Better Experiences, Higher Conversions: How Mission Rock Transformed the Multifamily Renter’s Journey
For many renters, finding a new rental unit feels a bit like stepping back in time. For leasing agents, the experience isn’t much better.
Here’s what we mean: Chances are you’ve leaned on interactive automations at least a dozen times today to navigate your work routine, place an order, get personalized recommendations or forecasts — perhaps all of the above before you even had your morning coffee. As consumers, we’ve grown used to the “Amazon” experience, characterized by speed, ease and hyper-personalization, expecting those components in every digital transaction, whether that’s buying furniture, booking an appointment, or…researching rental properties.The trouble is that multifamily has largely lagged behind other industries, making it difficult for renters to get answers without having to take extra steps like calling a leasing office during office hours, or dropping by for an on-site visit — often having to re-explain their interests, preferences or dilemmas with every interaction.
That mismatch between modern consumer expectations and antiquated renter experiences is a massive opportunity for property management companies (PMCs) to stand out, outserve and outperform competitors. Mission Rock Residential, a PMC with a portfolio of 165 properties across 17 states, recognized that opportunity as they looked for ways to modernize the multifamily renter’s journey and alleviate staffing challenges.
- ~60 properties
- 25,000+ questions answered by AI chatbot
- +1,364 tours scheduled
- +200,000 automated prospect interactions on behalf of leasing teams
- 60%-70% average conversion following lead nurture
- 22% automated support via SMS
Meagan Struve, marketing analyst at Mission Rock, had heard about PERQ’s track record on both counts: (1) driving lead-to-lead conversions with automated nurture, and (2) reducing the time and effort leasing agents have to pour into lead management. “PERQ’s ability to build up prospect interest without manual work alleviates that pressure for the leasing teams, and allows for more focus on authentic customer service,” she shared.
With that in mind, Mission Rock set out to test drive PERQ’s lead nurture platform with select properties in its portfolio.
Mission Rock recognized today’s multifamily renter’s journey differs sharply from just a couple of years ago. For one, that journey is far longer: 46 days on average, with some renters taking as long as six months to choose a property.
The multifamily renter’s journey is also much more digitally-focused. Automated conveniences that were considered nice-to-have luxuries a couple of years ago are now baseline expectations for renters who’ve grown accustomed to “made-for-me” experiences, instant access and support.
Aside from the pandemic-driven push for more virtual conveniences, Meagan also points to a generational shift. “A lot of our renters are now younger, and they’re used to a more automated experience and the instant gratification that comes with that,” she explains. “They don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone, ever. They would much rather have a chatbot experience or have somebody emailing or texting.”
With PERQ’s Leasing Assistant, including a natural-language AI chatbot, prospective renters coming to Mission Rock websites can get their questions answered instantly, ’round the clock, via the property’s website, SME or email. So far, the chatbot has answered more than 25,000 questions, giving prospects instant answers regarding availability, touring options, pricing, the application process, and more.
Multifamily isn’t exactly known for customer service, but Mission Rock is changing that, said Meagan: “For us, to be able to serve up fun, engaging and educational experiences to our prospects using PERQ, it gives prospects a positive experience from their first interaction with a community, while also setting our community apart from others that don’t offer such a modern website experience.”
Among the benefits of cross-channel, personalized nurture automation, is the fact that the heavy task of nurturing leads is now off the leasing team’s plate so they can focus on higher-impact activities. “The stats about the number of hours we save are amazing…especially with our current staffing challenges,” Meagan said. “Having PERQ is a shining beacon of hope, alleviating a lot of that manual work we used to have.”
Automated nurture also helps to keep Mission Rock’s pipeline full and healthy as renters take longer to search and make decisions. Though prospects may not be ready to convert today, “that person is still important and could still end up turning into a lease,” Meagan said. Previously, the team tried to manually follow up with each lead, but the volume of leads made those efforts difficult and created a lot of “cracks” for leads to fall through. Now, PERQ takes on the nurture challenge, applies personalization, and drives lead-to-lease conversions. “Such a game changer for us, for sure,” Meagan said.
By Q3 of 2022, PERQ’s nurture generated 1,364 tours that might otherwise have been lost in the shuffle of guest cards, allowing prospects to engage via text nearly 22% of the time. PERQ’s nurture also managed over 200,000 prospect interactions on behalf of Mission Rock’s on-site teams.
PERQ has helped Mission Rock evolve our inbound marketing strategy. As a result, we get more leads and leases from our website and more automated engagement with prospects. We’ve reduce the work of our on-site team since PERQ takes on all the early nurture, and keeps our teams focused on closing leases and providing excellent customer service.
Proof’s in the pudding, as they saying goes. “What we’ve found with PERQ is when people come in for a tour, our closing ratio is so high — 60% to 70% on average,” said Meagan. “Once we get that person in, it’s pretty much a done deal because the prospect has been able to qualify themselves based on the website experiences, AI chat, and personalized nurture from PERQ.”
Meagan also touts lead source attribution and dashboard reporting to help Mission Rock optimize its return on marketing spend. She also appreciates the intelligence that PERQ is able to pass along to the leasing team when leads are agent-ready. “It’s been seamless. There has never been an issue of missing information or any difficulties, and I really appreciate that,” she added.
Today, PERQ is used by more than 60 Mission Rock properties to enhance the multifamily renter’s journey, and the team has recommended 90 properties for the platform in the year ahead.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP) AI allows visitors to have “natural” (read: non-robotic) conversations with AI chatbots on the property website, SMS, and email.
- Conversational AI support for Google, enabling mobile visitors to get instant answers when visiting a community’s Google Business Profile and Google Maps.
- Call-to-text technology converts inbound leasing calls to text chats, easing the workload of on-site teams and helping PMCs avoid costly call centers.
- Website Conversion Maximizer tailors interactive online experiences to each visitor, capturing prospect data so it can enhance personalizations with every new interaction.
- Nurture Science continues to personalize nurture communications to keep prospects engaged long after their first visit, through every stage of the multifamily renter’s journey.
- One intelligent platform with centralized data means prospects are recognized across devices, creating connected and coherent experiences across channels.
- Rich prospect data is automatically captured and made available in your connected CRM when the prospect is agent-ready.
- Accurate lead attribution and real-time trends so you can see how each lead source is performing, hidden opportunities or tripping points.
What could PERQ do for your multifamily business? See for yourself!
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