While COVID-19 continues to remain prevalent across the globe, many multi-family marketers are still adjusting to the changes brought on by the pandemic. Sixty-four percent of property managers report that COVID-19 has harmed their business’s profitability. While this number isn’t surprising, it shows the pandemic’s scale across the property management industry. Within this blog, we’ll look at how multi-family marketing has changed amidst the pandemic and highlight ways your property management company can adapt to these changes to run a profitable business. 

 

1. Social Media’s Importance Has Increased Significantly 

 

Consumers are craving a local connection now more than ever. One of the best ways your property management company can provide that local connection is through social media. Since the start of the pandemic, social media’s importance has increased significantly. Data from our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that localized content receives 12x the engagement as content that is not considered localized or more general. 

 

While social media’s importance has increased, so has the importance of localized content. This data proves the necessity for multi-family marketers to localize their social content to engage with local audiences more effectively. As residents continue to flock to social media throughout the pandemic, marketers must harness this opportunity and provide residents with the local connection they need. If your property management company already has a robust social media strategy, good for you! There’s still always room for improvement. If your property management company isn’t where it should be in terms of social media, there are plenty of opportunities to improve. 

For instance, are your properties posting local content on their local social channels regularly? Or are they relying upon your corporate portfolio’s content? Here are some localized content ideas to consider sharing: 

  • Giveaways and leasing specials  your local property is running
  • User-generated content. Re-share content that your residents or tenants have posted on social media. Showcase what it’s like living at your properties. Highlight positive reviews as well. 
  • Changes to your property regarding COVID-19 or general property updates.
    • Residents should be aware of anything that is changing at your property before it actually changes. This will avoid confusion that could potentially damage your reputation. 
  • Virtual events. Plan a virtual wine happy hour or bingo night and promote it among your tenants. This will help fulfill the local connection that your residents are craving during this time. 

While planning a strong localized social media strategy for all the properties in your portfolio might seem daunting, SOCi is here to help! SOCi’s social media management solution empowers corporate and local property managers to publish localized content, manage content libraries, respond to social engagements, and analyze performance across local social media channels. If you’re looking to improve your property’s social media presence as its importance has increased, this tool is a great place to start. 

 

2. The Conversation Around Online Reputation Has Shifted

 

Another interesting shift we’ve seen in multi-family marketing amid the pandemic is the conversation around online reputation. While online reputation has always been a big focus for property managers, it’s critical to ensure that your properties are consistently monitoring their online reputation and responding to reviews left by residents. The shift to a more digitally focused world will bring your property’s online reputation under a microscope. 

 

A strong online reputation can make it or break it for your properties. Seventy percent of prospective residents decided to visit a property with a higher online reputation. If your properties aren’t consistently monitoring their online reputation and looking for opportunities to improve, you could be missing out on potential residents. If you’re looking for ways to improve online reputation, get started by responding to the reviews your individual properties receive. If there are too many reviews to respond to, negative reviews are an essential place to start. Eighty-seven percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the company responds. If your property management company responds to negative reviews efficiently and addresses the resident’s complaint, they will be more likely to change their negative review, boosting your overall online reputation. 

 

Responding to reviews across properties doesn’t have to be time-consuming or overwhelming. SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software pulls every review for all your properties into one centralized platform — accessible by both corporate and local property managers. Give local property managers the power to respond to reviews, and your corporate team the ability to maintain oversight through the creation of approval workflows. There shouldn’t be any excuses for managing your individual property’s online reputations anymore!

 

3. In-Person Interactions Are Now Digital 

 

Another significant change that occurred for multi-family marketers was that in-person interactions went digital, and many remain digital. For instance, there was a period of timing where leasing had gone completely virtual, and leasing offices were closed. While many property management companies leaned on in-person interactions for success, this has shifted as a result of COVID. The pivot to utilize digital technology has shaken up the industry but has proved successful for many properties. Properties have been able to use new technologies to continue business as usual and even facilitate growth. If your property management company hasn’t already found tools to help you carry out your daily operations digitally, it’s time to start. Whether or not you can operate in-person interactions currently, the shift to digital is here to stay. 

 

Maintenance operations have also shifted for many property management companies and have become a struggle to navigate. While you want to keep your residents happy through efficient and effective maintenance operations, you also want to keep your staff healthy and safe. Many properties are only sending in-person maintenance staff for essential repairs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative for other non-essential requests. For instance, you could create videos on how to complete common non-emergency repairs on your local social channels or drop off tool kits for residents needing non-emergency maintenance. Again, it’s all about localization! If your property management company can create a bond with residents digitally, it will help your company reduce churn and retain residents. 

 

4. Retaining Resident Is More Valuable Than Ever 

 

Property management companies have always strived to minimize resident turnover, but it’s now more essential than ever before. By retaining residents, property managers can cut down on turnover costs, reduce new resident acquisition costs, and keep residents in-lease who are less comfortable making a move during a pandemic and are already familiar with the changes their property has gone through due to COVID-19. With many residents in a financially challenging situation caused by the pandemic, your property has to get creative to retain residents. 

 

For instance, are you answering any questions your residents have about the property in a timely manner? Are you making your residents feel valued during this challenging time? If your property is proactively showing residents that you care about them, residents will remember those efforts when it comes time to decide whether or not they’re going to re-sign a lease with your property. If your property management company is having difficulty coming up with ideas to make your residents feel valued, consider the following: 

  • Celebrate resident appreciation day
    • Whether this occurs on the pre-selected day for resident appreciation or any day your property chooses, be sure to celebrate your residents. A simple personalized message can go a long way! 
  • Ask residents for feedback on various aspects of your property. 
    • By gaining a better understanding of the feedback a resident has about your property, you can make informed upgrades and optimizations. 
  • Send a birthday message to your residents!
    • Often when filling out a leaser, residents or tenants have to include their birthday. Make them feel special by sending a note of their big day.
  • Create a sense of community
    • As previously mentioned, social media can be a great place for creating a community online. Host virtual events and engage in conversations online. 

 

If you’re able to keep your residents happy, you’ll find success with retaining them over the years. Test out some of the tactics mentioned above and see how they work for your property management company. 

Now that you have a better understanding of how multi-family marketing has changed amid the pandemic, how can you use this information to strengthen your localized marketing efforts? While we understand that it can be difficult to manage multiple properties and their localized marketing efforts simultaneously, SOCi is here to help streamline the process. SOCi is the central command for multi-family marketers and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. From managing social across properties to monitoring and responding to online reviews and much more, SOCi has you covered! For more information on how SOCi can help boost your property management company’s localized marketing efforts, request a demo today!

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