Social media is great for sharing vacation photos, watching videos of piano-playing cats and starting hashtag trends. Over and above the fun stuff, social media has a wealth of practical applications, such as getting the 411 on apartment communities you're thinking of calling home. Here's the scoop on some insider tips for taking your apartment search to the Internet.
Spread the Word
Begin your search by letting members of your network know that you're looking for a new place. Post a Facebook status and send out a tweet asking for recommendations. Thanks to the amazing reach of social media, you're likely to get far more responses than via the old-school methods of phoning and face-to-face conversations.
Visit Networks Created Specifically for Apartment-Hunting
There are a number of networks and apps that feature updated apartment listings along with helpful tools that save you a lot of work. Browse these sites and build your own customized network.
Trulia includes listings that can be filtered by price range and number of bedrooms/bathrooms. You can then sort the results by those criteria as well as others like walk or transit score, square footage and newest listings. The "Ask a Question" feature allows you to get prompt, valuable advice from experts.
PadMapper runs a search based on city, address or zip code and plots the results on an interactive map. Once you have entered your criteria, you can set up hourly or daily alerts for any new listings that match those parameters.
Apartment Guide and Apartments.com provide extensive information about communities such as office hours, amenities and floor plans. Apartments.com offers suggestions for other communities that are similar to the one you are considering. Both are also available as Android and iPhone apps.
Check Out a Community's Social Media
Facebook and Twitter pages will have plenty of basic data such as address and phone number, website and email contact. The real value comes from what you can learn about intangible features like staff engagement and resident satisfaction.
The Springs at Egan Drive Facebook page provides a good example. Postings are current, meaning the staff is actively involved in maintaining up-to-date information. Resident activities like holiday parties, tips on local attractions, and community news are just some of the interesting topics found in the postings.
A Word to the Wise
Social media is a wonderful way to narrow your search, but an in-person visit to your chosen communities is the final piece of the puzzle. After all, all the information in the world is no substitute for seeing things with your own eyes.
We love interacting with our current and future residents! You can find Springs Apartments on Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn, while our individual communities are on Facebook. Be sure to check us out!