Multifamily property managers often wonder if there are web tools or software they can use to better generate or manage quality leads. We talked to some seasoned leasing pros to see what tools they use to get the best leads possible, at all stages of the apartment shopping process.
As a property manager, you’ve probably invested a fair amount of time into property management software and online marketing. And if you’re using the right tools, your website is not just for pretty pictures and floorplans. It also has the ability to engage with customers and transform curious apartment seekers into bona fide leads.
So how do you know if you’re partnering with the right company? It’s all about whether or not your property management software is delivering quality leads.
What is a Quality Lead?
Generally, one might assume that “ready to buy” is the most vital component of a “quality lead.” But if a visitor is interacting with your website, perhaps even filling out contact forms and including a phone number and price range, they may still be a year away from ending their current lease.
Derek Hoover, leasing manager at TWG Management, LLC in Indianapolis, elaborated on how confusing this can sometimes be. “Shoppers who are just starting their journey are looking for the most information as possible,” he says. “They’ve thought about the questions and thought about the answers, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to sign.” Englert Management property manager, Beth Roberts also agreed with this sentiment, saying “People who give you the most information are sometimes the ones who are looking the furthest out.”
Though not every apartment hunter is going to be ready to lease the second they see your multifamily property website, it’ll still be quite beneficial to gather information on their wants, needs and lifestyle. The more information you have on a prospective resident, the more likely you’ll transform a casual window shopper into an intrigued and informed buyer, even months down the line.
“What I want is the most information they’re willing to give me,” Hoover says. “A quality lead gives specific details as to what they’re looking for, so we can actually have things prepared when they or we reach back out, instead of having to ask questions again to get all that information.”
What Web Tools and Software Deliver Leads?
Quality multifamily leads are all about renter information, both in terms of quality and quantity. But even the best-looking lead might not be only reaching out to you. “If someone is filling out a guest card, they’re not just doing it for me.
They’re doing it for twenty other apartments,” Hoovers says. Roberts agreed, but observed that often, filling out the guest card gives room for certain audiences to express details about their situation that can help property managers fit their needs better.
Robert has also received good responses to the new 3D floorplans Englert implemented on their websites. Like a model home or unit, the floorplans have small icons of “staged” furniture to help shoppers visualize what the apartment would look like furnished, even before they see the space themselves. “Getting many good pictures of the interior to help them visualize is essential,” Robert adds.
As customers engage with your site, they can and should be given the opportunity to not just learn more about your property, but to learn more about what they want and need. Hoover noted that while many apartment websites are simply “floor plans, pictures, and a phone number,” the standouts in the industry feature more personalized experiences, for both for the visitor and the property manager.
“Having a more interactive website is just far more helpful.”
“Many sites allow potential renters to schedule a tour or find out if they qualify. But the more you’re providing people the tools to find the answers on their own, the longer they’re on your website, and the more likely they are to stay interested.
“We use PERQ [at TWG Management, LLC], and they’re able to create quizzes that have very specific, unordinary questions, like ‘Are you looking for the finer things in life?’ or ‘Do you want to spend more money on fun or necessities?’ which increases the shopper’s curiosity, and also their sense that we are interested in them as people — which of course, we are,” Hoover said.
Capturing a ready lead in the housing market can be a nuanced and complicated puzzle. However, the right property management software can help you get more qualified and engaged leads from your website.
From virtual tours, to quizzes, to 3D floorplans and pre-qualifying calculators, lead generation software for property managers is making great use of the web technology available today.