Holiday Weekends Mean Time to Reach Residents Through Social Media


Hot dogs and hamburgers are an old friend to Labor Day Weekend at most apartments across the country, just as are pool parties and the first full slate of college football games. At one North Texas apartment community, the holiday weekend is an opportunity to dive deep into social media when it comes to communicating with residents about holiday fanfare.

At many apartments, gone are the days of door hangers and flyers to promote community events on big holiday weekends, or any other weekend for that matter. Posts on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media platforms now help onsite property personnel engage with residents who are gearing up for friends and family time over the long weekend.

And along the way, a resident might find a good recipe for a tasty poolside snack.

“We’ve gotten very social media friendly,” says Martha E. Reuler, who is community manager for Landmark at Lake Village East in Garland, Texas. “A lot of times, it’s our biggest play. We can advertise ourselves as well as give different tips to residents who will be away on the holiday or for even holiday recipes.”

Today’s resident uses social media more and more

A quick glance at the Facebook page for the 329-unit Class C community stirs the senses with a link to 35 crockpot recipes, including one for making Sweet Bacon Tator Tots. The culinary delights usually come from other sources, but a resident who wants to share their special holiday treat is more than welcome. Share and share alike, says Reuler.

It’s the way of the world.

Today’s more tech-savvy residents are using social media more and more. A Pew Research Center update in December reveals that some 73 percent of online adults use a social networking site of some kind and that more are diversifying onto other platforms. Facebook is still king with 71 percent of online adults now using Mark Zuckerberg’s baby.

In recent years, Landmark at Lake Village East has shifted efforts to reach residents using social media rather than rely on the often-messy distribution of door-to-door flyers and letters. Usually within two or three days, apartment doorsteps and the grounds would be cluttered with discarded paper and maintenance teams would be called for cleanup duty, Reuler said.

Labor Day − which is now more known to mark the end of summer than to recognize the blood, sweat and tears of the American laborer – and other holidays are an opportunity for Landmark at Lake Village East to get closer to its residents without the clutter. The community will post helpful safety tips or links from the local fire department that otherwise might have been distributed in paper form for residents to read online.

Online technology offers more than just good recipes; it builds relationships

But Facebook and other social media aren’t just reserved for generating interest in long weekends, says Reuler. The apartment community also uses platforms and mobile technology to take care of a little business and remind residents when rent is due or how to earn $200 off the next month’s rent through referrals. Also, onsite representatives go door-to-door with mobile devices in hand to renew leases or get documents electronically signed.

“We still go door to door but with resources like an iPad so residents can sign their lease onsite or receive information about the property,” Reuler said. “Before this technology, we would send them a letter with a perforated form where they check yes or no and return to the office. Now we can take everything directly to their door or give them a link to useful information.”

The mobile and social media strategies certainly cut down on the paper trail while enabling the apartment to strengthen its bond with customers.

“It makes interactions with (residents) when they do come into the office that much more pleasant,” Reuler said. “We’ve taken all the administrative and clinical tasks away. It just makes it more personable.”

And maybe even whetted a few appetites with those Sweet Bacon Tator Tots along the way.


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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