Today we are going to borrow a lesson from the ‘Art of War’ by Sun Tzu to help your property management business thrive if you service a competitive area. Say your property management company is in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Denver, San Antonio, or any of the other big metro areas. In a perfect world, it would be best for your company to have a physical presence in the center of one of those big metro areas that you service. However, time and effort can be better spent for your business by focusing on the smaller markets surrounding those major cities.
Having big audacious goals can deplete resources by giving you little to no results in return – not getting enough leads, not making as much traction on Google’s ranking, and not getting the visibility you desire, can leave your property management company in trouble.
No matter how hard you work, you may just be like Sisyphus, pushing his boulder up the hill. In our blog for today, we’ll explain the reasons why you may not rank as high, and give you a strategy to build your business without focusing all your energy on the overwhelming task of getting your website in front of thousands and competing with hundreds.
Ladies and gentlemen, we introduce the Divide and Conquer strategy.
Major Metro Areas and Property Management Competition
Let’s use Sacramento as an example. There are 2,400 monthly online searches for Sacramento property management. That’s great, but there are about 150 property management companies competing for the first page of Google, the top 10 positions. It’s tough to get listed, and usually the top-ranking companies are businesses that manage over a thousand units, or companies that have been in business for 20 or 30 years. These companies have lots of reviews and activity on their websites. On the surface, the amount of searches is a great sign, but the multitude of companies in that specific service area is an uphill battle for a new company – one not worth fighting.
Google’s Ranking Formula
Google changes their ranking formula all the time, but two things are consistently important in their algorithm:
a) Website Traffic – the number of people on your website.
b) Longevity – how long your website has been online.
If you are smaller, or new, or a boutique property management company, you can’t help how you’ll rank with those two specific factors. You won’t have thousands of people coming to pay rent on your website as you probably aren’t one of those companies who have thousands of doors in their portfolio.
Using the Divide and Conquer Strategy
The Divide and Conquer strategy is pretty simple. Find a smaller town or a less competitive town in your area, and focus your energies on that. For example, Elk Grove, which is near Sacramento, has 260 monthly searches for property management and there are only 20 companies competing for those spots.
So you may be wondering:
“Okay that is great, but would the next steps be to actually make this work for my company?”
Today, we are going to outline each way and you may just be surprised out how profitable of a move this is for your business.
To make this work, as it has for other property management companies, is that you will have to put all your resources into executing and scaling these techniques.
Below are the five ways to implement the Divide and Conquer strategy. This all doesn’t have to be done overnight, but it is important to stay focused on the plan and area to which you find the opportunity. Be nimble and you will out-compete larger companies that are trying to show up simultaneously in both smaller towns and large towns.
The 5 Ways to Use the Divide and Conquer Strategy
- Create city-specific blog content on your website – This does not mean you should describe the flowers and the gardens in the area. Talk about investment property how-to tips in your town. Make it property management specific and teach your trade to local people.
- Your website content must reflect your strategy – Elk Grove property management needs to be shown everywhere for your company. Have it on your Facebook, Google business page, Yelp page, etc. Everything must say Elk Grove property management so Google gets the signal that you do property management in Elk Grove.
- Reputation and reviews are critical – Focus your work on asking happy customers to speak on your behalf. If they don’t use the name of your chosen city in their review, leave them a response thanking them, and mention the town.
- Use paid ads and Google Ads, specifically in Elk Grove. This won’t be as expensive as advertising in Sacramento, and it will help you move forward. Direct mail is also an option, although it won’t help your ranking.
- Finally, get out of your office and do a bit of networking. Connect with people. Look for a rental housing association in Elk Grove, and become a member. Join the Chamber of Commerce and the local Toastmasters. Be known as an expert in the area of property management and investment properties. People like that are hard to find, and people will want to work with you. All of that networking will pay big dividends, especially if those organizations add a link to your website. That will help you rank faster in Elk Grove property management. Become a leader in Elk Grove, and with those 260 searches, you will be able to command half of them.
Your Divide and Conquer strategy can be implemented again with the next local town you choose. You make money, grow your business, and compete effectively in a smaller area that the big guys aren’t focusing on.
If you’d like to check out some examples of how some property management companies we work with have done this successfully, check out the following:
- Estey Real Estate in Benicia, CA. Eric Hoglund and Candi Swanson have done an amazing job of becoming part of that community.
- T.J. Guyer in Chehalis, Washington. Fred Lofgren dominates the small Washington market because his is the only company it makes sense to hire.
- Navy to Navy in Jacksonville, Florida. Mario Gonzales does some amazing things and his angle is actually not location-based. Instead, he specializes in military rentals; his mission is to help veterans get to the right properties. His strategy follows a clear and concise goal.
Divide and Conquer needs to be your next move as a small business. If you would like to discuss other property management marketing ideas or if you have any questions about this blog, please contact us at Fourandhalf – Property Management Marketing.