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Maximize Your Property’s “Exposure”

When’s the last time you Googled your property? What did you see? Harmful reviews that you didn’t know existed? Outdated property photos? Incorrect information?

Oftentimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day operations and running our apartment business that we fail to put ourselves in the perspective of the consumer (or apartment prospect), the true reason we exist and ultimately the factor that will contribute to our successes or demise. I want to offer a suggestion—er, or rather a challenge—to all on-site professional property managers and staff: Google your property. What do you see?

What might be more fascinating is what you don’t see. Generally, when a potential renter finds us from a traditional ILS (i.e. apartments.com, apartmentguide.com, etc.) and expresses interest, he or she will most likely Google that property, look for reviews and other insightful information that will guide their decision. On the flipside, prospects already aware of a community’s name might bypass an ILS, and Google a property’s name to gain knowledge. This is where savvy on-site staff can truly shine by utilizing all outlets available to flood a search engine with pictures, amenities, and language that can sway a prospect to rent. So, what will you find when you do a Google search?

The other day I Googled my own property for the first time and I was introduced to a plethora of advertising outlets that I didn’t even know existed. And the best part, they were all free! Here’s a few that will likely pop up when you search your property that you can edit/improve with your community’s details:

Manta- traditionally used for small businesses, manta is also great way to promote your property. With this website you can upload your properties logo, contact people, hours of operation, amenities and offerings.

Yp.com- upload property photos and other property details

Google maps/places page- If you haven’t already created a Google maps page, do it now. Here you can add videos, pictures, hours and more. Plus, your listing will make your property visible on a Google maps search

Yahoo local business page- This is also a great resource similar to Googles’. 

BING page- Again, similar to Googles’. BING is an up and coming search engine that is gaining some serious momentum. In addition to a page on the internet, BING also offers a FREE mobile-optimized website complete with a QR-code for promotion. This was one of my favorites.

Review Websites- have you had a disgruntled resident post a negative review on your community? Were you even aware it existed? Respond with a professional rebuttal—don’t just ignore the posting. Ignoring the negative review may be construed as “accepting” what is said. Communicating with this resident will improve your reputation.

On a side note, it’s also necessary to review your ILS pages as if you were a prospect. Keep an eye on your location blip—I was surprised that we had several that displayed the wrong location. Go beyond the normal craigslist and ILS offerings—why not utilize all resources available to increase your property’s “exposure” and grab that prospect?

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