The multifamily lease-up phase is a critical one for the success of multifamily communities. And an effective apartment lease up marketing plan can be the difference between success and mediocrity. With so much focus and emphasis on this key period in the lifecycle of an apartment community, we’ve compiled some of the top reasons why an apartment lease up marketing plan is important, what it can look like, and some tips and tricks to make it successful.

Why is a lease-up marketing plan important? 

Before we get into the details around the plan and apartment complex marketing ideas, a quick review. What is a lease-up? A lease-up is the period from pre-leasing, or leasing prior to building delivery, and stabilization, when the community hits their goal percent occupied. In other words, a lease-up is the critical time when communities work on signing as many leases as possible as quickly as possible. 

With that, having an apartment leasing action plan during this period can be the lynchpin of success for the continued longevity and NOI of your community. Your lease-up strategy should include setting realistic lease-up goals, defining roles and responsibilities, establishing a timeline, and setting your success metrics. During this phase, an apartment lease-up marketing plan is even more critical than normal. Your marketing is how you will generate leads. If you can’t generate inbound leads and interest in your community, you won’t be able to fill it with qualified residents. Emphasis on ‘qualified’!

While finding a property management marketing plan template or apartment marketing plan template online can be helpful, you should develop your own unique plan that is catered to your team, your community, and your desired demographic. 

What does a lease-up plan look like? 

Apartment lease-up experts agree that the first step in the apartment lease-up strategy should be detailing your apartment marketing goals and leasing goals. These can be anything from obtaining 90% occupancy or increasing lead conversion through your website by 15%. Your goals should be individual to your multifamily community and they should be SMART goals. (SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.) While these goals should be challenging and bold, they must also be realistic and attainable. 

You should also follow up your goal setting with an implementation plan and schedule for your lease-up timeline. So, how long does it take to lease up a building? The answer is that it depends. If leasing up a new construction community, that timeline is typically anywhere from 6 to 15 months depending on the size of the community. During that time, the property team will need to develop milestones they must hit along the lease-up path, work with the developer and construction teams to understand timing for key construction milestones, and more. One of the hardest things to do is a sign a lease before unit delivery only to experience delays and have to push back someone’s move-in date.

Other critical steps for your lease-up plan? There are a number of critical steps! From building the community website, to getting fully staffed, to executing all marketing ideas at various phases of the lease-up, and, obviously, touring the community with prospective residents! 

How can I create an apartment lease up marketing plan that works? 

A good apartment lease-up marketing plan can be one of the most important ways to ensure the community is appealing to and reaching the proper audience. When consumers are searching various Internet Listing Services or searching for apartments online, are they seeing your property pop up? 

Once you’ve narrowed down your target audience, you can start coming up with apartment marketing ideas, such as apartment marketing slogans, that will work for reaching your audience and getting them engaged. Having the right property management marketing materials on hand for foot traffic or prospects that visit the property is important, but make sure to also think digital content. Today’s prospective residents are a digital generation. So much so that nearly every “apartment marketing ideas for 2019” post or idea list contains multiple digital channels for marketing content and lots of rich media like multifamily video. 

When working to create new content from scratch during the lease-up phase, it can be challenging. It is, after all, often a construction site. It can be hard to show the community in a positive “see it for what it will be” way. That’s where video can be a dream come true. Today’s prospective residents want to be a part of the construction process. They know what new construction means, they’ve all seen HGTV.  So, create quick, bite-sized videos showcasing construction progress and updates as they occur. Putting in a new rooftop deck with a killer view? Perfect! Making progress on a fitness center? Yep – get that on video too! If there’s an installation art piece in the lobby or common area, shoot a cool time lapse video. 

And the best part? All of these are amazing apartment social media marketing ideas for your property. Posting videos like these are great for any social media channel – as well as sending out to your leads. Showing realness and transparency throughout the process, as well as making prospects feel like they are part of it, will begin to build trust and transparency needed for happy residents. 

Occasionally, you’ll also likely confront a prospective resident that wants to be able to ask questions and learn more about your property, but doesn’t have the time to visit in person. Or they just can’t make it because, for example, they are relocating from across the country. These scenarios are perfect for equipping your team with live video as part of your marketing and leasing plan. By connecting live with those prospects, it puts your team and your community front and center for that prospect in a way that will stand out from the comp down the street. You can even do a live video open house to walk a large number of prospects through your property at one time. Talk about streamlined marketing and leasing! 

There is never a “one size fits all” lease-up marketing plan for multifamily communities. All of the above ideas need to be vetted out and thought through by your team and applied to your specific needs, audience, timelines, etc. For all of these reasons, and many more, a sharp, well-thought out apartment lease-up marketing plan can be the key to success in the lease-up phase.

If you’d like to discuss how video, both live and recorded, could and should fit into your lease-up plan, message us at We’ve seen it all and are here to help!

Until next time…keep it real!