So, you’ve established yourself as a great property manager. Your residents pay rent on time, resident disputes are rare, and your maintenance team is efficient and effective. But you still struggle with resident retention — why? One reason may be a lack of resident engagement on social media.
In this post, we discuss why resident engagement is important. Then, we outline how social media can boost resident engagement. Finally, we offer 10 ways to connect with your residents on social media.
This post covers:
- Why is resident engagement important?
- Can social media help resident engagement?
- 10 tips to engage with your residents on social media
Why is resident engagement important?
Apartment resident engagement is crucial for resident retention. Like with any business, social media helps in customer engagement. So, creating connections with customers is essential to being successful. Embedding resident engagement into your marketing strategy will directly and positively impact retention rates.
Positive resident engagement leads to:
- Renewed leases.
- A better reputation.
- Increased NOI.
- More long-term leases.
The modern renter is looking for more than just a place to live. Instead, they want a place with a strong, well-fostered community. As a result, when choosing between two options, prospects will pick the one that focuses its efforts on connecting with residents.
Can social media help resident engagement?
Social media is the easiest way to connect with your residents without putting in hours of extra work.
However, social media is harder than simply posting photos every day. In fact, if you take a few minutes to look at the social media accounts of some multifamily properties, you’ll notice similarities. Photographs of clean, empty apartments, stock photos of actors smiling in a nondescript lobby, and professional shots of amenity spaces will abound.
While this is a perfectly fine way to handle your social media accounts, it’s not making the most of these platforms. When used more thoughtfully, social media can boost community engagement by forming relationships between staff and residents and creating a real sense of community.
What’s more, a well-curated social media account can attract new residents by showcasing the perks that come with living at your property.
Check out our complete guide to real estate social media marketing:
10 tips to engage with your residents on social media
In order to effectively engage your residents on social media, you have to stand out. But, how can you do that? Let’s take a look at a few easy ways to employ social media in property management.
Here are ten tips to engage your residents on social media:
- Always use an image
- Share staff highlights
- Promote resident events
- Host photo contests
- Highlight the inner workings of your property
- Make it relatable
- Introduce the pets of your building
- Use each platform wisely
- Maintain your pages
- Establish and stick to your branding
1. Always use an image
Studies show that social media posts that contain images are more likely to encourage engagement. While text posts can be wonderfully crafted, they just don’t draw the eye the way pictures do.
And photos allow you to be more creative!
Don’t just tell your residents how they can access a new amenity space, show them a photo of the area. Bonus: If you include relevant, explanatory photos in each post, you’ll spend less time thinking up creative captions. As a result, your apartment engagement on social media efforts will be quick and not time-consuming.
2. Share staff highlights
One way to improve resident retention is to form genuine relationships between residents and staff. But prompting this connection can be hard.
So, put your staff front and center on your social media profiles with a monthly staff highlight. This can be in the form of a Facebook post, Instagram story, or Twitter thread.
In the post, be sure to include:
- The staff member’s name.
- A photo of the staff member.
- A quick explanation of their role.
- How they can help residents.
- One or two fun facts about the staff member.
3. Promote resident events
Promoting resident events on social media is about more than just posting an invitation and a date. In fact, you can promote an event long after it’s over.
Let’s say you throw a fall fair for your residents in October and are planning a holiday party in December. Use the fall fair to your advantage! Take plenty of photos of the event and create an image carousel to share in the days following the event. One of the best ways to get people interested in events is by showing them what they’re missing if they don’t go.
So, take high-quality, in-focus pictures at each event and store them in an album designated for future social media posts.
4. Host photo contests
Are you having trouble getting your residents involved in property-wide activities? Consider what kinds of activities you’re putting on. If the activities include being physically present in a space for a specific period, you may be unintentionally excluding some residents.
So, create an “event” that anyone can participate in, regardless of a busy school, work, or social schedule. Put on photo-based contests that all residents can submit to. Create an incentive by offering a prize — such as a gift card to a local restaurant — and set the deadline at least a week out.
Be sure to include all contest rules in the post description, including an email address to submit their photos.
Here are a few photo contests to try out:
- Best fall door decor.
- Work-from-home setup.
- Prettiest property photo.
- Cutest pet portrait.
5. Highlight the inner workings of your property
Sometimes, all your residents want is for you to be transparent! No, this doesn’t mean you have to air out the dirty laundry of every behind-the-scenes event. But share insight into the daily operations of your building.
Share a day-in-the-life post, a look into your package management system, or even a tour of the management office. Any one of these will humanize your staff and make your residents feel more involved in the property, leading to more renewed leases.
6. Make it relatable
Highly polished, professional photos are great, but they’re just not as approachable as human-centric content. Show what your property looks like when it’s lived in. With resident permission, share their unique holiday decorations, cool furniture choices, and fun gallery walls.
While there is a place for uber-polished photos of vacant units, your social media pages are a place where you can have fun with content and appeal to the human side of your residents and prospects.
7. Introduce the pets of your building
Are you having a hard time deciding what to post? Let’s say you’re a few weeks out from your next event and months from your next big renovation project. What is there to update your residents on?
An easy option to keep up with your apartment’s social media engagement is to introduce the pets of your property!
Cute animal photos will always be attention-grabbing on social media. Snap a picture of animals on their way in from walks or ask residents to submit photos for “pet of the week.” Include the pet’s name, breed, and even a fun fact for some easy, filler content between more informative posts.
8. Use each platform wisely
As convenient as it may seem, duplicating the same post across all social media platforms isn’t wise.
Instead, take advantage of the unique strengths of each platform:
- Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in the world. Use that to your advantage by posting informative updates on your page. Link to policy and leasing updates, share apartment newsletters in their entirety, share large photo collections of amenity upgrades, and repost local news or events to keep residents informed of the area.
- Twitter is best used for short-form content. Instead of long, informative posts, the character limit on Twitter forces you to keep content brief. So, use Twitter to post short, day-of-event reminders or procedural updates. Additionally, use Twitter to retweet local news outlets to keep residents safe.
- TikTok is among the newest social media platforms, but it’s already proven its staying power. Take full advantage of the video component of TikTok by sharing short apartment and amenity tours, publicizing your resident events, and sharing quick how-to videos (such as how to use your package room, how to reserve amenity spaces, or how to use your access control system).
- Instagram is a photo-sharing app intended originally for photographers. So, take high-quality, thumb-stopping photos to catch users’ eyes. You don’t have to invest in an expensive camera to do this! With any smartphone, snap in-focus photos of resident events, property pets, and your onsite team hard at work to share.
9. Maintain your pages
Consistency is key to successful resident engagement on social media. In fact, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter all operate on algorithms that elevate the content of accounts that routinely post.
Additionally, put yourself in the shoes of a resident or prospect. If your last post was five months ago, they’re unlikely to give your account a follow. So, stay relevant and maintain your pages to increase resident engagement.
10. Establish and stick to your branding
Defining your building’s brand on social media is important. People are more likely to follow pages with a cohesive, interesting aesthetic rather than random or bland pages. Additionally, when you stick to a cohesive brand, deciding what to post next comes easier.
Ask yourself the following questions when deciding on your branding:
- How old are my residents?
- What types of pages do my residents already follow?
- What kind of account will my residents connect with?
If your property is full of young families with children, then your social media apartment engagement efforts should focus on highlighting family-friendly amenities and activities. Conversely, if your apartment caters to young, single residents, consider doing shout-outs to local bars and restaurants in your neighborhood.
- Positive resident engagement leads to more renewed leases, a better reputation, and increased NOI.
- Resident engagement on social media is an easy way to market your property without putting in hours of work.
- Social media can form strong relationships between residents and staff members.