Keeping an eye on market trends is an important aspect of any business and allows you to stay ahead of the curve instead of falling behind the competition. Understanding your business and your customers is key when determining the focus of your marketing strategy. What do your customers expect to see in 2021?
The good news is that rentals will likely remain in high demand. Even though millennials, people born between 1981 and 1996, are growing into their home buying years, financial strains lead many into renting instead of buying. With millennials staying in rental units, and a new generation continuing to come in, the rental market should remain strong.
People belonging to generation Z, born from 1997 onward, will continue to enter the workforce and with established income they will be looking for rental units to call home. This generation grew up with smartphones and Google. They are tech savvy and will undoubtedly continue to shift the rental market to suit their needs and priorities.
What should your marketing strategy focus on to take these trends into account? Here are 6 property management marketing trends to take note of in 2021.
1. Inbound Marketing
If your company isn’t using inbound marketing, it needs to start! Both millennials and generation Z constituents appreciate a clever inbound marketing strategy. But what is it and how can your business use it to your advantage?
Inbound marketing begins when you post a video, an article, or infographic. People see what you have posted and hopefully find it compelling, informative, or enjoyable. This makes people feel a connection and they want to learn more about your business.
Once that connection is established people then choose to visit your website and learn more about you. They want more information about your company, provide their contact info, and subscribe to your newsletter. A relationship is forged and they choose to become a customer. Inbound marketing can be a powerful tool to draw people in.
2. Social Media Trends
The use of social media as a marketing tool has been prevalent for some time. It’s an excellent platform for sharing those videos, posts, and infographics for your inbound marketing strategy. It works for traditional advertising campaigns too. However not every generation uses the same social media platforms in the same way.
While Facebook was probably the most lucrative in recent years, trends show that Instagram is more popular among people of the up and coming generation Z. Facebook is still a good platform to invest your marketing time and dollars into, but if that’s all your company is using it might be time to start exploring other social media venues. In 2021 launch a few campaigns on other platforms and gauge how they perform.
3. Simplified Customer Service
Trends show that tech savvy customers shy away from traditional customer service. They prefer to text rather than call, email rather than write, and pay their rent digitally instead of by paper cheque. Millennials as well as people from generation Z like to have access to information on demand rather than having to call and ask for it.
Property management companies can easily cater to these growing customer demands by investing in tools that can streamline and automate processes. Documents, reports, and customer information can be made readily accessible through a portal. Considering that offering self help options will free up employee time, the investment in technology will pay for itself.
The investment in simplified customer services isn’t just dollars spent on technology versus dollars saved on employee time. By not upgrading your capabilities you risk potential customers going elsewhere. Upgrade your systems and leverage your company’s state of the art customer service as part of your marketing strategy.
4. Increasing Interest in Smart Homes
Trends show that millennials and people from generation Z are likely to continue investing in smart home technology. These gadgets can help save us time, make our lives more organized, carry out tasks without our help, and they’re fun too. Featuring smart home capabilities as part of your marketing campaign can help your company attract customers and position your business at the ahead of the competition.
Consider upgrading units with smart thermostats, lightbulbs, outlets, light switches, appliances, fixtures, and security systems. Communal facilities can be upgraded with extras such as smart speakers and free WiFi. Featuring such upgrades in your advertisements and as part of your inbound marketing campaign is sure to draw in the crowds.
Renters are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and frugal. Smart home technology can make it easier to reduce consumption thereby saving money and reducing our negative impact on the environment. Upgrading facilities to include smart technology will allow you to market your company to the environmentally conscious and use lingo such as “green”.
5. Increasing Demand for “Walkable” Cities
As people become more health conscious and environmentally aware, they want to drive less and walk, cycle, and rollerblade more. This has translated to a growing demand for “walkable” cities with amenities nearby. Property Management companies would be wise to keep this in mind when designing their advertising campaigns and while writing listings.
Take a look in the neighbourhoods around your company’s properties and note amenities such as schools, shopping, parks, community centers, and entertainment venues. Pepper your marketing descriptions with keywords such as “close to” and “within walking distance”. Make your properties more desirable to people who want to leave the car in the garage as much as possible.
Property management marketing trends for 2021 need to take into account a changing demographic. Millennials are likely to stick around but a greater number of people from generation Z will continue to enter the rental market. Understanding their needs, likes, and priorities will continue to be a key factor of thriving in the industry.
Now is the time to invest in technology that will make your company more appealing to the next generation of renters. Audit and update your systems to allow for greater customer service flexibility. Invest in technology within your facilities to make your units more desirable. Leverage location and features to appeal to a greater market.
Remember that marketing is about building relationships. Use strategies such as inbound marketing to catch the attention and pique the interest of renters who are used to having technology at their fingertips. Watch social media trends, explore new platforms, and see which yield the best results. Be creative when connecting with customers.
How will you be marketing your business in 2021? Has your company invested in the right technology to remain competitive? Are there areas that you think you could be doing better?