You are here

Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey

Knowing the customer journey and marrying marketing with pricing can produce big benefits. Here’s how it works.

Understanding what brought a prospect to your community used to be more art than science. The leasing professional gave them a card to fill out and hoped they remembered where they first learned about the community.

With the Internet, it is not difficult to find out where that lead originated. But the real revelation is understanding the digital path a prospect followed before they decided to lease at a community.

“That we can see where people are going before they get to us is a gamechanger,” said Israel Carunungan, Senior Director of National Marketing for Greystar at Apartmentalize. “That can help us make [advertising] spending decisions.”

Knowing the places a prospective resident visits before they sign a lease can help marketers develop tools to communicate with customers throughout their journey and determines what digital platforms should be used more frequently.

“Over time, you see what sources are more consistent in the customer journey,” says Mia Wentworth, Director of Marketing at Monarch Investment and Management Group. “You do not want to lose those.”

Marketing can gain an additional boost if its married with pricing, but that is not always easy.

“First you need to break down the wall between marketing and pricing and open communications,” says Connie Aldape, Director of Revenue Management for Pinnacle Property Management Services.

Revenue management has historically forecasted demand to maximize revenue. To develop a more comprehensive revenue strategy, forecasting should no longer be done in a vacuum, separate from the marketers. Marketers know the lifestyle preferences of his residents and how to use that information to develop strategies to fill apartments. 

“If we give those projections to marketing, we can make better decisions,” says Christie Bennett, Vice President of Operations for Pinnacle Campus Living. “Having the conversation between marketing and pricing can help you understand how to reach your business objectives.”

For instance, if the pricing department knows a resident can pay luxury prices in Class A building, it can create messages based on that.

“By understanding what consumers can afford, we can create more optimized messages,” says Daryl Smith, Chief Marketing Officer for Kettler.

To bring marketing and pricing together, Smith and Bennett recommend having consultations about property pricing strategies, sharing market insights and combining resources to create singular strategies.

By doing this, the two departments can move apartment companies away from out-of-synch demand-generation strategies and toward targeting the most ideal prospects. The beneficiaries of this marriage are clients, who could ultimately see higher rents and increased valuations.