This is the third article in a series about lifecycle marketing for property managers. Lifecycle marketing is a framework for designing and implementing a marketing strategy that increases property management accounts and retains existing clients. If you missed the previous articles, you may want to check them out before you continue:
There is a common misconception that websites generate leads. They don’t. I’m not saying that property management websites aren’t critically important. They absolutely are. But they’re simply one of the marketing vehicles through which leads are generated. Really, it’s your overall marketing message that generates leads.
An effective marketing message earns trust and compels a potential client to move from one relationship stage to the next. This marketing “conversation” must be well designed and consistent throughout your marketing materials – brochures, signs, advertising, email marketing, and more.
Here are some tips to help you optimize the marketing conversation through the various conversion points, from Traffic to Lead, Lead to Prospect, and Prospect to Client.
Talk about THEM…don’t be a pontificator.
This may seem like common sense. After all, who likes to get stuck talking to a self-centered person? You know, the one who tells you all about THEIR ideas, adventures, achievements, or strengths (but does not give a hoot about your thoughts or experiences).
Far too many businesses ARE that person when it comes to writing marketing copy. They pontificate about years of experience, training and education, service details, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that information is not important. But it should never be the primary focus of your website (or other marketing) copy.
Instead, tap into the perfect client profile you created and think about your prospective client’s needs. Explain how your property management services will make their life easier: more free time, fewer headaches, decreased risk, increased property value, peace of mind, and more. People often make decisions based on an emotional response. Addressing the actual problems you solve will help you make that kind of connection.
Differentiate your company…don’t be a mockingbird.
Smart rental property owners / investors interview multiple property management companies before signing a management agreement. They visit various property management company websites, request information packets / brochures, and conduct interviews. If all of the companies look and sound the same, what will they base their decision on? Probably pricing.
Unless you want to win business based on low pricing, you need to figure out a good way to communicate your property management company’s competitive advantage. But, before you can tell others what makes you different, you must understand it yourself. Do you offer a service that your competitors don’t? Do you deliver a common service in a different way? Make sure your competitive differentiator is something your PROSPECTS care about – not just something you think is cool or different.
If you can’t figure out how you are different, then maybe you’re not. It’s time to change that. Spend some time looking for an unfulfilled need – gaps that companies in the property management industry are missing. Then figure out how you can fill it. Listen to your best clients – what do they ask for?
Mockingbirds mimic the songs of other birds. That’s unoriginal. Don’t be like them. Instead, discover a way to be unique in your market and highlight those differences throughout all of your marketing materials. Don’t hype your company – just present a good honest picture of what you do better than anyone else.
Keep it simple and concise…don’t be loquacious.
People have short attention spans. More words does not lead to better conversion. Instead, make your marketing messages easy to scan. Use words and phrases that create a quick emotional connection with the reader so they want to read more. Use common language (i.e. avoid words like pontificator and loquacious…) – words that are easy to understand and digest quickly. Remember, you are more than likely talking to busy, distracted, multi-tasking people (like you and me!)
Read through communications, testimonials, and reviews from existing property management clients. Sprinkle your marketing message with the words THEY use to describe your company, your services, and the needs you fulfill.
Encourage engagement…don’t be a lecturer, be a facilitator.
When you have a direct conversation with a prospect or client, it’s easier to foster engagement. There is a back and forth interaction taking place and the social cues you use elicit responses – eye contact, a pause, a request.
When a prospect goes through your marketing materials, you want to encourage a similar level of interaction. It is not as easy to get a response, but you can do it by using questions in your copy. Questions initiate a conversation inside a prospect’s head. They can guide that person down a decision making path to ultimately answer the two most important questions:
- Do I need a property management company?
- Could this be the right property management company for me?
Don’t just tell prospective property management clients that you’re the best, instead lead them through a series of questions until they arrive at that conclusion themselves.
Issue calls to action…don’t be bashful.
Don’t leave potential clients hanging or make them work too hard to figure out how to take the next step. Tell them. Use action verbs in your marketing copy (sign up, call, request, etc.), then make it easy for them to follow through.
Your property management website should include more than one call to action because you will have different kinds of visitors:
Traffic – Remember, these people are just “window shopping.” They aren’t interested in having a conversation with you yet. However, they may be interested in getting some free advice that will help them whether they end up hiring you or not. Include an educational offer on your website and use a web form to make it easy for the visitor to sign up. That signup is a conversion – the visitor trusts you enough to give you a little information (name / email) in exchange for some interesting, useful information. They are now a lead!
Lead – A lead is someone who has expressed tentative interest in your company, usually by signing up for free information. Make it easy for leads to tell you when they are ready to talk. Include an offer for a free market analysis, a quote, or a consultation on your website. Ask for additional information, like a phone number and property address. If you use email marketing to follow up with leads, include the same call to action in every email that goes out. Don’t miss a single opportunity to convert that lead to a prospect.
Prospects – Once someone becomes a prospect, the call to action is about “closing the deal.” The next relationship step requires a signed agreement, so this call to action is probably going to be issued personally or through personalized follow up emails. This conversion will be guided by a staff member, however, even verbal communications should consistently support your marketing message.
The messaging you use in your marketing process have implications beyond just converting leads to clients. It also sets expectations for the kind of service a rental property owner will receive after they hire you. It is worth your time to identify the right words to use. Involve your team in the process. YOU should choose the words and concepts you want to weave through your marketing, then if you are not a talented writer, delegate or hire someone to help you craft the messages so you can focus on what you do best – run the best property management company in your area!
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.