The estimated three quarters of principals who are absorbing advertising costs for rental properties can stop these dollars leaking from their business with some simple changes to their sales pitch, the head of rental listing website rent.com.au has claimed.
“We believe now is a good time for property managers to turn the tables, and for good reason and justification, to position vendor paid advertising (VPA) as a standard item of business,” said rent.com.au CEO Mark Woschnak.
“It now comes down to how well the process of marketing and servicing a landlord’s property is articulated, and proper weight given to the process of researching, pricing, photos, descriptions, marketing, enquiries, inspections and brokering of a tenancy agreement,” Mr Woschnak told Real Estate Business, not long after announcing the website’s new layout.
“In particular, this includes the time and effort of marketing the property professionally and for the widest possible distribution.”
The rental listing website, which booked 300 per cent growth in the number of agents and properties listed on the website since February 2011, offers principals an ‘Internet Listing Statement’, which some agencies use as part of their appraisal and justification process “because it highlights the value provided and it is a validation by rent.com.au (a third party), not just by themselves.”
“The concept of vendor paid advertising is still a wasted opportunity with anecdotally not more than about 25 per cent doing something about it,” he continued.
“To get more VPA, we recommend property managers add some key discussion or presentation points in the pitching process, including an explanation of what actually gets done, focus on the separation of what is advertising versus fee for service, and step through what type of benefits the landlord actually gets by way of increased distribution, quality of presentation and more enquiries, which lead to the best possible letting results.
“Having done this...the introduction of a fee for Internet listing, either as part of an increased administration fee or [as] a separate cost, can be confidently presented and will be respected by the landlord.”
According to Google Analytics, November 2011 and AC Nielson, September 2011, rent.com.au has seen visits increase 43 per cent, recording 205,000 unique browsers and 2.4 million impressions per month. Of these, rent.com.au said 40 per cent were unique browsers to realestate.com.au and 50 per cent were unique browers to Domain.
“Rent.com.au is now a major performer in the rental market with 5,500 real estate offices and 205,000 unique visitors to the site each month,” Mr Woschnak said.