Twitter users like to tell everyone what they are doing and some of them are looking for apartments. I typed “apartment Chicago” into the search box and a slew of Tweets came up. As I read through them there was one that really caught my attention. A young lady tweeted, “Still apartment hunting. Can’t wait to fly to Chicago and just GET THIS DONE! Goodness gracious.” I tweeted her a link to an apartment community where I used to stay when I traveled to Chicago all the time. I then went to her Twitter home page and noticed that she had posted “one bedroom downtown. Any ideas??” to a local apartment search leasing agent from rentproactive.com. I presume this leasing agent found her Tweet the same way I did and reached out to her to offer assistance, so obviously this isn’t a new concept, but it did confirm my theory and substantiated that Twitter may be an excellent prospect list and that Twitter users may be open to a sales Tweet (especially if they are announcing their frustration in finding a place to live).
There are several approaches I would take to mining prospects on Twitter, and they would all really depend on what the Tweet said. One way would be the soft approach. Conduct your search and begin sifting through the results. When you come across a possible prospect, simply follow them. Typically if you follow someone, they will likely review who you are and decide to follow you or not. With that said, it needs to be very clear who you are. Your Twitter home page needs to show that you have apartments for rent in their area, have a link to your website and a creative bio that offers referral rewards for Twitter referrals or a discount for Twitter users.
Another approach is to send a Tweet directly to the prospect and follow them. Send them a link to a property in their area. Don’t send them a link to your main page and make them do a search. Be as helpful as you can with 140 characters. If they are interested they will respond. A different approach would be to engage them in a conversation. Why not? If they are interested they will respond. This is a huge experiment so test different approaches.
Here are some examples of Tweets from the last 24 hours I found with a search for “Chicago apartment” and the approach or Tweet I would send them is in bold:
“schuyler22: Planning my apartment shopping in Chicago tomorrow! Got some good ones lined up…hopefully one will work out!”
This is a hot prospect. Act fast and offer an incentive.
@schuyler22 Got time for one more appointment? We are offering Twitter users no app fee and a reduced sec deposit. (link to community page)
“afg1988: workin workin workin. Chicago apartment next year, here i come!”
I would simply follow this person and send him a link to your Chicago communities.
“AmyJulia: Preparing for apartment hunting in Chicago– measuring furniture, looking up apartments we want to see, getting stuff together!! So excited!!”
She already told you something about herself.
@AmyJulia We are in Lakeview. Here are our floor plans with measurements so you can see if your furniture fits! (link)
“joshlurie: I’m on my way to Chicago! Finding an apartment and signing a lease tomorrow”
Start a conversation ASAP. Be direct!
@joshlurie What part of Chicago interests you? We have great deals in the South Loop. Call us (312) 555.5555.
@summerbeth0519 Cheer up! Are you looking in the city or the burbs? We have both!
“SandersonPR: Looking for small apartment in Chicago‘s Wicker Park/Bucktown area that will take a dog-under $1000-anyone know?”
If you have apartments in Wicker Park or Bucktown and allow dogs you MUST reply to this Tweet. Seriously. Fill out a guest card via Twitter.
@SandersonPR Bucktown – check! Studios – check! Under $1000 – check! Dogs allowed – check! When can u stop by for a tour? (312) 555.5555
“LorenRenner: Sold my car on Friday!!! Apartment shopping in preparation for the move to Chicago. Like Andersonville, Wrigleyville, Lakeview…”
@LorenRenner we have apartments in Wrigelyville right next to the L. Call us at (312) 555.5555. Reduced security deposit for Twitter users!
It took me all of two minutes to find about 30 prospects from the last 24 hours in Chicago and I didn’t even get through all of them. Additionally, it took me all of 8 minutes to prepare the responses I’ve demonstrated above and only because I had to take two phone calls while I was writing. If you don’t do this you are missing out on a great opportunity to increase your traffic. Consider it Twitter outreach.
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