The Top 3 Apartment Lead Sources Used by Renters

by  – Property Management Insider

Ask any marketing director what causes some of their biggest headaches, and you are sure to hear about the need for the correct lead source to be entered into the property management systemwhen a prospect visits a community. Unless you know where your leads are coming from, you won’t know where to allocate your marketing dollars.

So what if you don’t know? What if you aren’t currently tracking sources or you aren’t confident in your current source tracking process? Where do you focus your marketing dollars?

The Top 3 Sources Renters Use to Find Apartments

According to the 2012 SatisFacts Index, which compiles information directly from resident satisfaction surveys, here are the top three sources renters use to find apartments. Counting down, a la David Letterman, let’s start with number three:

3. Internet Listing Services (ILS)

Between 11 and 14 percent of prospects have used at least one of the top Internet listing services to find their new apartment. While there are arguments for and against these pay-per services, they continue to be effective in the marketplace.

2. Word of Mouth (without Social Media)

There’s a lot of focus on social media and how referral incentives potentially skew the true measure of how willing someone is to recommend a community. The fact remains, however, that basic word of mouth—the old-fashioned way without social media—is cited by 17% of renters as a source when they were apartment-shopping.

1. Apartment Signs/Driving By/Curbside Appeal

People typically know the general vicinity in which they want to live. Whether it’s to be close to work, close to restaurants and shopping, close to the freeway, close to childcare, or in a certain school district, people have preferences. And when looking for a new home, they tend to walk or drive through the neighborhoods or areas they prefer. In fact, more than one in five renters claimed signage and driving by as a source in their search.

While ratings and reviews are the talk of the industry (and rightly so, as they are becoming the “norm” in the rental decision), it’s important to ensure we don’t neglect some of the old standbys. Some options are quickly becoming obsolete (newspapers, for example, were only cited by 0.8%), but some of the basics still hold true. Ensure your signage is in great condition, is easy to read, and has your community phone number and/or web page listed. A prospect may drive or walk by this morning, look you up on the Internet when she gets home, and call for a tour by the afternoon. Make it easy for her.

What’s the number one lead source that potential renters use to find your apartment communities? Share them in the comments below.

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