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Social Media May Hit the Target, But It’s Not a Magic Bullet

by Amanda Cupp on August 5th, 2015

Oh no, not another article about social media!
Wait, give me a chance. Here we’ll discuss it from an operations standpoint for property management. Like all popular topics, it’s tough to write about social media without spouting a few clichés. So here they come…

Social media is here to stay.
Using web and mobile technologies, social media supports interactive dialog between individuals and groups. Although we instantly think of networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, social media is any place where people are conversing online. Yes, it is here to stay.

Who doesn’t love social media?
In spite of its growing popularity, not everyone is active in social media networking. Findings from a 2012 study conducted by Edison Research show that 56% of Americans (age 12 and older) have a profile on a social networking site. That’s a lot of people using social media… and it’s a lot of people—a lot of adults—who are not. It’s likely that not all your residents use social media networking.

It’s all about building a community.
Good point, especially for those in the multi-family industry whose responsibility is managing real communities. Property managers use social media to connect with their residents. Don’t let the words “social” and “community” misdirect your efforts. In a 2011 survey conducted by SatisFacts, residents reported the top three factors influencing retention:

  1. Quality of maintenance services
  2. Safety and security
  3. Quality of customer service provided by office staff

All three of these services are directly related to the quality of your staff-to-resident communications. Interestingly, residents ranked “Resident activities and events” and “Community having a social media page” as least important.

Not a replacement for 911.
Now that’s just plain common sense. However social media came through when Hurricane Sandy tested its viability in extreme crisis situations. When 911 lines were overwhelmed, victims and rescue organizations successfully employed social media to connect. People who were prepared to use it, benefited from it.

So what’s it all mean for property management?
Use social media networking with discretion, and use your own common sense. Maintenance activities, office closings and general announcements –YES! Rent reminders, late notices and personal messages—NO!

Your residents use multiple modes of communication. You should too. The more modes you can tap, the more likely your message will reach your target. As you know, communicating takes a lot of time. In most instances there’s no documentation trail for you and no way to confirm that your messages were received.

A message notification service like One Call Now is an affordable, time-saving way to connect with your residents. With One Call Now, you easily reach your residents using the communication methods of their choice: voice, text, email, and social media sites. When you place your message, it’s delivered within minutes to everyone at once across all communication mediums. Free smartphone apps make it easy for on-the-go managers.

Automated features expand your reach without expanding your workload: automated translations (52 different languages), keypad responses, personalized messages, and detailed reports that document your contact.

Set up is simple, efficient and secure. There’s no software to purchase, no hardware to install and no additional phone lines are required. Updates are simple, too.

One final social media cliché – You no longer have control of the conversation.
Not true! With communications, you have control when you take control. Your property manager communication service plan doesn’t have to drain your time or your budget. Check into One Call Now. Streamline your operations, be better prepared for emergencies and give your residents a higher level of service.

SatisFacts Research. (2011). Resident Retention
Edison Research. (2012). The Social Habit.