Today we are talking about an issue that many of you have probably thought about and that is the expense involved in marketing, specifically property management marketing. At Fourandhalf we are always thinking about ways to keep marketing costs under control and it’s something we have thought about even before we started the company. Back in 2011, when I was at Appfolio helping property managers get software installed, the marketing costs that people talked about seemed really expensive to me and it seemed like it was too costly for a lot of property managers to do any kind of owner marketing. Fourandhalf was created with the idea that maybe we could do better.
Outsourcing Owner Marketing
It didn’t take us long to realize the template approach does not work for marketing. There is no single template that fits every business. There are some things that can be done which are specific to property management, but there is no single formula that everyone can follow.
Think about your time and talent. A lot of property management companies have accounting people who focus on accounting and leasing experts who concentrate on leasing. However most companies don’t have anyone on staff who is completely dedicated to owner marketing. Outsourcing that marketing is a great idea, and you have to balance the cost against its effectiveness. If you invest $10,000 a year in marketing and you get $200,000 back in contract value revenue, that sounds like a great value proposition. However, many times what happens with your marketing investment is that it goes nowhere.
Marketing and Constituencies
The problem with a lot of marketing efforts is that very few companies out there understand your business. They don’t understand the vast constituency differential of property managers. You have tenants and owners and investors and you need to be very specific in reaching each group of constituents. For a marketing plan to work, you have to know how to speak to them and how to help them solve their problems. A lot of times, we see property management companies fail with one marketing company and then have a really bad taste in their mouth when it comes to any kind of marketing. That’s the result of working with a marketing company that does not understand your property management business model.
It’s hard to find a company with expertise in both property management and marketing. That’s where Fourandhalf comes in. You’ll pay a fraction of the marketing costs you might pay elsewhere and you’ll have talented people working on your behalf who bleed property management every day. We understand how property management works and we employ the best systems and practices to help property managers create a digital identity on the Internet. The digital marketing we specialize in provides a great return on your investment.
If you are looking for a marketing company and you have a budget in mind, we recommend that you shop around. Just make sure the company you chose understands your business. Quiz them and ask them questions. Don’t choose a marketing company based on price or perceived value. You want to work with someone who understands property management and has performed successfully with other property management companies that you can reference and talk to.
Working with a marketing company that understands your business will better position you for success. If you have any questions, please contact us at Fourandhalf and we’d be glad to tell you more.