Last modified on June 17th, 2016
By Elizabeth Millar
Marketing your vacancies online is hard to do. How can you make sure that it’s your vacancies getting noticed? How do you keep track of all of your traffic and make sure a solid tenant didn’t slip through the cracks?
Property Managers are most successful at growing their businesses when they make the most out of the marketing tools they have available to them. If you want to close a competitive gap in your area, it may be time to look at tools that can help. Here are a few things that AppFolio’s Marketing Features can do for you.
#1: Advertise Your Rentals Online
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but your vacancy listings won’t get the attention they deserve if they aren’t in the right places online. It can be a task tedious task, however, to update each listing individually with a description, pictures, and rental info across multiple sites. Solution? Find a software like AppFolio that will allow you to manage all of your current and upcoming vacancies from one location, as well as perform a variety of marketing functions including posting, unposting, and updating information. What could take hours in front of a computer screen becomes an easy-to-do task with live updates, sent out to multiple listing sites at once.
Save time, save money.
#2 Manage and Convert Leads
So you’re getting a lot of traction on your listings, but you don’t know who your leads are or what website listing they saw when they expressed their interest— now what? If you’re stuck on this step, the next tool you need is one that can track which of your listings are most popular and which ones bring you the most business so that you can adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. If your listing on Trulia is more successful than your listing on Craigslist, for example, you can use that data to decide to double your efforts on Trulia or focus on what might need improvement on Craigslist. Marketing is entirely data-driven nowadays, so make sure that you have the tools to give you the data you need to support your marketing decisions.
#3 Optimize Your Listings
Did you know that online listings with photos attract 66% more leads than those without photos? In fact, the sweet spot for number of photos rests right around 12 per listing. Get the most out of the marketing work you are already doing by doing it right, and optimize your listings with the necessary information that guarantees interest.
1. Keep your listings updated – Prospective Renters will ignore out-of-date ads, and they older they get the less renters trust them. Listings that are less than a week old have the highest rate of interest, while anything older begins to decline in interest. Not only will renters trust relevant listings more, those listings will also appear higher in search results across listing sites.
2. Provide detail in your descriptions – Even more powerful than the presence of photos is the detail with which you describe your listing. Listings that include specific descriptions receive 77% more leads over listings without descriptions, and you want to aim for about 1000-1500 words per listing. Include any and everything you think would be relevant to a renter, but don’t be too wordy or complicate the message— Clear data wins the day
3. List Amenities – This should be included in your descriptions, but make sure that you provide a detailed list of the amenities your properties provide. Research shows that an increasing number of millennial renters will make their rental decision based on the amenities provided (Hint: Access to high-speed internet is at the top of the list). Clearly displaying your dazzling features not only makes your properties more attractive, it also makes your listings searchable when renters have a specific amenity in mind.
#4 Increase Your Reach with Premium Leads
Brand new to the AppFolio arsenal of online marketing tools comes Premium Leads, a service that will allow you to post your vacancies to the top pay-to-list rental sites, and featured placement on many free sites— all from one place within AppFolio. It’s a great way to generate more exposure for your rentals and fill your vacancies faster! The best part? You only pay for the leads that are 100% verified, meaning you only pay for unique visitors from your premium listings.
This type of service is unique to AppFolio, and one of the first in the industry to structure pay-per-lead billing in a way that doesn’t cost Property Managers an arm and a leg. What do we consider verified leads, you ask? A verified lead is a unique renter who inquires about your property via phone or email through one of your Premium listings— someone who has expressed genuine interest in your properties and meets all qualifications.
There will never be a charge for any of the leads below:
-Renters inquiring about pets if you don’t allow pets
-Renters whose pets don’t meet your breed or size requirements
-Renters inquiring about Section 8 if you don’t accept Section 8
-Renters who don’t meet age requirements (e.g. listing states “Age 62 and up”)
-Renters confused about the property location (e.g. “Oh… that is too far away.”)
-Renters who email without leaving a phone number or asking a specific question
-Renters inquiring after your monthly cap has been reached
-Any other phone calls and emails that don’t meet our definition of a verified lead above
If you are looking at this list of tips and thinking, why can’t my software do that? then it may be time to explore other options. The longer you wait, the less effective your marketing efforts will be.
Check out our recording below from this week’s webinar with AppFolio Product Leaders, David Gaultiere and Lenka Keston for a demonstration of AppFolio’s marketing features, including Premium Leads. If you have any questions, or if you would like any additional information about these features, feel free to reach out! We would love to chat.