Attracting tenants to your property in the highly competitive CRE market can be a huge challenge. One way for building owners and managers to stand out in the crowd is to leverage their building’s property website to promote occupancy details, building amenities, local attractions, and more.
But it isn’t enough to simply create the site… you need to make sure people (i.e. prospective tenants) see it. With 78 % of consumers believing that it is very important to look up information about businesses online before deciding to interact with them, property owners and managers need to be tech savvy.
So how can you make sure your website is getting the traffic it deserves? Follow these three tips:
1. Putting your building website on the map, literally. (Think Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)
The first thing you should do is make sure major search engines know where your building is on a map. This is a free (although some search engines will offer to give you a paid listing) and critical component of being found online.
If you have multiple buildings in your portfolio, you should register each building individually. If you have companies occupying tenant space in your building there is a good chance some of them have already claimed a business listing on search engine maps. You should join them – more registered companies equals more online views of your address!
The steps for registering your address on the search engine maps include:
• Providing contact and company information as well as your website URL.
• Verifying you are who you say you are (this can be done by automated phone calls, or receiving a custom postcard with a verification PIN #).
• Finalizing the listing once it is verified by the search engine.
The starting points for getting listed on the major search engine maps are:
Once the listing is verified, the public will be able to see your contact information, hours, website, photos, quick facts and even reviews.
As the owner of the listing you can also make edits and add photos as needed.
2. Including relevant keywords in your main page title and URL (SEO)
Your property website URL and home page title should include the building address if possible along with any custom building name identifier.
The more you use this keyword combination on your main title elements the more you’ll get front page “real estate” on Google and other search engines. The property is yours after all, don’t you want all the first page search engine links that come with it?
TIP: If your website’s URL and title is your unique building name (i.e. www.1600mainst.com), you will get more local website traffic. Local keywords, directions, and contact information all optimize your site for local search engine rankings.
3. Making your website a useful tool armed with the appropriate assets. “If you build it, they (web traffic) will come.”
Some important questions to ask when putting your property website together are:
- Who do I want using my website?
- What public facing information should be included?
- What tenant and/or private information should be included?
Your website is a tool and if it is used properly, people will want to use it to find information or communicate with the property management team. If you offer more tools for the public and your tenants, you will get more users to visit your property website and utilize the resources you’ve set up for them. More visitors to the website means the search engines are noticing the web traffic you are receiving, which in turn will improve your online visibility over time.
If you build it, and build it well, people (and web traffic) will come.
Some key elements we’d suggest including on your property website for the public and your tenants include:
• A Service Request Portal – A place for your tenants to submit and track work orders
• Tenant Handbook – Provide your tenants with an online handbook they can easily reference
• Leasing Information – Integrate your accounting system with your website
• Visitor Access – Parking, security, building amenities and information
• Amenity/Neighborhood Information – What your building and neighborhood have to offer
• Resource Scheduling – Centralize the scheduling of common rooms and equipment
These tips are a great starting point for you and your property website. Over time you can add more assets to your site, but it is important to first establish your website on the map, with good keywords and useful tools in the beginning stages.
This will allow search engines, the public, and your tenants to find and use your building’s website, ensuring your property can have a powerful and enticing online presence in addition to its physical one.