Calendar icon March 13, 2024

7 Property Management SEO Tips to Drive Leads and Increase Revenue

Imagine that your prospective residents are searching for a rental property online. They'll type in terms like "houses for rent" or possibly even "property management companies near me." 

The websites that appear at the top of the search results are the ones that search engines such as Google consider most relevant and useful. That's the power of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

This is a bit like having a big, brightly lit sign outside your office. The better optimized your property management website is, the higher it ranks in search results, increasing the chances of potential residents finding you online, which in turn increases leads, inquiries, and ultimately revenue.

A well-executed SEO strategy can also help you save costs in other property management marketing areas, as well as boosting your brand's credibility (ranking well in Google search results helps instill trust in potential residents). 

Now, if you talk to an SEO consultant, odds are good that they'll present a laundry list of recommendations that include references to such terms as "long-tail keywords," "SERPS," "meta descriptions," and “alt tags,” which may not mean much to you. 

The good news is that you really don't need a lot of technical expertise to significantly improve your online visibility, rank well in search engine results pages, and attract more potential tenants. 

In fact, a bit of focused marketing effort is generally all it takes to boost your website ranking, and possibly end up on the first page of organic search results, depending on the competitiveness of your local market

We'll guide you through some tactical tips you can use to successfully build your SEO ranking step by step.

Optimize for local search with GoogleMyBusiness Page  

Setting up a location-specific Business Profile on Google is free, and boosts your chances of appearing in local searches for property management services. Think of this “local SEO” as a digital storefront that helps potential leads easily find accurate and useful information about your property management business.

Here's how to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) page for local search:

  • Claim and verify your business listing
    Start by claiming your GMB profile: Search for your company on Google Maps. If it already exists, claim it. If not, create a new listing. 

    Google might send a postcard, phone call, or email with a code to verify. Verification is crucial, as it proves you're the rightful owner of your business listing. 

  • Complete your profile in detail
    - Company name: Use only your official business name, with no additional keywords.
    - Address and phone number: These must match how they appear on your website and across other online listings.
    - Category: Choose the most accurate primary category, like "Property Management Company." You can add additional categories if they are relevant.
    - Hours of operation: Keep these updated, including special hours or holiday closures.
    - Website and photos: Add your website link and high-quality photos of your properties, office, and team.

  • Complete your "From the Business" description
    Briefly explain what your company does, the areas you serve, and what makes you unique.

    Include keywords related to property management and your location, like "[City name] property management" or "rental properties in [neighborhood]".

  • Encourage and respond to reviews
    Positive reviews with keywords boost your ranking. Ask satisfied tenants to leave reviews. 

    It's best to address both positive and negative reviews professionally and promptly, as this demonstrates your commitment to customer service.

  • Share updates
    Promote new listings, community events, special offers, or company news in Google Posts. Include links to your website or booking forms to increase leads and website traffic.

    Remember that regularly updating your GMB profile indicates that your business is active, boosting search rankings.

2. Create a blog to write about the pain points of your audience 

A blog is a lot like having a knowledgeable property manager available 24/7 to answer questions and guide potential tenants. This kind of website content is also an ideal way to promote a brand of openness and transparency, which is critical for building "Triple Win" conditions. At Second Nature, we often refer to these conditions in the context of a business philosophy that benefits property managers, residents, and property owners alike.

From an SEO perspective, a blog helps attract more search traffic, since each blog post will focus on relevant keywords and specific phrases that potential clients might be searching for, like "tips for first-time renters in [your city]" or "how to prepare your apartment for a move-out inspection."

In this vein, you may find it helpful to conduct some keyword research to find out what kind of information is truly useful to your market, but resist “keyword stuffing” in the name of organic traffic gains and lead generation. Sincere content is good content and vice versa. 

A blog gives you a platform to regularly add fresh, relevant content (this is a ranking factor that Google has always loved), and establishes you as an authority on issues that are of concern to your target audience, such as maintenance tips, tenant laws, the local rental market, and more.

Blog posts also allow you to naturally link to other relevant pages on your website, improving navigation and helping users find what they need.

3. Optimize landing pages with above-the-fold CTAs

Any time you direct prospects to a key page on your website, the "above-the-fold" area is like the prime display area - it's what visitors see the moment they enter the room, without needing to scroll down.

A CTA (call to action) is your eye-catching sales pitch. These days, it's usually a button yelling "Schedule a viewing!" or "Get a demo!"

So why does this kind of on-page SEO matter? Search engines like Google love websites that provide a good user experience. A prominent CTA makes it super easy for visitors to take the next step and shows search engines they found what they were looking for.

Plus, when someone who’s interested in your services can easily find ways to contact you or learn more, you're more likely to turn them from a casual browser into a potential tenant. Search engines notice that, too. 

4. Fix site speed and user experience issues 

If your website was a rental property, site speed is like the time it takes a resident to find their home and get inside. A website that’s afflicted by pages with slow loading times is like a hidden property with a rusted-out lock – potential residents get frustrated and leave.

When we're talking about user experience, we're really talking about how easy it is for them to find what they need once they're inside. If your website is confusing or has broken features, it's like an apartment with leaky pipes and no furniture – residents won't want to stay.

If people land on your site and quickly leave (this is called "bouncing"), it tells the Google algorithm that your site might not be useful or relevant, harming your rankings.

The longer people stay on your site, clicking around and checking out different listings, the better signal it sends to Google that your site is providing value.

5. Use your network to build backlinks naturally to the website

Backlinks are links from other websites pointing back to your own website.

High-quality backlinks from relevant websites within your network tell search engines that you're a trusted and authoritative source of information in your industry. This kind of “link building” can boost your search engine rankings and help more potential leads easily find your property management services online. Note that poor-quality backlinks can hurt your reputation, so it’s worth keeping tabs on the sites that are linking back to yours.

There are a few different ways to use your network to build natural backlinks. 

  • If you sponsor a community event or partner with a local business, see if they'd link to your website on their event page or partner section.

  • Offer to write a helpful article for a local real estate blog or community website in exchange for a link back to your website.

  • If you're a member of an industry association or listed on reputable directories, make sure those websites link back to yours.

Backlinks from relevant websites are one of the metrics that tell search engines you're a trusted and authoritative source of information in your industry, and help boost your search engine results. 

6. Share your best content on social media

Social media is a key part of any modern digital marketing strategy. After all, any time someone likes, shares, or comments on your social posts, it helps spread the word about your company. 

Sharing interesting articles, local news, or industry news helps boost your online presence and build your reputation as an engaged and knowledgeable property management company.

Now, social media won't directly boost your search rankings overnight. In fact, it's a very long-term play. But it's a great way to build your reputation as a helpful resource and increase interest in your services, which indirectly helps your SEO efforts in the long run.

7. Incentivize customers to get reviews on your business profile 

Search engines like Google value websites with lots of positive, recent reviews. It shows your business is active, trustworthy, and provides a good experience. Essentially, they're online testimonials that tell Google your business deserves a top spot in search results.

And the more good reviews your company has, the more likely you are to show up higher in search results for things like "property management near me."

Plus, there is such a thing as actual star power: A high star rating next to your business name in search results acts like a magnet, attracting more searchers, clicks, and potential customers to your website.

To incentivize reviews, you can simply make a polite request after a successful move-in or a resolved issue. You can also offer small discounts for future services (so long as this complies with applicable business regulations).

Looking for more business insights from the Second Nature team? Get in touch, or stay tuned to our blog, podcast, and events.

Keep learning

Chambers Theory Endorses Second Nature’s Resident Benefits Package

Chambers Theory is a world-renowned property management team with clients in more than 30 countries worldwide. They specialize in serving the U.S. military, State Department, and Foreign Services families. Their motto “Real Estate With Intelligence” is more than just a saying. It’s on full display through the introductory videos for landlords and residents on their website in seven languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Croatian, and English) - all spoken fluently by their own property management (PM) team. Since its founding in 2018, Chambers Theory has been achieving extraordinary performance benchmarks. They’ve led the marketplace in delivering the “Golden Triangle of Success” to their clients, which means the lowest vacancy, the highest average rents, and the highest quality of tenants of any property management firm in its same service area. They’ve also donated over $100,000 to local charities and community organizations, while also leading the way in promoting sustainability practices in real estate and property management services. Their outstanding team attributes their success to their ability to develop and utilize their emotional intelligence skills to capacity to care with all their interactions with both landlords and residents. That’s why they fully endorse the Resident Benefits Package at Second Nature! Find out more about what a Resident Benefits Package is, its benefits, and how it can help create a Triple Win for you, as well as your residents and investors. Related: The State of Resident Experience Report

Calendar icon July 18, 2024

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Investor Experience Platform™️ IXP™️

An Investor Experience Platform™️ (IXP) in property management is a suite of products, services, and benefits offered by property management companies to property investors. Just like a resident benefits package is a way to drive value for residents, investors, and property managers, the IBP™️ is an innovative approach to property management that focuses on driving value for an investor's assets and turning that value into profit for the property management company. In this article, we’ll dig into the different features that an Investor Experience Platform™️ can include, and how those benefit not just investors, but property managers and residents, too. What Is an Investor Experience Platform™️ (IXP)? As stated above, an Investor Experience Platform™️ (IXP™️) is a comprehensive suite of services that offer property investors higher quality property management, stability, and profit. An IBP™️ typically includes concierge-level services beyond basic property management – such as property insurance policies, eviction guarantees, rent guarantees, maintenance plans, asset performance reports, etc. These services are aimed at maximizing the investor’s assets, stability and convenience, profitability, and peace of mind in managing their properties. They're commonly managed through an investor experience platform to securely manage and monitor the performance of these assets online, which we'll discuss later. The first step to outlining an IBP™️ is to define what your basic management fee means and covers. If the answer is, it’s collecting rent, handling maintenance, and general communication – does that include maintenance coordination or is that a separate fee? Does it include asset reporting or is that an additional service? In your management agreement, define what the management fee is, what it covers, and how much it is. An IBP™️ can be an effective tool for articulating the new and differentiated things that an investor wouldn’t be able to do on their own and that you are offering beyond basic property management. Articulate your unique and differentiated services (IBP™️) and use that as a tool for positioning and charging for what it’s worth. What’s Included in An Investor Experience Platform™️? An Investor Experience Platform™️ should include a range of solutions to help deliver consistency, insight, and asset protection to a property owner’s portfolio. After all, professional property managers don’t have to be functional managers of a home – they can be strategic partners in the management of financial assets. You might hear services similar to the IBP™️ called an “owner benefit package,” but at Second Nature, we believe that the “investor” term is useful in encouraging a longer-term mindset, and emphasizes the economic value professional property management can bring. According to Eric Wetherington, VP of Strategic Initiatives at PURE Property Management: “As property managers, we need to think more like asset managers. This client made an investment, and we should be guiding that client through managing that investment, not just collecting rent.” To build and manage a winning IBP™️, property managers need an Investor Experience Platform that unlocks scalable product and service customization, digitized onboarding, accounting policy automation, and more. In addition, Investor Experience Platforms provide transparency and convenience for your investors. Here are some of the most valuable services that property managers can offer through an innovative Investor Experience Platform™️. Property insurance program Similar to offering a renters insurance program through an RBP in the lease agreement, property management companies can offer an insurance plan to investors to cut costs and ensure the safety of their assets. Most management agreements will include the requirement that the investor carries insurance on the property and that the property manager is additionally insured. But what if you as the property manager could help manage that for the investor – at scale? Property Insurance for investors should have dynamic pricing based on individual investors’s property portfolio and needs. The benefit beyond flexibility is the savings they’ll see on their premiums while also getting insurance that’s tailored to the needs of their specific property class. At Second Nature, we work primarily with single-family rental properties and small multi-family residences. Property Insurance Programs can bring scale that will drive economic value for the investor over what they could get retail on their own. They’d still have the option to go get their own insurance that meets requirements, but they can pay you a small fee to manage it for them. Rent guarantee An IBP™️ can include a number of financial guarantees to protect property investors and drive ancillary revenue for PMCs. A rent guarantee, or rent protection, ensures a consistent rental income to investors by protecting them against resident defaults or non-payment of rent. If a resident fails to pay rent, the property management company covers the unpaid amount and takes necessary steps for eviction or collection, providing financial security and minimizing the risk for property owners. Rent guarantees work for professional property management companies that have enough properties to balance the loss of rent if a resident doesn’t pay. The risk is low and the additional profit from fees for this guarantee can have a very high ROI, while driving satisfaction and stability for the investor. Plus, if you’re using services in an RBP to help incentivize on-time rent payments, you’ll rarely find yourself out in the cold. Eviction protection guarantee An eviction protection guarantee also goes beyond the normal scope of property management services and can be used as a secondary source of revenue. Eviction Protection is a service provided by property management companies to property investors that offers additional security and financial protection in the event of an eviction. Under this guarantee, the property management company assumes the costs associated with the eviction process, including legal fees and court expenses. It helps alleviate the financial burden on property investors and provides peace of mind by ensuring that they are safeguarded against potential losses resulting from resident evictions. The eviction guarantee helps protect property owners from the complexities and potential costs associated with evictions, ensuring a smooth and efficient resolution to tenant-related issues. Pet guarantees & other guarantees A pet guarantee is a service offered by property management companies to property investors that aims to address any potential issues related to allowing pets in rental properties. It typically involves implementing policies and procedures to ensure responsible pet ownership, such as thorough pet screening, pet agreements, and collecting additional pet deposits or fees. The pet guarantee may also include services like pet damage insurance or assistance with pet-related issues during the lease term. It provides property investors with a framework to accommodate residents with pets while minimizing risks and maintaining the condition of the property. For many residents, finding a pet-friendly apartment increases retention and profitability. They’re willing to stay longer and pay more for a pet-friendly place. And–get this–pet damage is less likely to happen than damage from kids! It’s not a huge risk to the asset, but can provide a big benefit in terms of satisfied, longer-term residents. Maintenance plan Home warranties are a four-letter word for property managers. They’re a massive headache to deal with, and yet there’s high demand for them among property investors. Because of that, most property managers charge a fee for home warranties, for each they have to file. Imagine if there was a world where home warranties weren’t needed. Here’s the thing: Professional property managers already have the vendor network and the know-how to coordinate maintenance jobs. What they don’t usually have is a product that’s priced to give the investor the experience they want. Let’s say right now an investor is paying $50 a month for a cheap home warranty. The warranty only covers 40% of issues and it creates all these extra people and friction in the middle. For anything moderately significant that goes wrong with a property, PMCs generally must contact the investor for permission to get work done. It’s all a massive hassle and loses time in maintenance requests that leave residents frustrated. What if there was a product that costs, say, $150 to $200 a month but it actually covered everything? Instead of having sudden expenses and emergencies, this maintenance plan smooths out the experience and makes it more predictable for the investor. For PMs, it means taking the initiative on fixes without waiting for approval. Imagine a world where you didn’t have to get owner approvals for 95% of maintenance issues – because they’re already budgeted for and already paid for. For residents, it means better maintenance, and faster. Another Triple Win! Asset performance reports Another piece focuses on property managers as asset managers. Think about any investment app, like Robinhood, Acorns, etc. You can log in to these apps any time, 24/7, and see how your stock and investments are performing. In most investment classes, you can see in real time how your assets are performing. Why shouldn’t property investors have that as well? An IBP™️ can include exactly that: a dashboard or online portal that shows investors regular reports on how their property is doing. They could get updates on the value of their home over time, the home price appreciation, rent price over time, and project rent growth, typically maintenance costs and how they’re doing against that, and more. Resident Benefits Package Another piece to include in your IBP™️ is to highlight the benefits of your resident benefits package to your investors. Explain how features like a filter delivery program protect their assets and reduce HVAC repair costs. Show how a renters insurance program can ensure coverage and protection. Give numbers on how credit reporting incentivizes on-time rental payments and helps ensure financially stable renters. Explain how a movie-in concierge saves both time, headache, and money. Each of the pillars of an RBP is critical to encouraging better resident behavior, increasing renter retention and lease renewal rates, reducing vacancies, and more – all primary goals for a property investor. A note about Rent Advance Programs There’s been due buzz about “Rent Advance” offerings, though many advise caution when approaching this financial product. It works in some ways like cash advance programs, which can satisfy urgent needs, but not be more valuable for anyone long term. The way it works is PMs offer to send a year of rent upfront to the investor in a big chunk, and collect monthly from the resident. The investor typically pays a 5-10% premium on the advance, which can be their entire expected return. So the question becomes, where do they put that cash to get a better return instead? Another thing to think about is who would actually use this product. Investors who don’t have enough cash on hand? How does that benefit anyone in the long run? What happens when there’s a big maintenance bill later? Does this encourage better decisions and practices by the investor? To date, there’s been pretty low adoption of this program, which is another sign it may not be hugely beneficial to everyone involved. But plenty of innovations start that way, evolve, and find traction. One case where it might be a value generator is if an investor is looking to take a cash advance and put it toward a down payment for another house. That would benefit the property manager as well, promising more business, and the PM could offer a lower rate for getting more properties to make the financing more attractive than hard money loans or other alternatives. The jury is still out here, it’s an interesting one to track. How Can Investors and Property Managers Benefit From an Investor Experience Platform™️? Investors and property managers can benefit from an Investor Experience Platform™️ in several ways. They’re also great for residents in the sense they build more stability and quality into the renting process. Here are just some of the benefits of an IBP™️. Enhanced investor attraction An Investor Experience Platform™️ provides incentives and advantages that can attract more investors. Financial guarantees and protections against the risks associated with evictions or late payments can increase stability, while services like a maintenance plan can ensure premium care of their property assets without increasing their workload. By offering attractive perks, property managers can differentiate their offerings and generate greater investor interest. Increased investor retention Both IBP™️s and RBPs help build loyalty with residents and investors. By fostering a strong relationship and demonstrating ongoing value, property managers can build trust and loyalty among investors, and retain them over the long term. IBP™️s help establish the stability, transparency, and asset growth for a real estate investment that an investor hopes to achieve. Improved property performance An Investor Experience Platform™️ can also contribute to improved property performance. For example, by offering discounted property management fees or access to professional services at reduced rates, property managers can help investors optimize their returns and reduce costs. Additionally, incentives such as rent guarantees or eviction protection can mitigate risk for investors and attract more capital to the property. Streamlined communication and transparency A well-designed Investor Experience Platform™️ facilitates effective communication and promotes transparency between property managers and investors. This can involve regular reporting on financial performance, property updates, and the sharing of relevant market insights. Transparent and consistent communication builds trust and confidence among investors, fostering a positive and long-lasting relationship. Competitive advantage A comprehensive Investor Experience Platform™️ can give property managers a competitive edge in the market. When investors have access to exclusive benefits and advantages, they are more likely to choose a property managed by a company that offers a compelling package – and to recommend it to others. Say hello to increased investment inflow and a stronger market position for your PMC. Should You Make an Investor Experience Platform™️ Mandatory? The first thing most property managers ask us when we’re talking about an RBP or an IBP™️ is: Should I make this mandatory for all investors or do I make it a flexible opt-in/opt-out program? Unlike RBPs, where best practices are more proven and established, different PMs are taking different approaches with their IBP™️s. Some have a mandatory level of service set at a flat price. Others may say they’re fine offering a base level of service without these differentiated products, giving investors the choice to simply pay a baseline management fee and opt out of the IBP™️ premium service. Some may offer a baseline to all investors and then give them the chance to opt in for premium IBP™️ services. There are a lot of ways to do it. With the RBP, we’ve found that making it mandatory does not generate nearly as much pushback as people expect – and can be a strong value add overall. Final Thoughts About an Investor Experience Platform™️ The Investor Experience Platform™️ is an innovative way to generate ancillary income and create more value for investors and residents. Similar to Second Nature’s premier Resident Benefits Package, the IBP™️ can deliver high-quality service for investor experience – and help create a triple win for investors, residents, and property management companies. The IBP™️ reinforces the value of a professional property management company for investors and helps differentiate you from the crowd. Stay tuned to learn more about the latest in the IBP™️ space, or learn more about how a resident benefits package can launch a whole new level of value for your PMC.

Calendar icon July 17, 2024

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