by Elaine Simpson | Occupancy Solutions, LLC
Forget about putting up signs or relying on word-of-mouth; social media is the modern way to make hundreds of people aware of, and learn about your products and services. Up to 60% of apartment dwellers report that they found their rental through website listings and social media.
Studies indicate the average American logs as much as ten hours of screen time per day with approximately two of those hours spent on social media. Utilizing social media, your outreach possibilities are endless, and with Instagram they are eye-catching too. Using Instagram as a way to reach new residents and impress existing ones is a simple and effective way to bring you social media success. We live in a very social age and Instagram photo posts are one of the best tools for grabbing the most attention.
Instagram is an easy-to-use mobile application that lets you capture and edit photos or videos on your computer or smart phone. Instagram was released in October 2010 to fill a niche for one-step uploading applications that would be easy to use and relatively quick to post. Setting up and managing an Instagram account for maximum impact is simple and you can become acquainted with the platform quickly. As with other social media accounts, posting and interacting regularly is the single best way to manage current audiences. Using hashtags with relevant search terms is great for bringing in prospective residents and a good tool for resident retention too. Instagram allows you to take and prioritize photos, add quick captions, add easy to follow hashtags and share across other platforms at the touch of a button.
Instagram is a visual medium so you need to capture images that will catch the eye and use your social media communication to set an engaging and inviting tone. Use high quality photos that feature your best selling points. What makes your community stand out against the competition? Focus on the most unique and exciting features and capture them in photos.
When taking photos, remember a few key tips:
Consider the lighting. If taking pictures outdoors, midday light is the best and brightest. Dark photos are not very appealing.
Shoot at a good angle. If taking photos indoors, take pictures from an angle that makes the space look large and open. Experiment with different angles, different eye levels and from different areas. Pick the best for posting.
Remember it’s okay to edit photos. Do not over use the filters, however you can “tweak” your photos a little to highlight features. Play with the brightness, color and even cropping to make sure that you are presenting the best possible photo.
Loading photos to a listing site too? Remember to load your photos onto a listing site with the full file size. If you post to a listing with a small file size, you will lose the picture quality you worked so hard to obtain.
Be sure the photos contain the name of your community in the file name so that when people search for your community online, your Instagram photos will appear in the search results.
Take a variety of photos. Take photos of apartment interiors, common areas and feature amenities. Since they are digital, take as many photos as you want. Choose the best and delete the rest.
At the touch of a button, you can share your creations on Instagram with other various social media websites such as FaceBook (which is Instagram’s parent company), Twitter, etc. When you post a photo, ask yourself who you would like to see the photo and what they should be searching for to find you. Take these terms and use them as part of the hashtags in your photo captions.
The first step is to set up an Instagram account. Download the free app to your phone or tablet and then link it to your social networking sites of choice. Check your settings. In the main photo screen there will be three main options for camera settings, portrait/landscape set up and various flash options. Depending on your location and proximity to your subject, you will be changing your options often. Instagram takes “special effects” and use of filters to a whole new level. The built-in attractions are really what give Instagram the extra appeal and make the platform so popular.
Are you ready to give it a try? Occupancy Solutions can help you get started and guide you through the entire social media marketing process that will engage your residents and attract prospects. Why not reach out to us today? Call for a free consultation 800-865-0948 and visit our website www.occupancysolutions.com to review all of our property management services and solutions.
Elaine Simpson – Owner, Occupancy Solutions, LLC
Operations, Leasing, Marketing Consultant and Training Specialist
Elaine Simpson has been employed in the housing industry since 1986. Starting on site as a leasing agent, she moved up, working as assistant manager, site manager, executive director and finally senior regional manager with communities in several states and portfolios containing more than 1400 units. Ms. Simpson has worked for local and national industry leading companies and throughout her career, has trained new managers across the country, assisted in creating “Best Practices” and procedure manuals, participated in numerous task forces during national mergers, acquisitions and dispositions and headed “turn around” teams assigned to troubled communities, successfully increasing income while decreasing expenses and allowing the property to recover economic viability.
With over 30 years of experience in the multi family industry, Elaine Simpson founded Occupancy Solutions, LLC to provide on site operations, human resources, housing program compliance, maintenance, marketing, leasing, training and consulting services for multifamily professionals of market rate, senior and affordable housing communities throughout the United States. Occupancy Solutions assists communities by providing proven, cost-effective techniques and strategies that achieve increased occupancy, improve resident retention, minimize expenses and increase net operating income.
Ms. Simpson is a licensed real estate broker in Michigan and Arizona, a Certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, a member of the National Speakers Associations, a National Apartment Association Education Institute Faculty Member, an Accredited Resident Manager a Certified Assisted Housing Manager and John Maxwell Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker. Let Occupancy Solutions create solutions for your community. To learn more about the vast range of services and trainings Occupancy Solutions can provide, please visit www.occupancysolutions.com for more information.
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