When consumers are looking for rental properties, one of the first places they check is social media pages. Landlords have understood the power of social media for some time now. Yet despite understanding how powerful a marketing tool it can be, many landlords don’t use it to its full potential. This lack of investment in this technology may come from a misunderstanding of how it can benefit their business.
With the right targeted ad campaign, a landlord could potentially double their occupancy in some properties. Below, 12 members of Forbes Real Estate Council examine how landlords can leverage social media to boost their current occupancy rates.
Forbes Real Estate Council members share how landlords can leverage social media to boost occupancy rates.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Leverage Your Community’s Clout
Leverage your community’s clout to boost occupancy. By providing unique experiences to your residents—whether virtual or social-distancing friendly—you can further build loyalty and create organic social media posts that will spawn referrals. Social posts by your residents and tenants will show why your property is great, boosting retention, occupancy and your overall brand. – Benjamin Pleat, Cobu
2. Host Virtual Open Houses
Have a leasing agent livestream or prerecord a property tour. Make sure they start outside of the property and guide the viewers through all of the selling features. Make sure to also showcase the entry, hallways and amenities. – Aaron Galvin, Luxury Living Chicago Realty
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3. Look To Add Value
Social media is generally most helpful when there’s really something to share. The choice of which social platform depends entirely on your target demographic. On any platform though, attractive community photos are helpful, along with details of move-in specials, amenities and details of the locale. Always look to add value. – Ellen Calmas, Neighborhood Pay Services / NPS Rent Assurance
4. Use Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is the primary tool we use to find residents for our mobile home park communities. Over the last several years, we have seen a migration in activity toward Facebook and away from Craigslist in our markets. Due to growth in the Marketplace, people have grown accustomed to using this as a source for finding their next best place to live. – Todd Sulzinger, Blue Elm Investments
5. Start With Facebook And Instagram Ads
First and foremost, they have to embrace it! With the majority of renters starting their search online, having an online presence is more relevant than ever. With millennials making up a high percentage of renters around the country, as a landlord you have to create exposure on the platforms they are mostly using. Utilizing Facebook and Instagram ads is a start when creating engaging content. – Julian Williams, JW Realty Partners
6. Have Channels Dedicated To Property Videos
Have a YouTube channel and Facebook page dedicated to property videos. In some cases, we have seen a significant number of views on videos. Videos are added to data sheets, listing websites and the company website, and at times, we will pay to boast our videos to get even more views. This has been successful in bringing in new tenants and increasing interest when a prospect shows initial interest. – Dan Dutton, OMNE Partners
7. Post About Anything Positive
Post about anything positive happening with residents, such as upgrades to the property. With permission from residents, other positive events you could post about could include milestones like a family’s long-awaited graduation. – Nancy Wallace- Laabs, Profitable Landlord System
8. Incentivize Residents To Share Your Materials
Social media is all about shareability. You need others to share material on your behalf to be successful on these platforms. To do this, create a promotion which incentivizes current residents to share your marketing material. Provide current residents with a monetary concession if they share your marketing promotion via social media and it leads to a friend referral. – Brian Spear, Sunrise Capital Investors
9. Collaborate With Large Local Influencers
Collaborate with influencers with a large local following. Influencer marketing has been embraced and utilized effectively by a number of industries, but real estate is definitely lagging behind. Having utilized both paid social media ads and influencer collaborations, the latter definitely provides a better ROI with regard to reach, engagement and the resharing of posts. – Catherine Kuo, Elite Homes | Christie’s International Real Estate
10. Post Neighborhood Reviews
Most of our daily activities have moved to an online model. Neighborhood reviews are popular, and landlords can leverage social media by creating valuable content about their properties, as well as the community. Neighborhood reviews are a great way to highlight a rental’s surrounding community. Future tenants are now looking to rent space and a “lifestyle” that fits their daily routines. – Marco Del Zotto, High Elevation Realty – RE/MAX Alliance
11. Leverage Credibility Boosters
Testimonials, events and opportunities—all of these allow potential tenants to build trust while incentivizing a call to action. Allow comments on your posts without eliminating the bad ones. Instead, allocate time to listen to customers and respond efficiently. Allow potential customers to experience firsthand a customer service that is responsive. – Rodolfo Delgado, Replay Listings
12. Organize Social Media Challenges
Organize challenges, but don’t call them contests. Challenges are all the rage on social media today. Landlords can provide t-shirts, hats and water bottles to tenants and challenge them to post pictures on Instagram or Snapchat showing their pride in place. Whether an art project, bike ride or hike, it gets your name out into the world. Smaller landlords can do it with a hashtag like #BestPlacetoLive and daily posting goals. – Kristin Geenty, The Geenty Group, Realtors