Post Virus Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Property Managers
We are aware of the strain placed on a wide variety of businesses since the pandemic hit. Property managers, of course, were not exempt from this financial trauma either.
In a business period plagued by unpaid rent, lack of tenants, virtual property tours, and more, property managers were hit harder than most, with Retail and Office property managers bearing the worst of it (see graph).
Aside from this “second wave” we should be expecting come winter, there is finally some light beginning to peak through from the end of the tunnel as we start finding alternatives to the traditional ways of conducting business. Businesspeople of all kinds can now look forward to returning to business as usual.
But will property managers ever truly return to “business as usual?” In a line of work so dependent upon human interaction (rent collection, property inspection, maintenance work), property management will be a tricky field to navigate post-COVID-19.
That is why we have put together a concise list of guerilla tactics that you can start using TODAY to begin your transition to a safer and more confident post-COVID-19 business environment.
Of course you want to keep your tenants, so how is this a tip?
Property managers across the country are scrambling to find ways to replace their lost tenants in an effort to stay financially afloat during these times. Property Management is so busy implementing virtual tours and adapting their current marketing strategies to bring in new prospects that they neglect to care for the tenants they still have.
The benefits of retaining a current tenant heavily outweigh those of signing a new one. An article on wheelhouseadvisors.net outlines the advantages of tenant retention as opposed to tenant acquisition. The experts on their site say that retention efforts are cheaper, faster, and provide more stability than acquisition efforts.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain the loyalty of your tenants.
First off, be transparent with your contracts. Nothing will drive a tenant away faster than hidden fees.
Another key to retaining tenants is prompt communication. Renters appreciate being kept in the loop about what’s going on in their property. An article by the American Apartment Owners Association recommends landlords responding to tenants within 24 hours.
Lastly, you should be offering tenants incentives for lease-renewal. These incentives can be anything from gym memberships to a discounted lease renewal. An article on zillow.com outlined a “renewal menu” that would allow tenants to decide what upgrades they would get for renewing their lease. Whether they choose new furniture, a month of discounted rent, or parking privileges, tenants are more likely to stay if they get to choose their own perks.
Sometimes, the best marketing involves no direct marketing efforts. You wouldn’t think of routine maintenance checks and frequent sanitation as a form of marketing. However, ensuring renters that they have a safe, sanitary place to live can go a long way.
Tenants can have an increased piece of mind as they see their facilities frequently cleaned and their requests promptly taken care of. You should be providing an experience that is so great that it markets itself.
Another quick tip is to perform cleaning and sanitation at times of high foot traffic. Tenants will feel much safer seeing the work you are performing firsthand.
People are quicker than ever to judge an establishment off of one bad experience. For example, an article on usatoday.com claims that “50% of restaurant-goers who have a bad experience with the bathroom will tell their friends about the experience.”
We all know nothing travels like word of mouth, whether that be literally or through media channels.
Tenants are sure to tell friends and co-workers how nice it is to live in a property that cares so much for the well-being of their renters.
“A customer who has a negative experience is highly likely to share that experience by leaving a bad review. A customer who has a positive experience, on the other hand, is unlikely to leave a good review.” – Inc.com
Social Media Marketing
Another thing you should be doing as a property manager is diversifying the channels in which you advertise your business. You already know the basic sites like Zillow, Redfin or the many others; And if you’re really savvy, you already have listings on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
Your properties are on social media, why aren’t YOU?
It is astonishing how tons of property owners have still yet to utilize social media as a way to advertise and grow the reach of their business. Social media opens doors for property managers to leverage a corporate identity to establish themselves as an authority in their marketplace.
Rather than constantly chasing one contract at a time, you’re able to reach a broad market from the comfort of your office. Moreover, its completely free of charge. You no longer need to spend thousands on paid advertising to establish a corporate identity.
An infographic published on GetAmbassador.com states that “71% of consumers who have a positive experience on a company’s social media site will recommend that company to others.”
Your business should have active accounts on all the essential platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram in order to maximize your reach.
The pandemic has hit property owners extra hard, but that doesn’t mean you’re all out of options. It’s time to adapt your business to the evolving market. With these guerilla tactics, you can stay on top of the industry without breaking the bank.
What has been your biggest struggle as a property manager since the pandemic hit? Please let us know in the comments below. Your answers will help us better identify these issues so that together we can meet these challenges head on.