11 Apr

Property Management and Your Online Presence

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When creating an internet presence and building a new public website, the first thing you’ll want to do is identify a domain name as close as possible to your company or property name. Don’t bother searching in multiple locations for your potential site’s name — you’re too busy for that! Go straight to a search engine like namechecklist.com, knowem.com or namechk.

Create your website on a platform such as WordPress. Put in the time, effort, and money to design and plan the site. Consider paying a designer to create a logo and graphics. Add content to the site, such as (in no particular order):

  1. About Us
  2. Services Properties and/or Listings
  3. Team
  4. Executive Bios
  5. Contact Us
  6. Affiliations
  7. Blog
  8. Testimonials

After all this work is done — content is added, graphics are selected, colors are finalized, fonts, headlines, and widget boxes are chosen — you (and only you, as you spearheaded the project!) can send out an email to everyone in your contact list to say, “Look! We have a new website and blog!” Yippee!

But then, if you’re like most website owners, the site sits, and sits, and sits. From time to time you might add a blog article, or update listings. If you’re smart, you thought to add a live feed of listings from another database service provider that’s integrated into the site. When new employees come and go, maybe you’ll update the site when you get around to it.

Don’t fall into this trap! Your website should be a living, breathing, active representation of you and your company. Make time to promote on social media. Push out your blog articles to LinkedIn and to all of the LinkedIn groups you belong to (maximum of 50 per person!). Encourage your team to tell all of their contacts about your new website or blog. Ensure that the domain URL is on every single thing you publish or post. Place simple share buttons on your pages or blog posts via the admin tools. Anything less, and you’re virtually guaranteeing that no one will ever share anything about you, your firm, or your great content.

While you’re at it, let your employees have access to sites like Facebook, and encourage them to keep an up-to-date LinkedIn profile (the modern-day business card). Your people and properties will be found and links will be out there in Google, where they can be discovered or exploited by new clients. If your website is found, that means traffic! Traffic is numbers, and numbers mean increased chances that you’ll meet a new client, tenant, or even find a buyer.

And get a Twitter page. Twitter is neither complicated nor difficult to navigate. It will bring t-r-a-f-f-i-c to your firm, which is only a problem if you plan to remain under the radar. Remember, you want every client to see your name in the media or an online content stream.

“More content available at All Things Property Management by Buildium, industry leaders in Online Property Management Software.”

Photo Credit: “cursor clicking Share Button” by Master isolated FreeDigitalPhotos.net

02 Aug

Technology FAQ for Commercial Property or Facility Management

Q. How do I use technology to generate more business/client/traffic leads for my company or property/facility?

A. Notice, the word ‘leads’? Leads because they are opportunities for business. In this simple blog post, there is no way to tell you how to improve your business itself without knowing a whole lot more information about your business. Leads are simply people making your phone ring, so to speak. In other words, if there are 10 people in your market looking for a business to hire, or an office space to lease, you MUST be sure you get to see those people and at least expose your business to them.

There is no difference in our work to lease or sell a property. If there are 10 opportunities to lease your space or your apartments, or your service centers or storefronts, don’t you push to be sure you see every single deal? The same holds true with your business. Just pretend you are a building owner and your business is a building. Why not push as hard for your business to feed it leads as you do your leasing or investment sales listings?

http://managerlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Google_search.jpg 708w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Here is a simple test: Search for your company or your building in Google Search. Did you find your company or your building? Remember, pretend you are the customer you want to attract. Now that you see what comes up, you need to work to see your business or property come up in that search! Once you see yourself come up in a Google Search, you have accomplished the goal.

Those techniques and tools are a must today if you are going to give your business a chance. In this blog post we share 1 single concept that reveals the most basic fundamental concept you MUST understand and have in place to give your business a chance to see those “new business deals” for your firm or property. If you are a start-up or an existing business, this blog post is of the utmost importance to understand.

Here is the key concept to comprehend………..drum roll, please.

Key Concept

    You must have at least one or more versions of your business name, reserved as a domain name.

If you are a new business or an existing business, a new property or an existing property, get the best domain name that describes what you do or the full name of your property. If you can get a keyword in your legal name, that helps tell what you do, that is even better. If your business is a destination or is geographically significant, add the location to your name or geonaming, (made up word) which means, add your location to your domain name or putting your location in your social media names and microsites.

It is difficult to put all of your services into a domain name without it being long. For instance, Property Management, Facility Management or Property and Facility Management, coupled with other services typically provided: leasing, investment sales, project management, consulting, etc., is much too long. I suggest you get your main name reserved, as well as micro-sites in many different configurations. Here are some illustrative examples:

Chicago Property and Facility Management Services, Inc. (super long, but it does say what you do and where you are!) Today, keywords and name searches are really important, especially for mobile use.

http://www.chicagopropertyfacilitymanagementservices.com (Main domain)
http://www.chicagopmfmservices.com (Micro-site)
http://www.chgopmfm.com (Micro-site)
http://www.chicagofacilitymanagement.com
http://www.chicagopropertymanagement.com
http://www.chicagopm.com
http://www.chicagofm.com
http://www.chicagopmfm.com
http://www.chicagoleasing.com
http://www.cpmfms.com

On top of that, you can add the .net, .org, .us, or whatever other category of domain name is applicable to your country or type of business. If your main domain is too long, simply use a shorter version of your name and just forward the other domains to your main site through your domain hosting service. If you use a domain registration service such as GoDaddy, this is super simple and takes a few moments to set up. Now when someone searches for you, no matter what they use, they will find you. Also, the micro-sites are a great way to see what is working in your marketing and promotions. If you know that you always use http://www.chicagoleasing.com for ALL of your “hire us for our leasing” promotions, that traffic is directly attributable to your leasing efforts and is now tracked through that domain.

This is a concept and not an exact blueprint for every business, but in concept, do not limit yourself to one single domain name. Many domain names cost pennies to own and they belong to you once reserved. With the internet exploding and growing, reserve these names now for future use; but always point them to your main site. If you have a long established name, it is also a great way to liven things up in your marketing; add other names that point to your firm. How about http://www.thebestpropertymanagerinchicago.com? or http://www.greatestleasingbroker.com, depending on your business service or http://www.bestplumberinchicago.com, http://www.bestjanitorialinchicago.com, etc. Today with tools like NameCheckList, it is so simple and NameCheckList does all of the heavy lifting for you! There is no excuse any longer as you can now see a complete picture of the name availability of your domain, across multiple opportunties. There is no excuse for any business today, not to be online.
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If you do not have the $11.00 to scrape together to reserve the domain name, at least do a Google Place page, Twitter site and Facebook Fan Page, or even Squidoo lens, which are all FREE. Every business should at least have a single page on the internet in some fashion. Reserving your domain name is really step one to embracing the technology available and insuring your company and/or your facility or property has a presence on the internet.

When it comes to your business or name, now is the time to set that up. This is not only your main domain, but your social media names as well. Our industry is so very behind the times, along with our properties. Each property or facility we manage should have their names and a location online to be found. The commercial real estate industry is in its infancy with the internet; so it is not too late. The point is to get your Facebook Fan Page (not Facebook account), Twitter Site, Google Places and domain set up now. Even if you do not have time to use it, at least get your names reserved for future use. Make a pact with your company to include a budget for each property in 2011 called Technology. Include an annual budget for a property website and domain registration. The budget should be at least $5.00 per month! Yes, you heard correct. I am talking about pennies here, just for a single page that gives the basic information. It truly is your job and responsibility to insure your clients and/or your company are not being left behind because you did not reserve the domain name for their company, property or facility.

Take this PM/FM Poll in trendycharts.com. trendycharts is the place to find out what other PM/FM think, so take the poll.

If you need help with this concept for your properties or firm, please send me an email or call me and I am happy to help. My personal agenda is to remind our industry to obtain a good domain name or social media name for their business or property and facility. It is a necessary business decision you must make today.