Cleaning up Your CRM with AI Property Management
The story of marketing automation and why multifamily needs it.
Multifamily technology has come a long way in the last few years. The use of customer relationship management, or CRM, software has been relatively new to the multifamily industry but it isn’t all that new when thinking about digital marketing or the start of marketing automation. CRM tools are pretty much just databases that store your prospect and lead information so that leasing specialists can easily access them. With the information in hand, a leasing specialist should have all they need to talk to a prospective tenant or give a tour.
Sounds simple, right?
The truth is, just like with most things, if you put bad in you’ll get bad out. CRM isn’t designed to be a full funnel solution. It can’t sort through leads that come in and only hang on to the quality leads or ones that PERQ calls “high-intent”. With only a CRM, leasing specialists are forced to sift through all the leads in there and figure out which ones are the ones worth talking to and which ones need more time or are just not good enough.
This takes a lot of time out of a leasing agent’s day. Not to mention, high-intent leads can go missed more often this way and low-intent leads might end up being the ones followed-up on. On top of this, there’s no automation to CRMs. Leads further down the pipeline have no way of being nurtured through this. Human leasing offices backed by AI property management tools however, can do this. Leasing AI can engage with prospects, collect more insightful data, nurture them, and hand off only those who are ready to talk to leasing specialists to your CRM.
How did we get to the point of creating marketing automation to go along with CRM for property management companies? Well, as a database, CRM can only do so much. In the multifamily world, where roughly 20% of leads go unfollowed, and the cost of a lead is on average $17 to $24, CRM is clearly not the only solution.
This isn’t the first time in marketing the need for automation came about. In the late 1990s, an investment banking researcher at Bain Capital named Mark Organ conducted a study to find out what made salespeople more successful. He found that companies that had figured out how to give them only the good leads were the ones with the most successful salespeople.
These findings lead to the birth of a startup named Eloqua. Eloqua was originally planned to be a way for sellers to chat with prospects on the company’s website and a way for marketers to send bulk email. This was huge at the time and the beginning of marketing automation as it’s known today.
The team at Eloqua soon learned that the chat product wasn’t being used by salespeople. Instead, they would cherry pick out the leads that had clicked through to the website from marketing emails sent through Eloqua. This should be sounding more familiar as the story goes on because it’s very similar to the current challenges multifamily is facing today — leads don’t get followed up on, onsite teams don’t have the time to talk to low-intent leads, and marketing dollars are being wasted. Multifamily doesn’t need more leads in the CRM, but better leads in their database.
CRMs are very much needed but they need help in receiving only the good leads.
As we’ve talked about above, CRM treats every lead like it’s equal regardless of intent and where a prospect is in their leasing process. At PERQ, we believe that this is largely flawed and creates a lot of clutter for the onsite teams. CRM should be reserved for quality leads, people who are ready to tour and talk to the leasing team. PERQ believes that people who are low intent aren’t really a “lead” yet but their information is still valuable and deserves attention.
The people at Eloqua were very similar in this thought process. They knew they were onto something when they figured out that leads were being cherry picked by salespeople and decided to make a change. CRM was no longer being used as a catchall and they decided to work towards becoming more sophisticated around lead strategy for these valuable prospects that aren’t ready to talk to a salesperson but still need to be nurtured. Their strategy includes:
- Only handing off leads when they were ready to talk to a salesperson
- Lead records only entered the CRM when they were ready for sales activity, and
- Marketing took on the early engagement with the customer to get them ready for sales and it was all tracked in the lead nurturing automation system
This strategy freed up a lot of time for salespeople as they no longer had to treat every lead equally. They can focus on only working leads that are ready to engage in a sales conversion. Leads that didn’t show high intent remained as marketing contacts in the Eloqua system and became marketing’s responsibility to nurture.
Property management solutions that mirror this evolution of marketing automation in the B2B world are platforms like PERQ, that use leasing ai to automate property management lead nurture.
Eloqua created marketing automation for B2B and PERQ has created lead capture and automation for multifamily property management companies. 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. PERQ cleans up your CRM by making sure that the leads that are in there are ready for the leasing team to work. You can even personalize your automated follow-up with PERQ to be in your brand colors and brand voice to really stand out in prospect inboxes.
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