Southwood Realty recently incorporated popular social media app TikTok into its marketing strategy.
Staff members at the leasing company said their goal in using the platform is to foster a sense of community and creativity among their staff and residents as well as to catch the eye of potential new tenants.
Southwood Realty operates several apartment communities in Alamance County including Windsor Upon Stonecrest and Alamance Reserve in Burlington and Waterside and Watercourse Apartments in Graham.
So far, two communities – Windsor Upon Stonecrest and Watercourse Apartments – have embraced the new platform.
Susannah Wares, one of the stars on the Windsor Upon Stonecrest TikTok page, said she joined the leasing team in March and dove head first into utilizing the social media platform. At that time, Southwood Realty properties had been trying to get started on TikTok for about six months, Regional Manager Anna Whitaker said.
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“It is another fun way to get engagement,” Whitaker said. “TikTok has really blown up over the last year I would say, so it just gives you more exposure and outlets for creativity. … It can be eye catching when you do something a little bit different than a Facebook post.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Whitaker and Wares both agreed it was a helpful marketing tool when prospective tenants couldn’t or weren’t comfortable touring the apartments in person.
“I think in (Windsor Upon Stonecrest’s) first TikTok (Wares) did a tour of the community,” Whitaker said.
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“I know that, personally in 2020 through 2021 TikTok was blowing up and that’s something I’ve personally been interested in seeing,” Wares added. “I’ve seen other apartment communities and property management companies showcasing their properties on TikTok. … In these times, it has been a really cool opportunity to have that real connection with the community and with people who are looking to move to our community.”
It is that sense of community that has kept the Southwood Realty team creating on TikTok.
Watercourse Apartments’ page has gained 498 followers and Windsor Upon Stonecrest’s TikTok account has garnered 24 followers as of Wednesday, July 21.
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“If you’re not able to come into the office, like during the pandemic, you’re not able to have that face-to-face connection with people. Having something like TikTok or having more pictures and videos and things on social media does really help with feeling a sense of trust,” Wares said.
While TikTok generally has a younger following, Whitaker said Southwood Realty is not aiming to attract any certain demographics to their communities. In fact, the company doesn’t even track those kids of metrics.
“Honestly, that is not even a focus of ours. I think it’s more the creative part of it and advertising on TikTok more so than trying to reach a demographic,” Whitaker explained.
Wares and Whitaker said they have not yet had any new tenants coming in saying they learned about the property on TikTok, but it has been a hit among current residents. Whitaker said one staff member has become “TikTok famous,” after she was recognized at the gym for her online content at the apartment community.
Wares said she tries to post new videos at least weekly, but sometimes more. To keep up with the apartment communities or to view their content, follow them on TikTok @windsorstonecrest and @watercourseapts0.
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Elizabeth Pattman is the trending topics reporter for the Times-News in Burlington, covering business, COVID-19 and all things trending. Contact Elizabeth (she/her) at email@example.com. I’m also available on social media @EPattmanTN on Twitter or @burlingtontimesnews on Instagram.