Q&A with Lorna Walker of Republic Media

republic media az multifamily

‘Advertising Saavy’: Using cutting-edge technology to grow multifamily bottom lines

Q: What drew you to Arizona and the real estate advertising business?

I truly believe if you are not learning, you are not growing – moving to Phoenix was a great opportunity to learn a whole new industry and market. I was moved (literally) to see how I could apply my years of multimedia advertising experience to the real estate/rentals industry while getting to know the Phoenix market.

One year in I have grown both professionally and personally and continue to learn every day. The Phoenix market is unique compared to the South Florida and Southern California markets where I was previously. The multi housing industry is robust and vibrant here and the people are especially kind and supportive — with open arms have embraced and welcomed me in.

Q: Real estate advertising has changed dramatically over the past 5 years. What do AMA members need to know about online vs. print advertising? 

For an ad to be effective, it must speak directly to the target audience. In the past 5 years, the ability to hyper-target specifically to the audience you want to reach has grown exponentially.

The concept that print/magazine is dead as it relates to the rental industry is truly unfounded. The monthly AZ Rentals magazine continues to deliver strong results for B and C properties today.

Using call tracking in the ads, one management company received over 3,000 calls from the magazine/newspaper ads over the last 6 months – that is an average of 480+ calls per month!

Online advertising delivers the ability to hyper-target. We use audience segmentation data to analyze your current leasers, identify their demographic and behavioral traits and match them to look-a-likes in other zip codes in the valley to serve your ads to. There are many targeting tactics you can use to maximize your target audience reach:

Content targeting: Deliver your ads on websites both in and out of network. For example, if your potential renter is an avid hiker, your ad can serve on hiking websites

Geography: Targeting by zip or sub zip, city, state

Behavioral targeting: Numerous options including age, income, ethnicity, education, real estate seekers, pet enthusiasts, shoppers, etc

Geo-fencing: Using GPS technology, we create a digital fence around your competition and other buildings where your potential renter works, play (office building, mall) and serve your ads to anyone who walks into the fence. We are then able to track if that person walks into your leasing office (the conversion zone)

Social media leads: The new referral platform using demographic and behavioral segmentations, your ads are served to potential renters feeds while they are in the mindset of connecting with family and friends. You can also re-target to Facebook visitors.

Website organic ranking: Directories list claims and on page website optimization to ensure page 1 rank for relevant keywords phrases

Pay per click advertising: Reach Local, our Digital Marketing Services company is a Google certified preferred vendor and Google Best Quality Score award recipient. This means we can efficiently optimize your advertising to ensure you pay the lowest price for the best ad spot on page 1 of search engines.

Retargeting: Once they leave your site or social media page, we retarget them with your ads wherever they go online.

Q: How do these new marketing tools allow businesses to track their performance and outcomes?

In today’s media, everything is trackable which gives you the opportunity to tweak and adjust the campaigns quickly to deliver the best results.

In magazines and newspaper ads, call tracking allows you to see the number of call generated from each off-line medium, listen to the calls to ensure your front desk are asking the right questions to secure the lease.

Online marketing using Google analytics and tag managers to track various actions of the potential renter, including but not limited to:

  • Top websites or social media platforms driving traffic to your website

  • Bounce rates – did they leave after just visiting one page on your site?

  • How many pages deep/ how long did they stay on your website

  • Did they connect via form fill or live chat or click to call from their mobile device?

Reach Local Reach Edge is a proprietary dashboard and mobile app that directs all actions/leads from your marketing efforts into one portal which you can manage on the go, assign leads, follow up on emails and call, schedule drip marketing touch points as well as schedule automated messages.

Q: Where do you see changes in the media landscape ahead?

As wireless technology continues to emerge, now consumers can get what they want when they want it. This is what Google calls “micro moments behavior” immediately turning to a device to know, go, do and buy. To win over potential renters, you must be present and useful wherever they are on the path to rent.

Q: You’re in this year’s Lyceum class with the AMA? How do you think this program will help you when you ascend to the AMA Board of Directors?

The Lyceum class is essential to my full integration into the rentals industry in the Valley. It provides a much-needed deeper understanding of the issue affecting the industry, from government, healthcare, social services etc. I am excited to learn more in the coming year so that I can contribute in a more meaningful way.

Q: As a native of Jamaica, what’s the thing you miss the most about living and working there?

Family. I relocated here on my own so I miss my family mostly. And of course, the food. The strongest similarity in Phoenix with Jamaica is the people – warm, kind and embracing.

Be sure to check out Republic Media in our Vendor Directory!

This article was originally published in the June/July 2017 issue of Apartment News, the official print publication of the Arizona Multihousing Association. To order copies of this magazine, contact the AMA.

Not yet a member?

Kick start your multifamily career into overdrive by creating your FREE Multihousing Friends account today!


AMA Staff
The Arizona Multihousing Association is the recognized voice and authoritative source of information on the rental housing industry in Arizona.