The embrace of social media by the real estate and apartment communities has been strong, with many sites displaying videos of units and the community (or linking to YouTube), writing blogs, and participating on social sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Vitrue, a consulting/analytics company that measures “brand conversations,” says apartment sites are especially dominated by Dominion Enterprises’ ForRent.com, where it leads the next highest scorer, eBay’s Rent.com, by 66 percent. Other sites that were measured include Move.com, Apartments.com, MyNewPlace.com, ApartmentGuide.com and ApartmentFinder.com.
Video sharing makes up the largest portion of the site’s social media score, constituting 83 percent of ForRent.com’s social media score. The bulk of this comes from ForRent’s “community theater,” a collection of widely distributed TurnHere videos focusing on different communities.
During October, these videos were viewed more than 17,000 times a day. Social networking accounted for 12 percent of the score. ForRent has set up profile pages in 40 markets where it has print pubs, and reports that the pages are being used by 5,300 customers.