Today at Fourandhalf we are talking about using Google Adwords to grow your property management business. Specifically, we want to show you how to get more property management contracts through Pay-per-click. Google Adwords is also known as Google Pay-per-Click, and the way it works is, you bid on specific keywords that you feel will by typed in by the client you’re trying to attract. For example, if you are in Las Vegas and you have a property management business, “Las Vegas property management” would be one of the search terms landlords and investment property owners might use in searches. You want those searches to bring up links to your website and your landing page.
Cost vs. Results
Google Adwords has become more expensive over time, thanks to increased competition. Our experience managing multiple property management campaigns at Fourandhalf has shown us that the average client acquisition cost, which is how much you need to spend before you get one property under management, is between $200 and $500.
On average, with a mature campaign, you can expect to spend about $300 per client with Google Adwords (This isn’t a cost-per-lead, rather, an average cost per new management contract for one property).
We put the average property management contract value at around $3,100. Meaning, we expect you’ll have that client for two to three years and between the management fees and lease-up fees, it places each contract you have at a $3,100 value. So here’s the big question: If a new management contract is worth about $3,100, would you spend $300 to acquire that $3,100 client? Financially and mathematically, the numbers make sense. You can spend about $300 with Google and get a new property. Remember these are averages. Sometimes, your $300 will get you a client with 10 properties and sometimes you’ll find yourself with a few leads that just aren’t right for you.
It is also important to mention variances like: local competition, landing page quality and internal sales process.
Click-Through Ratio and Quality Leads
The “click-through ratio” or CTR essentially measures the effectiveness of your ad. Google uses this ratio to determine the quality of your ad, how often to show it, when to show it, and the cost per click. The number of impressions (the number of times Google shows the ad) is measured against the number of times people click on it. In other words the more people that click on your ad when it’s shown, the cheaper each click is. If too few people click on the ad, Google raises your price per click for that ad.
Although the click-through ratio is important for the overall cost of the campaign, the quality of the leads you get knocking on your door is more important, right?
Unfortunately, many SEO companies who manage Google Adwords campaigns do not understand the property management industry, and therefore, the difference between, for instance, an owner prospect and a tenant prospect. In addition, even many of the self-managed campaigns we’ve taken over are also guilty of the same thing.
For example, searches for “Las Vegas rental homes,” will likely be from a tenant looking for a place to live. But “Las Vegas rental management” is more likely to be an owner looking for help managing their property.
For a property management Adwords campaign to be effective, you need to monitor your campaign, and consistently weed out keywords that favor tenant-based searches and focus on landlord searches.
So, even if your SEO company tells you that your Adwords campaign is a wild success, that won’t guarantee increased sales, unless they had your target clients clearly in mind.
Tips and Tricks
- Take advantage of the Google 800 number. You get it for free and the number is associated with your ad. This helps you track not only the number of clicks you get, but the number of phone calls as well.
- Promote a special offer. Attract clients with the first month free or half off the lease-up fee or a free consultation. This special will help you track results. When people call you on the phone and they mention the special offer, you can then trace the results to a Google Adwords campaign
- Use a Landing page. The most common mistake we see property managers make in Adwords campaigns is not having a great landing page. When you advertise, you have to take the people clicking on your ad and bring them to a clear page that tells them what you do, has a video which is very effective, has a contact form, and a clearly displayed phone number.
Who’s on Top?
Google determines where your ad is placed based on metrics such as click-through rates and relevancy of the ad to the keywords. If you are bidding on the keywords “Las Vegas property management,” you want to say those words in the ad itself. Mostly, Google will pay attention to longevity. If your campaign runs consistently, you will continue to show up on top.
At Fourandhalf, we recommend using Google Adwords strategically and sparingly. Think of it as an adrenaline shot. If you aren’t meeting your sales goal this month, turn on the Google Adwords campaign and spend a few hundred dollars to get a couple of new leads and management contracts. However, we also have customers who spend thousands every month and book a lot of business through Google Adwords. The level of comfort and investment is up to you, but you can educate yourself by reading through our property management marketing budget survey.
If you have any questions, you can always contact us at Fourandhalf.