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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

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
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
obligatory mention traditional internet listing services ilss
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
the long tail
The Long Tail

*Source Hitwise and Inman news

causes of the long tail
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
slide6
*
  • 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!

mhl success
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
mhl search results
MHL:Search Results
  • Sorted by Modification Date
  • Users can mark favorites
slide11
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
slide13
TIP

EXLCUSIVE

  • Add Photos!
  • Take photos on sunny days!*
  • More photos = More traffic!

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

slide14
TIP

Add interior photos and floor plans!

  • Renters love it
  • Some sign leases sight-unseen!
mhl property details
MHL:Property Details
  • Attachments & Links
  • Labels by MSHDA
  • Photo Gallery
  • Print Brochure
  • Mark as favorite
  • Utilities
slide16
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!
the long tail search keywords
The Long Tail – Search Keywords

EXLCUSIVE

*RentLinx.com keyword stats from Google Analytics

what are renters searching for
“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

mhl unit details
MHL:Unit Details
  • Interior Photos
  • Map
  • Modification Date
mhl satellite view
MHL: Satellite View

Taking credit for Google’s hard work.

slide21
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
slide22
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
slide23
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
when are renters looking moral
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!
how to get listed
How to Get Listed?
  • Visit www.rentlinx.com
  • Click “List your Properties”
craigslist org
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
your website
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
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!
slide32

Your Listings on Your Site!

Your Website!

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

why not market on the internet
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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