Multifamily Demographics: Counting Cars

Multifamily Demographics: Counting Cars

Do you know the average "car counts" passing by each of your assets every day?  How about the average speed of the vehicles as they pass by? Is your property marketing message capturing these potential customers?

Too many non-institutional multifamily owners treat marketing as a necessary evil versus a continual part of the business. They believe it is an aspect of the business that can be switched on and switch off at will.  Having a market presence requires consistency in message delivery.  One of the ways to do this is by having appropriate signage with the right message.

Multifamily remains a very fragmented marketplace.  There are assets in places with 100,000 vehicles a day passing their front door, others with zero traffic: as in none.  I have visited properties practically sit on top of freeways and others requiring four and five turns into a small suburban subdivision just to see the entrance to the property. 

Identifying car counts for your assets can be as simple as contacting your local planning and zoning office. P&Z is responsible for knowing the "load" for each street in the municipality.  The load factor allows for road expansion as necessary and scheduling road maintenance and repairs. 

The old fashion way of gaining car counts is to get out a lawn chair and small cooler.  Find a shady spot and "count cars" during peak times (morning and afternoon commute times).  It may sound silly but the information gained is invaluable to your marketing efforts.

For properties with good street visibility and high vehicle traffic designing appropriate signage requires knowing average vehicle speed.  Whereas presenting the name and telephone number of the property is best, at sixty miles an hour people are just as likely to capture your website address.  Leave off the "www" as this is no longer necessary. Removing "www" also gives you more space for the web address.

For assets with zero car traffic, whereas signage is important so that people know when they have arrived, marketing requires getting people to your site with the most direct route.  Thus, every marketing piece should have "easy to find" directions... even if the directions are somewhat involved. The objective is to reduce the barrier to entry, or in this case, to gaining showings. 

Every multifamily asset is unique and so is its car count.  Knowing car counts is imperative to gaining knowledge for  implementing marketing best practices appropriate to the asset.

About This Blog
Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.

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