The Case for Specialized Marketing Expertise

By Chris Arnold
Specialized marketing

In the multifamily industry, specialized marketing expertise is a must when it comes to building nuanced brand experiences that meet the demands of high renter expectations. That's a stance I've taken for some time and not one that everyone agrees with - which is OK.

I'll typically aim to draw an analogy to something building-related when explaining my team's thoughts around this concept, and one that always comes to mind is remodeling a bathroom.

When looking for a partner who can strategize, plan, design, and execute a bathroom revamp, the best and most efficient decision would be to connect with bathroom remodelers who display outcomes that align with your goals and aesthetic preferences.

You wouldn't necessarily reach out to any number of "general builders" who would understand how a bathroom remodel may go.

For example, a fence builder or a deck construction company. They know how to build things and would likely get through the project just fine in the end, but are they really the best fit to execute a new bathroom?

Furthermore, are they thinking about and deeply embedded in the nuances around resale value, vendor relationships, and material selection?

Generalists vs. Specialists

It's the same with generalist marketing partners that lean into traditional strategies that fall short when transposed onto the real estate landscape.

For multifamily properties, attracting renters involves more than a pretty website that showcases available units; it requires a deep understanding of the target market, the integration of current-day technology, and strategic deployment of lease-up best practices.

Multifamily real estate marketing thrives on specificity.

The effectiveness of a campaign hinges not just on creativity but on an intimate knowledge of the industry’s complexities.

Every aspect demands a tailored approach. This specialized focus ensures that marketing efforts resonate deeply with the intended audience, leading to higher engagement and, ultimately, successful renter acquisition.

Why a Specific Go-to-Market Approach

Developing a go-to-market strategy in real estate is not just about launching a property; it's about sustaining interest and occupancy over time and planning for this from the start.

It's a big topic at Transforming Cities with multiple thought leaders, and for good reason.

A strong GTM plan requires a phased, strategic approach where marketing efforts are not episodic but rather built incrementally over the project’s lifecycle, which can span anywhere from, say, 12 to 18 months.

Starting early and maintaining a consistent marketing effort allows developers and owners to stay ahead of potential challenges and adapt to market changes effectively.

A multifaceted marketing strategy integrates digital assets, leveraging both online and offline platforms to maximize reach and impact. In today's digital age, ignoring this aspect can be detrimental.

An agency that excels in creating visually appealing print materials but lacks digital prowess, for example, will likely fail to meet the comprehensive needs of a well-rounded multifamily marketing campaign.

In this day and age, the synergy between creative design and digital marketing expertise is crucial for driving demand and ensuring the commercial success of the property.

When Agency Partnership Goes South

At the risk of sounding dramatic, the choice of a marketing agency can make or break your real estate project's success.

We know this because we see it happening when groups reach out after a failed partnership with agencies that either don't understand the industry or understand just enough to get their foot in the door but then leave their client in a tough spot due to a lack of followthrough.

Many developers and owners fall into the trap of selecting agencies based on superficial criteria: pretty pictures, generic capabilities, and a flashy website that is less about their property goals and more about the agency itself.

Keep in mind, though, that the multifamily world requires more than just good creative; it demands a partner who understands the full spectrum of marketing—from brand creation to digital campaigning and beyond.

The right agency will not only understand the unique challenges of real estate marketing but will also be equipped to handle them comprehensively.

Collectively, what this would look like is a group that can speak to a robust go-to-market strategy, a solid understanding of digital and traditional marketing tools, and the ability to integrate these elements seamlessly to enhance the property’s market position.

An Industry Evolving

Multifamily is undergoing an exciting change as we peer ahead to the mid-2020s.

Renters demand more than ever and the experience you create onsite goes further than ever before. Renters have a choice, and they choose spaces that empower them to feel connected to something greater than the four walls they live within.

They want a bespoke, thoughtful brand experience.

They desire clever, unique touchpoints.

And unsurprisingly, they want to be wanted, so nurture them.

As the industry evolves, so too must the strategies used to market multifamily properties.

By prioritizing agency partner expertise and a comprehensive strategic approach, your projects have a stronger chance to not only attract but also retain the right renters, thereby securing the long-term success of the greater investment itself.

When ROI and NOI matter so much, it seems obvious to align with a group that thinks about that from the start, too.

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