What Makes Good Build-to-Rent Marketing?

Streetscape of a BTR community by Jim Chapman Construction Group.

Build-to-Rent (BTR) developers are carving out a significant niche in the rapidly evolving homebuilding industry. This growth is a testament to changing housing demands, the need for attainable housing and the strategic marketing efforts behind these developments. Build-to-Rent marketing encompasses both business-to-business (B2B) engagement and consumer-facing strategies. This dual approach attracts institutional investors and private equity funds and draws potential residents to these thriving communities.

B2B Marketing: Engaging Investors on LinkedIn and Through Media Relations

For BTR developers, securing investment is the first step toward realizing their project visions. This is where B2B marketing takes center stage, mainly through platforms like LinkedIn and strategic media relations. With its professional network, LinkedIn offers a direct line to institutional investors, private equity funds, and other critical real estate investment community stakeholders. By leveraging LinkedIn for networking, content sharing and brand positioning, BTR developers effectively communicate their value proposition, showcase their development and building expertise, bring attention to successful projects, and highlight the potential returns on investment.

Media relations, or earned media, complements LinkedIn strategies by providing third-party validation and exposure. BTR developers gain visibility in respected industry publications through press releases, feature articles and interviews. This bolsters their credibility and attracts the attention of potential investors, scanning the market for promising opportunities.

Driving Traffic: Strategies for Attracting Residents

Once the investment phase is securely underway, the focus shifts to attracting residents to rent homes in these BTR communities. Here, a mix of organic and paid strategies across various digital platforms play a crucial role.

Organic and Paid Social Media: Social media platforms offer a dynamic space for BTR developers to showcase communities, highlight amenities and engage with potential residents. Organic social media builds a community around the brand, while paid social media campaigns target specific interests and locations to drive interest and leads.

Blogging with Keywords: A well-crafted blog provides valuable information to potential renters and improves a BTR community’s visibility on search engines. Developers enhance organic search rankings by integrating keywords relevant to the BTR market, rental location and lifestyle benefits, attracting more website traffic.

Email Marketing: Regular email communication via newsletters and drip campaigns keeps potential and current residents engaged with the latest news, offers, community openings and events. Personalizing these messages to the recipient’s interests increases the relevance and effectiveness of the message.

Community Outreach and Involvement: Engaging with the local community through sponsorships, events and partnerships raises the profile of a BTR development. Consider joining the local Chamber, advertising in the local paper and hosting a ribbon cutting or other open house for area businesses and potential residents. This positions the community as an active and contributing member of the local area and attracts potential residents who see value in community-oriented living.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): SEM strategies, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, effectively capture the attention of those actively searching for rental options. By targeting specific keywords and demographics, BTR developers ensure their communities are visible to those with the highest intent to rent.

Target Audience: Renters by Choice

Today, many consumers are renters by choice, opting to rent for the flexibility, convenience and access to amenities it offers rather than pursuing homeownership due to traditional constraints or lifestyle preferences. This growing demographic values the freedom from maintenance responsibilities and the ability to easily relocate, making them a key target for Build-to-Rent communities.

Marketing to renters by choice involves highlighting the lifestyle benefits and conveniences that align with their desire for flexibility and ease. Emphasize the “lock and leave” aspect of living in a community where security and maintenance are taken care of, allowing residents to travel or pursue their interests without the burden of property upkeep. Showcase the amenities—like fitness centers, community events and smart home features—that cater to their active and social lifestyles. Tailor messaging to reflect the freedom and peace of mind that comes from living in a community designed to support their dynamic lifestyle choices, underscoring the value of a home that adapts to their needs rather than the other way around.

Sprinkle in Some Dog-gone Fun

Dogwood's dating tipsIn an innovative twist to attract consumers, Denim Marketing created Dogwood, a charming Georgia bulldog mascot, for Ranch Cottages for Rent. This delightful campaign captured the essence of the build-to-rent developer’s pet-friendly, maintenance-free living communities in Georgia.

Understanding the significant role pets play in their residents’ lives, Dogwood was created to offer insights and share experiences from a dog’s perspective. Through engaging blog posts and social media graphics, Dogwood invites potential renters and their furry friends to envision a new chapter of their lives at The Cottages, highlighting the community’s amenities, one-level living and local attractions. One of Dogwood’s captivating blogs encourages readers with a playful nudge: “Dig up a new life at The Cottages and bring your furry friend along for the best life at Ranch Cottages for Rent. I’ll save you a sunny spot at the bark park!” This clever approach not only emphasizes the community’s pet-friendly philosophy but also adds a fun, unique angle to marketing, making Ranch Cottages for Rent stand out as a vibrant, inclusive community for both humans and their canine companions. Read how Homebuilding Marketing Has Gone to the Dogs.

The Synergy of B2B and B2C Marketing

The Build-to-Rent marketing synergy between B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) strategies ultimately drives success for BTR developers. While B2B efforts secure the necessary investment and partnerships, B2C strategies focus on filling the rental communities with residents. Both require a keen understanding of the target audience, a clear value proposition and consistent brand messaging across all channels.

For BTR developers, the importance of an integrated marketing approach cannot be overstated. Developers ensure their communities come to fruition and thrive by engaging with investors and potential residents. In today’s digital age, leveraging platforms like LinkedIn for B2B engagement, along with a comprehensive mix of digital marketing strategies for consumer outreach, is essential for the growth and sustainability of BTR projects.

As the BTR sector continues to expand, those developers who master the art of Build-to-Rent marketing on both the B2B and B2C fronts will attract the necessary investment and residents and establish their projects as desirable communities for years to come. Ultimately, the goal is to create spaces where people want to live and feel connected to their community and home, something that strategic marketing helps achieve.

Looking to improve your Build-to-Rent marketing? Contact us, we’d love to help!

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