Apartments.com Casts Broad Net For Renters, Landlords

Apartments.com
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Apartments.com says it will spend in excess of $200 million this year in a broad campaign to reach both renters and people who own apartments and other rentable properties.

Separate creative messaging for those target audiences features actor Jeff Goldblum in his role as Brad Bellflower—inventor of the “Apartminternet.”

Roughly 120 million Americans rent either apartments, townhouses, condominiums or single-family homes, according to Apartments.com vice president and head of marketing Patrick Dodson.

“The evolving demographics of the renter audience is that it’s skewing younger and younger,” Dodson tells Marketing Daily.

In the new commercials from the RPA agency, Bellflower goes to absurd lengths to ensure that Apartments.com has the most listings not only now but also looking far forward.

In this spot, titled “Tentacle,” the company sends a rep into the future—only to have him tossed back by a tentacled creature as the rep breathlessly reports “No listings in 2178!”

On the landlord side, some campaign spots are meant to entice property owners who might not consider listing their single-family home, condominium or townhome on Apartments.com because of the specificity of the URL.

Earlier this year, the company rolled out a new offering that enables owners to list their property, attract and screen potential renters, review credit scores and accept applications, among other features.

“The value proposition for that group is, you have to come up with a set of tools that allow these landlords to manage their business,” says Dodson.

Returning to the theater of the absurd, campaign spots feature Bellflower explaining that Apartments.com can find a renter for any dwelling that can be lived in. Examples include an “above-branch ranch”—AKA a tree house—a “cliffside condo” and an “Indiana igloo.”

Being top of mind for renters and landlords year-round requires spending on most forms of digital and traditional advertising media. Hence the $200 million-plus outlay—the same as Apartments.com spent last year.

“It’s paid off for us for sure on the business front,” says Dodson.

When CoStar Group Inc. acquired Apartments.com in 2014, its annual revenue was growing at approximately 10% per year, CoStar executives told financial analysts in April.

In the first quarter ended March 31, Apartments.com grew revenue 21% year-over-year—the seventh consecutive quarter of growth at or above 20%.