Why should landlords be on social media? There are a million logical answers to that question, but the main one is…because your renters are! Doesn’t it make sense, as a property management company, to want to be in the same space as your current and prospective renters? Of course it does!
Let’s face it. Social media is everywhere these days. It’s an addiction. Even if you don’t like it, you, as a property manager, have a responsibility to your leases to be on it – it’s the best way to communicate with this generation of renters…and the best way to engage with them, as well! The good news is – there are tons of platforms! Don’t like Instagram? Get on Facebook. Don’t like Facebook? Start tweeting. Can’t get on board with that Twitter bird? Start Snapchatting! The list goes on and on.
With so many people online, you need to make sure that your community is showing up there. People really trust online ratings and reviews these days. And not just from professional rating and review sites. More and more consumers are heading to the internet to ask friends (and sometimes strangers) what they think of certain things? Where can I get the best stroller for my newborn? Where are the best apartments downtown? Where can I go to get my passport renewed? You want YOUR community to be in that conversation! If someone gets online and asks about housing in your area, the ideal situation would be for people to start tagging your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and YOUR Instagram! That way, people know that current residents like living at your apartment. Now, for the LESS than ideal scenario….
Say people are saying less than stellar things about your community online and on social media platforms. How will you refute those comments and claims if you aren’t even there!? Maybe someone had an issue with their laundry machine and they vent about it online. The best way to handle that is to respond to the comment from your property’s social handle and apologize. Tell them you are working to fix the issue and to not hesitate to call the main office or come in to chat. That way, not only are you making the resident feel at ease, your nice manners and willingness to help are displayed on social media for everyone to see!
Now, let’s discuss some “happier” reasons as to why landlords should be on social media. Communication and notifications!!! Having a pool party? Splash it on your Facebook page. Are the parking lots being repaved? Tweet about it so that your residents get a heads up. Are you throwing a Holiday party in the club house? Take pictures of your staff setting up and put them on Instagram. These are all great ways to promote resident retention and show prospective renters that you are a fun, close-knit community that cares about the welfare of its’ tenants. While you’re at it, go ahead and create a hashtag for your community! This is a great way to keep track of your social posts and also to keep track of what people are saying about you online. You can get on your social media platforms and search your hashtag to see who is using it and how.
So, have you been convinced yet that you need to be on social media? Why? Say it with me…”because your residents are there!” If you want to start with this whole social media thing slowly, we suggest you start with Facebook. It’s been around the longest out of all the social media platforms and it’s fairly easy to use and navigate. Here are some best practices for your community’s Facebook page.
- Post AT LEAST once a week. Two to three times is ideal. Once you start getting the hang of Facebook and curating more content, you can start posting more.
- Try not to post MORE than three times a week when you’re starting out. However, if there’s an important memo that residents should know about (water getting shut off, rent payments due, parking lots being plowed, etc.), don’t hesitate to post about that! Your residents will be glad that you’re keeping them in the loop.
- Remember – this is your community’s page – not your PERSONAL Facebook page. Avoid religion, sex and politics.
- Keep your tone in mind. It needs to be friendly and professional. Helpful, too!
- Local love is huge! Post about Tuesday night deals at the local pub or happenings in the town park on weekends.
Hopefully, if you aren’t on social media, then this blog has inspired you to create some accounts. Remember, creating them is easy – it’s monitoring them and staying active on them that’s the hard part! Best of luck!