The United States real estate industry took a hit in 2020 due primarily to the Coronavirus pandemic. The negative impact of
COVID-19 was inevitably felt by rental property managers as well as other real estate professionals. Many thought it was another crisis leading to a housing market crash as the one experienced in 2008. However, 2021 is seeing things return to normal. The discovery of COVID-19 vaccines and the coming in of the Biden administration have stimulated the real estate market to a reasonable degree. So, property managers need to be aware of the 2021 trends in real estate marketing, in particular, and housing, as a whole, to start recovering any business they might have lost last year.
US Real Estate Trends in 2021
The real estate industry is a very competitive one; with more stakeholders springing up and property laws changing from time to time depending on location, managers outcompete each other to sit at the top of the competition chain. In this article, we will take a look at the real estate trends and ideas that will help rental property managers make the most of their real estate marketing strategies in 2021.
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This is probably the hardest pill to swallow — so steel yourself: inventory has been meager. The consulting firm PwC reported that inventory crashed to nearly 30% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same time in 2020. What this means is that there are more buyers than available homes. This creates a problem. Prospective homebuyers want to evaluate a property before tendering an offer, yet they do not have plenty of time. Houses are snatched up quickly, which means one has to make a swift move.
But this can be a good thing if you are a property manager. As first-time homebuyers might not be able to get a good home, many will have to resort to renting, which, in turn, increases your chances of securing more property management deals, especially in locations where the renter population is higher than the homeowner population. So, as long as you know the best ways to advertise your rental property management company, you might be able to grow your business significantly in 2021.
Increase in Prices of Rental Homes
Home prices do not seem to be going down any time soon. Just in November 2020, existing real estate values shot up by a staggering 15% over the previous year, according to the same PwC report. And in the first quarter of 2021, home prices grew by almost 20% compared to the previous year – rising to a national average of $300,000-$400,000. For homeowners and real estate investors looking to sell a property, this is a positive development as it means they will likely get their asking price, or, if competition arises amongst several buyers, even more.
Meanwhile, according to Rentable, rent prices were on the rise in May 2021. This is good news for rental property managers who are paid a percentage of the monthly rental rate. So, you should start working on your real estate marketing materials as soon as possible to take advantage of this additional available income.
Falling Interest Rates
The median mortgage interest rate (i.e., the payment lenders charge as a percentage of the principal loan) has been low recently. Throughout the second and third quarters of 2020, the rates surprisingly fell to 3.5%. By November in the same year, the interest rate dropped further to 2.31% on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. As a result, the median rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.2% in January 2021 – the lowest it has dropped since Freddie Mac began reporting three decades ago. Economist experts believe that the rate will not rise beyond 3% for the rest of 2021.
The historically low mortgage rates make 2021 the perfect time for beginner real estate investors to buy a rental property. As many of them will be in search of passive income, this means more business for a traditional or Airbnb management company.
Increasing Adoption of Technology in Property Management Services
Real estate businesses including property management companies in the United States are adopting advanced technology to improve their services, such as IoT-enabled devices, virtual reality devices, thermostats, CCTVs, smart locker storage, and others.
Property managers are not left out. There are a lot of technology tips for you to join the disruption in the property management industry including the increasing 5G network availability. PwC also revealed that 42% of property managers have taken to advanced technologies to keep their businesses relevant in today’s market. In addition, new product offerings by notable establishments – such as Buildium, AppFolio, Rentalutions, and VTS – automate and simplify many hitherto paper-heavy tasks, such as collecting rents, paying bills, and others.
Read More: 6 Best Rental Property Management Apps
Proliferation of Buying Tricks
Risk-tolerant homebuyers are innovatively snagging up houses for sale in 2021. One way they do this is to rent a home to buy. Rent-to-own homes transactions are not new, but they are expected to skyrocket this year.
Another interesting, yet risky trick in the market entails securing a personal loan for the amount needed as part payment. With interest rates on loans at an all-time low, this presents an opportunity that some homebuyers might not otherwise have to buy a home. This is good news for property managers because the more investors are able to afford properties, the more opportunities for you to manage rental houses.
Also Read: Watch Out Property Managers! 15 Common Renter Scams
Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Property Managers
Now that you know what trends to expect in the US housing market in 2021, you are better prepared to operate your rental property management business. So it’s time to look into the real estate tips for property managers that we have prepared for you.
There are currently over 800,000 property managers in the United States. That is a lot of competition for your business, especially from the top 10 real estate websites created by these managers. Hence, the need to stand out from the crowd. The trick is marketing – which involves getting real estate leads for prospective clients and staying engaged with them for at least 85% of the time they’re not actively buying or selling your services.
It is sometimes challenging to come up with property management marketing ideas, especially when you spend plenty of your time on the go meeting with clients as a property manager. The most potent real estate marketing idea is pinpointing ways your primary marketing channels – website, email marketing, blog posts, and social media profiles – can distinguish your business from the competition.
Here are some real estate marketing strategy ideas to explore as a property manager in 2021:
1. Build a Professional Real Estate Website
Although this idea for digital marketing real estate is not new, rental property investors as well as renters expect property managers to have robust and enlightening websites that address a target audience and a specific niche.
Your website designers should focus on two things: functionality and aesthetics. Clients would most likely visit property management websites that exhibit certain qualities such as the speed of the opening web pages, seamless navigation, quality of the pictures and written content, and so on. Avoid plenty of ads and continually update your website with fresh, engaging content and nice shots of available homes for rent.
Also, make your website mobile-friendly. Millennials looking to rent search for available properties on their smartphones on the go. You can add video walk-throughs for a better visual experience of your services. This will save you time, as your clients will know if they want a property before they place a call to you.
Pro-tip: Make your website content local SEO-inclined as this will increase your website’s visibility on Google search results. It is also important to employ the expertise of professional content writers to write creative real estate listing descriptions for your real estate properties.
2. Make Use of Email Marketing
Another potent way of connecting with prospective clients is through weekly or monthly email newsletters, a branch of digital real estate marketing. If you have never thought of emails as a marketing tool before now, make 2021 your year to develop and maintain leads through email marketing. Your website is a great place to start gathering email subscribers.
To encourage people to give you their email addresses, you need to offer them something in exchange. It could be a free sample/template of a sale agreement, discounts, relevant e-books, special offers, or many other things. It could also be a free article on things buyers must do before tendering an offer or homeowners must note before fixing a price. Or a free property valuation calculator on your website. As long as you offer something of value, people will gladly drop their email addresses.
When you collect their email addresses, send informative emails that you know will be useful to your leads. You can also personalize the emails based on age, location, or any other data they have given you. Make sure to include catchy subject lines and high-quality visuals.
Pro-tip: Be careful not to spam your subscribers with incessant promotions. Otherwise, they will unsubscribe from your newsletters with just one click. Or even worse, they will mark your email address as spam, which will affect your future email marketing campaigns.
3. Take Professional Property Photos
Pictures are by far the easiest and fastest way to get customers’ attention – especially millennials. A good photograph speaks more than a thousand words. The quality of your photos plays an important role in helping prospects decide whether to check out your listing or scroll away from it.
Low-quality pictures of luxurious houses can make them look undesirable. And this will cost you. So why don’t you hire an experienced real estate photographer to handle this all-too-important job?
Not many homeowners and property managers appreciate the significance of this marketing idea. Clients will always judge a book by its cover when it comes to real estate, especially when surfing through hundreds or thousands of listings.
Pro-tip: To avoid other people using your photos, especially the competition, you can watermark your images to indicate proprietary ownership.
4. Focus on Real Estate Social Media Marketing
One of the most powerful ways to make your clients and prospects feel involved in your business is to interact with them on trending topics. You can do this on social media platforms or online forums. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, and more dedicated real estate forums such as BiggerPockets are a great place to connect to a community of real estate investors, property buyers and sellers, agents, and renters.
Ensure to always reply to any inquiries and comments that followers drop on your posts and tweets. Commit to providing valuable information. Giving valuable, consistent information to followers interested in residential properties will establish you as one of the major real estate influencers.
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Instagram is a foolproof resource for reaching millions of millennials, which makes it one of the best platforms for social media real estate marketing in 2021. Use Instagram as an opportunity to post those excellent shots we discussed earlier as well as real estate videos of luxury homes. Connect with non-followers by searching for trending hashtags and spy on your competitors for things they might be doing right or wrong.
Twitter is a more interactive platform that you should be on. Use Twitter hashtags to find trending topics and engage strategically. You can also find posts to comment on, like, or engage other popular agents or real estate managers and even prospects that are looking to sell or purchase homes.
On Reddit, find real estate communities and post ideas and tips for homeowners, buyers, and sellers. There are numerous forum boards on Reddit devoted to the most specific topics globally, including homeownership, home buying, and home selling.
Pro-tip: Having verified profiles on Instagram and Twitter will help you win prospective clients’ confidence faster.
Read More: 6 Social Media Marketing Tips for Property Managers
5. Capitalize on Virtual Reality (VR) Tours
With the growth of technology and its impact on real estate marketing ideas, integrating virtual reality tours for open houses is gaining traction among property managers and real estate agents.
The truth is that you cannot always take clients to an open house – especially with COVID-19 restrictions. This is where virtual reality comes in. Clients and prospects can stay in their homes and see your listings in their entirety – inners, outsiders, the street, etc. Additionally, VR tours will stand you out as a property manager as they are not in wide use by your competitors yet.
Ultimately, all of our interactions with the digital realm will be in 3D and VR, so ensure that you stay ahead of the curve with technology like this. The vast majority of our interactions with the outside world will be in 3D and VR in the nearest future. Hence, leveraging it now guarantees you stay ahead of the curve. Allow your prospective buyers to tour the house they are interested in digitally before paying a personal visit.
Pro-tip: Build a VR catalog of all your available houses on your website. You can also use the Facebook 360 feature to create a VR catalog for your Facebook followers.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Property Management
6. Build a Referral System
Another trick to boost your real estate marketing plan is to build a model for referrals. Satisfied clients are your best marketers and the best way to advertise your rental property management company. Once you close a property deal with a client, politely ask him/her to refer you to his/her colleagues, friends, and family. If your clients are satisfied with the services that you provide, there is a strong likelihood that they will be more than willing to refer your business to their network.
It would be best if you cultivated your relationships with clients even when a transaction is done. However, you do not have to go over the top and incessantly disturb them. A little gift after the transaction, periodical email newsletters, or a holiday greeting card would be perfect.
Pro-tip: When setting up a referral system, you can start small with the reward just to test the viability of the project and then move up from there, depending on the outcome.
Read More: 7 Real Estate Marketing Trends to Expect In 2021
Conclusion: Real Estate Marketing for Property Management Companies
Despite the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this year in real estate has started on a favorable note with interesting trends for real estate investors. This presents an opportunity for property managers to make a killing. Property managers must leverage effective marketing to get clients and engage prospective clients to make the most of the trends. Some fascinating real estate marketing ideas include strategic use of social media, email marketing, providing VR tours on property websites, and cultivating a rewarding referral system. In any case that you feel like you cannot handle these yourself, you should employ the expertise of top marketing companies for professional tips on creative ways to market your business.
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