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All Things Property Management

All Things Property Management is a one-stop destination for folks interested in learning more about managing real estate. Broken down into a variety of targeted columns, the information that you are looking for is easily accessible — from investing tips and best practices in The Intelligent Investor to the real-life dilemmas of property managers in Stories from the Front Lines. We’ve brought on contributing writers from across the country to share their respective expertise with you, whether you’re a landlord, a professional property manager, or an association board member. Your feedback, participation, and comments will help us deliver the information you need most.

Cross-Promoting with Local Businesses

In this economy, businesses of all stripes are looking for a little extra leverage when it comes to generating more sales. Despite all the gloom and doom news out there, this actually opens up a lot of new doors for property managers to not only lower their vacancy rates, but also to incorporate new business strategies that can pay off in spades over the long haul.

We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about viral marketing and utilizing new technology for growing your business and marketing your properties. While this is all well and good, it’s also important to keep those perennial grassroots marketing strategies alive and well. And one of the most effective grassroots approaches for those in the property management business is partnerships with local businesses.

More likely than not, businesses in close proximity to your rental units are open to strategies that will bring a steady stream of new customers into their establishment, whether it be a restaurant, grocery store,video rental store, or salon. Believe it or not, you have your finger right on the pulse of their potential client base: your tenants. Of course, this is a two-way street—those same neighborhood purveyors may well have just the tenant you’re looking for in their clientele.

Capitalizing on such potentially synchronous relationships is simple. First, sit down and figure out what your ideal tenant pool looks like. Is it students? Young professionals? Families? Once you know what your target tenant demographic is, take a look at the businesses within a mile radius of your property and figure out which shops and stores your potential residents are most likely frequenting. If it’s students you’re after, they may well be visiting the pub around the corner or the pizza shop up the street. Young professionals may be frequenting the hip salon a few blocks over. And those families you want to rent to most likely make at least a couple visits to the organic grocery store each week.

Now that you know where to seek out your tenants, it’s time to approach the businesses you believe may have a line in to the pool you’re looking to draw from. Approach the managers of these establishments to suggest a mutually beneficial relationship. If you opt to go to that pub around the corner, explain how your current tenant demographic is in line with their clientele. Offer to promote their business by including coupons for a half-off lunch at the pub in move-in packets and to regularly advertise their business through fliers posted in your property. In return, you might suggest that the pub keeps your card on-hand to distribute to customers who mention they’re looking to move  or suggest that they allow you to post vacant unit listings on their bulletin board or in another prominent place.

Co-op deals like this can be applied to basically any service institution and both parties stand to benefit. Your access to the tenant pool will bring new business into local neighborhood establishments which will provide you with a trusted voice to turn regular customers to your properties. Essentially, a two-way word-of-mouth marketing campaign is established.

Promoting units doesn’t have to involve large investments or technical savvy. Sometimes proven, time-tested marketing techniques are the best ticket to success -- and promoting local businesses is an added benefit you can feel great about. After all, everyone wins when your property’s neighborhood is booming.

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