Calendar icon March 29, 2023

Marketing Ideas for Property Management Companies

When it comes to marketing ideas for property management business, the landscape has changed so much in the past few years. Digital marketing has phased out old practices and brought dynamic, exciting tools along with unique challenges. 

Effective Property management marketing will leverage those digital tools, while not losing the human touch that makes resident experience and engagement so effective. 

A property management marketing plan should include digital strategies, multiple channels, and goals for increasing your number of doors. Here we dive into the process of constructing a good marketing strategy for your property management company with 10 of the top marketing ideas for property management.

We’re joined by Rodney Hays of Geekly Media (formerly RentBridge), who has spent a lot of time conducting marketing specifically for property managers, as well as Second Nature marketing professionals Carol Housel and Brandy Hammond.

 

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10 Property Management Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Company 

We have 10 property management marketing ideas that leaders in the industry recommend for growing your PMC. They're cost-effective and shown to have high return on investment.

1. Create and Follow a Content Marketing Plan

A big part of digital marketing for property management is content marketing, which is defined as media creation (videos, articles, social media) designed to inform rather than to persuade. 

A good content marketing strategy gives you access to potential clients in the places they are asking questions. This includes places like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, where investors and potential investors consume real estate investment content that you can provide.

The goal of content marketing is to grow your target audience and give them useful information that both adds value to their business and establishes your company as a subject-matter expert. 

So, what kind of content is useful in property management marketing? Here’s what Rodney Hays has to say:

“[Real estate investors] are going to ask questions about lease agreements and tenant screening. They’re going to ask questions about evictions, emotional support animals, those types of questions are always going to come up.”

2. Invest in SEO to build Organic Traffic 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to send signals to search engines and their users to gain organic visibility. It helps extend your online presence.

Search engines, mainly Google, are the number one place where people begin their search for information. Content hosted on your website that addresses the most common questions your target audience is asking can position you well on the search engine results page (SERP), leading to increased website traffic. 

So how do you find out what topics to build content around? 

SEO programs, such as Semrush and Ahrefs, have an incredible database of keywords and common search terms, along with insights for those terms such as how much competition exists in the rankings, how much search volume there is, and how often searches result in a click.  

You can also use the “people also ask” tab in the actual SERP to see what common questions are being asked. Then it’s just a matter of addressing the questions in a useful way to start increasing traffic to your website. 

A big part of SEO is identifying what your potential new clients are interested in. A good content marketing plan follows that up with useful content that addresses the questions and leverages the specific keywords associated with them. Useful is the keyword here. Google is smart, and the analysis it conducts on webpages is extensive, so it will know if you’re just writing some slop and jamming keywords into it. 

3. Build a Content Distribution Strategy 

Okay, so now you’ve developed content that meets SEO requirements and hits on topics that bring value to your potential customer. What’s next?

Now you need to build a high-quality content distribution strategy. In others words, figure out how to get your messaging in front of your target audience. 

A distribution strategy involves assessing where your primary audience is on a daily basis. You can likely reach them on social media platforms, email, direct mail, podcasts, regional conferences, local listings, and more. 

Identify what pieces of content best match each platform. For example, a longer form piece should be linked via social media with a catchy blurb or infographics to hook your readers. You can plan regular newsletters or other email campaigns or FAQs to leverage content, as well. 

A few of the best ideas for distributing your content:

  • Share on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok
  • Link to and reach out to real estate professionals and bloggers
  • Ask to share gust posts on sites related to property management or real estate

4. Build an Email List

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience, drive new leads, and nurture existing ones.  You can use email marketing tactics to increase sales and your bottom line. 

But it’s not always easy to nail email marketing on the target. According to MailChimp, the average open rate for property management emails is just under 20% and the click-through rate is less than 2%. Not great, we know.

That’s why building the right email list can make all the difference. Creating a targeted email list requires a good amount of research, knowledge of your target market, and email marketing tools to help you get there. Digital marketing products like Hubspot, ZoomInfo, and Klaviyo can help you get there.

 

download rental inspection checklist template

 

5. Host Networking Events For Brand Awareness 

Of course, digital isn’t everything – in-person events and community-building strategies work, especially in something as hands-on as property management.

If you have the resources, hosting events can boost your brand awareness and company reputation in your area. Because property management is so regional – and creating a niche in the market is key to success – these highly targeted events work exceptionally well in the property management industry. A referral program is a great way to go about this, as long as its within legal regulations.

6. Invest in Online Advertisement

Paid marketing efforts for property managers are more about visibility and awareness. They’re high-funnel and useful if you have a budget for them. 

Hays notes that Geekly clients opt for Facebook, LinkedIn, and sometimes Twitter as targeted social channels. Facebook and LinkedIn have far and away the most active property management discussions and, in addition to paid search, are where you can see the most value for your investment. 

When it comes to old- school paid marketing efforts, Facebook ads are among the best ways to advertise property management services. Ads on Facebook are pretty easy to run and include useful features for property managers such as geotargeting. 

“Facebook ads are a great gateway into paid ads, since Google ads typically require a much higher budget to get similar performance. Facebook in the past has had a lower cost per click, so you’re getting higher performance from it for less lift and less spend, which is why I recommend it as a really good starting point,” says Brandy Hammond, B2B Marketing Specialist at Second Nature. 

Certain ad platforms, including Facebook, also offer geotargeting and audience mirroring, which are useful to property managers who need to target specific audiences in specific regional areas. 

“One thing I do love about Facebook ads, like with any other kind of paid ads, is that you can geotarget. Especially with property management and real estate, it makes sense that you’re going to target a specific area because, depending on the scale of your PMC, you probably don’t have national properties,” continued Hammond. 

7. Build and Execute a Social Media Marketing Strategy 

Your social media strategy should include connecting with and tagging important accounts in your area and industry, and building cross-links and cross-posts with other accounts that might have an audience with your target market. 

For every piece of content or event you plan, you need to map out how you will share it on social media. 

Rodney Hays of Geekly has opened a lot of industry news pages for clients and recommends sharing them across social channels whenever they’re updated. 

“Our customers will put their industry news page out there; they'll pull in like 15 or 16 new articles every month. And then, out of those 15 or 16, we will take eight of those and put a third-party link in it and send those out on social media as well. And I think that's done pretty well in bringing in some different traffic that you know, it's just another resource for the people that might be visiting your page,” says Hays. 

8. Manage Your Online Reputation 

Your online reputation is made up of all the touchpoints anyone could have with your brand online. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google Reviews, Yelp, and more. 

One of the biggest threats to online reputation is reviews. Your marketing plan should include regular maintenance and attention to your online reviews. How are people talking about you online in your comments section, Google Reviews, and Yelp Reviews? 

If you see any negative comments that have constructive feedback, make sure you reach out to the person and find out how you can improve or make it right. Respond to the review or comment publicly with a polite and professional tone.

You can’t make everyone happy, but the way you deal with negative feedback goes a long way to protecting your online reputation.

9. Invest in Thought Leadership Content (Podcasts, Videos, Blogs) 

Many property managers maintain a constant stream of content through a website blog. 

Real-Time Leasing’s website has extensive content written by their CEO, Deb Newell, who is also a property management consultant. Others communicate useful content with podcasts, such as AHI Properties and Evernest (link to Andrew’s episode), both of which appeared on the Triple Win Property Management podcast. 

“Good content seizes opportunities you’ve identified through SEO or other forms of communications and delivers actual value to the readers. A holistic strategy covers both of those parts, and you’ll fail to realize the potential of your marketing efforts if you skip one of them,” says Second Nature Marketing Services Manager Carol Housel.

A popular content curation strategy used by Geekly Media is the industry news page, an example of which can be found here. This is curated content. It’s not written by the property management company, but rather compiled from sources and shared all in one place, which still creates a lot of value and a reason for real estate investors to be on your website. 

10. Build and Maintain Your Presence in Local Business Listings 

A point will come where a large portion of your new doors will come from referrals. People don’t usually get into real estate without talking to people, so word gets around. 

Welch-Randall, a property management firm based out of Ogden, Utah, attributes 92% of its new doors to referrals. This is the mark of a business with established authority reaping the benefits of the work it put in to create that trust. 

A big part of ensuring that you get those referrals is keeping a presence in local business listings. Make sure that people can easily find you, even if they hear of you through word-of-mouth. Stay top-of-mind with partners you’ve worked with, and keep your listings up to date.

This is particularly useful in property management, where most of our work stays within specific local and regional areas. 

Final Thoughts

Becoming an industry-leading property management company is about more than just the number of doors you manage. There is a saying in marketing that perception equals reality. If you want potential clients to perceive your company as an industry leader, you have to give them a reason to believe that you are. That’s the point of a marketing strategy that seeks to establish the company as an authority in the space. 

This is the end state of everything discussed above. This is the fruits of your labor. Real estate investors, especially new ones, above all else, are looking for expertise in the real estate field to guide them through the ownership of their assets. By achieving visibility and brand awareness via paid channels and SEO, and following that up with useful content that answers the questions most important to investors, you’re establishing your company as a trustworthy and knowledgeable option for investors. By answering the questions they have, you’re also driving them closer to a decision. And when you’ve provided them the answers, guess which PMC they’re most likely to want to work with.

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How to Optimize Operational Frequency with Processes and Software

Property management software is currently helping property managers establish efficient and reliable processes at a higher rate than ever before in the PM industry. With that development in the proptech industry has come the development of tech for self-managers that has changed the capacity of the accidental landlord. Thus, the demand for efficiency at scale has risen in order to separate the professional from the amateur, and the establishment of processes that allow such a thing has become a critical topic for professional property managers. Optimizing property management processes Carter Fleck of Triton Property Management, a growth-oriented firm out of northern Virginia that is approaching 300 units with larger goals for 2024, joins us to share his expertise on process definition. Fleck is the General Manager responsible for operations and strategic growth, and he has been developing effective processes to ensure efficiency at Scale at Triton, and in the process, he has garnered an understanding of how to do so. “A lot of failing,” says Fleck. “In the early days, we were getting a lot of good and bad feedback, but typically the bad feedback is what you adjust off of.” Fleck believes that assumptions are the enemy when it comes to defining procedures and sourcing software for your PMC. “The image that we use is if you're going to build a sidewalk before people even start walking on a field, it's kind of dumb. You have to see where people will walk first, and then you'll build a gravel path. So number one, you see where they walk, see where their intentions are in the grass, then you build a gravel path. And then eventually, once that walkway is established, that's where you build your processes and procedures.” The analogy is a visualization of the concept that you have to see how people operate before you can establish processes to make how they operate more efficient. Fleck encourages the negative experiences of process breakdown and cites them as the only way to really nail down what your processes should look like. “Over time, between the tenants giving feedback and owners giving feedback, we adjusted our processes. It's a mix between figuring out where the owners walk and where the tenants walk, and then building paths that align.” Fleck details an example of how Triton adjusted its process after an assumption it made got challenged: "We had an assumption that payment plans were helpful for residents," says Fleck. "And so the way we handled delinquency is we would reach out to them and would be like, ‘you need to pay this. Do you have a payment plan option?’ And they would always say yes. Our process was we'll put you on a payment plan, we'll invite you to a payment plan, you'll accept the payment plan, and then we'll monitor the payment plan. That in itself was a lot of work, but we thought it was doing well. But some of the owners that we had managed for mentioned that another property manager doesn't allow any payment plans. And if you're not fully paid up by the end of the month, then the eviction process starts if you’re over $500 due. So we're like 'alright, well, we'll serve you in that we'll change our processes.' And we did, and our delinquency percentage shrunk significantly. So, consistently, by the end of every month, we're around 5% APR. Whereas with payment plans we're like 5 to 10%.” Fleck obviously credits seeing the assumptions in motion as what prompted the need for process iteration, and he firmly believes that making too many of these assumptions is one of the biggest mistakes growing property management companies make. Like any business experiencing growth, process definition is critical to achieve efficiency at larger volumes. What Fleck is essentially advocating for is processes based on what you know, not what you think, and there is a big distinction. Managing property management software Fleck has installed both general and tech-based processes, and cites that understanding of how people interact with processes as the key in both areas. "They don't focus on user experience. That's really important. Number one, how the tenants like the tech, but specifically how the people who are using the tech are gonna adopt it. So when we were choosing a rent inspection software, we had so many people recommend one, software and I, we almost pulled the trigger on it. But then I was like, let's do a trial run on both these two. And we chose the other one because it was way better user experience for property managers. So user experience, both for us and for residents." Tech is a tool that is ultimately as good as its users, and if it's not used correctly or at all, its potential is wasted. An over-reliance on technology can actually go hand-in-hand with an under-reliance, as both often spring up from a lack of understanding of how to choose, implement, and manage it. In this vein, Fleck can't recall many property managers who operate with too much tech. As long as you're not purchasing redundant software and you've done and continue to do your due diligence, tech-based process can make your business more efficient. "I more often find myself having that conversation," says Fleck. "When I'm talking to property managers in my sub-market, who aren't connected with like a NARPM, who aren't connected with like a Crane group, or who aren't connected with a Second Nature, aren't connected to the tune of what the property management industry is doing and the cutting edge of it, I'm just like, 'you could save so much of your time and you could scale this so much more if you only even if you just had tenant Turner, or if you had LeadSimple.'" No matter what your story is a property manager, if growth is in the cards, so is process and technology refinement. Hopefully, Fleck's experience in these areas can help you stay efficient and organized as door counts grow.

Calendar icon April 19, 2024

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Why offer a tenant benefits package?

In the residential real estate sector, like everywhere else, residents and property investors alike are getting younger – and with this generational shift comes expectations for a certain level of convenience and support. To put it bluntly, today’s residents want their needs proactively anticipated. It’s something they're willing to pay (and stay) for. That’s where a tenant benefits package comes in. In this article, we’ll explore what a tenant benefit package is, how it improves the experience for both property managers and tenants, and crucial mistakes to avoid. Before we get into the details, we want to give a shoutout to our very own “Resident Benefits Package” – which is how we refer to the benefits comprised in the “tenant benefits package.” “Tenant” is not yet a legacy term, but we here at Second Nature are trying to evolve it. That’s because, in our experience, property managers work hard to make renters feel like they’re not just parties to a contract – they’re residents. On one hand, this is just humans being humans, but on the other hand, it also encourages them to invest in care for their new home and add value to the property. Ready to get started now? Build your Resident Benefits Package today. What is a tenant benefits package? A tenant benefits package is typically a bundle of services, conveniences, and provisions offered by a property manager on top of the basic lease agreement. They represent a triple-win situation for property managers, residents, and property owners, as they enhance the overall rental experience, generate additional income, and protect the real estate investment. It might include conveniences such as online monthly rent payment options, or portals for submitting maintenance requests and tracking their status. It could also include various financial perks, such as credit rating improvements that are contingent on on-time rental payments, or discounts on nearby services such as fitness centers. It might also include amenities ranging from move-in concierge or utility set-up services, to identity protection services, to HVAC filter delivery. The cost for resident benefits packages is typically included in the lease and added as a monthly fee, with the fee being dependent on the specific benefits. Indeed, the benefits contained in a tenant benefits package will vary depending on the property manager and the type of rental property. The overall goal is to provide tenants with an enhanced quality of life while simplifying the experience of renting. At Second Nature, we pioneered the only fully managed resident benefits package, in response to PMs who wanted to make their business stand out. Our RBP includes an array of services and supports for residents, from filter delivery to credit building to maintenance. Why should property managers offer a tenant benefits package? Beyond the triple-win considerations mentioned just above, there are compelling and concrete reasons why property managers should offer tenant benefit packages. We'll turn to these now. Ancillary revenue Some tenant benefit packages include optional services or add-ons that can generate additional revenue streams for the property manager. This might include things like renter insurance or HVAC filter delivery. Resident experience Tenant benefit packages deliver numerous savings and value to tenants, beyond the value they would get if they were obtaining the same benefits "à la carte." Additionally, by offering additional services and conveniences, benefit packages can make tenants feel valued and more satisfied with their living experience. For instance, maintenance hotline requests, tenant portals, and air filter replacements all make life easier. Add-on services like identity theft protection can offer a sense of security. And discounted renters insurance coverage, utility concierge services, or other perks can save tenants money. Decrease tenant turnover and vacancy rates In a competitive rental market, tenant benefit packages can be a major differentiator toward boosting retention rates and reducing vacancy rates. Properties that offer these packages can also attract a wider pool of qualified tenants, and potentially command higher rents. Note that certain benefits in the package, like online rent payments and maintenance requests, can automate tasks and free up the property manager's time. This allows them to focus on more value-added initiatives. How does the tenant benefits package improve the tenant experience? Tenant benefit packages can significantly improve tenant satisfaction in several ways, by making life easier, more convenient, and potentially more affordable. For instance, if an online portal (a baseline feature for most property management software) is included for rent payments and maintenance issues and requests, this eliminates the hassle of writing checks or waiting on hold to speak with someone about a clogged drain. In other words, tenants have the peace of mind of knowing they can manage their tenancy 24/7 from the comfort of their own devices. Some packages might include features like filter delivery services or regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance. This frees tenants from having to remember these tasks – and ensures their apartment is well-maintained. Certain packages might also offer "verified vendor" services – in other words, a vetted vendor network that can help provide a more secure feeling to residents when service providers are on-site. On the financial side of things, a benefits package might offer discounts with local suppliers for various goods and services, or on a renters insurance policy obtained through the property manager (with applicable waivers for residents who have their own insurance). This can save tenants money on a necessary expense. Some packages also help residents with their credit scores via credit reporting and credit building services, so they can transition from renting to home buying when the time is right. The idea is that the credit reporting program reports on-time rent payments automatically to all credit bureaus, helping residents build their credit simply by paying their rent on time. Some benefit packages include resident rewards programs that represent a powerful and positive incentive for on-time rent payments, including gift cards or cash. As far as living perks go, packages sometimes include added benefits such as access to fitness centers or community events. This provides tenants with additional spaces to relax, socialize, or stay healthy. Packages can include security deposit alternatives that serve to provide a means for residents to be financially liable for damages without having to pay a significant lump sum upfront, such as pure insurance, surety bonds, and ACH authorization programs. Ultimately, tenant benefit packages create a more professional and responsive image for the property management company, which helps tenants feel valued and allows them to experience a smoother, more stress-free rental experience. What are the mistakes to avoid when offering tenant benefits packages? Property management companies should take care to avoid certain pitfalls when implementing tenant benefit packages to ensure they are providing true value to tenants as well as delivering profitability to the PM company itself. For instance, it's important to ensure that the services you're offering are actually relevant to your target renters. For example, young professionals might appreciate discounts on gym memberships, while families might prefer pet-sitting services. You should also take care to clearly communicate what's included and not included in the package to new residents. Don't oversell the benefits – focus on how they genuinely improve the living experience. It's also very important to set realistic expectations for response times on standard maintenance requests, emergency maintenance requests, or virtual concierge services. Likewise, be clear on all available payment methods, as well as rent due dates, late fee structures, and any associated payment processing fees. If your package includes services from third-party vendors, ensure that these vendors are reputable and reliable. Research their customer service record and responsiveness to ensure a smooth partnership and a positive experience for tenants. Above all, regularly monitor the usage of different benefits within your benefits package. This can help you refine your offerings and ensure you're not spending where spending is not required. Looking for a Resident Benefits Package? If you’re looking for a “plug and play” resident benefits package, Second Nature’s RBP is the way to go. Designed to be easy to implement and simple to use, all the services it includes are managed by Second Nature – which means there’s no day-to-day upkeep required from the property manager: Second Nature keeps it running. It’s a simple way to grow your business and create great experiences that residents will pay and stay for. Learn more about our fully-managed Resident Benefits Package.

Calendar icon April 2, 2024

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