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Top property management social media strategies

How to increase lead generation and resident engagement using today’s top paid and organic property management social media strategies.

Does social media marketing work for multifamily real estate?

As consumer behaviors shift, prospective residents expect to find information about your community on the platforms where they spend their time. NMHC reports that 45% of renters visited the property management social media channels of units they were interested in. And, 80% of Gen Z’s purchases are influenced by social media.

Multifamily communities need to develop a strong social presence now to stay ahead of the competition and get in front of a wider audience. Whether your goal is to go viral, or to simply get exposure, it’s time to start experimenting with community tours on TikTok, resident event Reels on Instagram, and more.

Property management social media advertising

According to the 2022 NMHC Renter Preferences Report, 71% of renters are below the age of 45. These Millennial and Gen Z renters are digital pioneers and natives. For most or all of their lives, the internet, social media, smart phones, and online shopping have been ubiquitous.

With highly-targeted, cookie-based ads omnipresent in our Google searches and social platforms, it’s not surprising that today’s top property marketers are also spending money on digital advertising. Zego’s 2022 survey of over 600 multifamily companies found that an average of $217 is spent per unit on advertising, up from the $204 average in 2021. Data also showed that the larger the portfolio, the more spend per unit is invested in advertising.

Table featuring property management social media advertising spend compared to number of units

Which digital advertising channels are property marketers using?

Property management social media ads allow for hyper-specific targeting, like zip codes and professions. Search engine ads help keep your properties top of mind even when your prospects are not on social media.

You may or may not want to include social media paid advertising as part of your marketing strategy depending on where your target audience is spending their time. Knowing your audience, and advertising on a mix of platforms is the best way to engage prospective renters. Then, once you have a clear understanding of which channel is bringing in the most qualified traffic that converts, you can allocate more ad dollars to that channel.

In a recent Property Marketing webinar, Angie Lombardi, VP Marketing for The Franklin Johnston Group, said that depending on the property and its location, she will use a multiple channel testing method. Once the ads are running, she will let them run for a little while and then “start really digging into the data to see if [they] need to scale back or take those dollars and shift them.” In the same webinar, Barbara Savona, CEO of Sprout Multifamily Marketing, added that “what’s nice about social is you don’t have to make such a big investment to try.” She suggests testing out a Reel on your Instagram first to see if people like it. Once you know it performs well organically, then you can try putting a little bit of money behind it.

For more clarification on all the different options, we broke down some of the key property management social media advertising considerations for each channel.

Property management social media advertising considerations on various social media channels

Best practices for multifamily paid social media advertising

  1. Pay attention to timing: Spend a large portion of your property management social media advertising budget at the two month mark before peak moving season (in late-spring/early-summer).
  2. Offer an enticing discount: A promotional offer could be the deciding factor between your community and a competitor. Try waiving an application fee or offer a discounted deposit for those who apply by a certain date.
  3. Know your audience: Try offering discounts to specific groups of people such as students or veterans. This will really resonate if your community is located in a college town or near a military base.
  4. Test everything: Use different featured images to see what gets the most clicks. Refine and test different sets of audiences. Why stick to one CTA when you can test “apply now” against “learn more” against “view floorplans,” and so on.
  5. Track and measure your results: Ensure that you are able to accurately attribute each lead source. That way, you can track your ROI, and allocate precious ad dollars to the best performing channels for your renter demographic.

Organic strategies for property management social media channels

There’s no denying that social media has become a powerful tool that multifamily marketers often underutilize. In an interview for Zego’s Resident Experience Podcast, Barbara Savona pointed out that these social platforms with massive audiences of young renters present a huge opportunity for multifamily marketers. “Specifically, reels and TikTok videos, you just get an engagement and a reach that you just cannot get in any other way,” Barbara states. “It’s like a 15-32 second, free commercial for your community. But, it does take a little personality and just a little bit of confidence.”

What’s her advice for property management social media marketers who want to expand their brand’s reach? Pick your battles! Don’t create a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest account if you don’t have the systems and people in place to support them all.

First, ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What will you post?
  • How often will you post?
  • Who will be in charge of creating and scheduling the posts?
  • Who will respond to comments and messages, and act as the voice of the brand?

Once you’ve narrowed down the posting plan, pick a platform or two that your team is already familiar with. “If they’re great on Instagram, they’re more likely going to post on Instagram because they enjoy the platform,” says Barbara.

“I don’t think that we see a direct correlation to rent revenue by having an Instagram profile or a Facebook profile. But I think you tie that back to the resident experience. You tie it back to being where the prospect wants to find you. You tie it back to having an additional piece of authority online. It is a trigger for SEO. The more authority that you can build, the more respect you’re going to get from Google.” – Zoe Adams, Senior Manager, Marketing at NRP Group

Improve your digital presence to acquire and convert more residents

45% of renters visited social media channels of properties they were interested in. Read our free property marketing guide to learn how to grow your digital presence from website development, listings, content marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising.

What is one of a property manager’s most successful marketing tactics?

Google found that almost 40% of consumers between the ages of 18-24 are searching for restaurants and hot spots on Instagram and TikTok instead of on Google Search or Maps. So if you are looking to attract younger renters, get your current renters to geotag your community in their Instagram posts.

Instagram geotags allow for place-based search functionality. Users can see and promote user-generated content (UGC) filmed in a certain location. So residents can geotag your apartment in their posts at your community pool, the dog park, or a resident event, for example. And then any prospective renters looking up your property on Instagram will see that content, and get a sense of the community’s vibe from its actual residents.

location based instagram ugc screenshots for property managers

This type of UGC builds more credibility for your property than any curated paid ad ever could. Angie Lombardi agreed that “people want to see the real deal. They don’t want to see photoshopped pictures and perfectly designed models… they really want to see the people that work at the community where they’re going to live. They want to see the people that live at the community where they want to live.”

She has also spoken with property managers about how they generate UGC. She explained that “almost every property has one resident who’s really outgoing and can really be an advocate. You just have to find that one or two or handful of residents that like to be in front of the camera, that love your brand, that love the service you give and get them involved.”

Tackling TikTok’s tags & trends in your property management social media

While TikTok does not yet have map-based search functionality like Instagram, using the correct keywords in your captions will help you land on your audience’s For You page (#FYP). Showcase your community on TikTok with relevant hashtags that apartment hunters might be searching for, like #SanDiegoApartment or #SanDiegoRentals.

It may seem daunting to add video content creation to your to-do list. “There’s obviously so many things that a site team has to do on a daily basis that sometimes this gets kind of pushed to the side,” Angie admitted. “But it can take 15 seconds to make a cute little video or capture a resident playing in the dog park with their pet or with their child at the playground.” She said, “during covid, we did a whole bunch of different pet parades and our pet social media posts get the most engagement out of anything.”

Get inspired by keeping up with the latest TikTok trends and then find creative ways to apply them to your apartment community. Or check out NAA’s helpful tips for creating your first TikTok video. But before posting, be sure to check with a Gen Z that your content isn’t “cringe.”

Are Twitter or Facebook worth the effort for apartment communities?

Screenshot of property management social media twitter feedShould multifamily communities continue building a presence on Facebook or Twitter? The answer to this question depends on your target audience. Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform in the world with 2.3 billion active monthly users. Almost 70% of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, while only 24% of U.S. adults are Twitter users.

But there are other factors to consider besides the total number of users, such as user demographics. Facebook has now become associated with an older demographic, and has declined in popularity with younger generations. Facebook is hugely popular with adults over the age of 50, and a whopping 90% of U.S. adults over the age of 65 are on Facebook. So if you are marketing a senior living community, Facebook might be your property management social media platform.

On the other hand, almost 40% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 20. And 81% of millennial Twitter users log into their account at least once a day. That being said, it’s harder to get visibility and engagement on Twitter than it is on other channels. Tweets get buried under new content so quickly that businesses have to post much more often to increase their chances of being seen.

Google My Business

While it wouldn’t technically be considered a property management social media platform, a well-maintained Google My Business account is key to localized exposure. 365 Connect offers some best practices on how to create, verify, and optimize your Google listing. Editing and updating your property information on Google as well as managing resident reviews is vital to your digital marketing strategy. Parcel Pending says, “A multifamily community’s Google Business listing is just as important as its website. Google My Business receives tons of traffic from potential residents.”

What should I post on Instagram for property management?

For teams that are active on multiple social media channels, especially Instagram, here is a list of content ideas to inspire future posts.

  • Recap a recent community event
  • Create a poll or start a conversation around preferred amenity preferences
  • Show a video walkthrough of your model unit or newest vacant unit
  • Share blog posts from your community or company website
  • Share local tips for living in your city
  • Name the top 10 things to do around your property
  • Provide helpful moving tips to save time and money
  • List the top 5 restaurants within walking distance of your property
  • Share DIY tips for renters
  • Spotlight a positive Google review of your property
  • Introduce the site team
  • Showcase a community “pet of the month”
  • Show a time-lapse video of any new construction or holiday decorations going up

In your captions, don’t forget to use emojis to add flare and tone. Use hashtags to target those looking to gain insight into #SanDiegoLiving, for example.

Free community event calendar & property management social media templates

Ready to implement some of the property management social media ideas in this blog? To help you get started, we have created a 2023 Community Event Calendar with Instagram story images you can use to promote each event.

Use these apartment resident events to boost engagement and retention at your properties. Download your free templates today!


Multifamily Property Marketing for the Resident Experience Revolution

Explore property marketing trends impacting the industry, and learn how to create a multifamily marketing plan for the prospect-to-resident experience.

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