Craigslist: If you aren’t using Craigslist yet, start. If you were using Craigslist and decided to stop, start over. It’s a great resource, it’s easy to use and best of all it’s free.
For many of us, this is old news, but for those who aren’t on board the results speak for themselves. Just make sure your ads are strategic and smart. For example, if you are a high end community, don’t boast your lowest prices. You will get unqualified prospects, especially given the current economy. Advertise your standard and competitive rates. Even people with money to spend are using Craigslist to find a deal!
If you are an economy community, make sure you are advertising your lowest rate for apartments that you have available. Check your inventory. If you only have one available, make sure you advertise that and create a sense of urgency. If you rent that unit, pull the ad immediately. You will continue to get calls and Craigslist users are savvy and penny pinchers. They will demand you honor your ad.
Google Analytics: This has to be the coolest free thing I have ever seen. Even if you already have tracking software for your website, you should check out Google’s technology and compare. The reports are in depth and will confirm how well your advertising sources are working in terms of hits to your website. If used properly you can get as detailed as how many users are visiting your community pages, viewing rates and floorplans, and maps and directions. This is excellent information. I will post more about this in the future, but I just wanted to get it out there to anyone who isn’t using it currently.