One important part of developing a successful apartment community marketing plan is to size up your marketing strategy to that of your competitor’s. Here are a few tips that every community should analyze for gain a stronger competitive advantage:
- Real Competitor- Do you really know who the each community’s competitors really are? When was the last time someone took the time to determine if the community’s named competitors have remained the same? Competitors change … how are you tracking competitors?
- Value- How is the competition building value? How are they providing a unique experience for their residents and prospects so your community is not a commodity?
- Website Content – Explore the competitor’s website. Look at what services they are providing and what benefits they are offering. In addition, you can see what information the site offers readers such as things to do in the area, events, etc. In other words are they taking advantage of what the neighborhood offers.
- Reviews/Reputation Management – Read reviews about your competitors on channels such at Goggle, Yelp, and Apartment Rateings.com etc. Utilize these channels to explore what residents like and dislike about other apartment communities and make certain your communities follow the right direction.
- Social Media – Take note of how the competition is taking advantage of social media. Do they have presence in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media channels? Do they respond to comments quickly and are they writing engaging posts? See which channels are generating a lot of buzz for your competitors and make sure that your community/company has presence there as well.
- Local/Hyperlocal – Look at whether or not people are checking-in to the competing community. See if they have specials tied to checking in through Facebook or Foursquare. Are their strategies gaining them more check-ins or local saturation in Google Places?
- Linkbuilding – See which directories your competition is listed under. Strong link building can benefit a website in a couple of ways: driving traffic and gaining site relevancy. Look to see if there are any directories and sites that you have overlooked when linkbuilding for your own site. There are many tools out there, which can assist you in running a competitive link analysis.
- Paid Search – Research and see what paid campaigns your competitors are running. Are they running banners and PPC campaigns? Which keywords are your competitors bidding on?
In conclusion, conducting a competitive analysis is an effective method to evaluate your own website’s promotional strengths and weaknesses. It is also a great way to find new ideas on how to further drive the success of your website. But beware, just because your competitors are lacking in an area, does not mean you don’t have to participate in that channel. A successful website constantly looks for new ways to saturate all the channels and build their online presence to reach potential residents ahead of their competition.