Back in 2005 when Sylvia and I started CrosslandTeam.com and our Austin Real Estate Blog, we were in the process of taking a break from Property Management, having just sold our Property Management company the year before and taken a year off from real estate altogether. When we started back, we only brokered sales, mainly to investors at first, but eventually to mostly regular home buyers and sellers, which now make up the majority of our buyers and sellers.
Now, 5+ years later, we’ve built up a small portfolio of fee managed homes again, at present almost 50 managed homes. Sales remains our main focus, and we’re still very busy, averaging 3 or 4 closings most months, even in the down market. But the property management side of the business has slowly grown as well.
Why is that a problem?
The problem in trying to run two real estate brokerage specialties under one website is that each dilutes the other. It’s frustrating to me, when talking to a prospect, to hear “oh, you manage homes too?”, or, ironically, the opposite, “oh, you do sales also?”. Both have perused the same website here at CrosslandTeam.com but, depending on which pages they landed on and read, or which blog articles, come away with differing messages about what we do. Or, as one prospect told me incorrectly once, “you guys seem like you’re more of a management company than a sales company”. What? NOT TRUE, darn it. That’s the problem.
Additionally, in trying to remain findable by those who need to hire an Austin Realtor and/or Property Manager, it’s hard to focus the website keyword optimization efforts, as well as the site content, on two different types of businesses, no matter how closely related. This affects the choices for title tags and meta descriptions used on site pages and in blog articles.
So I’m announcing today the launch of our new sister site dedicated specifically to Property Management and Landlord-Tenant issues, CrosslandProperties.com.
The great thing about having two real estate websites and blogs is that now I can go full throttle on the Austin Property Management Blog with articles specifically related to landlord-tenant issues. I’ve held back on a lot of that over the years because I didn’t want to water down our expertise in real estate sales by generating a bunch of landlord and tenant related content. Believe me, there is a deep well of never-ending material to write about on the topics of managing rentals and dealing with tenants. So I’ll now have an unrestricted online venue for those topics at the new property management blog.
And when you arrive at CrosslandProperties.com, there is zero confusion about the services offered. It’s clearly a Property Management website. This goes back to the issue of focusing a website on the specific niche or service being promoted.
The downside is for those of our blog readers who like seeing a wide variety of topics here, including landlord-tenant stuff, rental market stats, etc. You’ll have to keep tabs on the second blog as well. I’ll probably cross-post a lot of content at first, linking from one site to the other, as this blog article does, but eventually, the rental market and landlord topics will reside mainly at the new site.
Hopefully I know what I’m doing. Running any type of service business nowadays is complicated from the marketing end as almost every marketing decision has to address the web-facing aspects of relevance, and the matter of getting found by web searchers.
I’m sure multi-trade service companies have a similar challenge. Let’s say you own a service company that does both A/C Service and Plumbing repairs. To which business do you optimize your website and search traffic for, and in which trade are you the “expert”, or do you come across as a “generalist” who dabbles in more than one specialty?
Same with lawn service companies that have added tree work and/or pest control. If you’re going to be found online, you have to figure out who and what you want to be to the person who lands on your website, or simply create two different websites, each focusing on the specific marketing message you want to convey. The latter is what I’ve chosen.
Life was easier in the early 1990s when we just mailed post cards, knocked on doors, and cold called FSBO ads from the newspaper.
Anyway, I’ve posted the most recent Austin Rental Market Update over on the new property management blog. Stop by and have a look. If you want to subscribe to the other blog feed, click on the Subscribe link at the top right of that site once you get there.