interior apartment photos are the most influential images, far above amenity and exterior photos. And, having more than 20 photos on your listing was shown to increase conversion rates as much as 9x.

Keep learning: 5 ways to win on the ILS

OutREACH Live LIVE

This exciting late-night talk show style session offered a sneak peek into the future of REACH, including updates to Marketing IQ and RentCafe websites. We wish we could share that information here, but it’s top secret! Let’s just say a few exciting AI developments are coming soon.

BOLO: Where are we going in 2025?

We can’t reveal the location just yet, but we hope you’ll save space in your event calendar for next year’s OutREACH Live. Our team is already hard at work planning a bigger and better conference, with exciting new speakers, informative sessions and unforgettable experiences.

Be on the lookout for your 2025 invite!

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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