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NAA 2021 Session Recap: Build the Most Effective Marketing Machine for Today’s Shoppers

NAA’s 2021 Apartmentalize event in Chicago did not disappoint. Not only did we have a blast connecting with our industry partners and friends, but we also had the opportunity to attend some of the many amazing sessions. One session we attended was about the industry’s latest trends for marketers in the “Build the Most Effective Marketing Machine for Today’s Shoppers” session. Panelists included Mike Whaling, Founder and President of 30 Lines, Nikki Crosby from The Garrett Companies, and KrisAnn Kizer from Pierce Education Properties.

The speakers eloquently compared marketing to running a relay race and spoke about the importance of SEO, the 4 L’s of the funnel, and the difference between an okay CRM and great CRM. 

Running the Marketing Relay Race

Starting the relay. The best place to begin the race is at the starting line. A strategic multifamily marketer should develop a marketing plan to pass on to your site teams. It’s important to document a written marketing strategy that works alongside every step of the leasing process. If you have a strategy to guide your team, you can focus on reaching your goals and your site teams will be better equipped to meet theirs. 

After building your strategic plan, your job is two-fold: management and measurement. By creating the plan, managing the efforts, and measuring the effectiveness, you are giving your team the tools they need to succeed while ensuring a cohesive marketing message across all of your properties. 

Running the turn. Now that you have your foundation of your marketing plan laid out, you can customize and tailor the strategy for each community. One panelist said that they have an individual brand guide and unique style for each community. This helps the leasing team and managers to know the brand identity of the property and how it resonates with your target audience. Communicating and disseminating this information to your site teams helps both the corporate team ensure cohesion but also ensures that the site team is set up for success. While personalizing the strategy and tactics for each community is a lot of work, (and not always necessary!), it often makes a huge difference in attracting the right prospective residents. 

Mastering the handoff. Your leg work has come to an end and now it is time to pass the baton. The rest of the race is out of your hands and all you can do is coach while they do the work. Trust your team to take charge of the preparation you gave them. Define stages of success for your team, and track performance along the way. Don’t forget to show up at the finish line to celebrate their accomplishments!

A Good CRM vs. A GREAT CRM

One panelist went into depth about the importance of an intuitive CRM that helps you run the race. A good CRM will help you get from point A to point B, but a GREAT CRM will help you get there faster. (And *ahem* win the race!) Rent Dynamics prides ourselves on our intuitive CRM, and how it can truly optimize your site teams’ workflows. Learn more on how an intuitive CRM can boost your bottom line.

The panelists even mentioned, “If your CRM doesn’t provide you a representative to help you with whatever you need, it may be time to look for a new provider. Find a team that cares about you and gives a service that fulfills your needs.” You need to have the ability to work with your tech partners to pivot wherever you see necessary. If your CRM vendor is not willing to iterate to help you succeed, it’s time to find a company that is evolving and willing to work with your business needs.

Devin Lusk, Director of Marketing at American Landmark Apartments knows how we listen to our clients every step of the way, “We’ve been with Rent Dynamics for about 4 years… their partnership with us is so great because they really are in tune with our needs.” Rent Dynamics truly is a customer-centric business focused on making our customers’ lives easier.

The 4 L’s 

We learned that the 4 L’s are an easy way to categorize the resident journey from prospect to tenant: Look, Learn, Lease and Love

The panelists explained, “When they’re looking, it’s important to create awareness, for the property or brand so your community makes their list. When they’re learning, persuade and convince them your community is the right option. When they’re ready to lease, remove friction and lead prospects into a seamless transaction. Get them to love you through nurturing residents and establishing an experience they’ll want to share.” 

During a time when many multifamily marketers are facing challenges with budget cuts and lack of resources, it’s crucial to develop a “streamlined marketing machine” to capture and convert prospects into residents. We are grateful for these reminders and more from this session and others at NAA.


If you’re ready to learn more about how Rent Dynamics can help you streamline your marketing machine, book a demo today!

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