Step Four: Time, Advertising and Traffic.
You will be spending time with your business. You are aware of this, right? When I first started, I would send a reply IM to everyone who stopped by the office thanking them for stopping by, reminding them who I was (L$250/100 prims!) and sending a slurl to the office. I simply don’t have the time right now to keep doing that – but I wish I did. It made a huge difference in converting visitors into tenants.
That said, make sure things are set up so that they aren’t confusing when you are NOT there. I currently have a cube that can send IM’s to me (and my IMs are sent to e-mail). The welcome mat gives a detailed description. The rental office is literally JUST a shack with a vendor in it. Simple, basic, working.
Likewise, my advertising is pretty straightforward, with the most important information right there in a big font. (If the L$10 charge to upload a picture is making you pause, you should reconsider the idea of going into business in Second Life, okay?) I put advertising in a few different locations – a club here and there, a sandbox here and there. I like it when I know they are getting clicked, but that’s not a requirement.
The image is straightforward, but conveys a few things. It shows the box, to scale. Key info is right there and legibile in the search preview. There’s a furry there, but also a normal human in a wheelchair. The latter is my alt – I wrote about my experiences with him here (it starts on page 16) – and I’ve had several people tell me they looked at my offerings simply because of including either of those figures. You can convey a lot with your image.
The image I use for advertising is also the image for the rental property office. The land the office is on has the key information in its title (L$250/wk, 100 prims Skybox…). And then there’s the parcel description.
PLEASE do not keyword spam. You look like a tool when you do that. Take your keywords, and turn them into a description. This is mine:
Rent cheap skybox homes – L$250/week 100 prims, security, and privacy. Low prices, no frills. Friendly to new SL’ers. cheap sky box rental, cheap rent, rental homes, apartment, rent, rentals, cheap rentals, skybox rent,apartment r
As you can see, it gets a little keyword-y at the end – but that’s past where the description displays in a landmark or search box in SL. The part a human sees right off the bat is the part a human needs to see.
How do you get more traffic? If you want to rent at a mall or somesuch to put your vendor, go ahead. Personally, I have the vendor under one lot of skyboxes – the natural behavior of the tenants keeps the traffic high enough that it’s on the first page (or so) for my desired keywords.
I also make a point of sending notices and cool freebies to my tenants at random occasions or when they’ve had to put up with something buggy. I’ve been known to give someone free rent for bugs I didn’t catch in the door scripts, for example. And I’ve had people try to yell at me that they deserved free rent for not paying attention… and that’s the next section.