Today at Fourandhalf we wanted to address one of the most important questions that we, as an advertising agency often get asked: when do I see results for my marketing efforts, and what can I do to about it?
As a company that handles internet marketing for property managers, we are aware that there are a number of crucial factors that our customers must consider when seeking the correct solution for their company, beginning with establishing a value for Management Contracts.
1) Internet Marketing Budget for a Property Management Company
How much are you willing to spend per Management Contract? First, we would like to put a value on a contract. On average, a monthly commission, times two and a half years of retention plus extra fees gives us a total value of about $4,000 per management contract.
During a property management marketing budget survey we conducted with our customers in 2013, we found that on average, a property management company spends $1,154 on marketing per month.
However, the acquisition cost of each new contract can vary. Some of the costs associated with popular methods include:
• Some property managers pay up to 25% realtor referral fees, and up to $750 per Management Contract
• Some companies spend $1000s with Google Ads, happily paying $200-$500 per Management Contract
In the property management industry, the budget rules don’t change much from company to company – the more you spend, the more you get – but if you are already an established company with past advertising, good word of mouth, and a domain with existing authority, you already have a momentum. This means any kind of digital marketing efforts would start rolling in a lot faster then a relatively new company. However, it’s important to realize that as a smaller company you still need to have an aggressive marketing budget if you want to win more business and compete with companies around you.
2) Property Management Marketing Strategy
There are two major ways to market on the internet, both related to search but using different techniques. The best and easiest way to understand the benefits of both is by viewing it on a graph:
a) Pay-Per-Lead – This includes investing in services such as Google Ads and other property management specific lead sources. With the pay-per-lead strategy, as the industry gets more competitive, the cost increases as more people compete to and bid for the same leads.
This means people are coming directly to you, compared to the pay-per-lead strategy where people go other companies’ sites and you buy the leads from them. This strategy will have initial higher costs as you are still building your content, but in time, will deliver good inbound marketing results and a dramatic reduction in per-lead costs.
The left column on the graph represents the money you would pay per contract while the column below represents the results a company would expect to see as time goes on. The main difference between the two strategies is the effect on the customer acquisition cost after each method matures.
It is possible to find a healthy combination between these two strategies; you would have to look at your budget and how much you’re willing to spend for results.
3) Business Owner/Manager Involvement in Marketing Efforts
This is an important factor in how quickly a company will succeed with digital marketing. In our experience, hands-on owners/managers show much better results compared to owners who are unresponsive and generally unavailable.
4) An Effective Sales Process
Missing out on available leads could be costly for your company because if you don’t get that lead, your competitor will. Getting to the lead in 10 minutes or less is crucial. Have a dedicated sales line and an email where you can be notified immediately.
a) Stellar follow up process – Just because somebody is not ready to talk to you now, it doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. Touch base at least three times with calls and emails.
b) Tracking tools – A simple spread sheet or other tracking systems will help you understand which parts of your marketing are and aren’t successful.
5) Reputation Management
Even after you’ve got a lead – and paid for it – you can still lose the opportunity if your property management company’s online reputation isn’t up to snuff. Why would a prospect call you instead of the 4-star management company down the street? Get your ratings up, and if you haven’t got the time for it, look into a reputation management solution for property managers. Strategies that work for restaurants won’t work for you go with a company that understands your business.
Finally and probably the most important thing to remember, is that doing nothing is not an option!
In property management, like every other business, you are either growing or shrinking. An average portfolio turnover can be as high as 30% per year. You have to keep renewing your client base, meaning you have to spend the money in the right places and invest in marketing to grow your property management business.
For any questions or further information you can contact us at Fourandhalf – Internet Marketing for Property Managers. Feel free to read more of our educational articles for property managers by visiting our blog.
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