Picture this: it’s the wee hours of the night and a prospective renter is googling for a new place to live when she happens upon your apartment listing. She scans the community details and clicks through a few of the photos. Then it hits her—this place is perfect! The price range, location and available floor plans are exactly what she is looking for.
She decides to reach out but there are a few snags. It’s too late to call, no email is listed and after submitting an online form through your website, all she receives is an auto-generated response that her inquiry has been received and someone will contact her within 48 hours.
Forty-eight hours? Someone else could sign the apartment in the meantime!
Not confident that her message will be seen in time, she logs on to Facebook and finds your business page to try and contact you that way. But there’s another problem—the page looks inactive. Your last post was over a year ago, and there are a whole slew of complaints from current and prospective residents who never received a response. In fact, your community reviews and ratings aren’t looking good at all.
You can guess what happens next in this scenario: the prospect decides to look elsewhere, and you lose out. Another missed opportunity. Another win for your competition.
Scenarios like the one above are actually avoidable. By keeping your social media pages current and engaging, you create a convenient and customer-centric experience for renters that can help generate leads. To get started, take a look at each of your social media pages and pretend you’re a prospect.
Now answer the following questions: Can you easily find your community’s contact information? Would you know what to expect if you visited the community? Do the three most recent posts entice you to ask for more information? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to hit refresh on your social media strategy. Let’s focus on three simple ways you can attract prospects.
Bad (or missing) information creates a negative experience for everyone. Make sure that all of your pages show accurate contact details—web address, business hours and phone number. The goal is to try and make it as easy as possible for renters to contact you, on whatever channel they prefer. Whether a prospect uses Facebook, a Google business page, or some other channel to look up your community, providing them with the right information is an important step to gaining more leads.
While social media is a great way to advertise leasing specials and other timely offers, that shouldn’t be your focus. Instead, share updates on upcoming events, exciting renovations, and other topical facts that would interest both current and prospective renters. You could post interesting nuggets about your local neighborhood or city, and even spotlight a local business or upcoming celebration. But be careful—avoid sharing anything controversial or you risk alienating customers. Stick to posts that have general appeal.
When sharing links in your posts, it’s also a good idea to set up lead tracking by using UTM codes and custom URL tools like CampaignTracker and Rebrandly. This can help you figure out what kinds of posts are most relevant to your audience. If possible, set up unique phone numbers for each channel so you can easily track incoming leads by source.
Social media moves fast. Be sure to respond to comments, questions and concerns as quickly as you can. In a 2018 survey conducted by ReviewTrackers, results showed that 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to a negative review within a week. When you quickly answer reviews and comments—both positive and negative—you give commenters the information that they were seeking while also showing prospects that your team is engaged and available to address resident concerns.
Don’t forget that any reviews or questions you answer are public-facing, so always make them count. They’re a great way to show renters that your community is responsive and customer-focused. And if you need help, there are services out there to help you respond to reviews and manage your reputation.
Social media is all about connection. By keeping your pages and feeds updated with informative posts, quickly responding to customer inquiries, and making it easy to contact you, you’ll be well on your way to attract leads that will help boost your business.
For more tips that can help increase occupancy at your community, check out our post on ways to ace social media marketing or 3 Ways Communities Can Reduce Churn Through Technology. Happy leasing!