In-Depth Look at the 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report for Property Management Companies
In the world of property management, localization is essential. Where does your property management company fall when it comes to localized marketing? In our newly released special report, “The Top Multi-Family Properties in Digital Marketing,” we analyze the top 50 property management companies and see how they are performing in localized marketing.
Within this blog, we’ll recap the top findings from the report, highlight the top performers in localized marketing, and explain which localized marketing tactics were used most often by the leaders. As a multi-family marketer, you can then use this information to strengthen your own localized marketing efforts and get ahead of the competition.
The Importance of Localized Marketing
Before we dive into the winners of localized marketing, let’s better understand the importance of localized marketing for property management companies. As many of us know, COVID-19 has pushed the property management industry to move digital and local. This shift has occurred quickly and aligns with the shift in consumer behavior. In the early stages of the pandemic, in-person interactions had to be put on hold, forcing multi-family marketers to rethink their marketing and operational efforts.
Rather than driving by various apartments and touring them, potential tenants were doing the research and tours strictly online. In fact, 97 percent of consumers use local search when looking for an apartment, and 100 percent of these searches are now dominated by the Google 3-pack results. The Google 3-pack is the method Google uses to display the top three search engine result pages. For instance, if a consumer searches for “apartments near me”, the Google 3-pack would display three apartments near the consumer’s search. It’s important to note that local intent is not always needed in the search query. If a consumer just searches for “apartments”, the top results relative to the consumer’s location, further emphasizing the importance of a local presence.
For property management companies, localized marketing can also be used to build connections to their local communities and target audiences. Your marketing efforts should vary based on the location of your properties. For instance, a marketing plan for a property in New York should vary from a marketing plan for a property in Texas. While walkability may be important in New York, the swimming pool or parking options may be more important in Texas. If your potential and current residents feel like you’re speaking directly to them, they will feel more connected to your community and be more likely to sign or resign a lease.
While your marketing efforts should vary based on each property’s location, it’s also important to have a local connection with your current residents at each of your properties. Are you hosting virtual game nights at your property? Are you responding to comments you receive from residents on social media? These aspects of localized marketing are important to consider and can give you the boost you need to build a community and further boost your digital presence.
Now that we understand the importance of localized marketing, let’s take a look at the property management companies that are leading the pack.
Top Property Management Companies in Localized Marketing
When ranking the properties in localized marketing, we used our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report to score the audited 50 top property management companies as a part of the study based on the following criteria:
- Company sources: National Multi-family Housing Council’s 50 Largest Apartment Managers and Multi-Housing News’ 10 Fastest-Growing Multifamily Property Management Companies of 2020
- Locations: On average, 85 percent of the properties’ locations were audited
- Scoring: Examination of a local business’s presence, ratings & reviews, and community engagement across the top three localized marketing platforms – Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Yelp
When looking at the scoring criteria specifically, we ask ourselves, did each of the properties have a good presence in localized search results across the top three platforms? Did ratings meet an average threshold and score? What was the response rate like? Were individual properties posting localized content and engaging with residents?
We give you all of this information to better understand what it takes for property management companies to place in the top 10. The scoring is done on a scale of 1-100. Below you will see a preview of which properties made the top 10. Bozzuto Management led the pack with a score of 78, and AvalonBay Communities came in second with a 75. Weidner Apartment Homes rounded out our top 10 with a score of 60.
All of these property management companies in the top 10 maintained a strong presence on local social platforms, managed their ratings and reviews effectively, and updated their local listings to appear in local search results. For a more in-depth look into the data and more insight on their strong suits and areas of improvement, download the full report.
Getting Started with Your Localized Marketing Efforts
Now that you see what it takes to become a leading property management company in localized marketing, what can your properties do to make the list? After looking through all of the data, we came up with a few recommendations for you to follow.
- Claim and optimize all of your local pages. If you don’t have updated local listings, you will be less likely to appear in Google’s local search results.
- Encourage residents to leave local reviews, and respond to those reviews in a personalized and timely manner.
- Capitalize on the desire for residents to go local. Engage in local conversations online, and build a connection with your local community.
- Consistency is king. Optimize ranking factors across the three big platforms to create a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” advantage.
With localization comes the need for centralization. According to Forrester’s latest report, The Localized Marketing Imperative, as a result of localization, individual business locations and franchisors are challenged with being on top of all the sites where they need to be communicating. Based on recent advancements in technology this is now possible and can be done efficiently and at scale.
That’s where SOCi comes in! SOCi is the central-command for multi-location marketers and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. From local listings to ratings and reviews to local social media management, SOCi has you covered. Make sure your property management company appears in the next special report and get started building a winning localized marketing strategy today! What are you waiting for? Request a demo today.