September 12, 2022 |
Updated September 12, 2022
Here’s how to really know who your customers are.
It’s critical to know and understand your prospective residents — and regularly assess their wants and needs. The multifamily industry is constantly changing — and so too are its residents. This is why it is only natural to change the way you lease as well, adapting to the circumstances and environment of today.
What’s the best way to get to know your audience? By creating a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on interviews, market research and real data about your existing or target audience.
Because of marketing technology’s powerful ability to target specific audiences, you can even use your personas to help maximize your multifamily pay-per-click (PPC) and Facebook lead form ads.
A buyer persona also allows you to build a more compelling brand that will connect and resonate with your prospective residents’ lifestyles. By knowing your audience, you will understand their wants, needs, pain points and values, which you can then utilize to market to them accordingly. This will, in turn, help you create a foundation on which your multifamily brand will be built on.
Who Are Your Ideal Residents?
Do you know who your customers are? Where they work? Where they shop? What are their interests?
While these questions might seem unimportant, they are essential characteristics to know to understand your prospective renters’ purchasing decisions. A well-defined buyer persona helps target marketing efforts toward the right people, at the right time.
These personas capture the demographics, motivations, behaviors, problem areas, and professional/personal drivers of your ideal customer. Knowing this information helps you create content, design amenities, and understand the type of customer service needed to attract residents.
A brand persona can also help establish credibility and trust with your audience — two critically important aspects of landing a new lease. If the potential resident can see that you understand their interests, goals, challenges and communication preferences through your messaging, the likelihood of them engaging (and leasing) with your property is significantly higher. You want your brand to be able to personally speak to the audience in a relatable way.
Find Your Voice
Not sure where to start? Interview your current residents! Incentivize them with freebies, giveaways or discounts on rent in exchange for 30 minutes of their time to answer some basic demographic questions about their lifestyle, work life, hobbies, etc.
You then use this information gathered in interviews to create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal resident. This persona will help you cater your marketing efforts to the right audience and in the right way.
Consider the following when building a buyer persona:
Job titles and responsibilities
Demographics such as age, ethnicity, family status, education, etc.
Goals you want to accomplish on your website
Pain points (Why is it so easy for residents to leave? What are they struggling with? What are some of the things that frustrate them about the apartment industry?)
Work environment (Do they work a standard 9 to 5 job? Busy stay-at-home mom? Are they on their feet all day in a fast-paced workplace? Is their office located in a large high-rise downtown?)
Photos (Using realistic pictures, rather than celebrities or stock photography, is always best.)
Update Messaging to Reflect Your Persona
Once you have developed your buyer persona, make sure to update your property’s values, goals and mission statement to reflect it. These brand pillars are the core of any successful marketing strategy and should be communicated in your content regularly as some audiences deeply connect with philanthropy. This can also help define your purpose as a brand and personify your property.
Use Your Persona to Direct All Content Marketing Efforts
After establishing your persona and a strong brand position, it’s time to get your message out to your audience through every marketing channel, from your website and social media to your property signage and resident communication.
Create content that will resonate with your audience. Here are a few recommended tips:
Keep it fresh and relevant — Communicate the information in a unique way or in a way that connects to what is currently happening in the world.
Make it compelling — Make sure the information you share is relevant, engaging and compelling.
Make it shareable — Your content should include information that not only interests your audience but that would persuade them to share it with others.
Generate More Leads with Targeted Communication
In order for a brand to successfully build relevant and purposeful messaging that engages with customers, it must be targeted and focused on how it communicates with them. Keep in mind who they are and what they are looking for from an apartment community. If you can communicate with your audience in an engaging way, this could ultimately generate more opportunities, leads, and leases.
Ashley Tyndall is Director of Business Development for Criterion.B.