Is your property management company on autopilot when it comes to advertising in the Yellow Pages? A long term client of ours recently took a look at what he was spending on Yellow Pages advertising. When he saw the monthly cost that he was paying, it blew him away. He was spending a lot of money and he had no idea how many leads he was getting. He suspected it was none. When we asked why he was still giving them money, he said the reason he was still spending so much on advertising in the Yellow Pages was that he was just “on autopilot.”

A few years ago, advertising in the Yellow Pages was essential for property managers – or any other local business. It’s not the same now.  If you don’t have hard data proving you’re getting a return on your investment, you need to reconsider that expense. Make sure you are tracking the origin of every lead and can tell if enough of them come from the Yellow Pages. Otherwise, we’d be skeptical that it’s bringing in enough business to justify the high cost, for the following reasons:

How Do People Find You on the Yellow Pages?

80 percent of people use the Internet first when searching for local businesses. So, you can’t rely on the paper copy of your Yellow Pages to give you much. (You may be one of the people that feel it’s worthwhile to reach that 20 percent of the population that’s not searching online. If you are, buy an inexpensive ad that just lists your name, website and phone number.)

For the 80 percent of people searching online, they’ll start by using a search engine. This might lead you to believe that it makes sense to purchase space on That will only work in one of two ways:  if the link to the property management category in the Yellow Pages ranks high in Google search, or if people are typing “Yellow Pages” into the search engine, going to the Yellow Pages site, and then looking for property management companies. Let’s take a look at each case:

How the Yellow Pages Site Ranks on Google

We wanted to know if the search results on are really worth the cost, so we looked at a few large and small markets to see what we would find. is an established domain, so it should rank well, right?

However, when we searched for “atlanta property management,” the Yellow Pages link was on the tenth page.

When we searched for “santa rosa property management,” it was on the fourth page – but those results were for Santa Rosa Beach, Florida – not California, where we are located!

Let’s just say it: No one is going to click through four to ten pages of search engine results just to click on a link to a page, and scroll through even more listings to maybe find your “enhanced ad.”  

The Ratio of Searches On Property Management and Yellow Pages

OK, then, what if people type “Yellow Pages” into a search engine, and then go to the site and start looking for a property manager? The keyword “yellow pages” is searched about 1.8 million times per month on Google. “Property Management”  is searched about 90,000 times.

Now, 1.8 million sounds like a lot, but 90 grand is 5% of that number. There’s no way that 5% of the people going to the Yellow Pages are there to search for property management. Property Management companies make up less than 1% of the local businesses advertised there. Way less. Let’s face it: People who are going to the Yellow Pages are generally looking for doctors, lawyers, restaurants, pizza delivery and those types of businesses. That number also includes anyone who is looking to contact the Yellow Pages directly – who knows, maybe to cancel their ads.

AND, keep in mind that the 90,000 number is based on the keywords “Property Management” only. The 90,000 searches/month did NOT include: “Property Manager” (9,900), “Rental Management” (1,900), “Real Estate Management” (5,400) or all the other terms that people use to look for property management services online.  Your money is better spent trying to rank directly for property management related terms.

Eliminate Friction in Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

Adding an extra link that owners have to click on adds “friction” to the buying process. At Fourandhalf, we are focused on removing friction from the searching and buying process. We think you should make it easy for potential clients to find you, get in touch and sign that contract. Adding extra clicks just makes it more likely that your prospects will give up and go elsewhere.

We recommend that you take your Yellow Pages advertising off of autopilot. Put that money somewhere else in your marketing budget. Look for a place that you know you’ll get a return. You want to be able to see the clicks you’re getting, the traffic you’re receiving, and the contracts you’re signing with your marketing dollars. Hey, Google Ads may be expensive, but at least it’s getting you on the first page of search results. Giving money to the Yellow Pages isn’t.

A final thought: Yellow Pages is charging a lot of money every month just to put some words on a site they own. Where is that money going?

We know someone who sells Yellow Pages ads for a living.

He drives a Mercedes.

Do you drive a Mercedes?

Contact us at Fourandhalf, and we’ll show you where you can better spend that Yellow Pages money.

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