As a multi-family marketer, you often hear about what you should be doing when it comes to localized marketing. Have you ever been told what to avoid? Property management companies have an untapped marketing opportunity in localized marketing. Between search engines, social media networks, and review sites, there are so many places where residents are interacting with your properties and looking for local information.
Not only are these platforms ever-changing, but there are unique considerations for property management companies that often aren’t addressed in standard localized marketing strategies. In this blog, we’ll break down the localized marketing don’ts for property management companies.
1. Don’t Ignore Local Engagement or Feedback
One of the biggest mistakes property management companies make is ignoring local engagement. For instance, your property management company is likely receiving reviews from new or current residents on Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, or Facebook or other industry-relevant review sites like Apartments.com or Modern Message. If you are not responding to those reviews, you’re doing your property a disservice.
Localized marketing is all about harnessing the two-way engagement channels your audience is using. While it’s ideal to respond to every review or engagement your property receives, we understand that it can be tedious and time-consuming. If you’re trying to decide which reviews to prioritize, consider these statistics from our State of the Market Report.
- 40 percent of consumers expect businesses to respond to a critical review within 24 hours
- Only 53 percent of people would consider using a business with less than 4 stars
- Positive online reviews are the #1-factor influencing purchase decisions
The numbers make it clear that responding to negative reviews on the top platforms should be the first priority. Property managers should respond to negative reviews quickly so that residents feel heard. In fact, 87 percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds.. As far as positive reviews go, a quick “Thank you, [name]!” can go a long way as 97 percent of consumers pay attention to the responses business owners write.
Currently, the average review response rate on GMB, Facebook, and Yelp is around 50 percent. What can you do to improve your multi-location business’s response rate to ensure you’re meeting the industry benchmark?
2. Don’t Forget About Local Listings and Local SEO
According to data found in our 2019 LSM Benchmark Report, local search is the first thing consumers do to find or uncover more information about a business, which is why local pages are so important. In fact, 91 percent of consumers use search to find business information locally.
Ensuring all local business information is up to date through the management of your portfolio’s local listings is crucial. A local business listing is an online profile that includes your property’s name, address, phone number, and other relevant information.
Local listings are present on a number of platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Google My Business (GMB), and Yelp. Although it’s time-consuming and tedious to go through all of your properties’ listings to ensure the information is correct, it’s worth the effort. Consistent and accurate listing information plays a major role in improving online reputation, increasing your property’s visibility, improving online presence, and boosting local SEO.
Unlike organic SEO, local SEO has a geographical component attached to it. As far as apartment searches go, consumers are searching for apartments locally – on both Google and natively on navigation apps. Implementing a local SEO strategy will optimize the online presence for your property management company to appear in local search results on Maps or navigation apps, and business directories like Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, and Facebook.
The top three maps and navigation sites reach over 90 percent of users – Google Maps (67 percent), Waze (12 percent), and Apple Maps (11 percent). Claiming and updating your local listings and pages on GMB and Yelp ensures you are covered on all three of the maps and navigation apps!
3. Don’t Downplay the Importance of Local Social
A localized social strategy is a key marketing tactic for property management companies. Through local social, properties are able to communicate and engage with both current and future tenants. If your property management company hasn’t already claimed all of its local social pages, now is the time.
If your business is not claiming its local social pages, others will. When a user goes to search for a page or “check-in” and there isn’t a page already created, Facebook will automatically create a page to bridge the user experience.
Local social pages created by Facebook or others can cause a big problem for your portfolio’s brand. If someone else has control of your property’s local pages, they can post rogue content, and it keeps you from being in control of your digital presence.
Once you have control of your digital presence, you can then begin to interact with your local audiences. Three out of four brand engagements are happening on local pages vs. national pages on platforms like Facebook and Google My Business so it’s clear that a local social strategy is crucial.
4. Don’t Stray Away From Your Portfolio Brand
Developing a content strategy for your property management company is important. Ideally, properties are creating localized content that speaks to their local residents. However, at the corporate portfolio level, it’s smart to create a content strategy ahead of time so your properties will have a queue of brand-approved content ready when things get busy, as they inevitably will.
Need ideas for localized content? Consider these options:
- Reach customers early with Google Posts
- Partner with a local company
- Highlight local team members
- Repurpose localized content for national campaigns
- Utilize the power of local events and promotions
When creating content, branding should be at top of mind. You want consumers to be able to see your portfolio’s brand on local search or social platforms and immediately recognize that your properties are a part of your portfolio.
Here are some tips on how to keep brand consistency:
- Use your property’s logo as a profile picture for local search or social platforms
- Develop brand guidelines at the portfolio-level and ensure local properties are in-accordance
- Incorporate a mixture of portfolio-branded and localized property content on search and social platforms
If your property management company keeps branding consistent across properties, it will help with brand recognition. In the over-saturated digital marketing world, happy residents often remain loyal and choose properties under the portfolio brands they can trust. If a consumer can recognize your property easily, it will help you stand out against competitors.
5. Don’t Stay Stagnant With Your Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers can make is to be complacent in their marketing strategies. The digital world is ever-changing, and there are always new trends to be aware of.
Some of the top new localized marketing trends include:
- Voice search
- Facebook and Instagram Stories
- Zero-click searches
- Navigation searches
- Chatbot communication
For more of an in-depth look at these new marketing trends, check out our blog post on the topic. See how many of these trends you can fit into your marketing strategy over the next few months. As a marketer, your localized marketing strategy should constantly evolve.
Turn Your Localized Marketing Don’ts Into Dos
Now that you know what to avoid in localized marketing, you can start implementing the most effective tactics for your multi-family business. If your property management company avoids all of the common pitfalls, you will be on the right path to winning the lease.
A strong localized marketing strategy can help you connect with residents, and ultimately increase retention, and new leases. It’s time to get started on perfecting your localized marketing strategy!