Multifamily property companies historically focused on first-touch lead attribution. Before the internet, the renter’s journey was fairly limited and linear so that model made sense. Multi-touch lead attribution better reflects a renter’s behavior nowadays, delivering a detailed look at the many ways a consumer discovers and communicates with your properties; as well as which touchpoints compel them to lease.
By analyzing this more accurate data, companies can optimize marketing budgets and learn how to convert more leads.
Multi-Touch Lead Attribution Gives Properties Big Picture
“Multi-touch lead attribution helps you to understand the holistic view of how all of your advertising and exposure contributed to that journey, because it’s not always super-linear,” says Todd Katler, CEO of Anyone Home, which develops scheduling and CRM (customer relationship management) software alongside customizable analytics and workflow platforms to serve the multifamily property industry.
Quantify Cost of Lead Acquisition with Multi-Touch Lead Attribution
“Multiple touchpoints are key to converting at a rate that provides enough leads for sustainable occupancy,” says Katrina Greene, senior property manager at Sheehan Properties based in Indianapolis.
In a perfect world, Greene says she wishes her lead management software allowed her to specifically designate leads as an “information” source and an “influencer” source. Right now, the CRM they use identifies a primary lead source and a secondary source, without giving any weight to how each played a role in converting the lead to a lease.
“I wouldn’t consider that multi-touch lead attribution,” Greene says. “I think the consumer’s experience and process typically require them to have both [information and influencer] sources in order to get a conversion.”
She gives examples of a prospect who finds information on an ILS but uses social media as an influencer, or finds information on the property’s website but it’s the interactive experiences on the site that convince the person to sign a lease.
“Marketing options and consumer behaviors continue to evolve, but marketing budgets are staying relatively close to the same,” Greene says. “It’s helpful to have a way to quantify the importance of both sources during the buying process. Information plus influence equals strong leads.”
For multifamily property managers, an online scheduling tool is one of the most powerful calls to action possible. It’s convenient for consumers, productive for leasing offices, and it guides an online shopper to the next step in the research process, thus, bringing them closer to signing a lease.
PERQ’s Schedule a Tour experience converts 23.8% of leads to leases on average, making it one of our highest converting interactive tools on multifamily property websites. In a world of instant gratification, an interactive scheduling tool on a property’s website allows prospects to see available tour appointments in real time and book it at their convenience with a click of a button.
Katrina Greene, Senior Property Manager for Sheehan Properties, says she knows a prospect means business when they schedule a tour online. Those leads typically have a higher probability of closing. “I love it when they cut to the chase and tell us exactly what they want and when,” Greene says. “It’s clear their purpose is less about fact-finding and more about needing to ‘test drive to buy.’”
Nurture Leads Until Ready to Rent
Our recently released Consumer Insights Report found only 8.31% of online consumers who visited multifamily property websites are ready to rent right now. To keep the 53.21% of prospects (who are 30 to 90 days away from signing a lease) engaged and motivate them to schedule a tour, properties must nurture leads with continual communication. They must also offer assistance as they make a decision. “We see that a huge percentage of prospects use self-scheduling tools before or after some kind of contact with the company.
They’ll send an email and then schedule a tour — or schedule a tour and follow up with a phone call if they have questions,” says Todd Katler, CEO of Anyone Home, a CRM (customer relationship manager) and software provider that helps multifamily property management companies track leads through multiple touchpoints. Katler says his software data shows self-scheduling tools convert at 2.5 times the rate of the average lead.According to our insights data, 15% of PERQ leads captured on multifamily property websites end up booking a tour. But before they schedule a tour online, 72% of those prospects went through at least one other interactive experience on the website, such as the expense calculator, pre-qualify or floor plan assessments, and 58% interacted with at least three website experiences before picking a tour date.
Website Tour Scheduling Tool Streamlines Leasing Process
Using AI technology to link the online scheduling tool directly to a leasing specialist’s digital calendar is a win for everyone involved.
Leasing specialists benefit by collecting leads around the clock. Even as they sleep, their work calendar automatically updates with newly scheduled property tours booked by interested and engaged renters.Prospects no longer have to wait to hear back from a leasing office and coordinate schedules before making an appointment to tour the property. That delay can cost companies valuable leads as competitors swoop in with a more consumer-friendly and convenient approach that puts prospects in control of the renting process.
“Before, we had to rely on phone calls and emails to get the appointment, which often required a bit of back and forth,” Greene says. “The tour scheduling tool allows us to rearrange our schedules to make it work for the prospect so we’re starting the relationship with efficiency.”
Similar to your smartphone app that delivers detailed driving directions, retailers can guide consumers on their buying journey with a lead management plan that personalizes the online shopping experience and helps consumers avoid detours.For many consumers, the online interactions they experience matter as much as the final destination. Instead of asking shoppers to follow a road to nowhere, get the conversation started online by using your website to engage consumers with helpful information, and lead them to a thoughtful purchasing decision.
Get Quality Leads with Online Guided Shopping
Websites with AI and other interactive technologies help retailers collect details about each visitor, such as which pages and products they looked at, where they spent the most time, what calls-to-action they clicked on, and how they prefer to be contacted.
Online guided shopping software allows consumers to personalize their research through interactive tools, such as trade-in comparison tools on auto dealer websites, mattress assessments on home furnishing websites, and rental expense calculators on multifamily housing websites. The shopper gets helpful information to assist them in making a buying decision, while your sales team gets detailed lead information. This makes lead management processes much more efficient as there is insightful data ready to use and platforms like PERQ use AI to understand when that lead is ready to hand off to the CRM with said data. A cleaner CRM full of only qualified leads means leasing teams can work more efficiently and increases lead to lease conversion.
Nurture Leads with Personalization and Automation
What is lead management once the lead has interacted with the tools on your website? The best lead management plan requires personalization, optimal timing and a focus on being helpful. Adopting technology to automatelead follow-up doesn’t mean forgoing a personalized approach. Instead, interactive technology captures detailed information about the consumer, which emboldens your team.
By tracking customers across multiple touchpoints and delivering helpful content at each stage of the buying journey, your team can have personalized messaging, and even provide incentives to buy the exact item shoppers searched for online.
With PERQ, your property will have a complete solution to help funnel down only the high-intent, quality leads to your CRM while handling the rest of your pipeline. This has helped free onsite teams over 160 hours of work and helps properties increase their website conversion. Unified Residential uses PERQ’s platform on a number of their properties across their portfolio. Unified has seen their website conversion increase 3X and their lead to tour increase from around 50% to over 83%. Sounds amazing, right?
PERQ’s platform includes a natural language chatbot that engages with prospects 24/7 and answers all of their questions so the leasing team won’t have to. PERQ uses leasing AI to collect insightful data, give real time reporting, and will continue to nurture leads further down the pipeline so your leasing team doesn’t have to worry about it.
“I think the key is speed, transparency and being kind,” says David Kain, an automotive internet marketing expert who sold cars for 20 years at his family’s dealership. “If you are nice and give them the information they’re looking for, people are so grateful.”
Don’t let your sales teams be lost when it comes to lead follow-up. We asked the pros: What’s your best lead follow-up advice?
Personalize Your Interactions with Consumers
A: “My teams keep each other informed about conversations surrounding the prospect’s needs, wants, and about their general situation,” says Katrina Greene, the Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Property Management. “I think people love it when they walk in and say who they are, and anyone in the office can say, ‘Oh, you’re the one with the dog named Taco.’ I love that. It gives them a sense of personalization and immediately lets the customer know our communication between team members is on point.”
Greene also stresses communicating with clients before, during and after tours using text messaging to convey small snippets of information, because that’s how people communicate with friends and family in their daily lives. Plus it’s less likely to be as disruptive as getting several phone calls or getting lost in the shuffle like most sales-driven emails.
Communication on the Customer’s Terms
A: “No matter what stage of the buying journey they’re in, it’s all about communicating with the customer on the customer’s terms,” says Frank Lopes, vice president of FB Digital and Forrest & Blake Marketing & Advertising. “If they say they’re more comfortable with email, then you email them back. More comfortable with text, you text them back.”
“What you want to do is always try to convert them to the next level of engagement. You always want to try and make the engagement as personal as possible,” Lopes says.
Follow-Up within 24 Hours
A: “If you don’t invest in your team and emphasize that it’s important to reach out to these leads and explain how to do it, [lead generation solutions] are a waste of money,” says Jordan Barrick of Quality Furniture. He says his store’s furniture and appliance salespeople are expected to call online leads within 24 hours to introduce themselves, offer assistance, and let them know they’ll also be receiving an email follow-up, “otherwise they forget they filled anything out online.”
We asked several industry professionals about using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the lead nurturing process. Here’s what they had to say!
Collect Detailed Consumer Data
Jordan Barrick, vice president of Quality Furniture in Texas: “Getting the data of the customer is the most successful part. Shoppers who engage with his website’s interactive experiences, such as taking a design style quiz or checking special offers, give the retailer valuable lead information beyond an email address or phone number.
“We know what stage of life they’re in, their income bracket, what they’re shopping for,” Barrick says. “And, we’re getting that without ever talking to the customer, so my sales team can hit the ground running.”
Online Interactions Should Feel Authentic
Elaine Kephart, a trainer and expert sales consultant for the auto industry: “Completely built out, AI is everything that you want it to be if you had the ideal salesperson on the other end responding to your internet requests, your chat box or your text leads,” says. She stresses that while helpful, interactions facilitated through technology must come across as authentic and personal.
Kephart advocates sending personalized video messages to leads as a way to stand out and create a personal connection. “AI can help with that initial point of contact, but it’s important to create enough value when responding to [leads] or re-engaging them.”
Offer an Engaging Website to Build Consumer Trust First
“Start the conversation online, and utilize your website as your best, first salesperson and relationship-builder,” says Kelly Olsen, a senior account executive at PERQ. “Offer engaging experiences and thoughtful educational points, those are the types of things consumers ultimately want and have come to expect when shopping online.”
Nurture Throughout the Customer Journey
Jason Pires, CEO of Furniture Branding, a California marketing agency that recently started offering marketing automation services: “We’re able to deliver a more personalized experience that’s customizable to each customer’s journey. We nurture them during this process. It gives us the intelligence to know what they need and when it’s the right time to sell to them.”