Social Media: Letting Agent Facebook case study

| June 15, 2011 | 7 Comments

 

Many agents now have a company Facebook page and as I’ve commented recently, there are still very few examples of agents getting any real traction in terms of fans. There are firms that are making some good progress, but as I’ve said before, just having a page for your business because that’s what you have been told you should be doing is pretty pointless. You need to research your audience and put together a strategy on why and how you can make it work for you and the tenants. It may not be right for every agent.

Whilst it’s not the only age group that are active on Facebook, some recent Zoopla research showed that 65% of UK tenants are under 35, and there is no doubt this is the biggest and most engaged demographic on Facebook. So if this group are your target audience it would stand to reason that you should interact with them there.

Here is a great case study of an agent that have done just that.

College and County, an award winning agent from Oxford, carried out some research into their student tenants online habits, asking them what is their preferred medium to communicate, and more specifically how they would like to communicate with them on property related issues. The resounding feedback was that they were much more active on Facebook than on email or other platforms.

In addition to their standard company fan page, College and County took the bold step to create a Facebook group for every property they let, allowing their tenants to communicate with them on property related matters such as deposit queries, end of tenancies and maintenance. Each time they introduce a new let they set up a group which the tenants become members of and they then lock the group to maintain privacy for the members and issues being discussed.

So far they have around 50 groups and they are finding them a real success. Obviously tenants can still communicate with them in other ways, but the majority are choosing to use the Facebook groups and this has led to an improved response time on property maintenance issues – reduced by 7.5 hours on average.

 

They have reduced the amount of dialogue they are having to have directly with tenants and the feedback from tenants has been great.

They have directed the happy tenants to review them on Google (why wouldn’t they!) and the positive feedback has led to them being the only agent locally with 5 star reviews.

They have also experimented with Facebook advertising in their bid to have the largest student population on Facebook for their area and have had some great results here too. Their current student target audience between the age of 20-24 yrs is 11,600. One of their adverts targeted to this group had 50,000 page impressions in less that 24hrs, meaning that on average the advert appeared in front of each of their target audience 4 times during that period.

Facebook is third biggest referrer to their main property web site and their next Facebook campaign is to get their student tenants to make a short video about the property that will then be used in the marketing of that property to the next batch of students to come through.

I’m sure you will agree that College and County are doing some really innovative things with their social media activity and more importantly, they are getting some very exciting results.

 

 

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Category: Letting Agents, Networking, online, Social Media

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  1. Carla Bradman says:

    Thanks for another interesting Facebook post!

    I think it can be very tempting to build a facebook fan page strategy around getting high numbers of people ‘liking’ you. That could be successful if you are a large, multi-office agency where you want to engage with as many people as possible – but if you have a specific demographic, be it age or location for instance, that may not be the best strategy to employ.

    I think its also important to remember that facebook is a community and at Young London our page is a place for our tenants to find information about local events and offers and interact with each other. That’s why I like College and County’s facebook group idea for houses of tenants – its perfect for their demographic and if their response time to property management issues are lower than it is clearly working!

    • housingdabble says:

      Thanks for the comment Carla

      You make a valid point that it’s not just about high numbers of followers/fans/likes – Quality rather than quantity is important.

  2. I think this sounds like a great idea and really wanted to try setting up some ‘property groups’ to see how it works. I hope I am not being too dumb but I really am unsure how to make ‘groups’ on a standard company FB page. I can get them on my own profile page but not on the company page… is there anyone out there who can help with this? Thank you, Jane.

  3. Nice post Ben, and interesting to see how they are using Facebook.

    The key here is demographic though. They have obviously researched their market well and have decided that they can operate a very dynamic and direct strategy with Facebook and use it in direct sales (and management which I think is a very clever idea, well done them)

    Our market does not really use Facebook as a direct sales route but for us it is a good branding excercise as we expand its use ever more.

    I believe people now expect you to have the presence in the Social Networks but some companies will use it different to others.

    Very interesting.

    James

    • housingdabble says:

      Thanks James and yes I agree – Different mediums work for different businesses.
      The danger is that lot’s of companies jump in without ascertaining who their audience are and where they are likely to best interact with them.

  4. Interesting post. We are trying LinkedIn and blogging on out newly updates website. Too early to say if it’s having much effect, but I am tracking referrals from lots of places using Google Analytics. I can see referrals, i.e. someone clicking on a link that takes them to our site, from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and various other sites that link back to us. There has been quite a high bounce rate from a lot of those sources; we hope this will improve when they are referred to our shiny new website.http://housingdabble.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/social-media-letting-agent-facebook-case-study/#comment-form-load-service:Twitter

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