Knowing how to leverage social media marketing for landlords is important in today’s environment. It helps you connect with your tenants, property managers, and contractors.
Here are a few of the biggest reasons why you need to be active on social media.
It Gets Your Name Out There
Social media gives you access to a tremendous pool of potential customers since over two-thirds of the country uses it in some form. This can take your brand awareness to unprecedented levels, as research indicates that a high number of customers are influenced by information they find on social networking platforms.
It Helps You Identify Your Audience
One key to a successful enterprise is knowing your target audience, and social media has the tools to do just that. The comments on your posts or videos can tell what people think of your business.
Seeing some of your tweets get re-tweeted can tell you how interested followers are in what you’re promoting. And with various other tools available, you can narrow down your demographic and find a profile of your most receptive audience members.
It Builds Trust in Your Brand
One of the first things anyone will want to know about a company is their web address. A close second is whether or not that company has a social media account. While a website may generally go unchanged for long periods of time, a legitimate social media presence will show constant activity – which tells followers that the company is real, active, and ready to serve them.
It’s Very Cost Effective
In many cases, it only takes a few hours a week to use social media to generate more traffic. And it usually costs little – if anything – to have an account. Now look at that in comparison to the possible return on investment: being able to engage a broad spectrum of people and potentially bring them to you as new clients.
Social Media = Millennials
There is a lot of talk about appealing to the “millennials”: that sweet spot Generation Y crowd, the renters in their 20s and 30s. If there is one demographic where using social media for landlords and property managers is most important, it’s this generation.
This particular generation is looking for a variety of things, much more than just crash space; they want units that are as connected and trendy as they are. Appealing to them will require that you be the same.
This demographic is very different from the generation before it. They are much more involved when it comes to social media, and it matters a lot more to them than any other group. Those who are making the decisions usually do so by finding out what their friends, loved ones, and other people have experienced- and they do this using social media outlets.
Those aged 20-30 are much less likely to be looking at the newspapers for rental listings. Instead, they’ll be on Zillow and other sites like it. Additionally, anything that’s optimized for mobile is best – if they cannot see your ad, you may get passed over for someone that’s got theirs set up correctly, purely on that alone.
Are You Convinced?
Social media is now so ingrained in our culture that it isn’t even discussed anymore. It’s just accepted as how the world communicates and connects now.
So how do you use it for your business? Based on both research and our own experience, here are a few specific things we recommend.
Social Media Marketing for Landlords: Create Resident Profiles
Similar to our RentPost stories, writing a post that profiles one of your residents works as a testimonial and lends a human face to your business. People remember stories and are more likely to remember details about your company if they are able to associate them with a humanized account. A short resident bio with an accompanying photo is shareable across many platforms and can be repeated with different residents, providing new content on a regular basis.
Just make sure you get their permission before doing this! You don’t want to throw a picture/story about someone on Facebook who isn’t willing to be talked about on your page.
When putting this post together, you have a few different things to keep in mind:
- Conduct a short interview with them to fill up a lot of the content
- Tell a story about what you learned from the interview
- Post at least one picture of them. If they have pets, kids, a favorite guitar, etc. Post it!
This is a great way to connect with the resident you’re profiling and the rest of your audience.
Conversations and Social Listening
Every good conversation is a give-and-take between two or more voices. The best talkers listen more often and more carefully than they speak. Building a solid customer base through social media requires regularly updated content relevant to the ideal customer’s needs. But if a business does not tune in to the voices of those it wishes to serve, it willfully ignores valuable information.
Social listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of identifying, categorizing, and analyzing industry-specific conversations and content in order to use that data to improve business services or brand image. Social listening is part of every effective social media strategy because it is the best way to gauge customer relationships, monitor competitors, and promote good public relations.
Build a Community
If you own a few single-family homes, this doesn’t apply as much. But if you own a small community, this section may be the most important thing you can do.
Social media marketing for landlords can build community and relationships among your tenants. As they get to know each other, they’ll enjoy the community more and be more likely to stick around. The longer a tenant stays, the longer you can avoid the pain of having to clean up a vacant home and fill it again.
How do you build community? It starts by creating a group for them to join, such as a Facebook group. Post on the group regularly, and let your residents know about upcoming events. Maybe you’re hosting an ice cream social in the summer or poker night in the winter.
Make it fun. Make it personal. Talk about resident profiles, as we talked about earlier. And before you know it, you’ll have a thriving online community, which means a flourishing offline community and business.
Use YouTube to Promote Your Business
Uploading pictures in your rental listings is key. However, many landlords and property managers have started using Youtube. Imagine for just a second you are planning a move. Now, you want to save as much time as possible.
First, photos and the listing will help you to determine if you’ll take the next step. But how could you use more detail and much more effectively to help someone really visualize what it would be like to live in a place?
Video. Video walkthroughs are what savvy property managers are doing these days. These are particularly effective for drawing those out-of-town potential tenants because it’s like taking a stroll through a prospective rental from wherever they happen to be.
Craigslist doesn’t have a video upload function yet, but there are ways around this. First, any time you upload a video to Youtube, you’ll get a link, and you can post that. If you work with iOS at all, you can use something like the Youtube Capture App.
Prospective tenants can get really “into” a property better this way. Not only that, but they can also easily share photos or videos with others. This can help get tenants really excited about signing a lease with you, and it also has other advantages.
Youtube also easily integrates with social media for ease of sharing. Because the videos are easily embedded into your website and linked to other sites, your exposure is maximized. User accounts connect Youtube and Google, so it’s easy to integrate this with your email marketing campaigns.
When you’re first getting started, remember that it takes time. Rome wasn’t built overnight, and neither will your social media presence. But over time, you will learn more about how landlords use social media marketing to develop and maintain their businesses. This will lead to happier tenants and a successful business.