How Property Management Companies Can Save on Budget by Investing in Localized Marketing
Late summer and early fall marks budgeting season for most property management companies (PMCs) — everyone’s favorite topic, right? Perhaps not. However, as you know, PMCs must set an accurate and cost-saving annual budget each year.
One way to reduce your PMC’s budget is to improve your individual properties’ localized marketing efforts.
We can’t ensure your budgeting planning will be a breeze, but having a fully vetted localized marketing strategy can help your properties:
- Gain online visibility
- Acquire and retain more residents
- Dedicate budget elsewhere
- Save time, money, and resources
What is Localized Marketing?
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We must define and discuss localized marketing before diving into annual budgets and cost-saving opportunities.
Localized marketing focuses on generating an online presence for each property in its local area.
If your marketing strategy treats all of your properties as one central entity versus individual properties, you risk missing out on new residents.
The three main pillars of localized marketing are local search (SEO), local social, and online reputation management (ORM).
These localized marketing pillars work in tandem to enhance the following for each property and your PMC as a whole:
- More visibility: Ensure your local properties appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) and the local pack.
- Better reputation: Addressing residents’ reviews and needs boosts resident retention. Responding to reviews also shows potential residents you care about your residents.
- Eighty-five percent of people look at online ratings and reviews at the beginning of their search or before choosing which apartments to visit.
- More engagements: Optimizing localized marketing will help properties receive more engagements on major social media platforms and local directories.
- Eighty percent of apartment seekers look at social media before choosing their next rental.
As you can see, localized marketing directly impacts whether or not your properties come up on online search engines or directories. It also influences potential residents’ first impressions.
The three pillars work in tandem. For instance, even if your properties rank high in local search results and you have a solid social media presence, a poor reputation can cause online users to cross off your properties from their lists.
Download our Localized Marketing Playbook for Property Management Companies for more detailed information on localized marketing and how it can benefit your PMC.
How PMCs Are Doing in Localized Marketing Today
When creating your annual budget, you must make data-driven decisions. At SOCi, we understand the need for accurate and revealing data.
Therefore, let’s examine some pivotal localized marketing data for multi-location PMCs. This data helps reveal what PMCs are doing well and where they can improve their localized marketing efforts.
Our 2023 Local Visibility Index (LVI) — formerly known as our Localized Marketing Benchmark Report — examines how multi-location brands, including PMCs, perform in local search, local social, and online reputation management.
Our LVI data, which you can see on our 2023 LVI Dashboard, found the following for the top 30 multi-location PMCs:
Local Search Call-Outs:
- PMCs face stiff competition in local rankings. Local properties only appear 12.5 percent of the time in the Google 3-Pack for searches like “apartments near me.”
- More than half of PMCs use local business schema to mark up their websites and local landing pages, making it more difficult for search engines to understand or correctly index website content.
Local Social Call-Outs:
- PMCs have a strong presence on Facebook, averaging 601 likes and 612 followers per page.
- PMCs post 8.5x monthly, slightly lower than the 8.9x benchmark for all multi-location enterprises.
- PMCs only post videos 1.5 percent of the time, which has twice the correlation with engagements as posts with photos accomplish.
Reputation Management Call-Outs:
- Thirty-nine percent of Google and 69 percent of Yelp reviews are negative, compared to 28 percent (Google) and 56 percent (Yelp) for all multi-location brands.
- Despite having more negative reviews, PMCs respond to an impressive 80 percent of their Google and 44 percent of their Yelp reviews. This is far more than the 46 percent (Google) and 6 percent (Yelp) benchmark for all multi-location enterprises.
Your PMC should leverage this data to focus on improving areas where other PMCs — and potentially your PMC — are often falling flat, meeting, or exceeding averages in localized marketing. Optimizing these components of localized marketing will help ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
Remember, these are benchmarks for how the top 30 U.S. PMCs perform localized marketing. If you want to see how your PMC stacks up against the competition, and where you need to improve most, request an LVI audit today.
How Localized Marketing Affects Your Budget
As noted earlier, localized marketing can help apartment seekers perceive your properties as leaders in local areas.
Because localized marketing plays such a crucial role in winning new leases and resident retention, your marketing budget influences your PMCs success.
When done correctly, a localized marketing strategy can save local properties and corporate digital marketing teams time and resources. This allows you to allocate money and resources elsewhere in your budget. It also helps you improve your digital marketing ROI (return on investment).
When building out your overall annual budget, including your marketing budget, your PMC must:
- Aim for efficient market spend: Consider which marketing channels have the highest ROI, and optimize those.
- Audit your tech stack: Review the number of software applications and tools you have and which are the most essential to your success. Consolidation can often improve cost and efficiency.
- Align your teams: Ensure local property and corporate teams align on needs, expenses, and tenant data.
Increase ROI and Improve Budget With the Right Partner
As with any budget, you must ensure you have allocated enough money in the right places and optimize your resources and revenue.
With localized marketing, managing local search, social, and online reputation across every individual property is challenging. Questions or reviews can go unanswered, or team members might publish non-branded content without a localized marketing strategy or the right software,
Consider partnering with SOCi to consolidate your localized marketing efforts into one single platform, which can simultaneously increase your marketing budget and improve your bottom line.
SOCi is the CoMarketing Cloud for multi-location PMCs. Our products work together to support each pillar of localized marketing. Remember, if one pillar isn’t up to par, you’re impacting the other localized marketing pillars.
- Local search: Your PMC can boost local search rankings with our local listings and local pages services.
- Local social: You can publish and measure organic and paid content with SOCi Social and SOCi Ads Plus.
- Reputation management: Discover what residents say about your and competitors’ properties with SOCi Listening. In addition, you can collect valuable data and respond to current or past residents with our SOCi Genius Reviews, surveys, and chatbot products.
These combined products and services create a comarketing cloud. Our comarketing cloud is a partner to your team members. It can help automate daily marketing tasks, help make strategic recommendations with AI-driven data, and alleviate your team’s workload.
The data speaks for itself. By partnering with SOCi we helped:
- Price Brothers decreased review response time by 2.3 hours
- Fogelman increased clicks to call from Google by 51 percent
- Lincoln Property Company achieved 16,278 monthly impressions across all social media pages.
Request a demo today to learn why SOCi is the best comarketing cloud for your PMC and how we can help you reduce marketing costs, improve localized marketing, and positively impact your annual budget.