How Property Management Software Can Make You a Marketing Machine Flipbook PDF
How Property Management Software Can Make You a Marketing Machine
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How Property Management Software Can Make You a Marketing Machine
Introduction Let’s be real. Between moving residents in and moving residents out, a ton of work happens behind the scenes. Applications are collected. Checks are deposited. Ads are created. Units are inspected. The list goes on, but you know the drill. A major challenge of many property management companies is that there aren’t enough troops on the ground to do all the heavy lifting. Enter modern property management software. It alleviates the burden of tedious tasks so you can focus on the important things that technology can’t do: provide excellent customer service, brainstorm creative ways to bring in new residents, and build a long-term strategy to grow your business. You can focus on becoming a well-oiled marketing machine.
What This Guide Will Cover We’ve broken down two of the most essential areas of marketing your properties—vacancy postings and your company’s website—to show how property management software can launch your marketing efforts to the next level.
The importance of appearing on property listing websites
Tips to improve your property listings
Optimizing your company’s website
How the right property management software can enhance your marketing efforts
BONUS: How to market property management software to your owners
The Modern Renter’s Apartment Search Today, most people looking for a new place to live don’t drive around town in search of “for rent” signs, and the number of people flipping through newspaper ads is on the decline. Millennial apartment seekers start their search online by visiting websites like Craigslist, browsing property listing websites like Apartments.com or Rentals.com, or using Google Search and social media channels to pull up vacancies in the area of interest.
Online Property Listings You need to be where the apartment hunters are, which is on the Internet listing websites. But to post your properties on these sites, you might spend anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day manually submitting your property information, researching payment plans, and hunting down lost passwords. Once you’re up and running with an account, your property information needs to be manually entered into dozens of online forms. Now, multiply this process by 100 for a more accurate picture of how time-consuming this can be. And to maximize visibility into your open units, you need to be on many listing sites, and manually doing this can quickly spiral into a nightmare task.
The Technology Advantage With modern property management software, you can fill out the information for your property one time and, with a click of a button, disperse the information to hundreds of listings sites simultaneously. There are many sites that integrate seamlessly with property management software, which means:
Vacancies are posted to listing sites more quickly (in some cases, less than an hour)
The data is more accurate, which makes renters very happy
Old listings can be removed much faster (avoiding wasting renter’s time with already-filled units)
Some property management companies have strong relationships for premium-listing services to give you top billing on more sites and maximize your exposure to prospective renters.
The faster you can promote your open units, the faster you can bring in new renters. Free up your staff to focus on other marketing channels that need a more personal touch, such as social media and review sites. These channels are extremely important for property management companies in today’s digital landscape. But for those without property management software, they often take a backseat to more traditional marketing channels.
The Power of Property Listings Sites
Trulia attracts more than
Zillow Rental Network has
55 million house hunters
more than 25 million rental
shoppers each month.
9 Tips for Better Property Listings Property management software frees up time so you can focus on marketing your vacancies and optimizing your property listings. 1. Keep Your Listings Updated Renters may ignore out-of-date advertisements, and updated ads appear higher in search results.
2. Add Photos Properties with photos get 66% more leads than those without—and quality counts. What works well: Exterior photos on blue skies with the sun behind you Interesting angles Interior photos with clean or empty rooms
3. Include a Complete Description and Rent Amount Listings with descriptions receive 77% more leads than listings without, and listings with longer descriptions get even more leads. Listings that show the rent receive 22% more leads compared to listings sans rent.
4. Include Links and Attachments Take video tours and walkthroughs of your properties and include them in your listings. Also include links to your company website, social media profiles, online rental applications, and pet policies. Specifying a pet policy results in 20% more leads, even if the policy is simply “no pets.”
5. List Your Top Amenities People want to know what they’ll get by living at your property. Be sure to include a list of your top amenities and you’ll be sure to get more leads.
6. Pick Up the Phone Based on a recent RentLinx study of almost 8,000 calls in response to online vacancy listings, 26% of callers couldn’t reach a human during business hours. Speaking to a potential renter and asking them about their needs and what they are looking for can have a huge impact on how many showings you book.
7. Use Social Media Posting your vacancies on listing sites is not enough. You need to take the extra step and post on social media to increase your brand awareness and reach.
8. Post to Premium Sites Advertisements on premium (pay-to-list) websites can receive 2–12 times as many leads as free listings. Free sites are competing for attention in the search results and listings could be buried beneath lower-quality ones.
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9. Is Craigslist Still Cool? A lot of property managers ask this question. With recent changes to the former go-to site for finding apartments— no more HTML, poor mobile map interface, fraud and spam posting issues—all signs point to fewer and lower quality leads being driven from Craigslist. If it is working for you, keep listing; but if it isn’t, your time might be better spent elsewhere.
The First Impression Matters...A Lot In the modern world, having a professional website is a must. But what’s worse than no website? A poorly done website. Building a professional website is hard when you don’t have the background, and it takes a lot of time to do it right. Many businesses will pay an arm and a leg to a third-party design firm to build their site. If you’re a smaller business, this isn’t a viable option, so you’re left to build it yourself.
A well-done website conveys:
What Makes a Property Management Website Successful?
Modern design Mobile-friendliness Intelligible copy
You could spend up to an entire year building a website for your company, and it still won’t bring in enough business. There are a number of DIY platforms out there, but after educating yourself on best practices, designing and redesigning, adding in customization fees, and then having to keep it updated with new listings and information, you’ve spent a huge amount of time and money on efforts that might not be working for you. And with how often technology changes in this digital age, your website might be outdated quickly or even penalized whenever Google decides to make an update (remember Mobilegeddon?).
Quick contact options Positive reviews Social media integration
Search engine optimization
The Technology Advantage Having a property management company who works with you and builds your website based on best practices is a major advantage. They get you up and running quickly so you can focus on other marketing efforts: writing compelling content to entice people to your properties and responding to all those inquiries that will come pouring in. Having property management software that integrates with your website is also a major plus. Residents can pay their rent online and submit maintenance requests directly from your website, saving you the time and hassle.
Having a professional website that can capture prospective leads for your business is important, too. Working contact forms and guest card tracking can help bring in more renters, and since you’re not bogged down with dealing with unforeseen website issues, you can spend your time responding to leads and getting people to convert to renters. Customer service is the new marketing, and you’ll free up your time to focus on the people. It’s vital to measure the success of your marketing efforts, but a lot of property management companies don’t have time to do it all and reflect on the data. But you don’t have to be doing it all. With property management software by your side, you can concentrate on the most important marketing strategies to reach your business goals.
BONUS: Bringing the Owners on Board 1. Modern technology puts you light years ahead of the competition. (The longer it takes competing properties to adopt technology, the further behind they’ll be when they do make the change.)
2. You can respond faster and provide better service to owners and residents.
3. Your owners need access to sensitive data about all properties at any time and from anywhere. (The right software can provide security and backup.)
4. Monthly statements can be delivered via email, saving time and paper. (More trees is always a good thing.)
5. Property maintenance issues can be addressed much faster with electronic work orders and vendor communication.
6. Your owners will be paid faster and more securely with funds directly deposited into their bank accounts. (Mo’ money, no problems.)
7. You can effectively market all your properties and fill vacancies quicker.
Learn how AppFolio property management software can help you modernize, automate, and grow your business. Visit www.appfolio.com.