Last month, I attended a small business conference that was hosted by my former employer, Infusionsoft. One of the speakers, a small business owner, shared a phrase that keeps running through my head – “dominate, don’t dabble.” These are appropriate words of wisdom because entrepreneurs do have a tendency to dabble – we are attracted to the newest fads; we like to launch new projects; we sometimes lose focus; and we often abandon initiatives before they really have time to work.
There is not a shortage of marketing ideas for attracting new property management accounts. However, you need to remember that your property management company is a LOCAL business. You are not an online retailer and you don’t sell info products to people across the world. You manage homes within defined geographic boundaries. Your marketing efforts should revolve around attracting local business.
Here is a list of marketing tactics that can reinforce your local presence and help you attract more local business.
ONLINE MARKETING WITH A LOCAL FOCUS
There’s no question about it. The Internet has changed the game for small businesses. It leveled the playing field and made it possible to attract more attention to your business. But you have to make sure your web presence ties into your location so you get the right kind of traffic.
- Your Company Website – Is your company website designed to come up in searches that use location based terms (like “property management in Phoenix”)?
- Include location based terminology front and center on your website. Website visitors should be able to quickly scan your website to find the areas you serve. Your address on the contact page or in the footer is not enough.
- Use various names for the area you serve, in context, throughout your web copy (for instance, in Phoenix, we have the “east valley” and someone might search using that term instead of a specific city.) Adding location based terminology to your website copy is good for local searches. But make sure it is still a pleasure to read these pages – you are really writing for humans, not the search engines.
- Add city, county, and region names to your meta data – page titles, page keywords, and page URLs.
- Online Directories – Get listed in the following local business directories. Make sure the listing information is complete and attractive, then schedule periodic reviews to update it. The listings in these directories often get preferred placement in local search results.
Here’s an article with more detailed advice about creating effective listings on these directories. This company also offers a search tool where you can see how you’re already doing.
- Local Directories – Join local associations that include business listings on their websites like the local NARPM© Chapter (e.g. phoenix.narpm.org) or Chamber of Commerce websites.
- Form Local Partnerships – Identify a handful of qualified, trustworthy, top-notch local businesses that also serve rental property owners (attorneys, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents). Invite them to form a cooperative marketing relationship. Offer to list them on your website, link to their company’s blog articles in your email marketing, and invite them to become guest bloggers for your website; then, ask them to do the same for you.
- Write About The Area You Serve – Search engines love updated content on websites. Do some creative blogging. Write about locations within the area you serve that offer good investment potential. Write about market trends. Write about local legislative changes that impact investors and rental property owners in your area.
- Combine Local & Social – Think local when leveraging social media to attract attention to your company. Use location names in posts and hashtags so potential clients can easily identify the area you serve.
OFFLINE MARKETING WITH A LOCAL FOCUS
Although online marketing is often less expensive and easier, local businesses should not ignore offline marketing opportunities. But remember that your offline marketing efforts should coordinate with and point to your online presence
- Print Marketing – Always have a supply of business cards, brochures, and/or fliers with you. You never know when you might meet someone in need of your services. Make sure these materials are attractive, contain complete information about the location you serve, and do a good job of differentiating you from your competitors. They absolutely must include your website address so that a potential client can easily do their online research before they contact you.
- Signage – Make sure your “For Rent” signs have more than your company name and phone number; include your website address as well. Also include a short tag line that differentiates you from your competitors. You might consider creating city-specific signs that focus on promoting you in a specific area. Yard signs are designed to attract tenants, but they are also visible to passers-by who might need (or know someone who needs) a property management expert like you.
- Meet Neighbors – Take time to meet the neighbors when you acquire a new property. Let them know you are committed to putting good tenants in the home. The neighbors will be watching to see how you manage the home. If you do a good job, they will be more likely to hire you or refer business to you. They will feel like they already know you.
- Investor Events – Birds of a feather, flock together…events are a great way to network and grow your business. Find ways to get involved with your local real estate investing clubs. Present an educational workshop. Host a wine and cheese party and invite members. Take time to build relationships that lead to future business and referrals.
- Support Community Efforts – Sponsor community events, and don’t forget to attend them. Getting your logo in front of people is great, but there is nothing better than a handshake and smile. Be prepared to respond when someone asks you what you do. Don’t just say “I’m a property manager.” Be more specific. Say something like, “I manage luxury rentals in the Phoenix Metro area. I’m currently taking on new properties in Scottsdale, if you know anyone in that area who needs help managing their rental, please let me know.” (Offer business cards when someone shows interest.)
- Get Local Media Exposure – Position yourself as THE expert property manager in your area. In addition to blogging on your company website, submit articles to relevant local publications or news outlets. Look for interview opportunities to get in front of a local audience – radio, television, podcasts, webinars, and online video.
- Always Build A List – Tie your offline and online marketing efforts together by inviting potential clients to subscribe to an email marketing list. You can offer a monthly or quarterly newsletter, or provide them with an educational series of emails. Local marketing efforts often cost more in both money and time – make sure you ask for permission to follow up and extend the conversation through value-oriented emails.
Ideas don’t produce results, implementing ideas does.
I started out this article by sharing the phrase, “dominate, don’t dabble.” I’ve shared a lot of ideas, but you don’t have to do everything I listed above in order to dominate your local market. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. Begin by selecting one tactic that you think you and your team can execute well, then focus on it until you are satisfied it is working for you. If it is not working for you as expected, don’t discard it right away; evaluate ways to improve and refine your efforts first. Then when you either succeed or discard that tactic, choose your next initiative. Make sure you track how clients are finding you so that you can measure the results of your local marketing efforts.
Are you already dominating your local property management market? Share a few of your “secrets” in the comments section below.
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.