Guest Post by Cynthia Plunkett, University of Florida Journalism Senior.
Many prospects use a variety of sources to find the right apartment to live their college years. We started off by introducing the value of Word of Mouth and how Social Media affects the majority of those decisions.
From our research, we found that 84% of those surveyed used their friends as their primary source when searching for apartments. It’s easy for someone to point out the things that cannot be changed on a property such as: location, amenities, and utilities. Property managers should try to highlight their assets and emphasize the frequency of bus routes, the number of gallons in their pool, or the access to study rooms and the gym.
Some things that can be changed for example are: the Internet speed, WiFi availability, updated tanning bed and gym equipment, and working printers for their residents. Things like these may cost more to fix but residents won’t mention their troubles with these amenities to their friends if it can be taken care of before it becomes a nuisance to them. A great way to hear from residents before they complain to friends is by getting them to take a survey about the property.
Besides word of mouth amongst their friends, residents go online and spread the word too. Facebook interaction on a property’s page is important and shouldn't go unnoticed. Key points are to be prompt with responding to comments, honest, and always offering a solution to a residents’ problem online. If other prospects are scrolling through a page and see a comment go unanswered, mixed signals may be sent just because something was ignored.
See other posts from "Insights from the Inside - A renter's perspective on finding your apartment":
- Insights from the Inside – Introduction to our work
- Word of Mouth & Social Media for Apartments
- Best Practices for Apartments Using an Internet Listing Service (ILS)
- Apartment Websites, Apartment Guides & Craigslist
- Apartment Reviews & the Upside to Uncertainty
- You’ve Been Shopped, Gainesville Apartments!