Advertising is almost always necessary. When potential customers look at advertising to see what housing is available, you want your apartment complex to at least be on the list. The kind of advertising that pulls the customers away from competitors and to your apartment complex has not yet been defined; there is no magic formula.

Advertising should complement your marketing strategy. What market segment of the general public do you want to attract to your apartment complex? Government administrative employees? Factory workers? Retail service personnel? Hospital and medical staff? Computer industry personnel? When people look for housing, they look for something close to their place of employment or close to their commute route. If they have children, they consider quality and convenience of schools. They will evaluate security. After all those considerations they will attempt to obtain the best dwelling for the price they can afford to pay. Your marketing considerations must include determination of the segments of the population who need to live in your geographical area or who could be induced to do so. You must then find an advertising medium that reaches that category of potential customer. If the target audience actually sees (or hears) your advertising, favorable results become possible. If your apartment complex has eight hundred apartments, then advertising in a general circulation medium that reaches a million people would not be cost effective.

The author has knowledge of an apartment complex located adjacent to a commute route where traffic jammed and crawled during evening rush hour. The manager displayed a sign that read: IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU'D BE HOME NOW. It was effective.

Outdoor advertising, particularly that which suggests immediacy (Now Renting), should appear to have just been installed; the paint should still be dripping. Signs and banners and pennants that are faded and tattered send the wrong message.