For the past few years, apartment property managers and owners have unwillingly been strapped into the economy’s rickety rollercoaster ride, desperately holding on tight and wishing for an end to the turns and loops and a return to a stable market.   The CBRE Economic Advisors (CBRE-EA) is an independent research firm based in Boston, MA that is owned by CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services company and provides research, data, analytical tools and advisory services to its clients. The company watches the trends and twists of the economy and recently issued a report in November 2011 forecasting that the ride is nearing an end for the multifamily housing industry.   According to the report, the U.S. apartment market has recovered and is expanding, with vacancies expected to remain steady at 5.5 percent in 2012 and then fall below pre-downturn levels.   While this is promising news for owners and management, now is not the time for people to rest on their laurels and assume the market is going to be their savior. With a higher demand for multifamily housing comes the opportunity to set higher prices—but also invites in new investors looking to take advantage of this new growth market.  In fact, according to the CBRE-EA report, more than 200,000 new units will be made available in 2012.  In addition to the threat of new competition entering the market, relationships among different variables such as the housing and job markets seem to have significant effect on the apartment industry.   Although a surge in business is on the horizon, now is not the time to dial back marketing efforts.  With a growing audience to engage, apartment managers need to take this opportunity to stand out among the competition, improve retention programs and build their brand. The best way to stand out is to partner with a company like For Rent Media Solutions, a marketing company that provides multiple touch points like social media, interactive Internet, mobile apps, text message support, and, of course, print to reach the widest consumer-base possible.   Because apartment seekers differ in how they look for an apartment to rent, it is important to choose a marketing company which continually creates new and innovative tools to keep apartment property managers and owners competitive.   Does the marketing company you are working with have both a print component and an extensive Internet presence? Does it accurately and effectively monitor your leads and deliver reports on these numbers?  Does it drive leads from social media sites?   In addition to the above-mentioned tools, it is important to go a step further by partnering with marketing companies like For Rent Media Solutions that have a how-to video library and customized marketing collateral to guide apartment owners and property managers on how to properly use these tools to their full potential.   The positive industry forecasts can ease a business into a feeling of security; however, this feeling may only be temporary.  While enjoying the influx of business, use this opportunity to build a business that is resistant to the forces of inevitable and tumultuous economic variables by instituting marketing solutions that are proven to work. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the next ride instead of sweating it out hoping for it to end?   c

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