Last modified on March 18th, 2022
By Brittany Benz
Effective brand marketing has never been more critical for property management companies as they compete in one of the most competitive leasing environments the industry has experienced. Coming out of the pandemic, renter demand is skyrocketing. In fact, according to a December 2021 Zumper survey, 81.6% of renters said they plan on moving in the next 12 months.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across all industries, making a strong online presence essential to cut through the noise. Today, most people look online first when searching for a home. Your website is almost always the first touchpoint for prospective renters and owners. According to a 2022 NMHC/GraceHill Renter Preferences Survey Report, 83% of renters visited a property/company website when searching for their most recent rental home.
To stand out from the competition, you need to prioritize your marketing efforts and website. Read on to see what you can do now to attract more leads this leasing season.
Your Brand & the Renter Journey
Choosing a new home is a big decision — renters are people just like the rest of us — and it’s important to practice empathy. Your brand can play a big role in their decision to rent one of your properties. “A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another,” according to renowned management and marketing author and blogger Seth Godin.
By building a strong digital presence through your website, social media, listing sites, and Google listing, you can boost your brand’s reputation and credibility while gaining prospective renters’ trust. Once prospective renters start interacting with your team, offering the on-demand experiences and tools they expect alongside a personal touch can lead to greater retention and overall success.
4 Ways to Better Market Your Property Management Business
Below are four simple ways you can improve your marketing efforts and attract more leads:
1.) Optimize Your Website
Approximately half of all online traffic worldwide is mobile, and that’ll only increase. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly and work on all devices. To get off to a good start, be sure to follow the ADA compliance and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) requirements.
Site load time is also important, as prospective renters can become distracted or look elsewhere if your site is lagging. In fact, 47% of people expect pages to load in just two seconds or less, and 40% of website visitors will leave pages if they take more than three seconds to load. If you’re unsure whether you have a fast website, check your load time to make sure it’s a quick and efficient experience. You should also be on the lookout for high bounce and low conversion rates, which could indicate your site is too slow.
Keep in mind that websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates. One way to improve speeds is to reduce the number of HTTP requests your site requires. Each element on the page, such as scripts, images, and stylesheets, requires an HTTP request. To reduce the number of requests, review your developer tools for the site. This will tell you how long each element takes to load and show you the total number of requests on each page. To learn more about how you can optimize your website, check out this helpful checklist.
2.) Prioritize SEO, Locality & Call to Action
Make sure you’re using popular keywords that resonate with your desired audience. This will help improve your Google search results. For example, if your community is in Charlotte, N.C., use phrases like “apartments in Charlotte,” “pet-friendly apartments in Charlotte,” and “Charlotte apartments near me.”
Additionally, use real photos of your team and properties, and be descriptive in your listings by including essential information like price, amenities, and move-in date.
Consider creating a blog and regularly publishing relevant content. Your blog can focus on topics beneficial to renters, such as “tips for making moving easier” and “the benefits of renters’ insurance.” It can also highlight attractions in the neighborhood, such as dining and entertainment options.
Your website should include a specific call to action for prospective renters. You can leverage technology that allows renters to sign up for a showing, get more information, or apply to a unit on your website. Self-scheduling is an accepted method by residents and takes some of the burden of hosting showings off your onsite employees. By implementing modern tools such as virtual showings, 3D tours, or self-guided showings, you can instantly get more leads.
3.) Actively Post Vacancies to Listing Sites
As a property management business, you must regularly post your available units on multiple channels to increase their likelihood of being found by prospective residents. Ensure your vacancies are advertised on top channels, such as Zillow, Apartments.com, and Trulia. Each vacancy posting should have a detailed description and include real photos or videos. You can save time from manually having to enter and update each vacancy on each listing site by using tools such as AppFolio’s One-Click Vacancy Posting feature, which streams your listings to hundreds of sites with the click of a button.
4.) Leverage Social Media & Review Sites
Along with your website, renters look intently at social media sites during their home search. According to the 2022 NMHC/GraceHill Renter Preferences Survey Report, 40% of renters visited the property management company’s social media websites when searching for their most recent rental home.
Make sure you have a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by regularly posting updates, blog articles, and photos and responding to followers’ comments. Successful apartment communities take advantage of their social channels to highlight what it’s like to live in their community. Don’t fill your sites with too many sales specials or vacancy alerts — instead, help residents envision what it’s like to live there. You could do this by reposting content from your residents that provides a glimpse into community life, like a photo of a neighborhood BBQ.
It’s equally important to create and maintain a presence on review sites like Yelp or Google My Business. Be sure to respond to every review (even the negative ones) so people know you’re trustworthy and care about your residents.
A strong online brand presence is paramount when it comes to building credibility and helping your property management business stand out. When your business appears professional and customer-forward, prospective residents will seek you out. Be sure to follow the steps shared above as you head into leasing season to increase awareness for your communities and drive new leases.