How 5 Leading PMCs Use Local Search to Dominate the Market
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As a property management marketer, keeping up with the latest local search information can be challenging. From local listings to local websites to reputation management and more, there’s a lot to consider. Wouldn’t it be helpful to see which efforts leading property management companies (PMCs) are focusing on when it comes to local search?
That’s where this blog comes in! We’ll dive into data from our 2022 Local Visibility Ranking Report for Property Management Companies and analyze what property management leaders are doing today to crush their local search strategies.
It’s worth noting that the report studies how PMCs are performing in three critical areas of localized marketing — local search, local social, and online reputation management, but for this blog, we’ll be focusing on local search.
The report also dives into three categories of property management, multifamily, student housing, and senior living, which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this blog.
Top Property Management Companies in Local Search
The chart below demonstrates that PMCs have relatively strong reputations amongst residents and others, as expressed in the reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. PMCs are still working to establish robust social media engagements with their followers and find it challenging to perform well in search, though performance varies by subcategory.
As you can see from the chart, senior living facilities have the highest score in local search, followed by student housing and multifamily. Since senior living ranked highest in local search, let’s begin with the top performing senior living facilities.
Senior living facilities that scored highest in local search include
- Sunrise Senior Living
- Watermark Retirement Communities
- Atria Senior Living
- Senior Lifestyle Corporation
- Life Care Services, LLC
Next, let’s review the student housing companies ranked the best in local search. Two out of the top five have scores above or within the range of the top senior living facilities. The other three are slightly lower.
The student housing companies that performed best in local search include:
- Park7 Group
- Core Spaces
- CA Student Living
- The Collier Companies
- The Scion Group
Multifamily leaders have an average local search score 17 points lower than senior living and eight points below student housing. Focusing on local search can help differentiate your property from competitors and boost online visibility.
The top five leaders in local search for our multifamily category include:
- Avenue5 Residential
- AMC Management LLC
- Lincoln Property Company
- FPI Management
- RPM Living
These PMCs have put time and effort into their local search strategy, and their hard work has paid off.
When ranking the PMCs for local search, our report examined the following:
- Percentage of locations posting
- Post frequency per month
- New reviews per month
- Locations responding to reviews
- Review response time
- Engagement per post
- High-value post engagement
- Q&A answer rate
As a property management marketer, how would your PMC rank? Find out how visible your PMC is with SOCi’s Local Visibility Audit. Next, we’ll dive into which tactics top-performing PMCs leverage to differentiate their efforts from the pack.
Tips for Improving Your Local Search Efforts
1. Claim and Update All Local Listings
If your PMC hasn’t already claimed and updated local listings, that’s a great place to start. Currently, Google Business Profile (GBP) is utilized most by multi-location businesses regarding local listings, but Facebook and Yelp are also important. To keep up with competitors, your PMC should have local listings claimed and updated on all three platforms.
Once you have updated local listings with your correct name, address, and phone number, you can start thinking about additional information that your properties can include.
For instance, if you’re a senior living facility, the more information you include in your local listings, the better. Residents of senior living facilities often have someone helping them choose a location. If those researching can get images of your location, details about upcoming events, and answers to FAQs, all by looking at your local listing, it will help your property stand out.
The same goes for student housing. Often, a family member or guardian is helping students search for a place to live while at school.
As a multifamily marketer, details are also crucial for local listings. Can you include a CTA to schedule an apartment tour? Do you have the option to showcase your property’s amenities? What about cost visibility?
The more details you include in your local listings, the better! Potential residents prefer convenience, and if they can find everything they want to know about your property without picking up the phone, it’ll help your PMC when the official leasing decision time comes.
2. Consider Your Review Count and Average Star Rating
Review count and your local property’s average star rating are key components of a solid local search strategy. Eighty percent of consumers consider reviews necessary to their property search. Similarly, 70 percent of prospective residents decided to visit a property with a higher online reputation.
Your property’s online reputation can be the difference between a potential resident deciding to visit your property or a local competitor. When it comes to star ratings, our previously mentioned Local Visibility Ranking Report for PMCs found that the average star rating for senior living was 4.22, followed by multifamily at 3.62, and student housing closely trailing at 3.60 stars.
How do your PMC’s local properties compare? If your average star rating is falling behind, consider rethinking your reputation management efforts. Are you responding to all of the reviews your local properties receive? Are you making adjustments based on common complaints from current residents? These are questions to ask yourself.
While your average star rating is critical, residents are also interested in reviews. If a property has an average star rating of 5 stars but only three reviews, a potential resident may question why the review count is so low.
PMCs often hesitate to encourage more reviews because they’re concerned about the potential for negative reviews. Negative reviews happen! It’s all about how you address them.
For a more detailed look into how your PMC can boost its average star rating and gain more reviews, check out our Online Reputation Management Guide for PMCs.
3. Don’t Forget About the Google 3-Pack
Seventy-five percent of searchers never scroll past page one, so if your PMC isn’t visible online, you’re missing out on potential residents. More specifically, our 2022 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that businesses in the Google 3-Pack receive 126 percent more traffic and 93 percent more actions (calls, website clicks, and driving directions) than businesses ranked 4-10.
If you need a refresher, the Google 3-Pack, also referred to as the Local Pack, is a format for displaying top results for local business searches, as seen in the example below.
The 3-Pack sits alongside a map that shows where each business is located, along with basic information about each business. The 3-Pack’s position above organic search results makes this valuable real estate for any local property trying to reach potential residents.
In short, to rank in the Google 3-Pack, your PMC must:
- Maintain an active Google Business Profile (GBP)
- Build a responsive website
- Include reviews on your GBP
For more insight on what it takes for your PMC to rank in the Google 3-pack, our Knowledge Hub piece on the topic breaks it down.
Level-Up Your Local Search Efforts Today
Now that you understand what leading PMCs are doing to beat the competition, it’s time for your local properties to do the same. Re-evaluate your current local search efforts and determine where there is room for improvement.
With numerous property locations, it can be challenging to manage your local search efforts at scale, but SOCi is here to help!
For instance, SOCi Listings empowers you to manage your property listings at scale and effectively optimize your online presence and local search rankings. From syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits, and professional photos, SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to propel your listings to the top of search results.
SOCi Reviews is also here to support your PMC’s reputation management efforts. Through SOCi Reviews, users can view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements you’ve addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect.