3 Ways SEO Can Supercharge Your Student Housing Properties

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Matt Easton's picture
3 Ways SEO Can Supercharge Your Student Housing Properties

3 Ways SEO Can Supercharge Your Student Housing Properties

As a leader in SEO and online apartment marketing, I have worked with hundreds of student housing properties and portfolios over the years. Whenever a university community calls MultiFamily Traffic, they always have the same problems for us to fix.

1.The phones in the leasing office are not ringing

2.The property has become occupied only with students, with little or no non-student renters, the property is one step away from becoming a frat-house.

3.They are either in the throes of, or, about to enter the “crazy months” of summer season lease-up. If they don’t get units leased for the next school year now, the property manager may be looking for a job come September.

Having spent most of the last decade focused on SEO and online apartment marketing, I have seen first hand what it takes to solve these problems for our student housing clients.  I worry about the properties that haven’t shared this focus. I feel for property managers who are working their tails off right now and are worried about how corporate will look at them come the fall. In student housing there is no margin for error and a property manager is either a hero or a zero.

If you are stressed out, below are 3 ways you can use SEO to supercharge your student property and make sure you are the valedictorian of your company.

Are you ready to move to the head of the class? Follow these 3 simple steps:

Laser target your audience: Most student housing properties have no idea what the top keywords students are searching for in the area and consequently they have no clue where their property ranks on Google for those keywords.

Keywords are the words and phrases that students type into the search box of a search engine, such as Google, to find apartments that match what they are looking for. Some keywords have thousands of unique searches while others get zero.  For example, “apartments near ASU” has 14 times more renters searching it than “apartments for rent near ASU”. The biggest mistake a property manager can make is trying to guess at what students are “asking Siri” or typing into Google. As reader of Rental Housing Journal, just call our office at 888-683-5885 and we will tell you the top 10 keywords for your property and where your website ranks for them at no charge.

Once you know your keywords you can go to work laser targeting the ones that have maximum search behind them. SEO can get you to the top of search engines and leave your competing communities fighting over the keywords nobody is searching for.

Load Balance the rent-roll: Many times property managers call us after their property has already become the satellite home of Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Nu. Students are great, and if you specialize in off campus housing, they are your lifeblood. But one of the best things you can do for your property is to balance your rent-roll with non-students. This will provide you a buffer for the extreme seasonality of student housing and help keep the community sane, clean and livable for everyone.

The fastest way to achieve a healthy balance is to use the same laser targeting described above for non-students. Returning to our ASU example; “apartments in Tempe” will broaden your exposure to non-students. If your property is an A property targeting “luxury apartments Tempe” and “Tempe luxury apartments” will bring hundreds of high-end renters calling into the leasing office month after month. 

Compensate for seasonality: The final problem we always have to solve for our student properties is how to turn their crazy seasonal lease ups into smooth open enrollments filling all of the units for the upcoming year in a fraction of the time is takes the rest of the communities in the area. Although getting your property ranked for the top student and non-student keywords goes a long way. We often put our student communities on steroids during the crazy months; we manage a Google AdWords campaign for them.

AdWords (Google AdWords) is an advertising service by Google for apartments wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables student housing properties to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads.

Conclusion: Proper use of SEO can be the difference between the Dean’s list and the Dunce Cap. Finding the right partner to help you manage your online presence can help you become your management company’s star pupil.

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Matthew Easton is EVP of MultiFamily Traffic a SEO firm dedicated to making the phones in your leasing office ring. . MultiFamily Traffic professionally manages these campaigns making the phones rings with only the most qualified renters and saving each of our properties 40% - 70% on what they would have paid if they went to Google by themselves You can reach Matthew directly at 303-803-7372 or m.easton@multifamilytraffic.com

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