Every time I work with a property manager on their marketing strategies, I hear the same thing…”If I can talk to a prospect, I can get the business.” Maybe you feel the same way. You know exactly what to say … you confidently share your knowledge, explain the benefits of working with you, and express your understanding of the potential client’s needs.
When you get the chance…
But I’m guessing a significant number of people use the Internet to evaluate your company without ever talking with you. Property owners look for and hire property managers that they know, like and trust. So, how can you build that kind of foundation without a face meeting?
Video! Property management companies can integrate video with their marketing and services, from promoting the company to educating staff and clientele.
The ABC’s of Video Marketing for Property Managers
A is for Action
When you create a marketing video, identify the ACTION you want the viewer to take and make it extremely clear. Do you want an owner to schedule a free market analysis or a tenant to schedule a viewing? Don’t assume the owner or tenant knows what to do next. Tell them.
B is for Budget
Set a BUDGET for video marketing. Invest in a decent camera and microphone. Then, determine an appropriate budget for each kind of video. You’ll probably spend more on a marketing video than you will on a video tour of a property, and you’d spend the least amount of money on a documentation type video (like a condition report for an owner or a move-out report for a tenant).
C is for Creativity
Be CREATIVE in the way you present your company or educational information. Balance information and entertainment: use visual aids, tell a story, include appropriate humor. Don’t be so entertaining that the purpose is lost or so informational that the viewer mentally checks out. Get an unbiased opinion of your plan before you invest in producing the video.
D is for Dialogue
A DIALOGUE is an exchange of ideas… interaction. Draw the owner or tenant into a conversation with you by inviting responses. Use questions in the video and provoke thoughts on particular topics. Encourage the viewer to engage with your video mentally and emotionally.
E is for Editing
Marketing videos should be as polished as possible – it is worth taking time to EDIT them. YouTube has some simple free video editing tools or you can purchase a video editing software. If you don’t have the time, desire, or skill to edit yourself – hire someone to do it for you.
F is for Focus
It can be tempting to cram too much information into one video. Don’t do it. Identify a FOCUS for each video and don’t let other topics creep in; they will water down (and maybe drown) the main message. Besides, if you provide small bites of information, you can make more videos!
G is for Good Lighting
Do a few test shots before you invest a lot of time in filming your video. Make sure the lighting is GOOD. If the location you select does not have good natural light – you should invest in some video lighting equipment.
Read the Quick Guide to Video Lighting
H is for Honestly
Make sure you represent your company, your services, and your properties HONESTLY. While your videos may be designed to be entertaining as well as informational, they are not works of fantasy. An accurate depiction of your company will establish realistic expectations with prospects and clients.
I is for Ideas
It is OK to look at what other businesses are doing to get IDEAS for topics and style. Don’t copy them exactly, just skim some ideas and then let your own creativity take over. Here are some ideas for types of videos you might produce:
- Overview of services & benefits
- Customer stories
- Day in the life of a property manager
- Video tour of property
- Condition videos for documentation
- Interviews with other service personnel / local experts
- Teach – walk through a lease, explain terms
- Compare & contrast
- Live event recaps (e.g What I learned at a NARPM® conference)
- Personal greetings – welcome video, reminder videos, birthday or holiday wishes, etc.
J is for Just Do Something
When I worked at Infusionsoft, we had a saying – “version 1.0 is better than version zero.” Your first few videos are not going to be works of art. Expect a learning process. Make some videos, get some feedback, and iterate. Learn from your mistakes and each video will get better. JUST do something – that’s always better than doing nothing.
K is for Keywords
Make sure your marketing videos include KEYWORDS and phrases, like your local market (e.g. Austin property management). Without being repetitive (translation…boring) integrate these keywords with your video dialogue and include keywords in your video description on YouTube.
L is for Length
Let’s face it, you’re not making the next blockbuster video. Viewer attention span is short. The LENGTH of a video should be less than 5 minutes – – probably closer to 3. Keeping videos short will also force you to FOCUS (see above).
M is for Marketing
Once you create the videos, you need to draw attention to them through your MARKETING. Send announcements out through your social channels. Incorporate them into your email newsletters. Ask your staff to share the video with their contacts. Get the word out so people will find the video and (if they like it) share it with their friends and connections.
N is for NARPM®
If you are a NARPM® member – take advantage of the resources. Several of the conferences have had classes on using video in your property management company. There are also a few affiliate companies who provide related services, like Virtually Incredible and Fourandhalf.com (included in resources below).
O is for Organize
It’s important to ORGANIZE your thoughts before you shoot a video. Otherwise you will get off topic, ramble, and confuse the viewer. Remember, repetition is good (as long as it is interesting). Tell the viewer what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. Take the owner or tenant through a logical progression of ideas and reinforce the focus as you go.
P is for Personal
Don’t be afraid to share little glimpses of your PERSONAL life in your videos. When you meet with someone in person, a bit of your real life is bound to creep into the conversation. Integrate a bit of personal with the professional to make you more human.
Q is for Quality
Produce the best video you can. The QUALITY of your marketing will be compared to the quality of your services. Take time to learn how to create good quality videos yourself or budget the money needed to hire an expert.
R is for Relax
RELAX and be yourself. I understand…this is a tough one for me too! But, you don’t want your YouTube video to go viral because you look (and talk) like a zombie from the Walking Dead. Pretend you are having a conversation with a prospect in person. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Your imperfections make you human (and sometimes more likeable).
S is for Script
Writing a SCRIPT helps you ORGANIZE your thoughts and think through KEYWORDS you want to use in the video. It helps you remember all of the critical points and important details. When you shoot the video, you don’t want to read the script word for word. Run through the script a few times before you begin and then put a high level outline on a white board or poster paper so you can stay on track.
T is for Thought Leader
Try to make your videos original – be a THOUGHT leader in the property management industry. When you create educational videos, add your unique perspective or experience to the story. Insert your own opinion where appropriate. Explain how you acquired your property management knowledge and the opinions you’re sharing.
U is for Unexpected
Use your videos in UNEXPECTED ways. Send a video email to welcome your new owners and tenants. Or send a happy birthday video to your clientele as a nice way of staying in touch. Look for unique ways to use video not only to market to potential clients, but also to retain your existing ones.
V is for Virtual Showings
VIRTUAL showings are a great way to get started with video. They cost less to produce and can save you a ton of time (time = money). You don’t have to produce a video for every property right away. Just create videos as vacancies occur. Encourage prospective tenants to watch the virtual showing before scheduling time to view the property in person. Video showings can also help you rent to people relocating from a different city or state.
W is for Website
Whenever possible, embed your marketing videos into your property management company WEBSITE. Send online traffic to your website instead of your YouTube channel. YouTube is good for the search engines, however your real goal is to get traffic to your website where you have additional information, offers, and resources.
X is for…
OK – so I could not think of something for X. Just being HONEST here!
Y is for You
Did you know that YOU is the most powerful marketing word you can use? No…this does not mean that you get to talk about yourself throughout the whole video. It means that you need to talk about the owner or tenant using the word YOU to make a psychological connection.
Z is for Zealous
Make sure your passion for property management, your empathy for owners and tenants, and your enthusiasm for excellent service shine through. Be ZEALOUS; keep your energy high so that it is obvious that you love what you do. Make sure your voice and facial expression match what you feel inside.
Property Management Video Resources:
- Virtually Incredible – Website / YouTube Channel
- Fourandhalf.com – Website / YouTube Channel
- Landlordology – Using Videos and YouTube Capture to Fill Vacancies
- Video Brewery – 18 Big Video Marketing Stats and What They Mean for Your Business
Property Management Industry Examples of Marketing Videos: