Salvatore Friscia is pure San Diego and a self-identified social media property management pioneer—often sporting a stylish v-neck and jacket combo. On a routine day, you’ll find him posting videos on Instagram Stories, IGTV and LinkedIn; preaching the gospel of an authentic social media approach to property managers; and running his businesses, San Diego Premier Property Management and Tenant Finder.
After all, the property management industry isn’t the first place you’d look for influencers of his ilk, but that’s exactly the point. More than ever, he wants his colleagues to understand that they must embrace social media to prevail in today’s ever-changing real estate market.
We video-chatted with Salvatore last month and traded ideas on how property managers can use social media to skyrocket their business.
What makes your company unique?
First off, we don’t like to compete—we like to dominate. Just by saying that, we make ourselves different from everybody else. What makes us stand out is that we share our story, and we don’t talk about property management first and foremost.
Why do your residents love you?
They love us because we’re transparent; because we’re real people. We’re not just a company that manages their properties. We’re actually real people—they know who we are, they see us interact on a social level—it’s much different from a corporate-style feel. We are family-owned and operated, and our social showcases beautiful San Diego and the services we provide for our clients and our tenants.
What’s the best advice you have for other property managers?
What I tell other property managers is that we all have something different. The one thing that separates us is our unique personality and the culture of our businesses—which is the one thing that can separate all property management companies in any immediate area. So if you can showcase that and broadcast that out to your online community, you will have an advantage.
How did you come to realize the importance of social media?
You will discover creative ways to identify and eliminate routines that are no longer benefiting your business.
As a property manager, I found myself being stuck and falling into mediocrity, doing the same thing everybody else was doing. It was probably around 2012 or ’13 when Periscope was just being launched; it was big in terms of a handheld device as a medium of reaching the masses, which was only allowed through TV and radio in the past. I came across the Gary Vs and the Grant Cardones, and I noticed that these two individuals were very different in their approach, but they both had one thing that was so special in my eyes: They were able to tell their story. They were able to reach people and, in my opinion, it was an epiphany.
I realized that if I was going to break away from mediocrity, if I was going to separate myself and be able to make myself synonymous with San Diego and property management, the forum that I was going to go into was social media. Getting into the social media aspect 3, 4, or 5 years ago has really helped us diversify ourselves out of just being a property management company into being a media presence in San Diego.
Self-identified Social Media Property Management Pioneer, Salvatore Friscia
Do you think that there is a lot of opportunity for property managers in the social space?
I do, and I’m going to take it one step further—I think it’s not a matter of if you need to have a social presence. You must have a social presence if you want to stay relevant. And I know a lot of property managers don’t want to hear that. I get a lot of pushback because they are still doing things the same way they have for the past 5 or 10 years. But the truth is that if they don’t adapt, if they don’t realize that social media is the new way to build communities, they will no longer be relevant to the guy down the street who does it. It’s so important.
What made you want to become an influencer in the space?
Like I say to a lot of property managers, while they were going to industry events like NARPM and the PM Grow Summit (which they should be), I was attending social media conventions. I was meeting with social media real estate influencers, and I was in their ear, bugging them, asking them questions, going to where they were convening and really absorbing what they were doing that was successful.
I packaged it up and brought it back to San Diego to try to put together a property manager social management strategy that would work for my company. We were successful in doing so—not only to receive local recognition, but national recognition from real estate powerhouses such as Zillow and Inman Real Estate News. And I knew from that experience that other property managers could do it also, and they just needed to know the right way to do it.
I went through a lot of trial and error and, as you know, we put together the Property Manager Social Media Bootcamp (shameless plug there). We put that together because we wanted other property managers to see that there is another way to do this—to have fun doing it, and to make it something that actually benefits their business. It can help them grow their reach, get leads, and extend their business and their brand; and that’s something that I wanted to share with our industry.
Is your social media personality different from your personality in real life?
I’m the same person, I really am. I love it when people meet me and they say, “You are just like you are in your videos”—that’s a compliment to me. I don’t put on an act; I am who I am. I show the behind-the-scenes of my family life. We just came back from Scottsdale, Arizona. We met with some great social media influencers out there, and it will go on Youtube; it will go on LinkedIn; it will be syndicated out. And I’m the same person now that I was with them—I think that you need to be. If you’re not, you’re probably doing yourself a disservice. I think you need to capture moments and convey them to your audience—that’s what makes you real.