Learn how to market your SFR property management company to new investors from marketing professionals in the PM space.
How do you market your property management company? Well, first, what does that mean? More specifically, the question is how do you as a property manager use marketing tactics to strengthen your brand and grow your door count as a result.
Effective Property management marketing is based on the same concepts as any effective marketing strategy, but with some industry specific insights, you can create an effective strategy that will efficiently grow your door count. Here we dive into the process of constructing a good marketing strategy for your property management company. We’re joined by Rodney Hays of Geekly Media (formerly RentBridge), who has spent a lot of time conducting marketing specifically for property managers, as well as Second Nature marketing professionals Carol Housel and Brandy Hammond.
Identify informational needs of real estate investors
A big part of digital marketing for property management is content marketing, which is defined as media creation (videos, articles, social media) designed to inform rather than to persuade. A good content marketing strategy gives you access to potential clients in the places they are asking questions. This includes places like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, where investors and potential investors consume real estate investment content that you can provide.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to send signals to search engines and their users to gain organic visibility. Search engines, mainly Google, are the number one place where people begin their search for information. Content hosted on your website that addresses the most common questions investors are asking can position you well on the search engine results page (SERP), leading to increased website traffic.
So how do you find out what topics to build content around? SEO programs, such as Semrush and Ahrefs, have an incredible database of keywords and common search terms, along with insights for those terms such as how much competition there is to rank well, how much search volume there is, and how often searches result in a click.
You can also use the “people also ask” tab in the actual SERP to see what common questions are being asked. Then it’s just a matter of addressing the questions in a useful way to start increasing traffic to your website.
“[Real estate investors] are going to ask questions about lease agreements and tenant screening. They’re going to ask questions about evictions, emotional support animals, those types of questions are always going to come up,” says Rodney Hays of Geekly Media (formerly RentBridge), providing a window into what real estate investors are often interested in learning.
Create/Curate useful content for real estate investors
A big part of SEO is identifying what your potential new clients are interested in. A good content marketing strategy follows that up with useful content that addresses the questions and leverages the specific keywords associated with them. Useful is the keyword here. Google is smart, and the analysis it conducts on webpages is extensive, so it will know if you’re just writing some slop and jamming keywords into it.
Many property managers maintain a constant stream of content through a website blog. Real-Time Leasing’s website has extensive content written by their CEO, Deb Newell, who is also a property management consultant. Others communicate useful content with podcasts, such as AHI Properties and Evernest (link to Andrew’s episode), both of which appeared on the Triple Win Property Management podcast.
“Good content seizes opportunities you’ve identified through SEO or other forms of communications and delivers actual value to the readers. A holistic strategy covers both of those parts, and you’ll fail to realize the potential of your marketing efforts if you skip one of them,” says Second Nature Marketing Services Manager Carol Housel
A popular content curation strategy used by Geekly Media is the industry news page, an example of which can be found here. This is curated content. It’s not written by the property management company, but rather compiled from sources and shared all in one place, which still creates a lot of value and a reason for real estate investors to be on your website. Rodney Hays of Geekly has opened a lot of industry news pages for clients and recommends sharing them across social channels whenever they’re updated.
“Our customers will put their industry news page out there;, they'll pull in like 15 or 16 new articles every month. And then, out of those 15 or 16, we will take eight of those and put a third- party link in it and send those out on social media as well. And I think that's done pretty well in bringing in some different traffic that you know, it's just another resource for the people that might be visiting your page,” says Hays.
Paid marketing efforts for property managers are more about visibility and awareness. They’re high-funnel and useful if you have a budget for them. Hays notes that Geekly clients opt for Facebook, LinkedIn, and sometimes Twitter as targeted social channels. Facebook and LinkedIn have far and away the most active property management discussions and, in addition to paid search, are where you can see the most value for your investment.
When it comes to old- school paid marketing efforts, Facebook ads are among the best ways to advertise property management services. Ads on Facebook are pretty easy to run and include useful features for property managers such as geotargeting.
“Facebook ads are a great gateway into paid ads, since Google ads typically require a much higher budget to get similar performance. Facebook in the past has had a lower cost per click, so you’re getting higher performance from it for less lift and less spend, which is why I recommend it as a really good starting point,” says Brandy Hammond, B2B Marketing Specialist at Second Nature. Hammond goes on to note that paid facebook ads are one of the best marketing ideas for property management companies.
Certain ad platforms, including Facebook, also offer geotargeting and audience mirroring, which are useful to property managers who need to target specific audiences in specific regional areas.
“One thing I do love about Facebook ads, like with any other kind of paid ads, is that you can geotarget. Especially with property management and real estate, it makes sense that you’re going to target a specific area because, depending on the scale of your PMC, you probably don’t have national properties,” continued Hammond.
Becoming an industry-leading property management company is about more than just the number of doors you manage. There is a saying in marketing that perception equals reality. If you want potential clients to perceive your company as an industry leader, you have to give them a reason to believe that you are. That’s the point of a marketing strategy that seeks to establish the company as an authority in the space.
A point will come where a large portion of your new doors will come from referrals. People don’t usually get into real estate without talking to people, so word gets around. Welch-Randall, a property management firm based out of Ogden, Utah, attributes 92% of its new doors to referrals. This is the mark of a business with established authority reaping the benefits of the work it put in to create that trust.
This is the end state of everything discussed above. This is the fruits of your labor. Real estate investors, especially new ones, above all else, are looking for expertise in the real estate field to guide them through the ownership of their assets. By achieving visibility and brand awareness via paid channels and SEO, and following that up with useful content that answers the questions most important to investors, you’re establishing your company as a trustworthy and knowledgeable option for investors. By answering the questions they have, you’re also driving them closer to a decision. And when you’ve provided them the answers, guess which PMC they’re most likely to want to work with.