A recent report by Multi-Housing News (MHN) indicates “over three quarters (77 percent) of firms rated their financial performance better in 2011 than 2010,” and there are no signs of a slow down with “78 percent expect[ing] 2012 to improve further. The optimism also feeds into projected 2013 budgets….”

In light of the sunny forecast for the apartment industry, asset managers need to start thinking about how they’re going to respond to the boom in business; however the clock is ticking on time honored business strategies that managers have relied on for decades. Powerful demographic changes and a corresponding shift in preferences are forcing managers to reevaluate their business strategies.

Hanging a vacancy sign on the office window or running ads in printed publications won’t help when four out of five renters start their apartment search online. Case in point: Dean Holmes, COO of the Madison Apartment Group, speaking to MHN, noted that if asset managers aren’t online by this point in time, “then you’re probably late to the game.”

Regarding this fundamental shift in the way renters find an apartment, Holmes stressed the importance of appealing to Gen Y and how Madison Apartment Group’s new website is helping them achieve that goal: “This continued reduction in the average age of our residents isn’t going to change—in fact, it’s going to continue to get younger. We’ve been tracking it every month and it’s continued to get younger incrementally … The reality is that in order to stay relevant and stay current about what’s happening in our industry and what our customers are expecting, we have to devote time and attention to our identity and our website….”

Implementing a marketing strategy presents unique challenges of its own, “It’s not just a static process that you implement and then leave alone for years. The business is just moving way too quickly for that,” said Holmes.

What are the key components when implementing an effective marketing strategy? Madison Apartment Group’s experience demonstrates that creating a new website is only the beginning. We’ve compiled this list of best practices from 12+ years of online leasing technology development and close partnerships with property management marketing professionals. Read them here >>