Property managers wear many hats. Collecting rents and arranging repairs for your tenants just scratches the surface.
Another responsibility that falls in your wheelhouse is to make sure that your properties are filled. That means you have a know a bit of digital marketing to make that happen.
These days, prospective tenants are likely to look online for a new apartment. You want to make sure that you use the right keyword strategy to get your listings at the top of search results.
Keep reading to find out how you can create a keyword strategy that gets results.
Who is Your Ideal Tenant?
Have you ever thought about who your ideal tenant is? In many cases, property managers don’t care as long as they take care of the place and pay rent on time.
If you’re trying to build a community at your property, you want to make sure that your tenants get along well. You want them to have a personality type that matches what you’re trying to create.
Take the time to think about your ideal tenant. Yes, you want them to meet income requirements and have a job. What else would you like to see from prospective tenants? Write those qualities down.
Think of Renting as a Buying Cycle
People rent apartments in stages. They like to take their time, do some research, and then decide where they want to live.
Most property managers are going to use keywords that target people who want to rent a place right now.
That’s not a bad keyword strategy, and it works for the later stages of the buying cycle. You can get an edge in the competition by targeting keywords in the entire buying cycle, not just the end.
That gives your property management company an opportunity to build authority and trust in the minds of potential renters.
For example, a person may have about six months left on their lease. They don’t like where they live because it’s too loud or they don’t like the neighbors. They start looking at their options to move sooner rather than later.
They may search for things like “how to break a lease early” or “how to handle loud apartment neighbors.” You have an opportunity to get in front of these searchers very early on in the process.
Later on, they may search for properties in their area that they may want to move to. They’re just doing research at this point. They may be drawn to renting a luxury apartment or a townhouse. They’ll look specifically for the type of rentals available.
They may be trying to find specific features, such as an open kitchen or a fireplace. This presents another opportunity to build trust and get your brand out there.
Finally, when they are ready to commit to moving, they’ll search for “apartments for rent near me” and similar searches. These are terms that everyone targets which can make it difficult to rank high in search results.
Creating the Keyword Strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of your ideal tenant and how they search online, how do you create a keyword strategy out of all of this?
Start by opening up a spreadsheet. You’ll want to create columns for each stage of the renting process. You can label the spreadsheet in a way that works for you, whether that’s early stage, middle stage, ready to rent now, or stage 1, stage 2, 3, etc.
In between each stage, you’ll want to add a column for search volume.
It’s time to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective tenant. How do you think they’ll search for rental properties? Make a list of search terms that you think they’ll use and add them to your spreadsheet under each stage.
Using Related Keywords
Google’s very big on showing its users relevant results. The algorithm uses artificial intelligence to try to figure out the user’s intent rather than just matching exact keywords.
That’s why you may see a search for “simple living in apartment” return results that show “how to live a minimalist lifestyle.”
Google uses what’s called latent semantic indexing (LSI), which uses the context of the article to provide search results. Simple living and minimalist living aren’t exact matches, but they’re close enough to match the intent of the user.
This is important to understand because you need to know the related keywords you can incorporate in your keyword strategy.
There are online tools that you can use that will generate related keywords for you.
The next thing you want to do is to validate your keywords. You want to make sure that people are actually searching for the terms that you think they are.
There are a few ways to do this. You can start with Google. Google has a feature called autocomplete, so when you start to type in a search, it gives you options that others have searched for. These are all keywords that you can use.
There are a couple of tools that you can use to check to see how many searches that a keyword gets. One is called Ubersuggest, and the other is Google’s own Keyword Planner.
Keep in mind that search volume won’t be very high for location-specific search terms. You’ll find that more generic search terms like “how to break an apartment lease” will get more searches because anyone across the country may be looking for that information.
When you get the search volume for each keyword, add them to your spreadsheet in the search volume column.
Keep in mind that this is to be treated as a working list. You should always be adding ideas and keywords to your spreadsheet.
Use a Keyword Strategy to Boost SEO
Keywords are an important part of your SEO. That’s how you tell search engines what a particular page is about.
You want to make sure that you have a keywords strategy in place to give your listings the best chance to be seen. Remember that when you use keywords, you want to think about the entire journey a person takes before they rent.
That will give you the best opportunity to build trust and get your listings filled in no time.
Do you need help getting your property management company to be found in search engines? Contact us today to find out how we can help.