Companies are still using a variety of marketing methods for the 2022 leasing season, but most of them are seeing greater hiring competition for on-site positions, according to the responses from Multi-Housing News’ Marketing Focus survey.
MHN put out a survey asking companies about their marketing strategies and employee retention techniques. The overall responses detailed how firms approach marketing and handle employees in a time where residential occupancy is at an all-time high.
When asked what the company’s marketing focus was for the 2022 leasing season, nearly 40 percent of the responses said driving leads was still the top priority to fill any turnover. Slightly behind, nearly 38 percent said they’re focusing on reputation management instead. Finally, 22 percent of the companies responded that they’re shifting to SEO strategies instead of leaning on paid subscription services like ILS.
DRIVING LEADS VS. REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
For those who are staying with driving leads as their primary way of marketing, 53 percent of them said they are going to continue using their existing ILS strategy. However, 40 percent of the respondents said they are expanding their PPC advertising instead. Only 6 percent of those focused on driving leads for marketing said they are adding more ILS advertising.
On the other hand, companies using reputation management as their main avenue of marketing were more evenly split. Nearly 30 percent of the responses said that on-site team members would manage the property reputation, while another 30 percent said they use a reputation management system. A quarter of the survey respondents said that they assign corporate resources to manage reputation, and the remaining 16 percent said they outsource any reputation management strategies.
While a smaller percentage of companies said they are opting for SEO strategies and paring down their ILS services, the majority of these respondents, or 55 percent, said they are outsourcing or are planning to outsource the SEO efforts to a partner. A smaller percentage, 25 percent, of companies said they have hired or are planning to hire a dedicated in-house resource for SEO. A much smaller group at 5 percent, said they are looking towards existing staff and training their marketing managers and directors. However, 15 percent of the companies that are shifting to SEO said they have not yet determined their strategy.
EMPLOYEE RETENTION METHODS
The marketing methods companies are using show some variety, but they can mostly agree that the hiring market is getting very competitive. More than 84 percent of responses agreed that there was greater hiring competition for on-site positions, while roughly 15 percent said they didn’t think that was the case.
As for how companies are managing employee workloads in this competitive environment, a majority of them at 33 percent said they’re using automated leasing follow-up to lessen the burden on employees. The options between using chatbots, self-guided tours, and other methods each saw more than 22 percent each. The companies that said they were using other methods specified their unique approach, which included using all of the above options, using AI tools or other technology, and some other more traditional approaches like hiring more staff or using a call center.