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Social Media Trends for Property Managers: Going Where Gen Y Is

At Axis Insurance, we offer property managers throughout the country with Errors & Omissions coverage to protect them from claims relating to an error or omission in providing professional services that can lead to a lawsuit. Part of our staff’s expertise comes from keeping our pulse on what is going in the property industry as it relates to regulations, trends, the economy, technology, and other key issues.

Recently, we listened to a podcast for property managers about technology trends and how to reach Generation Y. We’d thought we’d share some of what we heard with you.

Gen Y is the next wave of renters, homeowners, and business owners. They’ve been accustomed to having a phone attached to them and sharing their lives online. They expect to access and receive information on the web and via mobile. The message: When you think about using today’s and tomorrow’s technology, think about Gen Y. Here are just a few of the take-aways of what was discussed:

Review sites are increasingly more popular. These include sites such as Apartment Ratings, Apartments.com, Condo.com, Oodle, Yahoo Local, Yelp, and others.  Better management of these sites is key, with the ability to eventually combine referral and rating functions with social networks, such as Facebook. Eight-four percent (84%) of Americans say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions*. Imagine if friends, colleagues, family members, and others also reinforced your property rating and reviews on Facebook.

Pay attention to the future possibilities of location-based services, like Google Places, Facebook Places, and Four Square that allow you to learn about the places your customers frequent. Think of it as “digital graffiti”: Your potential customers visit a property, check in while they’re there, and write a review about the property. You see who’s checked in, and provide them with all types of information digitally about the property. Or, you can extend a special offer if they sign up for a rental that day. Plus, you get highly detailed customer demographics from these sites that you can use for target marketing.

Target your advertising to specific demographics on social networking sites such as Facebook Advertising. Let’s say you have a property near a hospital or university, and want to advertise to nurses. You can choose to target your messaging to a specific audience by location, interests, etc. So in this case, you may choose Santa Monica, California for your location and “nurses” and “nurse” for interests. You will get a count of the number of individuals who fit that demographic. Then you can choose how often you want your campaign to run advertise based on your budget.

These are just some of the ideas that you can begin to think about. Of course, some basics included having a Facebook page, Tweeting, and getting Google Alerts to monitor what is being said about your company.

*Statistics from Opinion Research Corp

The podcast was presented by Appfolio, a software provider to property management firms

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Blogged on: October 11, 2011 by Mike Smith
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