Beware of Inaccurate Lead Data

Beware of Inaccurate Lead Data

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Property management companies are often surprised to discover how often a consumer starts looking at one property only to sign a lease at another property within their same portfolio. It’s why Todd Katler, CEO of Anyone Home, stresses focusing on prospects versus properties when collecting data.

 

“It shows how people are moving between their assets,” says Katler, who estimates properties see between 18 and 44 percent of prospects who do just that (depending on the density of the property portfolio).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Is Your Data Really Accurate?

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Many basic CRM systems log those type of leads as separate prospects, when it’s really the same person looking at multiple properties within the same brand. While the industry had a hunch this happened, “it hasn’t been visible until now,” Katler says.

 

Katrina Greene, senior property manager at Sheehan Properties, points out another common flaw of tracking multiple leads within one system: human errors. “Having a CRM is a blessing and a curse,” Greene says. “As decision makers, we want so badly to be able to rely on our data. But the fact of the matter is the person entering the data is oftentimes the least concerned with its accuracy.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Data Audits

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Katler agrees this is a problem across all CRM and lead management systems. Anyone Home tries to mitigate as much inaccuracy as possible by running external audits on the data and writing in code to fix input errors, like using fuzzy logic so “Rob” and “Robert” aren’t listed as two separate people if they came from the same source.

 

Ultimately, it’s about using the data to provide some clarity into lead attribution and delivering a level of accuracy that gives multifamily property companies confidence in their decision making.

 

“You want data to be actionable, because that’s all that really matters,” Katler says. “Most sales or leasing positions are on a quest to try and satisfy unlimited requests with limited resources. A good CRM helps guide them to take the right action with the right customer at the right time.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Evaluating Every Lead Source Along the Renter’s Path

Evaluating Every Lead Source Along the Renter’s Path

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]By evaluating every lead source, you can gather new insights into a renter’s path, from their actions online to visiting your property. With more accurate data from multi-touch lead attribution, you’ll have a better understanding of how a renter researches apartments and condos, so your multifamily properties can make smarter marketing decisions.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/297746053″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]The Franklin Johnston Group based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, strongly believes in following multi-touch lead attribution. The multifamily property management group tracks multiple lead sources on all guest cards using the CRM system from Anyone Home.

 

“We just recently implemented chatbot services in Facebook Messenger. Once a person goes on Messenger to chat with us and submits their contact information, we can go right into our CRM and are able to see the primary source, how they got there and where they ended,” says Christopher Beckwith-Taylor, vice president of marketing at The Franklin Johnston Group. “We can see they’re not just utilizing one source to research and contact companies,” he says. “They’re using multiple sources.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Leveraging Your CRM to Optimize Advertising Spend

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Todd Katler, CEO of Anyone Home, says his software shows every inbound and outbound touchpoint that ever happened with a prospect so companies can really understand a renter’s journey. “A really good CRM will illuminate the path,” Katler says. “It will show you all of the ways a prospect is communicating, not just with one of your properties, but across all of the properties.”

 

Katler’s qualifications for a good CRM include focusing on tracking prospects instead of individual properties, and evaluating both sales and marketing activities. “Most of the lead management platforms in our industry only look at sales activities,” he says. “No other industry does that.”

 

He spends time with clients looking at the data to figure out how to optimize spending on advertising. While he says switching from a first-in to multi-touch lead attribution model rarely influences a major change in marketing budgets, it does help companies evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts, like comparing PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and deciding if a premium internet listing package is more profitable than a cheaper basic package. “Our clients, on average, cut 15 to 20 percent of inefficient ad spend because they’re capturing the true value of a lead,” Katler says.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Understanding AI in a Consumer’s Online Research Journey with Big-Ticket Buys

Understanding AI in a Consumer’s Online Research Journey with Big-Ticket Buys

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Artificial intelligence on a multifamily, auto or home furnishings industry website remembers every online shopper, what they searched for, and when they plan to buy. Better understanding AI will help you give today’s consumers what they demand: A more personalized, guided experience that simplifies their online research journey before making a big purchase.

 

Today’s buying consumer uses artificial intelligence in nearly every financial transaction, from the self-checkout at the grocery store to the new food-serving kiosks at McDonald’s. Even industries with big-purchase items, like buying a car, shopping for furniture, and leasing a new condo or apartment, all leverage AI.

 

Companies decide to replace grocery store cashiers, bank tellers and fast-food workers with automated machines when they don’t create enough value in the service they provide, says Elise Kephart, a trainer and consultant in the auto industry who’s nationally recognized as the “YouTube Diva” for her persuasive, personalized video greetings.

 

With places like Carvana trying to convince car buyers to purchase their next new vehicle from a vending machine and Tesla offering to sell vehicles directly to the consumer, Kephart thinks it’s time auto dealers start paying attention to how consumers want to buy.

 

“I don’t think it’s just around the block,” she says. “But, for right now, the automotive industry really needs to adapt to the way that this is going. I don’t want to see dealers replaced by full automation or buying a car completely online. But if it’s moving in that direction, we’re going to have to adapt.”

 

The same forecast holds true for the home furnishings and multifamily property industries as more consumers seek simplicity and transparency when conducting online research before buying. They want a more personalized online shopping experience, much like how Amazon or Google remembers what they searched for, without a pushy salesperson lurking nearby.

 

AI can help the auto, home furnishings and multifamily industries provide customers with a seamless transition from an online search to an in-store purchase.

 

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3 Quick Tips to Manage an Increase in Leads from using A.I.

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Give Customers Concierge Service with AI Technology

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]For multifamily properties, PERQ’s AI-driven software offers the kind of personalized, guided experience today’s digital consumers demand, says Christopher Beckwith-Taylor, vice president of marketing for The Franklin Johnston Group.

 

“We’re truly guiding consumers through the apartment search process,” he says. “It’s kind of like an AI concierge service. It’s asking what kind of apartment are you looking for, how would you describe yourself, are you someone who loves high-end, classy and luxurious? Or are you the type of person who just needs a place to lay your head?”

 

“We’re truly guiding consumers through the apartment search process. “It’s kind of like an AI concierge service.”

 

Instead of property management companies wasting money on extending office leasing hours or trying to provide a 24/7 concierge service, Beckwith-Taylor suggests adding interactive online tools that give customers the assistance they seek on a property website, like schedule a tour, view floor plans, and calculate average rental costs.

 

“Not only are you saving dollars on payroll, you’re providing such an efficient way for the customer to commit to scheduling an appointment, which totally eliminates the back and forth with the customer,” he says. “A seamless search tool benefits both the customer and the property management company.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Understanding AI to Guide a Customer’s Buying Journey

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Most consumers today conduct as much research online as possible, comparing prices and narrowing down which showrooms or properties they want to visit in person. While in the research phase, the majority of shoppers say they are not ready to buy, whereas those who do walk through your door are more likely to be armed with information they found online to get the best deal.

 

Interactive technology on your website enables consumers to conduct in-depth and personalized research, while serving up the next best step in their shopping process. Experiences can include auto trade-in comparison tools on auto dealer websites, mattress assessments on home furnishing websites, and rental expense calculators on multifamily housing websites.
Online guided shopping is all about helping the consumer, but also acknowledging consumer behavior, much like the Amazon business model. By leveraging AI and remembering shoppers when they return, never asking for the same information twice and personalizing messages for each customer, that shopper will begin seeing you as a trusted business, not a pushy salesperson.

 

“Everything is changing at a breakneck pace when it comes to AI,” says Quality Furniture Vice President Jordan Barrick. “Customers are getting more used to their choices tailored to them, or at least the perception of choice.”

 

Barrick, who previously ran a digital marketing company, says many competitors in the home furnishings industry are “behind the curve” when it comes to adopting AI and using it effectively to engage consumers in the online research journey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Automate, but Keep the Online Research Journey Personal

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Auto dealers also struggle to keep up with AI technology, Kephart says, by spending too much time, energy and resources to train salespeople on how to personally engage with customers. As founder of The Elise Kephart Experience, a company focused on helping auto dealerships improve sales processes, she knows firsthand that those efforts often fail, due to lack of buy-in or a sales staff unwilling to absorb the information.

 

“With AI, essentially, you can customize it to where the experience is one that customers want,” Kephart says. “It needs to be a positive experience for the customer and, ideally, the customer shouldn’t know that it’s AI on the other end.”

 

Kephart says she prefers using verbiage that sounds like a real person with personality, whether that point of contact with an online consumer comes through a chat box, a text or an email. “From an AI standpoint, a lot of dealers struggle with that process,” she says.

 

As the “YouTube Diva,” she’s also a huge advocate of sending personalized video messages to customers using something as simple (and not overproduced) as your smartphone. “Now, the consumer can hear you, see you, get a little glimpse of you as a genuine person, which helps to set you apart from what the typical car salesperson is envisioned to be,” she says.

 

Applying authentic personality in an AI-like format tends to streamline and improve customer engagement and the online research journey. “When it’s completely built out, it’s everything you want it to be if you had the ideal person on the other end responding to your internet requests, your chat box, or your text leads.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Better Manage Furniture Sales Staff with CRM

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]A CRM system not only helps home furnishing retailers manage leads, it helps stores better manage the furniture sales staff by tracking every time a salesperson touches a lead.

 

Quality CRMs give a salesperson suggestions on the next best step for engaging the shopper, much like PERQ’s software walks a consumer through each phase of the shopping process. That moves the sales staff closer to converting a sale, while also allowing them to build customer relationships.

 

Big Sandy Furniture Sales Staff Manages Leads in CRM

 

Big Sandy Superstore designated its own “PERQ Specialists” within each department of its Midwest stores to handle an increase in website leads. When an online shopper’s information comes through the store’s CRM, it’s tagged as a PERQ lead and the onsite manager receives a notification. They can then assign leads to a specific salesperson and track the progress.

 

“I divvy out the leads to our team of specialists and make sure my sales people are following up.”

 

“Anytime a PERQ lead comes through, I get an email,” says Laron Botkins, manager of the Big Sandy Superstore in Maysville, Kentucky. “We try to follow up on that email immediately. I divvy out the leads to our team of specialists and make sure my sales people are following up.”

 

How a CRM Can Help Your Furniture Sales Staff

 

In addition to making a sales staff more accountable and efficient, a CRM:

  • Alleviates battles among sales associates by streamlining a store’s retail-up system.
  • Gives salespeople an edge by providing loads of details on potential customers before they even enter the store.
  • Opens up the opportunity to make repeated sales to the same customer.

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It’s Time to Embrace a Home Furnishings CRM

It’s Time to Embrace a Home Furnishings CRM

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Increased leads are great, but it’s what a home furnishing store does with those leads that improves profit and brand management. That’s where a home furnishings CRM can make a big difference.

 

home furnishings CRM

 

Artificial intelligence and interactive websites allow home furnishing retailers to attract more online leads than ever before. Digital strategies like AI may help independent retailers clear one major hurdle (lead generation), but often slams them into another major obstacle: how to track and successfully follow up with all of those newly generated leads.  

 

“Follow-up with leads in the furniture industry is a pain point,” says Brad Eaton, Sr. Product Manager/Architect at PERQ who developed the CRM, a mobile and web-based retail-up system and customer relationship management  (CRM) software that focuses on lead management. “They don’t have a process for efficiently following up on leads and measuring the performance of that over time.”

 

A furniture CRM serves as a digital database that collects and catalogs new lead information from a retailer’s website and multiple other touchpoints, such as social media and in the store. It tracks every interaction with a consumer and gives stores a centralized way to retain pertinent personal data about that shopper.

 

“We’re surprised most furniture and mattress stores don’t have a CRM product to manage leads and prospects  like most other industries,” says PERQ co-founder Scott Hill, adding how it makes the sales process more efficient and organized.

 

3 Quick Tips to Manage an Increase in Leads from using A.I.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Home Furnishing Retailers Lag Behind Other CRM Users

 

Popular in a variety of retail industries, a quality CRM allows a store to tap into customer data to make sales, build relationships and target future marketing campaigns. Stores can leverage that data to better track lead to sale conversions and more effectively manage the sales process.

 

PERQ dedicates its CRM to the home furnishings industry. “We felt like the need was greatest there,” Eaton says. “Even before new leads are introduced, one of the big problems home furnishing retailers have is they’ve never really embraced technology or the tools other industries migrated to years ago.”

 

A CRM system works great for home furnishing retailers because they often interact with the same customers multiple times, through more than one channel. Repeat customers also make up a big portion of profit for established furniture stores. “The CRM model applies to any company that’s high ticket and high touch,” Eaton says.

 

Furniture Retailer CRM Helps Leverage Data

 

Big Sandy Superstore recently implemented the PERQ CRM platform to help its sales staff better track and follow up on the increased leads it gets through PERQ’s Marketing Cloud. The Midwest retail chain sells appliances, furniture, TVs and mattresses at its superstore locations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

 

“For the month of April, our benchmark web traffic to registration — those customers we actually collected information from — we were 1,200% above our benchmark goal, which is an incredible number,” says Big Sandy Superstore President Bryan P. Scott.

 

Scott says the home furnishings CRM combined with PERQ means the store can better leverage customer data to tie online leads to in-store sales. “That’s the most powerful thing, in my opinion,” says Bryan Scott. “We are spending so much money to drive customers to our website, so now we can quantify that investment and know how many of those customers are actually making a purchase in our stores.”

 

Use a Home Furnishings CRM to Collect, Organize Customer Info

 

Information collected about online shoppers who visit Big Sandy’s website automatically populate the home furnishings CRM so the on-site sales staff can see which interactive assessments they engaged with and what product pages they looked at, along with detailed demographic and contact information.

 

“We know what they’re looking at online, we even know how far along they are in the sales process in most instances, so we can label those leads coming in,” Bryan Scott says. “Is it a hot lead, where they’re interested in buying now? Or, is it just somebody starting on the journey and they’re probably not going to purchase for months down the road?”

 

While Big Sandy has a built-in CRM feature in its POS (point of sale) system, Bryan Scott says it doesn’t have near the follow-up, tracking and reporting capabilities that Who’s Up and PERQ offer. “It’s just a basic CRM tool, and PERQ just takes it to a whole other level for us. Some of the automated features they have built into it are very powerful tools for our sales professionals.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]