Why Mobile Marketing Is "IN"

By Gretchen Kernbach on February 14, 2016

Calling all student housing property landlords: it is time to upgrade.

By that I mean upgrade to mobile marketing. Today’s students rely on their smartphones more than ever, meaning they are on them almost 24/7. Connecting with potential renters through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest can increase the possibility of leasing.

Why should you invest your time in mobile marketing? For most people, apartment research is conducted in between work and school. Therefore, there is limited time for apartment hunting. The quickest, easiest way to look for a potential place to live is through the phone.

According to appfolio.com, four out of five millennial students use some type of smartphone.

Image via smartinsights.com

Providing accessible information allows your properties to be effortlessly viewed without having to physically see the living space. According to appfolio.com, “82 percent of current or prospective renters view property floor plans on mobile devices [and] 40 percent of current or prospective mobile renters use video to make a decision.”

If someone likes the property they see right away, he/she can get right in touch with you through your mobile website. Renters take notice of which property managing companies utilize modern technology. It can make a significant difference. But how will potential tenants find your company?

Social media has a big effect on the amount of visitors your mobile site gets. It is important to utilize these internet platforms for advertisements. By using sites such as Twitter or Facebook, your ads outshine your competitors’ and draw in prospective renters.

Twitter allows companies to extend their campaigns to over 700 million users. Also, because this site allows for geo-targeting, you can specify to what area you spread your ad. The Website Conversions Playbook provides helpful tips to creating eye-catching advertisements. During a five-day campaign, Six Flags increased their attendance by 250 percent. Imagine the new attention you could get.

In addition, Twitter lets users search keywords. This feature reveals all public tweets containing the desired keywords. Property management companies can search their company name and see what pops up. As a result, they can answer any tweets that propose questions about the company or statements directed at the company. Having someone designated to prowling Twitter can prove to further connect you to future tenants.

Have some fun on Facebook. Create a renter-exclusive page that promotes current events and inside jokes about the community. Encourage individual postings between tenants. Those who are not part of the page will have a spike in curiosity about the apartment complex.

Secondly, create another page for potential renters. This can serve as a forum for questions and answers. You can even offer move-in specials.

Pinterest, behind Twitter and Facebook, is the third most popular social media platform. Well-known for the large amounts of pictures, this platform can serve as a model for apartments. Post pictures of different units, skillfully arranged, to appeal to future renters. Show off your special amenities. This is your chance to give a quick glance into the rooms you have to offer. The good part, users can share these photos, opening your business to new people everywhere.

Even sites such as YouTube and LinkedIn can increase property coverage. Upload 360 tours of apartments on YouTube. This provides a quick, three-minute tour to students without them having to leave their beds.

Appfolio.com recommends the following.

“Create a customized homepage for your property to connect with residents and even your primary contractors and service providers. Make personal recommendations for them and collect a number of recommendations for your property in return that can win over even other competing professionals within your industry and targeted demographic.”

So once you get them to click on your link, what should be there?

Property complex websites should include pictures, videos, reviews, amenity lists, and much more. It is important to showcase your property as much as possible, making it look top-notch. A website is a 24-hour salesperson.

Top half of college apartment website. Notice the tabs for different aspects.
Image via terraceviewapartments.com

As well as pictures of inside the apartments, show different floor plans to site visitors. This allows them to view the space from a bird’s eye view. Pictures only get half the job done though. Include walk-through footage of living spaces to increase the viewpoints of living inside your complex.

Different complexes offer different amenities. Have a separate tab to display what your property has to offer. A simple list should do the trick. Make sure to address any concerns, including pets, visitor parking, pool and gym usage, etc.

Adding online leasing features allows applications to be sent in and accepted faster. The trouble of going into an office and signing a lease seems unattractive to lazy, yet busy, prospective renters. Being able to get immediate results is something we all want.

Remember to include contact information. If a potential tenant cannot get you to answer their questions, they will move on to someone else who can.

Mobile marketing connects the world more efficiently. And it is time that your property company joins in.

By Gretchen Kernbach

Uloop Writer
Virginia Tech

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