Our passion here at Fourandhalf is helping Property Managers connect with the latest Property Management Technology. Our business, however, is Internet Marketing and Social Media for Property Managers. But it’s all about passion today, as Alex sat down with Robbie, President of FloridaRentalAds.com, to discuss the best ways to shop and evaluate Internet Listing Services (ILS) for Property Managers. Here are few tips and tricks that Robbie offered – watch the video for the full interview.
Look for a company that will give you great service in a timely manner. If you’re wondering how you judge a company’s customer service, just think about how long you have to wait for an issue to be resolved. Whether there is a technical problem such as vacancies not feeding or a question on the billing, you shouldn’t have to wait more than one day. If you have to wait longer than that, you might want to consider how you’re spending your money. Property managers need to have these issues resolved quickly and should expect their ILS company to be responsive.
Evaluating your cost per lead is important. A lot of single family property managers don’t consider this, but it helps you determine which ILS will offer you the best Return on Investment and the best value for your owners. The math is really simple: take your monthly payment and divide by the number of leads you receive per month (phone and email). For single family property managers, a good range is between $1-$3 per lead.
In 2012, there has been a huge increase in the number of property managers who are using video to show their properties – it makes sense, right? If a renter is looking at your listing, they can view the video, which cuts down on the number of calls and questions because everything is covered in the video. Your ILS should definitely have a video embedding option. For instance, FloridaRentalAds allows their customers to embed their video directly into their property listing.
You need an ILS that will work with whatever property management software you are using, or even an MLS service. A good ILS company will focus resources to setup seamless vacancy feeds with most software companies and MLS services. The ideal scenario is for the vacancies to flow from your software to your ILS partner with a push of a button.
Contract versus Agreement
Robbie feels this is a big deal. At FloridaRentalAds, he doesn’t require a long term contract. He feels if an ILS makes you sign a contract, it can be scary, because you won’t have the opportunity to cancel if you aren’t happy with what you’re getting. If I was a property manager, I wouldn’t want to be stuck paying a company I wasn’t happy with for a full 12 months. Look for a company that doesn’t require long term commitments without an ability to cancel.
So to recap Robbie’s points in choosing the best ILS partner for you: look at their customer service, the features their service provides, whether your property management software is compatible, and for the use of an agreement instead of a contract. Again, Robbie really stresses the importance of customer service. At Florida Rental Ads, he has customers who have been with the company for years and they like the service they get because they know if there is an issue, it will be handled within minutes. All emails and calls are responded to immediately. Any ILS with strong customer service priorities will be successful, which in turn makes the customer successful.
I hope this has helped you narrow your selection process and choose your ILS partners carefully. If you happen to be in Florida, please check out FloridaRentalAds.com and say “hello” to Robbie.
Fouandhalf is an Internet Marketing and Social Media company working exclusively with Property Managers; click here to view our service and price list.