Voice search revolution: 3 ways property managers can use AI assistants

Sean Miller
Sean Miller | 5 min. read

Published on January 18, 2019

For those in property management, there are never enough hours in the day. Fortunately, emerging tech solutions are helping property managers expand their marketing efforts in exciting, new ways. The adoption of AI assistants is often assumed to be driven solely by resident demand for modern amenities and convenience, but these technologies can also help property managers further capitalize on an evolving type of marketing: voice search.

When you think of all of the connected devices available today, digital assistants are one of the most compelling since they serve as a hub that gathers a treasure trove of data and changes the way we accomplish our daily tasks.

According to a study from NPR and Edison Research, the rate of adoption of digital assistants has now exceeded the pace of smartphone adoption. What’s more, of those who take the leap and purchase digital assistants, 65 percent say they wouldn’t be willing to give them up. Siri and Alexa are here to stay—and will get better at fulfilling our requests.

So how will AI and voice search impact property managers’ business? Digital assistants can certainly drive potential clients. Twenty percent of mobile searches are performed via voice, and ComScore predicts that that number will jump to 50 percent by 2020.

Consumers are already looking for more ways to use digital assistants to find the products and services they’re pining for, so if you’re not optimizing your property management website and online listings to be found via voice search, you could be missing out.

Here are three ways to make sure your business is positioned to get the most out of the voice search revolution.

#1: How Do I Choose Topics That Will Capture Voice Search?

Digital assistants are often best at answering spur-of-the-moment questions—except, instead of typing your question into a search bar on Google, you simply ask your digital assistant for the answer.

So the first step to prepare your business for the rise of digital assistants is to think about the types of questions your potential residents are already thinking about and searching for online in a more conversational way (filler words and all) when they might be considering a property manager.

Determine the most common phrases that they’re looking for, and then weave those terms into your content following SEO best practices so it’s easy for Google to find. Some SEO, content tools that you can use to help in determining the topics and search terms where you have a chance of ranking are Keywords Everywhere (free plugin), Ahrefs, MOZ, and SEMRush.

For example, if you’ve found that many people in your region are searching for “who are the best property managers near me?” or “what do property managers do?,” make sure you include those phrases in your relevant content.

#2: Optimize for Voice Search Through Featured Snippets & Local Queries

One difference between voice assistants and traditional search is that when you search for something on Google or Bing, you’ll see an entire page of results you can sort through. But when you ask Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant a question, you’ll only get the top response. Digital assistants pull this information from featured snippets—or the nugget of information that pops up in a block at the top of the search engine results to quickly address the search intent.

For this reason and others, there are certain searches that have a lower click-through rate to the actual site.  So if you want to ensure digital assistants find your website before they find your competitors, you’ll need to make sure you are doing good job of including answers to the key questions your residents are asking relevant to your local market. The good news is that voice search tends to skew towards local searches!

#3: Make Adjustments as AI Assistants Improve

The technology behind digital assistants continues to advance with the help of artificial intelligence. So the best piece of advice is to stay on top of those changes so you can adapt your marketing efforts. Eventually, these assistants might be able to learn users’ habits and pick up on trends or understand tone and/or context when a question is asked. This technology is moving quickly, and property managers will be impacted—especially as the technology is able to help consumers vet and organize their options quickly.

Imagine a day where a property owner asks Siri to decide who the best property manager is (based on local reviews) and to set up an appointment with you—all without raising a finger. The experience is not as far off as it seems.

Have you taken advantage of voice search in your property management business? Let us know if you have any more tips in the comments!

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Sean Miller

Sean Miller is the president of PointCentral, a subsidiary of Alarm.com and the leader in smart home automation solutions for long-term and short-term rental properties. Outside of having a lifelong passion for technology, Mr. Miller has almost 10 years of professional experience with B2B and B2C IoT/home automation technology. He previously led global sales and business development for Wemo, Belkin’s home automation business unit; and launched Mobile Link, a cellular-based internet connectivity service for generators, at Generac Power Systems.

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