THE BLOG

Apartments and Creating Community

12/11/2015 08:42 am ET | Updated Dec 11, 2015

Are you an apartment investor, or do you want to be? Bank of America has released their 2015 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report. There is lots of fun stuff in this report, particularly as related to the younger generations and their reliance on technology. When it comes to their smart phones, the information is pretty amazing:

• 71% sleep with or next to their phones.
• 35% reach for their smart phone first thing in the morning, even before coffee.
• 23% have fallen asleep with their phone in their hand.
• 89% check their smart phones at least a few times a day.
• 36% say they check it constantly.

So, we know that the younger generation, a large pool of our apartment renters, can't do without their mobile devices. Then there is Facebook. Here are some stats published over at Zephoria.com:

• Age 25 to 34 accounts for 29.7% of Facebook users, the largest group.
• One in five page views in the U.S. occurs on Facebook.
• As of May 2013, there were 16 million local business pages, doubling from the previous year.

With these kind of numbers, how can we use them to our benefit as apartment property owners and investors?

Going to Facebook and searching the word "apartments" shows that there are many local apartment projects with business pages on Facebook. What are they doing with them?

They're getting followers, Likes and reviews. Of course, good reviews are the goal. How much advertising do you put out trying to attract good tenant applicants? What does it cost? A Facebook page costs nothing, and can create a community of happy tenant users who will promote your business and deliver tenants.

With an About page to tell the world how great your apartment community is, you can also post all of the photos you want to attract residents. But there is much more to post in the page Timeline to create a sense of community with your tenants:

• Coupons
• Events
• Articles about apartment living
• Maintenance news
• One project posts recipes for busy people who work late

There are tens of thousands of articles out there about how to create a website for real estate investment, and many for how to do the same for apartments. Then you have to create content, and so it goes.

With a Facebook business page, you get the ball rolling, and if your tenants are enjoying their stay, they grow it like a snowball going downhill. Quality content builds, and you can also run very targeted advertising at reasonable cost.

A warning here though: Any negative comments or reviews MUST be dealt with quickly and the tenant's satisfaction is paramount. You want visitors to see you dealing with the issue and the tenant's ultimate happy resolution. Do this and you'll have your very best marketing resource out there.

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