Last night I attended a presentation at the Hamilton District Apartment Association and had a wonderful conversation about social media with a few landlords. I just thought I'd touch on a few of the points that were made last night because I'm sure that many landlords are still on the fence about how to use tools like Facebook and Twitter to connect with residents.
Point 1: Isn't Twitter and Facebook the Same as Email?
Although you could use email to communicate with a number of residents it's not quite the same as Twitter or Facebook. Social media sites like Facebook bring people together to have a group sharing in the communication. The value arises as relationships build within the community and you, as a landlord, are a part of the conversations. It's more then just passing information along, it's about sharing thoughts, opinions and adding value to the community. Twitter has the same purpose only it allows you to interact with short, precise messages.
One couple at my table were musicians so I used this as an example. Let's say you had a four-plex and you needed to rent out the units. Why not rent to fellow musicians? Find a Facebook group or Twitter feed that discusses music or a local symphony orchestra. You're sure to find fellow musicians there. Then you join in the conversation, making friends and adding value to the group. Not only will they begin to recognize you as a fellow avid musician but they will also be exposed to your four-plex that rents exclusively to musicians. Imagine a building who's neighbours didn't mind the noise of instruments and who's neighbours could either gather together to play or to give great advice. All of a sudden your residents are seeing added value where they live. Voila! You're seeing resident retention and zero vacancy.
Point 2: I Can See This Working Because My Son is Always Texting.
It's true, the younger generation is growing up with technology that was not around when we were kids. Texting and socializing on websites is just a regular part of their lives. Even internet dating accounts for 1 out of every 3 relationships these days. The fact is, many people can't live without the internet. Social media is only going to continue to grow from here and we need to make use of its power. Sure, sites like Facebook or Twitter may fizzle out like MySpace did, but another new site will pop up in its place. We need to adapt to the changing times.
If anyone reading this blog would like further information on social media please contact me and I will provide you with further information. It's a hard thing to wrap your head around but when you do it's so easy to see the potential it has on resident retention and/or attracting residents.