Lately I have been keeping an eye on the different ways in which property management companies are using social media.
When first introduced, there was some obvious confusion as companies struggled to use Facebook and Twitter for marketing purposes in hopes of attracting new prospective renters.
Although social media marketing is still an excellent area to explore, most companies have come to find that the most effective use of these social media sites is directed at their current renters as a means of retention and communication.
It is still somewhat rare to hear a leasing professional mention the community Facebook page to a prospective resident either by telephone or during an on-site visit. While working on a telephone apartment mystery shop recently, I was pleasantly surprised when the agent creatively promoted her community’s Facebook page. In addition to being very personable, informative and friendly on the phone, the leasing professional made every effort to ensure that I had as much information as possible before ending the call.
After providing me with both a company and community website, the agent encouraged me to “Like” the community on Facebook. I was told that by simply hitting the “Like” button, I would be entered into a prize drawing. The agent was enthusiastic when she told me that the community holds a drawing once every month and that the prizes could be anything from a shopping gift card to an iPad.
Acting as a prospective renter, I was driven to look at the site, learn more about the community and find out what residents were saying about living there. By “Liking” the page, not only could I learn more about the apartments but I would also be eligible for a prize drawing. This simple promotion strategy would benefit the community as well by gathering my personal information which would help them to better understand their demographic, learn where prospective renters are moving from, and discover more about the interests and activities that their future residents are involved in. As this valuable information is collected, more personalized and targeted marketing strategies can be implemented for their customers.
As companies discover different ways to use social media to their advantage, it will be interesting to see how the apartment industry adapts. By paying attention to what the competition is doing and by taking advantage of the increasingly useful stream of information available, management companies will surely be rewarded by measurable success.
Are you seeing more apartment communities promoting their social media sites during your mystery shops or when you’re looking for a new apartment?
– Julie S