Landlords are elusive creatures; hard to find, difficult to market to, and almost impossible to poach. Most traditional methods of marketing just don’t work on landlords. At least with a vendor, you know where they live. Trying to reach a landlord through a property they own is like playing hide and seek with the Invisible Man. However, a landlord can be much more lucrative than a vendor in the long run. At an average revenue of $1500 to $2000 a year per property, a portfolio landlord can keep your cash flow comfortable for years.
So how do you attract more landlords into your business without spending a ton of time and money on marketing each month?
Content – if you don’t already write a blog, start one now. Focus specifically on the journey from the first buy-to-lease until around six units. Write about financing options, tax implications (you can use expert guest contributors) and Google-able phrases like ‘What to do if your tenant gets a dog?’.
Networking – it sounds obvious, but are you actually getting out and meeting people? Ten years ago, this was the only option for letting agents to generate new business. It doesn’t have to be the usual breakfast meetings and Chamber of Commerce, you can offer to do a talk for the local Rotary Club, join the gold club and attend community events. Good networking and making your face more familiar is the goal.
Write the definitive guide – this is one thing I do with my clients that instantly sets them apart, gives them credibility and positions them as an expert in their field. You know more than you think you do; you just need to write it down. If you’re not a natural writer, have a copywriter interview you, and turn your answers into an eBook.
Facebook group – set up a private Facebook group for landlords to ask questions and discuss buy-to-let issues in a safe environment that you control. Whilst the organic reach (number of people who see your posts) may be almost zero, Facebook groups have a great reach, often with everyone in your group seeing what you post.
Facebook re-marketing – you can use “Google AdSense” to follow certain search terms around the internet, but I prefer Facebook re-targeting by far. Pixel your website, and you can serve an advert on Facebook to those people who have visited any page on your site. Facebook advertising is cheap, really cheap, but it won’t stay that way forever.
VIP list – invite new and ambitious landlords to a special list where they will receive early notifications of investment properties. To make it even more valuable to them, task someone in the office to source new investment deals each week and send the best out to your list, regardless of the agent offering the property. Through doing this, you’ll get third party credibility as an impartial source of information for landlords.
Video marketing – videos can rank much more easily and effectively than the written word. You will probably find that most of the competition uses phrases like, ‘estate agents & Property Management’, you need to be harnessing the power of video to really stand out on Google.
LinkedIn – sometimes dubbed ‘the professional’s Facebook’, LinkedIn can be a lucrative source of landlords. Not only can you publish your articles on LinkedIn free of charge, you can also conduct more advanced searched than on any other social media platform today. Being a Premium user gives you an advantage over standard users, with more search functions and the ability to send out Inmails to those who are not connected with you.
Events – hosting a Landlord Advice Evening can be a great way to connect with new landlords and demonstrate your expertise. Hire a nice venue (don’t use your office unless it is designed for larger group events) and invite along a couple of experts to speak. If it’s a success, schedule a regular event every couple of months. You’ll soon build a reputation as the go-to Property Management and investment expert in your area. Your competitors will be kicking themselves that they didn’t think of it first.
We live in very exciting times, but sometimes the choice of marketing options feels overwhelming. I can help you make sense of it, and decide on a clear, simple strategy that will really boost your business and set you apart from the competition.