Are you still passionate about property management? If you’re not, you may be driving away business.
Today on The Property Management Show, we talk to Steve Welty, owner of the hugely successful Good Life Property Management. There’s a lot to discuss, from how to become competitive in a new market to the importance of reputation to – barbers.
Alex can’t go back to his barber because his barber has lost passion for what he does. The barber is more interested in thinking about other things he’d rather be doing than trimming hair and beards for men. Alex isn’t willing to work with someone who is no longer passionate about the services he’s delivering – and your clients probably feel the same way.
Passion and the Three Pillars of Success
Passion is required in your business to achieve success. You have heard about the Three Pillars of Success before, and Alex recently did a NARPM webinar about these pillars:
- Know the purpose of your organization and what you’re driving towards.
- Know your numbers.
- Embrace a culture of experimentation and innovation.
Passion drives these things.
Steve understands passion, and the danger in losing it. He came to a place where he had to decide if he was going to go full steam ahead with his property management business or just find something else to do next. He decided he still had a lot to accomplish with property management, so he set a five-year goal: to get to 3,000 units with a 30 percent profit margin.
That goal has given his entire team purpose, and passion is a part of that.
Enthusiasm and passion fuel the purpose.
Pivot Towards Passion and Decide Where You’re Going
Entrepreneurs often take too little time zooming way out to decide what they’re doing and where they’re going. Even the most motivated business owners struggle to focus on their purpose in life and in their company. It’s an easy way to miss your purpose entirely. Don’t get caught up in the weeds of your business. If you do, your life will stand still and your batteries will die.
Think about who you surround yourself with. If you’re a micromanager and you don’t understand the basic principles of human psychology and delegation, you’re going to suffer and so is your business. Put together a brilliant executive team and feed them passion and motivation.
You can set the long term vision and show up. Your team can do the rest.
You have to build your business. You have to know where you’re taking your team. People want to be taken somewhere and if you don’t know where you’re going – fire yourself.
Steve recently had his team review him. He did a performance evaluation on himself, and he got a lot of great insights. One of his accountabilities is culture. His team said the culture had been struggling because of their workload and the fact that they hadn’t had a team outing for a while. If Steve had not asked for this review, he wouldn’t have known what he needed to do to re-ignite the passion in his team. Communication is critical.
Happiness starts with a competent leadership team you can rely on. Put people in place who are better than you in their specific disciplines.
Getting to the Goal: Operationalizing Sales and Marketing to Reach 3,000 Doors
The plan for reaching those 3,000 doors is this:
After studying great companies that have grown, Steve noticed one thing they had in common: killer SEO. Google property management or any related keyword, and those companies pop up every time. So, Steve educated himself on what that meant and how to achieve results. He hired a writer to focus on blogging. The number of website visitors went up and so did their ranking on Google. He worked with Fourandhalf to build a good marketing foundation.
With SEO comes conversion. Once you have that visitor to your website, you want to be irresistible to that potential customer. You want to understand your perfect client so you know how to appeal to that client. Great content brings you website traffic, which brings you potential conversions. This is the next phase after SEO mastery, and between the two is reputation.
Steve built his company on Yelp. He understands reputation and its importance.
Yelp is a missed opportunity for a lot of property managers, and Steve has some good advice about what he’s learned when it comes to gathering reviews:
- It’s important to have so many positive reviews and be so in the game that a few negative reviews don’t matter.
- Customer reviews are only going to become more relevant.
- Set up a culture of asking for reviews. Talk about asking for reviews in every team meeting.
- Appoint a Yelp Czar on your team. That person is responsible for increasing the number of reviews your company receives.
- Try to convert the negative reviews. They are usually tenants, and find out what you can do. Maybe it’s someone who didn’t get the apartment they applied for. Refunding their application fee can turn a one-star review into something better.
- Don’t delegate one-star review responses.
- The number of reviews you have is key – sometimes more important than your rating.
Keep an eye on reputation. Incentivize your team to get these reviews coming in, and your company will look good.
Expanding into New Markets: Landing Pages and Microsites
Good Life Property Management is working on expanding from San Diego into the Escondido market. Steve sees his company as educators, so they’re doing all the blogs and videos and setting up landlord seminars and doing Facebook ads.
What else can be done to dig into a market that’s 30 miles away?
AdWords won’t help with SEO in this case because no one is really searching for property management in Escondido. The best way to use the power of SEO and conversion is through a microsite. Steve can create a lot of content and include a lot of links from his main website, which already has a lot of authority with Google.
If you find yourself in the same situation, consider using a microsite for a new location. A landing page might work equally as well, depending on your territory and the strength of your mother ship, or your main property management website. Check all the boxes. Put some content on there that’s more than 500 words per page. Make sure you have substance. Create a subdomain. These things will help.
Long form content creates magic, according to Steve, who has effectively done it. Writing something with 2,000 words or more allows you to do a deep dive and reaches important audiences. It also makes Google pay attention. Consider writing long articles or white papers. Short form content is always going to be necessary because you want to show consistency and quality. Long form content, however, can really help you gain significant SEO over time.
If you want to take over and play in a new area, build an engaging page on your website. From there, convert it into a microsite and then include those valuable links from your main site.
Linking higher authority sites to your new page is where it’s at.
When you’re expanding into a new, smaller market, your plan is this:
- Build your main site and make sure that website really ranks.
- Once it has authority, build pages and microsites that link.
Giving What you want to Get
Social media also has a lot of promise. Steve has effectively used Facebook Live videos to reach an audience and share his expertise. It’s like throwing up billboards in front of people who will find the content relevant. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t take much time. He recently did a Facebook Live video talking about the advantages of being a landlord. It can be intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but once you start to roll, it becomes comfortable and easy.
Steve believes in educating and sharing knowledge, and if you read Deepak Chopra’s book “Seven Spiritual Laws” you’ll get to understand the Law of Giving. Whatever you want – you have to give. So, if you want knowledge, you have to give knowledge to the world. Apply this to your business. If you want a great review on Yelp, leave great reviews for other services you use. If you want more education, educate people on the things you know.
Hear more from Steve on his Good Life Property Management podcast, and contact Alex at Fourandhalf if you have any questions or thoughts about what they discussed today.