Company & Industry News


Geofencing Marketing to Drive Occupancy in Multi-Family

November 20, 2020 by Dan Dillon

When talking to directors of marketing and operations executives in the multi-family industry, many have not yet heard of the sheer power of geofencing and geotargeted audiences for driving occupancy.  They may be familiar with the geotargeting tools built into Facebook or property management marketing tools, but a custom geofencing marketing tool could make their efforts exponentially more effective. In this post, we outline additional strategies that go far beyond geotargeting competitive properties and describe campaign strategies to drive tours and occupancy more than you realized was possible.  


Finding audiences based on property class or type

When thinking about audience segments to target, a natural place to start would be based on what class or type of property you are advertising. Marketers need to think about where their ideal resident would usually go to run errands and spend their leisure time. 

This differs depending on who would live at your community. For example, class A luxury apartment marketers may want to target millennials with higher incomes. Think about where people with those characteristics would go — breweries, modern restaurants, high-end retail stores like Nordstrom, Lululemon or local boutiques.  

Affordable housing properties may want to target Dollar Store visitors or those who go to fast food restaurants frequently. 

To find prospects for student housing, marketers would want to target those on college campuses, in coffee shops where they may be studying, parks where intramural sports are played or college bars near campus.


Reaching those who spend time nearby

Let’s take how you can find your audience based where they play, shop and dine a step further. With geofencing marketing, you can target those who visit within a certain mile radius of your property. 

When running ads for this segment, you’ll want to use ad copy like “Live where you enjoy spending time” or “Live near your favorite restaurants”.

When targeting those who visit within this radius, intelligent geofencing marketing tools exclude those who already live in the same radius, so you can entice this particular cohort to move into the neighborhood. 

With a custom geofencing tool, you are also able to target a few blocks of neighborhood nearby.  If there is a main drag near your property where you know your ideal residents hang out, geotarget the whole block of bars, restaurants and shops. Here’s what that looks like:


Target potential residents who work near your community

A typical focus of property management marketers is reaching people where they work. You can do this with geofencing marketing as well.  Similar to targeting those who visit nearby, you can add a geofence around your community to include those who work within 1, 5 or 10 miles. 

When advertising to this segment, use copy like “cut your commute time”, “if you lived here, you’d already be home”, or “walk your dog at lunch”.  If you have specific employers in mind you’d like to target, you can create a custom geofence around those locations. If there is a hospital nearby your property, making it the ideal home for the nurses who work there, or an office park with many different businesses, geofence these places and serve them highly targeted ads. With geofencing marketing, you can easily make those audiences aware that your property is running specials.

Similarly, you can geotarget popular lunch spots within proximity of your community or even the intersection right out front to retarget those who drive by.  The segments to geotarget are practically endless. This is where you can get creative and test different messages with different audiences. 


Reaching prospects based on their hobbies and interests

Marketers can also find their audiences based on their hobbies and interests. If you are advertising for a pet friendly community, geotarget places you know dog owners visit. Find these people at local groomers, dog parks and pet supply stores then lead with ads focused on how much your property welcomes the furry members of the family. If your community has new Peloton bikes or offers free fitness classes, geofence local gyms, spin studios and yoga studios to let these workout enthusiasts know about how amazing your property’s amenities are.


Combining online and offline marketing efforts

You can combine your digital advertising campaigns with more traditional marketing efforts. Try keeping a list of where you leave flyers and then geofence the same stores and restaurants, ensuring a successful multi-channel campaign. If you bring lunch to an office to drive awareness, retarget the office park to stay top of mind. The more times your property is seen by prospective residents on the ILS’s, Facebook, in their office, and on a flyer at the nail salon, the more likely they are to keep you in mind when it is time to move.  


Advertising to all decision makers

Another way to reach your ideal residents is through cross device matching. This means you can advertise to each individual in your geotargeted audience and the devices associated with the same household. So if one roommate is in your audience, device matching will include the other roommate in your audience as well. 

When you are able to reach every decision maker, roommate and significant other who would likely be moving with the person you captured in your geotargeted audience, you are more likely to convert them into residents.  Here’s more on how cross device matching works.


As you can see, there are many segments to geofence beyond targeting your competition.  When thinking about audience segments, keep in mind where your ideal audience visits and what their interests are. This will guide you to be creative with your audiences and help personalize the ad copy for each of your audiences. 

To learn more about geofencing marketing and how it can drive occupancy for your community, contact us today for a demo of VISIT Local.