In business, as in life, trust is everything. Yet, look around… we live in the era of “truthiness,” fake news and alternative facts. Consumers don’t believe a lot of what they see advertised in their daily lives. Brands have to work harder than ever to foster trust.
So, what’s a property management brand to do? To start, put the consumer at the centre of every strategy, plan and execution. For property management marketers, that means employing a multi-pronged approach to reach consumers—one that builds connection and trust. Here are some strategies for savvy property management marketers and managers.
Have an Authentic Voice
Establish a rapport with your audience by creating a sense of what it’s really like to live on your properties. Don’t just “sell” your available apartments; educate potential residents about the neighbourhood and local amenities.
Connect Through Shared Values
In today’s rental market landscape, values can also become a deciding factor. Consumers – and your future tenants – will use their dollars to support brands that champion what they believe in – whether that’s sustainability, accessibility, social inclusion or another cause. Your website and any marketing materials aimed at prospective as well as existing residents should highlight any ESG (Environmental Social Governance) initiatives. These could include any energy-saving features/infrastructure and accessible amenities. Highlight any causes or charities that your organization supports.
Foster Good Tenant Relationships
Use your communication portal to send newsletters and community updates with existing residents. You can even send personalized birthday greetings and holiday cards. You can also send online surveys through your portal, inviting new and existing renters to participate. (Remember: Collecting customer feedback is a great first step, but to create ongoing trust, you must act on that information.)
Create Seamless Experiences
Websites that have bad functionality or aren’t responsive erode trust. A positive customer experience—from seeing the ad to inquiring about the ad, to applying for the unit—should be easy-peasy. As well, harness technology to track and collect accurate prospect data in real-time and then connect with prospects via phone, email or SMS, making sure no lead falls through the cracks, and every customer experience is delightfully effortless.
Encourage Word of Mouth
Of course, once you’ve developed strong relationships, be sure to ask your tenants for testimonials and referrals. According to Nielsen, in its global Trust in Advertising Study in 2021, 88% of consumers said that they trusted recommendations from people they know, above all other forms of marketing messaging.
Tap Into Review Sites
Today more than ever, reputation matters. Take the time to frequent popular review sites like Google Business and Yelp, and monitor the comments. Review sites are another form of “word of mouth” advertising, so be sure to respond to the negative comments as well as the positive ones and make it clear that you aim to resolve any issues and address any complaints.
Take advantage of the multitude of social media platforms available to connect and interact with people. Post regularly and use a distinct voice to maintain a consistent presence. For instance, Instagram is a powerful tool to show-off your properties and brand identity as a whole. Draw prospects to properties using beautiful photography and videography. Not only can you use social media to share information about available units, you can also share real life testimonies from existing tenants to further strengthen your brand credibility and show that your tenants love you!
Also consider a social media strategy that helps paint a picture of life in the community. Here are some examples:
- Local community events
- Local restaurants and reviews
- Building/complex social activities
- Giveaways or contests involving the local community
- Partnerships with local businesses
Make the Grade
One of the top reasons renters move comes down to how well repairs and maintenance are performed. (And, poor maintenance is frequently mentioned on social media and review sites.) So, invest in the tools to do the job. For example, our Maintenance and Inspections module provides an end-to-end solution, from maintenance requests to generating purchase and work orders straight through to mobile inspections. This means that no repair is missed, and both the property manager and tenant can see all communication.
The Bottom Line
Trust takes time to establish. But that doesn’t make it unattainable. With a few simple, proven strategies, you can build connections and show potential and current residents why your property is the right choice for them.
Property management companies and building owners interested in learning more about Property Vista’s solutions can see pricing and book a demo here.