Social media has revolutionized the world of real estate. Agents and brokers use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote listings. Homeowners are also using social media to sell their homes in a bid to save money from real estate commissions.
In today’s real estate market, social media platforms are taking an even greater role in the rental sector. Seeing that the median rent in top metros such as Los Angeles and New York City are increasing, apartment hunters are turning to social media for help.
Apartment Hunting Goes Social
Prior to the pandemic, renters were more likely to use social media in their search. According to a 2015 article in the Multifamily Executive, 43% of renters rely more or less on social media to engage an apartment community.
Social media platforms also provide a rich resource of knowledge for first-time apartment hunters. A fresh college graduate can easily conduct research on an apartment community using YouTube and Facebook. Along with real estate apps such as Redfin and Zillow, these platforms allow renters to gather rich insights about an apartment community prior to a physical tour.
Apart from renters, property owners and landlords are also using social media to provide quick previews of their properties, answer questions about amenities and renters insurance, schedule tours, and communicate with displaced tenants who promise to return. Others have resorted to 360 video tours to attract tenants.
Property managers are also using social media for background checks. Prior to leasing out an apartment unit, they can check a renter’s social media profile for any red flags. Considering all this, reliance on social media is expected to increase in the coming years. As a matter of fact, the current health crisis has already amplified the use of social media in the rental sector.
Keeping the Sector Afloat
The pandemic may have restricted mobility and placed housing goals on hold, but it didn’t keep people from researching their dream apartments. In spite of social distancing mandates, apartment hunters who had to spend months on lockdown took this time to look for ideal communities.
This only resulted in pent-up demand as renters delayed their plans until the situation improved. This demand kept increasing as most early retirees from the baby boomer generation are opting to downsize. Many of them are using the Facebook Marketplace feature to find apartments and condos that fit their lifestyle.
When the economy started to reopen early this year, the pent-up demand for rental properties became apparent. Those who have picked their preferred communities through social media will need to compete with young people who are reporting back to work. This would explain why median rents across the country have begun to soar.
Knowing how much social media has contributed to the rental sector, tenants and landlords will definitely become more reliant on social platforms. Who knows what new features and tools will be available soon as consumers become more comfortable with virtual communication?
For now, we might as well make the most of what we have. If you are hunting for an apartment you can afford in this market, you can find more options by adding Instagram to your search.