Property management companies have to approach social advertising from two angles; at the management company level and at the local property level. Ads have to follow the brand standards set forth by the management company while still speaking to the local renters around each property.
Localizing an ad campaign means using property-specific information, location-specific events, and community-specific terminology.
Social technology has advanced to the point where localized advertising can now be managed from the management company level. Of course, implementing a new paid social strategy presents challenges. Below, we’ll explain how to overcome these obstacles, and what a successful localized ad strategy looks like for a property management company. Let’s get ready to get local.
Challenge 1: Finding a new approach to advertising
A centralized approach to ads — in which a corporate team or agency creates one overarching campaign for every property location — is a one-size-fits-all approach. Property management companies often settle for this approach because they don’t have tools with which to implement a more localized approach — one in which each property gets customized ads while the corporate management team maintains oversight.
When one agency or marketing team manages ads for 100s of properties, the result ends up looking generic. The ads show one image, target one audience and feature one message for every property. Localized Facebook ads, on the other hand, feature tailored messaging, property-specific imagery and custom location-based audiences — all while maintaining the look and feel of the property management brand.
Challenge 2: Understanding your local renters
No matter how many properties your portfolio has, all your renters are local renters. The people who walk into your leasing offices are members of the community around each property. Renters might choose a property because they recognize the management company, but they’re interacting with local team members and singing leases at individual property locations. Every ad should reflect the unique nature and personality of each community you serve.
Still, some marketing teams try to deploy Facebook ads across 100s of properties with one all-encompassing strategy. Instead, the corporate marketing team should leverage the local property team’s knowledge, perhaps even empowering them to develop their own ads to submit to corporate for approval. When property managers provide input on local social media advertising campaigns, it provides the national marketing team with on-the-ground insights that lead to better-localized ads.
Challenge 3. Balancing the relationship between corporate and local teams
Most property management companies are structured so that the corporate team has an abundance of resources with which to develop strong marketing campaigns. At the property level, however, teams are often more focused on day-to-day operations. Property managers often don’t have time to learn Facebook Ads Manager or develop ad campaigns, so management companies handle it at the corporate level or through an agency.
Using technology from Facebook and SOCi, corporate teams can develop localized ad campaigns that leverage the power of the management brand while still being tailored to renters at the property level. Promoting the management brand with national campaigns can help raise brand awareness overall, but promoting individual properties through localized ads can further promote the properties in each community.
Property management companies sometimes struggle to implement a localized strategy because the corporate teams don’t interact with local renters; they don’t live in the communities where each property is located. Corporate teams must overcome this obstacle to create content that’s relevant to the renters who visit the property. The solution comes in the form of a hybrid marketing management model, in which the property managers and corporate team work together to create the most effective online presence possible on the national and local levels. The corporate manages the management brand’s social media presence, while property managers oversee individual local pages and local content.
This hybrid model works because local property managers shouldn’t have total control over their ad campaigns; the corporate team knows the management brand better, understands best practices for social advertising and can develop templated messaging and imagery. However, the local property manager knows the individual markets and should be trusted to provide input and add the local spin. Leave the broad strokes to the corporate teams, and let the local property managers fill in the local details.
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Challenge 4: Protecting your brand’s authenticity
Brand authenticity refers to the public perception of your brand. If your brand is authentic, it means the public sees your brand as reliable, respectful and real. 63 percent of consumers deliberately choose authentic brands over others. That means that 63 percent of renters will only choose your properties if they perceive your brand to be genuine. If you create ad content without localizing it, you’re creating content that is generic, rather than authentic.
Authentic brands are true to their values, which is why some management companies are so reluctant to allow local property managers to post their own content or create their own advertisements. This approach leaves room for local property managers to change the brand — intentionally or not. That’s why it’s so important to structure the ads strategy so that the corporate teams maintain oversight while still empowering local teams.
Challenge 5. Creating ads with property-specific information
From a digital standpoint, property management companies should put the most accurate information online regarding their locations. This can be accomplished with dynamic text and images features, which insert property-specific information into each ad campaign.
Why use a generic picture of your management company’s properties when you could use a picture of the actual property that each local renter will be visiting? As for the ad messaging, why tell renters to “find a property near you” when you could tell them the exact address of the property nearest them?
This localized approach works because audiences feel as though the company is speaking directly to them. One example of this is We Work, the remote workspace provider.
WeWork’s localized ads were so successful that Facebook wrote a case study on the campaign. The ads use dynamic text to encourage the audience to “Book a Tour” at whichever WeWork building is closest to them. Because WeWork targeted the ads to people aged 27–54 in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and London, the dynamic text updated to show various addresses in each of those cities. The ads contain copy and imagery that is specific to a geographic location, and thus incredibly relevant to the user. That’s likely why this campaign resulted in WeWork seeing a 10x return on ad spend.
It’s hard to argue with results like that, and it’s now easier than ever for property management companies to shift to a localized paid social strategy. Social advertising tools like SOCi can help national management brands support individual property managers while protecting brand integrity and implementing a full localized ads strategy. Through the use of dynamic text, one ad campaign can be customized for 100s of properties with the click of a button.