How to Create a Property Management Marketing Budget
Published October 28, 2019. Updated September 21, 2023.
In property management, you sometimes need to spend money to make money. So, how can you be sure you're doing so effectively?
A significant part of running a successful property management business is sustainable growth. You can provide expert services and build great relationships with owners and tenants, but nothing lasts forever. You may still lose clients every so often as they sell their properties, retire, or make the decision to manage things on their own.
You also want your business to grow at a manageable rate rather than stagnate. Creating a well-crafted marketing strategy and successfully implementing it can help keep your growth on track and your business thriving.
However, how can you make sure that your property management marketing plan is getting the attention (or budget) that it needs? We offer a full course, "How to Start, Run, and Grow a Property Management Business" (under our RentBridge name), that covers these concepts in greater detail.
For now, we want to cover the basics we feel any property management workflow could use.
How to Create a Marketing Budget
Property managers should follow a roadmap when creating a marketing budget, with four major milestones or steps along this path.
First, you want to evaluate marketing strategies and the client acquisition costs associated with each of those strategies. This process will let you understand the costs of acquiring clients through different marketing strategies and give you a more precise "cost per client" rate.
When you understand how much growth will cost you on a per-client basis, you can now determine your growth goals.
Ask yourself a few critical questions, including:
How quickly do you want to grow?
How many new clients do you think you can handle?
Are those goals sustainable, realistic, and achievable?
While setting goals for your business, you can establish a marketing budget based on what you can afford.
Finally, as you implement your marketing strategy, you'll begin the process of measuring your success and adjusting your plan. Creating a marketing plan and budget is not a one-time event. You'll need to continually revise your strategies to fit your market and target audience and ensure you can match your budget to your plan.
A Layered Approach to Marketing Strategy
When building a marketing strategy, you won't find a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, take a layered approach.
Start with a core strategy that fits your budget, then add more strategies as your budget grows. You'll find different techniques for marketing and generating leads have different associated costs and will be good fits for your business at different times.
You can take advantage of this by layering new marketing techniques as your business grows and you find diminishing returns with your earlier strategies.
Lead Sources: 4 Marketing Techniques
By now, you should understand the broad path you must follow to develop a marketing strategy. You should also know that you'll be adding additional layers to your plan as your business grows — but what are the most successful techniques available to you as a property management company?
We like to file property management marketing ideas and lead sources into four categories. Each of these categories requires a different approach, carries different costs, and will be more or less feasible for you depending on where you are at with your business.
1. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a comprehensive approach to attracting, engaging, and delighting customers. Unlike traditional outbound marketing, which pushes products or services outwardly, inbound marketing focuses on creating valuable experiences tailored to individual consumers.
This technique leverages various channels like social media, blogging, and content offers to draw prospects into the sales funnel. Specialized landing pages often serve as the entry point, capturing user information for future interactions.
The aim is not just to attract new business but to build a relationship with customers, providing them with useful, relevant content. By doing so, property management companies can establish trust, turning one-time visitors into loyal, long-term customers.
2. Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing represents a more traditional form of advertising, where businesses actively reach out to potential customers instead of drawing them in organically.
This strategy often involves tactics like cold or warm calling through a business development agent, the use of paid advertisements across various platforms, and direct mailings. Printed materials like brochures, flyers, and posters also fall under this category.
Unlike inbound marketing, outbound focuses more on pushing the product or service onto the customer rather than building a long-term relationship. The goal of this tactic is immediate results by directly engaging with the target audience, whether through a phone call or a well-placed ad.
While often considered less personalized, it can be highly effective for quick sales and brand visibility.
3. Partnerships and Referrals
Partnerships and referrals represent a powerful avenue for lead generation, particularly when sourced from trusted industry partners or realtor referrals. In this approach, businesses collaborate with other organizations or professionals who share a similar target audience but are not direct competitors.
Such partnerships often involve a mutual exchange of leads or promotional efforts, amplifying reach and credibility. Realtor referrals are especially valuable in the property management industry, where a real estate agent recommends your property management services to a seller when their house doesn't sell quickly enough.
These leads are often high-quality, coming from a trusted source, making them more likely to convert into sales or long-term clients.
4. Conferences and Trade Shows
In the startup phase, you may focus on a limited set of lead generation techniques. However, attending property management and investor conferences and trade shows can be a vital part of your strategy.
These events provide excellent networking opportunities, allowing you to connect directly with potential customers and partners.
Then, as your business matures, diversifying your lead sources becomes crucial. Incorporating a mix of inbound and outbound methods, partnerships, and event participation will create a more robust, resilient strategy for sustainable growth.
Recap: 4 Steps to Building Your Marketing Budget
There's a lot more to this process, but let's recap the basic building blocks we've discussed. When creating a marketing budget and selecting marketing strategies, you'll follow four steps.
1. Strategy-Cost Estimates
Generate strategy cost estimates by figuring out the cost per lead and cost per sale associated with each technique. You should be able to develop a sense of how effective each strategy will be at generating leads and how cost-effective those leads are.
2. Delineate Your Goals
Determine your marketing goals by figuring out your target growth rate and the budget you have available. This way, you can grow within your means.
Settle on an acceptable closing ratio, which is the ratio of leads converted to clients.
3. Allocate Funds That Develop Growth
Next, allocate funds to your marketing strategy.
Remember to follow the layered approach and start with a core strategy that works for your budget and helps you grow. Add strategies that complement each other as your business grows.
4. Track Your Statistics
Tracking your statistics is an essential step in optimizing your lead generation strategy. By continually monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), such as conversion rates and customer acquisition costs, you can gain insights into what's working and what needs adjustment.
This ongoing analysis allows you to fine-tune your methods, make informed decisions, and allocate resources more effectively. Periodic reviews and adjustments are crucial for staying adaptable and responsive in a dynamic market, ensuring the long-term success of your plan.
In Property Management Marketing, Knowledge Is Power
We've briefly covered the basics of establishing a set of marketing strategies and a marketing budget, but there is significantly more to learn! However, our full course, "How to Start, Run, and Grow a Property Management Business," will teach you everything you need to know to launch a successful property management company.
You can complete this online course at your own pace and come back at any time. Access this information when and where you want so you always have the tools and resources you need.
If you'd like to talk more with us about property management marketing strategies, inbound marketing efforts for success, budgets, and growing your business, you can also reach out and connect with our team!