Social media has changed the way we share and receive information, so it’s not surprising that it has had a significant impact on the rental business. According to Statista, 73 percent of Americans have a social network profile. If you ignore social media, you’re overlooking a valuable tool that can help you target and find quality tenants. For better or worse, social media has had an effect on the rental business in the following ways.

Lower Advertising Costs
Thanks to social media, many landlords can reduce their advertising costs. Although you’ll still want to advertise with a few online or print directories, posting vacancies on social media is a free and fast method that can help you find new tenants. Adding a few high-quality photos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest can help spur interest in an apartment or home. Because social media users love to share information, your post may reach more people than you ever imagined.

Access to Information about Bad Potential Tenants
You can learn all sorts of information about potential tenants by reviewing their public Facebook or Twitter pages. Although we’ve all been told that anything we post on social media is fair game, plenty of people still post very personal information. Negative comments about previous landlords, photos of trashed apartments or information about legal troubles can help you avoid renting to a problem tenant. As long as you don’t violate the Fair Housing Act, you can use this information to help you make a decision.

Access to Information about Bad Landlords
After a bad experience, the first thing many people do is post about it on Facebook or Twitter. If your tenant Renee is upset you charged her a late fee when she was in the hospital and too sick to make her rental payment on time, you can safely bet she’ll share it with hundreds of her best friends on social media. What those friends might not know is that you would have been willing to make an exception if you had known about Renee’s situation. Although you can’t turn around every negative comment, if you can resolve a renter’s complaint, ask them to post about your positive resolution.

Enhanced Professional Relationships
Professional social media sites, like LinkedIn, can help you establish a professional image and connect with others in the rental business. When you participate in LinkedIn forums, you can share information and receive advice from more experienced landlords or even get to know potential investors who can help you grow your business.

Less Time Wasted
Let’s say you need to find a company to fix a crack in the foundation of your building. Before the age of social media, you might have consulted the phone book or called your friend Joe, who had a similar problem a few years ago. It may have taken days for Joe or any of the companies you called to get back to you. When you make a post about your needs on LinkedIn or other social media sites, your friends can provide recommendations almost instantly.
Whether you love it or hate it, social media has become an important part of how we live and conduct business. Finding ways to use it to your benefit can make your business stronger and more efficient.

POSTED September 10 2015 2:23 PM

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