The People Behind The Property: Building a Virtual Community

Waiving through windows at residents as they walk by just doesn’t cut it for us. Don’t get us wrong, we love it when someone mimes “you complete me” as they walk past the office to pick up their mail – but it isn’t enough. At RPM, our teams have built a true sense of community with our residents; we thrive on connection and look forward to interacting with those we serve.  

That’s what motivated the team at Hays Junction in Austin to build a “virtual community” using social media.   

“We have found new ways to engage with our residents,” said Tiffany Blankman, Community Manager at Hays Junction. “We are posting twice a day on our social media platforms, finding ways to increase interactions with residents.” 

The team took a structured approach to their project – a different social campaign for each day of the week, including Movie Mondays, Work Out Wednesdays, and Theme Thursdays. They have even partnered with local businesses to raffle off prizes on Fridays for residents who respond and comment.  

“We haven’t stopped reaching out to businesses. Many small, local businesses want our residents to know they’re open and we want to work to cross promote them on social media,” Blankman said.  

The structured approach has helped improve engagement with residents while also keeping it easy to manage. Dianne Hudson, Assistant Community Manager at Hays Junction, said the daily topics helped simplify the process and avoid constantly creating new concepts. 

“There is so much happening right now, this ensures we have a lane to stay in each day and it doesn’t exhaust us,” Hudson said. 

Although they have a social calendar through the end of April, the team keeps it flexible and continue to incorporate new ideas.  

“We do a lot of brainstorming as a team,” Blankman said. “If one of sees something in our personal lives, we share it and see how we can tie it into our existing days.” 

Not only is this initiative giving the team another outlet to communicate with residents, but it has helped expand their sense of community and create new connections.  

“So many people put us in their stories – chatting and sharing our property amongst the community,” Hudson said. “It seems to be growing in a fun way and it’s another way for residents to get in touch with us.” 

From April 8 through April 14, the community’s Instagram account’s reach increased by 8,214 and impressions increased by 11,705. The engagements even led to a new lease. 

The team has also started planning steps they can take when the office reopens to build more connections with their current and future residents 

“We’re planning to host a new move-in orientation as soon as events start again,” Blankman said. “We want to host events that cater to our residents’ needs and continue to build that sense of community and help them meet our team.” 

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