The path a potential renter follows in their apartment search is never a straight line. Their research involves dozens of digital touchpoints, and prospects are finding information about your property in places you may not even be aware of. A recent study by Google concluded there can be anywhere from 20 to 500 digital touchpoints on a customer journey, depending on the industry. From reputation management to closing the loop with virtual tours on your website, here are 5 key touchpoints you may be overlooking in your property management marketing.
1. Showcase Your Services on Rated Sites
Savvy renters understand that the property management company managing their community can be just as important to their quality of life as the community itself. This means your reputation management efforts need to extend beyond just property reviews, to monitoring your corporate brand as a property management company well.
It may not surprise you to see your corporate brand rated on key review sites like Google, Facebook, and ApartmentRatings.com, but don’t overlook sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. While those sites may be for job hunters, potential renters will see these ratings too and use this data to decide what kind of company they’ll be relying on at their next apartment.
Whose Your Landlord is the largest of the landlord-specific review sites, and also offers users tools like neighborhood insights and renter’s photos. (Since we’re talking marketing, you’ll have to decide yourself whether it’s intentional marketing spin or an oversight that Whose Your Landlord uses the possessive “Whose” instead of “Who’s.” They claim it’s “because we’re giving our community ownership of their living situations.”)
2. Use Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)
You are likely already monitoring your Google Business Profile for those all-important reviews and visibility on Google Maps, but don’t overlook the opportunity for organic search traffic from a robust Google Business profile.
Aside from the obvious Google Maps traffic, keep in mind that any search term Google perceives as related to location can trigger the Google Map Pack (a map of Google Business profiles that appears in search results). According to Google, 30% of all searches it processes are related to location. Bulk up that profile with detailed business information, photos, and frequent relevant posts about rent specials and events.
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to incorporate conversions directly from your Google Business profile into your analytics to get a fuller picture of overall traffic from your digital marketing efforts. Even when a user calls or visits without visiting your website first, you’ll want to account for that conversion.
3. Take Advantage of Zillow’s Algorithm
Zillow has been the dominant website in the overall real estate industry for some time, and its rental search platform offers some powerful tools for property management marketing. Zillow’s algorithm uses a renter’s browsing data to showcase property results that cater to their tastes and interests.
“Zestimates” for home buying may be inaccurate, but renters still use this tool to easily compare rent prices to others in the area. If your prices are competitive, that presents an opportunity.
Basic rental listings on Zillow are free for property managers with fewer than 50 units, and listings will be published to HotPads and Trulia automatically. Those three sites alone receive over 30 million visitors a month.
4. Ensure Consistent Messaging
Digital marketing for property management is often coordinated at the corporate level, while on-site marketing may be coordinated by the on-site staff. This can lead to inconsistent branding, mixed messaging, and inaccurate specials or information.
The importance of a consistent message throughout the Renter’s Journey cannot be overstated. If the brand identity of your community isn’t clear and consistent, it’s as if you have no identity at all. Make sure everyone in your organization responsible for marketing your properties is operating from the same playbook.
5. 3D Virtual Tours Close the Deal with Remote Applicants
According to a recent survey of property managers and real estate professionals, 20% of all applications and offers came in without any in-person visit, and 95% of buyers are more likely to call about homes with 3D virtual tours.
Starting in 2020 when the COVID pandemic made in-person tours increasingly difficult, virtual tours and video walkthroughs went from being a nice feature to an essential part of the leasing process. Even as in-person visits have become available, these virtual experiences are a convenience renters have come to expect.
When setting up virtual tours, take advantage of all the features the best platforms offer, like adding informational notes to spaces in the tour. If you’re unsure how to capture your property units for virtual tours yourself, an experienced property management marketing agency like Ironmark can assist with both capturing the virtual tour and deploying it in all the essential places on your website and digital footprint.