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No matter what business you are working in, marketing is huge deal for you if you want to work with new clients and also keep existing ones. It might seem that Property Management is not an industry like fashion or soft drinks for example, and marketing here is not a player in the game, so you can do it without any effort or not do at all. However, if you think that these ideas are true, you are totally wrong.
Do you like to try new restaurants? How do you decide which ones to go to and which ones are not worth it? The most common reason may be that you saw their profile on Facebook, or any other social network, saw their ad or a billboard, or maybe somebody recommended it to you?
Even if you always go to the same one. Think about it – why is it like this? Is it price, discounts, convenience, or special offers for loyal customers?
It’s all marketing! Then, why should it be any different with property management marketing? You are still dealing with people, who are engaged the same ways of choosing something just like any other product or service. BUT, (there is always a but, isn’t there?) the marketing you do should be thoughtful, well-considered and strategic. Even the best property management marketers may need help in marketing their business.
I have pinpointed the main marketing mistakes every property manager should avoid:
#1 – No set goals
It is very important to know what you are seeking, some certain amount of contacts, leads, a special amount of revenue, no vacant spaces, or a better satisfaction rate for your existing customers? How would you know if you are succeeding if you don’t have any specific goals and numbers to look at to achieve? Put those goals in writing, make them visible, especially for your sales team and most importantly, track the results daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever shows if you are reaching your goals. You need to know where you are and want to be before the year ends and it’s too late.
#2 – Playing hide and seek
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective tenant. How would you search for a new commercial property to rent? Google? Yes, me too. However, what if there are a number of other property management companies that are more easily found before you in the search? Your prospect might even not find your company in the search results. We all know the joke: Question: “Where would you hide a corpse if you wanted no one to find it?” Answer: “In the second page of Google Search results”. But all jokes have a little bit of truth to them… Most companies do not think about these things when creating a website or writing the texts for it. So, it is very important to not only use the right keywords in the website, but to also do a great SEO (search engine optimization) that you can easily be found and stay on the top of the Google Search results. How do you know the right keywords? There are a lot of free tools that can help you, so you may start with the Google Trends; Google Analytics also shows what your website visitors were looking for when they came to your website. Google Adwords can put you on the top, and although this might seem expensive, you can choose to pay for the clicks only, so you only pay for the contacts (hopefully) interested in what you have to offer.
#3 – Half-dead website
So, YES, the next step is your website. This is the place your prospects come to after they decide or choose you as a fit on Google Search. This is the first real contact between you and your prospect. Here, the magic happens or not. Your prospect will either feel love from first sight or he will leave you behind and never come back. A lot of websites are out there on the internet, just existing, but not doing their real function – generating leads. Read what it takes to make a good property management website that generate leads in my previous blog here.
#4 – Non-visible to tenants
Firstly, ask yourself about how much money you are willing to spend to get a customer. If you are on a low budget, then it might cost you more effort, but you still MUST be visible at the places where your prospects are looking for the properties they are interested in. This not only means Google Search, but also social networks, magazines, commercials, tradeshows, etc. Yes, this is costly, but it would cost more to keep your premises empty, wouldn’t it? However, as I mentioned before, you may work on a low-budget, but with more effort spent with social networks. Facebook – let your prospects find all the vacant spaces there, LinkedIn is a great tool, where professionals gather. Find your target group there, create a profile there, work on LinkedIn groups, promote yourself, and share relevant content, Twitter – constantly tweet about vacant and soon-to-be-vacant properties, information on property trends and similar topics, including what might be relevant to your prospects now and in the future when looking for a new property to rent, and most importantly – be visible, be there when they need you the most.
Another theme on the same topic is Real Estate portals. Be present there, they are places that your potential customers are visiting. Get some ads, write some relevant content for the portals to publish. “Catch Google’s attention” there, use relevant keywords in your messages and articles and you’ll increase your chances of being spotted.
#6 – Blocking yourself from the waving property management sea
Competition. Nobody likes it. And often, companies forget that they are not the only ones playing the same game and are going about and doing their marketing activities without finding out what their competitors are doing. Take a peek at what your main competitors are doing, how aggressively they are playing, how much money they spend on marketing, and then plan your actions and set your expectations according to that. Keep in mind that you don’t need much to be better than your competitors. If you use creativity, you can win much more without spending a lot of money.
#7 – No relationship leads to breaking-up
You probably not only want to attract new prospects, but keep the good current tenants in the properties as well, right? So, why should you stop communicating with them right after the contract is signed? Your existing customers are a reflection for your future prospects to see. Constantly show interest in their well-being, ask them if everything is fine, react to their complaints and help with the maintenance of the properties – don’t wait until they run to you screaming that something is not working and nobody cares. Also, think about ways and things you can do to add value for them, e.g. organize some events, congratulate them on their company’s birthday, wish them Happy Thanksgiving day, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
In order to be successful in such an industry, you need to focus, plan, and most importantly, know what mistakes you can avoid during your journey to success. I hope you will consider all these things when planning your marketing, do more while spending less, and grow your business successfully.
SOFT4, as a provider of a software solution for commercial property management, is constantly releasing blog articles about how to meet and cope with trends, tendencies, and challenges, and giving suggestions as to how to react to the changing environment in order to stay competitive.
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