Knowing how to find tenants for rental properties using social media is an important skill for any property manager. The vast majority of people always have their phone next to them, and check social media throughout the day to see what’s going on in the world.
The good news for you is a lot of property managers still haven’t adopted social media. They may do the bare minimum, but they aren’t building a presence. They’re just doing enough to help them get by. They can say “follow us on social media,” but don’t actually post very much.
If you’re willing to commit the time and energy into this medium, you’ll find it’s a great way to find tenants. Here are the foundations for how to do that.
How to Find Tenants Tip #1: Focus on 1 or 2 Platforms
It’s tempting to get out there and create accounts for anything and everything.
But it’s not a good idea.
Instead, it’s much better to just focus on one or two platforms and really master them. This helps you understand what content your prospects on those platforms like. It also helps you build up a lot of content for them to go through.
The more content you have up, the longer they’ll stay on your page. And the longer they’re on your page, the more likely they are to rent one of your properties.
Which brings us to the second point.
Finding Tenants for Rental Properties Tip #2: Create a Content Calendar
Coming up with new, fresh content every day isn’t easy.
Sure, you have the advantage of being in an industry that lends itself to photos. You can post a few photos every day of your properties. But that’s not enough. People will get tired of just seeing the same kinds of photos all the time.
Likewise, you don’t always want to be sitting down to a blank slate. When you write, it’s much easier to have some kind of framework to follow. That’s why we learned how to make outlines in middle school and high school.
Create what’s called a content calendar. This is where you plan out the content at least a week at a time. For example, maybe you decide that Mondays will be announcing new listings, Wednesdays are “Wacky Wednesdays” and have funny lifestyle photos, and Fridays are posting links to informative articles you found.
Don’t just use text or photos either. Consider other mediums like infographics, quotes, invitations to local events, etc. As this article from EasyRoomate.com points out, you can use sites like Canva for the graphics, and you can make basic instructional videos yourself with free software like Screencastify for Google Chrome. Or just do live videos with your smartphone.
How to Use Social Media to Find Tenants Tip #3: Create a Business Page
This may go without saying, but it still needs to be here. You shouldn’t operate your business from a personal profile/page all the time. Instead, it’s best to create a separate identity for your property management business.
Business pages – especially on Facebook – offer you several advantages over doing everything through a personal account.
- You can use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a listing, post, or promote a group
- Your business is building up its own brand, rather than relying on your personal brand
- Newcomers will be more likely to check out links from a business page
Not sure if these are for you? Think about this…
Let’s say you just had a new apartment building open up. You’re excited, but you’re also nervous about being able to fill all the units.
To help draw attention, you decide to host an event. Your target market is college students, so you figure a good way to get them there is to offer what no college student can turn down: free pizza. You could also decide to have some kind of theme.
Using Facebook ads, you get the word out about the party. Let’s say you get 25 kids to come.
They like what they see, and 9 of them decide to rent out units! So for a few hundred bucks of pizza and ad spend, you filled nine vacant units. Not a bad ROI.
Doesn’t sound realistic? Dan Henry used Facebook ads to sell $900K worth of condos by spending just $441 using an event like this.
But you don’t have to use video to get great results or a lot of views.
Tip #4: Use Video to Get More Organic Traffic
Facebook loves it when you use Facebook Live. Likewise, you can choose to just upload a regular video.
Instagram loves video users too. They know that video tends to have better engagement than text, and social media companies are all about engagement. Anything that keeps you on their website longer is a good thing in their eyes.
As a property manager, you have several options on topics to make videos about:
- Create lifestyle videos. Videos of people doing ordinary things such as having a barbeque, hanging out in the living room, or having a meeting in your office. These are everyday events people can relate to.
- Make a 360 degree story video as you walk through the rental property, talking about the amenities, size of the home, etc.
- Hold question and answer sessions about the home, or general topics that tenants may be interested in.
You can make them goofy or serious. It’s all about how you want to brand yourself and what kind of people you want to see the videos. If your target market is college kids, you’ll act differently on the video than if your target market is downsizing empty nesters.
How to Use Social Media to Find Tenants Tip #5: Engage with Twitter Hashtags
Twitter is extremely powerful and unique. It’s ability to let you search for things based on hashtags is similar to others, but the overall feel of Twitter is different than others. It’s often used for news and learning what’s going on in the world.
As a property manager, you should get a feel for the tags tenants are using. Here are a few:
Within each, you’ll find different topics. Some people talk about renting cars. Other times they’ll talk about problems they’re having while renting.
Like any other social media platform, you have to filter through the irrelevant. But you can learn a lot about the concerns your target market has, and may see people in your area who need a place to live.
Last But Not Least: Facebook’s Marketplace Function
Actually, this may be the most powerful thing on this list.
To be honest I’d almost forgotten about it, but this article from TheBalance reminded me that Facebook’s marketplace function makes it easy to list properties for rent. Just like someone searching on a site like Zillow, it lets them target a certain area they’re interested in.
The only downside is not everyone knows about it. But you can also see that as a good thing, as that means fewer landlords and property managers are using it. Jump on it before the market gets more crowded!
And that’s how to find tenants for rental properties using social media. The key to success on social media is to try new things, build relationships and put a lot of content out there. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.