Apartment Marketing and Moore's Law

Apartment Marketing and Moore's Law

Moore’s law states that over time the number of transistors that fit on a single circuit board will double every two years.  The observation is named after Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of the Intel Corporation, who described the trend in a paper he wrote in 1965 (Wikipedia). What aspects of the multifamily business reflect this same speed of change?

In my very first computer class in college the professor shared that everything we were learning will be obsolete in two years.  To make his point, he presented photographs of main frame computers that once filled a room replaced by  a handful of desktop computers. This continues today; from desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone to Google glass.

Consider the introduction of books in the middle ages. Someone had the grand idea of taking a single piece of paper and folding it in half.  Is there now more paper? Was this a technological breakthrough? In a sense, yes.  That person created four pages for the written word. This same perspective is occurring in manufacturing and industry all over the world.

In multifamily, there are numerous areas that are changing at the speed of technology.  Following are just a few to note.  How many of these are you using in real-time?

Payment systems as a marketing tool. Automated payments represented less than five percent market penetration in 2005.  It’s now over twenty percent with Residents paying rent with auto-pay systems like direct deposit or automatic date certain debit.  What’s the marketing angle? Having this option increases on-time rent payments and is one less trip your Resident has to find time to do in their busy schedule.  Sell the benefit, not the feature…

Apartment Ratings as a marketing tool.  Real time ratings from current and former Residents are available at-large to anyone seeking them. There is still a skewed view here as those with complaints are far more likely to take the time to write a review. You have to buffer this by asking Residents that you know are happy with their apartment home to write reviews. You don’t ask, you don’t get.  So go ahead and ask…

Web presence as a marketing tool.  With today’s technology,  prospective Residents can view real-time pricing, request site visits and select and apply for floor plans right from your website.  Having a dedicated website is the baseline today. This dedicated website will have property photos, an in-take form for setting up Resident maintenance, prospect lease showings, online applications (on secure servers) and perhaps a wait list.  Sometimes real-time chat.  And oh, a telephone number.

Online Marketing as a marketing tool. Print advertising still has a place, but a very small place in advertising.  Online marketing is “always on”.  With market specific SEO behind a website this single channel can dominate its marketplace and create a consistent flow of on-the-ground traffic for a property or portfolio.

Online Marketing Platforms as a marketing tool.  An online marketing platform creates a presence across multiple social media outlets and other websites to generate marketing traffic and leads.  Platforms allow for significantly greater market penetration across the web.  Marketing delivery systems, like 365 Connect, deliver powerful marketing syndication across more than 80 housing search engines and classified sites, all from a single community branded website. This type of platform allows immediate updates and changes to reflect real time inventory and pricing.  It represents a multiplier effect from just having a single website marketing plan.

Are you utilizing all of the above on your property or portfolio as marketing tools? Consider printing this list and placing each in order for implementation.  Implement one at a time and track the before and after results. When you have all five operational, measure the before and after lead generation in aggregate then convert this to a dollar amount.

  • What is your return on invested marketing dollars?
  • Which tool was the most effective?
  • What can you expand on to gain greater results?

This post is intended to spark your thinking on the topic.  Please add your comments and suggestions. I am always willing to update articles with thoughts, suggestions and new ideas from our loyal readers.

Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.

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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. www.MultifamilyInsight.com

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