The $1,000,000 Lesson


by Greg McCoy, VP of Digital Marketing

After helping our clients spend over $1M on digital ads, we’ve learned a great deal about how ads perform in the multi-family industry.

Our basic accounts are operating above most performance standards with a higher CTR versus the reported average, lower cost-per-click, and overall higher volume of traffic generated.

It’s essential for clients to understand that digital marketing is the most effective strategy for reaching prospects.  For less than $10 on average we’re able to show an ad to over 1,000 people. And on average, for every $40 spent we’re able to deliver a lead/application/lease depending on what’s being tracked as a conversion.  Often times they are willing to give up several hundred dollars as a referral fee to residents, or willing to give away some amount of rent for free. However, if you’re giving away $1,000 in free rent, (based on statistics for most markets) that same amount would generate over 120K impressions, nearly 1,500 pieces of traffic to the website and 25 applications.  While promotions are still necessary to drive that peak interest and compete with surrounding properties, it’s often more beneficial to simply promote the property to a broader audience online.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the most important data we’ve gather after reaching this milestone in digital ad spend:

Key Statistics for SK Digital Ads

  • Average Cost-Per-Click: $0.74

  • Total traffic driven: 1.2 Million

  • Average cost per conversion: $38.96

  • Average cost per 1,000 views: $8.11

Spend By Age comparison

  • As age increases the cost to reach them goes down by 165%

  • As age increases the click-through rate increases by 3x.

  • As age increases the average cost per click decreases by 60%

  • However, the total volume of impressions decreases dramatically, there are 82% fewer impressions available weekly compared to the younger demographics.

  • Overall, this data suggests that while it may be more expensive to reach an older audience (45+) those are the people that are more likely to click through your ad and spend time on your website.  But because they are online less frequently you will see fewer total reach and traffic.

Spend by Gender

  • While Males are cheaper to reach there is no significant difference between their cost per click or the click-through rate between genders.

  • Overall there is no need to split your audience between male and females, they click through at the same rate and they cost the same to get on your site.

Spend by Device

  • Only 12% of all impressions were consumed on a desktop, but over 30% of all conversions happened on Desktop with only 8% of all clicks.

  • Average cost per click is 50% cheaper on mobile 2x the CTR.  

The Bottom Line

People are on their phones the vast majority of the time.  Websites should be designed for ease of use on mobile, and optimized to load quickly, but don’t forget about the desktop experience. While people surf and consume the majority of their content on a mobile device, there’s still the security blanket of returning to a desktop to make the final conversion.  This raises the question:

Is your tracking set up properly for cross-device conversions?

Do you know how your users are connecting with your website and content?

If you’d like to schedule a call to discuss your digital advertising strategy, please email us at