When it comes to connecting with your residents and prospects, you as a member of the leasing office need to be exploring as many avenues as possible to use to your advantage, especially the free ones.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that prospects and residents only use Facebook and Twitter.  In fact many people are actually starting to use many aspects of social media, like Facebook (they are not complaining) and Twitter, less due in part to them being viewed as outdated or overused.  This brings me to the topic of this blog, Snapchat.

Snapchat, which Facebook actually attempted to purchase, allows its’ users to send photos and videos that disappear in seconds to other users.  The mobile app has really been a hit with the younger age market, which just so happens to make up a large percentage of the current renters in the apartment industry.  Therefore, how does an apartment community use Snapchat to target potential renters and current residents?

Before you implement Snapchat as a tool at your community you must collect usernames from prospects and residents.  Just as you ask for a phone number, email address and mailing address with every prospect, now you need to start asking for Snapchat usernames.  Send a notice, an email, or post on your social media outlets to your residents that you are beginning to incorporate Snapchat as another means of communication.  Initial data gathering may be time consuming, however your persistence will reap benefits for the community.  The following are four potential uses for Snapchat:

  1. Sneak Previews- Is your community a new construction?  Are you in the process of undergoing major renovations? What better way to build the excitement and anticipation than to send out photos and videos showing brief glimpses of your progress.
  2. Follow-Up- When it comes to follow-up, the more ways you can reach out to your prospects the better.  Once you’ve called, emailed and sent a handwritten thank you note, send them a Snapchat of that perfect apartment you showed them to let them see it one more time.  Or, if there is a resident event going on, send a picture so the potential prospect can see what it is like to live at your community.  Better yet, how about just sending them a Snapchat video from the leasing specialist they dealt with simply saying hey and hope you choose to live here?
  3. Contests- Everyone loves a contest and Snapchat can let you be creative.  Send photos from different areas of town out to both residents and prospects.  The first three people that send a photo back from the locations win a prize.  Or, send out photos of different areas throughout the course of a week.  All of those individuals that come into the office on Saturday with the full list of places you sent photos of win a prize.
  4. Incentive- Are you giving an incentive, or are you thinking about offering one?  How about offering it through Snapchat by sending all previous prospects a photo, or video, informing them they can receive a waived application fee, or reduced deposit?  The only way they are able to receive the incentive is by taking a screen shot of the incentive you send them.  It would be very easy for you to keep track of who will receive the incentive, because anytime a screenshot is taken by a user, the sender of the Snapchat is informed that the user took a screenshot.

These are just a few ways you can begin incorporating Snapchat into your daily outreach and marketing plans.  I would love to hear any success stories or other ideas you have used at your community.  Snapchat is completely free, so the ROI is nothing but positive!