In the ever-changing (and ever-growing) world of digital marketing, there are always new offers flooding the web, promising to successfully lease out your apartment community. And, while some of these new forms of marketing might succeed in one way or another, you are probably wondering which one is best for your apartment community. A multi-family housing hot topic that often circulates the industry is, “should I use an ILS or focus on PPC”? 


Let’s dive right in to help you make the best choice!


So, What Exactly is an ILS?

ILS stands for Internet Listing Service and encompasses a wide variety of trusted apartment listing sites such as,, etc. As a property manager, you would pay these sites to advertise your apartment community and update pricing, availability, and amenities. An ILS can be beneficial for your property if utilized correctly, especially if you manage a small community, as having a trusted site validate your information will instill trust upon prospective residents. But, is an ILS a better option than PPC? First, we have to further delve into what exactly PPC is.


What is PPC?

PPC stands for Pay Per Click and refers to paid ads on Google. This option allows you to send paid web traffic directly to your branded community website and track your conversions. As a property manager, you would pay to have your website appear on the front page of Google and appear to your audience, utilizing your own budget. 


But Which One is Better?

As you can see, both an ILS and PPC campaign have their own unique benefits. But, as we further explore the realm of reach, it becomes quite clear that one is a stronger contender: PPC! 


PPC gives you immediate front-page placement as soon as your ads are approved by Google. If you want immediate results, you can’t get much better than this. Now, ILS sites do allocate some spend for Google Ads, but you can’t be certain that your community will be the one they are placing at the forefront of their page; plus, these ads will take prospective residents to the ILS  website, not yours. 


One of the biggest downfalls of an ILS is the fact that your site will be placed alongside all of your competitors. With many communities being advertised on each listing service, there isn’t much you can do to distinguish yourself from others, especially since all landing page profiles are the same. Your community is unique in its own way and should not be placed on a cookie-cutter site with all the others, losing its brand, community vibe, and individual appeal. When it comes to PPC on the other hand, you have the chance to really make your apartment community shine. Draft up some unique content utilizing your individual style and make your ad stand out from the crowd. 


We understand that budget plays a large role in the marketing decisions you make for your company and, although “paying per click” can sound scary and intimidating, it is extremely user-friendly and can accommodate any budget. PPC gives you full control over your monthly or daily budget and allows the campaign to be turned on and off as needed. And, with the detailed reports and insight from your ad campaign, you can instantly see that your money is being well utilized. With an ILS you will be paying to have your listing shown, but there’s a lack of customization in that area; although you can pay extra for premium placement, that too comes with a significant hike in pricing. 


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, there is much to be said about the branding that PPC brings to the table. When you continue to utilize your own website, your own ads, tag lines, and your own style of marketing, you are ensuring consistency for your brand across all ad placements. And, that is important because as a property manager, you have worked tirelessly to develop a voice for your community that makes it stand out from the rest. 


Utilizing a cookie-cutter listing site diminishes that effort and reduces your community to just another listing on another leasing website when your apartment community is so much more than that. Brand equity holds enormous value today and your originality and internet presence can extend much further when focusing on individuality and brand perception rather than conforming to platitudinal listing sites that strip your community of all things distinctive. 



In general, it is safe to say that PPC holds an abundance of unique benefits that can help your apartment community continually thrive and grow. And, although an ILS can also help you sign those leases, their uncontrollable cons seem to outweigh the pros. 


Now that you have a better understanding of Internet Listing Services and Pay Per Click campaigns, it is blatantly clear that PPC campaigns are the right choice for you! Start your campaign with ASEO today!