Tag Archives: G5

G5 Raises $75 Million; Extends Vertical Marketing Focus

We like vertical specialization for local marketing, and have long admired the approach of G5, the Bend, Ore- based local marketing firm that started with a focus on self-storage unit owners in 2005, and later added senior housing, multi-unit property managers and student housing. The 175-person company has 425 customers controlling 6,900 properties. Sixty percent of its business now comes from multi-unit property managers.

Last week, G5 hit the big time with a $75 million raise from Peak Equity Partners. The company says it will use the funds to extend its Marketing Cloud, which has gone beyond G5’s origins in search, and now also provides a full slate of analytics, search, social and advocacy.

CEO Dan Hobin told BIA/Kelsey that the key is to recognize the individualities of each vertical. Self storage takes about a month to fill a vacancy. Multi-family units take two weeks. Senior housing has a longer cycle: three months.

Most vertical owners perceive their marketing efforts as too expensive for property owners, and too cumbersome for consumers, says Hobin. It takes three days for consumers to get an apartments, from the time they look at it to the time they sign the lease, he says. “It is easier to buy a car than rent an apartment. You should be able to find a place in five minutes.”

Hobin says G5 works with all levels of property owners, but in the apartment space, for instance, most of them are the “middle level” below the publicy-owned, giant REITs which have traditionally used sites such as apartments.com. They could use G5 to complement those big site efforts, he says. G5’s emphasis on a wide range of channels, including lower cost channels such as social media and ratings and reviews, saves them money and drives more traffic to their sites. The analogy is to a site such as Kayak in the travel space.

While G5 is focused on its four verticals today, it is looking to expand to additional verticals. If it adds a vertical, it will really focus on its individual characteristcs, says Hobin. “It is difficult to enter new verticals,” he said.

New G5 Venture: SEO Meets Real Time Reservations


Real time reservations have moved beyond restaurants,hair parlors and parking garages and are now being offered for self storage units. G5 Search Marketing, which specializes in self storage, has teamed with Centershift and United Stor-All Management to launch websites that integrate G5’s SEO and click thru solutions with unit availability, pricing, promotions and payment.

The effort allows United Stor-All to consolidate the Web presences of 80 facilities in 17 states and DC that it currently manages, while generating brand awareness and Web traffic for its storage unit owners. It is the first of several third party integrations that G5 has planned for 2010.

“Integrating at the point of sale enables us to close the loop and truly track a new customer all the way back to the origination point online,” says G5 CEO Dan Hobin “Our clients like to know that they have a managed service.” At the same time, Hobin says clients expect “full access” to their sites and want to be able to make changes at will.