Carl De Lucia Blog
If you are a property owner and vacancies are high, one of the things I advise doing is re-evaluating your digital strategy. What I mean by digital strategy is your sales funnel, the way you are generating leads online.
Low occupancy doesn’t necessarily indicate your digital strategy is ineffective, vacancies can be high for a number of reasons, strong competition, newly constructed buildings, etc. However, a well-executed digital strategy can give any developer a competitive advantage when it comes to finding tenants.
If you do consider re-evaluating (or implementing) your digital strategy, here are the main areas you should consider:
- Search Engines – You can have excellent advertisements, great deals and a well-designed website, but it doesn’t help if potential tenants aren’t finding you online and are finding your competition sooner. Search engines are the new referrals. Great search engine optimization (SEO) strategies result in higher search rankings (aim for Page 1), generates website traffic and spreads brand awareness.
- Provide Information – Providing accurate information might sound obvious and simple, but it’s actually a big challenge for many businesses online. Your information: name, address, number, should be listed on every relevant website, from Yelp to Zillow, etc. If potential tenants don’t see you there, they might decide that your building isn’t worth looking into. On top of that, some sites might post information about your property without you knowing. If you check online listings of your properties, also known as “citations”, you might be surprised to see inaccurate information. It’s important to check your online listings regularly, either yourself or through a digital consultant.
- Focus on Mobile – More people are browsing the internet on mobile devices than desktop. Take this behavior into account as you design your ads. Your website should be responsive, meaning that it should automatically adjust the design and content to fit the device it is being viewed on.
- Brand Identity – If you want to effectively reach leads online, it helps to have an established brand identity. Consider who your ideal resident is and why. Then, consider their age, income, interests and lifestyle. Would they find your brand attractive? Do you have the right combination of colors, logos, and design? Does your community’s features and services appeal to them? It’s important to know what your ideal resident is looking for in order to market your property effectively.
- Digital Reputation – Leads will use online reviews to compare you with the competition. Obviously you’ll want to earn as many positive reviews as you can. Negative reviews, or no reviews can raise red flags to potential tenants. If somebody does give you a negative review, it is important that you respond publicly in a sympathetic manner. Engaging with reviews creates a positive view of your business by showing that you’re listening and care about tenants concerns.