Sometimes, the phrase, “If you build it, they will come” is not applicable.
A highly competitive rental market is a great example of that.
Factors for a hot housing rental market include Americans still making do with a little less (read: hesitant to invest in real estate), and a Millennial aptitude to delay purchasing homes longer than previous generations did.
True to the law of demand and supply, rental companies have responded. However, even if you have the best rooftop pool on the block, the guy next door might be signing more leases. Why?
How can you be sure to reach your target audience before your competitors in today’s digital age? Search engine optimization and other digital marketing tactics can allow you to reach your potential tenants at the right time in their house-hunting process.
Why Search Spend is Key for Rental Marketing
Google and the National Association of Realtors came together to produce a whitepaper last year called Digital House Hunt. Many of the metrics in the study were focused on homebuyers, but some highlight important factors for those in the rental arena:
- Real estate searches have increased 253% in the past four years
- Shoppers try an average of 11 queries before taking action on a real estate site
- To begin their searches, 69% of shoppers used a local search phrase (like “Athens, Ohio apartments”)
- Searchers prefer to watch videos for easily digestible information on properties.
If you are targeting a younger crowd, be sure to read more about millennials’ search habits for some extra insights.
Your Blueprint for Action
What does this mean for property owners and managers? Consider allocating a significant portion of your marketing budget to optimizing for search. It is imperative that your site is optimized for locally oriented queries, local review sites like Yelp! and Google Maps included. From the stats above, you should see a great return on your investment in this category.
The best part about dollars spent digitally is that they are very easily traceable to a concrete impact, such as on-site contact form submissions or phone calls.
What should your videos include? The same study found that 86% of searchers turn to video to tell them more about specific communities. Of those, 70% wanted to watch interior tours.
What this all means for landlords, property owners, and real estate professionals is that the web is where rental shopping happens. The above is just the tip of the iceberg. Word of mouth is great, but if you are not on the map for a location-based search (literally), you might be passed over.
Craigslist Alone Won’t Cut It
So now you know people are looking for housing options online. How can an SEO company help you sign more tenants?
- Companies like ours identify how your prospective renters are searching for properties in your area. We craft site content to especially magnify your most valuable and unique value propositions.
- We look at your website structure and identify ways to improve its usability. Tailoring site architecture into a virtual sales funnel can increase calls and contact form submissions.
- We include code behind the scenes that helps search engines understand what your site is all about. We explore both paid and earned opportunities off-site (like social media or display ads) to increase your brand’s visibility.
For example, take OUCommons.com. When people Google things like “Athens Ohio apartments,” we make sure our client, University Commons, comes up. Then, great site content and design facilitates more signed leases.
Know More About SEO for Apartments
Want to know how you can rise above your competitors in the rental market search results? There are a few options.
John Sammon, our CIO and head honcho here at Sixth City, will be presenting at the 2014 Ohio Housing Conference this year. His #2014OHC session is on November 4th at 4 p.m. If you’re there, be sure to drop by “21st Century Marketing and Technology: Utilizing Personal Branding and Social Media/Search Engines”.
In the meantime, are you on the Map? Google’s new MyMaps might be a tool for you to explore for your site.
Finally, feel free to reach out to us for SEO help. Your future tenants will be glad you did when they’re comfy in their new homes.