As anybody knows, keeping properties filled is the top priority of every rental property owner.  Without applicant traffic to fill vacancies you will fail, either from online or off-line prospects.  This article focuses on increasing ONLINE traffic to your website.  You could have the best looking rental website on the Internet, but absolutely no one will see it if they don’t know where you are.

If you desperately need traffic to your website then you need to be let in on a little secret.  There is a secret weapon that is a powerful traffic attractor.  It can help drive tons of free and targeted traffic directly to your rental website and services.  Not only does it work, but it is easy to apply and gets swarms of hits to your site fast.  Your secret weapon and new best friend is YouTube.

You might be rolling your eyes right now thinking that YouTube is just a site full of piano playing cats and hysterical sobbing rants from unhinged teenagers pleading for us to leave Brittney Spears alone, but you would be wrong.  First of all, here are some facts about YouTube and then you will find out how you can capitalize on this amazing resource by putting on your own viral videos:

  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day!
  • Over 800 million users visit YouTube each month!
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube!

Hundreds of savvy rental owners and managers are now using YouTube to drive traffic to their sites by creating videos about their rental homes.

Viral video is basically a video that becomes popular and is shared through social media sites like Face Book, Twitter and Google Plus, email and video sharing sites like YouTube.com.  They use video because:

  • It’s free
  • It’s an effective source of targeted traffic
  • It’s  evergreen
  • It’s  easy (not writing)
  • It’s  fun
  • You don’t have to be in the video or even talk in it

It’s no secret that Google loves video; it does own it after all.  Do a search for almost anything that can be shown through a video and you’ll notice YouTube videos dominating the first page.  What might surprise you are these amazing behind-the-scene facts:

  • According to industry watchdog, eMarketer, 52% of all web traffic is video
  • Another source, Comscore state that 38% of Google Universal Search results included video
  • More than 70% of all web visitors watch online video report of the New York Times
  • The average YouTube visitor spends 27 minutes watching video per day
  • The search engines visit video sites every few minutes so your videos appear on Google, Yahoo and MSN just minutes after you post.

Submit the video and minutes later they may appear on the Internet, not days or weeks like written articles.  Because video is so popular, video links often show up before other content.

Using YouTube is very easy.  All you need is a Google account.  If you have a Gmail account, a Google Plus account, Google Adwords or Adsense account, then you already have a Google account to get on YouTube.  If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to go to YouTube, click “Create an Account” and sign up.

Whoa – Don’t Just Dive In

First, you need to know that there is a right way and a wrong way of creating your video on YouTube if you want to go viral and get people to come and visit your site.  The wrong way is to create a video first and then hope for the best that people will come and watch it.

Unfortunately, that is what most people do and the video that they hoped would go viral just sits there with an embarrassing one or two or even worse, NO viewers.  The shame of it.  TheRIGHT WAYis to find out what viewers are looking for first and then create a video specific to what they are looking for.

So who do you go about finding what type of information people are looking for?  Never, ever guess.  You find out exactly what type of information people want by understanding who you are targeting and what they are looking for.  This is what you do:

  1. Go to www.YouTube.com
  2. Find  the “search” box at the very top of the page.
  3. Start typing in something that you think is related to what type of homes or apartments you are renting, or what type of amenities, customized or special options or services that you feature on your rental website or  even highlights of what you think prospective residents like about the nearby points of interest such as near a popular beach, shopping center, chool, military base, etc.

As you start typing, you will see that YouTube gives you a list of results similar to the way Google does through the search engine.  The very top one that appears on the list is the most popular.

Find the titles on the list that are relevant to your rental website and jot them down in a notepad to use or include as possible titles and subjects in your videos.  Having the right title is one of the keys to attracting traffic.

By investing this bit of time, you will be able to come up with a highly targeted title for your video relating to your homes or apartments that could attract prospects for many months, even years to come as it goes viral on YouTube and the social networking sites.

Your video doesn’t need to be a Spielberg production or the new Avatar.  You can simply add an appealing video tour and/or include great testimonials and perhaps small segments of a nearby appealing point of interest that your prospective residents would love.

Charles Blair was a featured instructor for the 2013 www.MrLandlord.com Landlord National Convention. 

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