Property Management Lead Generation

Many property managers struggle with figuring out how to get more property management clients. This is because getting more property management leads often takes more than just increasing your advertising budget.

Fret not – if you can understand how your reputation, budget, strategy, team and sales process work together, you can successfully reach your lead generation goals.

Strategies for Property Managers to Generate Rental Owner Leads

Large blue house with red door

How you generate leads will vary from company to company. More established property management companies will have a larger budget than property managers just starting out. No matter the category you fall into, we a few simple ways for you to generate leads.

  • One of the best ways to get more leads is by managing your online reputation.
  • Create a marketing budget based on the value of your management contracts, your growth goals, and the competitiveness of your area.
  • Build a holistic marketing strategy using both inbound and outbound channels.
  • Outline a system to ask for referrals.
  • Establish a thorough and efficient sales and nurturing procedure.

1. Property owners won’t choose you as their property manager if you have a bad online reputation.

A green happy face, yellow neutral face and red sad face drawn on a chalk board, representative of managing property manager's online reputationsBefore you even start to think about property management marketing – how’s your online reputation?

Spending big bucks on marketing won’t mean a thing if you have a terrible rating. Even after you’ve gotten a lead – and paid for it – you can still lose the lead if your property management company’s online reputation isn’t up to snuff.

When faced with the choice between a property manager with good reviews and a property manager with poor reviews, who are they going to choose? Why would a prospect call you instead of the 4-star management company down the street?

That’s why our first tip for property managers who want to generate more leads is to get a good reputation management solution in place. You could be requesting, reviewing, and responding to reviews internally, or you might outsource your reputation management to a company or software that can keep an eye on that for you. With a solid online reputation in place, now you can start looking at your marketing budget.

2. Analyze and set a realistic your marketing budget.

How much you spend on marketing depends on a number of factors, including the value of your management contracts, what type of market you’re in, how many other property managers are in your area, the size of your company, and your growth goals.

But how much should my budget be?

Because of this high variability, there isn’t one number or a single formula that will work for all property management companies — however, it can be useful to think about how much to spend on property management marketing with this framework:

For every $3 you want to earn, you can expect to spend $1.

Let’s say you want to grow by 36 doors in a year, and you make $500 in profit per door. That means you’re hoping to make $18,000 in profitable growth.

36 doors x $500 profit per door = $18,000 in profitable growth

If we apply the 1:3 ratio to this number, you should be looking at spending at least $6,000 over the course of the year on sales and marketing.

Once you’ve got your number, start to break down how that amount will be spent. How much will you dedicate to sales, to property owners, and to tenant marketing?

These numbers will be determined by your specific growth goals and by how competitive your market is. We gave a breakdown you can use as a guideline for determining how your owner marketing dollars are spent in this blog.

In general, the more you spend on marketing, the better your property management lead generation results will be. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the leads you’re getting are actually quality leads — and this is where marketing strategy comes in.

How do I know if it’s working?

Calculate The Lifetime Value of a Customer

One last thing to keep in mind is your customer lifetime value, or CLV. To get your CLV, calculate your average annual contract value (ACV) and multiply it by the average number of months your owners stay with you.

All property managers should know their CLV and use it as a guideline to make sure that their lead generation efforts are actually working for them. If you’re spending less per lead than your CLV, you’re probably on the right track.

You should now have a basic idea of how much to spend to generate more leads. In general, the more a property manager spends on marketing, the better the lead generation results will be. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the leads you’re getting are actually quality, qualified leads — and this is where marketing strategy comes in.

3. Ready to generate property management leads? Build a holistic marketing strategy.

It’s not enough to throw money at your marketing and hope some leads come in that stick. Being strategic about how and where you spend your budget, and what your specific goals are, will help you get the most qualified and best leads for your buck. For property managers, the best place to start is building both inbound and outbound strategies.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation is an effective way to bring new customers directly to your business! It means creating content that addresses your customers’ pain points, and they’re finding you through online search results. Below are just a few ideas to help get your property management company get started with inbound marketing.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential online marketing tool for property managers looking to boost their visibility and reach more owner and real estate investor leads. SEO helps property managers show up in the search results when prospective clients are searching for services related to property management.

Flat lay of many work items on desk including laptop, coffee, ipad, glasses, pencils, phone, and stickie notes.

Spending time optimizing content such as website copy, blogs, and other online materials with relevant keywords, enables your business to appear higher in the search results of major search engines like Google and Bing.

With a strong SEO strategy in place, property managers will be able to reach more potential tenants or owners who may not have been aware of them previously.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective tool for property managers looking to generate leads through inbound efforts. Content marketing involves creating high-quality content that resonates with potential customers and solves their problems.

This content can include blog posts, videos, webinars, and other forms of multimedia. Through content marketing, property managers are able to establish themselves as a trustworthy source.

Youtube Videos

Similarly, YouTube videos are an effective form of inbound marketing for property managers. By creating high-quality, educational content and hosting it on YouTube, property managers can reach a wide audience of potential customers.

With the ability to show off properties and amenities, property management services in action, or even provide tips and tutorials for something related to property management, YouTube allows for a much wider range of topics. Don’t forget to add how to contact your business in the video!

Two people sitting at a table, having a conversation with mics and headphones on

Get Interviewed on a Podcast

This might not be an option for every property management company, but being invited to a popular podcast in your audience could be a huge advantage. The podcast could be about many different things including general property management services, property investors, or being a new business owner.

Being an active participant will immediately increase the trust that the audience will place in your ability; the show will demonstrate your knowledge in property management.

Social Media

There are many ways to advertise your business on social media, some of them paid and some of them organic. For the organic methods, try posting local news to your LinkedIn profile or spending time as an active member engaging in facebook groups.

Inbound lead generation is all about establishing trust and expertise. This strategy may have initial higher costs as you are building your content, but over time will deliver results with a dramatic reduction in per lead costs.

Hands are typing on laptop with social media icons swirling around them

Outbound Lead Generation

Outbound lead generation is a form of marketing that focuses on actively reaching out to potential customers. It involves using strategies such as paid advertising, email marketing, cold calling, and many other traditional forms of marketing to reach out directly to the target customers.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

With PPC advertising you can target potential customers who are searching for property management services in your area by bidding on specific keywords. For example, if you bid on the keyword “San Fransisco Property Management” your ad might appear in the search results for people looking for a property management company in that location. Different platforms for PPC advertising include Google Ads, Bings Ads, and Facebook Ads.

Email Marketing

Technically email marketing can qualify as either inbound or outbound marketing, just depending on who you’re targeting with your emails. Either way, it’s an effective communication tool to engage with current and potential customers.

Hand taking mail out of a classic white mailbox

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail is great for building brand awareness and allows you to target specific neighborhoods, demographic groups, and property types that you want to manage. A direct mail piece can be personalized and designed to stand out, making it more likely to be noticed and remembered by potential leads. In addition, a physical piece of mail can be more tangible and create a lasting impression, which can increase the likelihood of a response.

Cold Calling

Although it can be intimidating for some people, cold calling is an effective outbound marketing strategy for lead generation. It offers real-time feedback, a targeted approach, cost-effectiveness, increase conversion rates, and opportunities for upselling additional services. However, it can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring skilled staff and adherence to ethical and effective practices.

Outbound strategies are about getting in front of high quality leads in your local market that are ready to sign with you. The cost of outbound advertising increases as more people compete with and bid for the same leads.

Okay but seriously, is inbound or outbound better for property management companies?

Below, we have a graph representing inbound and outbound lead generation efforts over time. The y-axis on the graph represents the money you would pay per contract while the x-axis 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 client acquisition cost after each method matures.

The key here is to find a balance between the two. For owners that are ready to sign, you need to have marketing material that’s landing right in front of them, but for owners who aren’t ready to sign yet, you need to be establishing your company as an authority in your local area. Attention paid to both will ensure you’re reaching the best property management leads. To determine where the holes in your marketing strategy might be, start with our free marketing diagnostic.

4. Create a system for generating referrals

Referrals are a great way for your property management company to generate leads. Not only do referrals come with built-in trust, but they also help you get in front of potential clients who may be in need of your services, but may not even know they need a property manager or know how to search for your company online. Referrals can come from satisfied customers or even local businesses that have the same target audience as you.

Client Referrals

One of the best ways to generate referrals is through satisfied customers. If you have clients that are happy with your services, they’ll be more than willing to spread the word and refer their friends, family, or other new clients to you. Make sure to show them how much you appreciate them by offering incentives for successful referrals. It never hurts to ask!

Real estate agent referrals

Creating a positive partnership with local real estate agents is a great way to generate leads for your property management company. Working with local professionals such as real estate agents means that you can reach their audience, as well as your own. Plus, referrals will help you get in front of potential clients who may not even know that they need a property manager. Referrals from real estate agents come with built-in trust, so potential clients are more likely to convert. Not only do you benefit from their trust and referrals, they will benefit from yours, too! By joining forces you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that will drive more leads to both of your businesses.

Friends & Family Referrals

Finally, make it easy your friends and family support your property management company. Your friends and family can provide you with built-in trust, so make sure that they have your contact info, that they know about your services, and who your ideal owners are. You never know who knows property owners or a real estate investor that that is in need of your services.

Appreciating Referrals

No matter how you get referrals for your property management company, it’s important to show your appreciation for referrals. You can do this by creating referral incentives such as discounts, a realtor referral fee, or gift cards. This will help reinforce the positive message about your business and encourage more people to refer your services to their friends and family.

Referrals are a cheap and easy way to get more qualified leads. It helps to have a formal system for both asking for referrals as well as giving an incentive.

man sitting in chair with back to camera, surrounded by up arrows, with "lead generation" in block letters

5. Establish an Effective Sales Process To Capture More High Quality Leads

None of your marketing efforts or money put into it will mean anything if you don’t have an effective sales process. Someone from your property management company should be contacting any qualified leads you get in 10 minutes or less. After that, you need both a consistent follow-up process and a lead tracking process.

Follow-up at least 3 times after making initial contact. Just because they’re not ready to talk to you now, doesn’t mean they won’t be later.

You’ll also want to create a tracking system for all of your leads, so that none of them fall through the cracks. It could be as simple as a spreadsheet, or a more in-depth tool like LeadSimple.

We’ve got a great in-depth podcast episode on identifying, analyzing and fixing leaky sales funnels. This is a great place to start looking at your own sales process and collecting ideas for improvement.

top view of a table covered in papers and laptops with a team of people at work around it

Bonus – Get the Whole Team Involved in Marketing

In our experience, hands-on owners and managers show much better marketing results compared to owners who are unresponsive and generally unavailable. This doesn’t mean you need to be micromanaging your marketing process, but you should understand each part of your marketing strategy, what the goal is, and whether you are meeting that goal or not.

Our suggestion is to set aside time regularly that you and your team meet to look at your marketing. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours, but meeting regularly will ensure that you’re on track with your marketing goals, and if you’re not, you can analyze the data to determine why that might be, and course correct if necessary. In the end, companies that make marketing a regular part of your routine will save you time and money.

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Better Marketing = More Property Management Leads

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this lead generation to-do list, relax. You’re not going to transform your lead generation, online marketing, or search engine optimization in a day. It takes time and strategy and planning to create change.

The good news is, you CAN increase your property management lead generation! Improving your reputation, your marketing and your business development is entirely within your control, and there are actionable steps you can take as soon as today.

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. It’s important to keep renewing your client base, spending money in the right places and investing in marketing to grow your property management business.

First step? Reach out to Fourandhalf Marketing Agency for Property Managers. Tell us your growth goals and we’ll help you get closer to achieving them.

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