Leasing Study by Yardi Shows SEO Lowers Apartment Marketing Costs


Data indicates SEO drives 144% more leases for 91% less spend than ILS advertising

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 29, 2023REACH by RentCafe®, a digital marketing agency by Yardi, studied lease acquisition data from 261 apartment properties nationwide over three months to determine whether SEO or ILS advertising is more effective at generating leases. The study found that SEO greatly outperformed ILS, generating 144% more leases for 91% less marketing spend during that time.

Data analysts compared the effectiveness of expert search engine optimization to paid placements on internet listing sites for rentals. SEO outperformed all ILS advertising sites combined — including Apartment Guide, Apartments.com and Zillow — to deliver the highest lease volume at the lowest cost.

Participants in the study spent $234,900 on REACH SEO and got 2,683 leases, resulting in a $87.55 cost per lease. By comparison, they spent $1.106 million on ILS placements and got 1,100 leases, resulting in a cost per lease of $1,005.45.

Results of nationwide leasing study comparing SEO and ILS advertising, on rainbow background with REACH logo

See the apartment leasing case study.

“When we look at least acquisitions, we’re really talking about the marketing activities that deliver the rental income that drives your business,” says Esther Bonardi, vice president of REACH by RentCafe. “This study shows that optimizing your website is the most cost-effective marketing strategy for apartment rentals, but to get this kind of performance, you need to be working with a professional SEO service.”

REACH specializes in marketing for multifamily businesses. The agency offers both SEO and ILS marketing services to create balanced and optimal marketing plans for each client. Other services include PPC advertising, website design, reputation management and social media posting. 

“In three months, REACH SEO resulted in 836 leases across 60 properties with a cost per lease of just $52. That’s 88% lower than our second-best source — an ILS,” said Susie Dwinell, marketing director of Priderock Capital Partners.

Watch an executive summary of the lease acquisition study.

About REACH by RentCafe
Reach your audience, goals and potential with a full-service digital marketing agency for property management businesses. REACH by RentCafe® certified experts are ready to help you create a winning web presence that drives conversions with complete transparency. Our services include website development, SEO, PPC, social media, reputation management and more. See what’s possible: reachbyrentcafe.com