Spring finals have ended and students are leaving town, but leasing efforts should not lose traction. Adjusting your strategy slightly to shift focus more on digital efforts will ensure that you capture those remaining prospects and score last minute leases prior to move-in.
The students who have procrastinated finding housing during the year are looking to sign now, and those who have already signed elsewhere are still able to be convinced and swayed with the proper call to action and targeting strategy. With online leasing, students who may have already left the state are able to secure their space online and will be reached through a strong digital marketing push.
Implement or Increase Retargeting Ad Spend: Target those students leaving your competitors’ websites with a branded ad and call to action. Retargeting paired with a strong Adwords campaign allows for Google to follow student website visitors with your community’s ad to remain top-of-mind and give them the necessary extra push to sign a lease now. Gen Z is extremely visual and requires brands to come directly to them. Increasing your retargeting ad spend will do just that and ensure that you are reaching your community’s full potential of prospective residents.
Refresh and Boost Video Facebook Ads: Video content is not only favored by Facebook’s platform, but with the autoplay feature within the newsfeed, users are 75 percent more likely to watch the full video and engage with video content compared to any other form of content. Refreshing your video ad strategy with tours around the model unit, or within the leasing office for new builds, will ensure that you’re capturing those remaining prospects this summer. Videos should also highlight your leasing team’s fun personality and any unique swag items that the prospect will receive when touring and signing a lease.
Promote Summer Campaign: Whether it is a waived moving expense promotion, special vendor event or unique incentive, promoting a specific summer campaign will re-engage with prospects who may have previously been interested, but haven’t signed yet. Students who currently live elsewhere may need an added incentive to switch housing communities and by providing the option to pay for moving expenses, your community will eliminate any lingering hesitation to sign a lease.
Pairing this summer campaign with your community’s digital promotion will ensure that your online marketing strategy is effective and cohesive. This can be done through a unique ad set driving traffic to a custom landing page promoting the summer campaign. Also, ensuring that custom UTM codes are in place will enable you to track all social and digital efforts promoting the campaign and tie results directly back to those prospects who sign leases.
As students are given more and more housing options, it is crucial that your digital marketing strategy is optimized and refreshed for this time of year in order to remain top-of-mind and score those last minute leases for your community. Don’t miss out on hitting those velocity goals by not leveraging all marketing opportunities this summer.
— Alexis Krisay is a partner and the vice president of marketing for Serendipit Consulting, a public relations, marketing, branding and event-planning firm with a specialization in the student housing market. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 283-5209. http://www.studenthousingexperts.com.