What You Need to Know About Geo-Fencing and Geo-Targeting

Posted By: Gwyneth Iredale (deleted) Articles, Industry Trends,

We recently wrote about best practices for local SEO and how to incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy. Today we’ll be covering location-based tactics for digital advertising and the world of possibilities it has opened for those in the multifamily industry. Although geo-targeting and geo-fencing are often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing.


Geo-targeting is defined as the practice of delivering content to a user based on their geographic location. In the digital world, Geo-targeting uses a device’s IP address or, on a more granular level, through global positioning signals (GPS) to determine location. Marketers use geo-targeting to deliver relevant ad content to users based on the person’s environment. An example of this is showing a “Queen Anne apartments for rent” ad to someone searching for a new home in the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Fremont. 


Geo-fencing uses GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define a geographic boundary. Setting up a virtual zone allows marketers to isolate triggers that apply when a user’s mobile device enters or exits a specific area. Triggers may include the sending of a text message, an email alert, or an app notification. Marketers use geo-fencing to engage with customers based on hyper-local location. This can be especially helpful in triggering immediate sales as well as understanding the user mindset. Ads inside of a geo-fenced area can be seen on any device as potential customers browse the web.

Use Case

Allied Residential used geo-fencing to target major employers near a Lease-Up to inform them of their community and create personalized ads that were relevant to those people. By fencing the area around a particular area you can create ads focusing on commute times, or call out popular local businesses by name. 

“For this community, we knew there would be many people who would be commuting to and from Seattle for work, so we highlighted our proximity to bus lines, light rail, and park and rides,” explains Jared Edwards, Director of Marketing at Allied Residential.

Both geo-targeting and geo-fencing allow real estate marketers to optimize their digital marketing efforts in order to reach the right people at the right time with the right content. By identifying your ideal customer, you can decide which location-based method of advertising will work best within your marketing strategy.

About the Authors

Gwyneth Iredale is a Regional Sales Executive at G5, which combines expertise in real estate, technology, and smart digital marketing to deliver high-quality conversions.

Jared Edwards is the Director of Marketing at Allied Residential with experience in real estate, new home construction, and the multifamily industry.