We walked in the Tucson Great Stride walk last Sunday helping to bring awareness to Cystic Fibrosis and in support of Ross and Patty’s family. It occurred to me all of the things that have unfolded in the last year with our marketing group, as just one year ago, the Tucson Great Stride CF Walk was our first Partnership Cause Marketing Event. While we had a good show of MC Folks at the walk, we had an incredible turn out this year. A huge Thank You to everyone who walked, but also to Monica Alarcon for organizing our local associates to be at the walk, including those who walked in support in our other MCLife Regions, topped with a very effective phone campaign! It was cool to see our MCLife Tents, Signage and our uber cool Instagram Photo Booth in action. Just a year ago, all we had were some signs that Barbie Christmas and I carried around and a theory about how to Market Apartments Differently!
We started this Digital Marketing and Branding Project at MC in April 2014. We had (20) One Off, single websites, that we rented, meaning we paid a monthly fee for those sites that totaled about $90,000 in annualized expenses. Rented Websites means, we did not own the content, images, floor plans and so on that were displayed on the website.
We were attracting about 7,500 Unique Monthly Website Visitors, and around 90,000 Annual Visits. Our Marketing Costs were $150 per Unit per Year. Most of our marketing budget was spent on ILS Ads, and the dreaded Locators.
Event and Partnership Marketing have become a huge part of our strategy to facilitate digital traffic to our Regional Websites. The digital traffic converts to Leasing Leads, to satisfy our occupancy requirements at the 8,500 Apartment Units We Own and Operate at MC Residential. It is for sure a different way to market apartments. We want to take some time to share with you all about what we are doing, the results we are seeing and where we are going.
Fast forward (24) Months later and we have built out seven Regional MCLife Branded Geographically Map Based Websites, that we OWN. At just (18) Months from the initial launch, our Regional Website Traffic has swelled to over 800,000 Annual Visitors with over 2,000,000 Page Views! We have a strong conversion rate of Website Visitors to Guest Cards. We have LOWERED our Marketing and Advertising Costs to under $75 Per Unit Per Year.
With the 8,000 Units we own and manage at MC Residential, we need to rent about 4,000 Units each year across the seven regions we operate our apartment business in. Our leasing teams consistently convert 45% of the Tours to Rentals, meaning we need to schedule 9,000 Tours in order to obtain 4,000 Rentals. Our Call Centers and Site Staff are converting 55% of the Leads to Tours, meaning we need over 16,000 Leads in order to obtain 9,000 Tours. We are converting 2% of our Website Visits to Leads, meaning we need around 800,000 Website Visitors in order to create 16,500 Leads.
That is a longwinded explanation that we have achieved enough Website Visitors in order to drive enough Leasing Leads to sustain acceptable occupancy at our 8,500 Apartment Units. In summery, that drives down our Marketing and Advertising Expenses substantially. Does that mean our trek is over, have we reached the promised land? Far from it, we are just getting started. Our next focus is targeted advertising to help drive leasing traffic to our troubled Red Alert Properties, and to places where the traffic may not be evenly spread and allocated.
RDA Press, (Rich Dad Advisors) are publishing Eric’s first book,Apartments to Hot Sauce; an Entrepreneurs Journey, to be on the bookstore shelves in Oct-2016!