June 27, 2012
Why Property Managers Need to Blog
Chances are, you’ve seen other property management blogs and wondered if you should blog too. And, likely, if you’re not blogging, it’s because you are either stuck on the cost/benefit or on the technology of blogging. So, let’s de-mystify both.
COST/BENEFIT OF BLOGGING
When faced with the question of whether to blog, many people simply get hung up on the perceived costs: It’s too much hassle, takes too much time, and there’s nothing to say. Let’s look at them one-by-one.
The Hassle Factor. With anything, starting something new always takes extra effort at the beginning. Then, once you become more comfortable and develop your own tricks, short cuts and rhythm, it becomes easier. Practice eliminates hassle.
The Time Factor. It’s true. Blogging does take time. But, likely not as much as you think. You don’t need to write a 5,000-word essay! Posts between 250 and 500 words are perfectly acceptable. More importantly, shorter posts tend to be read more often than longer ones.
The Nothing to Say Factor. Staring at a blank page without a clue what to say is intimidating, for sure. So, give yourself a plan. Sit down and brainstorm ideas for blog posts and list them in advance of when you’ll need them. Give yourself a guide so that you don’t get blank page paralysis. Remember, you can use other information and web content for inspiration. Blog about things in the news, pass along useful information that is available elsewhere on the Web, and share interesting links.
The benefits of blogging are substantial and well worth the cost in hassle, time, and effort. Here are some of the things that your blog can do for you:
Increase SEO. Search engines love blogs because they have fresh and dynamic content. Different from static pages on your website, each blog post adds a new page that links to your domain. With regular updates and cross-links to your blog posts from social networks and other sources, your search engine ranking will improve over time. This means your properties and your company will be found online more easily.
Stand out. Having a blog for your building differentiates you from other properties on the market. You’ll be seen as progressive, modern, and willing to try new things. Blogging for your property management business and representing multiple properties, may attract business opportunities from other building owners as well as tenants.
Improve communication. By their nature, blogs improve communication by putting a voice and a personality to your company, giving you a conduit to disseminate information, and allowing you to be seen as an authority and a leader.
Create goodwill. Posting useful, timely, and relevant information for your tenants on the blog – like changes to rental laws or tips on how to vacate an apartment without losing your security deposit – will help them be prepared for events and understand their rights and responsibilities.
Showcase improvements. If you are making upgrades to your property or units, implementing green programs, or offering new services to your tenants, showcasing your efforts on your blog lets renters know what you’re up to and prospects know that your building is a great place to live.
Lower vacancy rate. Use your blog to feature available units. Not only can you embed pictures and video, you can include as much detail as you like, without restriction. And, with tenants reading your blog, they can share the posts on their social networks or by email, and you’ll increase the likelihood of referrals and lower your vacancy rate.
When you have a blog, you have your own publishing channel and can use it in the way that best fits your needs. The benefits of blogging far outweigh the perceived costs.
THE TECHNOLOGY OF BLOGGING
The other area that can trip people up when thinking about starting a blog is the actual technology needed to publish to the web and link to your website.
With WebVista software, it’s easy to integrate a blog with your website and your property listings. The Professional is completely plug and play and totally customizable. What’s more, social media integration is included, making it easier for blog readers to share your posts on their social networks, increasing your SEO and lowering your vacancy rate.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start your blog today!