Elevate Multifamily Marketing with Hospitality Best Practices

March 15, 2024

Applying Marketing Best Practices From Hospitality & Retail Multifamily

As multifamily housing has become more competitive due to oversupply in key markets, providing exceptional resident experiences is table stakes for building strong communities and retaining tenants.

COHN was founded in 2000 as a retail real estate marketing agency, but we’ve expanded over the years to specialize in multifamily, hospitality and mixed-use development marketing. From our unique vantage and history, we are seeing a convergence of marketing best practices in the multifamily, retail and hospitality spaces—wherein apartment complexes and townhome communities are starting to look and operate more like hotels and shopping centers. Not completely, of course, but there is a blending of perspectives happening, and we wanted to give our perspective and add some marketing expertise.

By applying marketing best practices from hospitality and retail real estate, multifamily developers and property managers will elevate the resident experience, foster a sense of belonging, and differentiate their properties in an ever-competitive market.

It’s All About the Resident Experience

These days, the resident experience plays a crucial role in the success of multifamily properties. A positive resident experience not only leads to higher tenant satisfaction and retention but also attracts higher quality residents through positive word-of-mouth and online reviews. Every time your tenants have their friends over, that’s another opportunity to spread the word.

This is why “resident hospitality” is so important these days, building on the retail and hospitality principles of customer service and guest satisfaction adapted to the multifamily living environment. It involves creating a welcoming atmosphere, anticipating resident needs, and delivering personalized service to enhance the overall living experience.

Sounds a little like hospitality and retail, doesn’t it??

Of course, resident hospitality at multifamily begins with adding distinctive amenities that enhance a tenant’s quality of life. Offering a diverse range of amenities, such as fitness centers, community spaces, and pet-friendly facilities, can cater to residents’ varying needs and preferences. Additionally, providing responsive maintenance and concierge services adds value to the resident experience.

As an example, we met with our friends at LuxerOne at NMHC 2024 this year. LuxerOne is the leader in premium “package lockers” and other on-site storage/delivery solutions. As you probably already know, the LuxerOne product offering for multifamily/residential is remarkable and adds distinctive value to residents’ lives in a way that can become part of your property’s brand distinction.

At NMHC 2024, we also heard from leaders at Asset Living, a leader in nationwide property management, about new enhancements they are adding to properties to elevate the amenity package for residents. For example, Asset Living is attempting to combine a solar panel offering with their EV charging ports for a unique end-to-end sustainable energy solution for residents. Additions like these are new and inventive ways to round out your amenity package that go beyond gyms and event space.

In addition to amenities, the idea of community has become a central benefit to multifamily living, so it behooves management to organize regular community events and social activities to foster a sense of belonging among residents. These events can include fitness classes, movie nights, cooking workshops, and seasonal celebrations, encouraging social interaction and building a tight-knit community.

Finally, enhanced concierge services are an excellent way to enhance resident hospitality in multifamily properties, offering convenience and personalized assistance to residents, like dry cleaning, transportation arrangements, restaurant reservations and event planning.

Borrowing from Hospital and Retail Marketing

Because hospitality and retail industries are known for delivering personalized experiences tailored to individual preferences and needs, multifamily is following their lead by targeting customers/tenants based on demographics, lifestyle preferences, and housing preferences.

Centralized leasing and marketing teams are utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems and data analytics tools, gathering valuable insights into resident preferences and behaviors. This data can be leveraged to create targeted marketing campaigns, personalized communications, and customized resident experiences.

In addition, retailers embraced virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies long ago to create immersive shopping experiences for customers. Similarly, multifamily properties are now incorporating VR and AR technologies to offer virtual tours and showcase amenities, floor plans, and community features to prospective residents.

By providing immersive virtual experiences, property managers can attract prospective residents from a distance and provide them with a comprehensive view of the property’s offerings. Additionally, interactive showrooms equipped with touchscreen displays and virtual reality headsets can further engage potential residents and facilitate the decision-making process.

As we are seeing more and more all the time, influencer marketing has become prevalent in multifamily, again following the lead of hospitality, retail and food and beverage. We are working with portfolio brands that are harnessing the power of influencer marketing by collaborating with local influencers, bloggers, and social media personalities to showcase their communities and amenities.

Similarly, user-generated content (UGC) is now becoming more common in multifamily, encouraging (and sometimes incentivizing) residents to share their experiences, photos, and testimonials on social media platforms. UGC serves as authentic and compelling content that resonates with prospective residents and enhances the property’s online presence.

The Best in Multifamily, Retail and Hospitality Real Estate Marketing

In-house marketing teams will always understand their properties and residents better than an outsourced agency like COHN; however, we do bring something to the table that most in-house teams cannot: vertical variety.

COHN brings objective perspective to our clients to help break bad habits and challenge assumptions that can happen in deep focus. By borrowing marketing best practices from the hospitality, retail, and even industrial industries, COHN can help multifamily owners and property managers enhance their marketing strategies, attract more residents, and cultivate a strong sense of community.

From personalized marketing and immersive experiences to influencer partnerships and loyalty programs, leveraging insights from other industries can help multifamily properties stay competitive and thrive in today’s dynamic market landscape.

Give COHN a call to discuss your portfolio of multifamily, and we might just surprise you with some of the cross-over ideas we bring to the table.

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