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Marketing on the Internet

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Marketing on the Internet Powered By Docstoc
					      Marketing
    on the Internet
           Jeremy Schneider
                 Founder, RentLinx
Lead Developer, MSHDA’s MichiganHousingLocator.com


        Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing
                      June 3, 2009
Internet: Not Just for Kids Anymore
 78% of renters have a computer in their home
 and 85% of those subscribe to high speed
 Internet. 1
 72% of renters begin their search on the
 Internet when moving to a new area. 2
 Senior housing too! Many adults use the
 Internet to search for their parents.

1. NMHC Apartment Renter Technology Survey, 2007
2. MyNewPlace, Compete Survey, 2006
  Obligatory Mention: Traditional
  Internet Listing Services (ILSs)
Pay-per-month                   Pay-per-lead
                                 or pay-per-lease




Pros:                             Cons:
•High visibility                  •Often very pricey
•Potentially less competition     •No ROI Guarantee
•Well marketed sites              •Unnecessary pay-per-lease bills
                         The Long Tail




*Source Hitwise, April 2009
    Causes of the Long Tail?
Little collaboration between major players
Vastly varying costs to advertise
Many housing providers making varied choices
Many renters making varied choices
Popularity of local sites
                              *
Brought to you by MSHDA
www.MichiganHousingLocator.com
Free to list! Free to search!
Affordable and Accessible housing options
24x7 Access, Unlimited updates
Easy to use
Part of the RentLinx network
   MHL Success (Through May 2009)
Went live December, 2006
2,697,462 Property Views in last 12 months!
29,352 web leads in last 12 months!
20,800+ properties representing 299,000+
Michigan rental housing units listed – and more
are added every day
All of these numbers increased 60%-80% over
1 year ago!
                                          CU SIV
                                   E XL
                                    E
 EX
   LC
E    US
          IV
Michigan
Housing
Locator
 MHL:
 Search
 Results
•Sorted by
Modification Date
•Users can mark
favorites
                         TIP
Keep your property information current! *
  Jump to the top of the list! Properties are sorted by
  modification date
  Click “Mark as Current” to update modification date
 MHL:
 New this year!


•Hone in on exact
location
•Change search
radius
•Drag and drop
starting point
MHL:
View results on
a map
                               EX
                    TIP       E
                                 LC
                                   US
Add photos!                                  IV
Take photos on sunny days!*
More photos = More traffic!




                                 *Statistics as tracked by
                                 RentLinx on the
                                 RentLinx network of
                                 sites
Where Would You Rather Live?
   MHL:
  Property
   Details
•Attachments & Links
•Labels by MSHDA
•Photo Gallery
•Print Brochure
•Mark as favorite
•Utilities
                          TIP
Use the description!
  Potential residents crave the details
  A great place to list everything that won’t fit elsewhere
  More opportunities to match keyword searches
  Search engines thrive on this content!
The Long Tail – Search Keywords
               The top 10 keywords make up a tiny 2% of the      Top Search Engine Keywords
               75,546 visitors who reached us through search
               engines
      300

      250

      200
                                 43,776 unique keywords accounted for 98% of the visits
 Visits




      150

      100

          50

           0



*RentLinx.com keyword stats from Google Analytics
                                                                             EXLC USIV
                                                                              E
   What are renters searching for?
  “Top” Keywords
       #1. “ann arbor apartments”
       #2. “kalamazoo apartments”
       #3. “east lansing apartments”
  Some other “down the list” searches
       #941. “houses for rent in manistee michigan”
       #3,139. “senior subsidized living in garden city michigan”
       #13,052. “all bills paid apartments flint, mi”
       #22,361. “for rent gas light district of grand rapids, mi”
       #35,477. “show me all the apartments by the #3 bus route”

*RentLinx.com keyword stats from Google Analytics
                                                    EXLC USIV
                                                    E
MHL:
Unit Details

•Interior Photos
•Map
•Modification Date
                      TIP
Add interior photos and floor plans!
 Renters love it
 Some sign leases sight-unseen!
MHL:
Satellite View


 Taking credit for
 Google’s hard work.
                      TIP
List the rent or rent range!
  Renters prefer to see places they know they can
  afford instead of calling to be disappointed
If your rent is based on income, use the
description to describe general qualifications
Provide a link to your income qualifications
MHL
New this year:
School Districts
MHL:
School Districts

•Automatically decided
based on latitude and
longitude

•View boundaries on
map
MHL:
School Districts

•Easy to change, if
necessary!
                       TIP
Add links & attachments!
Links provide helpful info to renters and improve the
search engine rank of your website
Attachments give your future residents access to
important documents before they walk in the door
                         TIP
Upload your attachments in PDF format
  Everyone can view on any type of computer
  Will always be viewed and printed as you expect
“But Jeremy,” you may be asking yourself, “don’t you
need expensive software to create PDF documents?”
No! Visit www.primopdf.com for a free converter!
OR: Send your documents as an attachment to
pdf@koolwire.com. It’s like magic!
Any file that you can print, you can convert to PDF
When Are Renters Looking?
                              Web Leads by Day of Week
                                April 2007- March 2008

        2500              2247
                                     1986         2073        1973
        2000
                                                                         1645
               1431
        1500
Leads




                                                                                    1212

        1000

         500

          0



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                      on




                                                                     Fr



                                                                                tu
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           Su




                                              ne
                               Tu
                      M




                                                                              Sa
                                                       Th
                                          ed
                                          W




                                                  Day


                                                                              EXLC USIV
                                                                                E
                                Leads
                   12
                      :0
                        0




                                  0
                                100
                                200
                                300
                                400
                                500
                                600
                                700
                                800
                                900
                               1000
                    1: A M
                       00
                    2: AM
                       00
                    3: AM
                       00
                    4: AM
                       00
                    5: AM
                       00
                    6: AM
                       00
                    7: AM
                       00
                    8: AM
                       00
                                                                   April 2007- March 2008




                    9: AM
                       0
                                                                 Web Leads by Time of Day




                   10 0 A
                      :0 M
                   11 0 A
                      :0 M
                   12 0 A
                      :0 M
                        0
                    1: P M
                       00




            Time
                    2: PM
                       00
                    3: PM
                       00
                    4: PM
                       00
                    5: PM
                       00
                                        9am-5pm Business Hours




                    6: PM
                       00
                    7: PM
                       00
                    8: PM
                       00
E                   9: PM
                       0
                   10 0 P
                      :0 M
                   11 0 P
                      :0 M
                        0
                                                                                            When Are Renters Looking?




    EXLC

                          PM
         USIV
When Are Renters Looking? Moral.
Only 40.9% of MHL web leads came in during
9-5, M-F business hours
Many renters may not bother calling after hours
Make sure your e-mail works!
Reply as promptly as possible!
But wait, there’s more!




                  Many More!
How to
Get
Listed?
•Visit
www.rentlinx.com
•Click “List your
Properties”
                      craigslist.org*
   Free classified site
   Posts sorted by date
   City specific sub-sites

Pros:                                    Cons:
•Free!                                   •Can attract spam or fraud
•High traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor   •Necessary to repost often
•Some swear by it                        •May get less attention from
                                         affordable/senior housing seekers
       Watch out for scams!
Bad guys pose as renters to try to extort money
Here’s how a common scam works:
  Interested renter contacts you, excited to pay
  Rarely in person, they choose unit, send first month
  plus security deposit
  Check is for too much, they ask for extra to be
  returned or forwarded to a 3rd party (furniture,
  moving company, etc)
  Original check bounces, you’re out the difference
Example
Fraud
Attempt
• Leads from the MHL
will include the country
at the top

• Nigeria is a hotbed of
fraudulent activity

• RentLinx blocks
fraudulent users, and
contacts any managers
who heard from one
Warning Signs – Protect Yourself
Warning signs:                   Protect yourself!
  Out of the country               Stay aware of potential
  Poor grammar                     for fraud
  Strange questions, as if he      Use common sense
  didn’t read the ad               Never send money
  Overly willing to send money     away from your
  Check is for too much            account!
  Asks for money from your
  account
  Wants to use WesternUnion,
  MoneyGrams, or similar
             Social Media
Includes: Blogs, micro-blogging, social
networking, event coordinating, etc.
Not a silver bullet
Great way to stay top of mind, increase referrals
         Example: facebook
Invite residents to events
Tag residents in photos*
Residents can “become a fan”
Status updates: “Free cookies in the office!”
Follow the site rules, or risk alienating users
Benefits:
• Appear in news feeds

• Residents get reminders
about events

• Your name will appear
when browsing photos

• Your property will
appear on all your “fans”
profile pages
             Your Website!
Best Marketing?
Renters trust as the most accurate source
Can be very inexpensive
A little can go a long way
Cheap domain names: GoDaddy.com*
       Market Your Website!
Signs
Business Cards
E-mail Signatures
Brochures
Print and Internet Ads
Voicemail
Links from Partner websites! *
Add a link to your RentLinx listing!
Your Listings on Your Site!




                                                  Your Website!


Visit www.rentlinx.com and click on “WebLinx” for more details
   Why not market on the Internet?
 Survey responses to
 “Don’t advertise online? Why?”
      Lack of Budget - 25%
      Confusion. Don’t know how or where to begin - 20%
      The internet is not relevant to our business - 18%
      Lack of time or personnel to do it - 15%
      Have all the business we need - 12%
      Skeptical that it is effective - 10%
 No more excuses! ☺

*ClickZ.com and Opus Research Study, 2007
Questions?

				
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