In the podcast we spoke in general about social media for business ie. the importance of a social media strategy, Facebook advertising, and being ‘social’ on social media (you’ll be surprised at how many don’t do this well), we also spoke briefly about how property managers and real estate agents can use social media.
We didn’t have time to go into the detail on some of the ways property managers can use social media, so I wanted to write about it. At the top of my list is using social media to build your brand profile and develop your reputation.
In an industry that’s starting to see a few cowboys (think illegal renting of garages), as well as an increasing amounts of competition, setting yourself apart by aiming for a first-class reputation is a good strategy. Here’s how you can start.
1. Google yourself – do you like what you see?
Google your name and city, or your company name and city right now – what do you see? Everything on that front page is playing a part in how you’re perceived by potential landlords researching their short list. If it’s just your website and company incorporation listing then you’re missing out on some Google front page real estate.
As a starting point create a Google+ company page, Facebook company page, and a personal LinkedIn profile – if you looked at that last suggestion and think ‘but I’m not looking for a job’ then we should have coffee. Now you’ve got your platforms and look more current to the online world, you now need to think about content.
2. Leaving a good first impression
As with your website and face-to-face networking, the initial impression a visitor gets of you and your brand on social media is important.
The opportunities to impress on your social media profiles are growing and improving. LinkedIn are currently testing a new company page with a new ‘cover photo’ position and size, and Facebook have recently improved the overall look and placement of the cover photo and profile.
It’s so crucial to use these spaces well. To do that you can start by reassessing your cover photos and profile pictures by asking friends, family and colleagues what they think – get feedback on your personal profile on LinkedIn and all profile images for company pages. I can’t stress enough how much a designer and/or professional photographer can make the difference here.
Another opportunity to give that first impression is your reviews and recommendations. The risk is using review platforms like Facebook where disgruntled tenants can leave reviews that you can’t edit and remove, whereas LinkedIn you can request clients/landlords to give you a recommendation. These can be approved and added to your profile page, edited on request (by the original author), or removed from your profile page, and therefore they hold a lot less risk, and reasonable amount of weight – so it’s worth investing the time in this.
3. Building a reputation through content
Depending on how you want prospective and current clients to think of you and how you want to be perceived, you need to be posting content ie. photos, videos, links, and copy, that are working towards that ideal reputation.
List 3 – 5 things you want your prospects/clients to think of you. Do you want them to think you/your company are involved in the community, up to date with new legislation, professional etc
Everything you post should touch on at least one of these ‘perception points’ or more commonly known as, key messages.
It’s not a short game, or a silver bullet, it’s the long approach that when done well will return value to your business. It’ll be easier to recruit great talent, secure new properties to manage, or even negotiate up the price of your property management business if you sell it.