Should You Create a Presence on Social Media?
Facebook gets visited by 1 billion people every day, hosting countless conversations on everything from the weather to the latest restaurant in town. Other social media sites don't have quite as many users, but they are also hotbeds for everyday conversation. Sometimes this conversation swings around to landlord recommendations, property listings, and other topics relevant to your business. If you're on the fence about creating social media profiles for your properties or your business, you have a few key areas to consider.
The Benefits of a Social Media Profile for Landlords
Several decades ago, rental property decisions were made through newspaper ads, signs in the front yard, and word-of-mouth referrals. These days, the marketing options for landlords have increased exponentially. Social media expands both friend and family circles, giving current and prospective tenants a broad digital reach. When you have a social media profile, you provide a central location for comments, concerns, conversations and reviews. These profiles can also assist your search engine rankings, as many social media sites have excellent Google rankings and get frequently indexed.
When you actively post relevant content to your social media profile, you also add value for your tenants. You can post about standard maintenance request procedures, share articles about interior design for rentals and talk about local current events. You create the opportunity to improve a professional, but more personable, relationship with your tenants.
What Happens If You Don't Have a Social Media Presence
The downside of creating social media profiles is that you don't always have the extra time to create and maintain these profiles. Without an official social media presence, the conversations happening on websites like Twitter and Facebook end up creating an unofficial, decentralized online information source. You have no control over the information that's being shared, and you also don't have a reliable platform to use for debunking inaccurate messages.
If a prospective tenant uses online search to research your property, they won't find any official profiles, but they will find these conversations. The tenants could be having a great conversation about your properties, but you lose professionalism points if online searchers can't find your digital home base.
You also run the risk of someone else using your name, property images and other content in a fake profile. If a scammer pretends like they're showing your property, they can scam prospective tenants out of application fees or act unprofessionally to hurt your online reputation. The social media sites take down fake profiles when you can prove you're the real landlord, but the damage is often done by then. Instead of reacting after the fact to scammers and the online social conversation, you can proactively put yourself in a good position on social networks.
Creating and maintaining social media profiles provides enough benefits that it's worth making the time for it. You have a lot on your busy landlord plate, but the time investment involved in setting up your profiles, posting content and answering the occasional message far outweighs the problems caused without a social presence. You improve your search engine ranking, gain a platform to directly engage with current and potential tenants and protect your online reputation with a centralized location online.
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