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The Challenge

Embrey is a large development, construction, and property management company that needed assistance with a digital strategy to help drive qualified leads to MELA, a 360-unit class-A multifamily community in San Antonio, Texas. The brand-new apartment community needed extended exposure on various platforms to drive awareness and generate leads for a strong leasing effort online, as well as increase foot traffic for on-site leasing. Embrey partnered with Catalyst for an innovative strategy that would produce the desired results.


The Solution

To gain recognition within the market, get prospects excited about the new community, and increase signed leases, the Catalyst team created a series of social media marketing (SMM) and search engine marketing (SEM) ads to push MELA’s digital presence that utilized a creative combination of fonts, colors, visual elements, and copy that aligned with the community’s brand.

The SEM campaign used text ads that appear in the Google search engine results page (SERP) — ads designed and optimized to drive users to MELA’s homepage and submit their information on any of the forms. The ads also included a clickable phone number to call the community directly. A key factor featured in these ads on the Google Display Network included the use of high-quality interior and community images as an enticing visual measure to invite prospects to learn more. When users clicked the display ad, it drove them to MELA’s homepage.

Catalyst launched the SMM campaign in December 2019 with carousel ads using the lead form objective, but then switched to the web traffic objective to improve the lead quality. The SEM campaign launched in November 2019 with a heavy focus on location-based keywords in the San Antonio market due to the client’s concern of the lack of visibility of the community’s physical location — a successful approach that targeted search ads to a relevant audience. Search engine optimization (SEO) services also were implemented in November 2019.


The Results

Since the November 2019 launch, leasing has significantly improved for MELA with current numbers at 89% leased. The SMM and SEM campaigns generated impressive results, which provided valuable information for strategy testing and keyword insight and optimization for future campaigns.

Some reporting highlights include:


  • 371 calls from the website
  • 145 contact forms submitted from the website
  • 621 calls from the ads
  • 5K clicks with 255K impressions (June–July 2021)
  • 763 conversions (June–July 2021)


  • 309 lead form submissions via Facebook
  • 47,928 impressions with 17,236 users reached (June–July 2021)


  • 589 calls from the website
  • 345 contact forms submitted from the website

Because of the leasing success, the SMM ads were paused in October 2021 due to limited availability at the community, but Catalyst continues to manage SEO and SEM services. Another highlight is that MELA was Catalyst’s first client in the Embrey portfolio, and due to the success of MELA, the client relationship has grown to now providing marketing services for 18 Embrey communities.

Download the full case study