There’s no argument that technology is changing the way we manage properties, we’ve dedicated a whole blog article to that topic alone. What technology also allows us to do, is build an online presence that ensures the people that we want to do business with are the ones that we’re targeting, and bringing through the door. After all, there’s no point advertising ice to an eskimo…(or is there?)
Most new businesses think that investing in your brand requires a large capital outlay; a new, complex website, SEO, SEM, content development, event sponsorship, and the list goes on (while the bank balance is depleting). While these brand activities have already proven to be successful, there are other ways that you can target the right audience, and create organic traffic to your website without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re an established agency with a healthy rent roll and sales database, or you’re just starting out and need to get your name out there – here are some tips to help you build your online presence without breaking the bank.
The property industry is full of energetic, enthusiastic, educated and entertaining people. There are online forums and communities that encourage networking and knowledge sharing. Your service offering will be required by a particular group of people, so you need to find these people online and then target your messaging to them. When you do, you’ll find your eWOM (‘e’ or online word of mouth) will grow. Contribute to question and answer forums, build your authority in the industry, and create meaningful relationships. You’ll find your business will thrive as a result. Apart from your time – this costs nothing!
The Australian Property Management Forum on Facebook, Property Chat, or the Australian Property Forum are all great examples.
Your audience needs to know who your brand is and what it stands for. Creating a constant tone of voice or persona will help your audience resonate with your business. Be sticky in their minds, make sure you’re offering a unique selling proposition (USP), to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. The best way to stay consistent is to have a brand style guide to help you stay on track, and is a single source of truth for all new employees joining the business. In your style guide, you can also include tips and examples of how your employees can engage customers using their online profiles, too.
It wasn’t too long ago that business’ realised the importance of keyword-rich content and how it can attract customers to your website through search platforms. Nothing has changed, content is still king. We can’t stress enough the importance of educational, relevant and useful content that is hosted on your website (usually in a Blog), and shared across your social networks. When you don’t have time to write yourself, you can outsource content writing fairly cheaply through freelance writing platforms. If this isn’t part of the budget, delegate one blog per employee and rotate the responsibility. Say you have 10 employees, each person is only writing a blog every 10 weeks! Pick a relevant topic and make sure it’s keyword-rich, there are plenty of online tools to guide businesses how to write optimised content.
Most of all, make sure your website is set up to host and promote your awesome content.
You probably have a social profile for your business, and your employees almost certainly have one too. Make sure that the hard work you’re doing on your blog is being shared! Post via your business’ social profiles, and have your employees extend your reach using their profiles too. This is a cheap and easy way to extend business recognition across audiences and platforms.
Your website is your business’ most valuable asset when it comes to being visible online. Make sure your website is optimised for search engine optimisation (SEO). This includes making sure relevant keywords and search terms are being used throughout your website. For example, if you think people are likely to search “Property Management agency in Cleveland” then you should have content on your website that will match these terms. This can be done through the pages themselves, or on the blog too. Refreshing your website is an ongoing process, so make sure you’re paying good attention to it on a regular basis.
If you think you’re website isn’t cutting the mustard, it might be time for a new one all together. Check our WebChoice websites by Console. With a number of different templates built specifically for real estate to pick from, and the ability to customise your homepage – your website will certainly help you stand out from the pack.
Make sure you have tools in place to keep in touch with your customers. Customers that feel loved are customers that are likely to recommend your business to others – and that is invaluable. SMS communications are a popular way of reaching your customers without having to pick up the phone. It also gives your customers the opportunity to reply in their own time.
Of course, there are plenty of other online tools and tactics to help build your brand including things like search engine marketing (SEM), Google Adwords, Retargeting, Social Ads, and the list goes on. These cost as little or as much as you like, so use them at your discretion!