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Marketing On The Internet


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Slides from Jeremy Schneider's 2010 presentation "Marketing on the Internet" at the Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing

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Marketing On The Internet

  1. 1. Marketing on the Internet<br />Jeremy Schneider<br />Founder, RentLinx<br />Lead Developer, MSHDA’s<br />Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing<br />April 28, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Why Market? Sales Funnel/Pipeline<br />Starts with a lead:<br />Marketing/Advertising<br />Phone calls, emails, walk-ins<br />Onsite Tour<br />Sales/Qualifying<br />Application<br />Qualify<br />$$<br />Signed Lease!<br />
  3. 3. What’s a lead worth?<br />Who cares if you miss a few? They’ll find me!<br />Example:<br />100 unit building, 95% occupancy<br />Average rent $800<br />10% lead to lease conversion ratio<br />Marketing generates 20 leads/month<br />2 new leases signed/month<br />$1600 new rent / 20 leads = $80/lead!<br />
  4. 4. *<br />Brought to you by MSHDA<br /><br />Free to list! Free to search!<br />Affordable and Accessible housing options<br />24x7 Access, Unlimited updates<br />Easy to use<br />Part of the RentLinx network<br />FREE!<br />
  5. 5. MHL Success (Through April 2010)<br />Went live December, 2006<br />3.5 Million Property Views in last 12 months!<br />72,000+ leads in last 12 months!<br />27,600+ properties representing 348,000+ Michigan rental housing units listed – and more are added every day<br />All of these numbers increased 20%-50%over 1 year ago!<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />
  6. 6. Radio ads in <br />6 markets<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />
  7. 7. Michigan Housing Locator<br />New in ‘10!<br />
  8. 8. MHL:Search Results<br />New in ‘10!<br /><ul><li>Sorted by Modification Date
  9. 9. Users can mark favorites</li></li></ul><li>TIP<br />Keep your property information current! *<br />Jump to the top of the list! Properties are sorted by modification date<br />Click “Mark as Current” to update modification date<br />
  10. 10. MHL:Favorites<br />New in ‘10!<br /><ul><li>Save, view and send your favorites!
  11. 11. E-mail a list of potentials to a client or to yourself to save!</li></li></ul><li>MHL:<br /><ul><li>Hone in on exact location
  12. 12. Change search radius
  13. 13. Drag and drop starting point</li></li></ul><li>MHL:View results on a map<br />
  14. 14. TIP<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />Add photos!<br />Take photos on sunny days!*<br />More photos = More traffic!<br />*Statistics as tracked by RentLinx on the RentLinx network of sites<br />
  15. 15. Where Would You Rather Live?<br />
  16. 16. MHL:Property Details<br /><ul><li>Attachments & Links
  17. 17. Labels by MSHDA
  18. 18. Photo Gallery
  19. 19. Print Brochure
  20. 20. Mark as favorite
  21. 21. Utilities</li></li></ul><li>TIP<br />Use the description!<br />Potential residents crave the details<br />A great place to list everything that won’t fit elsewhere<br />Generate more qualified leads!*<br />More opportunities to match keyword searches<br />Search engines thrive on this content!<br />
  22. 22. The Long Tail – Search Keywords<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />* keyword stats from Google Analytics<br />
  23. 23. What are renters searching for?<br />“Top” Keywords<br />#1. “ann arbor apartments”<br />#2. “kalamazoo apartments”<br />#3. “east lansing apartments”<br />Some other “down the list” searches<br />#941. “houses for rent in manistee michigan” <br />#3,139. “senior subsidized living in garden city michigan”<br />#13,052. “all bills paid apartments flint, mi”<br />#22,361. “for rent gas light district of grand rapids, mi”<br />#35,477. “show me all the apartments by the #3 bus route”<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />* keyword stats from Google Analytics<br />
  24. 24. Do longer descriptions help?<br />0: Blank!<br />1-200: One or two sentences<br />201-500: One long paragraph<br />501-1000: Two long paragraphs<br />1000+: Getting kind of wordy!<br />EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  25. 25. MHL:Unit Details<br /><ul><li>Interior Photos
  26. 26. Map
  27. 27. Modification Date</li></li></ul><li>TIP<br />Add interior photos and floor plans!<br />Renters love it<br />Some sign leases sight-unseen!<br />
  28. 28. MHL: Satellite View<br />Taking credit for Google’s hard work.<br />
  29. 29. TIP<br />List the rent or rent range!<br />Renters prefer to see places they know they can afford instead of calling to be disappointed<br />If your rent is based on income, use the description to describe general qualifications<br />Provide a link to your income qualifications<br />
  30. 30. MHLSchool Districts<br />
  31. 31. MHL:School Districts<br /><ul><li>Automatically decided based on latitude and longitude
  32. 32. View boundaries on map</li></li></ul><li>MHL:School Districts<br /><ul><li>Easy to change, if necessary!</li></li></ul><li>TIP<br />Add links & attachments!<br />Links provide helpful info to renters and improve the search engine rank of your website<br />Attachments give your future residents access to important documents before they walk in the door<br />
  33. 33. TIP<br />Upload your attachments in PDF format<br />Everyone can view on any type of computer<br />Will always be viewed and printed as you expect<br />“But Jeremy,” you may be asking yourself, “don’t you need expensive software to create PDF documents?”<br />No! Visit for a free converter!<br />OR: Send your documents as an attachment to It’s like magic!<br />Any file that you can print, you can convert to PDF<br />
  34. 34. MHLRent Reasonableness/ Comparables Report!<br />NEW FOR ‘10<br />
  35. 35. MHLRent Reasonableness/ Comparables Report!View similar units sorted by similarity. Choose 3 units of your choice!<br />NEW FOR ‘10<br />
  36. 36. MHLRent Reasonableness/ Comparables Report!Generate and customize a report to print or download!<br />NEW FOR ‘10<br />
  37. 37. But wait, there’s more!<br />Many More!<br />
  38. 38. How to Get Listed?<br /><ul><li>Visit
  39. 39. Click “List your Properties”</li></li></ul><li>Review LeadsReview all incoming e-mails and phone calls (plus only)<br />NEW FOR ‘10<br />
  40. 40. Receiving The Leads<br />Most leads come in via phone or e-mail<br />Make sure they enter your sales funnel, not spill over!<br />Signed Lease!<br />
  41. 41. When Are Renters E-Mailing?<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />
  42. 42. When Are Renters E-Mailing?<br />EXLCUSIVE<br />
  43. 43. When Are Renters Looking? Moral.<br />Only 40.9% of MHL web leads came in during 9-5, M-F business hours<br />Many renters may not bother calling after hours<br />Make sure your e-mail works!<br />Reply (preferably call) as promptly as possible!<br />
  44. 44. Phone Call Study!<br />Phone call tracking implemented in Sept. ‘09<br />RentLinx Plus! Properties track their phone leads via special toll free numbers<br />Michigan calls by the numbers:<br />7,000+: Calls tracked and recorded<br />600+: Distinct properties receiving calls<br />150+: Distinct management companies<br />EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  45. 45. When Are Renters Calling?<br />EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  46. 46. When Are Renters Calling?<br />EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br /><ul><li>76.1% of calls came in between 9-5, M-F
  47. 47. 12.1% came in between 9-5, Sat and Sun</li></li></ul><li>How Are The Calls Answered?<br />Notes:<br /><ul><li> Only 44% of renters could talk to a human during business hours
  48. 48. 62% of renters hung up when answered by machine
  49. 49. *55% of renters who hung up never called back or e-mailed</li></ul>EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  50. 50. Does Answering Help?<br />EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  51. 51.*<br />Free classified site<br />Posts sorted by date<br />City specific sub-sites<br />Pros:<br /><ul><li>Free!
  52. 52. High traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor
  53. 53. Some swear by it</li></ul>Cons:<br /><ul><li>Can attract spam or fraud
  54. 54. Necessary to repost often
  55. 55. May get less attention from affordable/senior housing seekers</li></li></ul><li>Watch out for scams!<br />Bad guys pose as renters to try to extort money<br />Here’s how a common scam works:<br />Interested renter contacts you, excited to pay<br />Rarely in person, they choose unit, send first month plus security deposit<br />Check is for too much, they ask for extra to be returned or forwarded to a 3rd party (furniture, moving company, etc)<br />Original check bounces, you’re out the difference<br />
  56. 56. ExampleFraud Attempt<br /><ul><li> Leads from the MHL will include the country at the top
  57. 57. Nigeria is a hotbed of fraudulent activity
  58. 58. RentLinx blocks fraudulent users, and contacts any managers who heard from one</li></li></ul><li>Warning Signs – Protect Yourself<br />Warning signs:<br />Out of the country<br />Poor grammar<br />Strange questions, as if he didn’t read the ad<br />Overly willing to send money<br />Check is for too much<br />Asks for money from your account<br />Wants to use WesternUnion, MoneyGrams, or similar<br />Protect yourself!<br />Stay aware of potential for fraud<br />Use common sense<br />Never send money away from your account!<br />
  59. 59. Social Media<br />Includes: Blogs, micro-blogging, social networking, event coordinating, etc.<br />Not a silver bullet<br />Great way to stay top of mind, increase referrals<br />
  60. 60. Invite residents to events<br />Tag residents in photos*<br />Residents can “become a fan”<br />Status updates: “Free cookies in the office!”<br />Follow the site rules, or risk alienating users<br />Example: facebook<br />
  61. 61. Benefits:<br /><ul><li> Appear in news feeds
  62. 62. Residents get reminders about events
  63. 63. Your name will appear when browsing photos
  64. 64. Your property will appear on all your “fans” profile pages</li></li></ul><li>Your Website!<br />Best Marketing?<br />Renters trust as the most accurate source<br />Can be very inexpensive<br />A little can go a long way<br />Cheap domain names:*<br />
  65. 65. Market Your Website!<br />Signs<br />Business Cards<br />E-mail Signatures<br />Brochures<br />Print and Internet Ads<br />Voicemail <br />Links from Partner websites! *<br />Add a link to your RentLinx listing!<br />
  66. 66. Your Listings on Your Site!<br />Your Website!<br />Visit and click on “WebLinx” for more details<br />
  67. 67. RentLinx .<br />Track and record your phone leads<br />Advertise on additional pay-to-list sites<br />Generate custom average rent reports<br />Free to upgrade, pay only $10/lead Plus! lead<br />MHL Leads always 100% free<br />Set your own monthly budget<br />No contracts no commitments<br />
  68. 68. Average Rent Report<br /><ul><li>Compare prices, amenities, property types and sizes
  69. 69. Customize to match your chosen area based on specific location, zip code, city or county.
  70. 70. Included free when any property is upgraded to Plus!</li></ul>EXLCUSIVENEW FOR ‘10<br />
  71. 71. Why Market? Sales Funnel/Pipeline<br />Phone calls, emails, walk-ins<br />Onsite Tour<br />Application<br />Qualify<br />$$<br />Signed Lease!<br />
  72. 72. Why Market? Sales Funnel/Pipeline<br />Attachments<br />Links<br />Answer phone<br />facebook<br />Up-to-date<br />Good<br />Description<br />Your site<br />RentLinx Plus!<br />MHL<br />craigslist<br />Prompt reply<br />Photos<br />twitter<br />RentLinx network<br />Phone calls, emails, walk-ins<br />Onsite Tour<br />Application<br />Qualify<br />$$<br />Lots of Signed Leases!!!<br />
  73. 73. Why not market on the Internet?<br />Survey responses to “Don’t advertise online? Why?”<br />Lack of Budget - 25%<br />Confusion. Don’t know how or where to begin - 20%<br />The internet is not relevant to our business - 18%<br />Lack of time or personnel to do it - 15%<br />Have all the business we need - 12%<br />Skeptical that it is effective - 10%<br />No more excuses! <br />* and Opus Research Study, 2007<br />
  74. 74. Questions?<br />