Blog

The Importance of Knowing your Facebook Audience in Property Management

Talley Proporties


Facebook is a powerful platform for property management to improve their online presence and publicize the property. However, a poorly designed or badly executed Facebook page can be more damaging than not having a page. Facebook is a social networking site and direct selling techniques or strong pitches, almost always fail. The present generation is quite distrustful of direct advertising, and when you are asking such people to “like” a Facebook page filled with sales pitches, you can imagine the response.

The Best Approach

As in any other business, in property management too, the priority should be on building a two-way communication on Facebook. The landing page does not have to be a lengthy description about the property, and its phenomenal and gorgeous features. In fact, hardly anybody cares and nobody bothers to read through or even scan through lengthy descriptive content. Rather having such boring stuff, the better approach would be a call of action.

To succeed in this aspect, it is paramount for property management to know their audience. Unless you can gauge the preferences of your audience, coming up with interesting content can be very difficult. What do people like to hear about, or what information they would consider valuable. Basic questions you should be asking when developing Facebook content.

The Big Picture

If the property consists of apartments, then most people living in apartments would be interested in shopping deals, festivals, special events, and things to do in the area. Additionally, content can also be designed around breaking news stories and trending topics. The main aim is to develop content that is not only interesting but also that generates interaction and engagement amongst your followers.

Know Your Community Members

Direct demographics will also play a major role in developing content. If majority of the community is over 55 years old, the latest rock band or hip hop event may not be of much interest to them. On the other hand, such a community will be quite interested in shopping deals available in the area. Such content is valuable to them, and before you know it, many of them would have started sharing their own information about where they are able to shop for the least prices. Hence, you have not only engaged your audience, but also started to generate interactions amongst them, which can translate into many valuable comments.  

Facebook Analytics

Lastly, it is also important to keep track of the content being liked and the content that is being ignored. Catering to various preferences and developing appropriate content can be quite tricky and you can only learn from your past mistakes and successes. Therefore, Facebook Analytics will play a major role in determining the feedback to the content you are posting.

You need to go beyond the objective of just getting “like” clicks. Your content should also appear and stay on somebody’s news feeds. For tracking this, check the number of clicks on “Hide Feed” on Facebook Analytics. Ultimately, what matters is the thing your audience wants to hear about, and therefore knowing your audience should be the primary objective of property management.

Things Property Management should Avoid on a Facebook Fan Page


Different social media platforms, especially Facebook are an excellent tool for property management to improve business, and maintain outstanding relationships with tenants. An impressive presence can be developed on social media with a low budget, but it does take time and careful planning. When you have a Facebook presence, one of the objectives would be to build a massive fan base for obvious reasons. Simply creating a Facebook Fan Page is not enough, and you need to post things wisely, to obtain the best outcome. For a property, these are the things you should avoid posting as far as possible on your page.

Vacancy Postings

You do have to promote your property vacancies, but doing it all on Facebook, may not be a judicious idea, especially if you want to build a fan base. People are interested in vacancy postings only when they are looking for a place, or you have premium property or location where everybody would want to live. Hence, when you simply list vacancies, it is not interesting to many people, and you are not going to get new fans or even keep existing ones.

While posting anything on social networking sites, you should remember it is like having a conversation with actual person. If you keep talking about what you want, which is your posting of vacancies; people will soon get tired and will not stick around. However this does not mean you stop posting vacancies altogether. You need to mix a few vacancy postings with a ton of interesting content.

Reminders

Usually a reminder does not sound friendly, unless it is an update or new information. For instance, a reminder like “rent is due on 4th” may seem out of place, while an update like “the pool will be closed till the 15th of this month for repairs” seems quite helpful. Hence, avoid general reminders, unless they are crucial, and even then keep them to the minimum. When you need to include a few reminders, it would be better to keep them friendly as much as possible, and make them interesting. For instance, you could introduce some contest to make your tenants sign up for online rent payments.

Special Offers and Deals

Everyone looks forward to special offers and discounts, and announcements of these types are quite appreciated and effective on Facebook. However, such promotional postings should not overwhelm your page content, and should blend cleverly with other interesting stuff. Additionally, you also need to consider how your existing tenants are going to react to these promotions. They might also demand a better deal and would not want to be left out. Hence, promotional postings should be occasional and form only a small portion.

What You should be Posting

When you are developing content for the property’s Facebook Fan page keep in mind to provide value or some helpful information. Your posts should be interesting, helpful, and fun to read. Such content will attract new prospects and keep existing fans happy.

The Importance of Google+ in Property Management


Each day some new thing seems to be available on the Internet that seems to promise a better form of social media or as an advanced tool for marketing. When you would have heard of Google+, you would have thought the same, and dismissed it, thinking that you already have a presence on Facebook and Twitter to promote your property. However, that would be a wrong strategy, as Google+ has quite a bit to offer, especially for property management. Therefore, here are the reasons, it is such a fantastic tool, and no property manager should ignore it.

Phenomenal Growth of Google+

Usually the growth story is linked to Facebook, and rightfully so, as it has gained over 110 million users every year on an average, since its inception in 2004. However, the growth rate of Google+ is four times more than Facebook, as it has gained more than 400 million users since June 2011 when it was launched. Even though only a fourth of that is active users, the scenario is going to change quite soon.

Reviewing Limited to Users

On the popular review sites such as Yelp, anybody can simply rant and provide bad reviews. However, your Google+ page can receive reviews only from Google+ users. This means, the reviewers will not only have a profile, but also whatever they write will be showing up on their feeds that everyone can see. This creates an environment for more authentic reviews rather than hysterical rants.

Linked to the Most Powerful Search Engine

Google is still considered the most popular search engine, which actually makes Google+ very powerful in influencing search results, as the two are linked. Search results are being influenced by the presence of posts written by Google+ users. These people with profiles are considered “trustworthy”, and hence the page with these people’s posts and reviews rank higher in the results. Higher rankings in the search engine means better exposure and more people are likely to read the page, thus promoting the property.

Hangouts

Google+ provides the Hangout feature, where you can:

§    Converse directly with potential or existing tenants
§    Simultaneously video chat with nine individuals
§    Share documents with all people included in the Hangout
§    Watch and discuss about a video on YouTube together
§    Share what is on your screen with your group
§    Record and broadcast sessions

All this provides an excellent way for showing your property to prospects, holding a Q&A with tenants, holding meetings, and so on.

Local Targeting

One of the most important aspects to consider while promoting a property is the location. Property managers have to find ways of attracting the local people to occupy the units, and Google + Local (previously called Google Places) accomplishes just that.   

Increasing Popularity

People eventually use everything offered by Google, which is clearly seen from their previous offerings such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and so on. This means every person using some product of Google will be soon using Google+, since they already have an account, and creating a profile is quite simple.

Leveraging a Facebook Graph Search for Property Management


On top of every Facebook profile and page, people will now find a search box, which is Facebook Graph Search. You might wonder what is so great about another search engine, and what its significance is. Well, this search engine not only provides search results, but they are also customized to the individual’s privacy settings and based on the network of friends the user has. This is not an attempt by Facebook to replace Google or any other popular search engine, but offers a tool for searching into the world of your network of friends.

Facebook Graph Search rewards fan engagement, and for property management the number of comments, Likes, shares, recommendations and check-ins the property has, will play a major role in the results. If a property manager wants to leverage this search engine then places, photos, interests and friends should be the main areas to focus for search criteria.

Importance of Places

When you have set up a profile for your property, you will obviously be mentioning the valid address. This puts your community at an advantage, since Facebook treats all profiles with an address in the page settings, as a Place. This element of Place will play an important part in the search results.

Facebook Graph Search focuses on the connections users make with interests, businesses, properties, and so on. This enables Facebook to personalize their search results. Another factor that significantly influences search results is strength of fan relationships and the interests shared between such friends.

How to Optimize Your Property Page for Facebook Graph Search

Facebook graph search mainly relies on page settings, and hence you need to focus on these aspects for gaining maximum visibility in the search results.

o    The name of the property or the page title should be spelt out clearly and fully. For Instance, write Redbrook Apartments instead of Redbrook Apts.
o    Keep the physical address of the community updated, if it has been missing or wrong.
o    Many property communities seem to ignore the “about” section. In the page description, include much more details than just amenities. It would be better to use similar or same phrases and keywords that you have used on your property website. However, these keywords are not going to be used by Facebook in the way Google uses them. You should also include phrases that indicate nearby landmarks or points of interest, such as “Next to Macy’s supermarket” or “Near the zoo”.
o    Check out other areas of interest and local businesses from Facebook community pages and “Like” a few, and also share and comment on some of their updates. Such activity will create many links that will improve visibility on the Graph Search results.

Finally, if you want to be sure that your property page always appears in relevant searches, regardless of privacy setting or number of friends, you could always create a sponsored ad result. This way it does not matter whether you are optimizing your page or having many likes, and your page will still be displayed in the results. 

Using Pinterest in Property Management


Pinterest, the photo-sharing website has over 20 million active users and is one of the most effective drivers of referral traffic. This means it can be used as a highly effective tool by property management for promoting the property. Pinterest enables users to create and organize image collections based on different themes such as interests, events, hobbies and so on. Users can also “like” images and “re-pin” photos from other pinboards to their own. Secondly, Pinterest users can effectively use hash tags for highlighting a phrase or topic.

Utilizing Hash Tags

Hash tags are now quite common on different social networking websites for searching and accessing particular topics. Property management can use hash tags on Pinterest while sharing interesting visual content, so that it becomes easier for people to find pins according to a topic or a relevant phrase. Make sure to include your Pinterest link while conducting email campaigns or while implementing social networking strategies. Also, make it a point to let prospects and residents know about your Pinterest page when they interact with you at the site office.

Here are steps to get started on Pinterest:

1.    Create your account with Pinterest. If you want Pinterest to post your pins onto your Facebook page, sign up with Facebook for creating the account.
2.    Change the “Settings” for your account, such as preferences, social network links, and email notifications and so on.
3.    Create a board, which will enable you to name and describe the category or topic, under which you are pinning.
4.    Start Pinning photos
 
According to experts, the life of a pin is for about a week, and it is best to pin on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings to get maximum exposure. Property management should start with about ten boards and schedule about five to seven regular postings. Pinning activity can be increased or lessened depending on the level of response you are receiving. However, the best strategy for gaining Pinterest followers would be sharing very interesting content, commenting, and repining other people’s content as well. Reciprocity always seems to work online, especially on social networking sites.  

Here are some tips that can make a property Pinterest page more effective:

§    A board can be created for each community and upload photos of fantastic landscapes, and focus on amenities.
§    Property management can also consider creating a board for every room in the apartment unit such as the kitchen, living room, patio, bathroom and including some ideas about decorations.
§    Upload photos of any parties or events held at the community
§    If the property allows pets, create a separate board for pet owners, and upload photos of current pets in the community.
§    Design ideas for indoor gardening and upload photos of some of the indoor gardens made by residents.
§    Food and recipes are all time favorites, and a separate board can be dedicated to these topics.

Your Competition

To know if the competition has started using Pinterest, simply type in the name of the community or property name, in the search box on the top left corner. You can gather some ideas about how they are leveraging Pinterest to obtain more prospects.

Page 58 of 74