3 tips for generating leads in student housing
The secret to getting traffic in the door
When I talk to student housing marketers and ask what their primary challenges are it generally comes down to one thing: getting more traffic in the door.
I then ask what solutions they’ve tried and they rattle off the usual list: apartment listing websites, social media, tabling on campus, giveaways, etc.
Next, comes the question I’ve wanted to know from the beginning: how many leads per week do you see coming from these sources?
The response usually begins with a series of strange yoga noises “Ehm, Uhm, Well…” and moves into an extremely broad answer like:
“Ya know, we’re getting leads, but I’d like to see more…”
I then respond: “Okay interesting. I’m just wondering specifically, how many leads per week are you currently getting from these sources?”
“Ah okay… I’ll have to check on that and get back to you!”
We then move on, but I say to myself in the Scooby-Doo voice: “Rut Roh!”
Lead generation measures the health of your marketing
I basically just asked “what’s the health of your property’s marketing?” and they responded with: “Well I know it’s still alive.”
Several of these conversations inspired me to write this blog post on my top 3 recommendations for generating leads in Student Housing.
Let this be a tool for my fellow student housing marketers to change slow broad answers about lead generation into quick responses like this:
“From Instagram Ads, we’re getting 10 leads per week and converting 30% of them into leases”
How do you think owners respond to that answer vs. the “yoga downward dog praying mantis” answer?
I’d guess there’s a drastic difference 🙂
With no further delay… here are my top 3 recommendations for generating leads for your student housing properties:
Promo codes and coupons
The first recommendation is what we use a lot at Resident Reach. It allows you to take leasing incentives and turn them into something tangible for potential residents to receive in exchange for their information.
Promo codes & coupons are a great way to immediately increase the quality of the lead that you’re getting and give them a chance to display interest in living at your property through a micro-commitment.
The first step is to take your current leasing incentive and turn it into an appealing coupon or promo code. Here are a few examples:
The Free Parking Coupon
The $100 Off Promo Code
The AirPods Giveaway Voucher
Potential residents then “cash in” their coupon or promo code by signing a lease. So, be sure this is extremely clear on your website or leasing funnel that you’re using to collect the information and then send the coupon. If you’re doing a giveaway that doesn’t require signing a lease then I still recommend using a voucher of some sort to turn it into a lead generation effort for your sales staff to follow up on.
2. Use a leasing funnel (or landing page)
Leasing Funnel is a term I coined (or at least I think I did lol) to represent the web page you should be sending traffic to after they see your ad.
I’ll be making a Website vs. Leasing Funnel for Student Housing post soon that will go into detail on the differences between the two, but here’s a general summary:
Leasing Funnels have one purpose: to collect information of potential residents and begin the leasing journey from lead to lease.
Websites are great for getting detailed information on the property including amenities, floorplans, etc.
Websites cannot serve the purpose of a leasing funnel or vice versa.
If you are currently running ads for a property and they are pointing directly to your website instead of a leasing funnel (or landing page) you are making a HUGE mistake. This is the equivalent of money knocking at your door and you greet it with a flame thrower 🔥. Turn off the flame thrower and create a simple leasing funnel:
Here’s an example that you can model yours after – http://demo.myresidentreach.com/test
3. Videos with a Call-to-Action
This one is probably the lowest hanging fruit for a lot of property management companies.
Stop trying to do the cheapest thing possible in terms of content. Just like you value your property as an asset, every piece of video you create is a marketing asset. But, when you view it as “that stupid marketing thing we have to do” you are once again pulling out the flame thrower.
Here’s an example of videos that we’ve done for properties just using the photos that they already have:
One thing you’ll notice about every video is its’ talking about a specific promo code or coupon, it’s tailored to the market, and it has a very clear call-to-action. The default Facebook slideshow maker will not do the trick for these, my friend. Take the time to edit your video using online tools like promo.com, or apps like InShot if you’re not familiar with more advanced tools like Adobe Premiere.
It doesn’t have to be anything CRAZY – just enough to promote your current promo code or coupon and give people the call to action of visiting your leasing funnel.
Alright, that’s enough ranting for one day. Hope this provides value to you my friend. These 3 recommendations alone, if implemented, will empower you to put down the flame thrower, produce a dramatic increase in conversions and allow you to easily measure the ROI for your current and future promotions.
Until next time, here’s to your peace of mind 🍾
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