All apartment communities use various means to attract new renters. Many forms of advertising have minimal costs in dollars, (i.e. online ads, signs, banners, word of mouth referrals, etc.). Yet the time and money it takes to create and design some of these ads AND make sure they are well placed to capture attention, is worth tracking the results! Having a reliable method of documenting all online, phone, and walk in traffic is critical to determining the effectiveness of each form of advertising. Here is a valid owner concern:

Q: Our communities used to get a ton of drive by traffic and resident referrals. However, over the past few years, I’ve noticed more and more traffic is being logged as “internet” or “online ad,” with no further explanation. When I question the on site staffs, they tell me they are just noting the ad source from the e-mails or calls they get when prospective residents say they found them “on the internet” or “online.” They aren’t directly asking people how they found out about their building any more. This makes me wonder if prospective renters really learned about the community “on the internet,” or if they just used an online resource to obtain more information after they saw the building driving by or heard about it from a friend.

A: You have some very valid concerns about what has happened to your other forms of advertising. Did these other sources just stop producing traffic or are these sources not being “uncovered” by your leasing staffs? It will take more effort and some careful qualifying to determine the “primary” advertising source, which is the way each prospect initially learns about your community. (i.e. resident/merchant referral, signs/banners, flyer, etc.) The only way to find out how is DIRECTLY ask them! For example: “I noticed you referred to our website in your email. Is that how you first heard about us?” OR “I see you checked the box “drive by” as the way you found us, but I couldn’t help but notice you pulled up our monthly special on your phone from our craigslist ad. Did you learn about us first from driving by and then look for us online?”

Using multiple sources of advertising in today’s competitive market isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity. Prospective renters must be given the opportunity to see your community advertised in print, on the internet and through the use of signs/banners, etc. However, it’s important to note which marketing source initially sparked their interest and motivated them to make contact. You will need ALL the facts in order to make informed decisions about your future advertising needs. Of course some of the money you save from budgeting advertising dollars wisely could be spent on an incentive to reward those employees who are committed to carefully qualifying ALL their prospective renters

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If you are interested in leasing training or have a question or concern you would like to see addressed, please reach out to me via e-mail. Otherwise, please contact Jancyn for your employee evaluation needs:


Provided by: Joyce (Kirby) Bica

Former owner of Shoptalk Service Evaluations

Consultant to Jancyn Evaluation Shops


Copyright Joyce (Kirby) Bica