Tips for Creating a Balanced Marketing Strategy and Budget – Multifamily Real Estate News
As 2023 approaches, now is the time to make sure your marketing budget is in order and you have a successful plan for the year ahead. The MHN Executive Council offers its best advice for creating a balanced marketing strategy and budget.
With the daily changes of technological advancements, marketing plans need more flexibility than ever. Our industry and submarkets are changing rapidly, and it’s important to not only keep pace, but also try to stay ahead of the curve. It’s important to have consistent scan reports so you can see the changes and make the necessary changes quickly. —Jamie Cruz, Regional Asset Manager, Beitel Group
The long view
Know your demographic and target market. Examine traffic patterns – see where leads are coming from. Historically identify which resources work in this zone, as not all work in the same zones. Digital marketing is the best value for the dollar spent, and these include pay per click, like campaigns, or paid social media ads. The ILS sites and website are still in use, but the fastest and easiest to use are the digital PPCs.
Also consider the goals of the owners and the site. Is it a long-term or short-term take? How much capital is invested and does it generate more income? Are you renovating an entire site and have many ongoing projects that are disrupting residents and prospects? If so, you need capital timing and careful communication to keep the balance between marketing and residents with the mess.
Finally, lease expirations is a year-long process to successfully work to move lease expirations to a balanced number at specific months for leasing teams. For every unit that rotates, you need three to four leads. Thus, lease expirations and revenue plans are linked to marketing plans. With rent increases, try to balance these so that they are slow and steady and consistent with any other issues that occur. Sometimes we push too hard in good months and are surprised in the third quarter when the market slows down. Talk to your residents, plan events, meet one-on-one, because current residents are your best resource for referrals and renewals and, of course, reviews. —Diana Pittro, executive vice president, RMK Management Corp.
For me, marketing strategy is always linked to two essential questions: who is my audience and what do they want? No marketing strategy works in all markets, for all sizes and all types of communities. The allocation of funds must follow the demographic target.
At The REMM Group, we use a balanced marketing strategy and budget creation follows a thorough study of market composition, renewal exposure, market rent increase timing and market demographics. We also use CRM to track lead attribution.
Since REMM Group is a third-party management company that works with a variety of multi-family owners, goals vary for each asset. It is essential that we have an accurate understanding of the community’s short and long term financial plan and execute accordingly. This does not always provide an “optimal budget”, so it is essential that we use strategic targeting. We don’t often have the budget for a shotgun approach. —Susan McPeak, Creative Director, The Dales Group
Welcome, anticipate and align
A balanced marketing strategy should be guided by two priorities. First and foremost, it must not only meet customer needs, it must anticipate what lies ahead. Understanding their business goals and objectives always serves as an infallible barometer of where your marketing investments should go.
Second, the marketing strategy must align closely with the overall operating budget, including room for growth and agility. We use an EOS entrepreneurial operating system as a practical roadmap that works on accountability and commitment across the organization. With the help of a facilitator, we manage processes, projects, profitability, productivity and forecasts so that we can continually renew our sales and marketing strategy for optimal results. —Mary Cook, President, Mary Cook Associates
We are big believers in marketing and business development, working hand-in-hand to research market trends, identify clients and projects that align with our strategic goals, and reinforce those goals through communications and social media, both internally and externally. We then complete the loop by collecting feedback from staff and customers to continually adjust and improve. Our Comics and Marketing Directors facilitate our annual strategic planning and are intimately involved in helping us develop and implement strategies to grow and sustain our business. They are rock stars! —Yolanda Cole, Co-Senior Director, Hickok Cole