I own a small corporate housing company. We provide fully furnished apartments for rent on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Currently using Airbnb, Booking and Craigslist ads to find guests/ tenants. How do I research which way is best to reach out to people?
Hi! My name is Humberto Valle, I'm an MBA growth strategist coach with years and exceptional experience.
Your dilemma is not necessarily pricing, Airbnb might be a good place to belong but also consider that your ideal companies won't necessarily be looking for a nightly deal. Even if that is how you structure the rentals)
Have you heard the term growth hacking? Well I'm not gonna sit here and tell you is a magical engineering solution that only programmers can pull off. The idea of growth hacking as we have established can relate to any measurable marketing approach. For some this might even be flyers. No joke!
Flyers is not your solution tho. It seems to me that you need a set of databases set up enabling consumer search results. One approach to this is the 1800 flowers database model.
There's a website listing with many server generated domain hosted websites linking back and forth to a single platform (yours) giving you higher search results regardless of geo. area. Granted this approach is not accomplished over night, we are talking a ou configuring a server that can pull/push content and create websites on demand sort of speak.
You obviously need to be in relevant social media platforms such as Airbnb, Twitter for customer support, and Facebook for reviews.
I don't see companies giving reviews on Yelp, so I'd stay clear of that one. It can work against you.
If you like to chat more give me a call, id love to help.
This a critical question for every business! As a VP Marketing, my first approach would be to define a very specific target market. Who is searching for corporate housing - is it HR departments, is it people who relocate, real estate agents, all of the above? Once you have defined your target market(s), you can then start to test the best way to reach and acquire them.
Let me know if I can help you to further define your target market and develop a plan to test which media delivers the best ROI.
All the best, Sara
You may want to consider using Facebook Marketing and Google PPC (Pay Per Click) and the Google Display Network to create ads to display to your tarket market.
Here is Australia there is a big market for Executive Rentals which may just be your Corprate housing keyword.
You can define your ads to only display to people in your city. The way to work with this is to create a landing page so when a person clicks the ad they are sent to a specific page which lets them know of your specialised service of finding the best property and how you facilitate this for them.
On that landing page your goal would be to capture their email address and then you can send them the best properties to help them.
You can also regularly blog about renting strategies and the best place to find excellent rental property and become the place to go to find the best executive/corporte rentals.
Additionally with Facebook marketing ads you can target companies, brands and refine your target so your ads are displayed to the most relevant people looking for rentals like yours.
Frankly, you are advertising in the wrong channel. You say you're in Corporate Housing but you have all your marketing spend in consumer. You must be putting most of those dollars where corporations go to find weekly or monthly rentals. That is not where you are now, and certainly you should not be spending much on Facebook for prospecting. Corporations simply do not go to those sites to find what you're selling.
You don't say where you are located, so I cannot get very specific. To find where you need to be, Google "corporate housing" and "corporate apartments." I'm guessing the Top 10 listed (not advertised) returns will be your best choices. If there are none, then Google / Bing advertising may be an opportunity.
The biggest directory in Atlanta, and across much of the US, is ApartmentGuide.com that provides both renters and corporate apartment listings. There is also the Corporate Housing Providers Association that many providers belong to: www.chpaonline.org. Similar listings and associations will be available in other countries.
You should also be optimizing your website for searches that are localized, such as "corporate rentals Toronto." Of course, local networking is also important to make connections with companies that may need your services in the future; business cards still have "stickiness."
I noticed that your question may have not been answered. Correct me if I am wrong, but you ask, "HOW DO I RESEARCH" which way is best to reach out to people.
I consider what you are doing full-blown real estate advertising myself and the bottom line is you can never list in too many places.
The way you research is by asking every single prospect "How did you here about us?". This simple question is done with your original phone call or email.
I will get a call and someone will ask what is the price or is this a two bedroom etc. and I turn the question around and automatically pull out my lead card and say, "Thanks for calling and I can answer that or those questions, but help me out a little here, please. How did you hear about our service, our property, the fully furnished unit etc? On my lead card, there will be all the places I advertise. Mark what they say. The results will be your research. You might be surprised at the results.
There are many ways to advertise and what you have listed are great, but until you know what impact you are having with these specific companies it may be smart to keep them in your rotation of ads.
I'd also suggest another option in advertising your units. You must have a searchable domain versus a brandable domain. Let me explain. A brandable domain is Geico, McDonalds etc. We know what they are selling. A searchable domain would be www.shorttermhouseingdallas.com, corporatehousing4u.com, furnishedapartmentsdallas.com. A searchable domain is one that includes the terms that someone would search for on google. They are normally pretty long, but I've had excellent results in my business doing this type of websites with domains like this.
I've actually made a business out of it and I create domains for people in specific locations at an affordable price. We then take the domains and make Wordpress based website because Google indexes blog type websites faster than regular php, html websites. I tested this theory for many years and currently run over 40 websites just for my real estate activities. I get ALL of my leads this way and it has given me more time to do other things.
I'd add a housing quote button to the web page that allows them to input what the need, when they need it and then a form is sent to you once they submit it. Your website will give plenty of pictures and information all under the searchable domain.
Just think of the terms someone would use when searching for a place that you have. If it's in Dallas someone may put in the search bar, "best short stay hotels in Dallas", The key word here is short stay. Your domain must have that word. What if they type best temporary housing in Dallas. Key phrase is temporary housing. Then you play with it in may ways. Write down 20 versions and then start the process of elimination. Once you have your top five produce the website. Find a student to instlal wordpress if you don't know how and pay them under $100. You might be able to find someone for $20. Learn about wordpress because it's super easy to navigate and get started. Learn about different plugins as well.
Last and final suggestion is consider contacting apartment locators in your area if they exist. You will pay them a fee for the assistance, but you will keep your properties full.
Just for the records I've managed over 1 billion dollars in properties since 1986. I've personal owned and rented out corporate units in Dallas in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I understand that business very well.
Once you do your "Research" focus on the top ten places to advertise. I don't know if this was mentioned or not, but you can also advertise on backpage.com, zillow, hotpads and many others. Some are sydicated so you input in one and they post in others. Postlets as well is another source. I could literally spend another hour writing on this subject because it's my world, but if you do have questions let's talk. Cheers.
Brain nailed it!
Simply put, ask your EXISTING CUSTOMERS how they found you; specifically ask if they searched a particular word/phrase and via what tool. Use www.typeform.com to create a FREE survey for new/existing customers and be willing to offer a discount for time spent helping you with research. Also, use your EXISTING customer base to determine your target audience via a "buyer persona." Creating a "buyer persona" will help you determine what marketing tactic to employ, which could be none, some or all of the marketing tactics already suggested. Creating a "buyer persona" will also help define your ideal or primary customer and the budget you need to reach them.
FYI: On my end, a Google search of "corporate housing" produces a list of search engine optimized sites by city. My top hit is www.corporatehousing.com, which gives visitors a coast-to-coast list of short term, corporate lease options. Find two other sites like it then determine your competitive advantage, your unique selling proposition and your value proposition.
The nature of your business means that you have a ready-made audience; a demographic that's not even on your radar, e.g., major hotel brands, corporate HR departments and real estate agents.
My two cents! Call for “clarity!”
As Sara wrote, you have to define your target group. This is always the very first question I ask the startups that approach me because this is THE element that generates all the rest, from the product or service you offer, to the message you will be using to reach out to the target group and the best tool to use to advertise to them.
You have a corporate business, so you need to define first your target group.
You say Large Corporate companies?
I say Be more specific: who is the person in the company X taking the final decision? Base on what or whom? You might end up with 2 target groups: the person taking the decision and their influencers.
Only then you can work on the right message and medium to reach out to them.
I'm currently coaching 5 startups and doing a very similar work with them. Give me a call and we can quickly define your target groups and how to convert them in clients :)