Communication is a landlord’s most important skill when it comes to filling rental vacancies. Harnessing the power of all types of communication outlets can lead to greater success. Using social media networks is another tool you can consider.
Social media networks include Facebook and Twitter, which attract the most attention and seem to have hundreds of news articles written about them weekly. There is good reason for that—Facebook and Twitter have the most users out of any online communities: 65 million and 23 million respectively.
How would a landlord use these social networks to advertise rentals? Simple. Set up a page for your business on Facebook. Reach out to your tenants, vendors, friends, and associated businesses to become fans or friends. Become a fan of as many local businesses as you can. Update your Facebook page often with information on vacancies, facts about your rental business, or news about the neighborhood. Be interesting, and of course, be professional and confidential—don’t disclose any tenant information or gossip!
On Twitter, it’s easy to create a profile page and start “tweeting.” Use the search tools to find groups of Twitter users in your town or city, as well as real estate people, property management companies, handyman businesses, and contractors. All of these people are good potential folks for you to follow. They’ll follow you back, meaning they’ll receive all of your status updates. And they’ll pass them along to their followers, too.
Besides letting the world know about your vacancies, social networks can help improve landlord/tenant communications. If your tenants see that you’re listening to them, they’re more likely to let you know when they’re having a problem. And contrary to what a lot of people think about social networks, your tenants are not likely to say only negative things about you!
But if your tenants do have an issue, chances are they’re talking about it anyway—wouldn’t you rather know what tenants are saying so you have a chance to address complaints and make things right?
Keeping up with a Twitter and Facebook account can take very little of your time—and the payoff can be great. You’ll expand awareness of your rental business and maybe even find ways to turn problems into opportunities!