How Much Do Successful Property Managers Spend on Marketing?

How Does Your Property Management Marketing Budget Compare to Your Peers?

Here at Fourandhalf, our ever-curious minds never stop exploring. During one of these mental safaris, we asked ourselves: how much do successful property management companies spend on marketing to capture new owner contracts?

In general, most marketers settle on 3%-7% of revenue to maintain their current levels of awareness and visibility. However, the property management industry is far from average, right? On the one hand, you have lower margins, but on the other, client retention rates are beyond the dreams of lawyers, dentists and most other professionals.

It is fair to say that anything from 1%-2% of annual revenue should offer a sustained, measured and fairly predictable growth rate, as our survey shows.

However, those who are looking to grow aggressively, and young companies with smaller portfolios (and smaller annual revenues), 2%-5% of revenue should be your target number.

A Word of Caution

No matter how aggressively you’d like to grow, be careful with how you invest your marketing dollars. Unfortunately, digital marketing is one of the few remaining industries where the salesman still knows a lot more than you do. Sinking a large portion of your marketing dollars into the wrong kind of campaign can cost you and your business thousands, and potentially tens of thousands, of dollars in opportunities, once major search engines blacklist your site.

We’ve heard plenty of horror stories, and have spent lots of time untangling lingering issues for our new clients. Luckily, there are reputable vendors who focus their efforts on helping property management companies grow their businesses through their online marketing. If you need advice on who to hire, please get in touch and we’d be happy to recommend best-in-class vendors, even if Fourandhalf is unable to help in the specific marketing channel you are trying to launch or improve.

Building a Marketing Plan for Your Property Management Business

In the property management industry, having an effective marketing plan is essential to attract and retain new clients. With real data from real companies, we’ve compiled a few different profiles based on the number of doors to help you estimate where you stand compared to your peers when it comes to your marketing plan.

Our survey of nearly 270 companies provides valuable insights into the industry and can assist you in making informed decisions. However, while reviewing the below data, please keep in mind that each market is going to be completely different. This data is from across the entire US, and may not line up perfectly with your experiences in your location.

Please use this data as a ballpark – if the cost of living in your city is significantly higher or lower than the US median, that will need to be reflected in your own property management marketing plan.

With this survey, we wanted to get an idea of how much money different sized companies were allocating to their marketing efforts and which marketing channels they were using, including blogs for content marketing, Google Ads, SEO (search engine optimization), and online reputation management.

Profile #1: 11-50 Doors

Median Marketing Expenses: $375
Percentage using blogs: 16%
Percentage using Google Ads: 33%
Percentage using SEO agency: 25%
Percentage using reputation management: 22%

The smallest company size we surveyed was between 11-50 doors. We found that the median spend on digital marketing was $375 a month. Of those surveyed, 16% had blogs as part of their marketing strategy, 33% were spending on Google Ads, 25% were using an agency for SEO and 22% had a reputation management strategy.

Profile #2: 51-100 Doors

Median Marketing Expenses: $837.50
Percentage using blogs: 29%
Percentage using Google Ads: 31%
Percentage using SEO agency: 24%
Percentage using reputation management: 17%

For companies with between 51-100 doors, we see a jump in marketing spend of 123%. Companies of this size are spending a median of $837.50/month on digital marketing. We also see a big increase in the percentage of companies using blogs as a marketing strategy.

Profile #3: 101-500

Median Marketing Expenses: $1200
Percentage using blogs: 36%
Percentage using Google Ads: 38%
Percentage using SEO agency: 31%
Percentage using reputation management: 38%

We saw another big increase in both spend and across the board on online marketing channels used for property management companies with between 101-500 doors. This makes sense as a budget of $1200 will allow for more diversity in a marketing strategy.

Profile #4: 501-1000

Median Marketing Expenses: $1250
Percentage using blogs: 50%
Percentage using Google Ads: 40%
Percentage using SEO agency: 55%
Percentage using reputation management: 55%

Although the budget spent on digital marketing only increases by 4% for companies with between 501-1000 doors, we see a big increase in all four marketing channels, but especially with SEO from an agency.

Profile #5: 1001+ Doors

Median Marketing Expenses: $2500
Percentage using blogs: 65%
Percentage using Google Ads: 45%
Percentage using SEO agency: 45%
Percentage using reputation management: 45%

Finally, the largest size company we surveyed spent a median of $2500/month on digital marketing. There’s also nearly a 50% chance that a company of this size will be using any one marketing channel.

Main Takeaways for Your Property Management Company

The bigger your company is, the more you should be spending on your property management marketing strategies! Remember, you’re not only growing your company but also making up for attrition.

Also, more budget means more opportunities for trying different marketing channels. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to your property management marketing plan to target property owners. Depending on your location, competition, time, and company size, play around with different marketing efforts to see what works best for your company.

Property Management Marketing Ideas

To help you get an even better idea about how to come up with an efficient property management marketing strategy for your business, we’ve pulled together three real life examples of both budget and services.

Client #1:

# of Doors: 101-500
State: Ohio
Budget: $1,039
Marketing Plan: Website & SEO, Content Marketing, Managed Reputation, Social media marketing

For this real life marketing plan, we’re taking a closer look at a medium sized property management business in Ohio. Their marketing budget is just slightly under the median, but they’re taking advantage of a wide variety of marketing channels.

In 2022:

  • generated 47 leads
  • 295k total website impressions
  • 16.4k total website clicks
  • 28 reviews

Client #2:

# of Doors: 101-500
State: Texas
Budget: $1591
Marketing Plan: Website & SEO, Content Marketing, Lead Nurturing, Digital Ads

The above plan is an example of a property management marketing plan that includes digital ads. Any sort of paid ads is going to cost quite a bit more than targeting local property owners organically, but will often generate leads faster and at a higher volume.

In 2022:

  • generated 113 leads
  • 91k total website impressions
  • 3.5k total website clicks

Client #3:

# of Doors: 51-100
State: Washington
Budget: $643
Marketing Plan: Website, Managed Reputation, Lead Nurturing

This company is spending a little less, but still able to have multiple different marketing channels within their plan. If your marketing budget is small, focusing on organic leads through SEO and content are good marketing strategies to invest in. Organic leads take longer to reach potential clients than paid marketing but they’re often less expensive and more evergreen.

In 2022:

  • generated 53 leads
  • 5.7k total website impressions
  • 2.3k total website clicks

Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Property Management Marketing Strategies

As a property manager, expanding your business through effective marketing strategies is key to long-term growth. Unfortunately, we can’t give you more personalized advice without knowing more about your business, but we hope you now have a better understanding of the property management marketing ideas available to you within your budget. Before you get started on your own plan, here are a few more things to keep in mind.

Start up costs

The above examples of real life budgets for property managers do not include start up costs. Services like a website from a marketing agency will often require a larger investment up front and then become a lower monthly fee. There’s can also be a start up fee associated with signing up for property management software, such as one you might use for a managed reputation campaign.

DIY Efforts vs. Hiring an Agency

You can reduce your monthly budget by doing things like generating online reviews, content, and social media on your own verses hiring someone else to do it for you. Of course, that means you’ll be spending more time on your marketing efforts.

Track Your Results

No matter what marketing channels you’re investing in, we highly recommend tracking your results. If you hire an agency, they will usually do this for you and keep you updated. If you’re managing your own marketing strategy, you’ll need to come up with your own system. Google sheets and calendar reminders can work just fine!

Mix it Up

As we’ve said before, different locations are going to produce different results. If you’ve implemented your property management marketing strategy, you’re tracking your campaigns, and you aren’t seeing results, then it may be time to try something new! It may be that you need to increase your budget, or you may need to try a completely new channel. Generally speaking, we recommend giving any one channel about six months of quality effort before moving on.

Final Thoughts on Property Management Marketing

Navigating the realm of property management marketing can be a complex endeavor, but it’s an essential aspect of your business growth. As these real-life examples demonstrate, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but with patience and persistence, your efforts can lead to substantial returns on your investments.

If you have any questions, or need more help, contact us today at Fourandhalf. We specialize in online marketing for property managers and we’d love to help your business grow.

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