Apartment hunting is an emotional process that leads renters to experience a variety of emotions from excitement to stress. From having to find a new place to live, to ensuring that it’s safe for themselves and their families, there are a lot of things to consider. Social media is a powerful (and free tool) to connect with those prospects and entice them to visit your property. With so many properties to compete with, your social media presence could be a differentiating factor that generates more leads and brings your leasing agents face to face with more visitors than ever before.
In the Renter’s Rollercoaster Ride, it was found that 88% of respondents said they needed to see an apartment before they committed to it. However, there is a degree of skepticism that cannot be ignored by apartment communities and owners. High-resolution pictures and 3D Floor Plans for Apartments are just the beginning of building trust and showcasing a unit. The next step is to dive into authentic, real-time content creation: live video and stories. Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories, all provide a platform for property managers and leasing agents to get more aggressively involved in the lead nurturing process.
Periscope and Facebook Live are the perfect blend of all our favorite features from Twitter, Instagram, and webinars. You can watch and comment in real-time, share your praise with a tap, and interact while on the go. We encourage you to try live streaming with Periscope, and Facebook Live and see what gets you better results. You might be surprised that one works better for your audience or that you prefer the user experience on the other. For sharing real-time content, you can use Instagram Stories or Snapchat. (We prefer Instagram stories for business.) Regardless of the tool that you decide to use, live streaming and real-time content humanizes your staff and puts faces and names to an otherwise anonymous property.
Even if you don’t get many live viewers immediately, the content you create can be evergreen and be kept live for others to stumble upon in their search. You can also provide the latest information on availability and pricing. A broadcast allows you to share the details live and in that current moment, so prospects know they are getting the most up-to-date information. For those audiences who may not be using social media as often, you can upload your broadcasts to YouTube or your website and email it out as well. There are many ways to repurpose and reuse this content to serve multiple purposes and reach various groups.
Now what exactly can you do on social media? Here are some multifamily marketing ideas for property managers and leasing agents.
In the same whitepaper, we also found that 90% of respondents said that the best way for them to get a feel for the neighborhood was to see if for themselves. However, what about the people who aren’t able make various trips? Walk around the neighborhood during the day and at night and show prospective renters the possibilities and surroundings. You can also use this time to highlight local businesses, which allow you to build rapport with the owner, while also providing value to viewers.
These are the most obvious, but also the most valuable when attempting to attract renters who are have conflicting schedules, are relocating, or are doing a long distance apartment search. With the combination of work schedules, family obligations, and leasing office schedules, getting out to view units can be nearly impossible. Live video helps to close this gap. Prospects can watch from office, home, or during their commute. If they were on the fence about visiting, a live view can sway their decision and get them to visit in person. Perhaps, your website photos don’t do your koi pond or fitness center any justice. Walking viewers through the property and amenities can bring your community to life in a way pictures can’t.
Snapchat and Instagram stories can help you document the day-to-day energy of your community. It allows you to show them better than you can tell them. Pet-friendly? Showcase your residents walking their dogs in the morning. Have a wonderful pool area? Snap a photo of a Saturday bbq. Your community room and resident events are easy to highlight and can give prospects an idea of what their experience will be like.Ideas on how to use social media in your multifamily marketing this fall. Click To Tweet
Here’s what this strategy would look like in practice.
Your leasing agent hosts a FB Live broadcast to showcase a unit, neighborhood or community. Towards the end, they drive viewers to a mobile-friendly landing page to claim a broadcast specific offer. “Apply within 72 hours of watching this broadcast and we’ll waive the application fee. Click the link in our profile to access.” Your landing page can be a special application or a page that captures their email information. Once you have their email, you send them a series of messages introducing them to your property, the neighborhood and even potential neighbors. Below are two sample funnels.
Email Funnel For A Prospective Renter That Hasn’t Visited
Email Funnel for A Prospective Renter That Has Visited
At the end of each message, there should be a call to action encouraging them to come in for a tour or to apply for an apartment, increasing the sense of urgency with each touchpoint. You can also include other messages that are more specific to the kinds of prospects such as a list with school information, a list of local movers that can assist, or even a list of restaurants that offer your apartment community discounts. Once you have written the appropriate messages, you can easily set them up once, and move prospects into the proper list with tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, or Autopilot over time.