Unified Residential, like most multifamily companies, saw a dramatic increase in online leads while having limited onsite team members because of the pandemic. Dalia Kalgreen, Director of Marketing, knew she needed to find a solution that would increase their operational efficiency while still maintaining a personalized, high-touch experience for prospects. Kalgreen decided to hire PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant to her leasing team to help with lead management and follow-up. The results speak for themselves
Unified increased website conversion by 3x, lead-to-tour to 83.84%.
Before hiring the AI Assistant, Kalgreen estimates that Unified Residential property websites were converting about 2% of traffic. With PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant working to convert online traffic on Unified’s property websites, rental prospects now have more ways to get their questions answered while being able to interact with the property 24/7. They aren’t forced to wait for business hours to get the information they are looking for. After 60 days with the AI Leasing Assistant, Unified’s property websites were converting traffic to records at 6.26%.
Keeping online visitors engaged and nurturing casual website visitors over text message and email, Unified is seeing more qualified leads and tours, with less distractions. “It takes a lot of time for your leasing team to sift through what we call ‘looky-loos,’ when they could be working on more serious leads,” says Kalgreen. Across Unified’s portfolio, the AI Leasing Assistant sends an average of 325 leads per month to unified properties; of that, 83.84% had already scheduled a tour.
Cecilia Smoyer, Assistant Property Manager at Unified’s Karric Place of Dublin says, “PERQ leads are more reliable since they screen people beforehand and write down exactly what they want. PERQ leads are the ones where the people are interested in setting up a tour and talking to us.”
Improved closing rates across channels
Along with turning their websites into more engaging ones and converting prospects, PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant works on multiple marketing channels, such as ILS, with direct experience links and the ability to text the AI Assistant 24/7
With an AI leasing Assistant available across multiple channels Dalia is able to ensure that her entire pipeline of prospects, no matter the move-in timeline, are getting their questions answered in less time and in the easiest way possible. What they’re finding is; “everybody loves texting.” Once prospects find out they don’t have to talk to a person to get the answers they need, prospects are saying “ ‘if I can just text you and do this, we’re doing it that way.’ ”
Better data proves efficiency for Kalgreen
Real-time reporting makes it easy for Dalia to review the performance of her AI Leasing Assistant, just like any other member of her team. “The data and performance I’m seeing from the PERQ Assistant is profoundly valuable, my team is working more effectively and I get easy reporting to prove it.”
Unified Residential Results
There are a lot of ways to approach multifamily marketing. From apartment advertising ideas, to outreach marketing ideas for apartments, to social media marketing, there’s a lot of content you can create to keep your multifamily property ahead of the competition and on top of rental prospects minds.
DESIGNED FOR ENGAGEMENT
One of the best ways to increase traffic apartment community websites is to have an engaging website. Multifamily websites eventually all blend together in a prospect’s mind. After all, there isn’t much variation besides branding. The latest innovations in multifamily tech have proven to create a strong apartment lease-up strategy for many communities. AI Leasing Assistants live on your site and engages with prospects while collecting better data and giving real time reporting. A website that is interactive keeps prospects on it longer. The longer they are there, the more probable they will talk, tour, and lease.
You can look up apartment advertising example and find some creative ways to advertise apartments for rent. Fun marketing ideas for apartments examples include multi family outreach marketing, like emails, that is more personalized and feels less robotic. You might be thinking, how can that be possible when a lot of email follow-up and lead nurture is and needs to be automated. PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant allows for customization in your follow-up by learning your brand voice. This keeps prospects top of mind no matter where they are in the pipeline.
Some marketing ideas for luxury apartments and marketing ideas for apartment lease-up in general touch on social media content. There’s a reason this pops up so much. Multifamily communities social media content is boring and doesn’t sell to prospects at all. It’s important to share property and unit photos but all of those can be found on your website. Your Instagram, Facebook, and if you are able to, TikTok should have content around the people and the neighborhood. You aren’t just selling a unit, you’re selling a home to someone. Home includes the people that work and live there as well as what the neighborhood is like.
Realtors do this a lot on their own pages. They review local businesses or spotlight them. You can also promote events going on in town. For example, a lot of communities have farmer’s markets on Saturday morning. This is a great way to promote the local community and show rental prospects that your multifamily property is a part of the neighborhood.
Doing a pet of the month post, or asking residents if they would be okay if their decorated units could be posted, or doing a get to know a member of the onsite team post are all different ways to give rental prospects a better idea of what it’s like living in your community.
COMBINING CONTENT WITH ENGAGEMENT
All of that content above can be repurposed into blog posts. Having a blog will give your website more visibility in searches and businesses with blogs have more monthly visitors and leads than those that don’t.
People love to read apartment content. When an event in town happens, or an event put on by the onsite team, take photos and videos. Write up a recap blog post about what happened. You can encourage residents to contribute as well. They can write a day in the life post.
You can also write blogs with tips for move-in day, how to get referrals, how to send in maintenance requests and other useful things that may be frequently asked. You can also come up with posts on decorating tips that are specific to your units, whether its small space storage ideas or how to set up the living room.
Having content that is more than just property photos, a blog, and tools on your website to make it more interactive and engaging are how we move forward in the multifamily industry. The new generation of renters loves to consume content and they expect automation and a digital presence. Consumer buying habits have changed and leaning in to leasing AI will keep your property up to speed and meet the demands of today’s renter.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to add AI to your multifamily property website, check out this post about Unified Residential. They have a decent portfolio of properties all over the US and leasing AI has given them some of the best results they’ve ever had. If you’re interested in learning more about our AI Leasing Assistant, talk to one of our specialists today.
Technology that has been made for multifamily property management has seen a lot of advancement and innovation in the last few years. With so much new software, is there any harm in trying them out or is it better to just wait, and see?
Lisa Lawrence, Property Manager at Aura at Arbodale, a Bonaventure Property, chatted with Muhammad Yasin on our most recent sofa seminar about the latest in leasing tech. She is known for trying out new and different platforms at her property to see what is the best and what isn’t worth your time.
During this Sofa Seminar, they chatted through a wide range of topics including:
- Leasing AI
- The Importance of Personalization
- Integration within your Tech Stack
As a whole, a lot of us spent quarantine talking about going back to normal and that virtual leasing and leasing AI are fads that aren’t here to last post-pandemic. “There’s no advancement and growth in going back,” explains Lisa. With leasing AI, she knows that herself and her leasing specialists feel more educated and have more confidence when talking to prospects as AI Assistants have empowered them with better and more personalized data on prospects.
“We don’t sound like robots asking all these questions anymore because they have already talked to a robot who’s asked them,” she goes on. By handling prospects’ questions and only handing off qualified leads, leasing AI has saved Lisa and her team hours of work. They are able to talk to personalize the conversation and tour to make the prospect feel more at home. All this new tech has allowed Lisa and her team to make a bigger impact with prospects.
Lisa does note the importance of integration within your tech stack. For her, they use Entrata as their PMS. For any new tech they try out, whether its virtual leasing platforms or AI chatbots, if it doesn’t integrate smoothly, she doesn’t waste her time with it. At the end of the day, all this tech should be making it easier for teams to do their jobs and not create more work.
The multifamily industry has been known to be a little wary of embracing new technology. Within the last two years, the industry has seen how valuable being up to speed is. From virtual leasing and now to leasing AI, there have been a lot of new products to try. To all those who are still unsure, Lisa says “I don’t foresee it hurting, keep an open mind, it’s only going to benefit you.”
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When the pandemic hit, a lot of renters fled cities and urban markets for the suburbs. There are a lot of reasons. Some renters who lost their job moved back in with family, others wanted more space for their new remote lifestyles, and others adopted pets and needed more pet friendly environments.
The thing is young people still want to live in cities. In The New York Times article, “Reverse Migration: Moving to Cities While Others Flee”, they talked to a few renters to get their thoughts on why they are moving back. Let’s take a look into how you can attract renters back to your multifamily properties in the city.
Many jobs and education programs are remote or online now. In the same article, some of the renters they interviewed who fled to the suburbs talked about how in their city apartments, there really wasn’t enough space for them to both work and live there. Many units in urban markets are on the smaller size. It can be tough to live and work practically alone in 500 sq ft for days on end, especially if your building barely has outdoor amenities.
Creating rentable, private office spaces, larger communal work rooms, or offering outside seating near outlets is a great way to convert your property to one where renters can live and work remotely. Having outdoor amenities like a lounge space or grills or a rooftop terrace is attractive to renters as outdoor amenities are the number one thing renters are looking for in 2021.
City apartments used to be just places to sleep in while young renters went out and about in the city. With things shut down, renters attitudes towards space, especially outdoor ones that are easily accessible, changed. Multifamily communities in these areas need to keep up with this change so they can attract renters back to the city.
On top of remote work, many people adopted pets during the pandemic. Nationally, 1 in 3 renters have a pet according to PERQ data. The suburbs offer plenty of spaces to walk dogs, yards with fences, and even more parks. Attracting renters back to the city means attracting their furry friends as well.
You need to take a look at your pet policies and if you are a place that would make a good home for a dog. Charging too much in pet rent and having little to no grass/turf nearby won’t work with today’s renters. Whether it’s finding the space in your own property or advertising nearby parks and trails, you need to have some content on your website or social media that shows you are pet friendly. We have a blog post on how to be more pet friendly with some tips from industry leader Jamin Harkness.
With all of this in mind, you need to evaluate if your property meets these standards. Would it be easy to live and work at your property? Does your property offer enough outdoor spaces? Is it pet friendly? Bringing renters back to the city is going to be a pretty big hill to climb but meeting some of the basic needs that caused renters to move out in the first place is a good place to start.
Resident retention is one of the most important metrics/goals for multifamily properties. A happy resident is a resident who renews and a renewal means that you have one less unit sitting open. Most renters plan on renting one unit for 1 to 2 years. With the new generation of renters planning on renting for most, if not all, their lives, there’s opportunity to keep some residents for longer than just 2 years. Let’s take a look at what can be done during a resident’s lease to keep them happy and ready to renew when the time comes.
The theme among all negative reviews for a multifamily property is maintenance. No one wants to live at a property that handles maintenance requests poorly. There needs to be clear communication between maintenance, the leasing office, and the resident who put in the request.
Once a request is sent, within 24 hours there should be someone who contacts that resident to let them know the request has been seen and give them a timeline of when someone can come fix it. This is becoming more important with people working and learning from home more regularly. They need to know if they should rearrange some meetings or let their own teams know that they will be offline at a certain time.
PETS AND RENEWALS
Offering a discount on a few months rent or giving other incentives is a popular way to encourage residents to renew. Creating a referral program is also another popular way that many multifamily properties use for resident satisfaction in hopes of it leading to a renewal. People love to live in communities where their friends are close by and they know their neighbors. A simple way to get a large group of residents to stay and renew is getting rid of pet rent.
1 in 3 renters nationally have a pet according to data collected by PERQ. That means there are a lot of furry residents out there too. Jamin Harkness at TMG got rid of pet rent last year and found that 80% of his residents who owned a pet renewed their lease. He made up all that “lost” revenue in some of the highest retention rates. Making a community more pet friendly includes getting rid of pet rent.
Residents who feel heard and taken care of will stay at your property longer. High occupancy and low turnover is an ideal situation for any multifamily property. That means ensuring that onsite team members are putting in the time and effort to keep residents satisfied and keep their units running smoothly.