The most common argument I hear from Property Managers who shy away from fully engaging with Social Media is: “I just don’t have the time to deal with Facebook and Twitter on daily basis”.

I think we all agree this is a valid argument, so let’s dive in.

Beyond the obvious advantage of higher search visibility, Social Media engagement provides another juicy benefit to Property Managers: time savings.

With Facebook and Twitter, Property Managers can scale customer service and connect with both constituencies, tenants and owners, where it is most convenient for them. Not only will you make it easy for customers to contact you, but you’ll be able to respond to customer requests faster, keep them informed and save your staff valuable time.

The best analogy is a phone call vs. a text message.

Lets pretend we are in the “pre-text message” world and I am running to the store to pick up some milk.  My wife remembers that I also need to pick up oranges. So, she calls me and asks me to pick up oranges. Then, she realized that we are out of butter, bread, eggs and cheese so she calls me again. I am driving and can’t pick up the phone, so she leaves a message. I listen to the message and call her back, again, to make sure there is nothing else.

The whole exchange just took multiple phone calls and I am still running a risk of forgetting something.

This situation is similar to taking a Maintenance request from a tenant. Or, perhaps a request from an owner for the copy of the year end statement. Even if you have a good system to track the requests,  it is unlikely you can respond and help your customers track their requests as easy as you can using Facebook or Twitter. Besides, most of your customers are already there – make it easy for them to contact you.

Consider this example.

Your tenant sends you a Facebook or Twitter message that their toilet is clogged. You see the message, reply that you are on top of it and send them a link to fill out the maintenance request form, while you figure out the vendor. Once the form is filled out, you assign the vendor and use Facebook or Twitter messaging to get the permission to enter, if needed, and schedule the appointment.

Once the repair is complete, you follow up, using the same Facebook message thread and ask your tenant if they are happy with the repair. If the answer is yes, send them a link to your Yelp page and kindly ask them to review their experience.

I see three clear advantages to accepting maintenance requests via Facebook and Twitter:

1. You saved time eliminating multiple phone calls, voice mails and call backs.

2. You are a hero to your tenant!

3. You have a good chance to get an authentic five star Yelp review.

What do you think?