Webinar Recap – Data to Decisions

The first webinar of our new Property Management Webinar Series focused on quantifying the impact...
Data to Decisions: Quantifying the Impact of your PBSA Marketing Spend

Webinar Recap – Data to Decisions: Quantifying the Impact of your PBSA Marketing Spend

The first webinar of our new Property Management Webinar Series focused on quantifying the impact of PBSA Marketing spend. Our expert speakers shared their valuable insights on a range of topics within property marketing, including marketing strategies, ESG, student experience, and well-being. Their expertise allowed us to delve into a thought-provoking discussion and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the industry. Read on to learn more about what our panel of experts had to say.



Meet our host and speakers

Hosted by Lavanda’s Chief Product Officer, David Larpent, the first webinar brought together a wealth of knowledge from our three speakers. Before diving into the key takeaways from our panellists, let’s take a moment to get to know them a little better.


Sarah Canning, Co-Founder of The Property Marketing Strategists, has advised some of the top global brands in student accommodation and was recognised as one of the UK’s top trailblazers in the residential property sector in 2020. 




Tara O’Brien, Head of Marketing for the Hines student living platform, aparto Student, is responsible for delivering incredible business growth and success through customer experience programs and events focused on student wellbeing.




Tom White, Co-Founder and CEO of Wau Agency, has extensive experience in executive and senior-level roles across sales, marketing, commercial, and data analytics and established Wau Agency to disrupt the conventional agency model and partner with clients to grow their businesses.




Data to decisions – Key takeaways from the discussion

During the webinar, our expert panellists shared their expert insights on the challenges and opportunities of marketing in the PBSA sector. From targeted communication to adaptive spending, they offered their unique perspectives on a range of relevant topics. Here are some of the key takeaways from their discussion.

During the webinar, David asked Sarah about the most important challenges facing PBSA operators in marketing to the current generation of students. Sarah noted that it’s crucial to segment and target students rather than treating them as a homogenous group. To grab Gen Z’s attention, communication needs to be tailored, engaging, and quickly delivered. This requires the right data, accessed by the right people and deployed via targeted communications that are both entertaining and informative. Sarah emphasised the importance of segmentation and data quality to ensure the biggest return on investment (ROI).

Tara discussed her team’s recent efforts to showcase how marketing can add value to the business. They tailor their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to each asset, adapting spend to leasing cycle peaks and troughs and occupancy rates. They also run nationwide brand awareness campaigns with different calls to action at different stages of the leasing journey. For example, their November campaign generated over 520 leads at an average cost per lead of about £24.99. Tara emphasised the importance of tracking data and adapting budgets to optimise results.

David asked Tom about user-generated content and its effectiveness in certain countries. Tom noted that in China, polished brand messaging fails to engage the audience as much as authentic voices from the community. As a result, their content strategy in China relies heavily on authentic, user-generated content. Tom emphasised the importance of a different content mix and strategy for different social channels in different countries.

In summary, the Data to Decisions webinar provided valuable insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by PBSA operators in marketing their products to today’s students. The key takeaways from the discussion stressed the importance of leveraging data and resources in order to make informed decisions and create authentic and engaging content that resonates with your target audience, including segmenting and targeting students, tailoring ad sets and adapting budgets. Ultimately, as the PBSA market continues to evolve and become increasingly competitive, the ability to effectively leverage data to drive strategic marketing decisions will be critical to success.


Highlights from the Q&A segment

Our webinar provided a platform for attendees to engage with our experts and ask questions on a wide range of topics. We were thrilled to receive many insightful questions from our attendees, covering subjects from the impact of AI on marketing strategies to tips for students looking for accommodation. It was an excellent opportunity to have a productive discussion and exchange ideas with our participants.


Here’s a glimpse into what was discussed during the Q&A segment:


Q: How do we think AI will impact the future of marketing strategies for the PPSA sector?

A: AI should stay behind the scenes, making marketing decisions smarter rather than too smart for customers.


Q: What advice do you have for students who are looking for accommodation, and how can they find the best deals?

A: Look for options that are affordable and close to campus, and use online resources like housing websites and social media groups to find good deals. It’s also important to read reviews and do research on the area before signing a lease.


Q: How can small businesses effectively use social media to grow their customer base?

A: Small businesses should focus on building a strong social media presence, engaging with customers, and providing valuable content. It’s also important to use social media analytics to track progress and adjust strategies accordingly.


Q: What are some tips for managing work-life balance as a busy professional?

A: Prioritise self-care, set boundaries, delegate tasks when possible, and learn to say no. It’s also important to take breaks and make time for activities outside of work.



Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first webinar of our series and contributed to its success. We hope that you found the information valuable and the insights shared by our panellists informative and engaging. We’re excited to continue this series of webinars and provide our audience with more useful information in the future. Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming webinars!



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