The Official Off Season Digital Marketing Checklist
by McKenna Hogan, on Dec 15, 2020 8:30:00 AM
Off season in real estate - especially this year - is the perfect time to dot some i’s and cross some t’s.
Since 2020 brought in a ton of new digital tools to combat the ongoing pandemic, below we’ve put together the official off season digital marketing checklist to ensure your success in the new year.
Put more energy into online leasing
With basically the entire leasing process being accessible online, it only makes sense that the application process can be conducted as well.
As many businesses are starting to transition to this method, some haven’t quite perfected it, making it difficult for renters to complete on their own.
In fact, according to a study by AppFolio, only 47% of renters claimed they viewed the rental application process as easy.
While this transition to online operations has been beneficial for keeping renters informed, some practices may need a little extra attention now that things have slowed down.
For the businesses that already have digital applications handy, restrategizing that stage of the leasing process might be necessary.
In addition to making the application process more user friendly, streamlining all online documentation into one easy to follow system will ensure that renters can efficiently sign a lease sight unseen.
Below are a few ways real estate professionals can position online documentation to simplify the entire leasing process.
- Add a link to applications on your virtual tour
- Create a specified tab for documentation on your home page
- Consolidate assets into a widget
- Make any links clear and concise
Believe it or not, technology and digital marketing isn’t second nature to everyone. Ensure all prospects can benefit from your virtual leasing by making it simple and informative.
Boost customer service technology
Customer service in real estate - especially right now - is paramount to your business’s success.
Right now, as things are slowing down, it’s easy to stay on top of consumer needs on a personal front. However, when busy season picks back up, real estate professionals would be smart to prepare their websites with substantial customer service technology.
Below are a few digital assets to implement during the slow season to optimize your customer service experience for 2021.
- Leasing assistants
- Real-time availability tools
- AI technology
- Smart technology service providers
By increasing the amount and quality of digital tools to catch leads, answer inquiries, and deliver information, no prospect will be left unattended.
There are so many options when it comes to around the clock service, all you have to do is choose the right one(s) for your website.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure all assets and information are provided, but to not overdo it with pop ups and questions, as that can confuse or overwhelm prospects.
Optimize existing digital assets
According to the same survey mentioned above, 40% of renters stated they wanted to have the option to view units virtually and in-person post-pandemic.
Although we don’t have an exact date for the end of the pandemic, it’s best to prepare for any possibilities—that’s when optimizing your digital assets to accommodate this possibility now will save you in the long run.
Strategizing both options to coincide with each other doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, the best route to go is to just provide options for renters so that they know they have choices and can choose based on comfortability.
For example, Bozzuto Group has recently released a campaign called “Your Tour, Your Choice,” which aims to focus on giving renters options when it comes to apartment touring.
To seamlessly execute this strategy, Bozzuto provided touring options such as in-person, virtual tours, and self-guided complete with a personalized packet of information for each so that renters can better understand their options.
Aside from updating touring options, it will be the perfect time to optimize other digital assets.
Below are a few easy ways to do this that will make a big difference.
- Strategize placement and how prospects find your digital assets
- Simplify your websites layout (get rid of any fluff)
- Update your gallery page with all of your visual content
- Add/tweak tabs and thumbnails to better direct renters
- Go through all assets to ensure they are still working correctly
It may seem like you just integrated your digital assets, but that doesn’t mean they’re functioning on your website or listings as well as they could be.
Take the time to go through your virtual leasing tools and website as if you were a renter, and really dissect the process to get a better understanding of how it operates.
Make your digital marketing accessible
Accessibility in virtual leasing is an extremely important factor when it comes to strategizing your digital marketing.
According to Internet World Stats, the Internet World Penetration Rate in North America reached up to 94.6% in 2020. In addition, The U.S. Census Bureau states that nearly 1 in 5 individuals suffer from some type of disability.
We don’t need to tell you how important it is that this group of people also be catered to—and since virtual leasing can be somewhat intricate, slow season will be the perfect time to hunker down and assess your website's accessibility.
There are many ways this can be executed. Below are a few areas to consider that will definitely make a difference to prospects with a disability.
- Do your images have alt-tags?
- Is your website easy to navigate?
- Is it accessible from any device?
- Do you provide informative visuals?
- Do you offer options for how a person can view or use digital assets during their home search?
- Is your virtual tour accessible?
These are just a few of the important factors to consider while improving accessibility. For a more comprehensive list, click here.
Manage your time wisely
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—slow season should be taken advantage of. Especially during a year like this one when the chaos is starting to tone down, there’s most likely a lot of catching up to do.
Use your time wisely to better strategize your digital marketing so that the new year can be about growth and fine-tuning your strategy.