Property Manager’s Guide to Marketing to Owners
You might not think to ask your accountant for marketing advice — but we’re not your average number crunchers. As the fastest-growing property accounting startup in the country, we’ve learned what it takes to successfully market your services in the property world.
The wild thing about Proper is that yes, we do property management bookkeeping and accounting, but we’re also growth specialists. We handle the books while keeping an eye out for ways to save our property managers money, improve their processes, and raise their door count.
So, we’re pulling back the curtain on everything we’ve learned! If you’re looking for a crash course in digital marketing strategies for property managers, you’ve come to the right place.
First, get a clear picture of your current marketing strategies and how they are (or aren’t) working.
How much are you spending? What is your cost per lead? Are you paying for a marketing service? Are they knowledgable or are you just spending money? Once you know where you’re starting, you can begin to establish some goals for the future.
Next, figure out your budget and choose one platform to start testing.
Testing and iterating is one of the most important mindsets to have with digital marketing. You need to keep track of how much you’re spending and what kind of returns you’re getting so that you know when something isn’t working. Then, you can adjust your strategy (changing platforms, or messaging) accordingly.
When it comes to digital marketing platforms for property management, you have a number of options, but we’ve seen the highest returns on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.
After you figure out your budget and choose one platform to start, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Top 3 Tips for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google
- Set clear goals as to what you expect to get out of that channel so you can measure if you failed or succeeded. These are great markers:
- Number of leads
- Cost per lead
- Click-thru rate
- Let a campaign run for two weeks before you start tweaking it.
- No matter how great your ad is, it’s not going to work right away every time. See how it performs after two weeks, and then tweak it based on the data. Marketing is an iterative process that gets better over time.
- Focus on targeting.
- Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn all offer extensive targeting and you should take advantage of these options as best you can. You can target folks by behaviors, interests, job titles, locations, income, and more. One way to work with targeting, is to think about the profile of your ideal customer, and select filters based on that. What do you think their interests might be? Their age? What locations are you targeting? Just like updating the ad itself, changing your target audience is also something you should review and update regularly.
Facebook is great because pretty much everyone is on it – and often! Plus, the demographic of users tend to be a bit older, which is likely where your owners fit in.
It’s also a solid starting point for testing your marketing efforts because it’s a lower-cost platform than LinkedIn. With this in mind, you can test a campaign on Facebook, and then if it works, try similar strategies on LinkedIn (as opposed to more pricey testing on LinkedIn).
Building an audience
You choose who will see your ads on Facebook by building audiences. An audience is simply what we call the group of people who fit into the specific set of filters you’ve selected to narrow down who will see your ad.
There are a number of ways to build your audience. First, you can use the filters within Facebook ads itself. Facebook allows you to target your ad to people in your area, people who are interested in real estate, who own property, who are within a certain income range (i.e. the top 5%), and more.
In addition to targeting offered within Facebook, you can also use an email list (more on this later!) to help you create a Facebook audience, too. You just upload the list to Facebook and create an audience from those folks. This method is also helpful for the next level of targeting: creating lookalike audiences. Facebook creates lookalike audiences by using the data from the list you uploaded to create a new group of people with interests and behaviors similar to your initial audience.
Using the Facebook pixel
The pixel sounds like a mysterious function of Facebook marketing, but it’s actually quite simple. The basics are this: You install a small line of code that you receive from Facebook onto your website. Then, anytime someone visits your website while they are logged into Facebook, they are put into a group for ad retargeting. This way, when you have ads running on Facebook while using the pixel, you can serve a specific set of ads just to folks who visit your website. This is especially valuable because these are people who you know have already expressed curiosity about your business.
Plus, if you have a contact form on your website for owners to fill out, the pixel will help you track the source of those leads so that you can keep track of where your leads are coming from, and what kind of returns you’re getting on your marketing spending.
There’s a LOT more functionality of the pixel, but for a crash course, this is a great start!
Retargeting on Facebook
Retargeting is a strategy that enables you to show ads to people based on specific actions they’ve taken with past ads, or on your website (if you have the pixel installed). For example, if you target the top 25% of people who’ve spent the most time on your website, you can serve them a follow-up ad that’s more specific to your offerings because they already know who you are and have an idea of what you do.
Google search campaigns
Google is excellent for targeting people that are high intent buyers, as well as for geotargeting. For example, if someone searches “property manager Los Angeles” they’re prob on the hunt right now and are looking to hire (as opposed to Facebook which is less action-oriented).
Building a strong Google search campaign requires doing a little research to find the best keywords. There are many keyword finding websites out there, but in this case, YOU likely know the best search terms for your business. We recommend using your personal insights along with keyword finding platforms like neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ or moz.com/free-seo-tools to choose the best keywords for your campaign.
Cold emailing might feel awkward or desperate, but when done strategically, it can be an incredibly effective strategy.
The first step in cold emailing is to gather your list; there’s no need to cast a wide net here – the more targeted the better. There are different places where you can buy lists of property owner data, like ALN or Reonomy. You can also get information from your state or county about who owns properties in your area. Then, craft an email that feels more intimate and real, as opposed to filling it with marketing speak.
For example, a cold email to an owner might look like this:
Was just looking at your website and noticed [Company Name] has a number of properties in [City]. We’re the top property management company in the area, and I’d love to chat with you about lowering your costs, saving you time, and streamlining your business.
Is there a good time to give you a call this week?
Just like digital marketing, iterate on your cold outreach to see what subject lines get the highest open rate, and what messaging gets the highest response rate. In addition to messaging above, you might also try offering to connect them with one of your owners to hear about their experience working with you.
LinkedIn is great for property managers because it’s a network for professionals and services, and you’re able to target by job title and skills. You can also upload one of those email lists and LinkedIn can find those people’s accounts and show them your ads. You can also do cold outreach via InMail tool – a very helpful combination of cold emails and targeted marketing.
Website best practices
With all your outstanding new marketing strategies, you’re going to be sending a lot of folks to your website, so it’s time to give it a once over! First things first: check that your website messaging is as clear as possible. We love using Userbrain to test if our messaging is coming thru loud and clear.
After ensuring your messaging is on point, make sure potential owners have a clear path to take on your website when they visit. Perhaps your homepage has two buttons front and center – one for tenants, and one for owners. This way, owners can immediately navigate to a page with all pertinent information, as opposed to wandering around a webpage designed for tenants.
When your website has clear messaging about your property management services and makes it super easy for owners to find out everything they need to know, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and step up your marketing game!
Get ready to grow your business
Now that you’re ready to start bringing in more leads, you need to make sure your property management company is ready for growth! One of the largest growth blockers for property managers is the inability to scale their accounting and bookkeeping teams; they might want more business, but they’re at capacity for what their current property management accounting setup can handle.
If this sounds like you, talk to us! We provide expert, scalable property management bookkeeping and accounting, with rates up 30% less than in-house accounting setups. We’re here to make sure your books are on point, while also looking for ways to cut costs for property management and help you grow. Talk to us today and learn more about how we can help your business!