The Cutting Edge: Tech-Focused Best Practices for Property Management

October 26, 2023

By David R. Cohen, Portfolio Manager, Summerfield Property Management 

Roughly 90% of all renters start their search for a new apartment online. As such, choosing the right digital marketing strategy can make or break the performance of your investment.

At Summerfield, we are laser-focused on getting in front of new trends and best practices when it comes to digital marketing, online reputation management and utilizing the newest software platforms.

We make no secret of the fact that we aren’t the largest management company out there. But our medium size is actually our greatest advantage. We take advantage of this by constantly innovating and offering more to our clients in the form of greater attention to detail and flexibility in the management of their assets.

Digital Marketing

As mentioned above, a majority of perspective renters will get their first impression of your property online via social media, organic search or an internet listing service like or Zillow. As such it is vital to optimize your appearance on all of those fronts. Our marketing team works closely with site staff and our vendors to enhance the appearance of your property on every platform.

Some important items when implementing a successful digital marketing strategy:

  • Media – Having high quality imagery, video and virtual tours can really help set your property apart from the competition. We utilize virtual tours, interactive site maps, professional photography, and drone footage to make your property make the best first impression.
  • Social Media – It is vital to have a defined strategy when it comes to social media. Don’t just post sporadically on Facebook or Instagram, come up with a plan and stick to it. We help our site staff create and maintain a comprehensive social media strategy that includes targeted ad campaigns aimed to increase both page engagement and leads directly to your website. For those that want to be even more hands off, we also have a list of vendors that can fully manage your entire social media footprint.
  • SEO – Having the right search engine optimization for your property is crucial. It makes your website more visible in organic search and makes your property show up above the competition. That means more traffic to your website and more opportunities to turn prospective renters into real tenants. We employ a comprehensive strategy utilizing targeted geographic keywords and engaging content, combined with optimized web design to drive real and sustainable traffic to your property.

Reputation Management

Once perspective renters find you online it’s only natural for them to look up your reviews. Having poor online reviews is a surefire way to turn away tenants before they even come in for a tour. We employ a dynamic reputation management solution for our clients that allows our site staff to see and respond to all reviews online across every platform.

For example, the industry average response rate for reviews is 30% – we put a process in place at one of our properties that has improved this response rate to over 70%. We also utilize strategies to drive up ratings across all of our properties online so your property always makes a great first impression.


Using the right software to manage a property is crucial and can lead to synergies that make the difference between thousands of dollars and tens of thousands per year in NOI. You may not know it, but we offer every single software platform and technology that our larger competitors do and then some.

We utilize platforms that assist in setting market rents, track leads, lead response, and simplify move in/move out inspections to make sure we capture appropriate damage income.

Because of our size, we have more time to focus on the activities that will positively impact as many line items on our P&L as possible to maximize NOI.

Some client customizations we have employed or currently employ include:

  • Utilizing our call center to take, respond, and book tours while lowering the cost of on-site payroll.
  • Custom social media strategy
  • Customized financial reporting
  • Site visit frequency

We recently took over a 180-unit apartment community in Washington and were able to produce NOI growth of 12.5% in the first 24 months of management.

Ready for a better property management experience?

Part of our commitment to building a relationship with you is our willingness to come to you and present a custom proposal for your property.

Reach out to book a time to talk with one of our experienced property management professionals in person.

Contact us today or book a call at a convenient time to learn more about our program.