Using Social Media in the Property Management Business: Interview with Kayla Morris Roeder, Cambridge Management Group
Kayla is one of the Owners of Cambridge Management Group and is also on the Board of Directors at the San Diego Apartment Association. Recently, I was able to ask her about how she uses social media in her business.
Q. What social media tactics are you using at Cambridge Management Group?
We use a mix of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and various other smaller social media sites. You’ll be surprised to learn how much residents and owners are using social media today. It is definitely making an impact on our business.
Q. Does using social media give you a competitive advantage?
Yes, I think it does. Having a social media presence takes time and effort but not a big budget. It is something that everyone can do regardless of the size of your company. And, it keeps us connected to our current and future residents as well as our owners.
Q. What is the main objective for your social media presence?
Our primary focus with social media content is resident retention. It also allows us to keep relationships with former residents and stay connected so that when they or a friend or relative are thinking about moving, Cambridge Management Group comes to mind. I also think that social media helps give a property management business a more “human face” that is personable and allows for a more relaxed environment where we can interact with our residents.
I think people are chasing the dollar too much with social media. For me it is about chasing the relationship and then hoping the dollar will follow. We are trying to be a resource within our community so we are an added value for our residents.
Q. How do you encourage resident participation on the Facebook and Twitter Page?
On the Cambridge Management social media sites, residents have access to discounted coupons that they can purchase for fun things like Disneyland and movie theaters. We post regularly with information on local events and announcements regarding our communities.
When it comes to blogging, I have a lot of RSS feeds I subscribe to in order to keep current. For our residents, we compile information on anything that we think is interesting, relevant or even entertaining; and for our owners we compile information on current industry trends, economic news, and what new regulations are coming down from our legislators. Not only are we a source of information but we try to keep it lighthearted.
Q. How is social media helping you market your business?
Owners use our blog as an up-to-date resource. We compile a lot of information about state and local legislation and then use this content in our quarterly newsletter. We have a lot of content about rentals in California and when people are searching for these types of topics, we come up on Google.
Q. How do you manage all of these social media sites – where do you find the time?
I have 3 different Facebook pages and I keep the business profile and fan page very separate from my personal “friend profile.” I have Twitter and Facebook linked so when I make a tweet, the comment is automatically posted to Facebook. I block out time each week to work on social media activities like writing a blog post or responding to Facebook comments for example. If you don’t schedule the time and prioritize it in your calendar, it doesn’t get done!
Q. Can you offer a property management company any advice with social media?
Here are a few things I think are really important:
- Keep it Simple. Don’t try and tackle everything at the same time
- Be Authentic. Try not to come across as pushy, aggressive, or “sales-y”
- Create Relationships and Build Referrals
- Keep Content Current. Post local updates that effect residents, such as local traffic or a water main shut-off
- Spark interest with a contest or free give-away
- Monitor the facebook traffic to your site and see what’s working and what’s not. Don’t be afraid to experiment
- Set parameters for content to keep your marketing message consistent. Don’t be afraid to allow managers to manage their own content for their property site. The point of social media is to create a social network with your residents, and who better to do this than our managers.
Make sure you have a social media policy for your company so that your managers know where their boundaries are. And make sure you monitor it.