With so many online ad sources to choose from, how can you be sure which is best for your apartment building investment? Below Jason Velazquez, VP of Strategic Initiatives at Colliers of offers 5 tips for choosing a great ILS:
Does their traffic measure up? Most Internet Listing Services (ILS) will happily provide you with their web statistics. Take the time to thoroughly review any report offered to you before you sign on the dotted line.
Check whether they’re popular in your city. Simply because an ILS is nationwide, doesn’t necessarily mean they have high web traffic in your city. A simple way to gauge an ILS’s regional market penetration is to google the keywords – apartments in city name, and then scroll through the search results until you see their site. Don’t just search using the city you are located in; type other city names that your prospects move from.
If the ILS isn’t on the front page of Google, you may want to find an alternative ad source. Studies have consistently shown the majority of renters look for their apartment using search engines.
Before you run a Google search: If you are signed into any Google account, logout. Also, consider clearing you search history. Both steps are important to do before running the search because Google ‘remembers’ your previous searches, which could skew the results.
Don’t fund their market penetration efforts. What if your ILS rep. assures you that her boss is pushing for more exposure in the city(s) you are interested in as soon as more apartment communities sign up? While it may be good that a popular ILS wants to expands to your city, it shouldn’t mean you have to front them the dough to do it.
Don’t let them keep all the SEO-goodness. Most ILS sites have a bad habit of blocking potential SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits that come from listing with them. If an ILS does not display your website link somewhere on your listing, don’t bother. Furthermore, if they do link back, find out if they use no-follow links.
Don’t ask around. What? You don’t want me to ask other colleagues if the site is worth the money? For Jason’s interesting take on this subject read his explanation here: Don’t ask around.