You’ve taken photos of your property and written descriptions. You’ve put them together to create beautiful property listings and have posted those listings on relevant real estate listing sites (Zillow, Apartments.com, Trulia, etc.). But you really want your units filled, so you’re looking for some other rental property marketing ideas — like social media.
In the past, we’ve written about the importance of sharing your property listings on social media. But you can do a lot more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat than merely share available units. And if you do that strategically, you may make it easier to fill vacant units in the future.
Here, we’ll offer seven rental property marketing ideas for social media that go beyond sharing your listings.
Before You Start: Know Your Audience
knowing your audience on social media to market your rental property
Before we get into our specific marketing ideas, it’s worth digging into the numbers a little: Who exactly is using social media? According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of American adults use social media of some kind. The most popular platforms are YouTube, with 73% of adults using it, followed by Facebook (69%) and Instagram (37%).
What’s more, those least likely to use social media are also those with the lowest income: While only 68% of Americans earning less than $30,000 per year use social media regularly, 83% of those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 are regular users and those earning more than $75,000 have a 78% usage rate.
Finally, Pew data shows that most social media users are daily users: 74% of Facebook users check the site daily, as do 63% of Instagrammers and 61% of Snapchat users.
Taken together, this means social media is a great place to reach an engaged group of potential renters with steady income. So what are some marketing tactics that will get your rental property in front of your next favorite renter? Start with these seven ideas.
7 Tips to Successfully Market Your Rental Property on Social Media
- Make a Social Sharing Plan
You wouldn’t start renovating a unit without scoping out what you want the final product to look like, and you shouldn’t start a social media marketing campaign without identifying what you want to get out of it.
Common goals for social media campaigns include these:
- Increased awareness
- Increased followers
- Increased engagement with your posts
- Increased conversions (i.e., rental applications)
The goals you set will determine which of these marketing ideas make the most sense. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re new to social media (or new to using social media for your properties), you might want to start small, with the goal of increasing awareness about your rental units and growing your base of followers.
- Make Your Contact Info Easy to Find on Your Profile
marketing your rental property on social media
Before you start posting about available units, be sure to take a minute or so to update your contact information in your profile. Facebook’s business pages offer options for listing a business phone number, email, physical address, and operating hours. List information strategically: how do you want people to get in touch with you if they see something they like on your page?
While this is by no means a new marketing idea, it’s essential for if you want your social media marketing efforts to eventually translate to new tenants in your rental property.
- List Available Properties on Facebook Marketplace
In 2016, Facebook added a feature called Marketplace that lets people sell to their social network. As a landlord, you can also post properties available for rent. Think of this as a supplement to listing your properties on real estate sites like Zillow.
While only 2% of renters use Facebook specifically for finding new rentals, a casual browser who comes across a property they like (or think a friend might like) can easily share a Marketplace listing with a potential tenant.
Marketplace rental listings also come with a “Contact” button that lets potential tenants contact you with a click.
- Post About Your Amenities
Photo examples on how to market your rental property on social media
There’s more to marketing a rental property on social media than listing the property itself, of course. If you’re hoping to connect with potential renters, post about the amenities that are most important to your target audience.
Not sure what those amenities are? We recently surveyed more than 1,100 renters about their experiences and found that in-unit laundry is the single most important amenity. After that, preferences vary by region.
Air conditioning is popular in the south and midwest, parking spots are hot in the northeast and west, northeasterners like to be near public transit, and southerners love yards.
So what might a post about your great amenities look like? Remember, social media is a place where it’s okay to let your personality shine, so feel free to take advantage of background colors and emojis that will make your post stand out on people’s timelines.
It’s also probably best to keep your text short and sweet. Say just enough to catch people’s attention and provide them a way to get more information if they’re interested (e.g., by linking to a full listing).
- Create Events
On Facebook, you can create an event and invite people to it and promote it on your timeline. One way to use events as part of marketing a rental property is to create an open house for a property viewing. Obviously, this won’t be possible in all cases, especially if the unit you’re renting is currently occupied. But if you’ve got a block of time where you can show the space, promoting an event can be a nice way to get yourself on people’s radar.
Another idea landlords can use to market their rentals: create an event for a session where you offer something of value to potential tenants. For example, you could do a session on how to rent your first apartment as a college student. Or how to find roommates. Or how to keep your utility costs manageable when the weather gets especially hot or cold.
The point is that by creating events, you give prospective tenants a chance to get to know you and see that you’re a reasonable person (and vice versa). This builds trust and makes them more likely to apply for one of your properties next time a vacancy comes up.
- Share Useful Content
market your rental property on social media
If you’re on social media as part of your rental property marketing strategy, your goal is to win the trust of potential tenants. One way to do that is to show them you care about them by sharing interesting and valuable content.
The easiest and most effective way to do this is to follow people and brands who post content relevant to the experience of renting. That way, all you have to do is scroll through your own feed and share content as necessary.
Like hosting an event, this helps you establish yourself as someone helpful and trustworthy to future renters.
- Use Social Media Ads
So far, we’ve been offering ideas for marketing your units and business for free on social media. But social media platforms also offer paid advertising options you can use to get your message in front of a larger audience.
Social media advertising works by letting you pay to get your message in front of people who aren’t already in your network (i.e., people who don’t already follow you or your page).
But is this worthwhile?
It depends on your goals. If you’re finding it easy to fill your units without paying to promote them on social media, it probably doesn’t make sense to pay for more views. But paying to advertise on social media might make sense if:
- You have an odd rental calendar: In many college towns, for example, rental showings happen months before leases start to accommodate the academic schedule. You can use social media ads to target your likely audience and remind them to set up showings rather than counting on them to remember themselves.
- You want to minimize friction for tenants: The “send message” button on Facebook ads, for example, gives potential renters an immediate way to get in touch. This might be handy if you have an unexpected opening and are looking to fill a unit on short notice.
- You’re growing an empire: If you plan to acquire many units or offer services other than rentals (e.g., if you’re also a real estate agent), social media advertising may help you get your name in front of potential customers. As you grow, this brand awareness will help you secure new tenants.
In any advertising situation, of course, be sure to take time to calculate the ROI of your ad dollars to make sure you’re happy with the results.
Use Social to Build a True Network
Of course, the real marketing value of social media goes beyond any single idea or strategy. People use social media to connect with family, friends, and brands and celebrities they admire.
If you focus your social media efforts on connecting with people (meaning you engage with them and their posts), you’ll see positive results in the form of increased brand awareness, increased trust, and (down the road) an easier time filling your vacancies.
Still have questions about the marketing basics for your properties? Check out our marketing tips for rental listings.