There was a time when having just a few photos in a Craigslist posting or an ad would be enough to entice a potential renter to come through the doors of your apartment community and take a tour. Now, competition has grown and technology, like digital media, has allowed people to experience more on their portable and smart devices which demands apartment marketers to think of new ways to show off an apartment community. Attention spans have decreased while the expectation of quality has gone up. And the attention has become less about the amenities and finishes. The focus is on the neighborhood… the location…. the lifestyle. So, what is the best way to communicate that?
The SKY is the LIMIT
From a 15 second single shot to a virtual tour, there is no “right” way to do it, only the “right way for you” to do it.
First thing’s first. What is the experience that you want people to have? Are you creating an environment and a community that residents want to be a part of? Do you consider yourselves pioneers in a new, up and coming neighborhood? Are you pushing a quiet, peaceful retreat vibe? Or do your residents enjoy resort style living? Is your design classic or modern?
Once you know who you are, it’s time to share that with the world, and there is no shortage of ways to do that, with digital media as just one of many ways to tell your story.
Here are a few of our favorite approaches:
SHORT and SWEET
One of my favorite examples is a 15 second shot we took at one of our oceanside communities. In 15 seconds, you get the feeling of what life is like at this community and what surrounds you. The use of sound really helps to blend the excitement of “on the water” living with the tranquility of a walk on the beach.
Digital Media Tip: Put Your BUILDING in the BACKGROUND
The typical approach is to place your community front & center and make that the focal point. However, there is probably a lot more to your value proposition than that.
We did a lifestyle-focused shoot for a community that was still being developed in which our idea was to not focus on the building’s amenities and the “usual” points of interest, but to instead draw attention to the actual lifestyle of the residents. So, we see what life can be like by featuring the neighborhood and the community that surrounds the building. Using creative transitions and filming in locations that were hyper-local, we were able to tell the story of a resident in a very specific and unique way.
FOCUS on the DETAILS
Sometimes, it works better to spell it out and highlight the details that you want them to notice. By incorporating graphics and text into the video, you can draw the viewer’s eyes to see exactly what you want them to see.
Create the IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
Our newest approach (and my favorite) is to take all the techniques and blend them together into a virtual experience. As VR and 360 Experiences are starting to gain traction, it’s important to be able to offer that service to future residents to help them explore your community at their own pace. Our Virtual Experience allows the future resident to move throughout the community on their terms, while controlling the various elements within the space. As story tellers, we love that this approach allows the viewer to participate in the narrative. Take a look at the development site of Waves MDR in Marina Del Rey and click on the “Virtual Experience” button.
So while the 360 image is of the exteriors, you can add sound effects that would highlight what is near by (sound of waves, or nature…). The lobby can have one vibe, and the apartment homes a different one. While you are moving around the space, we can add the option to punch in tight on details or add video to the TV that is in the model home.
This is also nice because you can use all forms of digital media in one presentation. You can add links to other vides, have photos that can pop up, you could even add a photo montage in a picture frame within the space.
Having this may options is great because it really lets you dial in your approach that fits your brand and sets your community apart from the one across the street. Whichever way you choose to do it, your future resident wants to feel what it will be like to live in your community, so lets give them that experience.
Any questions or comments? Drop them in the section below or on Twitter at @GoToMyApartment.