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Marketing Multifamily Properties with Instagram

 

First it was Facebook, then it was Twitter, then came Pinterest, and now it’s Instagram. If you’re not a fan of social media and are having a hard time wrapping your brain around the need to learn yet another networking site, this is a good place to start. Here, you’ll gain some understanding of what it is, how it’s used, and how it will help your property management efforts when used correctly.

What Is It?

Instagram is known to pros as the back-office network. There’s no “poking” or chatting. There’s not an endless feed of suggested pages or advertisements. There is a strict adherence to protected feeds that only feature images posted by people, business, or brands in your connections. In fact, when you first view the “feed,” it may look a bit boring. It’s this bareness, however, that is attracting many users over the advertising frenzy that has become Facebook.

Instagram is where brands allow customers and end users to see their more personal sides. It’s the behind-the-scenes stuff we weren’t always able to see before, and it’s allowing businesses to connect with customers in a whole new way. For instance, if you visit the profile page for Real Simple magazine, you’ll get a sneak peek through photos at what goes into making the magazine. From behind-the-scenes at photo shoots to inside the cubicles of the writers and staff, there’s a different side unveiled.

How Can I Use It?

The power in Instagram is in this ability to connect businesses with audiences in a whole new, less-salesy way. And, property management companies are doing it successfully, too. Here are just a few of the ways you can make it work for your property:

  • Show off the property—First and foremost, show off the property. Get cool angles of the archways and foliage, spring colors in the gardens as they begin to bloom, and even pics of the staff as they go about taking care of the tenants and property.
  • Boast about the neighborhood—Show off the area in which you’re located by promoting local businesses. Take pics of street signs and neons that are markers for the neighborhood. Promote places to shop and the best places to eat (including pics of plated food!).
  • Offer discounts and promotions—You don’t have to worry about being salesy with this one; prospects and tenants will thank you for it. Take a cool pic of a flyer with a discount for new and existing tenants. Offer referral discounts as well.
  • Talk about events and opportunities—Having a community BBQ? Take pics and post!
  • Promote community work— Participating in a Habitat for Humanity program? Talk it up through images of your work on Instagram and get noticed.
  • Give apartment related tips—Making some repairs? Document the process with Instagram pics that will help tenants in attending to their own units when needed. You can also highlight a new amenity or offering this way, like parking lot expansion or a new pool.
  • Highlight the happy tenants—Of course, when you have their approval, there is little else that will go as far to prove the credibility of an apartment complex like happy tenants. Show them off.

Still thinking you might prefer some help when it comes to connecting on social media? Our professionals can handle it all. Contact us today at 817-284-1411 or by email to info@classamgmt.com.

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How Social Media Harms the Multifamily Industry

We love social media, don’t we? It’s a common thread in the fabric of this point in our history, and one that is likely to stay. That’s easy to guess simply from its huge appeal and usage. According to a December 2013 Pew Research report on the topic, 69 percent of men are using it, 78 percent of women are using it and the ages of users are broken down as follows: 90 percent of those ages 18-29; 78 percent of those ages 30-49; 65 percent of those ages 50-64; and 46 percent of those ages 65 and over.

Social media keeps us connected to each other, and especially to those we may not otherwise be able to connect to with ease. It ensures we have access to the latest news, trends, and general goings-on around us. Yet, with all its good, there comes some bad. And, while every industry and every single business is subject to it, there are two notable risks social media poses directly to the multifamily property industry.

One: Over-availability of Opinions

One thing people noticed almost immediately about social networking is that it gave them a voice…for almost anything and everything. And while that can be useful for many reasons, an overabundance of information can also lead to incorrect information and bad decisions, or worse: overload and indecision.

Let’s take a hypothetical: Lyndsey asks if any of her friends on Facebook (of which, she has about a thousand) have an opinion on the apartment she’s considering for her next move. Whereas before this question may be limited to only close friends and family members, now the door is open to enormous input, some of which may be completely irrelevant to her time and situation. With this information, she can either make a decision based on the feelings of others and not her own research, or she can become so overwhelmed with the response, she chooses to abandon the idea all together.

Two: Reviews in Abundance

Review sites are great. They have the potential to provide a lot of information for very little effort, and make it possible to gain access to input that would otherwise be nearly impossible to collect, like years’ worth of experiences from tenants and former tenants. But they are also full of disgruntled ex-tenants and ex-employees seeking some sort of retribution for the wrongs they feel have been done to them by the apartment owner or property management company. The problem, of course, is when apartment seekers don’t know to take these reviews in conjunction with their own research, and instead let the malcontent lead them.

The Solution

The best way to approach this issue is to ensure the property is managed in a way that is focused first and foremost on the tenants. Second is to handle the feedback on sites where negative opinions pop up, and to do so carefully without a defensive reaction. Of course, the obvious approach is to have a property management company in place that can help with both. Call Class A Management today to learn how we can address all your property’s needs.