3 Effective Online Marketing Strategies for Property Owners
- Jun 21, 2016
As a property manager, executing the right online marketing strategies can play a significant role in driving overall revenue for a property owner. Today, most prospective residents are doing their research online prior to visiting a property, and therefore, a property’s online reputation and presence have a tremendous impact on driving traffic, recruiting prospective residents and retaining existing ones.
At Western National Property Management, we’ve successfully marketed more than 23,600 units in 162 properties throughout California and Nevada and have devised three core strategies to increase an apartment community’s online visibility, drive resident engagement, and generate revenue for property owners. These strategies include:
Leverage social media channels to drive traffic & engagement
Social media can play an integral role in reaching a property’s target audience, especially as Millennials continue to drive demand for multifamily housing. This demographic and the next generation of renters, Generation Z, are relying more and more on social media and online platforms, which are playing and will continue to play a major role in their rental decisions moving forward.
Property managers should be taking note of this trend and utilizing social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter in their marketing strategies. In doing so, property managers will be able to reach this growing demographic of renters by targeting them exactly where they spend most of their time. Millennials spend approximately 5.4 hours a day on social media and online platforms. This is a significant amount of time and by increasing activity on these social channels, property managers are able to reach this growing audience and potentially drive new traffic for a property.
In addition to driving traffic, property managers can utilize these platforms to engage with current and prospective residents by offering entertaining and useful tips, sharing interesting articles and community news.
Western National Property Management, for example, shares stories on its social media pages regarding what is going on at it properties such as its commitment to environmental and energy efficiency, as well as engaging with residents in a more personal way. By actively highlighting items that differentiate our properties from competitors, we are able to demonstrate the core items that make our properties stand out, which plays a significant role in attracting new residents and retaining existing ones.
Overall, social media is here and it isn’t going anywhere. In order to ensure a property is reaching the right target audiences and optimizing revenue for owners, property managers should be actively posting and sharing stories on its social media channels to build brand awareness, drive traffic and engagement with residents.
Respond to positive and negative online reviews
Managing a property’s online presence and reputation takes more than just posting on social media channels. In this digital age, property managers should actively monitor online review sites’, ensuring a property is depicted in a positive light and all concerns are addressed.
Yelp, among other online platforms, continues to be an extremely influential marketing tool, which can be both negative and positive for a property owner. Often, prospective residents look to these online review sites to determine whether an apartment community is a fit. A property’s online rating can be a tremendous factor in a prospective resident’s decision to live or even come view an apartment community.
By actively monitoring these sites and addressing all reviews, both positive and negative, property managers can demonstrate their diligence in providing outstanding customer service and work to build and maintain a positive online reputation.
This online forum allows property managers to address any current residents’ concerns who might have reviewed the property, as well as highlight to prospective residents that they care and take the time address any and all concerns. This plays a major role in aiding resident retention for a property and attracting new residents, which ultimately drives revenue for owners.
Strengthen online marketing materials by asking residents
When it comes to marketing a property, it’s extremely important for property managers to understand what sets their apartment community apart from the competition and highlight those items in its online marketing materials.
One way that property managers can do this is by asking residents. By regularly conducting feedback surveys to gauge resident satisfaction and identify ways to improve residents’ living experiences, property managers can get a better understanding of the qualities that encouraged these residents to choose the community as their home in the first place.
Often, as owners and property managers, we can forget the key concepts that residents truly enjoy about a community. Once these key qualities have been identified, ensuring that these messages are highlighted on a property’s website, collateral materials and social media channels is extremely important to increasing resident traffic.
For example, more often than not, a property’s website is the first impression that a prospective resident will have of a property and can likely be the deciding factor as to whether or not they view the property in person. By continuously surveying residents and updating materials to include the most important factors to residents, property managers can ensure their online marketing materials are attracting new residents and increasing a property’s bottom line.
Ultimately, online marketing can have a tremendous impact on a property’s bottom line. By taking an integrated approach to building brand awareness through social media outlets, managing online review sites, and highlighting key selling points, property managers can successfully drive new traffic and increase revenue for property owners.
Scott Wickman is the regional vice president of Western National Property Management, the residential real estate management arm of Western National Group. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Western National Property Management currently oversees the management of more than 23,600 apartments in more than 162 communities throughout Orange County, the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Northern California and Las Vegas.