Consumers demand automation and instant gratification from any and all businesses. They want answers 24/7 and they don’t care if a robot is the one giving them. They care that once the robot can’t help anymore, they get connected to a real person who is up to date on what they already talked about with the bot.
The best chatbot software uses artificial intelligence to power its knowledge and capabilities. Leasing AI has been making waves in the multifamily industry this year. You probably Google chat bots at some point in the last year or at least have had a personal experience talking to an AI chatbot.
There are a lot out there right now that are geared towards multifamily and talking to rental prospects, but they all have differences that don’t seem big at first. Let’s get into one of the most defining differences that impact the consumer experience.
NATURAL LANGUAGE VS RULE BASED
An AI chatbot is either natural language or rule based. Natural language bots are ones where you text it directly and it responds as if it was texting you back. The prospect can type “How many 1 bedroom are available in x number of days?” and the bot will reply with the answer.
A rule-based chatbot gives the prospect prompts that they have to answer in order to get what they are looking for. Instead of getting straight to the point, this way takes more time, and the prospect has to go through questions they might not want to answer. The best kind of AI chatbot example that gives a better idea of what a rule-based chatbot is like would be when you call customer service for your phone, internet, etc and you get a robot menu that you must go through before getting a person on the phone.
Those menu chatbots on the phone are personally very frustrating. It takes forever and sometimes you leave the “conversation” without the answers you were looking for. When it comes to the best chatbots to talk to, natural language is definitely the best. After all, the user is actually talking to the bot and not being forced to answer prompts. When it comes to best chatbot for website, natural language wins too because it’s quick and efficient. It gives prospect more time to go through your website and spend less time trying to get answers through prompts.
THE WHOLE PACKAGE
The chatbot component is very important but what else does it offer? Some chatbots are just chatbots that integrate with other CRMs and lead generation tools while others are a complete solution. Do you want to invest in a bunch of single point solutions that come from a bunch of different vendors, or do you want to invest in one, whole solution from one vendor?
When you go into budgeting meetings this is something to keep in mind. While single point solutions might all be cheaper individually, they do add up and whether or not they work together harmoniously will always be up in the air. A complete solution that offers chatbot, website conversion, lead nurture and follow-up, etc. will be more expensive but it offers more and because it is all in one, you only need to work with one vendor if something goes wrong instead of troubleshooting with a lot of different vendors.
AI LEASING ASSISTANT
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant is a complete, all-in-one solution with a natural language chatbot. The AI Leasing Assistant not only makes promises of higher website conversion, better lead nurture, and only handing off qualified leads to onsite teams, it actually delivers on those promises.
Take Unified Residential. In the first 60 days of hiring the AI Leasing Assistant, they saw their website conversion increase 3X and their lead to tour went up to over 80%. We have a more in-depth case study with even more metrics to show how much they’ve been able to improve their operational efficiency and reduce their operational costs.
During an era of website leads increasing dramatically due to more “looky-loos” as Dalia Kalgreen, Director of Marketing at Unified Residential, likes to call them, the leasing team is able to focus on just the qualified leads.
The battle of the bots is more than just who is the better bot, but who delivers the results they promise. Pilots and demos take time and energy. Learning as much as you can about each bot and deciding on which to invest in is important. Interested in hiring the PERQ AI Leasing Assistant? Talk to our team today.
Arguably one of the most important metrics for multifamily and property management, lead to lease conversion is key to understanding if your operations are working efficiently. It takes a lot of work and effort to get leases signed and keep residents satisfied and wanting to renew. In recent years there’s been a lot of development and innovation in multifamily technology and property management solutions. From virtual leasing to leasing AI, multifamily has more tools than ever to gather better data, meet consumer buying habits, and more personalized follow-up/lead nurture. Let’s dive into what leasing AI is and how it helps lead to lease conversion.
AI LEASING ASSISTANTS
AI Leasing Assistants have made waves in multifamily this past year, but what is so special about them and are they worth the investment? There are a few on the market and the differences seem subtle but they make a huge difference. We have a blog post already dedicated to the difference between natural language chatbots and rule based chatbots that you can read here.
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant lives on your website and uses natural language to chat with prospects and answer their questions 24/7. The AI Assistant keeps the conversations, text and email, so when the prospect is ready to talk to a leasing specialist, the team member can see what was talked about between the lead and the bot. It also collects insightful data and has real time reporting for the most accurate tour schedules and availability.
This data and knowledge that it gives to leasing specialists supports them by better equipping them to have those first initial conversations and cater the tour to highlight and spotlight what it is they are looking for. More personalized experiences and follow-up leads to higher lease conversion numbers. Unified Residential is seeing this first hand after hiring PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant.
You might’ve Googled “how to follow up on a prospect to lease an apartment”, “sample thank you letter after apartment tour”, “sample follow-up email after apartment tour”, “leasing follow-up template”, or even “follow-up email for apartment prospect template” in hopes of finding that magic copy that grabs prospects’ interest in their inbox and brings them closer to signing a lease. The problem is getting stuck on the idea that there is an apartment tour follow-up email template out there that is going to work on every prospect.
The AI Leasing Assistant’s follow-up is more personalized to your property and to the prospect than any old sample follow up email to prospective client you can find online. With PERQ, you can customize your follow-up messaging to be in your brand colors and brand voice. It sounds and looks less automated/robotic and more human. Even though many prospects know it’s most likely an automated email, the personalization gives it that edge that makes it stand out in their inbox.
To the right is an example of what a follow up email after apartment viewing, follow up email after rental application, or thank you letter after viewing an apartment would look like with PERQ. The brand color and voice really makes the email stand out and grabs your attention. This kind of follow-up leads to more leases because it gives a positive impression of the property and the team and is more recognizable than a leasing follow-up email template.
To learn more about how an AI Leasing Assistant can help your multifamily property increase lead to lease conversion, talk to one of our specialists today and check out our resources.
Lease to lead conversion is one of the most important metrics for multifamily properties and also one of the toughest to see growth and improvement. A study done by MarketingSherpa found that 79% of leads don’t convert due to a poor lead management solution. Luckily, in the last few years, multifamily and property management in general has seen a lot of innovation in technology solutions that center around lead management.
FOLLOW-UP & LEASING AI
One of the biggest breakthroughs in multifamily tech is the rise of leasing AI. AI Leasing Assistants are able to effectively manage your pipeline and only hand off qualified leads that are ready to talk, tour or lease.
A huge component to increasing your lead-to-lease conversion numbers is having good follow-up and lead nurture. The problem is, with an increase in online leads, onsite teams are overloaded and are unable to spend the time they need to only work on qualified leads who are more likely and more ready for leases. This is where an AI Leasing Assistant goes to work.
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant knows when to follow-up and when to reel it back in so as not to bombard the prospect’s inbox. With PERQ’s AI Assistant, the follow-up can be personalized to fit your brand colors and your brand voice. While the messaging is still coming from a bot it’s more personalized to your property and more effective in meeting today’s consumer buying habits. It isn’t just a standard follow-up email template or apartment tour follow-up email template.
It uses the data that the AI Assistant has collected on the prospect during their time on your site and through any messaging with the chatbot. It knows exactly what the prospect is looking for and when. The follow-up is much more personalized to the actual prospect too. The best part is that the leasing specialist has access to all of this data and messaging between the AI Assistant and the prospect. With better automated follow-up and lead nurture leads to better conversations between the onsite team and the prospects.
To the right is a sample follow up email to prospective client through PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant. You no longer have to Google “how to follow up on a prospect to lease an apartment” because the AI Assistant does it for you and does it efficiently. This isn’t just fiction, it’s backed by the increase in lead to lease conversion.
SUCCESS FOR UNIFIED RESIDENTIAL
The only way to truly know if AI Leasing Assistants improve your lead to lease conversion is to see the data and success. Unified Residential, like many multifamily companies, wants to improve their lead to lease conversion especially after the massive increase in online leads in recent years.
Dalia Kalgreen, Director of Marketing, decided to hire PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant for the job. The numbers speak for themselves. Unified increased their website conversion 3X and their lead to tour by over 83%. “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.
Having the AI Assistant work on their property websites has increased their operational efficiency and made their website more engaging and interactive. This means that prospects are staying on their website longer and looking at more info. You can read more about Unified Residential’s success and see just how many of their metrics improved after hiring PERQ for the job.
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.”
CONNECT WITH US:
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.