Cold Calls vs. Video Blog - Lead Generation for Property Managers

During my 2+ year tenure at Appfolio, Inc, property management software company, I’ve done multiple property management educational workshops; and through multiple surveys with Property Managers found that most property management company owners spend less then 5% of their time on actively growing their businesses. This means that 95% of the time is spend on activity other than Sales and Business Development.

Within the 5% there are certain things people to do to drum up new business. The most common property management business development practices we see are:

  • Networking with Realtor Associations
  • Working with SEO company on Google Ads Campaign
  • Working with Online Lead Generation companies
  • Cold Calling
  • Placing advertisement into the local print media

The list is not extensive by any means; for most property management companies, new business comes in by way of Realtor, and existing customer, referrals. I’ve met few companies who employ full or part time business development staff. Depending on the company, the business development folks either network with Realtors or cold call – most do a bit of both.

I’ve done my share of cold calling, starting with the mortgage industry in 2005, through the last four years working for property management software companies. We all know that cold calling is one of the most difficult business development avenues, requiring relentless perseverance and iron nerves to deal with the constant rejections.

Even today, cold calling is a viable way to gain new business – it is a classic form of Push marketing. We still do it here at Fourandhalf to book meetings when we travel. But, the trick with cold calling is to find the right prospect, in the right mind set, at the right time.

So, how does Video Blogging compare to cold calling in terms of effectiveness?

First, let set some ground rules. The purpose of these Video Blogs isn’t to self promote – nobody cares about that – the purpose is to educate your customer. In other words, answer their questions in an online environment where the search engines do the qualifying and filtering for you. This is called Inbound Marketing, or Content Marketing.

Lets use the real life example. Michelle Horneff-Cohen is the owner of Property Management Systems in San Francisco. One of Michelle’s Video Blogs is titled “What Services do Property Management Companies provide in San Francisco.”

In this Video Blog, Michelle educates San Francisco landlords on the range and types of services property management companies provide in San Francisco. If you were to search: “San Francisco property management company services” in Google, her video shows up on top of the Page 2 search results.

At the time of this article, Michelle’s video has 96 views. It doesn’t sound like a lot, compared to some viral videos, but what kind of people will be educating themselves on property management services in San Francisco? Right, San Francisco landlords! By producing this simple video, Michelle has exposed her brand and her company to a good number of local landlords. Landlords that are actively researching property management companies.

How many cold calls would you need to make to contact 96 landlords who are considering to hire a Property Manager? Let’s do the math.

Let’s assume a very generous 1 in 25 contact rate. This means that if you were to purchase a high quality list of local investors and landlords and make 25 cold calls, there is chance you’ll find a qualified prospect to talk to. So how many calls do you need to make to engage 96 qualified prospects? 96 x 25 = 2400. How many quality cold calls can you make a day? From my experience, 50 a day is a good number, which gives us 48 days (2400/40 = 48) to reach 96 qualified landlords.

Bottom line, Michelle would need to hire a dedicated business development person who would spend over 9 weeks cold calling San Francisco landlords to engage 96 of them.

On the other hand, if a property manager were to work with a Content and Social Marketing company like Fourandhalf, the fractional time cost to produce this video and the copywritten blog post will be well under 1 hour and the fractional financial cost is under $100.

However, the Video Blog doesn’t need to be managed, trained, motivated, reprimanded and it won’t interrupt your customer dinners, unless they choose it to. In fact, the longer the video stays on YouTube, the better it would rank on search engines and the more qualified prospects it will attract to your brand.

What if you had 10 videos? 20? 50? What if you had as many copywritten blog articles backing up the videos?

This is the power of Content Marketing.

If you are interested in learning more about Fourandhalf and how we can help you grow your Property Management business using the Internet, please contact us.