While print advertising remains a popular and effective way of marketing to potential renters, those hoping to reach the next generation of renters will need to make sure that their online communication skills are up to par. With more renters using mobile communication devices to look for apartments, having an active online presence is a must. Here are few suggestions to take under consideration:
- Be both active and pro-active on social media sites. If you create a Facebook page for your property, don’t just post some photos. Be active on the site and engage those that have stopped to look at your page. Be sure to monitor the site daily, so you can be ready to answer questions timely. If someone posts a negative comment about your property, calmly and professionally dispute the claim, with facts to back it up.
- Consider doing some short videos. Research has shown that both YouTube and Facebook play a large role with younger renters when looking for a rental home. Post a few short videos on YouTube, and stay engaged on the site, as with Facebook.
- Ask your prospective renters what they want. Start a conversation on social media about what renters are looking for. Do they want more amenities such as tanning rooms, workout space, or a swimming pool? Maybe they really want a washer/dryer in the apartment, or a more liberal pet acceptance policy? While you certainly don’t have to take all suggestions into consideration, the informal survey will give you a better idea on what renters today are looking for.
- Consider increasing the use of text messages in your marketing plan. Today, nearly everything can be done using a smart phone; including renting an apartment. In a survey done by ForRent.com, 28 percent of respondents used mobile sites or apps during their apartment search. That number will only rise in the future. Be ready for it.
- Explore different ways to stay in touch with your residents. Your social media savvy doesn’t stop once an applicant signs a lease. While newsletters help with communicating, announcements and reminders sent via email stand a much better chance of being read and responded to.
- Provide your renters and applicants with a way to pay deposits and rent online. It’s a lot easier to close a deal when you can accept a deposit online immediately.
While offering a terrific property is the best way to get and keep your property leased, finding a way to reach the next generation of renters remains key.