When you think of apartment marketing, the first thought that pops into your mind is probably attracting new renters. Whenever someone moves out, you immediately want to flip the apartment and get a new tenant in as quickly as possible because vacant units don’t bring in revenue.
Getting new renters is definitely important, but let’s not overlook the other part of the equation, which is retaining your existing tenants.
Having tenants renew their leases means you don’t have to worry about filling up as many vacant units. Plus, renewals are a sign that your tenants enjoy the community which means you’re providing great service.
While certain markets such as Milwaukee and New Orleans are experiencing great retention rates at 64.1% and 61.7% respectively, others aren’t having the same success. San Antonio for example, has an average retention rate of 43.4%.
So how do you avoid falling into the lower percentile? Here are some innovative ways to improve resident satisfaction and boost your retention rate using social media!
Social media contests are a great way to engage with tenants and offer them something special. Plus, they’re a relatively low cost marketing strategy. The main expense is the prize, which can vary.
Some good options for prizes are a discount on rent or gift cards to local businesses. Try to get creative with the structure of your contest. Doing a “like to win” contest is easy, but an Instagram photo contest is much more fun and engaging.
Check out our article, 40 Apartment Marketing Ideas Guaranteed To Get More Renters, for more suggestions on social media contests.
You should have alerts setup for whenever your brand is mentioned on social media. You can do this through most social media management tools. The purpose is to be aware of what’s being said about your community on social media so you can quickly respond.
With these alerts, they’ll be able to see whenever someone mentions their community name, or a hashtag containing the community name. You can create as many variations as you need.
This strategy is ideal for resident retention because Twitter is one of the first places tenants will go to voice their issues or dissatisfaction with their apartment. When that happens, you need to address it as soon as possible.
By taking the initiative to reply to tenant issues on social media, you’re showing how much you care about your residents.
@phantisea Hi Susan, thanks. We are communicating separately with you about this. Just wanted to confirm that we saw your tweet. Thanks.
— Lincoln Property Co (@LincolnPropCo) June 14, 2016
Even though Twitter is the most common social network you’ll see complaints on, you still need to monitor your other profiles like Facebook and Instagram.
You never know when an upset tenant will leave a negative comment on one of your posts, so be attentive.
A great use of social media to keep residents happy and satisfied is to become a guide to the city. Instead of filling up your Facebook and Twitter feeds with ads for new apartments and highlighting your company, give recommendations for things to do around your neighborhood.
It’s a great amenity to be able to offer your tenants, and allows for networking opportunities with other businesses.
It may seem like a small gesture, but it’s just another way to go above and beyond for your tenants.
Is the elevator temporarily down? Was there a loss of electricity in the area? Or maybe you’re having a community event for your tenants. Social media is the perfect platform to share that information to your residents.
It’s easy to overlook fliers and mailers. But posting important information on your social media profiles gives tenants the ability to find out what’s going on when it’s convenient for them.
Let tenants know that you post important announcements on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so they get into the habit of checking your accounts daily. The more communication you have with tenants, the better.
A study from J Turner Research examined the top complaints given in over 10,000 resident surveys. Three of the top five most common complaints were related to poor communication and customer service.
Keeping tenants “in the loop” helps them feel at ease. Make posting important news and announcements to social media a part of your process and it could help you avoid losing tenants!
In another study on resident retention, 13.3% of tenants said they planned to move out of their current apartment to get a larger unit and 9.7% said they were looking for something cheaper.
Instead of letting tenants move to another property, make sure they’re aware of your other available units that might fit their needs.
Regularly posting available units on social media will put you in consideration when a tenant is thinking of moving.
If a tenant is happy with your service, loves the community and their only reason for moving is because they need to size up or down, you may not have to lose them.
The reality is some tenants don’t even consider coming to you to ask if you can work with them to find an apartment that better suits their needs. They just assume it’s not possible and start looking elsewhere. That’s why you need to consistently share newly available units on social media.
Another possibility is you may not have any units that match their needs in one building, but one of your other properties might have something available. Even though you’re losing a tenant from one building, you’re filling up a vacant spot in another, so it’s a win-win situation.
MK Property Group shares available units they have across NYC so current tenants can see the different options available to them, even if it’s in a different building.
— MK Property Group NY (@MKPGroupNYC) June 25, 2016
We’re going to tread lightly on this one because it’s easy to go overboard.
Reputation and social proof are important to tenants. Knowing that they live in one of the top properties in the area increases their likelihood of staying with you rather than moving to a competitor.
Showcasing awards you win or praise you receive from your community is a great way to modestly brag about how great your property is.
Keep in mind that if a tenant is having an awful experience at your property, seeing that you were voted as the top property management company in the city probably isn’t going to sway their opinion.
But for the residents that are considering moving out just to try somewhere new, showing off that award may give them the push they needed to stay. Sometimes they just need reinforcement that they’re with a great company.
Asset Plus Companies does a good job at sprinkling in their accomplishments on Facebook without being overly promotional.
If you’re not careful, posting about your achievements can look like advertisements instead of company pride. To avoid being spammy, mix in these posts occasionally with your other content rather than only posting or Tweeting when your company is mentioned in the news.
In addition to showing off the awards you receive, you should also highlight the different events and amenities you provide for tenants. It creates a community on social media, and your tenants will want to remain a part of it.
The Bozzuto Group’s communities host events and special promotions for residents. They always remember to snap a few pics to share on social media!
— The Bowen (@TheBowenApts) June 24, 2016
— PowerForLifeFitness (@PowerForLifeFit) June 22, 2016
Get into the habit of capturing moments that showcase your community with a picture or video. Then share the content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your tenants to see.
Resident retention boils down to customer satisfaction. Aside from life changes, many of the reasons tenants move out boil down to poor communication or customer service issues. Both of which can be avoided.
Social media has made it much easier for property management companies to stay in touch with tenants and ensure their satisfaction. If your resident retention rate isn’t as high as it should be, contact us to see how social media can help.
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