Social media websites are used by 65 percent of US adults, and this figure goes up when you look at the millennial demographic. You may focus on word-of-mouth referrals from your current tenants to keep your properties filled, but social media digitizes these recommendations, and gives current and former tenants a far-reaching platform for their thoughts and opinions. Understanding what people are saying about you and your properties online, especially on social media sites, helps you improve your branding and attracts prospective, qualified tenants. There are a few key areas to focus on when you build your landlord brand on social media.
Your Online Reputation
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest get millions of visitors monthly. Search engines pay a lot of attention to the material posted on these sites due to their popularity and frequent activity, so if someone talks about you, Google is going to pick up on it. Over time, these conversations and reviews form the foundation of your online reputation, especially if you haven't spent time establishing an official presence on social media.
The biggest impact of your online reputation comes from potential tenants researching you or your properties before contacting you. TransUnion found 70 percent of millennials conducted online research prior to contacting landlords, listing agents, or property managers directly. If they find primarily negative information online, they're going to pursue other opportunities instead of taking the risk. If you know there's negative information about you out there, you can take steps to proactively address it before losing out on potential tenants.
Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools monitor social networks for specific words or keyword phrases, such as your name or the name of your properties. Instead of searching Google or looking through social network tags manually, these tools automate the process. You can see when you get mentioned on social media and, if appropriate, join in on the conversation. By engaging with your tenants and prospective tenants, you change from a distant landlord figure to someone they can talk to directly. You can also use these conversations as the basis for your FAQs and other tenant resources.
If you find negative feedback through your social listening tools, do what you can to address the situation. Some platforms make it difficult to fully fix the problem without using another form of contact, so move the conversation to your phone or email for more complex issues. The way you respond to negative statements can make or break your online reputation. If you ignore concerns or get in an argument with the poster, you don't give a good impression to people searching for you online. Maintain a calm and professional demeanor while taking the appropriate course of action.
Building Your Brand on Social Media
Establishing your social media presence creates official profiles for these social conversations and reviews, instead of having them spread out among personal ones. Focus on the social media sites your prospective tenants use the most. Facebook has the largest quantity of users, but you may want to reach out to smaller sites that represent a substantial part of your tenant demographic.
Maintaining your social media presence doesn't have to take a significant amount of time once you set up your profiles. Fill out as much information as possible with each profile and don't skimp on the visuals. Great content can be lost if you don't catch prospective tenants' attention with some eye-catching pictures of your properties. Spend 30 minutes each day checking for comments and reviews, engaging with the posters so you show that you're active and involved.
Post relevant content to your social media profiles as well. The posts should go beyond promotions about your current properties for rent. Add in information about the neighborhood and city to get prospective tenants excited about living there. You can build up more word-of-mouth recommendations from current tenants by making your profile a place they'd like to visit as well. Post tenant resources such as the garbage collection schedule or local events.
You may need to get the conversation started on your social media pages. Start with your existing tenants by letting them know you have social profiles. Post a regularly scheduled update or newsletter for your current clients so they have a reason to visit your social media profiles while you build them up. Some sites, such as Facebook, allow users to post online reviews on business profiles.
You can ask your current tenants to post reviews on your page so prospective tenants can get an idea about what it's like to live there. If you want to go one step further, you can find tenants who are great at writing and ask them to create a post about their experience at your properties.
Social media provides an important tool for attracting prospective tenants and engaging with your current tenants, but it's important to know what's being said about you when you get started. Create a strong social media presence and complement your word-of-mouth recommendations with a great online reputation.
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