Confessions of a High-Rise Renter: 5 Tips to Improve Online Social Presence and Resident Retention

 

Social media has been on the rise for years, and thanks to networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, it’s easy for your residents—especially your Gen-Y renters—to keep up with what’s going on in your community, right? Ideally, yes.

Appearing more relevant to Gen-Y is one of the best ways to find new renters and communicate with the ones you already have to build relationships and sustain healthy resident retention ratios. But do your residents know your community is embracing social media?

I rent in an urban city and recently moved into a new high-rise. Last night I was browsing online and checked to see if my apartment community had a Facebook brand page. It turns out they do and they’re doing a great job sharing content. But they don’t have many likes. The wall is full of posts promoting neighborhood events, sharing weather updates, providing bootcamp schedules (they offer free bootcamps—who knew?!) and more. The issue isn’t their Facebook content, but rather that they’re not effectively marketing their social presence.

My confession is that I’m not just a high-rise renter—I’m also a professional Web marketer. I understand firsthand how time consuming creating online social content can be, so I recognize their efforts. But I can’t appreciate them as a resident if I don’t know they exist. If your property management teams are investing time using social media, it’s imperative your residents are aware of it (if they aren’t using social media, we encourage you to check out these stats and reconsider).

Following are five easy ways to improve your community’s online social presence and up your resident retention:

1. Take Advantage of the Tour

Tell prospective renters about your social media activity during the tour. Chances are they’ll go home and look it up. When prospects are deciding between a few places, engaging content, photo,s and resident interaction can help seal the deal.

2. Pack Welcome Packets with Something Extra

Insert a one-page slick in your resident welcome packets that builds interest around your social media involvement. Include social media icons and the proper URLs. For example, the Welcome Packet I received included menus and coupons to nearby restaurants, which is great, but embrace the free marketing opportunity.

3. Utilize Elevator Time

High-rise residents spend a lot of time staring at the elevator walls. Hang a flyer in each elevator telling residents where they can find you online.

4. Send an E-blast

Write an email to your resident list asking them to ‘Like’ your property Facebook page. Who wouldn’t want to read daily updates about where they live? This builds a sense of community and encourages resident interaction, which makes it more likely that people will stick around for another lease term or two.

5. Ask for a Referral

Getting resident referrals is easier than you’d think. Especially if there’s an incentive. Considering 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, your community will benefit from a social referral program.

How does your community best market its brand on social media? Has social media helped with resident retention? Please leave your comments below.

 

 


Marketing Communications Strategist, RealPage
Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider

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Lea Lashley is a Contributing Editor for PropertyManagementInsider.com. She focuses on marketing and social media strategies at RealPage, Inc. She has spent nearly 15 years in marketing and communications, and was recently an adjunct professor at the master’s level in social and digital media marketing at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. Lea received her education at the University of North Texas where she majored in English Literature.
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