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3 Ways the Customer’s Search is Changing & How Marketers Should React

Marketing Trends | Customer Search Habits | Customer Journey

Think with Google recently published their latest customer journey research and it is fascinating.  It’s always fun to see when data backs up what we inherently know.  With the daily advancements of AI and digital assistants, the way customers research and purchase is changing.  This behavior holds true whether it’s a $10 purchase or a $10,000 purchase.  Seeing as rent is the most significant expense for most of our customers, we can assume this data holds true for the apartment hunting journey as well.

Is it right for me?

A crucial decision step during the customer journey answering the question is this product right for me? Determining whether any product is going to be a good match will depend on answers that are quite individualized.  Our ability to understand the questions and answers that help the customer check the ‘right for me’ box will determine our success in escorting customers to the next stages in their buying journey.

Do I?

People are turning to their voice assistants and Google for personal advice.  Mobile searches for “do I need” are up 65%.  In everyday terms this could search like, “how much do I need for a down payment?” or “What tires do I need for winter?”

If we are thinking about the apartment hunter’s journey, we should be answering the questions in the form that they are asking.

What do I need to apply for an apartment?

What size apartment do I need?

Do I need assigned parking?

Should I?

Searches including the term ‘should I’ are also on the rise. TWG gave the example of “what SPF should I use?” and “what should I have for dinner?”  {It’s amazing to me that we are asking the internet to decide our meals…but I’m guessing that could save all of us from many marital arguments.}

Again, if we are refocusing back to multifamily, there are a multitude of questions you can be answering.

Should I rent or buy?

Should I get a roommate?

Where should I live?

Should I sign a 20-month lease?

While these questions don’t directly relate to your specific community, being a useful resource builds credibility and trust; factors that will go a long way in winning over your customer.

Can I?

Finally, search for “Can I” are up 85%.  While it’s impossible to answer every individualized question a prospect may come up with, you probably have a lot of this content written in different files, formats, and emails.  Compile it into one document and brainstorm all the different possible ways to make it useful to your prospect.   Maybe it’s a budget worksheet, an infographic, a simple income chart or perhaps it’s the answers your chatbot is delivering.

How can I get approved for this apartment with bad credit? {no credit, a co-signer, etc.}

Can I afford this apartment?

Can I have a large dog? {a ferret, a parrot, a pot belly pig}

How About, Now…?

Building on this trend is also the addition of the modifier “now.”

Can I see this apartment now?

Generation On-demand expects that you will be available at their convenience and they will spend their money with the businesses that cater to their schedule.  Obviously, this is one more reason to invest in chatbots and call centers.  It’s also a reason to evaluate your ad strategy.  If you have after office hours AdWords running, the keyword phrase ‘tour apartments now’ would seem to be an obvious ad to connect to your virtual tours landing page on your website.

It’s an exciting time to be in marketing.  As customers’ behaviors change, one thing stays constant.  You win by finding the way to be the most useful.  Answer customers’ questions along each stage of the journey and look for opportunities to share the information in different formats appropriate to each platform.

I’d love to hear what trends you are seeing and how you’re addressing our new research obsessed customer! Send me a note or comment below.

Summary
Article Name
What funnel?  3 Ways the Customer’s Journey is Changing & How Marketers Should React
Description
As we all become research obsessed, customer journeys are changing. Here are three new questions multifamily marketers need to be answering.
Author
Publisher Name
Apartminty

About The Author

Holli

Not one to settle for status quo, Holli has spent her 15 year career shaking up the multifamily industry. From creating unheard of building amenities to designing lounge-like leasing centers, to major Pinterest fails in the kitchen, she is ever experimenting. It’s no surprise that she created a new way to match apartment renters with their perfect home. Holli is a featured speaker and session facilitator at regional and national industry conferences. When she’s not brainstorming the next marketing campaign, you can find Holli testing the limits of bottomless brunch or beating her boyfriend at Jeopardy.

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