Are Greed and Lust Bringing Your Management Company's Website Down?

Posted by Andrea Drennen, CMCA on April 8, 2016

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This is the first in a multi-part series on the 7 Deadly Sins of CAM Management Company Websites.

Your website is your calling card to the world. Today, people complete over half of their research and education over the Internet prior to ever contacting an organization or purchasing services. Your website needs to give your visitors what they are looking for, because it's so easy for them to hit the back button and go to your competitor's site when yours doesn't meet their needs.

In my role in marketing at TOPS Software, I see a lot of management company websites. Some of them are fantastic. But many more commit serious sins that are detrimental to the effectiveness of their website. At the 2016 CAMfire Conference, we tackled this issue in my session, The Seven Deadly Sins of Management Company Websites. I wanted to share some of those insights with you.

Greed: It's All About Me

Is your website all about you? If your website sounds like this, you are committing a deadly sin. You've become 'that guy' at the Internet party. You know the one you always regret talking to because he can only talk about himself? Don't be that guy.

Your website visitors are coming to your site to learn how to solve their own problems. If you are not addressing their needs and their problems, you are doing it wrong.

How to Repent from Greed

To end greed on your website, you need to answer two core questions about your website:

  1. What is the primary goal of your website?
    What do you need from your website? (Not want, need.) If you need to find new clients, that is your primary goal. If you need to nurture and serve your existing customers, that is your primary goal. For a community website, your goal might be to inform and educate your homeowners. Whatever your primary goal, that informs the answer to your next question:
  2. Who is your target audience?
    You have a lot of visitors from a lot of walks of life - board members, homeowners, vendors, and many more. But only one type of visitor is going to help you meet the primary goal of your website.

Once you have identified the answers to both of the above questions, you have a framework in which to create your website's content. Every sentence you write, every feature you add should be informed by a simple question, 'Will this be useful to my target audience to help meet the primary goal of my website?'

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Lust: All Flash and No Substance

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A management company realizes the importance of a new website, so they hire a company to design the latest and greatest style in websites. When the company is done, the management company has an amazing looking website... with little actual content. (Or maybe it even looks like this. That pesky Lorem Ipsum keeps coming up!).

Worse still, now that the design company is done with the job, they are gone, and the pretty, empty website sits out there on the internet, stagnating and not meeting the management company's primary goal.

How to Repent from Lust

Hopefully, that story isn't about your management company. No matter how pretty your website is, if it has no substance, it cannot help you meet your goals. There's nothing wrong with a website that looks great, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that your website is USEFUL to your target audience. Look for ways your website can help solve your customers problems, and you are on the path to glory, my friend.

At first blush you might think that the repentance for Lust causes you to commit the sin of Greed. After all, the solution to all of your target audience's problems is to buy YOUR services, right? Wrong. (even if it is ultimately true.)

Most people go to the Internet looking to solve a single problem. For example, a board member may search for sample short term rental policies on the Internet, to help draft a new policy for their self-managed community. The board member isn't even thinking of looking for a management company at this point, they don't even see the larger problem that they should not be drafting policies without professional advice. They only see the smaller, individual problem that they need a solution for.

So if your website offers something useful, like an article on 'How to draft a Short Term Rental Policy', the board member will find that article. Now, your website is in that board member's mind as a useful resource. They will come back the next time they have a problem to solve. That means you have built up trust.

Now you have something to base a relationship on, and that board member will begin to see the larger picture - if we hired this management company, they would be useful to us all the time. Now you've won a new client that never would have even sought out professional management otherwise, and they came to the decision on their own, not pushed on them by you, which means they are also far more likely to be loyal customers far into the future.

 

Don't fall victim to these deadly sins. With a little bit of effort, your website can attract more (and better qualified) members of your target audience who will help you achieve your goals. Just remember: above all, be useful.

 

*Image credit: Michelle Grewe via Flickr

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