5 Strategies Multifamily Marketers Can Borrow From Hospitality
June 30, 2022
Adopting the right marketing strategies can be critical to the success of your business—and no industry understands this more than hospitality, which has evolved rapidly to meet the demands of changing demographics, our increased reliance on technology and perhaps the most challenging two years in the industry’s history.
Due to the synergies between multifamily and hospitality, apartment owners and operators can benefit by borrowing on these successful marketing strategies.
Here are five marketing strategies used by the hospitality industry that you can adopt to better market your rental properties.
Remember calling a travel agent to book a hotel stay? That’s no longer necessary, of course, because hotel guests today can not only get information and reserve a room online, they can also check in and access that room via technology. You can offer prospective renters the same seamless experience today by having a well-designed website with plenty of high-quality photos of apartments and amenities, as well as leasing information, virtual tours and the ability to submit a rental application online.
“As a prospective renter, I want immediate answers,” said Tom Sloan, president of Windsor Property Management in Boston. “AI and chatbot technology allow that person to make progress in their transaction even if the leasing office isn’t open. That’s the spirit of a hotel reservation department that we’ve adopted.”
Branding Your Properties
Branding is a powerful marketing tool. If done correctly, it creates an expectation in the mind of the prospective customer of quality or service. You can stay in a generic hotel or you can stay at a Ritz-Carlton. Which would you prefer?
More and more apartment owners are branding their communities so prospects understand the level of service and quality they will get even before they take their first step onto a property.
“The power of brands is undeniable,” said Diego Bufquin, Ph.D., an associate professor at Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando. “When you’re trying to sell rooms as an independent hotelier whose brand is unknown, it’s hard. However, if you’re selling rooms under a strong brand like Hilton, it’s easier.”
Bonaventure, a development and management firm based in Alexandria, Va., recently rolled out a “flag” for the firm’s luxury communities. “We’re trying to build brand equity in the consumer’s mind, like Hilton and Marriott with their various flags,” said Dwight Dunton III, Bonaventure’s founder & CEO. Bonaventure’s brand name Attain is now used at the company’s Class A communities.
Windsor Communities is also branding its properties, using names such as “The Victor by Windsor” in Boston or “Allure by Windsor” in Boca Raton, Fla. “We’re a national company, and we want our customers’ expectations to be the same,” Sloan said. “We have a high expectation of quality, similar to the curb-appeal expectations of a hotel.”