Summer is a time known for more vacations, relaxation, and leisure activities. While many industries find summer to be a slower period, this is certainly not the case for the apartment rental industry! The multi-family real estate team at Wpromote is in the thick of heavy leasing season for our properties. We are continuously optimizing and driving as many leads as we can so our partners are able to watch their occupancy levels soar. It’s an exciting and busy time as search demand is high and there are ongoing strategic considerations, campaign optimizations, summer specials and incentive packages to optimize.
Budget Planning for 2019
It’s not only a good time to drive more leads, but also to look at historical and current performance to begin prioritizing the 2019 digital marketing budget. Let’s start by looking at the historical trend of searches for the term ‘apartments.’ The chart below is taken from Google Trends and shows the search volume for the past three years for the phrase “apartments” on Google.
We can see from the trend that search demand for apartments on Google takes off in January and generally starts to taper off in August. This is important to note since peak leasing season generally heats up in April. This demonstrates that many people start their search online several months before they intend to move. Communities should be anticipating to capitalize on that demand as soon as the new year hits.
What’s also evident in this data is that apartment searchers are relying increasingly on search engines for their apartment searches, with s slight increase in search volume each year. Our forecast for the 2nd half of 2018 and into 2019 is that the trend will continue with modest growth in search volume overall. We believe that advertisers can generally expect to see similar levels of clicks within their accounts. Apartment communities should plan to spend at least as much as they did in 2018, but possibly slightly more if they’d like to see an increase in traffic over their current performance.
After 2017’s record year for construction of apartment rental complexes in major metro areas, 2018 appears to be softening in construction projects. Apartment supply appears to be catching up to the intense demand for apartments that has been consistent over the past few years and now renters have more options. This could indicate that because renters have a wider selection, apartment complexes will require more creative considerations to not only gain new tenants but also keep them, particularly in major markets.
Because search behavior is a direct translation of market conditions and consumer needs, we expect larger cities to experience a greater increase in available search volume through 2018 and into 2019. As construction projects reach their completion and new competitors enter the market, it’s important to keep in mind that the average cost-per-click could increase slightly from current levels as new properties begin to advertise their communities digitally.
After covering the general real estate market, you can now tackle the all-important questions of planning your Paid Search budget for 2019. Setting up a customized plan will depend heavily on how you answer the following questions:
- What will your occupancy needs be in the coming year?
- Do you have any months where you expect a high number of move-outs?
- How much traffic would you like to be getting on your site?
- To take this one step further, how many qualified calls does it take to confirm property tours and new leases?
- What are the estimated CPCs for the relevant keywords in your region?
- What is your competition doing?
Hopefully this helps get you started in the right direction. Still need more help? We’ll be happy to put together a custom recommendation for your property.