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Google My Business is one of the most powerful marketing tools that multi-family owners need to master in order to make their properties stand out. When GMB offers are used efficiently, those looking for a new apartment will be taken to the on-site leasing office. This is one of the first steps in converting prospects into residents.
Unlike pay-per-click in Google Ads and search engine optimization, GMB is free. The tool has a unique search algorithm that allows apartment owners to enter descriptions of their properties, add photos and even post relevant information to get their business noticed.
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“Multi-family owners should take the time to understand and fully utilize the tools Google provides on the GMB platform as they are designed to provide the user with detailed information and additional ways to click through your website,” said Catriona Orosco, director of Yardi’s RENTCafé Reach said Multi-Housing News.
Build a strong GMB profile
Now that you’ve claimed the listing and made sure that all members of the marketing team have access to it, the next thing to do is to make sure the key details like the property’s address, phone number, website, etc. are correct.
“The opportunity goes well beyond these basics. Office hours, photos and products such as floor plans are all ways to show what is unique and important about your property, ”said Orosco.
Adding high quality photos, videos, or 360 views to a GMB list is another way to make a GMB list stand out. These elements are among the first to grab a potential customer’s attention, and they also instill trust with the audience. In addition, they give potential residents a realistic insight into the community.
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According to Louis Schiavone, content marketing director at Love & Co., a marketing firm focused on senior communities, adding links to social media accounts is also an easy way to improve the effectiveness of a GMB profile while also being a potential customer To give the chance to learn more about a community and to get in contact with it.
Additionally, having a well-moderated review platform where potential customers can read verified reviews and official responses is vital.
“Reviews can be a great way to identify problems that you may not be aware of, and how you handle these problems is important to your future prospects. Always be professional and courteous in your responses, ”advised Orosco.
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One of the newest features of GMB is Google Posts, a tool that allows multi-family owners to post content directly to search engine results pages. Love & Co. has been using it since March to receive their messages from online searchers.
“For example, we wrote a post for a customer in the Raleigh, NC area about the reopening / vaccination status of the community and linked the post to a blog about their vaccination campaign. More than 2,000 views and more than 20 clicks were generated without paying for search or ad placements, ”Schiavone told MHN. “The only drawbacks are that posts expire and only one post is visible at a time. So you need to be aware of how things are going and update / republish accordingly.”
Orosco noted that while it is not always possible to scroll through Google Posts, it is important to regularly update and highlight amenities, specific floor plans, community events, or call local businesses.
Tracking GMB performance
Multi-family owners can review key metrics of their GMB performance through the platform’s built-in admin dashboard, which tracks interactions like calls and messages, search results, and customer actions like website clicks.
“GMB is a great way for potential customers to learn about your property, and it’s important to understand if that traffic is also in contact with your leasing employees. (Property Managers) should be clear about how much traffic they are getting from their GMB profile and whether that traffic is being converted into leads. If it doesn’t, it is important to check both your business listings and your website to find ways to better convert your traffic, ”Orosco said.
To check how GMB listings are developing, Love & Co. creates weekly reports for their customers. This way, they make sure that they haven’t missed any new reviews that need to be answered.
“For customers who use the GMB profile and the GMB service, we usually work on their profiles for about an hour a week. Most of the work takes place in the initial setup and optimization phase, which can take four to eight hours, ”noted Schiavone.
Optimizing and updating GMB offers is time-efficient and worthwhile in apartment marketing. And, according to Orosco, thinking strategically about what’s important to both prospects and Google will improve the chances of multi-family owners to outperform their competition.