10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Multifamily Agency

By Chris Arnold
The alice

In multifamily, the challenge isn't just about constructing buildings—it's about creating communities that people want to call home.

This starts long before the first renter ever signs a lease; it begins with the strategic formulation of a marketing plan that is not only robust but also deeply informed by industry-specific expertise.

Below are 10 fundamental questions that multifamily developers and marketing leaders should ask when selecting a multifamily brand and marketing agency to ensure their investment attracts the right residents and maximizes returns.

We'll capture these inside four buckets: strategy, brand, demand, and enablement. Let's jump in.

Strategy

  • Do you have multifamily industry expertise?
  • Do you have a go-to-market approach, and if so, what is it?

It's critical to confirm an agency's expertise in real estate and, more specifically, the multifamily space.

Multifamily marketing isn't just about selling a product; it's about selling a lifestyle and understanding the intricacies of local markets, demographics, and the specific needs and expectations of renters. Partnering with an agency with deep roots and a proven track record in the multifamily space is essential.

Similarly, another crucial aspect to consider is the agency's strategic approach to launching multifamily projects.

Questions about their go-to-market strategies can reveal much about how they plan to position your project in the market.

It's beneficial to understand their process for building campaigns—do they start with market research and demographic analysis and then tailor their approach accordingly?

An effective strategy often involves a multi-tiered marketing approach that adapts over the lifespan of the project.

Brand

  • Are you more of a creative or digital agency?
  • Are you a branding agency or marketing firm?
  • How do you identify a target market?

In today's digital age, a multifamily marketing agency must excel in traditional creative design and digital execution. Integrating compelling visual design with digital marketing strategies is key to creating effective online campaigns that attract potential renters.

It's important to find out if an agency can handle both or if they tend to subcontract digital or creative aspects, which can dilute the cohesiveness and impact of your marketing efforts.

Furthermore, understanding whether an agency is predominantly a "branding agency" or a "marketing firm" can impact its ability to deliver comprehensive services.

A branding agency might excel at creating visual identities and narratives but lacks the tools and strategies to execute marketing campaigns that convert interest into leases.

Finding a partner with this depth on their roster is rare, so be aware of these differences.

Demand

  • How does your approach accelerate sales/leasing? How do you measure success?
  • What's the process to ensure marketing is aligned with my onsite leasing/sales teams?

If the agency doesn't speak to how they will help drive revenue and ROI from their marketing fees and tends to focus on their creative outcomes, think long and hard about their approach.

"Driving more leads" or "creating strong messaging" isn't enough.

The whole point of marketing is to drive revenue. A go-to-market program needs to include ongoing analysis and adaptation as you go. If that's not the case, the big picture will be missed.

Understand how their mindset aligns with your onsite team. Make sure the agency has a plan for connecting with your leasing lead and discussing outcomes at the ground level.

Getting a "brand book" and launching "campaigns" only goes so far when real-time adjustments will be needed during the lease-up period.

Marketing and sales need to dovetail with one another. Be weary if that is curiously absent in the plan!

Enablement

  • Do you have web tech capabilities in-house? What are they?
  • What integrations do you have with real estate/PM software?
  • How is your team organized? Where is your team located? Freelancers vs in-house?

Ask about the agency's ability to integrate its strategies with existing property management systems and internet listing services. Their tech savviness will significantly impact the efficiency of leasing operations and the renter experience.

Ask if their tech capabilities are in-house. Surprisingly enough, it isn't uncommon to see big agencies farm out all of their web projects to a contractor or an entirely different team.

Related to this, keep in mind that the structure and location of the agency's team can influence their effectiveness and responsiveness.

Agencies that rely heavily on freelancers may need help maintaining consistent quality and communication. Working with an agency whose team is cohesive, well-coordinated, and fully integrated into the multifamily industry is a huge advantage.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right marketing partner is not just about who can create the flashiest campaign but who can generate tangible results. Pretty pictures are certainly a requirement, but that's not the whole (you guessed it) picture!

The goal is to drive occupancy, maximize revenue, and build an experience – not just fill a building.

By asking these detailed questions, developers and marketing leaders can better gauge an agency's capability to meet and exceed a multifamily project's marketing needs.

As we continue to see the market evolve, so too should your marketing strategies, ideally with a knowledgeable, experienced partner by your side.

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