Social Media as a Prospecting and Renting Tool
Social media’s growing importance for property managers can’t be denied
Pacific Crest Real Estate participated at Seattle’s TRENDS Conference and Tradeshow where we learned tips for using social media to promote individual properties and company initiatives as well as for attracting and retaining residents. There, we learned to think of incorporating social media into our business plan as a type of secondary support system when it comes to leasing where you’re in control of the message, not Craigslists’ — or some other free advertising site’s — arbitrary rules.
We are currently experiencing the best of a collaborative economy, and sharing posts from people and businesses in our communities is one way to participate. Using social media is the modern way to network, promote your properties, and draw attention to your website. It’s also a great way to humanize your company and hone the positive image you wish to present.
Our social media marketing plan revolves around promoting vibrant communities and providing quality information to our owners, managers, and residents while adhering to our company’s motto: Experience, Insight and Vision. While we’re certainly no social media experts, we do recognize the importance of having a strong social media presence so our residents and owners can both get to know us a little better and also so that they have one more avenue to reach us should they need to.
Defining your target market and encouraging word of mouth marketing are important steps for any successful marketing plan, including one focused on social media. Also important: Deciding which social media platforms to update regularly — a decision that should be revisited often as new platforms come online.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have traditionally been the most commonly used social media platforms in the real estate industry, but we’re finding great success with Instagram, too, where we share photos taken by people and businesses in the communities where we manage properties. And because Google is still the world’s preferred search engine, we find that it’s also important to keep our Google Page updated. And all of this posting and reposting can be done with social media tools that are free or low-cost, so why not explore the opportunities?
As important as choosing the right platform is the use of hashtags. We are fans of the #ApartmentLife hashtag on Twitter and Facebook, and depending on what we’re sharing we might also include #SeattleBiz for local businesses or #SeattleEats if there’s some yummy culinary news to share, and there are plenty more hashtags to choose from — or you can make your own. Looking for a hashtag that fits your message? Check search.twitter.com.
As long as you incorporate strategy, timing and conversation into your social media plan, it will be a success … or at least that’s what we’re learning. Employees and tenants alike should feel a more personal and visual connection to your company and what it’s aiming to achieve, and frequently updated social media platforms will prove to clients that you will go the extra mile to stay on top of industry happenings and that you’re serious about helping their community to be as vibrant as possible.