Yes, Internet Listing Services dominate search and they have the funds to invest heavily in marketing. They make that money using the content that you work hard to create. And then they charge you for the privilege of using their service.
Do you really want to rely solely on another company with no commitment to you to control your marketing and brand presence? You can take control and it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Most people start their rental search on Google and the first listings shown are likely to be ILS listings. But it doesn’t have to work that way. With some effort you can compete with them. Here are the two most important things you need.
A great Website
It costs money to have a great website. However, the beauty of your own site is that you are in control of everything. Consider funneling some of the money you spend on Internet Listing Services into a great site.
When you have a website you can market your properties and services without adhering to the rules and quirks of an ILS. Add as many photos as you want, put them where you want, add video, offer more complete information and change what you want to change. You have flexibility.
Consider incorporating social media plug-ins to display recent posts and tweets. It’s a great form of social proof. Blogs are an excellent way to communicate with both owners and tenants. Make your site interesting and dynamic and people will remember it and return.
If you aren’t inclined to create a website on your own, Propertyware is one of the top providers of websites for the property management industry. We offer templates that are easy to manage and customizable for those who are more hands on. If not, we can do it all for you. Our designers can also create a completely unique website for you. It’s up to you.
Get Good at Search Engine Optimization
Having a great site means nothing without SEO. Don’t invest in a site without also planning to invest in SEO.
When I say get good at it, I don’t mean you have to become an expert. Learn the basics so you know what you’re talking about and then hire someone. It’s possible to gain an understanding fairly quickly. Google has a great SEO starter guide to help you understand the concept.
There are many good SEO services available. If you would like to deal with one that specializes in search engine optimization for property management Propertyware has a team of SEO professionals who deal exclusively in it.
ILS has its place in marketing your listings. I’m not saying abandon them. I’m saying putting part of your money towards a marketing plan that you control is a smart move.
Do you rely only on ILS’s for marketing your rentals? What do you think about competing with them?