Marketing Mythbusters: You Don’t Need Buy-In From Local Property Teams to Execute Marketing Successfully
Many multifamily marketers underestimate the power of local property teams when it comes to localized marketing. How big of a role should local property teams play in localized marketing efforts? We’re back with another Marketing Mythbusters blog to break it down for you!
Within this blog, you’ll learn whether or not you need buy-in from your local property teams to execute localized marketing successfully. We’ll also focus on the importance of healthy local social and review strategies and provide tactics on how your property management company can build a winning localized marketing strategy.
Why buy-in from local property teams is a must
If your property management company is solely relying on your corporate team for marketing efforts, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. Oftentimes, corporate tries to create localized marketing strategies for their local property teams and intends to use a hybrid management approach. While this is a good idea in theory, it does take training, effort, and actual execution from the local property teams to create a successful strategy. For instance, if your property management company is utilizing corporate waterfall posts, posts that come from corporate and are shared at the local level, it’s also essential for local properties to incorporate their own content, in addition to the waterfall posts. If your local property teams don’t have the correct training or capacity to share localized content, again you could be missing out.
Data from our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized. Localized content is essential to boost engagement, and who better to develop this local content than your local property teams?
While local property teams can help create localized content for your property management company, they can assist in other aspects of your localized marketing strategy as well. From ratings and reviews to local social media management to smartbots to social listening and everything in between, there are various components of a robust localized marketing strategy that require buy-in from your local property teams. Now that the myth has been busted let’s look into each of these localized marketing areas and determine how your property management company can benefit from gaining the local expertise and knowledge from your local property teams.
Importance of a local review strategy
Eighty percent of consumers consider reviews important to their property search. Similarly, seventy percent of prospective residents decided to visit a property with a higher online reputation. Is your property management company monitoring your ratings and reviews at the local level? Do you have a review response strategy in place across your properties? You don’t want prospective residents to pass up your property due to your ratings and reviews. As a property management company, you must ensure that you have a comprehensive online reputation management strategy in place in order to stand out against competitors and win more residents.
When it comes to ratings and reviews, management at the local level is a must. If consumers feel that individual properties aren’t paying attention to what residents are saying online, they will be less inclined to visit the property. On the other hand, if a prospective resident can see that certain properties care about what their residents are saying and are more genuine, a prospect may be more likely to visit the property.
While you want to ensure that your local properties are responding to reviews at the local level, you may also want to set up approval workflows through corporate. This is again why the hybrid management model is essential. Approval workflows can ensure that the content shared at the local level meets proper expectations and provides you the opportunity to leave feedback when it comes to providing review responses.
In terms of responding to reviews and developing a review response strategy, our previously mentioned Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report has some industry benchmarks your property management company should ensure you’re meeting. For instance, the average star ratings among businesses in Q2 2020 across Facebook, Google My Business (GMB), and Yelp was 3.97 stars. Does your property management company have a higher rating? The average review response rate was 42.9 percent across all three platforms, and the average review response time was 6.4 days.
While you should at least be meeting these industry benchmarks, you can always aim for more to outperform your competitors. Ideally, property management companies should be responding to every review they receive in both a personalized and timely manner. With buy-in from your local teams, it should be more comfortable for your property management company to maintain a strong online reputation.
Importance of a local social strategy
You might have guessed it, but a comprehensive local social strategy is needed as well if your property management company wants to execute localized marketing successfully. For instance, 72 percent of user engagement and 66 percent of brand-related impressions happen on Facebook local store pages and not on corporate pages. Three out of four brand engagements happen on local pages vs. national pages on Facebook, GMB, and other platforms, further emphasizing the need for a local social media strategy.
Your local property teams are a great resource for developing and implementing your local social media strategy. While corporate can be a great resource for sharing company updates and generic messages on holidays, local teams can have a more personalized impact by sharing content that includes:
- Special promotions that are running at a specific property location
- Upcoming virtual events
- Photos of your location or local team members
- Relevant location-specific news/updates
- Highlights of happy residents
When local property teams are drafting localized content, it’s crucial to adhere to brand voice and formatting. While the tone of voice can vary slightly for localized content, it should be pretty consistent with the style corporate uses. If someone is looking through your local social page, they shouldn’t recognize that the posts are coming from two different sources – corporate and local teams.
Now that you have the tools needed to build an effective local social media strategy with your local property teams’ help, you can focus on other aspects of your localized marketing strategy.
Other essential aspects of localized marketing
Many property management companies often feel overwhelmed when it comes to localized marketing and miss out on great tactics to boost your portfolio’s visibility and ultimately, leases. For example, chatbots, social listening, and ads are other great tactics your property management company should be optimizing to win in localized marketing, and all require local property team buy-in to run successfully.
With more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook Messenger and 64 percent of people prefer messaging over emails or phone calls, chatbots are a lifesaver for scaling localized marketing programs. Local management teams are likely currently working with decreased budgets and strained resources. However, prospective residents are still looking for information on properties digitally – at all times, and chatbots can help bridge that gap to provide those answers on specific channels.
For instance, chatbots should be included on your property’s website and on Facebook Messenger. If a prospective renter comes to your website or a local Facebook page to look up information about your leasing office hours or amenities for an individual property, your chatbot can step in and answer these questions. Instead of spending hours searching for information, the chatbot can pop-up instantly and answer the prospect’s questions within seconds.
Also, chatbots can highlight any specials or promotions or specific floor plans your particular property is marketing.
As multifamily marketers, it’s essential to know how not only your property management company is performing, but how about the competition? This is where social listening comes in. Each of your local property teams should utilize social listening to better understand the conversation around local properties while also getting insight into what residents say about competitors.
For instance, are residents excited about a new amenity your property released? Is there a specific person in the leasing office who isn’t as friendly as residents would like them to be? Through social listening, you can determine what is being said about your properties and make improvements or optimizations based on the conversations. While corporate can’t pay attention to each discussion around local properties, local property teams can make the time to gain these valuable insights.
While there’s been a shift to digital in today’s society as a result of COVID-19, it has become increasingly challenging to reach the right target audiences due to the digital clutter. This is where digital advertising comes in. If you’re trying to reach more residents and prospective residents online, your local property teams can test digital advertising on local search and social channels.
Although many property management companies are strained for extra marketing budget due to the pandemic, you may find that digital advertising has a positive return on investment. When developing a digital advertising plan at the local level, be sure to consider the following:
- Dynamic images and ad copy are essential
- Determine the ad objectives for your property locations
- Set up tracking and performance metrics
- Analyze the success of your ad campaigns
An effective digital advertising strategy can boost your online presence and improve your localized marketing efforts simultaneously.
Getting started building your localized marketing strategy
Now that the myth has been busted and you understand that buy-in from local property teams is a must to effectively execute localized marketing, it’s time to start building your winning localized marketing strategy. While it can seem overwhelming to manage localized marketing across corporate and local teams, SOCi is here to help.
SOCi is the central command for multifamily marketers and is the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. From local social to ratings and reviews, to smartbots, to social listening, and more, SOCi has you covered. For more information on how SOCi can take your localized marketing efforts to the next level, request a demo today!