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Marketing Through The Ages Jeremy Schneider Founder, RentLinx Lead Developer, MichiganHousingLocator.com Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing April 28th, 2008 Internet: Not Just for Kids Anymore

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Marketing through the ages l.jpg

Marketing Through The Ages

Jeremy Schneider

Founder, RentLinx

Lead Developer, MichiganHousingLocator.com

Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing

April 28th, 2008


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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 begintheir search on the Internet when moving to a new area. 2

  • Senior housing too! Many adults use the Internet to search for their parents.

  • NMHC Apartment Renter Technology Survey, 2007

  • MyNewPlace, Compete Survey, 2006


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Obligatory Mention: Traditional Internet Listing Services (ILSs)

  • Pros:

  • High visibility

  • Potentially less competition

  • Well marketed sites

  • Cons:

  • Can be pricey

  • No ROI Guarantee

  • Unnecessary pay-per-lease bills


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The Long Tail

*Source Hitwise and Inman news


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Causes of the Long Tail?

  • Little collaboration between major players

  • Localized popularity of smaller sites

  • Vastly varying costs to advertise

  • Many housing providers making varied choices

  • Many renters making varied choices


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*

  • 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

FREE!


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MHL Success

  • Went live December, 2006

  • 1,046,144 Property Views in last 12 months!

  • 12,567 leads in last 12 months!

  • 11,000+ properties representing 231,000+ Michigan rental housing units listed – and more are added every day




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MHL:Search Results

  • Sorted by Modification Date

  • Users can mark favorites


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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


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MHL:View results on a map


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TIP

EXLCUSIVE

  • Add Photos!

  • Take photos on sunny days!*

  • More photos = More traffic!

*Statistics as tracked by RentLinx on the RentLinx network of sites


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TIP

Add interior photos and floor plans!

  • Renters love it

  • Some sign leases sight-unseen!


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MHL:Property Details

  • Attachments & Links

  • Labels by MSHDA

  • Photo Gallery

  • Print Brochure

  • Mark as favorite

  • Utilities


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TIP

  • Use the description!

    • Potential residents crave the details

    • A great place to list everything that won’t fit elsewhere

    • Search engines thrive on this content!


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The Long Tail – Search Keywords

EXLCUSIVE

*RentLinx.com keyword stats from Google Analytics


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“Top” Keywords

#1. “kalamazoo apartments”

#2. “royal oak apartments”

#3. “ann arbor apartments”

Some other “down the list” searches

#883. “income based apartments 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”

What are renters searching for?

EXLCUSIVE


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MHL:Unit Details

  • Interior Photos

  • Map

  • Modification Date


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MHL: Satellite View

Taking credit for Google’s hard work.


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TIP

  • List the rent or rent range!

    • Renters prefer to see places they know they can afford instead.

  • If your rent is based on income, use the description to describe general qualifications

  • Provide a link to your income qualifications


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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


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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 [email protected] It’s like magic!

  • Any file that you can print, you can convert to PDF




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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!



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How to Get Listed?

  • Visit www.rentlinx.com

  • Click “List your Properties”


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craigslist.org*

  • Free classified site

  • Posts sorted by date

  • City specific sub-sites

  • Pros:

  • Free!

  • High traffic in Detroit and Ann Arbor

  • Some swear by it

  • Cons:

  • Can attract spam or fraud

  • Necessary to repost often


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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*


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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!


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Your Listings on Your Site!

Your Website!

Visit www.rentlinx.com and click on “WebLinx” for more details


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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



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