There are a host of ways to generate leads for your property management business today. But which options are best? Where will your money be better spent? Can you trust X marketing agency, or will a pay-per-lead service send me qualified leads? I want to help answer some of those questions so you can make sure your marketing dollars will generate more customers.
Let’s start by talking about the pros and cons of marketing agencies. At the end, I’ve included a list of property-management-specific agencies to take a look at if you’re in the market for that.
In short, a Marketing Agency is a team of 1 or more marketing consultants who will come along side and study your business and market to come up with a marketing strategy that is tailored to your company. They typically have a wide range of services, but here are some of the most common ones.
- Develop Marketing Plans
- Website design and hosting
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Content Marketing (writing blogs, videos, social media posts, lead magnets, etc…)
- Reputation Management (surveys, generating/managing customer reviews)
- Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
- Direct Mail Campaigns (less common)
Pros of working with an agency are:
- Many property management companies have a poor online presence, a website that isn’t designed well or SEO optimized and no reviews so they aren’t getting leads as a result. If this describes you, agencies are a great way to give your online marketing game the boost it really needs.
- The biggest benefit is that other people are doing the work, taking it off of your plate.
- Depending on the agency, they offer services for most online marketing tactics and strategies.
- The agency is doing the work so you don’t have to learn all the ins and outs of SEO, content marketing, etc…
- Industry specific marketing agencies are knowledgeable about your specific niche and they apply that to your marketing campaign.
- They are usually cheaper than paying a full time employee to fill the marketing role.
- Depending on the agency, they will help you develop a full marketing campaign where all the major pieces are in place (website, SEO, content marketing, reputation management, PPC, etc…)
But like some things in business, there are some downsides to working with an agency.
Cons of working with an agency are:
- The websites they build for you are often based on a template (at least in the property management industry); they won’t make you stand out from competitors as much and aren’t as tailored to your company specifically
- If you are a small company or are just starting out, the start up costs and monthly fees with an agency can be impractical at first
- Their content (e.g. blogs, video scripts, social media posts) can often be a template they’ve used for many other companies in the past, possibly companies in your same market
- Agencies usually charge fees for set up and then charge monthly fees afterwards; the monthly fees don’t always line up with the amount of work the agency is actually doing for you so they can be a bit of a money pit
Not all marketing agencies have these downsides, however. The trick is how you’re supposed to
go about finding a high-quality marketing agency that will actually pay for itself by providing high quality leads and website traffic. Here are some principles to follow.
- Look at options inside property management and outside the industry
- There are many property-management-specific marketing agencies out there, but there’s no reason to limit yourself to those when there are a host of other high-quality agencies that aren’t tethered to a specific industry.
- They bring an unbiased perspective to your business and broader marketing experience beyond just property management
- They will usually produce a higher-quality website that is tailored to your brand and marketing strategy, not a template
- Any content marketing they do will, most likely, be original and not a template they use for all of their clients
- The only downside you will find with a quality non-property-management marketing agency is that they may not have as much industry knowledge as property-management-specific agency; they can make up for that in their other strengths though
- Look for proven results from the agency’s customers
- Look for reviews, not just on the agency’s website but on other platforms like Google and Facebook.
- Ask your property management colleagues about their experience with the agency (PM Facebook groups are a great resource for this). This will give you a more accurate look at the company from the perspective of all of its customers, not just the ones they highlight on their website.
- Do a free consultation call and learn more about the people who work there
- Unlike software, working with consultants always involves working with people. That being the case, it’s really important that you can trust that those people will work hard for the money you pay them and do their best to drive real results for you.
- Do a free consultation call to meet some of their team (if the consultants are local, meet them in person)
- Ask the agency to refer you to customers you can speak to about their experience with the agency and the people there
- Ask the agency to explain their pricing and exactly what it includes, especially if there is an ongoing contract involved that involves monthly payments; you want to know that you’ll get your money’s worth each month
Keeping those principles in mind, here are a few marketing agencies that are focused on the property management industry.
- You can sign up for any of their marketing services as you need them, as opposed to bundling them all into a package, including ones you don’t need.
- They have several detailed case studies from their clients available on their website.
- They have a 5 star rating on Facebook
- They advertise that they’re websites are custom tailored to your business
- A newer agency (2-5 years old); well spoken of by all client’s we’ve spoken to
- GoodJuju Marketing
- You can sign up for individual services instead of purchasing a package with a lot of stuff you don't need
- Tends to be more affordable than some of the bigger marketing agencies for PMs
- Is well spoken of by our mutual clients and by their reviews on Google
- Is a smaller team and will likely be more flexible to your specific needs than a larger agency
- Provides all the primary marketing services for PMs
- 4.9 star rating on myreputation.com, 5 stars on Facebook
- Generally well spoken of in the PM industry
- Websites, SEO, PPC, etc…
- Adds periodic consulting calls and group calls with coaching
- 4.9 star rating on Facebook
- Generally well spoken of in the PM industry
- Websites tend to be based primarily on a template and look very similar to other DoorGrow sites for other PM companies
- Has all the bells and whistles of a PM marketing agency, including websites
- Has flexible website packages including low budget options and fully custom options
- Reasonably low monthly fees
- They have a number of case studies and video testimonials on their website
- Provide the primary marketing services (SEO, PPC, Reputation/Review management, Social media marketing, Website customization); they focus on developing your marketing message and strategy and applying that to all your online marketing
- Generally well spoken of by their customers according to their reviews
These are some of the main agency options available to you in the property management industry specifically. The number grows significantly as you look outside the industry, but here’s a few to look at for small businesses.
- They market to small to medium-sized businesses
- They have a flexible pricing structure that allows you to pay by project. No monthly fees, no hourly rate, just pay for the work you want done.
- They offer the full suite of marketing services including website, video and content marketing, and SEO.
- Offer a free consultation.
- They offer all of the marketing services you’d want or need including websites, SEO and content marketing.
- They’re websites are built on Wordpress so they can train you or someone on your team how to update and customize the site, they’ll even train them for free.
- They cater to small, local businesses like real estate brokerages, law firms and home services companies so they would likely be a good fit for property management as well.
- Offer a free consultation.
Keep these things in mind when you're looking into marketing agencies. Hope this helps :)