How Are You Helping Your Prospective Residents Who Are Searching For Trustworthy, Honest Content About Your Property Management Business?
How are prospective tenants finding out about your rental properties online, and what you offer and how you differ from the competition? What are you offering to retain your current residents?
While many talk about Google and the importance of search engine optimization, there is something just as important that is frequently overlooked.
If your potential, or current apartment residents find your website and stop by for a visit, are you providing helpful, useful rental information for them to help make an informed decision on where to live or what your community has to offer? Or, are you just pushing at them what you want to sell?
The world has changed and the key is the quality of the rental content you are proving on your website for your visitors. This is key for two reasons.
First, attention spans are short and you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. The message they see should be about them, and what they need or are looking for. It is about them and what problems they are facing. It is not about you and touting your business.
Second, many websites are still using the old broadcast-style message that focuses on one message to all. However the web has fragmented audiences and you need to focus on how each individual is different and has different needs. The one size fits all message pushed in traditional sales language is no longer as effective.
People are tired of these broadcast type messages that interrupt them with a sales pitch. They are tuning these messages out. They want to learn and investigate the options for themselves , and they have, at their fingertips, the ability to search and compare on their own. Your goal is to be a part of their search. You may not win every time, but you want to be on the playing field when they are searching. And, more than ever, it is not what you are saying about yourself, it is what others are saying about you.
Research from CEB shows at customers are 57% through the buying decision before they want to talk to a sales person.
Help Not Sell To Engage Customers
The goal of your website, and the content you have there, should be to attract, engage and delight customers online. The stronger the content for your target audience, the more visitors you will attract. More visitors mean more sowings and more showings mean more rental applications and lower vacancies.
This is the core of what you have probably heard called content marketing. The key is having great content, at the right time for the right audience.
You should know your audience and what their “pain points” are around when it comes to finding an apartment or rental home. You are the expert and talk to renters all the time. Listen to what they are telling you and asking you.
Then, you can design a core of great content about your rental properties and begin engaging your customers.
How Will I Know If This Works?
Once you have the key content in place, you want some way to measure engagement with your online audience to see if this is working.
One of the best ways to measure this is by adding an inbound marketing program to your content.
Sometimes people confuse content marketing and inbound marketing. The important thing is to do both. Inbound marketing is a great way to measure the ROI of your content marketing.
For instance, if you create a great piece of content that helps your potential or current residents solve their problem with content you create, they will be more than willing to give you their email address in exchange for that great piece of content.
You create a form for them to fill out which they will gladly do if the content you are providing is so valuable they might even pay for it as author Jay Baer says at convinceandconvert.com.
Then, using this core piece of content, you can create additional marketing spokes around this hub which include email newsletters, social media and more for your apartment communities.
If you decide that inbound marketing and content marketing are right for your property management business – or maybe you are already using some form of it – understanding expectations is a critical factor.
How are you going to measure success? What metrics are you going to track and how are you going to optimize for those metrics? The wonderful thing about digital marketing is that you can track many, many things and easily get lost in the trees and not see the forest.
What are the metrics that matter to your rental business? Define the key ones and then track and watch and see what is working. Frequently it does not work right in the beginning and you will have to tweak the message to get the right fit with your audience.
These are just a few key points to consider in your inbound marketing program.
By John Triplett
Special Editorial Contributor
Rental Housing Journal offers inbound and content marketing services to property management companies and industry service providers. For more information, email Inbound@ProPubInc.com