Property management companies only thrive when they have a full roster of properties to manage, and owners trust them to represent their interests responsibly. The business only makes sense with the right load of properties – so how can a property management company bring in more property owner leads who are looking for management help?
The internet has been a helpful resource for property management companies to market themselves. Instead of running costly newspaper ads or relying on direct mail (still a viable marketing option), you can run less-expensive online ads and sign up for free listing sites. Property management companies can also take advantage of different tools and apps to pique a landlord's interest and result in new clients.
Here are 11 lead generators every property management company should be using to grow their client base.
1. Word of Mouth
You've heard it said by every business owner, everywhere: "My business comes from word of mouth." That sounds great – but what's the secret to getting those word-of-mouth leads to flow your way?
2. Keep it Local
There is no downside for the property manager who stays on top of what's going on in the local market. He or she makes a point of networking around the community and introducing their business to local investors and property owners. Attending local Real Estate Investor (REIA) meetings and apartment or landlord association meetings is a great way to get to know active investors and landlords.
If there isn't an active group in your area, step up to host a meeting session yourself. You can promote your meeting online in other landlord and property management forums.
3. Create a Referral Program
Another effective form of networking is the referral program. You can create referral programs with local realtors, current landlord clients, friends and family, other property management companies, and even tenants. Offer a referral fee for every client sent your way, who signs a management contract with your company. For current clients, your reward or incentive could be a discount on the services you provide them. A referral program takes a little set up to get launched but doesn't have to break the bank.
4. Cold Calling
Put your staff downtime to good use – have them work their way through listings on craigslist and contact the owners to offer your firm's services for their properties. That's it. You develop a simple script they can use for every craigslist ad. Have them follow the same plan with local newspaper ads. There is a good chance these owners can use some help.
5. Print and Outbound Marketing
Print marketing is far from dead. Traditional print marketing lead generators will cost a little more, but the investment is worth it for the right lead.
6. Direct Mail and Postcards
A well-written sales letter that targets established property owners can generate good results. You don't send these letters to a blanket, purchased list. You want quality leads, so you build the list yourself, targeting property owners you know who are self-managing more than ten properties. These owners represent a sweet spot, especially if they don't manage their properties on a full-time basis. Over time, managing this number of properties can become a big hassle as a side job, and they could be ready to turn it over to a professional like you.
Even if owners manage full-time, they may be looking to expand, which gets to be a tall order if they are doing all the work themselves. They need help, and a well-timed letter or postcard from you could be the ticket.
7. Newspaper Ads
Yes, it can still make sense to run an ad in the newspaper. Keep track of your incoming calls so you can determine if you're getting a return on your ad investment. With the right ad, you could snag an owner with a large portfolio, so if you have the budget, it is worth the test.
8. Car Wraps or Magnets
You can have your car detailed with your business tagline and phone number – you cover a lot of ground every day in your car, so put it to work for you. Car magnets that attach to your car door can also be a good way to increase your brand awareness. Make sure the design is an eye-catching design that quickly and clearly explains what your company does.
Taking lead generation to the internet
We've discussed traditional and outbound marketing for property management companies. Let's explore the more cost-effective options available to anyone online.
9. A Website
A well-written website that explains who the property management company is, who they serve, how they help, and what exactly they do for their clients is essential in today's world. Your website shows you are a serious professional business and builds for credibility. It's also a good source for lead generation.
When you use the right keywords and spend a little time getting the SEO set up, you'll have leads visiting your website sooner rather than later. With your website, you can build your reputation as an expert by writing helpful articles and providing useful information about property management.
10. Apps and Plug-ins
If you are already using online tools to collect rent, schedule repairs, evaluate rental rates or screen tenants, look into options available with the app and see if there's a widget designed to help with lead generation. As an example—Rentometer is an online tool that property management companies and landlords can use to evaluate rental rates for their properties, based on data from the surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole.
Rentometer has a free widget you can install on your website, which you can use to bring in leads. You can offer free usage of the widget to landlords and property owners. They can go to your website, fill out the address information and voila, they have the rental rate they should be charging.
Beware, this type of widget can lead to discussions about whether or not you can help landlords and investors achieve the rates produced in the widget report? The answer is yes, yes; you can help them.
11. Social Media Platforms
Property management companies should have a profile on the social media platforms landlords and investors spend their time. Use LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to share the same information featured on your website, but presents it in places where your target audience hangs out. That is the magic of social media.
Property owners are already there – you need to join the party. Once you get your profiles up and running, you can start interacting in online groups for real estate investors, property managers, and landlords to engage in conversation and generate leads.
You can also use remarketing to start following potential clients around on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google because of a code that attaches to their IP address when they visit your website.
12. Pay-per-click ads
Pay-per-click ads work the same way that traditional newspaper ads work for a fraction of the cost, and it's much easier to test whether or not they are effective. In just a couple of days, you will know if your ads are working to generate click-throughs to your site, and such ads are easy to adjust to get better results.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google all have ad manager dashboards to run broad or targeted ad campaigns. This is a whole skill subset in online marketing. If you are unfamiliar with how the ad manager dashboards work, you could potentially spend a lot of money for little or no results. If you want to use online ads for lead generation, find a marketing company that can help you develop a cost-effective online strategy.
Video is another form of advertising content that's gaining a foothold in the property management world. You can easily take the articles you've been writing for your blog and turn them into video scripts. Load your videos to YouTube and share those links on social media and in an email to drive traffic to your videos.
When you offer expert advice and compelling information in video form, property owners will want to learn more about you and your company. Once your channel is established, you can run ads and retarget based on the videos people watch from your playlist.
This is not an exhaustive list of lead generation options, but it covers tactics suitable for every budget. When you're working to generate leads for your management company, start small, don't attempt everything at once, and keep good tabs on where your best inquiries come from so you can get a good return on your efforts.
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