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The Challenge

In 2023, TAM Residential, a prominent multifamily property management company, partnered with Catalyst to enhance their digital presence and drive measurable results across their portfolio of 22 Texas communities. Prior to engaging in Catalyst services, TAM encountered challenges in effectively reaching their portfolio’s target audiences and maximizing online visibility. The need to optimize their digital marketing strategies for long-term success and sustained growth was paramount.

The Strategy

Under Catalyst’s recommendation, TAM contracted for six months of search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns — a strategy that would place branded property ads directly in the search results and online activity of potential residents. To remain competitive in large markets like Houston, we employed several strategic approaches:

  • Budget allocation: Recognizing the competitive landscape, we allocated a substantial budget of more than $2,000 per month toward digital spend. Regular monitoring of forecasting numbers allowed us to assess the need for increased spend, ensuring TAM remained competitive in this saturated market. The willingness of TAM communities to adopt our spend recommendations further reinforced our competitive edge.
  • Location targeting: We adopted a highly strategic approach to location targeting by focusing on smaller cities within the Houston designated market area (DMA). Setting the location parameters to a 10-mile radius (adjusting as necessary) around specific cities such as League City, Kingwood, and La Porte allowed us to target residents who live and work in the vicinity. This targeted approach not only improved lead quality but also provided better control over ad spend.
  • Optimization tactics: Our campaign optimization tactics included closely monitoring user search terms to identify opportunities for further optimization. For instance, if a particular floor plan had high availability, we extracted relevant keywords into a separate search network. This enabled us to exert precise control over spend, optimization strategies, and messaging in ad extensions. Similarly, for filling additional dwelling units (ADUs), we created dedicated search networks to manage user search terms, negative keyword lists, and spend effectively.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs): The primary KPI for TAM Residential’s websites revolved around the Apply Now button, strategically placed to gather user information efficiently. Our call-to-action (CTA) strategies focused on prompting users to “apply today” or “apply now,” reinforcing the desired action. Additionally, we leveraged sitelink extensions across all search networks to direct traffic to the Apply Now page, further enhancing lead generation efforts.

To ensure our campaigns remained most effective for the TAM team, our team assessed competitiveness of ad spend through a multifaceted approach:

  • Analyzing the overall marketing budget to ensure alignment with market dynamics
  • Monitoring forecasting numbers to gauge the effectiveness of our current spend levels
  • Evaluating the need for additional search networks (e.g., floor plan-specific or ADUs) based on leasing performance and market trends
  • Conducting market surveys to stay informed about competitors in the area, especially considering the frequent opening of new assets in markets like Houston

The Results

Our strategic SEM campaign implementation for TAM Residential’s 22-property Texas portfolio in Q1 of 2023 resulted in impressive performance metrics, showcasing significant improvements and surpassing industry benchmarks, including:

  • 3.23% average portfolio-wide conversion rate, compared to the industry benchmark of 2.35%
  • 10.45% average portfolio-wide click-through rate (CTR), compared to the industry benchmark of 6-7%
  • $32.58 average cost per lead (CPL), compared to the industry benchmark of $100-200
  • $1.47 average cost per click (CPC), compared to the industry benchmark of $2.10
  • 487 total phone calls generated portfolio-wide
  • 2,077 total conversions generated portfolio-wide

Our results demonstrate a remarkable increase in Google Ads conversion rates, reflecting the effectiveness of our targeted campaigns and optimization strategies. TAM Residential’s CTR exceeded industry benchmarks, highlighting the success of our tailored approach in driving engagement and click-throughs.

The high volume of phone calls and conversions underscores the impact of our campaigns in generating quality leads and driving user actions. Moreover, the efficient CPL and CPC metrics reflect our ability to achieve optimal results while maintaining cost-effectiveness for TAM Residential.

The collaboration between TAM Residential and our marketing agency exemplifies the power of strategic digital marketing in driving leasing success. Through targeted search campaigns, optimized for long-term performance, we were able to elevate TAM Residential’s online presence, generate quality leads, and ultimately contribute to their growth and profitability in 2023 and beyond.

“This partnership with Catalyst has truly transformed our marketing efforts here at TAM,” says Selena Cuellar, Marketing Strategist at TAM Residential. “We’re particularly impressed by Catalyst’s advanced tracking capabilities and their commitment to transparent communication. These qualities have enabled us to attract both volume and quality leads effectively. With innovations like Datalyst, we now have real-time visibility into our campaign performance, empowering us to make informed decisions and achieve even greater success. Their proactive approach ensures open lines of communication, timely responses to queries, and regular updates on campaign progress. This level of engagement has fostered a positive and productive collaboration, which has been well-received not only by me but also by our entire on-site team. Additionally, the quarterly update calls with the on-site managers and regional managers have been invaluable for fostering open communication and demonstrating Catalyst’s dedication to providing a personalized experience.”


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