How Meerkat and Periscope are Changing Multifamily


Will live streaming applications play a vital role in the apartment selection process?

It’s 5pm on a Friday and you are just getting off of work.  You have been looking for a new apartment to better accommodate your family and you really wanted to check out this apartment complex that you saw online.  It’s listed as having more space than your current apartment, which is great because that’s a major factor into why you are apartment hunting.  You really wanted a tour of the apartment because the photos online aren’t great quality and they don’t show the layout of the entire place. How can you picture yourself at a property you can’t see?

There is a big issue, however.  The leasing office of the apartment complex closes at five o’clock so you can’t make it during the week.

apartment tour multifamily

The weekend simply doesn’t work for you either because your kids have sporting events on Saturdays and the leasing office is closed on Sundays. Would you be able to tour a potential apartment with your schedule?

The perfect solution to your problem is live video streaming social media apps like Meerkat and Periscope.  According to, Meerkat and Periscope had an estimated 1.2 million users in April 2015.  That number has surely increased by now, but it’s a good indicator of just how popular the apps are already with users.  Live streaming video apps are making things like apartment tours super convenient for both potential residents and property management companies. These mobile applications contain features that can help residents make leasing decisions easier and potentially help  managers increase occupancy rates, with the touch of a button.

Meerkat & Periscope Features

Joshua Swanson , CEO of multifamily digital agency GoToMyApartment, points out that Meerkat and Periscope  have many useful features for multifamily.  One in particular is real-time messaging.

“The host sees a note pop-up when a viewer messages in a question and can simply speak the answers. AND, again, because these apps are tied to Twitter, each message that a viewer submits is broadcast as a tweet, increasing the reach of the live stream to your and the viewer’s mutual Twitter followers,” said Swanson.

live stream apps

A major feature property managers can capitalize on is the ability to schedule apartment tours in advance.  Live streaming apps offer scheduling flexibility, enabling prospects to schedule tours at their leisure, from the comfort of their own homes.

Author Nancy Robbers  points out that viewers tuning into a live tour should be sure to take control of what they want to see.  “Remind them that you can zoom in on the crown molding or pan back to the kitchen if they want to see something that caught their eye,” says Robbers.  Potential residents will certainly appreciate the attention to detail that Meerkat and Periscope provide.

Periscope offers a few features that make it more appealing for tours than Meerkat.

  • Replays: Periscope gives you the option to watch an event up to 24 hours after it ends.
  • Stats: Leasing managers can check statistics like number of views and time spent watching videos.
  • Live Streaming: Periscope streams their videos live, while Meerkat has a 30 second delay on their videos. Real-time comments can be answered in a more timely fashion during a tour on Periscope since there is no delay.

live streaming applications multifamily

What does the Future Hold for Meerkat & Periscope in Multifamily?

The future is bright for Meerkat and Periscope in multifamily, and it’s only the beginning.  Swanson thinks Meerkat and Periscope will eventually be the most popular way to select an apartment.

“I am convinced that this type of technology can be the final tool needed to actually rent an apartment virtually without future residents first stepping foot in the community,” said Swanson.

Meerkat and Periscope are finding their way into multifamily, so make sure to be ahead of the curve and start utilizing them.


Marketing Communications Strategist, RealPage
Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider

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Lea Lashley is a Contributing Editor for 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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