How Apartment Companies Can Use Foursquare

foursquareThere’s a lot of buzz around location-based applications right now, and one of the services at the head of this pack is a mobile application called Foursquare.

Foursquare allows users to earn points by “checking in” at various locations around town. Users can connect with their friends from Facebook and Twitter, and the user who checks in at a location the most over a 60-day period can become the “Mayor” of that location. (Here’s how Foursquare describes some of their opportunities for businesses.)

But what if you’re not a restaurant or coffee shop or bar or other venue ideally suited for a service like this? Are there still ways you can use a location app like Foursquare for your business? Absolutely. Let’s take a look at how an apartment company could use Foursquare:

  • List your business location so it shows up in results when users are nearby.
  • Add unique tips and to-dos for local restaurants, retailers and other venues.
  • Track Mayor deals and check-in coupons for other businesses in the area, and post them on your website.
  • Get out in the neighborhood and help more businesses create their own Foursquare deals.
  • Create a referral special for Foursquare users, or offer a freebie for stopping by your leasing office.
  • Link your Foursquare account to Twitter, then check in around town to share local hidden gems with your network.
  • Encourage as many people in your community as possible to join Foursquare, then share their best tips and to-dos on your blog.
  • Offer a reserved parking spot to the “Mayor” of your community.
  • Use the “Shout” feature to let locals know about upcoming parties or other open events at your community.
  • Partner with a local coffee shop or bar to offer a special discount to their customers “brought to you by XYZ Apartments.”

What else would you add to the list? Are you using Foursquare? Have you tried it for your business?

Connect with Mike on Foursquare.

Mike Whaling

Pay attention to your customers ... most of the time, they know more about your brand than you do.

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  • http://twitter.com/FirstLightLA Trevor Henson

    Very interesting insight on FourSquare and apartment communities. I must admit, I never thought there was a way to like our communities to the FourSquare app until I read this. Great post.

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Thanks, Trevor. I see the location-based services as a great way for apartment companies to extend their community outreach efforts. Many realtors do this very well, positioning themselves online as experts in their neighborhood. There's no reason why property managers couldn't do the same.

  • http://www.firstlightpropertymanagement.com/ Trevor Henson

    Very interesting insight on FourSquare and apartment communities. I must admit, I never thought there was a way to like our communities to the FourSquare app until I read this. Great post.

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Thanks, Trevor. I see the location-based services as a great way for apartment companies to extend their community outreach efforts. Many realtors do this very well, positioning themselves online as experts in their neighborhood. There's no reason why property managers couldn't do the same.

  • sue_anne

    I think I love the offering a reserved space to the mayor of your community. :) That's a great way to really get more of the residents involved, especially if “good” parking is at a premium.

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Sue Anne, you make a great point that the “reward” can be something that would otherwise be at a premium — it could be different at every property, but it should be valuable.

    Over the course of a 12- or 16-month lease, apartment companies have a great opportunity to build a relationship with their residents … get a little creative and social games like this could really help a company take that relationship with their customers to the next level. Thanks for stopping by!

  • sue_anne

    I think I love the offering a reserved space to the mayor of your community. :) That's a great way to really get more of the residents involved, especially if “good” parking is at a premium.

  • http://www.sueannereed.com Sue Anne Reed

    I think I love the offering a reserved space to the mayor of your community. :) That's a great way to really get more of the residents involved, especially if “good” parking is at a premium.

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Sue Anne, you make a great point that the “reward” can be something that would otherwise be at a premium — it could be different at every property, but it should be valuable.

    Over the course of a 12- or 16-month lease, apartment companies have a great opportunity to build a relationship with their residents … get a little creative and social games like this could really help a company take that relationship with their customers to the next level. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Sue Anne, you make a great point that the “reward” can be something that would otherwise be at a premium — it could be different at every property, but it should be valuable.

    Over the course of a 12- or 16-month lease, apartment companies have a great opportunity to build a relationship with their residents … get a little creative and social games like this could really help a company take that relationship with their customers to the next level. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.firstlightpropertymanagement.com/ Trevor Henson

    Ok, Mike – I registered one of our Beverly Hills properties for a “Special” by way of the link you provided in your blog above. FourSquare is claiming that they are only allowing specials “where people meet, socialize and linger”, so lets see what they make of it. Stay tuned.

  • http://www.firstlightpropertymanagement.com/ Trevor Henson

    Ok, Mike – I registered one of our Beverly Hills properties for a “Special” by way of the link you provided in your blog above. FourSquare is claiming that they are only allowing specials “where people meet, socialize and linger”, so lets see what they make of it. Stay tuned.

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Thanks for the feedback, Trevor. You're correct that Foursquare is primarily focused on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other places where people socialize. Hopefully that doesn't stop you. Two ideas you could try:

    1) Tap into Foursquare users' desire for badges. Can you help them get a “Local” or a “Photogenic” badge? Can you host a tweetup in your clubhouse to help them get a “Swarm” badge?

    2) Can you partner with a local business to run a joint special? Maybe a check-in message at the local coffee shop tells the person to retrieve a more valuable gift card if they stop by your leasing office and check-in there, too.

    Let me know how it goes for you. Good luck!

  • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

    Thanks for the feedback, Trevor. You're correct that Foursquare is primarily focused on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other places where people socialize. Hopefully that doesn't stop you. Two ideas you could try:

    1) Tap into Foursquare users' desire for badges. Can you help them get a “Local” or a “Photogenic” badge? Can you host a tweetup in your clubhouse to help them get a “Swarm” badge?

    2) Can you partner with a local business to run a joint special? Maybe a check-in message at the local coffee shop tells the person to retrieve a more valuable gift card if they stop by your leasing office and check-in there, too.

    Let me know how it goes for you. Good luck!

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  • http://www.42ndstreetoffices.com/about-us www.42ndstreetoffices.com

    This is really useful, I don’t fully understand foursquare yet how it could benefit me, but the more I read the more I am tempted to sign up.

    • http://mikewhaling.com Mike Whaling

      The best way to understand it is to dive in and try it for yourself. You’re in New York, so you’ll see that there’s a lot of local activity on the site. Check out what brands like New York Magazine and the Wall Street Journal are doing with Foursquare tips … you may want to consider doing something similar that’s specific to your industry. Good luck and keep me posted if it takes off for you. Thanks for stopping by and contributing!

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