How far ahead do you plan your property management marketing strategy? One month? Two? 6 months or a year? If you don't plan your strategy far enough out, you risk being led by your gut—and whatever comes up each day. If you plan too far out, you can't keep your content relevant when there are huge shifts in current events. A great example of this happening now is the COVID-19 pandemic that is effecting property management companies as you read this.
We can't plan for things like the novel Coronavirus, but we can develop an agile marketing strategy that allows us to respond to current events without breaking the bank or losing significant marketing shares by stopping our entire property management marketing strategy.
Plenty of experts have documented that the returns on marketing expenditure during a recession are greater than those during a healthy economy. So, here are some tips to help you keep an agile marketing presence through sound strategy building to make the most of this recession.
Plan Ahead—but Create Slow
We use quarterly sprints for our clients—but we also look at metrics weekly and monthly. Keeping an eye on things from a weekly, monthly, and quarterly perspective helps us see the big picture as well as shorter-term trends that need adjustment to hit the greater quarterly goals.
Plan ahead! Create a property management marketing strategy for the next 90 days that includes at a minimum:
- Your content strategy: What topic are you planning to cover?
- Your content: How are you going to cover that topic? Email? Blog? Content offer?
- Your approach to lead capture: How are you going to use your content to capture leads?
- Your marketing goals: What is the goal of your campaign? Is it to get new leads? Teach your clients about a topic they frequently ask about?
Once you've got your short-term strategy planned out, you can create a content creation schedule or content calendar to determine what you are going to create and when you are going to schedule it to post. Generally, it is safe to create content pretty far out—after all, we don't just swing into a recession randomly. There are usually tell-tale signs in the market that give us some prior indication something will happen. With COVID-19, many property management companies were blindsided by the inconsistency of the response across each state.
Given this, two months is usually smart. This way, you're not sitting on too much completed content if there is an emergency crisis, such as a natural disaster or pandemic. At a minimum, it is smart to plan content a month ahead, so you always have something running even if your office gets swamped.
What to Do When the Going Gets Tough
So your content calendar got derailed—that's okay. Save that content for a rainy day and adjust your strategy. During a recession, owners want to know whether they and their investments will be safe. The sooner you can help them allay their fears, the sooner they are going to calm down. Your short-term emergency content plan should go something like this:
- Create a landing page detailing your response to the emergency.
- Let your owners and tenants know what you are doing to prepare, how they can contact you, and what they should expect your response time to be. Give them links to resources that will help them as well.
- Change your content to be helpful and relevant. You can see what trends people are searching for and use that information to help answer their questions.
- Set up an email drip to stay in touch. In an event like this, your clients and tenants alike are being inundated with emails—you don't want to be the company that isn't checking in with them.
When changing your content, don't only think about the immediate, also think about the long term. In a recession, interest rates are generally slashed—for your more well-to-do clients; this is the perfect time for them to start positioning to grow their portfolio and add doors under your management. Speak to them about the now, of course—but also speak to them about the future and how you will be there to support them in times of growth.
It is easy to get caught up in the turmoil of a recession—especially during a pandemic demanding social distancing protocol. As a community, we've never quite faced anything like this that's comparable in response. We are all worried about our loved ones, our community, for our businesses, owners, and renters. Sometimes a little cautious optimism can go a long way.
If you need help with your property management marketing strategy, we're here for you during these chaotic next days. More than ever, though, our process automation solutions make it easier for our clients to run remote and run lean. If you'd like a demo of how we can help you automate collections, leasing, and new owner onboarding, please let us know.
As a business that started completely remotely, we are intimately prepared to help you tackle this emerging crisis. We would be happy to give you a behind-the-scenes tour of how we help automate property management processes to ensure that you can report on every department and keep a good idea of what is going on in your business—whether you are in the physical office or the virtual one.