10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business

Last modified on June 12th, 2024

Handshake of businessmen in vintage (retro) color effect - success, congratulation, greeting & business partner concepts

It’s simple: in order to grow, you need more property owners. While there are some owners who think they can double as a landlord on their own, there are those who can’t and need help—they just don’t know how to select the right property manager.

Let’s explore 10 unique hacks guaranteed to expand your portfolio by attracting more property owners to your management company. It takes time to find new owners; so make them come to you.

Growth Hack #1 – Productized Rental Reports

It’s always important to know what similar properties in your area are renting for so you can stay competitive and successful. With these insights you’ll have the confidence to adjust rental prices to maximize your revenue and fill vacancies faster.

[AppFolio’s built-in rent comparison tool does this for you, saving you the research time!]

Growth Hack #2 – Content: Create Articles to Get Found by Owners

Why is content important? For so many reasons! Content comes in so many shapes and sizes: blog posts, videos, case studies, your website.

  • Blog articles show authority and knowledge
  • Video content can grab prospective renters’ attention
  • Your website can show what you can offer to renters and owners and build your online presence

Content in action

All of this content combined is hugely important because roughly 70% of searches on Google are long tail. Using long tail keywords in your URLs, content, page titles, and meta descriptions is a popular marketing technique and a way to build authority and an audience. You can use Google’s free Keyword Planner to find keywords that are relevant to your audience and get insight into what people are searching for. Incorporating these words and phrases into your content can be extremely valuable to your appearance in search engines. For example, property owners looking for new property managers might search “Best Property Manager in [input city here]”— so make sure you have content that answers that question on your website. Otherwise, you’ll lose out to the property manager that does.

Growth Hack #3 – Lead Nurturing: Build Relationships through Value

  • 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. (Source: Gleanster Research)
  • 69% say that creating relevance is the most effective method for lead nurturing. (Source: Ascend2)
  • Email marketing is proven to have 4,300% ROI (Source: Direct Marketing Association)

What do these stats mean? That you need to bring value to prospective leads. You can do this through producing high-quality and useful content in the form of customer videos, property walk-throughs, testimonials and reviews from happy renters, and more. Prove to your prospective owners why you’re a good investment and someone people like to work with.

Growth Hack #4 – Reputation: Attracting Owners to Your Business

Online brand reputation and reviews are very important to your growth and success as a property manager. A whopping 92% of customers read online reviews before making purchases. In fact, you can experience a 5-9% boost in revenue by increasing your overall Yelp Rating by just one star. But how can you improve your online reputation when there is such a negative vibe around online review sites? Ask for positive recommendations from your current residents who love your properties! The good reviews will stand out over the bad in the long run.

If you need more help building up your positive online reputation and responding to any negative commenters who are making your life difficult, check out our post: Hug Your Haters.

Growth Hack #5 – Pay Per Lead

One of the more controversial hacks in the list, Pay Per Lead (PPL) either works very well for your company, or doesn’t work at all. PPL refers to buying new unit leads from sites that sell these leads individually. The success of a Pay Per Lead campaign depends on your current marketing budget, ability to scale growth, and the number and quality of leasing agents you might have. PPL is more successful if you are willing to spend the money to wade through potential duds, but on average has a better conversion rate than most other marketing tactics.

Growth Hack #6 – Pay Per Click

A much less risky alternative than Pay Per Lead and a more widely applicable method for attracting new owners, Pay Per Click refers to paying for a top spot on page 1 of all Google searches related to your company in your area. Paying per click also means that you don’t pay a dime unless your site is visited from that link, guaranteeing that the person searching for you has an interest in your company. Dollar for dollar, this is also a cheaper alternative to buying portfolios from other PMs in your area—acquisition costs are usually about $1,200 a unit, where average Pay Per Click costs average $350 per unit.

pay per click

Growth Hack #7 – For Rent By Owners (FRBOs): Calling the Landlords in Your Area

Why is this important? One of the most successful ways to grow your business as a property manager is to build your network. People are afraid to pick up the phone these days, but don’t be. It’s valuable and there are ways to prepare for those phone calls. Have a script in place so you can practice it and get comfortable saying it—without it sounding like a script. Also, have a structured process in place for researching who you are going to reach out to, when you’ll reach out, and any follow up with them later.

Growth Hack #8 – Join Local Organizations

It’s important that you get to know the fellow owners in your area. Become a pillar in your community. The more people you know, the more relationships you can build. It’s all about networking!

Growth Hack #9 – Utilizing Video – Get Ahead of the Curve


YouTube is the 2nd most used search engine in the world. People love videos! Create short, digestible and fun videos that show off your properties (the atmosphere, style, services and amenities). Make people interested in working with you, e.g. be personable and welcoming. Check some examples of what other successful property managers in your area are doing on YouTube for inspiration.

Growth Hack #10 – Have a Growth Plan

As a property manager you need to optimize on what’s working for you. First, track the source of all your leads so you actually know what’s working (don’t guess!). If one of these strategies is more successful than the others, put your energy (and marketing dollars) into that particular strategy to make it work even better for you.

Ask yourself, how many properties am I looking to add to my portfolio in one year? Two years? In five years? Where do you see yourself? Are you managing residential, or commercial, or student housing, or HOA properties? A mix of all of the above? Set a goal for yourself and devise a plan to get there.

This week AppFolio welcomed Alex Osenenko, CEO of Fourandhalf.com, to host a webinar on this topic. Check out the slides and recording below for more information on how to grow your business.



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