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No-Cost Digital Marketing Helps Property Managers Increase Net Operating Income

Submitted by J. Debes
In the past 10 years, the means by which property managers market their properties has constantly evolved.  In the not too distant past, marketing budgets allocated all their funds to print advertising.  As apartment-listing services such as apartments.com, apartmentfinder.com, rent.com, and apartmentguide.com established themselves as leading sources for new leases, budget allocations began to favor internet spending over print.  Nowadays, most companies do not spend any money on print advertising.

In the past couple of years a new trend has emerged that favors investors.  With the exception of some major metro markets, advertising on Craigslist is free and each year more and more renters rely on the site to find their next apartment.  For most companies, Craigslist is the number one marketing source for new leases.

Many companies enter the budget season in the fall.  With rent growth projected to moderate in the next couple of years, investors looking for an easy way to grow their bottom line should consider eliminating paid internet listing services from their marketing plans.  Recent studies have concluded that 69% of Gen Y renters rely on internet listing sites as their primary search tool.  After that, drive-by traffic (39%) and referrals from friends/family members (24%) ranked second and third.  With Craigslist outperforming paid listing services and drive-by traffic ranking second, smart investors and operators will slash advertising budgets to maximize the value of their multi-family assets.

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